Attention: Spoilers for “Cobra Kai” seasons one, two, and three ahead.
Strike first. Strike hard. No mercy. “Cobra Kai” season four shows that the writers will go to no limit to make sure the bar stays high, and that’s a good thing.
The last time we saw frenemies Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), they decided to combine their separate dojos of Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang in order to beat John Kreese. (Martin Kove), who is now the head sensei of Cobra Kai. Their showdown will happen at the upcoming All-Valley Tournament.
At the end of season 3, Daniel, Johnny, and Kreese made a bet. If the combined forces of Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang won the upcoming All Valley Tournament, Cobra Kai would be forced to shut down forever. If Cobra Kai won, Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang would be shut down forever.
In season 4, Kreese, deciding that he will need a bit of help to beat the newly combined forces of Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang, goes to his friend from the past, Terrence “Terry” Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) for help. Kreese and Silver founded Cobra Kai together after they returned from combat in Vietnam where Kreese saved the lives of the majority of his squad from the Vietnamese army who captured them.
The writers, Jon Hurwitz, Josh Heald, and Hayden Schlossberg did an amazing job at keeping viewers engaged in the show. There is constant tension between Daniel and Johnny due to their championship fight in the first “Karate Kid” movie. In addition, Daniel’s kids, Samantha (Mary Mouser) and Anthony (Griffin Santopietro) LaRusso, are also dealing with separate issues in their life.
When Johnny rebooted Cobra Kai in season one, Daniel thought that his childhood bully had returned, teaching the harsh ways of the fist. The tension between the two was reborn after thirty-three years of no Cobra Kai, which was banned after Silver recruited Mike Barnes (played by Sean Kanan in the movies; not introduced into “Cobra Kai” yet) to win the tournament, and give him 50% ownership of Cobra Kai in the third “Karate Kid” movie.
Samantha LaRusso’s journey has been closely followed throughout the first few seasons, including her relationship and her rivalry with Tory Nichols (Peyton List). Her younger brother Anthony’s story, however, has been basically skipped over until season four. He is shown as a bully to the new kid at the high school, Kenny Payne (Dallas Dupree Young), but seems to have been peer-pressured into some of it. I personally believe that the decision to keep Anthony out of the story until now for the most part was a great idea. It kept mystery in his character and now, we get to see who he truly is.
The primary flaw that I saw while watching the show is one that has been seen throughout all four seasons of the show. There are many times throughout the show where characters, particularly in the LaRusso family, seem to have a realization that they made a bad decision and try to fix it, but later on, they repeat a similar mistake. Yes, this adds on more story to the show overall, but it shows the lack of character development for each character.
Despite that flaw, “Cobra Kai” is an amazing show. There are many plot twists, albeit some are expected. This is fine, however, because these twists keep the story going, and keep the viewers on the edge of their seats.
“Cobra Kai” has a tradition of ending their seasons with a big cliffhanger. The writers kept that tradition going, leaving behind lots of excitement for season five.
Ultimately, “Cobra Kai” is a very solid show with lots of action, a bit of mystery, and some comedic dialogue. If you have watched the three Ralph Macchio “Karate Kid” movies, and seasons 1-3 of the show, season four is a must-watch.