Episode 53, "Son Goku's Final Blow... Planet Namek Scatters Throughout Space", or "Why Is Everyone Such A Douchebag?"
Synopsis: Sliced in a few pieces, Freeza lies prone on the ground while Goku stands over him. As Goku walks away, Freeza begs for help. Hesistant, Goku lends him enough energy to move around. Freeza mocks Goku, who insists he can manage to escape. As Goku flies off, Freeza becomes enraged, and fires a blast at him, but Goku returns fire, overwhelming Freeza and seemingly killing him. On Earth, the Namekian Dragon Balls fall from the sky. Saichoro passes his role onto Mori and passes away. On Namek, Goku attempts to use Freeza's ship to escape, but it doesn't work, and he leaves as it falls into a pit. Unable to find a way to escape, Goku screams as the planet explodes.
Freeza is defeated in this episode after a long, diffcult battle. Actually, sort of an overlong battle, even in Kai. I'm almost dreading sitting through an extended version of it when I get the third Dragon Box. I mean, the fight itself has some pretty cool moves, some pretty exciting moments, but it goes on for so friggin' long, it gets a little ridiculous at times. Kai's handled it pretty well, though. I'd rather it had been all in new animation, but I realize there was no chance of that. For Kai, it was good.
Goku's a merciful guy. His behavior here has its precedence. He was willing to give Tao Pai Pai a chance when he thought he was giving up. He gave Piccolo a Senzu bean at the end of his match with him. He was willing to let Raditz go if he promised not to do further harm. He let Vegeta leave Earth. Well, to be honest, sparing Piccolo was to make sure Kami was okay and wanting to fight him again and sparing Vegeta was purely out of a desire to fight him again. Sparing Freeza is asking a lot, given all the terrible things he's done, but as Goku said, he was satisfied humiliating him.
Of course, like Tao Pai Pai, Freeza completely spat on Goku's mercy, attacking him anyway, and paying for it in the end. And hey, just like Tao Pai Pai, he'll come back as a cyborg (oooh, hope I didn't spoil things too badly for you)! Freeza's half the man he used to be, there's a shadow hanging over me, oh yesterday, came suddenly. Why Bulma had to go, I don't know, I couldn't say. I said something wrong, now I long for...
Oh, sorry. Went off on a tangent there. Damn it, Paul McCartney.
On Earth, Vegeta is his usual douchey self, mentioning that the villagers he killed won't be coming back, because the dragon determined him as not part of Freeza's gang, so the wish to bring back all the folks Freeza's gang killed would not have effected them. Poor bastards. Vegeta is an even bigger douche in the Z version of these episodes, even provoking Gohan into a fight.
Speaking of douche behavior, as soon as Saichoro fades away in death, Dende immediately changes the subject to Piccolo having fused with Nail. Oh hey, your father figure just died, but wow, is that your friend in the other guy who looks like your friend? Moving on a little soon, don't you think?
Anyway, the five minutes on Namek are up... about two hours later. Planet go boom. And so, our hero dies tragically, ending the story of Goku forever. Amirite?
3 out of 5