After being forced to watch Krillin fail at romance and Gohan take orders from the wimpiest tutor in existence, the tone quickly becomes serious when everyone realizes that Frieza is still alive and headed to earth. Even though we saw Goku blast Frieza to smithereens after being cut into pieces by his own attack, the flashback is slightly different with a mangled Frieza being found by his father King Cold and is put back together again with cybernetics and what looks like door stops and rubber nipples. Before Frieza can do much of anything, Future Trunks arrives and kills him, his father, and all of his men with ease. The Z-Fighters, including Vegeta in a pink shirt (he's a bad man, you guys), look on amazed.
Once Goku arrives, Trunks informs him why he’s returned to the past; to warn everyone of the androids arriving in three years time that will kill everyone. The androids were created by Dr. Gero, a scientist who swore revenge on Goku for defeating the Red Ribbon Army. Despite training for three years and the androids showing up like Trunks said, Yamcha, Vegeta, and Tien still remain skeptical about the androids posing much of a threat. A deadly heart virus attacks Goku and incapacitates him early on and even the antidote brought from the future by Trunks is taking its sweet time working its magic. Meanwhile, Androids 17 and 18 make short work of Vegeta, Trunks, Piccolo, and Tien while Krillin stands around making a mess in his pants.
Why does this story arc start with everyone struggling to climb a mountain when they all have the ability to fly? It almost seems like Trunks showing up laughs at the elongated journey you just finished taking with the Frieza Saga. Trunks arrives and deals with Frieza in two episodes, which is something Goku and Vegeta couldn’t do in over 72 episodes. The humor of the show actually seems to begin to hit its mark or maybe it’s just gotten to the point that it’s so stupid it’s funny now. After Trunks tests Goku’s Super Saiyan abilities, he gives him the antidote to the aggressive heart virus he warned Goku about. Goku lifts it into the air and yells, “Wow! It’s purple, too! I bet it’s grape flavored!”
Vegeta begins training at 300 times gravity and Bulma begins to develop this really weird attraction to him. It’s like she cares for his well-being, but all they do is argue about everything. It is some of the worst sexual tension ever. Chi Chi continues to overreact about Gohan spending so much time training instead of studying and you applaud the fact that Goku accidentally knocks her through the wall and into a tree in their front yard because he still isn’t used to earth’s gravity. Her poor pitiful me routine is just poison at this point.
Can somebody please explain why everyone gets so sweaty when they’re just standing around talking? They seriously sweat more in those moments than when they’re fighting and Mr. Popo is the worst culprit of them all. This is also the season where Goku and Piccolo go to driving school, but the reasoning behind it is questionable. Chi Chi gets chased by a giant wild boar on the way home from getting groceries, but forces Goku to get a driver’s license. How is that logical? How does your husband getting a driver’s license solve the whole not having a car issue? It’s fun to imagine that boar holding Chi Chi at tusk-point and making crazy car and grocery demands. “You’re a woman for Christ’s sake! You should get yourself one of those fancy hover cars! And would it kill you to be less stingy with the Bisquick?”
Yamcha becomes a woman this season, at least in theory. He’s as wishy-washy with his emotions as Chi Chi and Bulma are. When Frieza returns, he’s the first to chicken out. Three years later, he’s upset that Vegeta beat him to the punch and made a baby with Bulma when he couldn’t. Once the androids show up, he’s understandably scared about them having the ability to absorb energy but then turns around and says he’s going to help even after saying he’d sit this one out. He finally flies Goku home to get his heart medicine. Yamcha having Dr. Gero punch a hole through his chest was his biggest accomplishment.
In addition to nobody knowing how to fly when everything first started, suddenly nobody knows how to detect power levels either. The androids can’t be detected, but everyone else still can. When Goku is a Super Saiyan and fighting Android 19, Gohan, Krillin, and Trunks can’t find him and they don’t really acknowledge this until they use “pushing your power level through the roof when you find Dr. Gero’s laboratory” later on. It’s just weird. Goku was stupidly easy to sense on Namek with his massive Super Saiyan ability. Can he not be detected now because of his heart? Does the absorbing energy skill of the androids affect the power level sensing ability? It seems like it could’ve easily been explained if it was actually acknowledged.
You would think that after over one hundred episodes that these characters would stop doing things that make you pull your hair out in frustration. Nearly every fighter from earth is always stupidly optimistic as observers during every fight, especially if Goku is fighting. The fight will start and Goku will punch his opponent a few times or kick them through a piece of mountain and people like Yamcha, Tien, Krillin, and Gohan will think the fight will be over right then, but then act completely surprised when it’s not. If it hasn’t happened yet, you guys, it probably isn’t going to magically start now. Thankfully, Piccolo is around to be the voice of reason most of the time.
As Goku is getting creamed by Android 19, Gohan tries to jump in and help but Krillin stops him. “Your dad is still in command. We need to wait for his signal.” His dad getting his ass handed to him isn’t a good enough signal? They finally figure out that Goku needs the antidote after they see him clutching his heart for five minutes. “We need to get him home!” Then they all just stand around and stare at him and wonder why Android 19 absorbs his energy. When Vegeta finally rips off Android 19’s hands and destroys him with a single blast, Krillin declares, “That android is toast!” And Piccolo replies, “Yeah, burnt toast.”
You do have your hands full with Yamcha switching gears so often. You wanted to help us fight and now you’d rather be at home making sandwiches? Make up your mind already, man. Krillin’s chicken streak reaches new heights during this saga, as well. While he has died twice (and Yamcha has already used the “I died once already” shtick), Krillin has been smart about his shortcomings up until now. He may not be strong, but he’s always found a way to be helpful. All he’s done so far with the androids is verbally wish Goku was there every five minutes (can you imagine if he accidentally made this wish to Shenron right now?) and get seduced by Android 18.
While they’re searching for Dr. Gero’s lab, Krillin divides the six remaining Senzu Beans amongst himself, Piccolo, and Tien; two each. After the androids pound everyone into the ground, they’re all back in the bag again. Vegeta gets the worst beating out of everyone because his ego is through the roof now that he’s a Super Saiyan. Since he talked so much trash about being the most powerful being in the universe and he had that straightened out by a female android, it hit him pretty hard. He spends the rest of his time alone, in the rain, and yelling at the top of his lungs as if he’s auditioning for a Michael Jackson music video. The weird thing is Krillin verbally says he’s going to give Vegeta two Senzu Beans, Vegeta recovers, and flies away. Before his rainy meltdown, Vegeta still has blood scrapes all over him, and spits blood onto the ground even though Senzu Beans typically restore someone’s health back to 100%.
Piccolo eventually has Gohan leave to go check on his father but Bulma with a baby Trunks and Yajirobe talk Gohan into giving them a ride as well, so poor Gohan has to fly around carrying all of that water (and lard) weight by himself. When he finally sees his house in sight, Bulma talks him into going by her place first. As they arrive at Bulma’s, Gohan tries to be polite but then leaves in a hurry. Ditching Bulma and Yajirobe is one of the smartest things he’s ever done. Now if he could just do something about his mom.
Android 17 has a passion for destruction and violence to match his young, bad boy look (or something). He comes up with the idea of not only searching for Goku on their own (instead of beating it out of Krillin), but also driving a car instead of flying because it would be more of a challenge. They find a Lucky Foods truck parked at a gas station. The two drivers are at the vending machines and this is their conversation. “This coffee doesn’t look very fresh to me.” “It’s not. It’s older than my mother-in-law.” They then turn around to see Android 16 lifting up the truck with one hand and all of their merchandise falling out of the truck. The driver getting the coffee squeezes his cup of coffee because he’s so nervous. This wouldn’t be very noteworthy, but the stream of coffee from the crumpled cup is never ending. It’s just like this geyser of coffee. We’ve got to get ourselves one of those cups. We’ve got the technology.
Sources: dragonball.wikia.com, thedragonballblog.blogspot.com, tumblr.com, imdb.com, wikipedia.org, comicvine.com, funimation.com