Episode 90, "A Conclusion to the Death-Match! Goku, Time to Make a Decision"
Synopsis: Goku continues firing blasts at Cell, but Cell creates a forcefield that protects him. Roshi believes that Goku is out of energy and can't win. Trunks wants to give Goku a senzu but Vegeta tells him that Goku would refuse it. An exhausted Goku powers down and announces that he gives up, admitting that Cell is superior, shocking his allies and Cell alike. Goku also says that there's somebody stronger than him who will beat Cell. Cell demands to know who it is. Mr. Satan fakes a stomach ache. Goku announces the person who will defeat Cell is Gohan, surprising everyone. Piccolo objects to Goku's decision. Goku asks his son if he thought he and Cell were fighting beyond his means, and Gohan says they weren't. Goku convinces Gohan to fight Cell. He then throws Cell a senzu bean, Cell eats it and regains his strength, telling Goku he was stupid for doing so. Gohan begins powering up, which is impressive. Cell attacks, and Gohan avoids his blows. Then Cell decides to use his full speed and grabs Gohan, punching him several times. Goku, however, is not worried. Gohan is barely hurt and prepare to continue the fight.
I really wish that the fight between Goku and Cell wasn't cut down for Kai. It's not that long a fight in Z, nor is it stretched out too far. They definitely cut it down here. Though, I have to admit, the material used in the last episode was the best stuff. Well, it turns out that Goku vs Cell isn't the main attraction anyway, as we discover in this episode.
I love Cell's use of a barrier, but wonder why he didn't use it sooner. In fact, I wonder why others aren't using barriers more often. Does it drain a lot of ki to do that? The best part, I think, was how Vegeta, Piccolo, and Gohan just stood perfectly still as the barrier expanded to right in front of them, like it was nothing. That was pretty badass.
Goku becomes Father of the Year material in this episode by sending his young son out to fight the big bad on his own, and then even compounding the problem by throwing Cell a senzu bean. Turns out this was his plan all along, and he smiles confidently even as Gohan is getting punched repeatedly. Goku, you can at least pretend to be concerned. I know Gohan can take it, but it really looks bad to everybody else. I guess that's just Goku for you. It probably doesn't even occur to him that this is dreadful parenting.
The main event, Gohan vs Cell, is upon us. This is my favorite part in the entire franchise. Gohan, whose hidden powers had been built up throughout the show, will get his biggest shining moments. Go, Gohan!
4 out of 5