Samurai Jack

Season 2 Episode 6

XIX: Jack Remembers The Past

1
Aired Saturday 12:30 AM Apr 05, 2002 on Cartoon Network
9.2
out of 10
User Rating
48 votes
6

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT

Jack remembers some highlights from his childhood.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Journey to the Past

    10
    This is another of my favorate episodes of the show and in general. It for once is an episode that focuses on Drama which to me is a nice change of pace but most importantly gives depth to Jack proving that Jack has a soul.



    In a way the whole episode sort of reminds me of that scene in the film "Robocop" when Alex Murphy/Robo visits his old home and he sees images of his past come to life. Here we see that with Jack, part of the beginning of the episode I'll admit is heartwrenching.



    Jack comes upon some old ruins and he looks at them seeing that there is something familiar about them. He looks carefully and long at the structures and then he suddenly a symbol and then looks at a tall structure and has the memory of what it once and we see him as a child running toward his mother and father. We then see Jack get on his knees and well up in tears of sadness as he realizes he has came home. I'll admit that scene really choked me up and actually put tears in my eyes, knowing that everything Jack's home and the people from his past are truly gone. In a way this reflects how we feel sometimes whenever we all come back after a long time away from home always expecting some sameness but then discovering how much has truly changed.



    We then see three segments of his past which I thought were great and touching. From his time in childhood chasing grasshoppers with a cute girl and was the first girl that kisses Jack, which I thought was sweet.



    Another was where Jack witness a battle for the first time, and of course the Samurai and his son are obviously an homage to the "Lone Wolf and Cub" manga series which is awesome since that's one of my favorate manga series. Anyway, we see the samurai dispatch the rival samurai that chalange him and though that one battle was where Jack got inspiration to be a Samurai. In a way it just show how for great people to do great things, all it takes is one spark.



    And of coruse the last one was seeing how Jack deals with the bullies that steel his paper ball and hurt him both physically and emotionally. I really love what his dad says which I feel is the best advice any person whom is being bullied should hear about fighting for your faith and being strong spiritually, the people that have wronged Jack don't really have any strength but a false perception of it. We then see how Jack deals with the situation to get his paper ball back which I thought was great because Jack doesn't resort to physical violence since the bullies outmatch Jack in both strength and odds. Jack instead uses his greatest strength which is his intelegence when Jack uses the flock of pigeons as a distraction toward the bullies and then he snatches back his ball and runs to safety. I thought that was great which shows that being strong isn't about mussle but whether your strong spiritually and have the ability of choice, to find another way to deal with a situation other than aggressive resistance. As John Rambo once said , the best weapon is the mind.



    We then see a final image which I thought was emotional as Jack's next task and adventure comes rolling toward him, Jack takes off and we then see both Jack's parents happily watch their son go, which was touching and put a tear in my eye. It showed that Jack's parents will always be with him just as his past has never left him.



    Every hero has a human soul.moreless
  • Introspective

    9.0
    This special episode captures best of all Jack's lonely existence. Brilliant art direction and emotional storytelling
  • Jack mournfully goes down memory lane...

    10
    This remains one of my favorite episodes of the series and probably one of the strongest out of Season 2. It is probably one of the most emotionally-driven episodes in the series. Both in terms of the story, the art, and the music involved, this episode is just exceptional, and an often overlooked must-watch of the series.



    The episode opens business as usual (sort of) with Jack fighting off some cat robots while flying and hopping on robot crickets. While this is one of the more silly looking battles (the crickets notably return later in the episode, as real crickets), not to mention the people he's saving look like ewoks, he quickly ventures off into uncharted territory through what appears to be the future-Tibet. After trekking over rocky mountains, snowy peaks, and back down to a grassy knoll with a pond, where he stops for a drink of water.



    In the reflection in the water he sees a totem that looks familiar. He turns around to notice some steps which lead to a set of ruins. Looking around he sees several familiar objects that bring back images in his head. It's not until he sees the symbol of his people on a wall that he realizes that he has returned home. Memories start flooding back into his head as he walks through the ruins. Old bridges, homes, walkways lie before him in ruins, but as they were before in his mind. He pictures the people that once lived here, the colors and the flower petals that would float through the air.



    He reaches the remains of a large building and remembers a large line of soldiers on foot and on horseback. At the foot of the building, his parents stand before him, smiling. Stunned, Jack exclaims "Mother? ...Father?" and runs towards them. He appears as a child and his mother hugs him warmly. This memory is preserved in his mind as he falls to his knees in the present with tears welling in his eyes. This one scene alone is enough to bring me to tears each time I watch it. Just the vivid colors and music accompaniment to it are amazing, a real work of art.



    Memories flood through his mind of his past. First, he remembers running through a field of wheat chasing after grasshoppers, running into a little girl his age and playing with her and the crickets. A cricket she was chasing flies away, and seeing her sad, little Jack folds an origami cricket for her. After he gives it to her, she gives him a quick kiss on the cheek and runs away. Jack just stands there amazed touching his fingers to his cheek where she kissed him.



    Jack remembers this happily as he walks through the ruins. He comes upon a dry riverbed that was once filled with water and fish. It was here that he first saw a samurai, who was walking with a child in a stroller (for those of you don't know this is a reference to "Lone Wolf and Cub," a famous samurai manga). He witnessed as the samurai fought 4 enemies with woven headdress on a bridge, knocking them in the water. The samurai then gently walked back off the bridge to the child and walked away.



    He spots a small worn paper ball on the round and remembers that it was his own. A memory floods into his head of when some bullies stole it. Little Jack went to his father for help, and his father gave him encouragement to keep trying as "nothing worth having is easy to obtain." Jack then uses a flock of birds to startle the bullies into dropping the ball. While they are distracted, Jack picks up the ball and runs off with it.



    Jack's memory is interrupted by a robot on fire calling out for help. Jack keeps the ball, and goes to aid the robot. The memory of his mother and father are pictured happily watching him go, as the episode comes to a close.



    Just the range of emotions pictured by this episode is enough to make it stand up to some of the best in the series. The episode's only weak point I would say is the opening, but the rest of the episode is more than enough to make up for it. I only wish they had just started the episode with him walking through Tibet and skipping the flying robo-cat-on-cricket battle. That way there would have been more time for the rest of the episode. But I suppose I'm asking for too much.



    All in all, this was an undeniably amazing episode that goes beyond just that of children's programming. The deep feelings of nostalgia that Jack feels for his past is something only adults watching the show will probably fully understand. Though even when I was younger I enjoyed this episode simply to see Jack when he was a kid, and to see the beauty of his home.moreless
  • A more " touching " episode

    9.2
    Jack is drinking out of a river, then he suddenly notices that where he is, is where he lived as a child. This episode is more sad/emotional from Samurai Jack. one of the few times you see Jack cry. You can't help but feel bad for him in this episode. Jack re-lives many child-hood moments, most of them are joyful ones with him and his parents, but he see's a nasty ball on the ground, then starts to think of a meomory where these kids pick on him and take his ball, Which he remembers his dad's words " You must fight for your faith " or something around those lines. over-all I really liked this episode and it was really good to show a little more of his past as a child =)moreless
  • Is this what Aku has done to my village?? sob-sob-sob!

    8.7
    Very well done episode, the art of this episode was quite nice. And Jack's past seemed quite nice also.



    It seems that his city was destroyed but all that remained were ancient ruins. All the things he could remember seemed like he had a good childhood. Like the time he met the kid whose father fought those guys with barrel heads. Or the time when he lost his ball to bullies and enlisted the help of pigeons to get it back. Or even the time when his first big-eyed girlfriend kissed him.



    But unfortunately, when Aku came, it all changed to what we see. The ending of this episode made me feel sorry for Jack and for that poor robot that needed his help at the very last minute.



    I just hope Jack will get back to the past!

    moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Emperor: Dry your tears, my son. For nothing worth having is easily obtained. Sometimes you must fight for what is yours. And for what you believe in. Remember, my son, it is not one's outward but one's brawn but rather one's inner strength that makes them mighty.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Warrior and child on the bridge
      The swordsman who defeats the four warriors on the bridge was Lone Wolf and the boy who is in the baby cart is Cub. They are the heroes of the long running manga and film series Lone Wolf And Cub, a story about an assassin who pushes around a baby cart containing his son.

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