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Recap / Dragon Ball Z Abridged E 52

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"Listen, I like [Vegeta], but his default emotion is 'angry'."
"It's more than anger, it's pride! It would shatter him!"
Krillin and Trunks, after Krillin found out Trunks was holding back so he wouldn't upset Vegeta

Original Airdate: February 18, 2016

After acquiring his Perfect form, Cell proceeds to completely demolish Vegeta, while Trunks and Krillin argue about the former holding back for the sake of Vegeta's pride. Meanwhile, Goku has finally managed to turn Gohan into a Super Saiyan through what originally seems like an attempt of Goku's to teach Gohan how to dodge.

Damn you, Tropes...

  • Ask a Stupid Question...: Trunks realizes that asking an injured Krillin if he needs a Senzu Bean is just unnecessary.
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  • Badass Boast: Cell and Vegeta trade them back and forth, particularly when the Final Flash is being charged up.
    Cell: Ohoho! That's much better. I can actually feel that.
    Vegeta: In mere moments, all you'll be feeling... Is OBLIVION!
    Cell: That, or disappointment. Go ahead... flip that coin.
  • Batman Gambit: Goku tells Gohan that they're going to work on his dodging skills before firing a blast at him. He knows that Gohan's response to this will be to instinctually freeze up, forcing him to unlock the Super Saiyan form if he hopes to survive the attack.
  • Beam Spam: Vegeta's response to seeing Cell regenerate all the damage that he sustained from the former's Final Flash (roughly half his body) in mere seconds is to desperately launch a barrage of energy blasts while shouting "Why Won't You Die?!". It works about as well as you'd expect.
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  • Book-Ends: The battle between Vegeta and Cell began in Episode 49 with Cell pressing Vegeta's Goku Button leading into a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown by Vegeta on Cell. It ends here with Cell pressing Vegeta's Goku Button at the conclusion of delivering a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to Vegeta.
  • Break the Haughty: In the last two episodes, Vegeta was self-assured and had Cell practically cowering. By allowing Cell to reach his Perfect form, the shoe ends up on the other foot, as Cell shoots down every attempt at trash talk and utterly humiliates him, completely regaining his confidence and then some.
  • Call-Back:
    • "Damn you, Pavlov" makes a return for the first time since Season 1, regarding Gohan's difficulty with dodging.
    • As mentioned below in Ironic Echo, the "You're either perfect or you're not me" statement that Vegeta stated last episode is now repeated by Cell.
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    • Cell's Mood Whiplash right before getting hit with the Final Flash is similar to the one he had right before Tien blasted him with the Shin Kikoho in Episode 48.
    • Just like in Episode 49, Cell presses Vegeta's Goku Button, only this time, Vegeta is too beat up to give his usual response to such a comment.
    • Cell gives a "KO! I win! Perfect!" exclamation upon knocking Vegeta unconscious, mirroring what happened when Freeza killed King Vegeta.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Cell pays Vegeta back gleefully for all of the trouble he's caused the last few episodes by taking him out in the most humiliating way he can.
  • Darker and Edgier: Continues this trend from the previous episode, mainly as everyone is reeling from the aftermath of said episode.
  • Delayed Reaction: When Gohan overcooks the meat Goku has him light up with his energy shots, Goku is set on fire. During the outro, he finally reacts to this.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Of a musical variety: The TFS-style remixes of Kenji Yamamoto's Trunks theme and Bruce Faulconer's Perfect Cell theme that play a good portion of the next two episodes respectively can be heard at the end of this episode as Trunks begins powering up to save his father from Cell.
  • Explain Explain Oh SHIT: Cell notes to himself how amusing it is that Vegeta named his technique "Final Flash" before sensing too late how strong it is.
    Cell: Aw, how cute! He named it—OH, SHIT!!!
  • Foreshadowing: Cell telling Android 16 not to lose his head is partially a comment on his damaged cortex and partially a note to what will happen to him at the Cell Games.
  • Hope Spot: Vegeta gathers all the energy he has to use an attack which we've never seen before. Cell has an Oh, Crap! just before it hits him, and the reveal shows that the attack blew a huge chunk out of Cell, including his arm and part of his torso. Vegeta rejoices... and then Cell regrows all the damage without any sign that it has truly hurt him at all.
    Cell: (pissed) You think this is funny?
    Vegeta: (laughing triumphantly)
    Cell: (really pissed) YOU THINK THIS IS FUNNY?!!
    Vegeta: (still laughing triumphantly)
    Cell: It's not... as funny... ''(smiling)'' as your face.
    Vegeta: (stops laughing) Huh?
  • Ironic Echo: Cell throws Vegeta's "You're either perfect, or you're not me" bit of gloating from last episode right back into his face.
  • Kick the Dog: Goku's plan to get Gohan to finally go Super Saiyan seems like this at first, as he seems like he's risking the life of his own son, but Goku quickly reveals that he was severely holding back so his attack doesn't actually kill Gohan if something went wrong.
  • Late to the Realization: It's only now that Trunks realizes that Krillin's plan was to keep 18 alive the entire time, as he previously thought it impossible to view them as anything more than killing machines.
    Trunks: It's more than anger, it's Pride! It would shatter him!
    Krillin: And because of that, 18 had to die!?
    Trunks: What does it matter?! That was your plan the entire—(sees Krillin on the verge of tears)...oh. Shit.
  • Manly Tears: Krillin is still shown with tears in his eyes after 18's absorption.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • No-Sell: Pretty much every attack on Cell this episode is fruitless. Krillin's Destructo Disc just evaporates on contact, and most of Vegeta's kicks or blasts are useless. The Final Flash gets Cell to react with fear a split-second before it hits, but he quickly recovers from that by re-growing his arm.
  • Oh, Crap!: Gohan is horrified when Goku says he was going to help him master the one thing he is still struggling: how to dodge.
  • "Oh, Crap!" Fakeout: Much like the source material, Cell gives Vegeta a Hope Spot just to see the look on Vegeta's face when he regenerates.
  • Precision F-Strike: When Trunks finally realizes that Krillin actually loved Android 18 and had no actual intention of killing her when he sees his tears, he is left almost speechless, except for a regretful "oh... Shit."
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Cell gives a rather cruel one to Vegeta.
  • Running Gagged: Krillin never thinks about using his Kienzan until after things get bad, or he does use it and it never hits anyone. This time it does hit someone, namely Cell, and does absolutely nothing. He doesn't use it for the remainder of the series.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Squee!: Goku is positively delighted when Gohan finally reaches his Super Saiyan form.
  • Tempting Fate: Trunks states that there is literally nothing that Vegeta could do to make the situation worse, save for blowing up the planet. Cue Vegeta powering up an intense Final Flash, which could potentially blow up the planet.
    • Cell dares Vegeta to deliver his best shot. While he does survive the Final Flash, he was genuinely shocked of its power.
  • Tranquil Fury: When Cell asks whether or not he and Android 16 are still adversaries, 16 simply replies that Cell ate his family. Later on, when Cell casually asks him another question, 16 bluntly states that he hates Cell.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Trunks' reluctance about powering up is due completely to not wanting to anger his father more. Additionally, Cell provokes Vegeta into attacking him by noting that "his father (King Vegeta) was right about him."
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Krillin realizes that Trunks was holding back against Cell earlier because he didn't want Vegeta to realize how powerful he was. Krillin calls him out for doing so, as it led to Android 18 getting absorbed.
  • Worf Barrage: The uselessness of Beam Spam attacks is lampshaded by Cell:
    Vegeta: (rapidly firing ki blasts at Cell) Why Won't You Die?!
    Cell: Prince. (walks through blasts unharmed) Has this ever worked? (punches Vegeta)

"Some advice, Prince, for the future... Next time, why don't you remember your place like the rest of them, and wait for Goku."

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