WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for "Frieza and Frost! Conjoined Malice?!," the 108th episode of Dragon Ball Super, which debuted Saturday on Adult Swim.
The latest episode of Dragon Ball Super put the focus on the anime franchise's longtime villain Frieza as the Tournament of Power raged on. In doing so, the episode revealed just how manipulative the powerful interstellar despot is and whether his teammates representing Universe 7 can trust him, with one fighter paying the ultimate price.
At the start of the episode, Gohan is busy battling the Universe 2 fighter Jimeze, who is able to overpower him through strategic use of his Instant Transmission technique, teleporting all over the battlefield disorienting the Saiyan warrior and leaving him vulnerable to attack. Before Jimeze can finish off Gohan, however, Frieza appears, interrupting his attack. Hesitating to attack the Universe 2 champion, Frieza's fellow Universe 7 fighters wonder if their villainous ally will follow through on the team's promise to restore the Dragon Ball Multiverse after the tournament or use the Super Dragon Balls for his own nefarious ends.
The theme of deception and manipulation carry on throughout the episode, even after Frieza does ultimately attack Jimeze and rescue Gohan. While still visibly working with Universe 7, Frieza delights himself in torturing his Universe 2 rival before eliminating him from the tournament rather then just defeat him immediately. It's an unexpectedly sadistic moment for the series and its climactic martial arts competition between alternate universes. While the contest had a strict ban on the use of lethal force, Frieza still sadistically tortures his opponent, ensuring all his attacks on Jimeze miss the fighter's vital areas while maximizing pain.
Frieza's villainy and untrustworthy nature explored even further as the episode continues with the return of Frost, Universe 6's version of Frieza, who is also participating in the tournament. As with Frieza, Frost has a natural distrust of Saiyans, despite being on a team with several from Universe 6. As such, the alternate universe tyrant targets the weakened Gohan for his next attack, only for Frieza to intervene and attack Gohan instead, forming a de facto partnership of sorts with Frost while leaving his fellow Universe 7 fighters shocked by the apparent betrayal.
To carry on this insidious new alliance, Frieza transforms into his powerful golden state and incapacitates Gohan before teaching Frost how to tap into 100% of his own power. As this makeshift partnership seemingly forges ahead, with Frost growing even stronger and things looking bleak for Gohan, Frieza reveals his true motives.
Frieza betrays Frost and eliminates his Universe 6 counterpart to everyone's surprise except Gohan. The recovered Saiyan warrior reveals that he realized Frieza's true intention was to lower Frost's guard, so the hero played along with Frieza's attack to help sell the villain's offer to his rival to join forces with their mutual hatred of Saiyans. Enraged, Frost attempts to attack Frieza from the sidelines, only to be erased from existence by the omnipotent Zeno overseeing the tournament, with the all-powerful figure threatening to erase all of Universe 6 before the end of the competition should a similar offense occur.
As a longtime antagonist in the Dragon Ball franchise, Frieza's agreement to fight alongside the bitter enemies that had killed him on multiple occasions was always something of a surprise. And while the latest episode of Dragon Ball Super reminded audiences that the fighter is a cruel, sadistic figure, it also revealed that Frieza is capable of using his usual deceit and manipulation to help his teammates advance in the Tournament of Power. However, with the fight against the alternate universes intensifying, even Frieza's grand schemes may not be enough to save Universe 7.
Newly translated episodes of Dragon Ball Super air on Saturdays at 11 pm ET/PT on Adult Swim.