WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Episode 166, "Death Match," now streaming on Crunchyroll.
The Boruto anime hasn't been kind to Team 7 lately as Boruto has been struggling with mentors like Mugino, while the other members, Sarada and Mitsuki, haven't been at their best. It's understandable given they're kids but they're still held to a much higher standard than other young shinobi in Konoha -- ergo why they've been sent to track down the Hashirama Cell.
Unfortunately, they ran into trouble with the Haze Ninjas, as well as shinobi from the Hidden Cloud, but little did they know the bigger threat lay waiting in Deepa, Kara's version of the Joker. And in the latest episode, Deepa leaves the young ninjas broken beyond belief, making them look like rank amateurs.
After Asaka and Hiruga are taken out of the fight, Deepa toys with the kids -- really because he's just bored. He's looking for a challenge but Team 7 falls short as they can't counter his indestructible skin. Neither Mitsuki's snakes or Boruto's Rasengan can penetrate it, which leaves them short of options and desperate in battle. Deepa's body is made from a unique metal alloy and not only does it allow him an impervious defense but he can also shift it into his arm, giving him a metal apendage a la the Winter Soldier.
Sarada's Sharingan eye-technique also runs out of juice and she almost strains herself doing so, especially when Deepa throws projectiles at the trio. These projectiles also circle him to act as a shield so there's just no way through. What saves the kids is the badly-beaten Mitsuki activating Sage Mode and retreating with Boruto and Sarada both unconscious. Interestingly, rather than give chase, Deepa exits stage left with the DNA, as per Victor's orders. The elder, who we first thought was a medical tycoon, seems to be working with the Kara agent. If the show follows the manga, Victor will actually become a key member of the terrorist group.
What makes the beatdown so emphatic is that Victor was actually busy whipping Konohamaru and Mugino, so they couldn't even come to the aid of the juniors. But this does provide an opening because -- with the preview for the next episode showing Team 7 back home nursing their wounds -- Konoha can send more ninjas to go after Victor and his company, as it's clear they're involved in shady stuff. Naruto's village just can't afford to fail; leaving them with Hashirama's DNA could be weaponized to produce dangerous enemies.
That's why the next episode's preview has Boruto swollen and Sarada bruised, yet pondering their next move. In the hospital, they insist they need to get better so they can succeed in the last generation and protect the current one. They're Naruto's son and Sasuke's daughter, after all, and with Mitsuki being the child of the legendary Orochimaru, it's clear they need to level up and stop being viewed as mere rookies. It's not just about reputation, legacy or bragging rights, either: it's about being the very best. Losing to Deepa so easily, the teens know they're far from ready for the big leagues.