Samurai Jack – Episode XVI: Jack and the Smackback

by Alan Rapp on January 30, 2020

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Samurai Jack – Episode XVI: Jack and the Smackback
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Samurai Jack - Episode XVI: Jack and the Smackback

Throwback Thursday takes us back to the adventures of the time-displaced samurai and his quest to make his way home. While offering quite a bit of action, “Episode XVI” isn’t one of the series more memorable episodes. The premise is simple enough, Jack (Phil LaMarr) is captured (offering some visuals of Jack in chains which reminded me of 1982’s Conan the Barbarian) and forced to compete in gladiatorial combat in the Dome of Doom. Jack’s first battle is with the talkative Gordo the Gruesome with successive fights against more fearsome competition ending in Jack squaring off against six competitors at once.

Fans looking for an action-heavy episode certainly got their money’s worth here, with a bit of humor thrown in (such as Jack bringing one opponent to his knees by tickling him). The episode also offers some memorable visuals centering around Jack’s captivity and, to a lesser extent, the reveals of his various opponents. Since he isn’t shown or referenced once in the episode, it’s a little unclear if the Dome has connection to Aku or if is just taking advantage of the world the shape-shifting master of darkness helped to create.

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