Cobra Kai season 3 has paid a heartwarming tribute to late Karate Kid star Rob Garrison following his death in 2019.
The actor, who played Tommy in the original 80s Karate Kid movies, died in September 2019 after suffering a series of health issues including kidney and liver failure. He was 59 years old.
An original member of the Cobra Kai dojo, Tommy was the right hand man and best friend of Johnny (William Zabka), the arch nemesis of protagonist Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio).
Honouring their friend on the latest release of the Netflix story continuation, the first episode ended with a title card marking their friend, simply stating their karate mantra: ‘Cobra Kai Never Dies’.
Rob made one appearance in the new Cobra Kai series, in a poignant farewell to his character that saw him die on screen.
Across the series, Johnny is heard blaming a fight with LaRusso and Mr Miyagi (the late Pat Morita) for Tommy possibly getting brain damage, though this is never further explained.
In season two, Johnny receives the news that Tommy’s cancer has returned and that he’s gravely ill, so in one last hurrah, the pair reunite and head on an adventure with fellow Cobras Bobby (Ron Thomas) and Jimmy (Tony O’Dell).
The group, played by the original actors all returning for a one-off, spend the day drinking, riding motorbikes and even getting into one last fight together before spending a night camping in the woods.
When they awake in the morning, they discover that Tommy had died peacefully in his sleep, having relived his hey day with his friends.
In the 36 years from the original movies, Johnny is still trying to relive his heyday, but at the end of season two it proved to come at a cost with his war against LaRusso and his rival dojo Miyagi-Do spilling over into a new generation.
Season three sees the fallout of a school brawl between the two karate squads, and both Johnny and Daniel facing the consequences of their actions.
Cobra Kai season 3 is available on Netflix now.