Warning! Spoilers for Episode 118 of Dragon Ball Super below!
The last episode of Dragon Ball Super teased a perilous situation for Gohan and Piccolo, and during this tough fight the two were brought back to the "Saiyan" arc in Dragon Ball Z.
With both Universe 2 and Universe 6 at the edge of being outright eliminated from the Tournament of Power, the final fighters of both universes desperately fought to stay. Gohan and Piccolo were left to deal with a suddenly much stronger Saonel and Pirina from Universe 6, and this struggle ultimately led to a role reversal between Piccolo and Gohan. Gohan finds himself blocking a Ki blast from a weakened Piccolo, rather than the other way around this time.
As the last two fighters of Universe 6, Pirina and Saonel grew desperate to stay alive. It was then revealed that the two of them were actually the result of the fusion between many of Universe 6's Namekians. They were waiting until later in the tournament to settle their power, and with that power increase suddenly meant Gohan and Piccolo were in much more trouble.
Because of this, Piccolo was overwhelmed by their power. Stuck in the inner world of his head, he had been filled with the visions of many desperate Namekians and thus lost the advantage against Pirina. Noticing this, Gohan instead took the lead and vowed to give Piccolo enough time to charge his Special Beam Cannon for a powerful counterattack.
Seeing that Gohan was struggling, Piccolo unleashes his Special Beam Cannon early and fires it at Pirina, but it was wholly ineffective. Angered, Pirina launches a huge ki blast out of his mouth as a weakened Piccolo finds himself distraught. As the blast of energy hits, it's revealed that Gohan had actually blocked the attack. Apologizing, he vows to never fail to give Piccolo enough time again.
Gohan blocking a huge energy blast for Piccolo is reminiscent of Piccolo's big sacrifice during the "Saiyan" arc in Dragon Ball Z. The roles were instead reversed there as Gohan would've been killed had Piccolo not blocked it. With this throwback to the early days in the series, Piccolo is reinvigorated and vows that he and Gohan will always prevail in their fights to come.
Dragon Ball Super's “Universal Survival” arc is part of the recent simulcast agreement that sites like Crunchyroll and Funimation have scored. Dragon Ball Super airs on Crunchyroll Saturday evenings at 7:15 p.m. CST. Adult Swim airs the English dub during its Toonami block Saturday evenings at 9:30 p.m, and it will soon be available to stream on FunimationNOW.