Cobra Kai season five ‘sweeps’ the charts


photo by Ella Gray

Jack Pierce, class of 2025

Ella Gray

This article will contain spoilers for season five of “Cobra Kai,” read at your own risk. 

Season five of Cobra Kai was released on Sept. 9, ranking first in Netflix’s top ten shows for two consecutive weeks according to Netflix. Any fellow Cobra Kai fan will understand how excited I was to watch the next season of The Karate Kid continuation series. 

I began the show about three years ago, and from the first five minutes of watching it, I was hooked. If you haven’t watched the show yet, what are you waiting for? The show has anything and everything you would want in a show: conflict, drama, romance and the quite obvious factor, fighting. 

I recommend watching the first Karate Kid movie before diving headfirst into the show, because otherwise it will not make as much sense. There are two more sequel movies, which introduce more characters who come into the show later on, but it is not necessary to watch them to understand who they are. Cobra Kai is a show that loves to use flashbacks, so even though I had never seen the second or third movie, I always knew what was happening. 

Season five opens up with a new antagonist, Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith). Silver is a wealthy, power-hungry and borderline insane karate master, not to mention that he is also co-owner of the Cobra Kai dojo. In the ending of season four, it is revealed that Silver goes to the extreme when he is determined to do something. For Silver to be the only owner of the Cobra Kai Karate Dojo, he brutally attacks Stingray (Paul Walter Hauser), an adult student with a childhood dream of learning karate, and who also had been on probation because of a previous fight. Silver tells Stingray that he will let him back into Cobra Kai if Stingray does something for him first. Silver’s plan involves having John Kreese (Martin Cove), the other co-owner of Cobra Kai, arrested for the assault, thus sending Kreese to jail and leaving Silver the only remaining owner. 

Bringing Silver into the show was a very good move on Netflix’s behalf. From what I have seen, Silver gets into everyone’s head, which would eventually lead to the fall of his reign. The return of Silver shows that even people who always disagree on everything can come together for a common cause. Not only do both Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawerence (William Zabka), former rivals, main characters and now senseis of Miyagi-Do (LaRusso’s dojo) and Eagle Fang (Lawrence’s dojo), hate Silver, but they team up to take him down. 

A rivalry is formed between not only Daniel’s daughter, Samantha LaRusso (Mary Mouser) and troubled teen, Tory Nichols (Peyton List), but also Johnny’s son Robby Keene (Tanner Buchanan) and Miguel Diaz (Xolo Maridueña). The tension between this group has been present since the second season, a result of a love quad-triangle. Both girls have always stayed at their original dojos, but Diaz and Keene have switched dojos so much that Keene ends up losing the trust of his friends at both Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do. 

One thing that I really love about this show is the acting. You know how some actors or actresses can really make you cringe or feel second-hand embarrassment? Well, thankfully, this isn’t the case for this cast. Everyone is so in sync with their character, that you don’t ever realize that they are acting. 

In an article he wrote for, Miles Surrey said “I truly can’t wait for Cobra Kai’s sixth season, and I’d be willing to challenge a Netflix executive to a fight if they dare cancel the series.”

I, too, would fight a Netflix executive if they canceled the show, because season five left us with unanswered questions. Towards the end of the season, Silver is taking over the majority of dojos in the area. It is revealed that he wants more than to just have the top karate dojo in the valley (San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, CA). Silver wants his dojo to be known throughout the world, so he has the best of the best senseis flown in as well as Kim Da-Eum (Alicia Hannah), granddaughter of both Kreese and Silver’s karate sensei, Kim Sun-Yung. 

In order to accomplish his goal of being known throughout the world as one of the toughest karate dojos, Silver has to compete in the Sekai Taikai tournament. Daniel LaRusso and Lawrence know that they cannot just sit aside and watch as Silver brainwashes more kids, so they, too, try to sign up for the tournament. For me, I have always switched which dojo I am rooting for to win a tournament, but when it comes to the Sekai Taikai, I am rooting for Daniel LaRusso and Lawrence’s combined dojo. 

To sign up, or try to, Silver has the board (people who run the tournament) come into the dojo so he can demonstrate the skills his students possess. Right before he begins, Daniel LaRusso, Lawrence, Chozen Toguchi (Yuji Okumoto), a former competitor of Daniel, and Amanda LaRusso (Courtney Henggeler) walk into Cobra Kai and demand that they too be evaluated to be let into the tournament. To make a long story short, both dojos are let into the tournament, and the season ends with, you guessed it, a big fight. I don’t know if this will come across as borderline crazy or psychopathic, but I love watching the fights in this show. The way the actors so easily stage fights is so intriguing, I’m always on the edge of my seat when a fight breaks out. 

This fight definitely was one of my favorite fight scenes in the show, my all-time favorite being in season two episode ten “No Mercy,” when everyone is involved in a massive school fight. During that fight you never wanted to look away in fear that you’ll miss something pretty awesome. However, the fight in the new season really showed a lot of character development through both the students and the senseis, which is why it is one of my favorites. 

In the previous seasons, Nichols and Sam LaRusso were unable to be in the same room as each other without starting a fight, but in the new fight they work together to beat a new sensei of Cobra Kai. They, however, are not the only ones who have developed since the early seasons. When being beat to a pulp, Lawrence sees a sonogram of his baby that falls out of his pocket, giving him strength to fight back because he doesn’t want to miss out on his new life with his girlfriend, Carmen Diaz (Vanessa Rubio), and continuing to grow his relationship with his son, Keene, and his first student that he views as a son, Miguel Diaz. Lawrence comes out even stronger and ends up winning the fight. The best thing about this comeback is that in the first season Lawrence was a borderline alcoholic who was a terrible father, but he wanted to be better for not only Carmen Diaz, but for Miguel Diaz and Keene. I was just so happy to see how much Lawrence had changed since the first season. 

At the Cobra Kai dojo, Tory and Samantha (Sam) team up to fight against the Cobra Kai students, even if Tory was just a student at Cobra Kai. For even more character development, Daniel uses Silver’s own technique against him, as he trained with him in the third movie. Daniel is a very strong believer that his way, Mr. Miyagi’s way of offense, is always right. So, by Daniel using not only a different karate style but an offense style to take Silver down, that is epic. 

As I had mentioned before, I was very excited for the new season to come out. I was very happy that I could recommend it to people and for them to like it. 

“I think it’s an interesting show how they brought back the original characters as the senseis, and how it shows their new lives,” said Isabella Enright, class of 2023.  

I would have to say that this season is 9.5/10. I do not know exactly what would make it even better, but I do think that it is fair to say that this show is very well written and produced.