As the episode opens, we see Frieza trapped in a cocoon surrounded by flowers, stuffed animals, and cheery fairies who encourage him to smile more. While it’s different from the hell we’ve seen previously in the franchise, it’s clear that Frieza is suffering. We are shown different landscapes indicating that there is more than one kind of hell, but you could also see it as a nod to the drastic character change that Dabura underwent near the end of the Buu saga.
It just so happens that the head of the remnants of Frieza’s army, Sorbet (who we saw last episode) has come up with a plan to resurrect the tyrant using the dragon balls. Interestingly enough, this isn’t out of loyalty to a long dead master, but out of tactical necessity. Their forces are dwindling and Frieza is powerful enough to not only replace them, but to bring a sense of unity to his empire once again.
To accomplish this goal, they head to Earth as they don’t know where the Namekians relocated. Speed is essential as they know that there are Saiyans on Earth and don’t want to draw any attention. They even go so far as to only send a couple of people down so that their ki isn’t detected. It’s detected anyway, but it showed foresight on their part.
Luckily for the aliens, the hard work has already been done as Pilaf and his crew have already gathered the dragon balls. To the trio’s credit, they don’t give up the dragon balls easily, but alien weaponry trumps a sword and a handgun.
As such, Shenron is summoned and he reveals that he is now able to grant three wishes as a result of the god of Earth changing. One assumes that this is referring to Dende taking over for Kami, but why this was only brought up now remains to be seen. The dragon does note that larger wishes (like reviving everyone on Earth) take more power, but that’s as close to an explanation as we get.
It seems that Shenron is also able to exercise better judgment. He resists the wish initially by pointing out that reviving Frieza is pointless as he is currently chopped into little pieces courtesy of Future Trunks. It was a nice continuity nod, but that was never a problem before. Characters who were blown up were able to be revived with no trouble, so it’s a little weird for that to come up now. Shenron does, however, revive the pieces and teleports them all to that location so that Frieza’s men can use their technology to revive him.
Before Frieza’s men can put the latter wishes to use, Mai and Shu jump in; asking for ice cream and a million zeni. It was a comedic moment, but it was nice to see them get something for their efforts. It’s unlikely they were thinking of being heroic, but it probably did do some good in its own odd way.
It was rather creepy seeing the pieces of Frieza start to come to life. Even Pilaf and his gang are weirded out when one of Frieza’s eyes opens up and starts to look around.
The resurrection itself is also somewhat unnerving. You wouldn’t think it. This is, after all, a villain who was left in the dust a long time ago. Any one of Earth’s heroes could probably take him. Yet the way the scene plays out, you really get the sense that this is a big deal and that it’s going to pose a problem. As Frieza busts out of his pod, Goku and Vegeta sense it from Beerus’ realm and the whole thing is accompanied by ominous chanting to really sell it. It worked really well at building up tension in a scenario where you likely wouldn’t think there would be any.
It is here where the new story arc begins in earnest. It’s a little weird how the main characters pretty much just make cameo appearances, but the time was needed to set things into motion. It accomplishes that goal and gives us a pretty memorable close to boot.