After two good seasons, does Season 3 improve on a great show or does it fall flat?
Season three of Cobra Kai came in this year to strike first at our heartstrings, strike hard with nostalgia while honoring the past but progression of characters both old and new, and showing no mercy to tell another well-written story.
This season’s theme was basically “The enemy of my Enemy is my Friend” type scenario while also we had a few faction changes. Mainly Hawk who was Cobra Kai for life and now wanting to prove to Kreese that he can be the number one student begins to question whether or not Kreese really does care about the students of the dojo. Which later on he does come to his own conclusion Cobra Kai that was once the foundation to help him combat those who oppressed him now are bringing in those same bullies and also morphing him into the same people that mistreated him and his fellow outcast at the beginning of season one.
Kreese is the solidified villain of the season with a small back story that highlights why he became the way he is, shows who taught him martial arts, and where the motto originated from. For a moment I did feel a bit of sympathy and started to like the character in certain moments when it came to his backstory and when he came in for Tory’s defense but there was always something that dragged you back to remind you that this man is the antagonist and only wants to feed his own ego. And when he does it he does it with style, wit, and tactics of manipulation.
It seemed like the season gave a lot more screen time to Raph Macchio’s character, Daniel LaRusso rather than William Zabka’s character, Johnny Lawrance. Both characters are, in my opinion, both a hero and a villain in their own perspective. Daniel and Johnny were each other’s villains with no external force, until Kreese. With that being said the heart and soul of Cobra Kai are still Johnny and Miguel as the teacher still wants to aid his student in being able to walk and do what he loves and not giving up on one another. Not only that we are also reintroduced to Elisabeth Shue’s character, Ali Mills, who was Johnny’s high school sweetheart and first love. I must say how they handled that episode with her coming back was not as cliche as I expected it to be since Johnny just started to rekindle his relationship with Carmen. Ali being brought back definitely was a lesson for Johnny because she not there to be a love interest and create dramatic tension, that’s’ for the teens. She there to show that appreciate what you have remembered the past, enjoy the past, but don’t love in the past, live for the present, and live for the future; after that, both characters hug and go their separate ways which was a good moment. Which was very meaningful and I think a lot of us can resonate with a lesson like that.
I did enjoy the Okinawa arc for Daniel when the writers gave a logical reason why he needed to go instead of just throwing it in there that he needs to go to clear his head to progress the story. They actually had him go to Japan to go handle business to save his business from plummeting. But while he did not succeed from the meeting he had attended he is inspired to go back to Tomi Village where his master took him in Karate Kid 2. We get to see a now older Kumiko, Tamlyn Tomita, and former antagonist Chozen, Yuji Okumoto that helps Daniel learn new forms of Miyagi-Do Karate and the wholesome moment of the last words from his mentor.
Overall season three of Cobra Kai gets a Splyke Stamp of Approval and recommendation of rewatching and enjoyment. It’s a combination of nostalgia in honoring the old while progressing and passing the torch of the new characters. There are moments that I felt that the choreography felt slower than it did that first two seasons when it came to the fights, however, the lessons, the story, and humorous moments are worth it. I give this season a solid 9 out of 10 and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.