Dragon Ball Super Episode 124
by Sam Leach,
How would you rate episode 124 of
Dragon Ball Super ?
There's a real challenge to overcome when you recruit a previously universe-ruling, hyper-violent megalomaniac on your martial arts fighting team; they just can not stop trying to make underhanded deals with the enemy in a bid for power. They just can't do it. It's like a compulsory thing for them.
There's a real balance that I'm looking for with the presence of Frieza on our Universe 7 team. I love seeing the slimy piece of crap being forced to play along and be friends, but I also don't want to see his edges sanded off. For the most part, the show seems to have been successful in this, where Frieza is constantly making it clear that everything he does is ultimately out of self-interest, but I also really like the team-player angle, so I feel like I'm being stabbed in the heart every time he threatens to switch sides. Although with the Frost scene earlier in the arc, it's impossible to know if he actually means it. His attempt to strike a deal with Dyspo, one of the good-samaritan Pride Troopers of Universe 11, goes about as well as you'd expect, and now I'm just waiting to see if this show has anything more interesting planned for Frieza by the end of the tournament.
This episode's main focus is on Frieza vs. Dyspo, with the former busting out his special golden form and the latter continuing to show off his immense speed and fighting prowess. Dyspo actually moves so fast that the Zen-Ohs' "godPad" (basically a heavenly iPad) can't keep up and display the fight, even in slow-motion. The way that the Grand Priest has to explain this to them, since they're basically a pair of children, is hilarious to me. "Next time I shall prepare a more high-spec godPad." They're gods and their godly tech can't record at a high enough frame rate. That's hysterical.
I continue to really enjoy the energy that the show has put into Dyspo's fighting style. Frieza can keep up just enough to keep it from being one-sided, and he gets to return the favor by hitting harder and just being all-around diabolical. Ultimately the fight boils down to a Gohan and Frieza team-up, since 17 gave Gohan the cold shoulder during the Toppo fight, and while I like the interaction they have—Gohan gives Frieza a death glare, making it clear that he will never trust him too much—it more or less means the end of what I was hoping for, which was a significant one-on-one fight for Frieza where he'd have to pull out all the stops in order to get Universe 7 closer to victory.
The strangest thing about this fight ends up being the final blow on Dyspo, where Gohan is able to grab onto him and give Frieza an opportunity to take them both out of the ring. The sequence feels like it's straight up missing shots. Did Dyspo just give up on the punch he was about to deliver before Gohan grabbed him? Why are we not allowed to see them falling off the ring after Frieza's explosion? If the Grand Priest wasn't there to narrate the events, I would have felt like I was missing something. I'm also pretty "whatever" on the whole strategy leading up to this moment, where Frieza uses a bunch of finger beams to create a cage that Gohan and Dyspo can fight in. Dyspo doesn't get to be fast, nor does Frieza get to be slimy.
So with Gohan and Dyspo out of the ring, the battle dwindles to four fighters on Universe 7's team and two fighters on Universe 11's. The action itself is pretty entertaining, and it makes sense that Gohan would let himself get taken out as a part of a plan, though once I reached the end of the episode, I found myself with an itch I wish could have gotten scratched better. We're at the point in this arc where every character that gets taken out of the tournament makes for fewer ways in which the finale can go crazy, so now we get to sit and wait another week to see what exactly this story has up its sleeve.
Dragon Ball Super is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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