Cobra Kai Season 3 Review
By Brandon Nunez
The third season of Cobra Kai has officially wrapped up with 10 new episodes. It has the return of most of the ensemble cast reprising their roles, including but not limited to Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso, William Zabka as Johnny Lawrence, Xolo Maridueña as Miguel Diaz, Martin Kove as John Kreese, and Tanner Buchanan as Robby Keene, among many others.
Season 3 takes place directly after the events of the school karate fight and John Kreese’s takeover of Cobra Kai in season two’s ending. The story also has Miguel in a coma and paraplegic from his injuries that he sustained from Robby, who is now on the run.
The story then continues with multiple different storylines such as Miguel learning to walk again, the negative reception of karate by the Valley after the school fight and its effects on the cast, and on the relationships that become repaired and broken from the aftermath of the school fight. It all culminates in a fight at a Christmas party between the students of Kreese’s Cobra Kai and a coalition of Johnny and Daniel’s students, and another fight immediately after–at first between Johnny and Kreese, then Kreese and Daniel.
The season also gives some much needed backstory on John Kreese’s youth and his time in Vietnam to show why he became the ruthless villain that he was in the movies and is in the show. It also has returning characters from the first and second Karate Kid movies such as Daniel’s former love interest Kumiko (reprised by Tamlyn Tomita), his old rival Chozen Toguchi (reprised by Yuji Okumoto), and Daniel and Johnny’s old high school girlfriend Ali Mills (reprised by Elisabeth Shue). All three of which help at least one of our protagonists for the better and even manage to (perhaps indirectly) bring the two together in the final episode.
The show has gotten flack for not including a major Asian character in the show (with the exception of Kumiko and Chozen who only appeared in some episodes of this season) as a show based on Asian martial arts should have at least one main Asian character. This criticism is fairly justified as many of the minority characters are often relegated as side characters with the notable exception of Miguel, and to some extent his mother Carmen (reprised by Vanessa Rubio).
Despite this, the show shines in almost every other aspect from a cohesive plot and likable characters to dialogue and action, which can become corny in some aspects but never enough to be overwhelming and never for very long.