Samurai Jack – Episode XIX: Jack Remembers the Past

by Alan Rapp on May 28, 2020

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Samurai Jack – Episode XIX: Jack Remembers the Past
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Samurai Jack - Episode XIX: Jack Remembers the Past television review

Throwback Thursday takes us back to the adventures of the time-displaced samurai and his quest to make his way home. “Episode XIX” is a melancholy episode even for a show about a wandering warrior stranded in a dystopian future. After a short action sequence involving our hero saving a village from the tyranny of the Cossacks, the show takes our hero on a journey home… or what’s left of it. Without realizing it, Jack‘s (Phil LaMarr) wanderings have led him to the ruins of the home he knew as a child prompting several memories including playing the once lush fields, his first encounter with a samurai (in a reference to Lone Wolf and Cub), and using his wits to stand-up to bullies. Jack makes a cute kid, and it’s fun to get to see a more carefree version of the character in his youth before the evil that is Aku.

The episode has limited dialogue, some words of thanks near the beginning, the shock of surprise at Jack’s realization where his travels have led him, taunts from bullies, words of wisdom from his father, and a new cry for help breaking Jack out of his reverie. However, the show’s visuals easily carry the emotion of the story as the samurai staggers through the ruins of his childhood home in the harsh wind (a sharp contrast to the lush flashbacks). Even the small bit of dialogue used in the episode could easily have been removed. Jack’s return is bittersweet both in how unrecognizable the area has become and what stirs memories from his past. However, since this isn’t the home Jack aspires to return to, the samurai takes his leave in hopes of one day returning back to his own time.

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