“Cobra Kai” Season 5 Review: A Legacy of Snakes, Eagles and Bonsai Trees


In the Karate Kid universe, the only way I could describe Cobra Kai season 5 is it’s the equivalent of Rocky III and IV, Avengers: Endgame, Star Wars Return of the Jedi, etc. It comes back bigger, badder, bloodier, and with enough drama, high kicks and fists to entertain everyone, including older hardcore fans and new fans to the Karate Kid universe. The music in the series has really leveled up, courtesy of gifted young composers Zach Robinson and Leo Birenberg. The music has elevatied all the characters and scenes in Season 5. Once again, during its September run, Cobra Kai was the most watched streaming TV show worldwide.

We are introduced to characters old and new in an organic fashion from the big three AKA Cobra Kai creators/ executive producers Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, and Josh Heald. All the characters are in different places, with different motivations, directions and arcs. We look at the three different Dojos and the status of the various characters in a sneak peek:


After winning the first ever female All-Valley tournament, Tory Nichols (Peyton List) AKA The Queen Cobra becomes champion by defeating her arch-nemesis Samantha Larusso (Mary Mouser) in the final. She appears to be on top of the world, until everything comes crashing down when she finds out Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) bribed the referee. This leaves her heartbroken and carrying the burden of questioning if she deserves to be a champion and a good example to her peers for the rest of season 5. After Terry Silver assaults Stingray (Paul Walter Hauser) and frames his best friend Sensei John Kreese (Martin Kove) who goes to jail, Terry who is now fully the owner of Cobra Kai sets his plan in motion to have dojos all over the Californian valley and beyond. We are also introduced to Master Sensei Kim Da-Eun (Alicia Hannah), the granddaughter of his former master, Kim Sun-Yung, who trained both Terry Silver and John Kreese in ‘The Way of the Fist’ to continue her family’s legacy in the worldwide martial arts tournament known as the Sekai Taikai. Kenny Payne (Dallas Dupree Young) embraces the dark side fully as he targets and continues to torment his former bully Anthony LaRusso (Griffin Santopietro) without mercy, backed by Kyler Park (Joe Seo) and the rest of the Cobra Kai dojo under the influence of Terry Silver. The return of ‘The Badboy’ Mike Barnes (Sean Kanan) proves to be memorable and with purpose.


After losing the tournament, Johnny Lawrence (Wlliam Zabka) decides to close Eagle Fang Karate for now, to go and find his champion and surrogate-like son Miguel Diaz (Xolo Mariduena) who left the tournament to go and find his father in Mexico and find out who he really is despite his mother Carmen Diaz (Vanessa Rubio) warning against it. Johnny is joined on his trip to Mexico by Robby Keene (Tanner Buchannan), his estranged son who he finally made amends with and left Cobra Kai himself due to the bad influence on him and his friends – little do they know that a bigger battle is looming with Cobra Kai. The talented, fiery and quick-witted Devon Lee (Oona O’ Brien) finds herself without a dojo until Terry Silver slithers his way in to recruit her to Cobra Kai and team her up with Tory Nichols.


Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) is the only person who knows the true dark and evil nature of maniacal tycoon Terry Silver, so he teams up with his former nemesis and now friend and ally Chozen Toguchi (Yuji Okumoto) and his wife Ammanda LaRusso (Courtney Henggeler) to finally end his reign before it is too late. Samantha LaRusso (Mary Mouser) must come to terms with her true self and embrace the Bonsai Badass of herself, to help her dad finally bring down Cobra Kai once and for all. Life is good for Eli ‘Hawk’ Moskowitz (Jacob Bertrand) who became All Valley champion representing Miyagi-Do and reuniting with one of his best friends Demetri (Gianni DeCenzo). But peace does not last long in the Valley, so Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang will need to unite to survive and fight, as the consequences of losing are dire for the Valley and beyond. One of the highlights is the showdown between Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) and Chozen Toguchi (Yuji Okumoto). It’s both a battle of wits and a physical battle that’s electrifying and brings up the levels of the intensity for this season.

Cobra Kai Season 5 is available to stream exclusively only on Netflix.

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