He was in the episode promo, but that certainly didn’t do much to make the Scotsman’s return to Samurai Jack any less glorious.
The fifth episode of the final season of Samurai Jack opens with three armies converging on Aku’s tall, desolate castle. First comes an army of tanks driven by men in Roman helmets, then a battalion of mustachioed warriors riding on the backs of rhino-like creatures.
Bagpipes begin to play, announcing the arrival of a tribe of red-headed warrior women — and their father, the Scotsman. While his pal Jack hasn’t aged in 50 years, the Scotsman sure has. His red hair and beard are now silver and he’s confined to a squeaky wheelchair.
The Scotsman endeared himself to Samurai Jack fans when he met Jack in the first season and hit him with the best insult of all time.
In case you couldn’t quite decipher that very Scottish insult: “What do you think of that, Mr. Pajama-Wearing, Basket-Face, Slipper-Wielding, Clype-Dreep-Bachle, Gether-Uping-Blate-Maw, Bleathering, Gomeril, Jessie, Oaf-Looking, Scooner, Nyaff, Plookie, Shan, Milk-Drinking, Soy-Faced Shilpit, Mim-Moothed, Sniveling, Worm-Eyed, Hotten-Blaugh, Vile-Stoochie, Cally-Breek-Tattie?”
If you’re not quite sure what that all means, someone figured it out.
Anyway, the Scotsman is clearly just as crazy as he was 50 years ago, leading a furious charge on Aku’s stronghold. Aku doesn’t seem to be too bothered, but he decides to fight off the assailants anyway. “Perhaps annihilating this scum will break me out of my malaise,” he muses.
And, boy, does he annihilate them. Using his shapeshifting, he forms a massive ball of death, rolling over both the tanks and mounted mustache men.
“You know what, this was a bad idea!” the Scotsman exclaims, sending his daughters to retreat while he stays and stalls Aku. Aku lets out a sigh after destroying hundreds of men.
The Scotsman doesn’t shy away from the giant demon, standing his ground and calling Aku a “big buffoon.” Then he unleashes, saying, “You’ve been shivering like a wee baby, hiding in your crib, afraid to show yourself ‘cause you know he’s out there and you can’t do anything about it. You’re just a big baby! Why don’t you go cry to your mama?”
Aku, having heard enough, vaporizes the Scotsman into a pile of ashes. Just like that, the Scotsman is gone.
The Scotsman’s daughters go to mourn him, but then, inexplicably, the Scotsman rises as a ghost because of “Celtic magic.” He laughs and says, “I be back, and in me prime no less!” He declares himself ready to regroup and exact his revenge on Aku.
The show then returns to Jack and Ashi, still on the island where they were at the end of last episode. Ashi sees a vision of the High Priestess who trained her, telling her to kill Jack while he sleeps. She refuses, still in doubt over whether or not Jack is evil as she was trained to believe.
Jack somehow tames a sea dragon, and he and Ashi ride it back to land. After some convincing, Jack promises to show Ashi the truth of Aku’s evil. He takes her to a destroyed forest, then to a dark city.
Once in the city, Jack steals some bizarre new clothes and shows Ashi how criminals are granted asylum by Aku’s minions, but the land they are given is already occupied by peaceful people who likely end up dead.
After the two visit a ravaged village full of dead blue creatures, Ashi finally becomes convinced of Aku’s evil. She asks Jack what they can do fight him.
“There is no way to defeat him,” Jack says. “There is no hope, no way out.”
One of the blue men is not dead. He cries weakly for help and tells Jack and Ashi that Aku’s minions took the children to the factory.
Jack and Ashi enter the factory to find the children turned into vicious, wolf-like creatures who turn violent due to a sound frequency. Ashi goes to end the sound while Jack fights off the children.
Ashi finds the source but is captured by its creator, a robot who tortures her with lightning. She escapes and destroys the robot, or rather, the man inside the robotic suit. She deactivates the sound, seemingly killing all the children in the process.
Jack is mortified. The mysterious green man appears on his horse, saying, “It is time.” Jack agrees, and he walks away into the mist with him.
Ashi discovers that the children are still alive; they wake up drowsy but unharmed. Ashi realizes Jack is gone, and the episode ends with her screaming “Samurai Jack!” to no response.
Another cliffhanger? Seriously? It feels like every episode ends without resolution at this point. Jack has walked off into the distance with an apparition heavily speculated to be the embodiment of death. After all, he only seems to appear when Jack thinks about death. Maybe Jack is ready to die, and Ashi will have to save him from himself. Either way, it’s hard to imagine that Jack will commit seppuku, or ritual samurai suicide — that would be a pretty lousy ending to what has been a fantastic final season.
Jack’s storyline paled in comparison to the opening scene that combined the show’s two best characters, Aku and the Scotsman. If the Scotsman had been killed off in minutes, though, that would have been incredibly cruel and just plain stupid. Luckily, though, Celtic magic is powerful, and the Scotsman will fight another day.
Hopefully, Jack and the Scotsman will team up soon and battle Aku, but that probably won’t happen until the series finale. For now, Ashi will search for Jack and hope she can lure him away from death.
Samurai Jack airs every Saturday at 11 p.m. on Cartoon Network.