Welcome back to my in depth look at the best season of Dragon Ball Z! Today’s episode is called… Rescue Videl. Huh. I was kinda hoping they’d avoid this annoying cliché. Oh well, maybe it won’t be that bad. Let’s find out!!
The episode begins with Gohan flying to school dressed as Saiyaman. Along the way though, Videl sees him while flying her sci-fi plane, and refuses to leave him be. Because he’s being followed, he can’t land at school and has to find some way to lose her.
After being chased through city streets, putting countless others in danger in the process, Gohan comes up with an idea to give her the slip (I’ll move REALLY fast!). The plan works, which almost causes Videl to crash her helicopter thingy, and Gohan decides that the best thing to do after that is hide in the park. Okay…
Once again, Gohan underestimates just how badass Videl is and she manages to find him almost immediately. The guy wearing a silly, oversized, orange and black helmet probably helped.
Videl once again badgers him for info, trying to find out his name, where he’s from, and where he gets his powers. Saiyaman doubles down on his secret identity which only further pisses off Videl, leading Gohan to observe that she’s pushy just like his mom. Uh huh…
Moving on (*cough*Oedipus*cough), Gohan comes up with another plan to get rid of Videl, this time putting her flying machine on the roof of a nearby skyscraper. This buys him enough time to get to school without anyone noticing, but also causes Videl to be late. Of course, she can do whatever the fuck she wants because she’s the daughter of Earth’s savior, and doesn’t get in trouble. When she takes her seat, she finds out that Gohan was late as well.
The show seems to go back and forth between her KNOWING it’s Gohan, and her SUSPECTING it’s him. Sometimes, she’s looking for evidence to back up her theory, but at other times (like this one) she still doesn’t seem sure who Saiyaman could be and thinks that Gohan is acting suspicious. I would have preferred it if they went all the way and made it clear that she’s keenly aware it has to be Gohan but can’t trap him just yet. The “Could he, probably, maybe not, maybe so” routine can work with some characters (Rachel from Case Closed), but if it should only be used in situations where getting caught would have some actual consequences, and that tension needs to be maintained for a very long period of time (hundreds of episodes and counting for Case Closed). Here though, it feels unnecessary considering it’s not going to be dragged out that long and it just ends making Videl seem clueless. After that, we cut to the greatest god damn thing on this planet of ours.
That’s right, we go to Hercule “Mother Fucking” Satan who’s talking shit about The Great Saiyaman (by himself where no one can hear him obviously). I always had a soft spot for the guy. Even though he is an egomaniacal jackass, you can’t deny that he’s REALLY good at it! Despite his bluster, he still has a lot of charisma and knows how to work a crowd (like any good professional wrestler can). After these glorious few moments with Mr. Stan, we cut back to Gohan who’s walking home from school when a crime in progress just so happens to pass by.
The crime is question is just another bunch of street punks driving irresponsibly, but this time they were intentionally goading the cops and were trying to send a message that a new gang is coming to town. For some reason Gohan doesn’t run into an alleyway to change into The Great Saiyaman, but instead confronts the thugs as himself. The bad guys admonish him for getting in the faces of members of the Red Shark Gang (seriously? Are the Jets coming to town next week?) and proceed to attack Gohan. It doesn’t go well for the thugs at first considering they’re fighting a half-alien who’s destroyed intergalactic tyrants in the past, but Gohan loses his concentration when he notices that Videl is watching.
Videl (despite being a crime fighter, only acting once someone she knew got hurt) springs into action and lands a jump kick to the dude’s face!
The guy she kicks is out fucking cold and his partner in crime has to drag his ass back to the car. For some reason, Videl lets them leave instead of having them arrested, and then goes to Gohan to see if he’s alright. Unsurprisingly, half-Saiyan skin is equivalent to Adamantium which means he doesn’t have a scratch on him. What IS surprising is that Videl doesn’t take this as another sign pointing to Gohan as The Great Saiyanman, but instead takes the non-injury causing ass whooping as a sign that he isn’t.
Are you kidding me Videl? Rewatch the footage! He was doing fine until he saw you! He only got hit because he was distracted and then when he DID get hit, it was about as effective as a water balloon! Hell, you could even assume that he was intentionally faking the hit, or even that he doesn’t have powers when he’s out of uniform. I’m just saying that the evidence FOR him being the guy is a lot stronger than this one piece of evidence to the contrary. After some foreshadowing with the thugs, we cut to the next day where our heroes are at school and Videl gets a call on her Dick Tracy super watch. It turns out that the Red Sharks are making their move by kidnapping the mayor and demanding that Mr. Satan gets his ass over there to… fight the gang’s leader?
They don’t want money, or a helicopter, or diamonds or even a sandwich. They want to fight Mr. Satan? Okay, I get that Mr. Satan is probably the biggest deal in the world, but he doesn’t actually have any power. I doubt you’ll be able to declare yourselves King of Earth if you beat Mr. Satan. No, you’ll have to beat up the dog guy instead.
Alright, whatever the reason is they’re demanding that Hercule show himself if he doesn’t want the mayor to get slice from ear to ear. The mayor doubts the gang leader’s ability to take down Earth’s mightiest hero, but when the gang leader reveals himself… wait a minute. IS THAT NAPPA!?!?
Yeah, for some reason the gang’s leader looks a hell of a lot like our favorite DBZ Abridged character. To show that he and his gang aren’t fucking around, they shoot a rocket right at the cops and once again demand to see Hurcle. The police are more than willing to hand him over, but the dude won’t answer his phone.
Videl leaves class immediately to confront the thugs, and Gohan tries to go soon after with a bathroom excuse. The teacher isn’t about to buy his bullshit though, so he’s stuck there bemoaning about Videl’s chances without him there to protect her. She arrives at the crime scene to tell Nappa that Hercule isn’t about to waste his time on a scrub, and the only person he’ll be able to fight is this bitch right here. He accepts the challenge and… wait, what the fuck is he wearing?
The fight begins and Videl is doing fine, but Gohan is still freaking the fuck out in class. He begins to fidget in his seat which is enough to cause a fucking earth quake which gives him the opportunity to escape. We cut back to Videl who’s kicking Nappa’s ass, but then he pulls a cheap trick (a criminal is willing to CHEAT in a street fight!?) and gets a shot in at Videl. At that moment, The Great Saiyaman flies in to save the day because obviously Videl can’t handle the situation herself.
Of course Videl chews the bastard out for a while telling him that he’s a pain in the ass and that he should just leave her the fuck alone so that she can do her damn job. Right on Videl! Tell him what’s what! Of course, Nappa isn’t too happy about no longer being the center of attention, so he tells the other members there to kill the masked fucker, but Gohan takes them out without much effort. While this was happening though, Nappa had put Videl in a headlock!
What will Gohan do!? How will he rescue Videl from the clutches of, oh no wait she’s fine.
See? Videl can kick some major ass, even without super powers that make you neigh immortal. She may not be able to catch bullets or take a punch without some damage, but that’s not about to stop her from doing what needs to be done. After being upstaged by someone who WASN’T born a badass, Great Saiyaman tries to fly off. Videl stops him and gives him thanks for taking out the other gang members, as well as reiterating that she’ll unmask him at some point. We cut from there to sometime later where the high school students are leaving for the day. Videl’s girlfriend is trying to get Videl to spill the beans between her and Gohan, and informs her that the guy disappeared during the earthquake. Hearing all this (and not wanting to answer questions) Gohan speeds off behind an alley. He hears the jock student talk shit about him, but Videl sticks up for him which puts Gohan in good mood, and the episode ends with him running off into the distance.
Yet another really good episode under the belt for this season! They developed the relationship between Videl and Gohan somewhat, and were able to give Videl another chance to show how fucking awesome she is. While Gohan being unable to realize that VIdel is a capable badass does annoy me, this episode at least gave him a chance to see her take care of business on her own and will hopefully mean he’ll be more respectful in later episodes (it’s been a while since I’ve seen these and I don’t recall episode to episode interactions). Not only that, but we got to see a bit of Hercule this time around, however I do wish we’d get some scenes of him and Videl together already. I know at some point we’re gonna have to get into the Buu saga, but I really wish they would have stuck with this for a lot longer. That said we’ve still got quite a few episodes left before any of that takes over. Tune in next time to see what happens when The Great Saiyaman and Videl are pitted against each other!