Cobra Kai

It wasn’t until the turn of the year that Cobra Kai season 4 landed on Netflix, and yet, despite that, season 5 has already arrived. This season offers a similar array of karate-packed action and picks up following the events of a fourth season that saw villainous Terry Silver take over the titular dojo after former sensei John Kreese was jailed for a crime he did not commit. Yes, to an outsider it all looks like some sort of karate soap opera at this point, and to some extent it actually is, but it’s also very compelling television.

As we’ve come to expect from this series, Season 5 once again serves up a story filled with revelations and twists that see rising stars interact with each other in unusual ways. But where that’s usually led to the kids throwing themselves around with each other for often trivial and petty reasons, this season has a central villain who feels really…well villainous. And that’s thanks to the efforts of Thomas Ian Griffith’s Silver, who is arguably the best villain we’ve seen in Cobra Kai so far, because he really lacks the boundaries that defined Martin Kove’s Kreese – like he did decades ago in The Karate Kid Part III. And it’s thanks to this brilliant performance that we feel like there really is someone to root against, rather than just being told not to like the Cobra Kai dojo because they’re cruel – despite the equal number of fights thrown by the “good guys”. Likewise, Griffith’s Silver is such a dominant force in the scenes that it allows you to begin to humanize and connect with a lot of the generally “evil” characters elsewhere.

Take Tory Nichols from Peyton List. For the most part, this character existed to be the bane of Mary Mouser’s Samantha LaRusso existence, and was a villain just because she is. There really wasn’t much to justify her nature otherwise, but she was just a bully because there had to be one. But in Season 5, we can see Nichols getting the character development she deserves, becoming the award-winning fighter in the forces of Cobra Kai and thus receiving the brunt of Silver and her new number two, Kim’s cruelty. Da-Eun by Alicia Hannah Kim. It’s here that we see Nichols develop and grow beyond his one-dimensional existence, and it’s a theme among a few different characters throughout Season 5.

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Xolo Maridueña’s Miguel Diaz uncovers some truths with his family and begins a reconciliation process with Tanner Buchanan’s Robbie Keene. William Zabka’s Johnny Lawrence finds out what it’s like to handle responsibilities, and Ralph Macchio’s Daniel LaRusso begins to understand the impact of this petty karate feud on his family. It’s a season of growth and maturity, which is kind of weird considering that this show is still littered with silly storylines, like a moment that can only be described as a real housewives bar fight, or when Silver and his goons decide to throw caution to the wind and commit an incredibly serious criminal offense, and yet face no repercussions.

This balance of silly moments and emotional development is what makes this series thrive, and it’s still a very engaging series, hard to see as less than one of Netflix’s best. But, I’m starting to get a little worried, because there’s only so many faces you can pull from the past to keep delivering on the nostalgia, and this season is eliminating a whole bunch of potential options. . I won’t go into detail on this, but we have a clear idea of ​​what, or rather who, season 6 will be framed, and it’s hard not to see this as a premise that has already been explored. incredibly thoroughly. I hope that will not end up being the case.

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But overall, Cobra Kai season 5 remains a rant and one of Netflix’s best productions. The actors are still excellent in their roles – even if the growing roster makes it hard for everyone to really shine these days – the sets and set design are improving, the fight choreography is top-notch and hugely entertaining, and nature of the show, although often eccentric, never ceases to amaze. What’s not to like?

Cobra Kai – Season 5