Samurai Jack has seen its fair share of death this season, but Jack had to say goodbye to one of his closest friends this week — and it’s painful to watch.
[Warning: The following contains spoilers for the seventh episode of Samurai Jack’s fifth season.]
The seventh episode gave us a classic example of being able to take the bad with the good. In the latter category, Jack is finally reunited with his sword after going on a vision quest and confronting his inner demonic rage. The bad news, however, is that because Jack finally found some inner peace and managed to return to the warrior he once was, he had to lose one of his best assets.
The fifth season began with Jack sporting a pretty great beard. Not only did it complement the tone the season was going for, but it also reflected the time. Beards are all the rage right now and Jack’s new look helped give him a modern edge. With the samurai now in a better place and ready to continue his journey toward defeating Aku, Jack’s lost his beard, seemingly for good.
It’s only through meditation and Jack’s reluctant acceptance that he had a role in the loss of his sword in the first place that he’s able to achieve inner peace. Once he does, he meets with the three gods — Ra, Indra and Odin — who clean him up, removing the beard in the process. While being reunited with his sword after all this time is an accomplishing feat for Jack, it was a devastating moment for those watching.
let us mourn for the loss of that beard and long hair #samuraijack— eny g. ✨ (@moonswirll) May 1, 2017
I believe the most tragic death in this show so far was Jacks beard... #SamuraiJack— Diamond (@Colorful_Gem_) April 30, 2017
The loss of both the hair and beard are meant to symbolize that Jack has battled his inner demons, made peace with the past that he can not alter and become a better person as he moves forward in his quest.
The subreddit where fans gather to comment during the episode became a place for mourning upon the reveal of the new — or rather, old — Jack.
Sure, Jack is back, but at what cost? Was being able to reclaim the one weapon that could help him take down Aku once and for all worth the cost of losing the rugged beard and luscious locks? Probably, but it still doesn’t help ease the pain of seeing the warrior without his facial hair.
Samurai Jack airs Saturdays at 11 p.m. ET on Adult Swim.