‘Cobra Kai’ season four triumphs

Netflix series continues to captivate viewers


Fair use from Netlfix

Tenzin Gyaldatsang

Climbing to the number one position on Netflix’s Top 10 in the U.S. in a matter of days, “Cobra Kai” has been revitalized within pop culture following the release of season four Dec. 31, 2021. 

Season four follows Sensei Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) and Daniel Larusso’s (Ralph Macchio) dysfunctional, yet comical relationship as they band together in an attempt to defeat Cobra Kai. Their dojos (Eagle Fang and Miyagi Do) form to train and learn from each other as well.

A character that made a surprising return was Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith), who was the benefactor and owner of Cobra Kai during the 80’s, and was John Kresse’s (Martin Kove) right-hand man. Silver’s electrifying and cunning demeanor was much-needed for the series, as the Johnny-Daniel rivalry was somewhat beginning to die down and wasn’t as lively anymore.

An interesting area of character development was seen with Eli (Jacob Betrand). During season one, Eli completely changed and gained confidence, donning the nickname “Hawk” while sporting a blue Mohawk. During season two and three however, Eli’s mohawk was red, symbolizing the negative energy within himself. 

However, season four brings a new color to Eli’s mohawk: purple. Being the mix of blue and red, the purple mohawk represents Eli’s newfound stability in his temperament and Karate style, as his technique is now a mix of offensive and defensive moves. Personally, the development of Eli’s personality was one that had fans rooting for, including myself. It was satisfying to see Eli rock a purple mohawk and display newfound confidence within himself and his Karate style.

Robby Keene, (Tanner Buchanan) the estranged son of Johnny and top Cobra Kai student’s role in season four was quite memorable. Robby fell victim to the destructive and negative ideals of Cobra Kai, and paid the price, as he lost in the finals of the All-Valley Karate tournament. Robby redeems himself though, later reuniting with his father despite the problematic relationship the two have had in the past.

Surprisingly, Robby also takes on a new role as a mentor to Kenny Payne (Dallas Dupree Young). Payne is the younger brother of Robby’s juvie friend, Shawn Payne. Through his relationship with Robby, Shawn recommends Kenny to seek out advice from Robby to stop the constant bullying he received. Although Kenny joins Cobra Kai to defend himself, he ends up becoming the bully and Robby feels as if the mentorship has failed both Kenny and Shawn.

Johnny’s pseudo-son and top student Miguel Diaz’s (Xolo Maridueña) withdrawal from the All Valley tournament was both shocking and a moment of growth, as Miguel had set out his ultimate fear: to find his long-lost biological father. This shows his character progression from season one, as he has matured to become a confident and kind individual. 

The ending of season four also brought a familiar, fan-favorite into the mix. Chozen Toguchi (Yuji Okumoto) appears to assist Daniel in reviving Miyagi-Do karate in the valley. I’m excited to see Toguchi’s role in season five, as Johnny is out searching for Miguel. Having been trained under Miyagi-Do Karate, Togcuhi brings the much-needed experience and grit to the Miyagi-Do dojo.

Overall, season four has further extended Cobra Kai’s plot and I’m prepared for what season five entails.

“Cobra Kai” season four: ★★★★☆