He defeated Jiren in the Tournament of Power, with only minutes remaining. Then he blew it in a very familiar manner! After unlocking the Ultra Instinct form during his first fight with the Pride Trooper from Universe 11, which ended in defeat for the Saiyan, fans were more than excited to see Son Goku use his new ability to beat Jiren, the mortal who could defeat a God of Destruction.

Goku finally did it

Goku had unlocked the Ultra Instinct form only one other time, against the fused Saiyan warrior Kefla. Unfortunately, while Goku could dodge almost anything she threw at him, he had not mastered attacking without thinking yet, so his attacks were far from devastating.

However, in his latest fight with Jiren, Goku completed the form (through the power of friendship no less) and wiped the floor with a full-power Jiren. Fans lost their minds, and it was all over. Goku was going to win the tournament, Universe 7 would be saved, and Goku would get a wish with the Super Dragon Balls that he would hopefully use to bring at least some of the universes back.

Then it happened — and everyone watching groaned.

Goku paused. He paused just like he did on Namek with Frieza. He paused just like he had on Earth with Vegeta about a thousand years ago. This pause was almost too familiar.

But it was not one of Goku's past hesitations that Episode 130 reminded fans of.

It was Gohan

At the climax of the Cell Saga, Gohan unlocked Super Saiyan 2 and proceeded to beat the tar out of the monstrous Perfect Cell. Gohan had Cell beaten, all he had to do was vaporize him, but he toyed with Cell, despite everyone's warnings.

Of course, Gohan eventually defeated Cell (with the help of just about every other Z fighter), but it came at the price of his father's life.

Now let's compare.

  • Unlocked a powerful new form?
    • Check!
  • Fate of the world hanging in the balance?
    • Oh yeah!
  • Everyone else present screaming for a finishing blow?
    • Uh huh!
  • Terrible penalty occurs after hesitation?
    • Wing-a-ding-ding we have a winner!

In the precious seconds that Goku wasted speaking with Jiren on the ground, his body felt the toll of the highest form any mortal can achieve.

Goku collapsed in pain, and Jiren was completely open to seize victory.

To no one's surprise, Frieza saved Goku from falling out of bounds. Even better, and to everyone's surprise, Android 17 is still alive and is ready to fight a battered Jiren alongside Frieza. Goku is out of the fight for now, but how long has the Saiyan ever really stayed down?

If this fight is anything like Gohan and Cell's, then it will all work out and spur a whole new story arc.