Cobra Kai surprised many fans when it first came out on YouTube Red in 2018. Karate Kid fans got to see Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence again and there were a lot of new characters to fall in love with. Yes, the series plays with nostalgia, but it also tries. The show never really caught on until it moved to Netflix in 2020 and since then, Cobra Kai has become one of the most popular and praised shows on the service. From the return of fan-favorite characters to all the teen angst and of course, Daniel and Johnny’s still-golden will-they-won’t-they bromance, series creators Hayden Schlossberg, Jon Hurwitz and Josh Heald have not missed a beat.
Cobra Kai Season 5 Reviews
Cobra Kai Season 5 starts soon after the end of Season 4. John Kreese (Martin Kove) has been arrested after being set up by Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith). Daniel (Ralph Macchio) has asked his old rival Chozen (Yuji Okumoto) to help bring down Cobra Kai and Miguel (Xolo Mariduea) has gone to Mexico to find his real father. The first few episodes follow several different storylines, such as Miguel’s search for his father, Johnny (William Zabka) and Robby’s (Tanner Buchanan) search for Miguel, Terry Silver’s massive expansion of Cobra Kai, Chozen moving in with the LaRusso family and Sam (Mary Mouser) still reeling from her loss at the All-Valley tournament and trying to find herself again. All ten episodes are full of shocking reveals, betrayals, alliances, the return of old favorites, and of course, lots of karate fights.
As Cobra Kai has gone on, it has always kept its charm and been able to balance its ever-growing cast of characters, and Season 5 is no different. Johnny and Robby’s road trip has some of the funniest and most touching moments of the season. Tory (Peyton List) is better than ever, and List gives her best performance yet as a character who is much more complicated than when she first appeared in Season 2. Mariduea remains a major standout as Miguel, whose journey to find his father takes him to some unexpected and more grown-up places.
Season 5 focuses more on the drama among the adults than in previous seasons, which is a good thing. The chemistry between Macchio and Zabka is at an all-time high, especially in the later episodes. Their relationship is one of the best on TV right now. Chozen’s role is also a highlight. Yuji Okumoto does a great job of making Chozen funny while still being one of the best Karate masters in the series. He’s a joy to watch in every scene he’s in.
Terry Silver is still a threat, or maybe even more so, and Griffith is so good at playing a character you love to hate and who might be a bigger threat than Kreese himself. We also find out a lot more about what’s really going on inside Kreese’s head and whether he can change in the future or will always be the cruel sensei we’ve come to know. Kove gets to show a more vulnerable side of the villainous character, and his journey in this season is a turning point not just for his character but for the show as a whole.
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