Samurai Jack Season 5 Episode 4 Review and Recap: XCV -- Shifting Loyalties

Tonight is the fourth episode of the final season of Samurai Jack on Adult Swim. In this episode, Jack partners with one of the Daughters of Aku in order to defeat an enemy, and things get very interesting, as loyalties shift.

Tonight's episode was supposed to air last weekend, but instead of airing the episode, Adult Swim played an April Fool's joke and played a whole night of Rick and Morty.

This episode starts where episode 3 left off. At the end of episode 3, which we've recapped here, we were left wondering what would become of Jack. The episode ended with Jack fighting the Daughters of Aku and being cornered on the limb of a tree. He's able to knock each of the Daughters off the edge, but in the process he manages to fall from the tree as well.

Samurai Jack Episode 4 Recap

This episode begins in the snowy forest, with a bird landing on a tree branch. Jack is again having flashbacks -- seeing Aku's face and imagining a face-off. It appears that after Jack fell from the branch at the end of the last episode, he was able to land without getting hurt.

Jack sees a Daughter of Aku dead and bloodied on the ground. He feels guilty about the death, and he imagines that the birds in the background are crowing at him. He responds by saying "they chose the path."

While Jack is in his dream state, another Daughter of Aku runs at him, trying to attack with a chain. He manages to capture her and tie her up with the chain. She screams about her desire to kill him -- she has been taught that Aku is good and Jack is evil. He tries to explain that this is not the case, but she doesn't want to believe him.

The ground begins to rumble, and both Jack and the Daughter of Aku are sent flying. The Daughter, Ashi, manages to attack Jack while they are in the air; nevertheless, Jack catches her and saves her from falling. They land inside a giant creature. Ashi thinks that she has beaten Jack, but Jack says he will find his way out of the creature. Ashi doesn't seem to care if she dies -- as long as Jack dies too.

In the next scene, a bunch of crab-like creatures begin to chase Jack and Ashi. Jack saves Ashi by tying her to his back and running away. Jack hears a voice telling him to drop Ashi and leave, but Jack insists that she is innocent and doesn't deserve to die. As Jack argues with himself, another crab-like creature comes and grabs Ashi. Jack refuses to let her die, and he goes after the creature. Again, he saves Ashi.

Jack carries Ashi to safety -- yet she continues to scream about how Aku is good and Jack is evil. A red rain of needles begins to fall, and Jack once again carries Ashi to safety. He picks the needles out of his and Ashi's skin.

Hoping to find a way out of the creature that swallowed them, Jack continues to carry Ashi, and we see them pass through several beautifully animated backgrounds, including nervous systems, glands, and what appear to be a stomach and hair.

Jack and Ashi enter a fantastical area filled with brightly-colored jellyfish and fish like organisms that float around in space. A light permeates, and Jack says, "even in the bowels of the darkest of creatures, there is beautiful light."

Jack decides to try to use one of the floating organisms to escape through a hole at the top of the creature. They hop on top of one of the organisms and start floating upward.

As they ride upon the organism, a large, predatory organism comes and tries to eat them. They jump from one organism to another trying to reach the exit, but the predator organism continues to follow. Eventually, they make it out and return to the outside world. They land in the water, and Jack lays Ashi on the ground to rest.

As Jack sits and contemplates, Ashi finds her weapon. She sneaks up to attack Jack, but before she can reach him, she sees a butterfly and has a flashback of when she was young. In the flashback, she is yelled at for playing with a butterfly, because it's "not part of Aku's order."

The episode ends as Ashi sees the butterfly land on Jack.

Samurai Jack Episode 4 Review

This is the episode in which we finally see things turning around for Jack. Until now, his journey seemed essentially doomed, and he appeared to be too burdened by his own issues to be able to take on the task ahead of him. We finally start to see the Jack from the previous seasons -- one who isn't totally falling apart under the weight of his own past, and one with the stamina and mental strength to defeat Aku.

Although this season is much darker than past seasons, we also finally saw Jack's humorous side in this episode. In fact, he spoke more in this one episode than he has in all of the other episodes this season combined. The dry sense of humor was one of the most endearing qualities about Jack, and it's nice to see that coming back.

But the most salient characteristic of this episode was the almost Picasso-like animation of the world inside of the creature. The organisms floating around, with their bright colors and amorphous shapes, were a clear example of the artistry that sets Samurai Jack apart from anime or other cartoons.

We can't wait to see what next week's episode reveals.

Wanna read more on this? Check these out: Where TF Is 'Rick and Morty' Season 3 Episode 2? (more); Samurai Jack Season 5 Episode 10 Recap and Review: The Finale (more); Samurai Jack Season 5 Finale: How Does It End? The Rumors Say... (more); Samurai Jack Season 5 Episode 9 Review and Recap: XCX The Finale Is Near (Watch) (more).

And here are some more related articles: Samurai Jack Season 5 Episode 8 Recap: XCIX, Things Get Steamy (more); Samurai Jack Season 5 Episode 7 Recap and Review: XCVIII What Happens To The Sword? (more); Attack on Titan Season 2 Episode 1 Adult Swim: #26 Recap and Review (more).

A few more: Samurai Jack Season 5 Episode 6 Review and Recap: XCVII Ashi's Search (more); Samurai Jack Season 5 Episode 5 Review & Recap: XCVI, Things Get Interesting (more).

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