The hit follow-up series to the Karate Kid film franchise is thriving in its newfound home on Netflix following the streamer’s acquisition of the series with Season 3. Now, Season 4 is here and the show looks ready to kick some more butt. With the return of a few familiar faces and the future of karate in the valley on the line, Cobra Kai is back and it might be better than ever with an absolutely enthralling fourth season that will have you on the edge of your set the entire time.
The season picks up right where Season 3 left off, with Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang Karate coming together to defeat Cobra Kai at the All Valley and shutdown Cobra Kai for good. This is one of the season’s most interesting dynamics as both sides have their very obvious and glaring differences, it leads to some intriguing conflicts and interactions that you would never think would happen.
The latest season of Cobra Kai does an excellent job of tackling character relationships. Developing new and old relationships is something Season 4 does quite well. It’s Daniel and Johnny’s rivalry that sticks out the most this season, while both men try to hold onto the father/son relationship they’ve developed over the past few seasons with Miguel and Johnny. We also get to delve deeper into the relationship between John Kreese and Terry Silver, and seeing how their relationship fluctuates over the course of the ten episodes is thrilling; it’s well-written with plenty of moments that’ll keep you guessing. For the first time on the series, these two men feel like more than merely “villains,” which makes their “big, bad” moments all the more terrifying.
But the absolute for-sure highlight of this season is the return of Thomas Ian Griffith as Terry Silver. When we first meet him, he wants absolutely nothing to do with Cobra Kai or Karate, as the season progresses, however, he slowly begins to become obsessed with it once more. Griffith becomes an absolute menace the second he steps back into the dojo and becomes a serious threat, and not just in the world of Karate. Terry Silver is even more ruthless than John Kreese and doesn’t have the same soft spot for Johnny as Kreese does, as he looks to right many mistakes they made in the past and will not stop at anything to get things done.
The extent of Silver’s influence and antagonist development can be seen in the introduction of a new character named Kenny, played by Dallas Dupree. Robby was actively trying to help Kenny stand up to his bullies through karate as the series looks to redeem Robby and eventually bring him and his father together. Unfortunately, though, the introduction of Silver to Cobra Kai turns Kenny into a product of Silver’s malicious and violent nature, pivoting a once kind and promising student into a killing machine.
While the character development is a strong point this season, the show looks to have kicked it up a notch on the nature of the show, with what seems to be some of its most violent and mature fights yet. The excellent fight choreography is on full display during the All Valley tournament, with each of the kids truly getting a chance to shine.
Overall, Season 4 of Cobra Kai may just be the best installment yet of the beloved series. It’s smart, well-written with plenty of stunning fight choreography. At a time when many shows are lucky to tell a cohesive story over multiple seasons that doesn’t falter, Cobra Kai proves it still has plenty of moves left to unleash as it readies for a fifth season. A tight, cohesive season that manages to successfully take the series in a new direction for Season 5? It’s hard not to enjoy this latest return to the Karate Kid franchise.
The fourth season of Cobra Kai is set to premiere on December 31st, only on Netflix. The show’s fifth season has already wrapped production, but a release date has yet to be revealed.