Hot damn, I love this series.
The flow and pacing of this season have been immaculate. Each moment whether it’s the emotional beats, the kickass fighting, the unexpected team-ups, and guest stars, will keep you enthralled.
They jam-packed so much into those two episodes alone that it felt like they took up half the season alone.
The shifting alliances have always been a staple of this series as characters prove fickle and, at times, aimlessly jump from one side to another.
But the pairings and alliances formed now feel more grounded and rooted in something much bigger and more concrete than previous motivations. As a result, it makes you even more invested in those dynamics and the characters.
On any other show, they could’ve dragged out the Miguel and Robby rivalry, and frankly, on this series previously, they would have.
But blessedly, the two boys have put their issues to bed and done so in a quintessentially Cobra Kai and masculine (devoid of toxicity) way.
Johnny pouring his whole heart into getting his boys to make amends made you sympathize with him so much it hurt. He knows how grudges don’t do any good and how a life can get ruined because of them.
But he also genuinely loves both boys, and he can’t focus his attention on his growing family if it has fissure lines through it.
Johnny is oddly wholesome and earnest in his desire to grow the hell up and does right by those which he cares. His actions leading to one of the most delightful marketing of a brand in a series to date were adorable. It also made me crave Olive Garden’s breadsticks and a big old bowl of Zuppa Toscana.
And his attempt at the escape room in his house felt like something for middle schoolers, but he was so determined, and it made it all the funnier.
In the end, a good old-fashioned fight led to the breakthrough, inspired by his conversation with Daniel. There is some validity to just duking it out and getting all that aggression and anger out before moving on.
Miguel Vs. Robby: The Sequel was definitely one of the best fight sequences of the season thus far. The two of them mirroring their fight in that school was wonderfully done and brought the necessary stakes, especially as it built to that moment where Miguel had the opportunity to kick Robby over the banister of the apartment complex.
Robby: Why’d you hold back?
Miguel: I didn’t get into karate to hurt people. I did it to be a badass and find balance.
Robby: Yeah, I understand that.
Miguel: Last time we fought like this, why didn’t you hold back?
Robby: I just wanted to finish the fight. I mean, not life-like that, but I just… I had tunnel vision, and I got so angry that I just, I barely knew where we were. I’d take it back in a second if I could. I mean I was the cause of the worse moment of your life, and if it’s any consolation, it was the worst moment of my life too.
But, of course, Miguel didn’t. And the two got to talk and be honest about their feelings and where they were then and now. And Miguel could take Robby’s remorse as genuine.
Another point to Johnny. And he even got the reward he deserved because they could have played the angle that Miguel and Robby were a united front against Johnny, angry about a new baby on the way, but the boys were genuinely over the moon.
We got a perfect glimpse of what their family could be when Carmen returned home to find Johnny and the boys happily eating dinner together. And it’s a beautiful site.
Johnny prioritizing his family juxtaposed with Daniel failing at that was great. And it’s also refreshing to see the reversal of Johnny being the stable one with the advice over Daniel, who was in shambles without Amanda and the kids.
I’m not saying Daniel is at his best when he’s down and out, but he always is his most likable and easy to root for when he’s the underdog.
Daniel: Every time I try to fight for what’s right, somebody gets hurt. I can’t fail these kids again.
Robby: You didn’t fail me. You know when you first met me, I was a messed up kid. But you gave me a job, and a home, and a purpose. You can’t just give up.
He pieced everything together about Stingray setting Kreese up. Stingray isn’t nearly as comical as the series thinks, and he remains a stain on the series. But it’s on brand that Silver could manipulate him with Johnny’s Cobra Kai car, expensive Playstations, a place to stay, and more.
Stingray was such a non-factor. It was Daniel and Silver’s confrontation that essentially broke Daniel-San beyond repair for a bit.
Daniel is killing it this season with his arc. He’s been at his most compelling since the films.
He has been at his most broken; therefore, they couldn’t get this fight up until everyone else was championing behind him and reminding him that he must be the one leading charge.
Amanda taking such an active rule continues to do wonders for her and is why she’s one of the most beloved characters.
It took her time away from Daniel, hearing the history between Daniel and Silver and how it affected multiple people she cared about, to get more perspective on the issue.
Amanda hearing about how Silver got into Daniel’s head then (and succeeded in doing it now), as well as the assault he launched against Jessica, made her see the light.
Amanda’s time at that pub was amazing. Her getting into a full-on bar fight with the women who used to taunt her was pretty damn epic. Amanda got to be badass and get in on some of that fighting action even if Sam was the one who finished it defending her mom.
Amanda and Sam working alongside Chozen and Johnny to get through to Daniel was a dynamic no one could’ve anticipated.
And Johnny and Chozen was a team-up I didn’t even know I needed. The two bonding over how they tormented Daniel in the past but respect him now was one of the best scenes of the hour. And they sure as hell kicked some serious ass together.
They’ve been generous with the fight scenes this season. They’ve been so well-choreographed and thrilling.
The show of support among the Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang kids, along with Anthony, Chozen, and Johnny, was enough to get you pumped. Daniel needed to know that he had support and was doing the right thing.
Defending honor of Miyagi-Do, never a waste of time. Nor is helping friend.
He didn’t want to jeopardize or fail the kids anymore, and he had to remember that this was a fight still worth fighting.
Robby showing up to express his gratitude for Daniel being there for him when no one else was made a girl emotional.
And Amanda bringing Daniel to Miyagi’s place, sharing her own special moment she had with Miyagi before marrying Daniel, brought the perfect sentiment. The series excels at keeping Mr. Miyagi at the center of this show and his presence alive.
We have the most united front against Silver than we’ve ever had, and what makes it more exciting is that they’re not JUST bonded by their desire to take down a common enemy.
The most tumultuous dynamics have genuinely worked on what was at the root of the tension and resolved or are working through their problems. It’s so refreshing!
Kreese: I was trying to make my students tough.
Young Johnny: You wanted them all to be like you.
Kreese: No. I wanted them to be better than me.
Only one piece needs to fall in place, and that’s likely Kreese. But he remains a wildcard. Although, the layers they keep adding to him make him one of the most complex characters and enjoyable to watch.
He has Tory in the trenches and still regards Daniel as an enemy, which seems to make Tory feel a certain way.
He has a plan for when he gets out, but we’re not privy to it. And now there’s no telling when he’ll actually get out or how. His attempt to manipulate and charm his doctor didn’t pan out.
Kreese’s therapy session was shockingly involved, and I loved every second of Kove’s performance as Kreese faced all these people in his life while begrudgingly opening up to his therapist.
It’s the only way you envision someone as hardened and closed off as a Kreese actually doing that at all. Facing the younger version of Johnny was a particular standout, but Kreese looking at his younger self is what carried that scene to another level. The added layer of Kove’s son playing the younger version of himself just takes it to a whole other level.
It was excellent usage of him during that badass prison fight sequence. Every time I dare to say a particular fight was my favorite, another one comes along to challenge that assertion.
After that full-on brawl in prison, Kreese is running shit now. But what is his plan now? He kept eyeballing the key card, and now he has lackeys that will be at his beck and call. Is he plotting an escape?
He could be invaluable in taking down Silver, especially now that Kim is in the picture. Yes, she’s a baddie, but she’s also a BAMF, and I’m hype to see whatever she throws at us.
Kim isn’t charmed by Silver, and she could probably kick his ass too. Something tells me she won’t be loyal to Silver’s plan to take over the Valley.
Silver isn’t joking when he says he wants to take over the country with Cobra Kai. If he can buy ownership of any and every dojo in sight, that’s precisely what will happen.
Kim is a force, and as terrifying as she is, you can almost understand the appeal of people wanting to work with and learn from her. Plus, we desperately were due for a female sensei!
She doesn’t take it easy on Tory, and you can tell Tory fears the woman, as she should.
Devon entering the equation keeps up with the theme of mentorship being at the center of changing hearts. Robby still laments letting Kenny down and losing him to Cobra Kai. It’s eating him up, and that’s what it took to make him understand things and gain perspective when it came to Daniel and Johnny.
Johnny: We’re not going to let you take over the Valley.
Kim: We already did.
Johnny: You think you did.
Hawk knowing that kids look up to him now as the champion, has influenced him greatly and how he continues to conduct himself.
Tory now gets her redemption shot via a new attachment to Devon. She can relate to the girl who lost her mother to cancer. She understands Devon’s anger at the world, which also bonded Tory and Kreese.
The stakes are higher for Tory now that Devon has joined Cobra Kai. I anticipate Tory wanting to protect the girl from the influence of not just Silver but Kim.
Tory is prime for joining the others sooner rather than later.
Over to you, Cobra Kai Fanatics. What was your favorite fight? Are you enthralled with all the new dynamics they’re exploring? Sound off below.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.