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Frieza Strikes! (野望のベジータ! 宇宙一の戦士はオレだ!!, Yabo no Bejīta! Uchu Ichi no Senshi wa Ore da!!) is the tenth episode of the Namek Saga and the forty-fifth overall episode in the uncut Dragon Ball Z series. The episode first aired on April 25, 1990.
Confused at the appearance of another space pod, Krillin, Bulma and Gohan wonder who it could be. A soldier turns his Dragon Ball over to Dodoria. Frieza tells him to keep it under guard, as Vegeta has come for them as well. Zarbon informs Frieza that Cui's pod has just landed, explaining how Frieza knows about Vegeta's recent arrival as well. Further, Zarbon is tracking two smaller, unknown power levels which have suddenly disappeared, and has dispatched two scouts to investigate. Frieza is more concerned with the Dragon Balls, and Zarbon tells Frieza that he is confident Cui will defeat Vegeta.
Cui locates Vegeta with his scouter and heads off in his direction. Now that he has permission from Frieza, he can finally settle their rivalry. Vegeta mocks Cui on their scouters' radios. Cui laughs at Vegeta, pointing out that his power level is much higher than Vegeta's. Bulma wishes Krillin and Gohan luck, and heads for the spaceship. Krillin and Gohan debate whether they should stay there where it is dangerous or leave with Bulma and come back to use the Dragon Balls when they are next available. Before they can decide, Gohan senses a power coming their way. Taking defensive positions, Gohan and Krillin wait to see who it is. On the other side of a rock, Zarbon's pair of scouts touch down and begin looking around. Krillin hopes they are Namekians.
When the scouts come around the rock, they see what they think are tourists who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. They are under orders to kill everyone on the planet, which includes them. Gohan and Krillin also realize they are not dealing with the Namekians, and are surprised that the Battle Armor worn by the scouts are similar to the ones worn by the Saiyans. But they are not Saiyans, confusing Krillin even further. The two scouts laugh at their power levels, then blast a hole through their ship to keep them from escaping. Krillin tells Gohan to release his power, and the two of them power up, easily defeating the two scouts. However, Bulma is worried the damage to the ship is too extensive to repair. Due to the fact that their ship is now wrecked, they have no means of getting off the planet.
Zarbon's scouter has followed the battle and he seems concerned. Frieza asks him if something is the matter. Zarbon tells him he does not know what to make of the situation, but he describes to Frieza the apparent activity of the two mysterious power levels. He explains how they skyrocketed enough to take out the two scouts he had sent to investigate the area. Since they only went as high as 1500, Frieza is not worried about them being a threat. However, he does not like the fact that they defied warriors in his service and orders that they be eliminated the next time they appear. Zarbon agrees with this notion.
At Wukong Hospital, Goku concentrates on a glass of water. Focusing, he manages to levitate the water out of the glass and suspend it in mid-air above him. Chi-Chi calls his name, distracting his concentration, and the water rains down on his head. He explains that he just got bored. Chi-Chi grabs a towel and vigorously dries Goku's bandaged head, wondering how Gohan is doing with his own hair. Unable to repair the ship, Bulma gives up all hope. Gohan and Krillin warn her that they need to find somewhere to hide, since more of Frieza's men are likely to come and investigate what happened. With some luck, they might find a Namekian who can fix the ship.
Cui finally arrives at Vegeta's location. After locating the traitorous Saiyan, Cui advances against him, but Vegeta dodges the oncoming thrust, leaving Cui to turn to his opponent with a sadistic smile. He taunts Vegeta about his low power level, and Vegeta declares he has something to show him. It seems that during his fight on Earth, Vegeta learned by observation how to control his power level the same way the Earthlings did. He starts to power up, and Cui's scouter registers the rise in energy, finally exploding at around 22,000. Vegeta explains that he has been actively seeking out battles, keeping his skills sharp and learning new techniques, while Cui has mostly stayed at Frieza's side and out of harm's way.
Zarbon's scouter, which is also tracking Vegeta's actions, explodes at the same reading. Dodoria sets his newer model scouter to Vegeta's reading, and is surprised to find that Vegeta's level has risen to 24,000. At that level, he is stronger than both himself and Zarbon at their current state. Frieza correctly analyzes Vegeta's battles-increased strength, and reminds Zarbon and Dodoria that if the two of them combine their power levels and team up, they can still defeat Vegeta. Frieza also accurately describes Vegeta's motives for seeking the Dragon Balls; he wants to overthrow him, and has betrayed him openly.
Overwhelmed by Vegeta's power, Cui proposes a truce, saying he also wants Frieza out of the way and that if they were to team up, they could take out Zarbon and Dodoria together. Cui tells Vegeta that since they have fought each other for so long and know each other's moves so well, they would make a great team. Vegeta easily sees through Cui's lies, and continues to advance. Cui then decides to trick Vegeta by shifting his attention and tells Vegeta that Frieza is standing right behind him. Caught off guard, Vegeta turns to look, and Cui attacks him from behind with a relentless volley of energy blasts. Cui thinks that he's won and begins to laugh about his victory.
However, when the smoke clears, Vegeta, standing opposite of Cui, explains to him his failure for a choice of strategy. He then tells Cui that he will not be walking away from this mistake. Terrified, Cui tries to run, stumbling on the ground and staring back at Vegeta as he tries to dash away. Vegeta's new-found speed overtakes him easily as he dashes after Cui and reappears in front of him. Vegeta then slams Cui right in the gut, sending him sprawling into the sky before ruthlessly eliminating him by making him explode in midair. Monitoring on his scouter, Dodoria reports what has happened. Frieza still remains unconcerned, and orders everyone to head off for the next Dragon Ball.
Vegeta realizes his actions must have been registered by the others' scouters. He is certain that he can take on Zarbon and Dodoria, but he is still no match for Frieza. He devises a strategy to prevent Frieza's wish from being granted. All seven Dragon Balls must be gathered to grant a wish. If he were to find just one and hide it where no one else could find it, then manage to steal the other six after Frieza had gathered them, he would come out the winner.
One of Frieza's men locates several Namekian readings on his scouter, prompting Frieza to tell him that it's good news. He admits that, at any luck, they'll have a fifth Dragon Ball for them to acquire. Frieza then warns his men to stay alert since there are a few pests lurking about. Zarbon and Dodoria agree with this notion and everyone takes off in that direction. Vegeta notices on his scouter that Frieza is moving in his search for the Dragon Balls.
Meanwhile, Krillin tells Bulma to hurry up a little. Bulma struggles to keep up with Gohan and Krillin's pace and she begs one of them to fly her along, but Gohan explains that it takes up too much energy, and they'll be spotted on the their opponent's scouters. Just then, Krillin finds a cave and points at it, saying that they can lay low for a while. Bulma complains to Krillin, saying that she'd rather not stay inside a cave. Before they can determine their next course of action, Krillin senses a horde of deadly power levels approaching right in their direction. He warns everyone to get inside the cave and hide. Bulma, Krillin, and Gohan hide as Frieza and his minions dash right by them.
- Gohan and Krillin vs. Frieza's scouts
- Vegeta vs. Cui
- Zarbon's scouter malfunctions and explodes at the same time that Cui's does due to Vegeta's increased power.
- There is one scene where Frieza's tail is black and purple in appearance, as opposed to the usual pink and purple.