Samurai Jack Season 5 – Midseason Overview
Date Published: April 24, 2017
This post contains spoilers for the first 6 episodes of the fifth season of Samurai Jack.
In anything, it’s extremely rare to exceed expectations after any type of a significant absence or hiatus, especially when the standard was already high before the long layoff, which was the case with the first four seasons of Samurai Jack.
As improbable as many fans of the show thought coming in, the fifth season of Samurai Jack is everything we wanted so far and more. A dramatic shift in tone to a more mature narrative, as well as a continuous plot rather than standalone stories, Samurai Jack has certainly delivered so far in its fifth and final season.
It’s been 11 years in the making, but Samurai Jack has finally come back to complete the story fans of the series have long waited to see concluded, and through six episodes of the show’s final season, I can honestly say I did not expect to be this impressed with how the show has approached Jack’s final arc. The series is only at its midpoint, however if I had to equate it to something, I wouldn’t be far off from saying it is the equivalent to what Half Life 3 would be if it met the fans’ expectations.
Each week, Samurai Jack somehow manages to top itself with each episode that follows, while the mood may change from action, drama, comedy, and suspense, the quality of the show hasn’t dipped once. It stays true to what made Samurai Jack special in the first four seasons of the series, and adds on to it.
Through six episodes, there has been a lot to digest, as there have been a few moments in the show that fans and myself included did not expect. The first is Jack’s state of mind to begin the series, as he’s seen wielding guns, riding a motorcycle around fighting Aku’s minions despite the fact that he’s long given up on his mission to go back to the past.
Seeing Jack in a light we’ve never witnessed before, is foreign to say the least. In some ways, Jack had lost his identity, he no longer carries his sword or wears his usual traditional samurai clothing, he sports a rugged look with a thick beard and even a colder stare. He’s definitely not the same samurai Jack we’re accustomed to.
While Jack struggles with images of his past, and is constantly reminded of his failures, he is still being pursued by Aku’s minions, and where the biggest surprise came was when he is cornered by the Daughters of Aku, whom he believed were robots, but upon slicing one’s throat, he finds out that he’s just committed murder for the first time, and that shock wasn’t only expressed by the fans, who’ve have never seen him in that situation before, but it also took quite the toll on Jack.
As the series progressed, there have been many ups and downs and while it’s been a roller-coaster type ride, at the same time it’s maintained focus and never veered off course. There have also been throwback moments such as returning characters like the Scotsman and the Sam-Moo-Rhai, as well as flashbacks to Jack’s old adventures.
Lastly, while Samurai Jack isn’t finished yet, I find it hard to think it will not deliver on its promise for a fulfilling ending. Jack’s relationship with his new ally and former Daughter of Aku—Ashi has turned out to be both a heartwarming and comedic in its dynamic and with Jack’s new goal of recovering his lost sword after coming back to his old self, it’s surely a sign of good things to come.