Daniel-san (Ralph Macchio) is back in season five of the Netflix original series, “Cobra Kai.”
This season picks up right after the events of season four’s finale. It’s summer in California’s Valley and Cobra Kai is under new, ruthless management, causing quite the mayhem.
Old rivalries are re-hashed in a season-long battle between the new owner of “Cobra Kai,” Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith), and Daniel LaRusso. Daniel must collaborate with people from his past to demolish Terry before he brainwashes every kid in the Valley with his aggressive, Cobra Kai teaching style.
Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) also returns this season with a much more family-focused manner. His developing relationship with Miguel Diaz’s (Xolo Mariduena) mom Carmen (Vanessa Rubio) inspires him to try and fix the relationship between Miguel and his son, Robby Keene (Tanner Buchanan).
With old faces back on our screens, season five additionally allows the characters time to heal and overcome personal struggles such as identity issues, family drama and rivalries. The kids that we met at the beginning of the series are much older now and are developing richer storylines for themselves as they learn to solve issues and work with the adults to make things right.
If you are familiar with the original “Karate Kid” movies, this season is very reminiscent of Mr. Miyagi’s (Pat Morita) teaching style, as it is slow and tedious in the beginning, but pays off in the end.
The series is still very focused on nostalgia as it uses every chance it gets to reference the original films through characters, lines, actions and locations. Something unique about this show is not only do they bring back old characters, but they bring back the original actors who portrayed them in the 1980s. This tactic helps reel you deeper into the plot.
Cinematically, season five is shot nicely as each action scene gracefully captures every punch and kick, while including the characters’ emotions.
On the comedic end, season five did not disappoint. Johnny’s one-liners and disconnect from modern media were a funny, lighthearted break from the seriousness of the main plot line.
However, the 10-episode season takes about eight episodes to finally get intense. There’s no doubt that this season is definitely a step down from its predecessors, which were infused with a lot more drama and unexpected twists.
The first few episodes of the season felt very disconnected from the main plot line and could have been cut out.
There were many presented parts where the on-screen characters were guessing what their opponent would do next, however, as a viewer it was frustrating because even we could predict the next move in the plot line.
While the show felt very predictable and even cheesy at times, the detailed action sequences and rich plot dynamics near the season finale definitely made up for it.
The last three episodes kept me on the edge of my seat with back-to-back cliffhangers making it impossible to stop watching.
Overall, “Cobra Kai” season five was decent, but not better than past seasons.