This article contains spoilers for the fifth season of Samurai Jack.
Samurai Jack was never designed strictly for kids, so when director and series creator Genndy Tartakovsky revisited the world this year on Adult Swim, he took the chance to do more with the character in 10 episodes than he'd ever done in the 52 that aired in the early '00s.
"Before, we weren’t allowed to do a continuous storyline," he tells Thrillist, citing the norms of Cartoon Network's typical original output at the time. "Back in the day, nobody was really doing that. So we were forced to not have cliffhangers and not do the continuing story arc. And so for this we wanted to do one story arc."
The result of Tartakovsky's labor is a tight, 10-episode final season that tied off the eponymous samurai's story and ended his centuries-spanning feud with the evil wizard Aku. The revival debuted in March 2017 and packed action, romance, comedy, and nonstop references to the show's past, lighting the internet on fire every week as longtime fans clamored to watch their hero's final journey. For Tartakovsky, it was an attempt to tie off a loose end and advance Jack's story toward a more cinematic conclusion than he could have done 13 years prior. "We wanted to get into Jack’s head more," he says "We wanted to see the effects of all this time. And of course, the ending."