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The Hollywood Insider Cobra Kai Season 5

Photo: Cobra Kai Season 5 

On September 9, 2022, the YouTube Original turned Netflix show, ‘Cobra Kai,’ starring William Zabka, Ralph Macchio, Xolo Maridueña, Tanner Buchanan, Jacob Bertrand, Peyton List, and Mary Mouser, released its 5th season in the United States. ‘Cobra Kai’s’ 5th season has been (surprisingly) a short time coming, with the release of this season coming less than 10 months after the release of season 4 on Netflix. ‘Cobra Kai’s’ season 5 has been highly anticipated by audiences, especially considering the cliffhanger ending of ‘Cobra Kai’s’ fourth installment. As ‘Cobra Kai’ roundhouse kicks into a new story and season, how does the 5th season hold up? And is there more ‘Cobra Kai’ to come?

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Recap of Recent Events

In the last season of ‘Cobra Kai,’ we saw Daniel LaRusso (played by Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (played by William Zabka) combine their dojos, Miyagi-do Karate and Eagle Fang Karate, into one in order to take down a common enemy: Cobra Kai Karate, now operated by its original creator and Johnny Lawrence’s old sensei, John Kreese (played by Martin Kove). John Kreese enlists an old friend, ‘Karate Kid 3’’s antagonist, Terry Silver (played by Thomas Ian Griffith). With the incoming All Valley Karate Tournament, both dojos work to produce fighters who can win. In the aftermath, Miyagi-do/Eagle Fang’s own Eli “Hawk” Moskowitz (played by Jacob Bertrand) wins the men’s championship while Cobra Kai’s Tori Nichols (played by Peyton List) wins the women’s championship against Samantha LaRusso (played by Mary Mouser). The season finale saw John Kreese framed for the assault of Cobra Kai’s Raymond “Stingray” Porter (played by Paul Walter Hauser) by Terry Silver. With John Kreese in jail, Terry Silver is the sole sensei of Cobra Kai and the main antagonist of the 5th season. 

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Cobra Kai’s New Season

Cobra Kai’s 5th season immediately explores the cliffhangers and plot turns of the past season while exploring new conflicts for our cast of characters. For starters, the season sees Miguel Diaz (played by Xolo Maridueña) venture to Mexico to find his birth father. ‘Cobra Kai’ has always told a story about parents and children with an emphasis on fathers and sons. This is explored through Johnny Lawrence’s rebellion against John Kreese (his father figure), Johnny’s difficult relationship with his biological son, Robby (played by Tanner Buchanan), and his role as Miguel’s father figure. Cobra Kai Season 5 approaches the difficult topic of Miguel’s dangerous father and Miguel’s rivalry with Robby with sensitivity and insight. By the end of the season, seeing Miguel and Robby finally reach an understanding about each other and their father (or father figure) was powerful, to say the least. Johnny Lawrence has always struggled not just to be a good person but especially a good father. This season sees Johnny own up more to the mistakes he has made with Miguel and Robby, including the shocking twist of him having another child with Miguel’s mom, Carmen Diaz (played by Vanessa Rubio). Johnny steps up to the challenge in a way that feels like a big change for the character. 

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Although Johnny Lawrence having another child on the way feels like an interesting way to shake up the norm for the show, there’s something unnerving about Johnny Lawrence focusing on being a father figure to a whole new person. Despite Johnny making amends to Robby and Miguel, the two boys still need him in their lives and Johnny being forced to raise a new child feels like Johnny’s way of getting a fresh start (one he definitely does not deserve). Johnny is a flawed character and him having a new baby that allows him to forget his mistakes of the past feels a little bit wrong. 

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Expanding on the Show’s Message

Once again, ‘Cobra Kai’ has continued to build on its foundation of no true philosophy. For the last five seasons, ‘Cobra Kai’ has shown its viewers that neither the philosophy of Miyagi-do or Cobra Kai are truly correct because nothing, in reality, can be boiled down to a simple answer. ‘Cobra Kai’ continues to explore its morally-gray cast with a deeper exploration into characters such as Tory Nichols, John Kreese, and Kenny Payne (played by Dallas Dupree Young), all major antagonists from previous seasons. Season 5 allows the audience to better empathize with each of these characters, especially Tori and Kenny, who are both teens trying to better understand themselves and their goals.

Despite Kenny’s newfound confidence in the last season, the show continues to explore this with Terry Silver acting as a mentor role towards the young student, proving to him that he can be a leader. Tori, after figuring out that the All Valley tournament was rigged, questions her loyalties and reaches out to an imprisoned John Kreese (a type of father figure) to help. Finally, this season sees John Kreese behind bars, exploring his backstory of losing the love of his life and why he created Cobra Kai in the first place. ‘Cobra Kai’ has never shied away from exploring its characters’ psyches and season 5 is no different. Diving deeper into villains like John Kreese not only makes for great television but a more compelling story. 

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The Future of Cobra Kai

With a new season under its belt, will ‘Cobra Kai’ see a 6th season? Although there has been no official announcement, it is safe to assume that the show will see another season from its wild success and where things are left off in season 5. Although season 6 has apparently not been written yet, the end of Cobra Kai’s 5th season sees John Kreese escape from prison with a vengeance against those who wronged him. With the return of Cobra Kai’s big baddie, season 6 will likely see another face-off against Kreese and Cobra Kai/Miyagi-do/Eagle Fang. With more stories to be told, we will likely see a new ‘Cobra Kai’ season in the near future. 

By Spencer Hoffman

Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE.

I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. Cinema taught me about our world, at times in English and at times through the beautiful one-inch bar of subtitles. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, TV, media, art, fashion, sport, etc. Please keep this going full speed.

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