Cobra Kai season 4 premiered on Friday on Netflix, and this yr’s story arc and outcomes have us lots optimistic for a robust season 5. Showrunners Hayden Schlossberg, Josh Heald, and Jon Hurwitz managed to cleanly extract everybody from the messy cleaning soap opera that wound up on the All-Valley Karate championship, abandoning some clear good-versus-bad rivalries that ought to translate to enjoyable and livid martial arts motion within the subsequent 10 episodes.
Perhaps it took an additional season to get there, however followers might rightly view the primary 4 years as a totally resolved arc involving Johnny and Daniel’s cautious friendship, spilling into their son and daughter’s personal battle and maturing. Season 4 — an amazing cliffhanger however — did finish on notes that felt just like the conclusion of an excellent popcorn-movie trilogy, albeit one which leaves loads of territory for one more big-time sequel to roam.
Not even per week since Cobra Kai season 4 premiered, followers are already guessing at the place issues could possibly be headed within the subsequent 10 episodes. Right here’s how we see the order of battle for Cobra Kai season 5, which has been greenlit by Netflix, even when we don’t know when it’s going to premiere, or every other particulars.
[Ed. note: Spoilers for the entirety of the Cobra Kai franchise to date will follow.]
Who’re subsequent yr’s dangerous guys?
Because of a bravura performance by Thomas Ian Griffith, Terry Silver is formally the large dangerous going ahead. However you’d be forgiven for questioning who, precisely, will probably be alongside for the trip with him, be that willingly or manipulated. Season 4 wrapped up with virtually all of Miyagi-do Karate’s enemies both in sympathetic locations, or reconciling with their households and pals.
John Kreese (Martin Kove) is within the slammer, framed by former buddy Silver for the savage (however oh-so-satisfying) beat-down of Stingray. (Paul Walter Hauser; once more, actually?) On the match, we additionally noticed Kreese reckon together with his previous and the corruption his martial arts philosophy has delivered to younger minds. It’s not solely a face flip, however Kreese is extra more likely to want reluctant assist from Johnny (William Zabka) and Daniel (Ralph Macchio) than to be battling them.
Tory Nichols (Peyton Checklist) rapidly wound up episode 10 realizing that she might have gained a set bout to earn her All-Valley championship over Samantha (Mary Mouser). Whereas that presents loads of alternative for traditional character battle, that battle is with Silver, who did the fixing. Tory will probably be, at finest, a reluctant soldier towards Miyagi-do.
Kenny Payne (Dallas Younger) seems to be drunk on his personal energy and prowess with out realizing it, considerably like Miguel Diaz (Xolo Maridueña) after his triumph on the All-Valley in season 1. He’ll be an vital determine as Cobra Kai’s writers put within the work to ascertain a brand new highschool class of rivals, however he’s too new, and in addition slightly quick to be one in every of Terry Silver’s lead stormtroopers. Kyler (Joe Website positioning) is solidly on Cobra Kai’s first-string of D-bags, however he’s a straight-away meathead follower, not an evil plotter.
Then there’s Daniel-san’s Daniel-son, Anthony LaRusso (Griffin Santopietro), whom Kenny thrashed within the locker room on the All-Valley. Though Anthony was revealed to be a bully, horrifying his dad and mom, Kenny’s enmity would appear to maintain him from turning to Cobra Kai or being tempted by Silver. Anyway, that specific twist appears to have been used, if not abused, already, vis-a-vis Robbie Keene (Tanner Buchanan). Regardless, there ought to be motion between Kenny and Anthony in season 5, however proper now that wouldn’t appear to have legs past being a robust subplot.
What’s happening with Miguel?
Miguel’s departure from southern California — on a bus, to seek out his (apparently harmful) father in Mexico — got here so abruptly that one should surprise if Maridueña’s continued participation within the present is in some sort of doubt. It positive looks as if a writing hedge to clarify a personality’s absence if their actor and the producers can’t come to phrases (suppose: Bo and Luke Duke allegedly “racing NASCAR” whereas Coy and Vance took over in The Dukes of Hazzard’s fifth season).
Regardless of the case, Miguel seems to have utterly checked out. (Props to the writers, once more, for subverting viewer expectations with the countdown scene to get again to the mat.) Though Cobra Kai went to Okinawa for season 3, sending one other foremost character on a solo journey remains to be rather a lot to deal with for an ensemble drama. But when Miguel/Maridueña leaving actually is a work and not a shoot, there ought to be journey galore as Miguel defends himself on the highway.
Will Sam and Robbie hook up?
Pity poor Tory; her romance with Robbie had some actual warmth, and the 2 showcased some ass-kicking dance strikes — actually — on the after-party. However with the fast-paced finale resolving to Robbie’s reconciliation together with his dad (“I’m sick of blaming you, Dad!” was the sledgehammer line in an excellent scene), that places him again with Miyagi-do and the forces of fine. If Miguel is out of the image, nicely, that creates pure pressure with Samantha LaRusso, and it’s positive to drive Tory bonkers. Due to the ready-made battle, we’d put the percentages at practically even Sam makes a transfer on Robbie, or vice versa.
Elsewhere, as pleasant because it was to see Hawk — now simply plain Eli (Jacob Bertrand) — decide up a championship, it seems like his Samson-esque mohawk is now not wanted. He and Moon are an merchandise once more, and one way or the other Yasmine (Annalisa Cochrane) nonetheless appears critical about Demetri (Gianni Decenzo). Kenny and Anthony will possible brawl over newcomer Lia, however that triangle’s slightly younger to be subsequent yr’s romantic anchor. All this implies our teenage cleaning soap opera could possibly be nicely extra subdued with the smooches subsequent yr.
Is Hilary Swank the subsequent throwback visitor star?
Cobra Kai has been beneficiant with cameos from The Karate Child’s theatrical releases, and its pull as a popular culture and social media phenomenon ought to be rather a lot stronger after a standout season 4. We already know that Chozen Toguchi (Yuji Okumoto), who had an unexpectedly endearing run in season 3, will return in season 5 to assist Daniel take care of Silver. However are there every other characters left, from The Karate Child cinematic universe, who haven’t made an look?
“Any film that has Mr. Miyagi in it’s a part of our ’80s canon,” Heald advised Polygon. That implies that Hilary Swank — star of the lesser-known The Subsequent Karate Child — is, at the least theoretically, on the desk. Swank portrayed Julie Pierce within the 1994 film, which additionally starred Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi.
“Julie Pierce could be very a lot a personality who exists on this world on this universe,” Heald added. “You’ll have to attend and see. And we’ll have to attend and see, you understand, when and if Julie enters our Cobra Kai story. However we’re large followers of Hillary Swank.”
Not canonical, nevertheless, is the 2010 movie The Karate Child, starring Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith. That’s altogether a reboot, so Chan’s Mr. Han and Smith’s Dre Parker exist outdoors of this San Fernando Valley. A yr in the past, Jon Hurwitz famous (to Slashfilm) that Jackie Chan was referenced by identify in season 1. “So I feel, in our world, Jackie Chan is an actor and a performer,” he stated. “If the characters on our present have seen a film referred to as The Karate Child, they’ve seen that one.”
Followers tried connecting the dots way back contemplating that Will Smith’s manufacturing firm, Overbrook Leisure, was within the credit for seasons 1 to three, earlier than handing off to distributor Sony Photos Tv Studios final yr. Perhaps that was behind the Jackie Chan hat tip in season 1, but it surely’s nothing extra.
All 4 seasons of Cobra Kai can be found on Netflix.