Samurai Jack

Season 2 Episode 6

XIX: Jack Remembers The Past

Aired Saturday 12:30 AM Apr 05, 2002 on Cartoon Network
out of 10
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48 votes

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Episode Summary


Jack remembers some highlights from his childhood.

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  • Introspective

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

    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

    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!

    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!

  • More Kid-Jack!

    This episode was very well done. It was nice to see a part of Jack's life before Aku returned and that he actually seemed to have a happy childhood.

    The art was some of the best out of any episode and I liked the switching back and forth between what Jack sees in the future and what things were like in the past.

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • 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)


    • 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.