Series: Cobra Kai: Season 3
Cast: William Zabka, Ralph Macchio, Martin Kove, Xolo Mariduena, Tanner Buchanan, Jacob Bertrand, Mary Mouser, Gianni Decenzo, Peyton List
Review: Klep Napier
Rating: 3.5 X’s out of 5X’s
Now that it’s finally in the spotlight that it deserves, the latest season of Cobra Kai not only intensified the conflict but it also antes up the nostalgia & surprises.
Season 3, continues to follow the struggles of a newer generation of karate students dealing with a dangerous rivalry that goes further back before they were even born. When we last saw the Cobra’s one of their fellow students, Miguel (Xolo Mariduena), was left in a coma seemingly paralyzed after an all out school brawl got out of hand. Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) has now spiraled into a desperation due to his failure as a sensei meanwhile Daniel Larusso (Ralph Macchio) fails at maintaining balance within himself, his business and even his family. The two must learn to find themselves in order to protect their students from a common enemy John Kreese (Martin Kove) who threatens to corrupt the minds, as he steps in as Cobra Kai’s new Sensei.
Cobra Kai is winning with its ability to keep this thing feeling fresh and nostalgic at the same time. There is a ton of fresh perspective while watching the new batch of students deal with adolescence in today’s society when the bullies get involved. Then to see the older generation barely recovering from the trauma they’ve caused one another as teenagers due to the same adolescent obstacles is pure brilliance. The story being told this season is that we are all human and as John Kreese says in the teaser trailer, “there is no good or bad, there is only the strong and the weak”. This show is great at keeping the grey area prevalent. Alliances are tested, compromised and even built as Cobra Kai continues the story and legacy of The Karate Kid saga.
What doesn’t work beyond that is this season sometimes just feels like fan service for the die hard Karate Kid fan. Hanging on to the old rivalry between Larusso and Lawrence for more than half of the season with countless trips down memory lane, tend to outshine the dramatic arch between the students. Don’t get us wrong, it all wraps up well and it is clear that there is still unfinished business with the older cast that fans would love to see, but we can’t forget about the dangerous paths that most of these students like Hawk (Jacob Bertrand), Robbie (Tanner Buchanan), Tori (Peyton List) and even Larusso’s daughter Sam (Mary Mouser) are traveling down. Seeing how all the dramatic twists and turns of acceptance vs conflict affects them for the long term is the real future of this series, and we hope that eventually gets explored deeper.
Overall the Cobras’s are back! And by back we mean back to its rightful owner, John Kreese (Martin Kove). He continues to remind us why we love to hate him while playing a pivotal role in the arch of this season. We cannot wait to see where it all take us in the already announced and upcoming season 4! NO MERCY.
CritiX approve with a solid 3.5X's out of 5X's
All 10 Cobra Kai episodes will premieres on Netflix Friday January 1st, 2021