The latest season of Cobra Kai has dropped on Netflix, and I have been anticipating it since season 4 ended. This is my overall impressions and review of Season 5.
A little over 9 months ago, just as the year was starting, Cobra Kai season 4 premiered. It brought back one of the most infamous villains in the form of Terry Silver. I have to admit, when Karate Kid 3 was released, I wasn’t as much of a fan as the earlier movies. However, the story and characters, especially the over-the-top Silver, grew on me over time. So, it was a delight to see his return to the series and watch him develop from a reluctant man who was trying to forget his past to the ultra-villain we all remember him for.
Now Cobra Kai is back with Season 5 with Kreese in jail and Terry having full reigns as the ultimate villain. It picks right up where season 4 left off (maybe a few days after) and sets up a wild ride that makes Season 2’s “Cruel Summer” look like a picnic at the beach.
I did not get a chance to watch the season before they released it. I am not mad about that. I have yet to be established as a super fan. But many of the super fans were able to and posted their (spoiler-free) reviews ahead of the show’s premiere. Some were dedicated to the Cobra Kai and Miyagiverse franchise. Others were more general in content but include Cobra Kai as among their most anticipated shows. One thing that I noted was that many, especially the more general fans, seemed to be a little let down with the first half while praising the second half of the season. Pacing issues, quick cuts, and a dragging storyline seemed to be the common factor concerning the first half of the season.
As for me, it pulled me into the story right from the start. The entire season was a rollercoaster of emotions. I did not feel that the earlier episodes dragged along or were otherwise boring or anything. Nothing like some of the complaints that I have seen. Much of the first half was taking care of individual storylines and moving the characters into place for the second half of the season. Personally, I was happy with that.
What we know from the end of season 4 is that Miguel is on his way to Mexico and Johnny told Carmen that he would go after him. Tory is conflicted after her win, then subsequently overhearing Terry and the ref talking about the bribe money. Eli “Hawk” is the new champion of a presumably closing dojo. Kreese is on his way to jail thanks to a setup by Terry with the help of Stingray. And Daniel has called in reinforcements in the form of his formal rival, Chozen Toguchi.
Season 5 takes those story threads and begins weaving a tale of intrigue, heartbreak, and betrayal, with healthy doses of humor sprinkled in throughout. Along the way, various characters have moments where they shine. With the abundance of characters, some do get kind of lost in the shuffle. They make appearances here and there and throw out a line of dialogue or two. But other characters really shine as the season carries on.
This season also felt the most intense for me. There was one point near the end that I couldn’t really react to what was going on screen because I felt so tense and worried that something bad was about to happen. Only in repeat views of those episodes could I truly appreciate them and the moments that I just glossed over previously. Of course, part of that tension came because I was partially spoiled by one event through a screenshot I came across before I could watch the episode.
In the end, I loved the season. It is easily among the best TV and a front runner for my favorite season of Cobra Kai (so far). The excitement, the nostalgia, the humor, and the drama all come together to deliver a viewing experience that I didn’t know I needed five years ago. I am glad that I have come along for this ride. If you haven’t checked out the show yet, do so. Whether you are familiar with the movies or not, I can assure you that it is a wild ride. Strap in and get ready to hold onto your heart.
Thanks for reading this. Look for my full, in depth look at the season coming soon. Also, I plan on bringing a few other features covering my hobbies that I have been involved in lately, some exciting things on the horizon that I am looking forward to, as well as updates to my novel and future projects that should be coming down the pipe in the next year or so.