‘Cobra Kai’ season 6 should be the show’s last

The following post contains minor spoilers for Cobra Kai Season 5.

There is no official word yet Netflix on a sixth season of Cobra Kai, but nothing about the just-released season 5 suggests that it will be the series’ last. The season ends on another big cliffhanger, and in interviews the star player of the series Ralph Macchio has revealed that production has already shot footage intended for Season 6, if and when Netflix picks up Cobra Kai for several sections.

I’m pretty sure we’ll see Cobra Kai Season 6. And if we do, I want to watch it. But if it were up to me, I’d make it the show’s farewell. Cobra Kai hasn’t worn out its welcome – yet. Still, Season 5 was easily the weakest of the show’s run to date, and the one where its clever strategy of mining the old The Karate Kid movies for story material finally started to run out of steam.

Cobra Kai may have the largest legacy sequel all time premise: 30 years after the events of The Karate Kid, the roles between the film’s two leads are completely reversed as adults. Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), who was BMOC in high school and the Cobra Kai dojo, grew up to be a total loser. After getting his face kicked in by his rival Daniel LaRusso (Macchio) at a karate tournament, Johnny spent much of the next few decades drinking and moping. Meanwhile, Daniel grew into a successful businessman – and even a kind of cocky idiot. Meanwhile, a new child named Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) needs guidance and help with his own high school bullies. Without a friendly and wise Mr. Miyagi to guide him, Miguel ends up under Johnny’s wing. He decides to restart the Cobra Kai dojo to help Miguel – much to Daniel’s chagrin.

It’s the brilliant, character-based place where the show started. The early years of the show forced viewers to rethink Johnny and Daniel and their relationship. We saw that Johnny’s childhood was just as painful as Daniel’s, and he learned the underlying psychological issues behind his bullying. Later, Cobra Kai showed how brutal John Kreese’s life was before he started his “evil” dojo. After you saw what he went through in Vietnam, you understood why he might subscribe to a philosophy of striking out at one’s enemies before they can strike you. Cobra Kai threw a coat of gray over it all The Karate Kid‘s black-and-white, good-versus-evil morality.

By Season 5, most of these elements are long gone, along with many of the character’s more complicated dimensions. Daniel, who was almost the villain of the beginning Cobra Kai episodes, has resumed his role as the franchise’s staunch and indomitable hero, while Johnny, who was portrayed as well-intentioned but deeply misguided, has turned into a lovable badass who gets along with everyone. The characters’ rough edges have been smoothed away – except for the show’s main antagonist over its past two seasons, Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith).

First introduced in The Karate Kid Part IIISilver never quite fit in Cobra Kai‘s concept of muddling the simplistic The Karate Kid movie. Terry Silver by The Karate Kid Part III is a figure of cartoonish evil, a businessman who made a fortune dumping toxic waste and then decides to help his old war buddy John Kreese by getting revenge on his behalf against the old man and the high school graduate who made him embarrassed. In the film, Silver, a grown man, seemingly puts his entire life on hold to destroy Daniel, a broken teenager with few prospects. He hires thugs to scare him, pretends to care for him, drives a wedge between him and Mr. Miyagi, and then trains him for a tournament using deliberately sadistic and painful techniques. All because Daniel beat one of his friend’s students in a karate tournament!

Griffith is effective as the brilliant Silver, but the character is so completely devoid of redeeming qualities and so beyond any audience sympathy that he doesn’t fit the rest of Cobra Kai‘s fictional universe where everyone on both sides of the Cobra Kai vs. The Miyagi-Do War possesses relatable motifs. Most people on Cobra Kai wanting to get their lives in order, gain confidence, exorcise their tortured past or find acceptance in a group of other outsiders. Terry Silver basically wants to conquer the world through a karate dojo, while being demanding more revenge against Daniel LaRusso, against whom he now has a 35-year grudge. Terry Silver cannot be made into a complex being with a tortured background – or if it is theoretically possible, Cobra Kai’s creators never figured out how to do it.

Moving into its sixth season, the show has other problems as well. In the beginning, its cast of younger characters was one of its stronger assets. Besides Miguel, there was also Sam (Mary Mouser), Daniel’s popular daughter, Robby Keene (Tanner Buchanan), Johnny’s estranged and troubled son, and Hawk (Jacob Bertrand), another bullied kid whose rage at his mistreatment eventually pushes him to join. Cobra Kai. They allowed Cobra Kai to see how the old high school stereotypes performed in The Karate Kid seen in a modern context, and to underscore one of the show’s key themes: That abuse perpetuates abuse in a never-ending cycle of violence.

By season 5, however, the “young” cast of Cobra Kai starting to look as old as Ralph Macchio did in The Karate Kid Part III, when he had to play an 18-year-old when he was actually 27 in real life. (Mouser is already 26. Looking like a fully grown adult while still in high school apparently runs in the LaRusso family.) More importantly, some of these kids’ stories are basically already resolved. IN Cobra KaiRobby’s early years, for example, drifted back and forth from Cobra Kai to Miyagi-Do as he struggled to get along with Johnny and was eventually expelled from school after injuring Miguel in a fight. In Season 5, Robby has reconciled with his father and dropped his bad past with Cobra Kai. Within the first few episodes, he even buries the hatchet with Miguel and the two become friends. He spends the rest of the season as a total do-gooder, waiting for a new subplot that never really comes.

When Cobra Kai was best, it had an uncanny ability to turn away easy concepts The Karate Kid film for truly thought-provoking and compelling drama. The longer it goes on, the closer and closer it gets to being as silly and over the top as the original movies. Just look at the cliffhanger that ends this season, which sounds like the premise of a very bad one The Karate Kid Part IVnot what we have come to expect from the far wiser Cobra Kai. No one has literally jumped a shark on the show yet. But the way things seem to be going, it wouldn’t feel so out of place if someone did.

The coolest The Karate Kid Easter eggs in Cobra Kai Season 5

Our favorite moments from Cobra Kai Season 5, there are references to the old movies.

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