Cobra Kai Season 3 Strikes Hard


Netflix kicked off the new year with the exciting release of the third season of Cobra Kai, delighting fans across the globe. This popular TV series is based on the 1980’s Karate Kid movies. It centers around the rivalry between Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) established in the first Karate Kid movie. The first season of Cobra Kai takes place 34 years later. After introducing and exploring the characters and their relationships in Cobra Kai seasons one and two, season three is a memorable addition to the series with continued surprises, character development, and ‘80s nostalgia. (Note: The following contains spoilers from season two and three of Cobra Kai.)

In Cobra Kai season three, Daniel, Johnny, and the Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do students deal with the fallout from the karate brawl that broke out at the high school in the season two finale. Miguel’s (Xolo Maridueña) life hangs in the balance after being kicked over a second-floor railing by Robby Keene (Tanner Buchanan), Johnny’s son and Daniel’s karate student who is now on the run from the police. Samantha “Sam” LaRusso (Mary Mouser), Daniel’s daughter, struggles with her fear of Tory Nichols (Peyton List) after getting attacked by her in the fight. Daniel tries to track down Robby and deals with the negative impacts of the karate fight on his car dealership, Johnny tries to support Miguel and his family, and Kreese (Martin Kove) has taken over the Cobra Kai dojo and recruits new students. Meanwhile, the rivalry between the Miyagi-Do and Cobra Kai dojos is stronger than ever.

Season three had plenty of fun, intriguing additions, and I loved the way everything came together. First of all, key characters from both The Karate Kid and The Karate Kid Part III returned for a few episodes in the season. I watched the Karate Kid trilogy before watching Cobra Kai season three, and it was exciting to see their interactions with Daniel and Johnny 30+ years after the events in the movies. Another aspect I found very interesting was the flashbacks of Kreese joining and serving in the Army during the Vietnam War. Kreese’s service in the Army has been mentioned in the Karate Kid movies and earlier in the Cobra Kai series, but they do not divulge any specifics. Although it seems Kreese will always be “the bad guy,” learning more about his background and experiences helps to understand how he became who he is; he was not always as evil and sinister as we’ve known him to be. Seeing how the characters, relationships, and alliances continued to change and progress during the season, especially towards the end, kept the show engaging. With everything that’s happened throughout the series, the shifts made sense and felt natural. Although there are corny lines and some of the fight scenes are a bit unrealistic and extreme, Cobra Kai still provides gripping entertainment, fun, and relatability. There were many funny scenes, with a few of my favorites being Johnny’s classic struggle with technology — there’s no denying he lacks tech skills — and when Daniel and Johnny team up (but of course, they reach their limits). I especially liked how the season ended — it wasn’t as tragic as season two’s ending, but it wrapped up the season nicely while setting the stage for the fourth season, which is in the making.

Cobra Kai is a fantastic series for a wide range of audiences. It provides nostalgia for adults who grew up in the ‘80s watching the Karate Kid trilogy and attracts younger generations with its captivating plot and action. It is not necessary to watch the Karate Kid movies to follow the storyline of Cobra Kai, as the show includes enough flashbacks from the films to give you some background. However, I would recommend watching the movies to have a greater appreciation of some characters and references. Cobra Kai has great humor, action, and characters that make for a lively and compelling show. It is also a quick series to get through, as each season has ten episodes, with each episode being around half an hour long. I have enjoyed this series and look forward to seeing what becomes of the characters in season four. If you need a new show to watch, check out Cobra Kai for an entertaining break from reality!