Netflix gave the green light for a fourth season Cobra Kai In October, fans who were sweeping the legs of season three, which premiered on New Year’s weekend, knew there was more history to come. But what exactly is left for the fourth season when so many cameos and callbacks have already been made and a finale is more nuanced than a straight cliffhanger?
[Ed. note: Spoilers for the entirety of Cobra Kai season 3 follow.]
Cobra Kai Episode 10 ends with Johnny’s Dojo of Exile Training next to Daniel’s protégés at Miyagi-do headquarters. Kreese, meanwhile, has full control of Cobra Kai, with Tory as his deputy and Johnny’s child Robby, who joins the team out of spite. Daniel Kreese finally kicked the ass in the Cobra Kai Dojo, but could not have him evicted from these premises. Kreese has also brought in backup, army buddy and wealthy benefactor Terry Silver, whose character harks back to the lesser-known The Karate Child Part III from 1989.
We’re now going to discuss what else Cobra Kai has to solve season 4, and what else it might bring, if one follows the formula of adult problems, teenage intrigue, recalls to the original films, and good old-fashioned fights of the first three seasons.
New (old) villain: Terry Silver
In Kreese’s banana origins story from Season 3, it is revealed that Silver was part of the Kreese Special Forces that was captured by the North Vietnamese after a botched sabotage operation. The NVA forces its prisoners of war to fight in pairs over a literal pit of snakes to the point of death. Kreese reaches for Silver when his name is mentioned and saves Silver’s life. Then Kreese kills her CO, even if a surprise air strike frees the camp in the middle of the fight. This brings silver into the Wookiee life debt to Kreese, and that’s how we see Kreese call Silver to make amends for it in season 3.
Silver actually has a 30 year history in the Karate Kid universe. In the 1989s The karate kid part 3He slipped into an elaborate, time-consuming scheme to rig the All Valley Finals, thereby discrediting Daniel and Mr. Miyagi. Obviously it didn’t work, but it seems that Silver still has money and a grudge. Attentive fans who actually saw the 1989 film likely recognized his name when the tournament board asked Johnny what his relationship was with Terry Silver in season 1. And when Daniel mentions at the end of the third season that he too was once Cobra Kai, he refers to the events of The karate kid part 3 and how Silver lured him into this dojo.
Silver has only had off-camera appearances so far, but if he comes back in season 4, chances are that original actor Thomas Ian Griffith will return, despite not having had any TV or film roles since 2006. But he’s still a taekwondo black belt IRL.
What is less certain is whether Silver’s protégé will return with loose cannons, Mike Barnes. Don’t rule anything out, and it certainly won’t be that hard to get actor Sean Kanan to bring Elisabeth Shue home for season three, but there’s not much need to give Johnny and Daniel another antagonist their age .
Connections and disconnections
It looks like Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) and Samantha (Mary Mouser) are looking at each other again, leaving their rivals Tory (Peyton List) and Robby (Tanner Buchanan) behind to find some kind of traumatized love on the rebound. Both duos also have the third match in a best-of-three series ahead of them.
Miguel hooted a wounded Robby in the tournament finale of the first season and Robby paralyzed Miguel at the end of the second season. Tory scarred Sam both physically and emotionally in high school hand-to-hand combat, and Sam hit her with a stick of the Season 3 Finale during the home invasion of the wharf.
The question here: Who will get the championship fight in the All-Valley? The tournament has both female and male divisions (we saw Aisha Robinson fight for Cobra Kai in Season 1). However, we are not sure if they are running an inter-gender competition. Both rivals will likely go the distance, as this represents the kind of sweeping defeat that would force the lost dojo out of town at sunset.
Elsewhere, Yasmine (Annalisa Cochrane) recovered from her front wedgie at the Canyon party in season 1 (she was absent all season 2) and is now the reluctant but amazingly supportive friend of Demetri (Gianni Decenzo). Yas is a friend of Moon (Hannah Kepple) and Hawk (Jacob Bertrand) who are migrating to Miyagi-do, which likely brings the two back together. (Hippie kid Moon didn’t care about Hawk’s increasingly brutal antics with Cobra Kai.)
Kyler (Joe Seo), who was Sam’s original boyfriend (and Miguel’s original tormentor), also returned for season three and was recruited by Kreese for Cobra Kai. He and Miyagi-do lieutenants Demetri and Hawk will likely make up most of the fighting leading up to the tournament, though Miguel wiped the floor with him in the dining room in season 1 and these two may run back on it.
New dojo, new name?
Johnny (William Zabka) and Daniel (Ralph Macchio) have finally teamed up, united in their desire to free the galaxy from Kreese (Martin Kove). Don’t expect your honeymoon to be long. There is too much material to work with who is running the new unified karate team, what style the fighters should or should be pursuing (Miyagi-do versus Way of the Fist), and even what the name of the club should be.
Johnny came up with “Eagle Fang” for his karate-in-the-park classes, a name that intentionally sounds like a Dökken tribute band. Miyagi-do might be a little too hippy-dippy for Johnny’s kick-ass aesthetic, however. Season 4 should put Daniel and Johnny aside these and numerous other differences. But the show’s writers seem to understand the pull of fans when they rightly band together, care for each other, and throw themselves down. However, you don’t need another spontaneous double date with your S / O’s. After three (each of the first three seasons) this device was used sufficiently.
What about Robby?
Say this for Robby Keene: He earned his heel twist. Keene has been used and abused by almost everyone who crosses his path, and he’s had enough of it. In season 3, he has time in the youth hall for the fight that paralyzed Miguel – and he was taken there when former mentor Daniel lured him outside and had him arrested. Robby has been mad at his father Johnny for three years, and for good reason. Johnny has put more effort into his relationships with Miguel, Carmen, Daniel, and anyone else who is not named Robby Keene than he has his own son.
That makes it really difficult to make up for your differences with a heart-to-heart relationship (or a good ass kick) with the adults in your life. But if Netflix isn’t sure about a season 5 Cobra KaiThe writers may not have much time or space to put things right. Robby could instead go a lot darker and be a sinister karate anakin – corrupt, brutal, dangerous and undoubtedly the enemy, but not without sympathy. Tory, as his love interest, got a lot humanized in season 3 as well. We see she has two jobs (after she was excluded from school) to care for her ailing mother and younger brother. She is mean and bitter because there is no adult in her life to support her.
When does Cobra Kai start season 4?
Cobra Kai Seasons 1 and 2 premiered in spring 2018 and 2019, and season 3 didn’t appear on Netflix until January 1. Netflix ordered a fourth season in October. We won’t likely see season four until late fall at the earliest and most likely in a year if the pandemic doesn’t further delay production.