Cobra Kai surpassed the expectations of many fans when it debuted on YouTube Red in 2018. The series reintroduced Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence to Karate Kid fans, while also presenting a bevy of new characters to adore. Certainly, the series exploits nostalgia, but it also aims to (and succeeds at being its own thing).
Since moving to Netflix in 2020, Cobra Kai has become one of the most popular and acclaimed series on the streaming site. From the reintroduction of fan-favorite characters to the teen angst and, of course, the still golden will-they-won’t-they bromance between Daniel and Johnny, Hayden Schlossberg, Jon Hurwitz, and Josh Heald has not missed a beat.
Cobra Kai John Kreese (Martin Kove) is arrested after being framed by Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith), Daniel (Ralph Macchio) turns to his old nemesis Chozen (Yuji Okumoto) to help bring down Cobra Kai, and Miguel (Xolo Mariduea) leaves for Mexico in quest of his biological father.
The first few episodes follow multiple 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 in the All-Valley tournament and trying to rediscover herself.
Throughout all 10 episodes, there are numerous shocking reveals, betrayals, alliances, the return of old favorites, and, of course, plenty of karate bouts.
As Cobra Kai has progressed, it has always maintained its charm and ability to balance its ever-expanding ensemble of characters, and Season 5 is no exception. The road trip between Johnny and Robby features some of the season’s funniest and most touching moments.
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Tory (Peyton List) is better than ever, with List delivering her strongest performance to date as a character who has gotten significantly more complicated since her introduction in Season 2. Marijuana continues to shine as Miguel, whose search to find his father brings him to unexpected and increasingly mature locations.
Season 5 switches its focus from the youthful drama of prior seasons to that of the grownups, and the change is for the better. Especially in later episodes, Macchio and Zabka’s chemistry is at an all-time high, and their relationship remains one of the best on television. Chozen’s part is another highlight, with Yuji Okumoto balancing wonderful comedic timing with being one of the most accomplished Karate experts in the series, making him a delight to watch in every scene he’s in.
Terry Silver continues to be a frightening presence, if not even more so, with Griffith playing a villain you love to despise who potentially poses a larger threat than Kreese himself to near perfection.
We discover a great deal more about Kreese’s true mental state and whether he is capable of redemption in the future or destined to stay the harsh sensei we have come to know. This season allows Kove to reveal a more vulnerable aspect of his villainous character, and his trip is not just a turning point for his character but also for the entire series.
Season 5 also features some of the most thrilling fight scenes in the history of the series, with some resulting in significant ramifications. The series never loses the vitality that made us fall in love with it in the first place, despite the fact that certain moments can be a bit excessive and silly.
The combat choreography is more severe and intense than ever before, and the stakes have never been greater. The Cobra Kai team is more aware than ever of how absurd how may be, and sometimes embraces it, yet it never detracts from the more serious moments.
The passion the showrunners have for these characters is as strong as ever, and it is evident that everything has been well planned. As soon as everyone is reunited, the pace of the show accelerates to the point that viewers will be unable to tear their eyes away from the screen.
Certain character arcs continue to feel redundant; despite Mouser’s great performance as Sam, Sam’s narrative this season feels a bit too similar to what we’ve seen before. Additionally, the relationship between Daniel and Amanda (Courtney Henggeler) is reminiscent of earlier seasons, as Amanda once again questions and frets over Daniel’s karate addiction. It wouldn’t hurt if the series opted to take these characters in previously hinted-at but unexplored new paths.
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As for the future of the show, it is evident that the sixth season will be explosive, but it may be time to close the dojo after that. Not that Cobra Kai’s quality has deteriorated, but it’s evident that if the series attempts to continue past the sixth season, some of the faults that are currently minor will continue to grow and could lead to an unhappy conclusion.
Fortunately, if prior seasons offer any indicator, this will likely not be the case. Despite a bit of roughness around the edges, Cobra Kai Season 5 is a display of the series’ finest qualities. The most recent installment is humorous and action-packed, but it also provides insight into what’s to come without feeling like a mere setup.
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Is Season 6 of Cobra Kai Confirmed?
Netflix is bringing back Cobra Kai for a sixth season, but with a twist. Discover what transpires when the run of the performance comes to a close. Season 5 of Cobra Kai debuted on Netflix in September 2022, and a sixth season has been confirmed.
Why Does Miguel Leave the Cobra Kai?
Despite being healthy enough to return, Miguel suffers a slight back strain and decides to withdraw from the competition. In order to locate his long-lost father and reconnect with his roots, he decides to flee to Mexico.
Why Did Miguel Avoid Conflict?
According to a letter he wrote to Johnny, he did not complete the fight due to personal troubles he was experiencing. It appears that Miguel no longer considers himself to be a competitor.