So now that the dust is starting to settle in the LaRusso household with Netflix releasing season three of Cobra Kai all at once, let's break down some of its developments. There's an obvious major spoiler warning for the recent season along with some Star Wars references along the way, so consider our "MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!" sign officially on and in play after the spoiler image buffer.
With Hawk/Eli (Jacob Bertrand) going Darth Vader during the epic battle turning to the "light" with the Miyagi-do/Eagle Fang, Kreese's (Martin Kove) going full Palpatine getting Robby (Tanner Buchanan) to turn to the Dark Side, and breaking down Ali's (Elizabeth Shue) impact on Daniel (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny (William Zabka), let's look at what it can mean for season four. Let's first tackle the 400 lb gorilla in the room with Eli.
Is Everything Really Copacetic with Eli and Demetri?
For most of the series, we saw a predominantly one-sided affair between Eli imposing his will as he relentlessly bullied Demetri (Gianni Decenzo). Yes, the neurotic Demetri tried everything to get Eli, who rebranded himself as Hawk since joining Cobra Kai of their once former friendship embracing nerd culture. Eli only kept spitting in his former friend's face constantly abusing him when Demetri decided to study under Miyagi-do and learned to stand up for himself especially to his "former" friend.
Season three is still largely one-sided with Hawk breaking Demetri's arm, which in part traumatized Sam (Mary Mouser), who couldn't help. With Eli's one-time bully Kyler (Joe Seo) recruited into Cobra Kai, Hawk no longer felt like the alpha anymore. While Kreese ultimately said it best to foreshadow the events to come justifying his recruitment of Robby, the Vietnam vet evoked the proverb of "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." Yeah, as appealing as it sounds to try to have the higher ground, it doesn't seem the showrunners care if Hawk needed some kind of "redemption" beyond just turning the tide of the battle at the LaRusso home. Not to mention that he's literally become the worst poster child for toxic masculinity throughout most of the series. The grey area Cobra Kai ends up being a double-edged sword. Guess we'll have to wait until season four to see how "sorry" Eli really is for his past behavior.
How Real is Robby's Vader Prequel Moment?
I have to feel for Buchanan's character, who's is going the exact opposite of Eli. He came from a mostly broken home with a mother completely shrouded in apathy to the first nurturing adult in his life in Daniel. Even after learning an honest life and the values of Miyagi-do karate, life deals him a harsh hand. Learning under Daniel should have taught him about learning to accept responsibility and courage under fire. Instead, the adolescent is still largely paranoid of his adult influences in his life and now further apart than ever with those trying to show him love in Daniel and Johnny. Who does Robby come to embrace? Kreese, of course! Guess it would be interesting to see if season four parallels The Karate Kid Part 3 (1989) and Daniel's arc with Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith). Then again, who knows how you quantify Robby's relationship with Daniel and his already fragile one with his father? There's also the dynamic of if Robby will do things cruelly for cruelty's sake. He did turn on his criminal friends after all while learning under Daniel.
Who Else from The Karate Kid Past Will Emerge in Cobra Kai?
Will Griffith return as the other The Karate Kid actors did reprising his role as Terry? It was only alluded to during Kreese's flashback scenes throughout about how he became molded through his experience in the Vietnam War. It was Terry who trained Daniel into the Cobra Kai way before LaRusso had his change of heart. Obviously given Kreese's ominous phone call, we should expect to see his former war buddy come, but hopefully, we won't have to wait until the end of the season like Ali. Along with Terry, naturally, the conversation turns to Julie Pierce, played by Hilary Swank in The Next Karate Kid (1994). As much of Daniel's journey discovered new things about Miyagi-do that was kept from him in Okinawa, perhaps Miyagi's final pupil that we know about also makes her debut to help him out in his ongoing journey of self-discovery.