WARNING, this review of the last episode of Samurai Jack contains Spoilers
So finally ends the beloved Samurai Jack. For good this time. A true, proper ending to our favorite time-displaced samurai. Such an appropriate tear-jerker as well. Bittersweet for sure, as is entirely expected.
Our finale begins with Aku (Greg Baldwin) broadcasting to the world. We see many familiar faces from the original run return here. The Scotsman (John DiMaggio) and his daughters, The Ravers, Triseraquins, The Woolies, Robots of Andromeda, The “Jump Good” Monkey Tribe, The Blind Archers, Rothchild and his friends and family, The 300 Spartans. (These all make sense in context when you’ve watched the original show. I assure you, they are magnificent. Also, the Spartans here were featured in an episode from the original series in 2004, two years before the Zack Snyder movie based off the 1998 Frank Miller graphic novel. That particular episode doesn’t really look to the graphic novel as much as it does the actual Battle of Thermopylae and the 1962 CinemaScope film, The 300 Spartans.)
The world is shown Jack (Phil LaMarr) restrained, for Aku to execute him! Then hilariously, Aku keeps changing weapons! Aku can’t decide how he wants to execute Jack! “Wait a second, this is the one! Or is it too much? Perhaps a little less? MADNESS!” But then, Aku decides to have Ashi (Tara Strong) kill Jack! Utilizing a simple blade, she is about to execute Jack. All it lost!
Suddenly an explosion! Outside, Jack’s friends and allies emerge to rescue him! Aku brushes them off at first, but as the Scotsman arrives with his Celtic magic and the Robots of Andromeda come with the giant Robo-Samurai from the original show, the tide begins to turn in their favor! Jack eventually helps Ashi break free from Aku’s control, and she can utilize all of Aku’s powers! Ashi takes back Jack’s sword, and utilizes the time travelling powers of Aku, going back to Jack’s time!
Jack arrives back seconds after the moment he is sent forward in time! Aku is shocked, “You’re back already?!” Jack slashes at Aku with his sword, finally killing Aku! At last the evil is over. At last Aku’s reign of terror is finished. At last, the world is at peace. The world is free. Free from the tyranny of Aku!
Mentors and friends who had trained Jack for his fight against Aku come to Jack’s homeland to celebrate Jack’s victory! The Japanese Astronomer, the Arabian Shiekh, the African Chief, Roman Wrestlers, Norse Vikings, Mongol Warriors, Shaolin Monks, Robin Hood himself! Jack and Ashi are preparing for their wedding. However, just as Ashi is walking towards her beloved, she collapses. Jack rushes over, but there is nothing he can do.
“Without Aku… I would have never… existed.” Ashi fades in a manner reminiscent of Back to the Future. She fades in front of everyone, shocked at the sight of her fading into thin air. Jack cries, filled with sorrow at the loss of the only woman he loved. His true love, gone forever. Never to exist again.
Some time later, Jack comes to a forest, depressed over the passing of Ashi. Jack sits by a tree when he notices a ladybug. Reminded of Ashi, and how she chose the side of good, fighting Aku and protecting the beauty of the world, Jack smiles, happy to know that, thanks to their efforts, the world is now at peace. Everyone can now live in peace and freedom. Letting the ladybug fly, Jack looks out over the forest, free from the ravage of Aku, admiring its beauty.
“Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
Alfred Lord Tennyson, First Baron Tennyson, Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland from 1809-1892
Image from samuraijack.wikia.com