‘Cobra Kai’ Season Five on Netflix Finally Does Something New: Develop Its Heroes

It seems Cobra Kai finally, in its fifth season (which premieres September 9 on Netflix), has reached the top of the learning curve. Cobra Kaia reboot of the classic 1980s Karate Kid trilogy, Told from the perspective of the villain of the first film. Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) is the archetype of a disgruntled, middle-aged white man: He hit his peak in high school and continues to relive his glory days. Meanwhile, all of modern popular culture has passed him. He doesn’t understand “Goggle”, Facebook or patriarchy.

Worst of all, Johnny is now bullying people the same way he was bullied as a karate student – but this time in his own dojo, named after his youth club “Cobra Kai” his. This is in stark contrast to what successful OG Karate Kid car salesman and community mainstay Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) has done with his life. But with Johnny’s bad return as Cobra Kai, it’s Daniel who is co-applying the traditional teachings of Mr. Miyagi act.

Many, many hijinks followed, mainly consisting of Daniel, Johnny, and their students staging karate matches in schools and malls all the time. And in case Daniel and Johnny’s never-ending feud wasn’t enough, Cobra Kai was able to bring out most of the other villains in the movie impressively. That includes the original Cobra Kai sensei John Krease (Martin Kove), silver fox Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffin; call me), and Chozen Toguchi (Yuji Okumoto). Most of the time, these villains are a musical note. But by introducing more and more Bigger Bads every season, Cobra Kai instantly humanizes all of its characters — and lets them see that there’s more to the world than karate.

That is definitely the premise of Season 5, which brings Cobra Kai quality closer to the rest of the TV panorama than ever before. We opened after the events of the All-Valley Season 4 tournament, in which Johnny’s Eagle Fang’s combined dojo and Daniel’s Miyagi-Do school agreed to drop karate if they lost to silver Cobra Kai. Of course they did – because good people rarely win.

Despite the loss, Johnny was the happiest person we’ve ever seen him. He falls in love with his neighbor Carmen (Vanessa Rubio), who is also the mother of his former student Miguel (Xolo Maridueña). Miguel, meanwhile, has fled to Mexico to try to find his father. Johnny searches for Miguel on his tripped path to Mexico, and in an attempt to atone as a parent, he brings his estranged son and former Cobra Kai member Robby (Tanner Buchanan) with him.

Meanwhile — in a pleasant surprise from last season — family member LaRusso that Cobra Kai Seems to be of interest these days is Samantha (Mary Mouser), Daniel’s daughter. She acts as a code for audiences and writers alike, as she tries to figure out who she is to distance herself from the painful events karate has caused in her life. (First, she’s experiencing PTSD after being repeatedly beaten by Cobra champion Kai All-Valley Tory, played by Peyton List.)

Her father is still obsessed with taking down Silver and Cobra Kai, who squarely took out Krease at the end of Season 4 by framing him for an attack he was serving during the season. time, but once, the show and its characters don’t ‘not humor him. Daniel has always viewed himself as morally superior to the rest of his karate brothers, but what a shock, if applauded, Johnny’s growth in displaying personal maturity the best between the two this season.

With all of these characters following their own trajectories, we get a much-needed breather from the non-stop “they won’t-they” story between Daniel and Johnny that has led most of the time. program quantity. It’s even good to take a step back from all that karate, so that the show can prove itself with other values. Several episodes pass before the pair interact. Bromance beyond the stars Cobra Kai More interested in this season are Miguel and Robby, who are about to get together in a big way—whether they like it or not. This is in line with last season’s promise to focus on the next generation of kids karate, and Cobra Kai It’s hard to rely on that. The difference is that Miguel and Robby have the emotional intelligence to understand why they hate each other. They understand that, sometimes, it’s better to put your differences aside for the greater good. Daniel and Johnny could definitely take a page out of their book.

Despite the plot and character development glitches, Cobra Kai This season is not necessarily better than last season. Personally, I like Part 4 more for this and, indeed, all the others before that. (I recorded those last summer on the recommendation of a friend, who described it as “Healthy, like Ted Lasso; “ readers, it’s not!) But with Season 5, Cobra Kai successfully meet the viewer’s expectation that the characters, you know, will grow — something they haven’t been able to do before.

Of course, Cobra Kai is a karate performance program, so it will do the karate performance thing. The story eventually returns to focus on martial arts, which will likely please audiences coming to modern times. karate boy actions that they already know in the previous sections. But the detour from Season 5’s dojo means Cobra Kai itself took some time to reflect, develop and change. Much better program for it.

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