Cobra Kai season 3 wastes no time in jumping straight back in on the action, with the everlasting fight between Daniel (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny (William Zapka) more vicious than ever.
With season two’s school brawl weighing heavy on everyone involved, the show picks up after two weeks to find Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) still fighting for his life in a coma, Robby (Tanner Buchanan) on the run, and the cold and cruel Kreese (Martin Kove) turning the Cobra Kai dojo kids into a team of merciless killers-in-the-making.
The worst of all? Hawk (Jacob Bertrand) and Tory (Peyton List), who seem hellbent on revenge on the Miyagi-Do squad and blaming them for Miguel’s injuries.
This season brings out the worst of all the characters – but in the best way. Moving the attention further onto the new karate kids in the making, Johnny and Daniel become more helpless as they look upon the monster they helped create.
The key is them learning to put their differences aside for the greater good – but the question is after decades of animosity, are they able to do it?
Cobra Kai may be bringing the tale of the Karate Kid into the 21st century, but it’s packed full of heart that continues to knock you out whenever things get messy.
There’s also so many throwbacks and nods to its source material without being overbearing, and digs deeper into things that were only nodded at before – most notably, Kreese’s past and its involvement in turning him into the ruthless sensei he’s become.
This doesn’t pack the punch that it’s supposed to, frustratingly, as does certain other key plot points that maybe should’ve been nurtured a little more. Another of note is Tory, who seems to be relegated to the forever-grimacing mean girl who doesn’t seem to know her own agenda at this point.
As a viewer, you have to suspend your disbelief a little more this season than you have done in the previous two, with the fights more brutal and elaborate despite the fact it is mainly based around a group of kids who continue to commit felony after felony, seemingly without consequence.
But it’s never too far-fetched, and you need to take Cobra Kai for what it is, which is a lot of fun and a great story about what happens when communication fails between family, friends, or just in general.
Most of the kids are angry and desperate to be heard, and so they’re indoctrinated into a cult-like world with a leader that makes them feel powerful.
And if that’s left unchecked, then it could be deadly.
- Fans will be more than happy with the continued throwbacks to both Karate Kid one and two – including some familiar faces.
- Hawk and Demetri’s turbulent friendship hits hard and we don’t always like it.
- The fight scenes are amazing but we cannot help but think of how much criminal damage these guys are doing. Like, you all need to chill out.
- Kreese’s past is an interesting addition to his backstory and we’re here for it – even if it doesn’t explain his behaviour as much as is clearly intended.
Cobra Kai season 3 strikes first, strikes hard and shows no mercy when continuing to deliver a series that shouldn’t be as good as this is for a nostalgia trip.
The team who write the show have managed to perfectly balance the old with the new and created something that is truly gripping TV.
William Zapka remains the jewel in the series crown, the entire ensemble cast is just a lot of fun to watch.
The only downside is the sparse use or explanation of certain characters that deserved more from the story than just being ‘the angry kid’ – most notably Robby, Tory and Hawk.
But with season four already confirmed (and, quite possibly, ending the story), we’re hoping for a satisfying landing.
We’re already eager to see what happens next.
Cobra Kai season 3 drops on Netflix on January 1.