The three who lasted the longest.
The third episode is out, picking up with Jack floating downstream. His blood stains the water as he hits the rapids, only narrowly missing the rocks before he goes over a waterfall and snaps awake. Hitching a ride on a log, he manages to eventually drift ashore and heads into some dark woods while clutching his stab wound, all while being chased by the specter of the horseback shogun. Then he finds a cave and painfully removes the dagger, in a scene where the vivid red of his blood contrasts the dark tone of his skin and the cave.
Covered in wounds, suffering from pain and fever, he hallucinates himself again. His other self questions whether or not he is willing to kill other humans to survive or if he wants to be killed instead. Once morning comes, he then spots the white wolf from the last episode and has a flashback to his childhood.
Assassins came for his father after killing his guards, and his father tells the assassins that they can leave now and live, or stay and die, giving them a choice. It ends with Jack snapping awake and sewing up his stab wound before the white wolf brings him food and they share in front of a fire. A day later the wolf and Jack have healed enough that they part ways, with Jack having another flashback to his father’s words that solidify his resolve to fight.
We then go back to the Sisters of Aku, who leave their fallen sister behind as they finally escape the ruins and track down Jack. They stumble across a deer and its mate, finding themselves surprised as they nuzzle since they had never had any sort of affection before. Then they come to where Jack is hiding and he gives them the same choice his father gave the assassins, stay and die or run and live.
They choose to stay as the snow falls and obscures their sight, prompting Jack to spear two of them to death and flee. What follows is an epic battle scene where the surviving sisters, after another one is killed, form a six-armed figure until Jack knocks them apart. But he’s tiring and they can all tell, so they chase him as he runs to the edge of a cliff and two of them end up getting knocked over the edges.
Then there’s the last one, Ashi, who survives by the fact that her chain is being held by Jack. She spouts off how Jack should die for being a parasite, not the deaths of her sisters, and he looks so tired as he just lets her fall to her seeming death. Of course, the ledge he’s been fighting on snaps and Jack also ends up falling down the cliff as the episode ends.
Again, this was a good episode. The scenes where blood was vivid, showcasing how strong of an impact it has on him, is really striking given how it often sticks out on dark contrast. And the quiet interplay between Jack and the white wolf was… it’s hard to put into words, but they both seemed to have respect for one another. It was mutual between them, neither accepting help that wasn’t reciprocated (the wolf brought food, Jack cooked it and shared).
And then there was the battle as snow began to fall, until everything was white except the Sisters and Jack. You’d expect a drawn out battle before their numbers dwindled, but no. Jack just spears two of them right out of the gate, takes down a third after a decent workout, and then lures them to a place where he could make them fight him one-on-one and drop them off the cliff.
It was beautiful and tragic overall seeing the Sisters die unceremoniously like that, ignorant of the world as a whole. In the end, were they really much more than nuts and bolts, machines meant to kill and nothing else?