Netflix Buys Cobra Kai and Makes Season Three


Alyssa DePasqua, Staff Writer

*Contains spoilers from season two of “Cobra Kai”*


In June 2020, Netflix bought the YouTube TV original “Cobra Kai”, which acts as a sequel to “The Karate Kid” films made throughout the 80’s. “Cobra Kai” takes place 34 years after the original 1984 film “The Karate Kid”. The show, which kicked off on YouTube TV in the spring of 2018, stars actors from the original movie including Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso and William Zabka as Johnny Lawrence. These original and beloved characters along with new characters, such as Miguel Diaz (Xolo Maridueña) and Samatha LaRusso (Mary Mouser), make for a great combination of new and old. 

Both seasons one and two focus on the building of the Cobra Kai dojo and trying to get more kids interested in karate. In season one, Johnny reopens Cobra Kai, hsi beloved dojo that he went to whe he was a kid. His first recruit is Miguel, a kid who is getting bullied at school and wants to be able to defend himself. As the season goes on, Johnny starts recruiting more students to his dojo and tension starts to build between him and his lifelong enemy, Daniel LaRusso. This eventually forces LaRusso to reopen Miyagi-Do, his old dojo that he trained at as a kid. In season two, we start to see the dueling dojos compete for new recruits. This also causes tensions to rise between the two, leading to constant fights in school and around the valley throughout the entirety of the season. We also get to see characters from the original return, like John Kreese, Johnny’s old and cold blooded sensei.

Season two left off with Miguel falling off the railing and leaving the audience in the dark about his physical health and wellbeing. Because of this, Johnny, his mentor and father figure, goes “off the deep end” in the sense that he is completely distraught and is making a total mess of himself. He leaves his freshly painted 2009 Dodge Challenger in the parking lot of the beach with the keys inside. John Kreese now runs the Cobra Kai dojo and takes most of Johnny’s former students, excluding Miguel and Aisha, his first two students upon reopening Cobra Kai. We also see how good boy Robby Keene (Tanner Buchanan) might not be so good in the end, being the one that kicked Miguel over the railing in the all school brawl. 

Season three starts off two weeks after the fight with Miguel still not awake and in a coma, fighting death both figuratively and literally, as he is dreaming about him fighting an opponent on the mat, with the outcome of life or death based on whether he wins the battle or not. We also know now that after the fight at West Valley High School, Robby ran away in an attempt to avoid law enforcement and the consequences of his actions. Tory, one of Cobra Kai’s top students, was also expelled due to the all school fight that she started the previous season. She also quit Cobra Kai and is now in charge of taking care of her mother who is on dialysis. On the other hand, we see the LaRussos having trouble with their car dealership, therefore unable to reopen Miyagi-Do for the time being.

Cobra Kai, now under Kreese’s management, seems to create a whole new level of violence, fear, and division in the valley, with kids scared for their safety in and out of school. We also see Samantha struggle with panic attacks and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) after the fight and she gradually starts to lose interest in karate. I thought Mouser did an amazing job with this change in her character this season. Samantha has always been very confident in herself, but after the fight, her world is flipped upside down and she becomes scared and timid. Mouser did a great job portraying the harsh reality of living in constant fear and worry. 

This season is very comparable with the previous two. It is equally nostalgic and dramatic. This show has some of the best writing I have ever seen in a TV show before. The plot is unpredictable, as well as suspenseful and keeps me wanting more. “Cobra Kai” is one of the easiest shows to binge watch. Every episode leaves off with a cliffhanger, which left me always letting the “next episode” bar fill up all the way, leading me to find out what happens.. 

“Cobra Kai” is truly one of the best spin-offsthere is on television. Sometimes, when old movies or TV shows are remade, they do a bad job of combining that nostalgic feeling that brings you back to the original, while making a new plot with the new cast. However, “Cobra Kai” is extremely different in the way that it had me hooked on the nostalgia from the original 1984 classic and all the drama that the new and much younger cast brings along, too. This show really did a fantastic job combining both the old and the new cast to come together and make a show for both parents who grew up watching the original, as well as teenagers who like all of the drama embedded in the karate scene. 

Season three is an amazing and seamless addition to the already outstanding reputation the show carries. It is packed with drama and even more nostalgia, incorporating references from both “The Karate Kid Part II” and “The Karate Kid III”, along with those from the original. The show has already been renewed for a fourth season, leaving fans relieved after the massive cliffhanger that was the last episode of season three. Hopefully, season four is out by this time next year, and we get to see more of the dueling dojos that comes with the karate scene in the valley.