Cobra Kai season five is here! Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) tries to dominate the karate world after the shocking All Valley Tournament results. Terry Silver's venomous mindset is displayed in Season 5 shortly after Season 4.
While Kreese (Martin Kove) is behind bars, Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) is repairing the damage he's caused while keeping karate to the side. It's only natural that Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) turns to his old friend Chozen (Yuji Okumoto) for help. Conversely, the teens in the Cobra Kai universe must also deal with their problems.
Samantha LaRusso (Mary Mouser) is dealing with her loss to rival Tory Nichols (Peyton List). Robby Keene (Tanner Buchanan) realized his negative influence on Kenny (Dallas Dupree Young). The latter has now become a bully to Daniel's son Anthony (Griffin Santopietro). Finally, Miguel Diaz (Xolo Maridueña) traveled to Mexico to find his father.
There has been an increase in the use of F-bombs in Season 5, one of the first things fans will notice. Nevertheless, it comes across as organic. Moreover, the show's fight scenes are more brutal and realistic. Fans of Chozen will be pleased with his abundance of fight scenes. It was also interesting to learn more about the lineage of Cobra Kai and the true essence of "No Mercy." You already know Terry Silver calls on friends if you've seen previews. Silver's henchmen, er senseis all get moments to shine. UFC champs Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson are naturals and bring the right vibes for physical villains. But Alicia Hannah-Kim was most impressive as South Korean sensei Kim Da-Eun, whose family lineage has ties to Terry Silver. Throughout the series, Kim embodies an Alpha female and has memorable moments. Sean Kanan returns to the franchise as Mike Barnes, the Bad Boy of Karate. Season 5's creative team has given Barnes a very satisfying arc that should please fans. Besides kickin' some asses, Yuji Okumoto has great comedic timing when it comes to Chozen. Thomas Ian Griffith makes an excellent villain. My hope is that the show opens up more doors for him since I'd love to see him in Marvel or DC.
The writing team did a good job of not spending too much time on Miguel and his father. The perfect number of episodes is set aside, so Miguel is able to return to California. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for Jacob Bertrand's Eli "Hawk" Moskowitz and Gianni Decenzo's Demetri Alexopoulos. After Eli won the boy's tournament last year, I can see that Eli's ultimate arc is complete. Fans may be deterred by Eli's big moment this season. Likewise, Demetri appears infrequently and adds no natural substance. Although Dallas Dupree Young continues to impress with his natural talent, his character's resolution is slightly off-putting. I also had a few more nit-picky issues with some script episodes. However, I already have a four-season investment in the show and the arc, so I forgave the timeline continuity errors.
Thankfully we get more from the characters of Amanda, Tory, and Robby. I've always liked Robby, so seeing him rebuild his relationship with his father was great. The writers also take Tory in a good direction. We also got some backstory on Amanda. Daniel and Johnny have always been the focus of this show. William Zabka and Ralph Macchio continue to shine. A favorite moment this season is between Daniel and Johnny, like last year's Season Finale. It's a subtle moment that brings their relationship full circle. I felt more connected to both characters when they weren't doing martial arts. Although we have to wait a bit for the actors to engage in some action, the separate storylines they give both men make up for it. As always, Cobra Kai is strike-first entertainment, with all the moments you've come to expect. We get a nice setup before the Season 5 finale if the producers decide to end the LaRusso/Lawerence storyline in Season 6. We'll be able to see where the show goes next season with this setup, and I am looking forward to it. Final Grade: B +
Cobra Kai Season 5 is available to stream this Friday on Netflix.