Netflix's Cobra Kai marked the triumphant return of Thomas Ian Griffith's Terry Silver, back from his The Karate Kid Part III (1989) glory and then some helping out his former Vietnam War captain John Kreese (Martin Kove) run the dojo. The series also marked some new additions like Dallas Dupree Young and some shocking returns. This is your major spoilers warning.
Paul Walter Hauser, who played the oldest Cobra Kai student in Stingray, spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about he originally got involved in the series in season two, his season three absence, season four return, and fan reception. "I got a call from my reps telling me that the creators had seen I, Tonya and had a character for me in season two," he said. "I hadn't watched 'Cobra Kai', but it sounded like some schlocky revival idea. But, I dug the creators' [Jon Hurwitz, Josh Heald, and Hayden Schlossberg] 'Harold and Kumar' films and 'Hot Tub Time Machine.' On the ride to lunch to meet them, I watched the first three episodes of 'Cobra Kai' on my iPad. I was so hooked that I showed up 10 minutes late to the meeting just to finish an episode. We ate Mexican food and endlessly quoted the film 'Dirty Work' and talked of our admiration for John Goodman in 'The Big Lebowski.' That was it. The show was good, they were cool. And they bought me nachos."
A scheduling conflict prevented Hauser's involvement in season three. "Josh, Jon, and Hayden offered me season three in early August 2019, but I had already committed to doing 'Cruella' for Disney," he said. "So, I had to pass and hope they might let me come back in the future. I was grateful they did. The show understands its tone and characters intimately. Cobra Kai has smart people doing silly things — which I can't get enough of." The actor appreciates the newfound fame the Netflix series has afforded him. "When I stroll through an airport at 6 a.m., they don't shout, "Yo, we LOVE that racist you played in 'BlacKkKlansman!'" They shout, or loudly whisper, 'Stingraaaaay' with a mischievous smile. I love the show and hope that I can someday be shooting scenes for season seven while doing a Jane Campion film on the side."
The series found the character oblivious to the events of season three and trying to rejoin Cobra Kai, but Kreese had no interest and only disgust, kicking him out in front of his peers. Desperate, Stingray later returns to find Terry alone in the dojo with a scheme to frame Kreese for the beat down he delivers personally to Stingray. When the police visit Stingray in his hospital room, we come to find out he named Kreese as his attacker and they show up at Terry's to arrest him mid-celebration of Cobra Kai winning the All-Valley Tournament. Of course, Hauser was keeping any Season 5 spoilers under lock and key.