Three armies march to oppose Aku (Greg Baldwin). Aku proceeds to wipe out the opposing forces with little effort, thinking, “perhaps annihilating the scum, will break me out of my… malaise,” having been previously established he has grown tired, even depressed, from knowing Samurai Jack (Phil LaMarr) is nigh immortal.
After destroying one of the armies, Aku’s feeling has not changed at all. Seeing the rest flee, he says, “Eh, better to make it a complete annihilation.” Before he can proceed however, one of the leaders of one of the three armies, shouts at Aku to halt. Aku is surprised to find a wheelchair-bound old man with a gattling gun for a leg. We know him as an old, recurring friend from the original series! It is none other than The Scotsman (John DiMaggio)!
I will not say what happens next. I’ll skip to Jack and Ashi’s (Tara Strong) part of the story.
Ashi, now questioning her loyalty to Aku and all that her mother, The High Priestess (Grey DeLisle), has taught her, is shown a patch of land where a vast, beautiful forest once stood. Only one tree remains, left there by Aku as a symbol to show off his power. Next Jack takes Ashi into a city. A large, alien criminal welcomed to earth, his new assigned home in a place occupied by innocent, weak, little children, frolicking in the fields. When the criminal points this out, the official who assigned this place merely scoffs, saying, “Is that a problem for you?” The criminal, surprised by the official’s response, grimly smiles, responding, “No. No problem.” After seeing countless more scenes of destruction and devastation, all bought by Aku, Ashi finally sees the truth. Ashi asks what can be done.
Ashi: What?! What do you mean nothing?! We have to do something!
Jack: I have fought Aku for ages. I have seen countless innocents die. I have lived this nightmare for what seems like an eternity. There is no way to defeat him. There is no hope. No way out.
Just then, a voice cries out! A survivor of the attack on the site Jack has shown Ashi. they run towards the voice. The survivor notices Jack, excitedly proclaiming, “You’ve come back at last, Samurai Jack. You’ve come”. When asked what happened, he says “they took the children. The factory.”
Jack and Ashi make their way there, and are spotted by the children, who have, thanks to mind-control implants, have been set into a feeding frenzy. Jack distracts them while Ashi makes her way to the control panel. She is captured by the one controlling the children and tortured, while Jack fends for his life, struggling desperately not to harm the children, refusing to cause mortal harm to an innocent. Ashi eventually breaks free, killing her captor and destroying the panel. This emits a high-pitched frequency noise, sending electrical shockwaves throughout the children, seemingly killing them in Jack’s eyes. He screams out, believing he has just murdered countless children.
Jack notices the mysterious Horseman, seen previously in Jack’s PTSD visions from previous episodes, arrive, saying “It is time.” After a short pause, Jack responds, “Yes”. He walks away with the mysterious horseman, not staying to realize, as Ashi finds out, that the children are alive. Ashi calls out for the samurai, to no response.
I deliberately failed to mention the Horseman in earlier reviews. I wanted you, the reader, to learn about the Horseman by watching the episodes and did not feel like revealing him was the best idea. It was obvious from the start he would play a large role in this new limited series revival however. I will not speculate as to what his role is or who he is, but it is clear Jack knows who this Horseman is. As to what impact the Horseman has had on Jack’s life and will have in the proceeding episodes, I will not speculate here. I can only become excited at the possibilities of what Tartakovsky has for next episode.
*Image Source: samuraijack.wikia.com