TV Show Review: Cobra Kai Season 4

Cobra Kai’s fourth season strikes first and misses


Leila Touati

With ten episodes, Cobra Kai’s season four promises continues its story of opposing dojos vying for power.

Cobra Kai never dies

Now in its fourth season, Cobra Kai follows the lives of those from Karate Kid, including Daniel Larusso (Ralph Macchio), Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), and even John Kreese (Martin Kove).

The storyline of Cobra Kai follows the resurgence of karate in the San Fernando Valley, and the trials and tribulations of several karate dojos, run by Larusso, Lawrence, and Kreese, respectively. At the end of season three, the karate competition set the stage for season four: whichever karate dojo wins the All Valley Karate Tournament can remain in the Valley.

Back for more

Much like Netflix’s series Money Heist, Cobra Kai first aired on a different streaming platform, with raving reviews. However, while Money Heist’s popularity continues to soar in its fifth season, it feels as though Cobra Kai had turned into a badly written never-ending sequel of the respected Karate Kid movies.

However, what sets Cobra Kai apart from other Netflix originals is its ability to bring back the popular actors from the original 1984 Karate Kid franchise. In the first episode, Thomas Ian Griffith makes a startling comeback to become a co-sensei with Kreese, after playing a small part in Karate Kid III.

It’s not often that TV shows bring back actors from over 30 years ago back on the screen for the same theme with a different story.

Take a step back

With relatively the same main characters as how season 1 started out, the show has become more complicated, with now three dojos competing in the Valley. While the storyline is relatively straightforward, the rivalry between Larusso and Lawrence seems to be never-ending, and the root of their competitiveness lies in their high school past, all seen in Karate Kid.

To really delve into the intricate relationships of Cobra Kai, it is recommended that one watches all three Karate Kid movies. While this isn’t necessary to enjoy the show, as Cobra Kai shows old scenes of the movies, it is easier to follow the storyline.

The script is as average as a series about an entire movie franchise can be: basic. While there are a few funny anecdotes that are out of control. With an unexpected and unnecessary performance by Carrie Underwood, the season four finale of Cobra Kai is both entertaining and head-scratching.

When it’s over, it’s over

Cobra Kai allows an older generation to reminisce and remember the time of karate in the Valley. While it is an entertaining show with action-packed episodes, the need to continue past season four is baffling. It’s almost like a broken record at this point — Larusso and Lawrence fight, Kreese brings more power to his dojo, and more and more high schoolers join the world of karate.

And just when one thinks everyone will get along, everything falls apart.