WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Episode 126 of Dragon Ball Super, "Surpass Even a God! Vegeta's Sacrifice Strike!" which debuted Saturday on Adult Swim.
As one of the original primary antagonists of Dragon Ball Z, Vegeta was introduced to the popular anime franchise as a selfish, proud prince, intent on becoming the most powerful warrior in the universe. Over the course of the series, Vegeta has experienced a redemptive arc, battling alongside the Z Fighters and forming a family with Bulma, culminating in his heroic sacrifice in a confrontation against Z's final antagonist, Majin Buu, with the destructive Final Explosion technique.
While Vegeta has since been resurrected and continued to become a more selfless, noble character into Dragon Ball Super, he revisited his sacrifice play in the latest episode, as its final battle neared its end stages. His team-up with Goku against the Universe 11 champion Jiren was abruptly interrupted as Vegeta came to the aid of Android 17 and Frieza against Top, Jiren's ally. Top revealed himself to possess divine energy as Universe 11's next God of Destruction, unleashing his full power and effortlessly taking down Frieza as the two remaining universes left in the Tournament of Power.
Vegeta previously revealed he had mastered the ability to channel his vast energy reserves while transformed into a Super Saiyan Blue. That concentration of raw energy brought Vegeta to the strongest he had ever been, and he was able to stand toe-to-toe against Top, to the surprise of spectators. However, as the two trade blows and pull out all the stops against each other, Vegeta realizes even his full potential won't be enough to eliminate Top, with only minutes remaining in the contest of champions.
Just as he had sacrificed himself in an unsuccessful attempt to destroy Majin Buu years earlier, Vegeta was inspired to place his life on the line to save his growing family, with his wife Bulma and son Trunks now joined by daughter Bulla. However, Vegeta fought for more than the fate of Universe 7 but also Universe 6, remembering a promise he made to that alternate reality's Saiyan Prince Cabba to restore his universe with the Super Dragon Balls, should he win the Tournament of Power. Vegeta channeled the energy within himself to launch his devastating Final Explosion attack, at the risk of killing himself in the process.
Unlike its last use against Majin Buu, Vegeta's Final Explosion was successful in overpowering Top and knocking him out of the arena, causing his elimination. To his own surprise, Vegeta survived the Final Explosion's blast this time, having grown significantly stronger since his battle against Majin Buu. However, the immense amount of gather required to launch the attack have left Vegeta completely drained.
Throughout Super, Vegeta has demonstrated for much he has progressed in his redemption since his villainous debut. The Saiyan Prince no longer fights for his own gain, not just for his family, but for the survival of two different universes. Vegeta was fully prepared to sacrifice his life towards that goal but fortunately has survived to see the Tournament of Power through to the bitter end. And while Jiren is the sole remaining opponent keeping Universe 7 from reigning supreme, with only four minutes left on the clock, the Universe 11 warrior reveals he has been holding back the whole time as he prepares to unleash his full potential for the first time. Visibly nonplussed, Goku, Vegeta, Frieza and Android 17 may still be at a grave disadvantage in the final bout of Dragon Ball Super.
Newly translated episodes of Dragon Ball Super air on Saturdays at 11 p.m. ET/PT on Adult Swim.