Cobra Kai Season 4 (Review): Which Side Are You On?

Jan 3, 2022

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It worked, but could have been better. It was the same, but had just the right amount of different. Cobra Kai Season 4 brings back the ensemble we all know and love from Seasons 1-3, but loses its fun and silly along the way. S4 is still incredibly enjoyable, but as the season went along the big moment never came. There was no hallway fight, no house battle. Instead we get a more character driven piece, set up more like S1. Cobra Kai is one of the most fun shows ever to embrace the digital space. Its like WWE but with better booking, heel turns, team ups and over the top fights.

Netflix
Starring: Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Courtney Henggeler, Xolo Maridueña, Tanner Buchanan, Mary Mouser, Jacob Bertrand, Gianni DeCenzo, Martin Kove, Vanessa Rubio, Peyton List, Dallas Dupree Young 
Release Date: December 31, 2021

Miyagi-Do: Story

The end of Cobra Kai S3 showcased Kreese calling his old war buddy, and Karate Kid Part 3 villain Terry Silver. Adding Silver to the mix this season worked out perfectly. The inclusion of another heel, another villain was perfect. Kreese and Cobra Kai could only go so far. Kreese wanted more. Silver is the most campy heel that the Karate Kid has had. He treated Daniel like a pawn. In the end turning Daniel to Cobra Kai, and then back to Miyagi-Do. Right away the difference between Kreese and Silver are front and center. Seeing the two heels at odds adds some great tension. Silver vs Kreese.

Johnny and Daniel have joined forces. Eagle Fang Karate and Miyagi-Do working side by side to bring down Cobra Kai. Much like Silver v Kreese. Johnny vs Daniel is a major storyline in S4. Add in Miguel v Sam, Robby v Miguel, Tory v Sam, Hawk v Himself? There is more tension amongst friends and rivals than ever before. Its a long slow build towards the final two episodes. Full of emotional staring, and figurative sulking and foot stomping. The story was good but not great. As a nostalgic tale of the 80’s Karate Kid movies, we shouldn’t expect much. The story slowed down this season and focused more on its characters.

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Eagle Fang Karate: Characters

Everyone is back, and more. You already know Miguel, Robby, Hawk, Tori and Sam. They are all back and just as good as ever. Much like the build up of the story, our characters get more time for themselves as well. Relationships are put to the test, and some flourish and some crumble. With a cast as large and as good looking as this one, it was nice to see that no one takes over the spotlight. Even Xolo Maridueña as Miguel, (our future Jaime Reyes) doesn’t over-shadow anyone else. The cast, aside from the balls out silly fun of the series, is the prime reason of enjoyment.

The big movement S4 gets with its characters is the focus on the forgotten Larusso child. Anthony Larusso doesn’t have much to do during seasons 1-3. He comes and goes with some comedic jolts. With S4 his character gets a refreshing arc that is one of the best of the entire season. Dallas Dupree Young is added this season as Kenny. Anthony and Kenny play a major role together in S4. I won’t spoil it here but it was one of, if not THE most real aspect this entire show has ever tried to portray. And one I think that has been missed since S1. Dallas has a bright future ahead of him, in more Cobra Kai, or in my own fancast as the live action Miles Morales.

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Cobra Kai: Final Thoughts

Season 4 of Cobra Kai is fun. Its not the best season of the show. I appreciate what was done with the story and the characters in this season, but it was missing something. It missed the big moment. The big smile from ear to ear moment. The stand up and cheer moment. Seasons 1-3 all have that one moment, where you think to yourself “is this really happening” and “this is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen”. Where season 4 thrives and falters is with its characters moments. The character moments are in the forefront, which in turn puts the action and the WWE style of storytelling to the back.

Season 4 is the pay per view after the Royal Rumble. Its the, get the heels and babyfaces set up for the new year. New storylines, new allegiances. With it comes a turn to S5 that should be another hit for Netflix. As for S4? Cobra Kai knows exactly what it wants to be and adds more the tale this time around.

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