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Samurai Jack’s emotional flashback this week almost excuses a terrible act

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Jack is learning as he goes

Courtesy Cartoon Network

While last week’s episode of Samurai Jack was a dive into the dark side of Jack’s character, this week’s let Jack rid himself of some guilt.

[Warning: The following contains spoilers for the past few episodes of Samurai Jack’s fifth season.]

Last week, Jack killed his first human enemy, a daughter of Aku. Although it was during a battle that could be defined as a life-or-death situation, it didn’t stop Jack from sinking down into a deep, dark hole, suffocated by his own guilt over the situation. The new episode started with Jack carrying that same guilt, but during an intense flashback moment with his father, Jack finds a way to absolve himself of some of the guilt. The entire scene can be viewed below.

There’s a lot to take away from this specific scene, but the most emotional moment comes when Jack’s father tells his son that the decisions and actions he chooses to carry out are a reflection of his true self. As longtime fans of Samurai Jack know, it’s a code that he’s chosen to live his life by.

Hearing his own father say it, after watching him kill a number of attackers who murdered their loyal guards, seems to remind Jack that he’s not a terrible person. After the flashback occurs, Jack is able to get up on his feet and reclaim some semblance of who he once was.

In an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit this week, voice actor Phil LaMarr said while it’s been tough, exploring a new side of Jack has led to developments for the character that he never would have expected.

“The biggest challenge is holding on to some element of who Jack used to be in spite of everything he's gone through and is dealing with,” LaMarr wrote.

Before the fifth season began, creator Genndy Tartakovsky told Polygon the show would feature a different version of the character than they’ve ever seen. Tartakovsky added that he wanted to explore the sadder, more emotional side of Jack that he wasn’t able to do in the first four seasons the show was on the air.

Samurai Jack airs on Saturday at 11 p.m. ET on Adult Swim.