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‘Cobra Kai’ remains strongest of all revived media

Cobra Kai is back and just as badass as ever.

Season five of the Karate Kid revival series debuted on Netflix on Sept. 9. The fifth season sees the return of many of the series’ main characters, with Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) front and center as the main villain, having betrayed his old friend John Kreese (Martin Kove) in the season four finale and having him falsely arrested.

Picking up from where season four left off, both Daniel (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny (William Zabka) are dealing with Cobra Kai taking over the valley in their own ways. Johnny has seemingly moved on from karate and instead focuses during the first two episodes on finding Miguel (Xolo Mariduena), who fled to Mexico in search of his birth father. Miguel realizes his father is exactly who his mother Carmen (Vanessa Rubio) warned would be.

Meanwhile, Daniel has teamed up with his former rival Chozen (Yuji Okumoto) to try and stop Cobra Kai’s takeover of the valley. Daniel’s mission amounts to an obsession and leads to a tense moment with his wife Amanda (Courtney Henggeler). At one point, Silver apparently breaks Daniel during a fight and Daniel temporarily gives up on his karate fight. However, Courtney, Chozen and Johnny remind Daniel just how important it is that he fight against Silver and Cobra Kai, and in a touching moment, they remind Daniel how his teaching is important to the students of Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang Karate.

Kreese has a role in this season, though it’s smaller than his roles in previous seasons (not counting season one, of course). The former Cobra Kai sensei is now in prison and is seen in therapy, apparently accounting for his misdeeds, though his therapist sees through his façade. Kreese also demonstrates his abilities in karate when fellow inmates try to gang up on him.

A welcome change to this season was a lot less focus on the rivalry between Daniel and Johnny. While their views on karate haven’t exactly changed, their attitudes toward each other have. When Daniel shows up to Johnny’s home drunk and seemingly ready to provoke a fight, Johnny takes the higher road and has a man-to-man talk with Daniel. Johnny gives Daniel some surprising advice about family. Both men are slightly taken back by the advice, especially Johnny, who is (spoiler) expecting a baby with Vanessa.

Season five also finally shows some resolution between Miguel and Robby (Tanner Buchanan). While the two have fought in the past, including the season two finale where they fought over Samantha (Mary Mouser), they have one last fight in this season. The boys’ dynamic is not unlike Daniel and Johnny’s, though the two are able to see each other’s perspective, leading to a better understanding between them. The two seem on good terms after their fight.

Warning: This next section contains major spoilers for season five

The finale is a roller coaster of sorts. It features a final battle between Miyagi Do and Eagle Fang against Cobra Kai on multiple fronts. The kids of Miyagi Do and Eagle Fang break into Cobra Kai to try to prove Terry Silver is a crook, only to come face-to-face with Cobra Kai and having to fight while getting proof of Silver’s crookedness. Luckily, Tory (Peyton List) has some tricks up her sleeve to help prove Silver is a bad man and she comes up with a backup plan with their first plan fails.

Meanwhile, the three rivals of Daniel from the first three movies, Johnny, Chozen and Mike Barnes (Sean Kanan reprising his role from The Karate Kid Part III) team up to fight against Silver and Cobra Kai on Daniel’s behalf. It’s difficult to redeem one character in any piece of media, but Cobra Kai does so three times over with Johnny, Chozen and Mike. However, Silver seems to overpower the three men before returning to the Cobra Kai dojo to stop the kids.

The final showdown between Daniel and Silver is one for the memory books. Daniel fights Silver using the lessons Silver taught him in the third film. Most memorably, Daniel uses the infamous crane kick to send Silver to his knees and finally defeating the sensei who has haunted him for three decades.

Major Spoilers End Here

Once the main storyline is wrapped up, season five’s final moments show Kreese’s fate, which was teased at the beginning of the episode. Kreese shows his true colors and executes a plan to get out of prison and have his revenge, setting up an intense confrontation in a possible season six of Cobra Kai.

While there hasn’t been any news about a follow-up season, season five does end setting one up. Hopefully Netflix soon greenlights season six and we don’t have to wait too long to see what happens next.

All five seasons of Cobra Kai are streaming on Netflix.

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