We saw it happen before: a cruel, bloodthirsty tyrant with a twisted understanding of right and wrong gets ahold of the Super Dragon Balls and wishes himself immortal. The other version of him switches bodies with Son Goku and eliminates the real Kakarot, along with several of his loved ones. Both entities then proceed to obliterate every human being on the face of the universe, gods and extraterrestrials included.
This was Zamasu from Dragon Ball Super’s Future Trunks arc. As both Goku Black and an immortal Kaioshin, Zamasu was a force to be reckoned with. None of the good guys were able to defeat him, not even Goku and Vegeta at their fighting best. In the end, it had been Future Zeno on speed dial who saved the day, using his vast destruction powers to wipe both Zamasu-es completely from existence.
But what if the same thing happens again? During the Universe Survival arc, Goku made the bizarre choice of recruiting his old archenemy, Frieza, to play for the team, replacing Slim Buu (who had fallen asleep).
In Hell, Frieza made Goku a deal: if he promises to bring Frieza back to life at the closing of the tournament, the tyrant will readily cooperate. Goku said yes. He later assures the team that he will keep Frieza in check, and that if he does turn against them, he’ll just have to beat his ass back to hell like usual. Whis agreed that the threat of a reborn Frieza is nothing compared to the threat of an entire universe being erased. What harm could it be?
Unfortunately, after the events of Episode 112, it’s starting to seem like those statements were thinly veiled warnings. Throughout the first 50 taks (or the first half of the Tournament of Power), Frieza can be seen oddly laying low. He does eliminate some of his enemies, but 80% of the time he is keenly observing not just his more powerful opponents, but also his equally mightier teammates. He keeps to himself most of the time and chooses to reserve his energy instead of going all out, like Goku or Caulifla. The only time he went golden was against Cabba’s Super Saiyan 2, and the only time he expended energy on others besides himself was on Goku, after he was left weakened during his fight against Jiren.
As viewers, we can’t help but question his motives. Why is he lurking around like a ghost, waiting for others to thin out the competition instead of trimming it down himself? We’re so used to majestic displays of power — characteristic of the tyrant over the years — that seeing him so non-confrontational just feels weird overall. What’s he actually up to?
Episode 112 finally reveals part of the answer.
Manipulating The Gods
Frieza mentions after disposing of Cabba his real intentions for wanting to win: to use the Super Dragon Balls against the gods by means of “controlling” them. This could mean anything from putting the gods and angels in a trance, to wishing for immortality or power greater than any of them. My guess is Frieza will try to aim for the same path Zamasu had taken — and unlike him, ensure he doesn’t fail. He will try to either control or switch bodies with Zeno — that, or the Grand Priest. These two are the most powerful beings in the #DragonBall universe. If Frieza can control them, there will be few people left that can stand in his way.
If Frieza takes control of Zeno, everything is already lost. Nobody can beat Zeno but Zeno. Once one of them is dead (remember, there are two of them now), only then can Frieza become the ultimate tyrant — rise to power in a way he’s never been able to before. It would also be symbolic of Goku and Frieza’s journey as rivals — they started out as terrifying parallels on Namek, they end as the ultimate equals on the universal stage.
At this point, it’s impossible to tell what Frieza is capable of. He survived the Destruction move in Episode 95 with his bare hands. His Golden form has no foreseeable limits. Like Goku, even without the gods, he’s already become so formidable. Who knows what else he can do?
Handing the Greatest Power in the Universe to an Immutable Tyrant
Frieza seeks to dismantle the rule of the gods and make himself king over #Zeno. An impossible dream, unless you have the Super Dragon Balls. Unfortunately, Goku might as well have given them to Frieza himself.
When Frieza proposed his resurrection in exchange for his help, Goku responded that he is free to resurrect himself with the Super Dragon Balls in the event they do win. This is potentially dangerous territory, considering Frieza’s invariably evil nature. The idea of Frieza holding the Dragon Balls and being able to wish for anything without anybody wanting to stop him is terrifying; he could just as easily rescind his original wish and ask for something more devious, like ultimate power over the gods.
Additionally, knowing the Z Warriors’ inability to eliminate more powerful opponents makes this prospect all the more chilling; if they failed to kill #Zamasu before (and had to resort to speed dialing Future Zeno for help), it’s unlikely they will have the upper hand this time against an invulnerable Frieza. If he and Zeno do become one, odds are that’s the end. Even if #Goku wants to cheat, he can’t, because there’s no more King of All to speed dial.
How will the Z Warriors adapt to this scenario? A life where all eight universes are being threatened by a malevolent force? We don’t know — the odds seem completely stacked against them. But for sure there will be some badass team-ups. Maybe we’ll see Jiren, Hit, Vegeta and Ultra Instinct Goku collaborate?
Letting Others Do the Heavy Lifting
Throughout the course of his career (and later humiliating defeat), Frieza’s learned to become more wily and perceptive, to temper his rage and wait a while before striking. Waiting out a fight might seem cowardly for someone of Frieza’s stature, but by this time, he’s learned to sacrifice honor and pride for a greater purpose — in this case, the chance to overpower the gods. Plus, his recklessness had cost him many times before.
#Frieza is letting others weed out the strongest and weakest for him, and thin out the pack on his behalf. Once the crowd has shrunk and the strongest fighters have been eliminated, that’s when Frieza will make his glorious entrance; he will power up to a state beyond golden and personally seize the Super Dragon Balls himself.