With the release of Cobra Kai on December 31, millions of fans spent New Year’s Eve binging season four. Maybe it was the return of Terry Silver? Perhaps it was the thought of watching another All Valley Karate tournament unfold? Whatever the reason was, season four certainly didn’t disappoint. Maybe it was avoiding any spoilers that were on social media beforehand? Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, and Josh Heald have managed to pull off the remarkable feat of taking familiar material and morph into something unique and special. Daniel and Johnny squabbling at each other can only take a show so far. Here are my five standout moments from Season four of Cobra Kai. Let this be a warning to anyone reading this who hasn’t finished the fourth season; there are undoubtedly spoilers ahead.
5. One Step Ahead
At this moment in season 4, we got the sense that Terry Silver was playing chess while John Kreese was playing checkers. At this point, we never got a sense of just how much losing to Daniel had stayed with him. While Silver will always feel indebted to Kreese for saving his life, he’s starting to understand that this burden he has is only weighing them down. Kreese always assumes that he has the upper hand, and that’s the very thing that leads to us undoing. Silver, in many ways, is playing his old friend because he wants to franchise these Cobra Kai dojos. If that comes at the cost of betraying the very man who saved his life, then it’s a small price to pay.
4. An Unlikely Pair
If at the end of Season 3, someone told you that Tory Nichols and Amanda Larusso would have a sitdown in her kitchen, fans of Cobra Kai would have laughed at the thought, yet it’s precisely what occurs in season 4. Amanda, of course, starts the season hating her guts because what mother wouldn’t hate the person who broke into their home with the express intent of hurting their daughter. It took her learning about Tori’s circumstances from of all people, John Kreese, for Amanda to understand where her anger comes from. So these two form the most unlikely pair. Amanda starts trying to help her, and after some resistance, Tory begins to accept. Now, does Mrs. Larusso use this as a chance to keep her from harming Samantha? Yes, but a deeper bond is formed towards the end of the season between these two. Amanda begins to see a lot of herself in Tory. How is this going to go over with Samantha? She is certainly not thrilled. Could this lead to some trouble down the road between mother and daughter? Well, I believe we got a taste of what’s to come in season 5.
3. A Connection
Daniel and Miguel begin to form a connection during the merger of the two Karate dojos (Myagi-Do and Eagle Fang). Samantha and Johnny start bonding as well. This difference is, of course, what ends up bettering both Miguel and Samantha but leads to the two former rivals butting heads. Johnny is finally with Carmen and doesn’t want anything getting in that way. Daniel, of course, sees Johnny as a negative influence on the children. Is that the case? No, but Daniel’s undoing is being closed-minded, which ultimately leads to these having a rematch in front of the kids. The stakes are the loser has to step aside and allow the other to take over. This, of course, leads to disastrous results and their eventual split. They see the error of their ways in the end, but it ends up being too little too late.
In the midst of all of this infighting and battling for the soul of the valley, it appears that Anthony has gone astray. He’s allowed his friends to influence him into being quite horrible and even terrorizing a particular new student (we will touch on that situation in our next moment). When faced with the truth of what their son has become, Amanda and Daniel are in shock. Remember, when they come to school, Amanda and Daniel assume that Anthony is being bullied and not the bully. When They find out, Daniel punishes him by taking away his electronics, but he appears not to be listening to them. Daniel even breaks his tablet. Could both Larusso siblings end up rebelling in Season 5? It sure seems that way!
1. The Power of Cobra Kai
Kenny’s transformation in Season 4 is akin to someone going to the dark side in Star Wars. When we first meet Kenny, he’s the little brother of Shawn who Robby (Tanner Buchanan) met in Juvie. All he wants is to fit into his new school, but he finds himself the focus of endless ridicule and pranks from the moment he comes to Anthony’s school. At first, it seems as if Anthony is succumbing to peer pressure, but fairly quickly, he’s become the ring leader of this group. Kenny attempts to join Cobra Kai to learn some moves to help defend himself, but it ends poorly. He reaches out to Robby to help him learn some moves to help protect himself. Keene agrees, and his coaching is what gets him over the hump, and Kreese welcomes him into the fold. His personality changes in just a few short weeks, and Kenny becomes ultra-aggressive. One would imagine his sensei is proud, but Robby is shocked at what’s occurred. Even when he comes to break up the fight between Kenny and Anthony (well, it wasn’t much of a battle), Keene is shocked at Kenny’s response to beating up Daniel’s son, and that’s what ultimately causes Robby to see the error of his ways. However, it appears that Cobra Kai has created a monster.