Well, it finally arrived. Teenage angst plus karate with a dash of the now-resolved past and a great deal of what might come in the future just barely describes what season 5 of Cobra Kai was about since the truth is that there’s a lot more to it than what is seen on the surface. There are spoilers to come, so if you haven’t binge-watched the entire season yet like a few of us pop culture nerds, then so be it, but there was no stopping the season once it was started, apart from the occasional food or bathroom break. Fans didn’t have long to wait between seasons this time around thankfully as the fifth season kicked off just yesterday with a seamless transition into the future of Cobra Kai under Terry Silver and the ruthless senseis that he would eventually fly in at great cost. In the meantime, Daniel had to deal with the idea of closing his dojo, no matter that he and Chozen had allied to take Silver down. With Johnny seeking out Miguel in Mexico, with Robby in tow, the gang wasn’t all together quite yet.
Trying to summarize an entire season is kind of tough, but it can be done.
Let’s see, Cobra Kai continued to think they were the best thing since sliced bread thanks to the delusions placed in their heads by Terry Silver, who is charming and knows how to put on a friendly face. Kreese was still in prison, but making it known that he wasn’t the weak old man that he appeared to be as he took on some of the biggest and baddest guys in his block. The relationships in this movie continued to ride the emotional rollercoaster as Sam and Miguel, Robby and Tory, Daniel and Amanda, and even Johnny and Carmen had to learn how to adapt to each other all over again. Even more surprising is the sweetie that Chozen is heard to crush on at one point, but you should probably watch the season instead of learning who his heart is set on here. In other words, yes, the show is still exploring the many different relationships as much as it can, and for good reason, since these relationships have a lot to do with how the story develops.
Yes, Mike Barnes did return.
If there’s a season 6 coming, and there’s a good chance it might happen thanks to the ingenuity of a certain individual that performed a great fake-out at one point, then it’s hard to know if Barnes will return. But the fact that he did come back was a lot of fun since his integration into the story was, as expected, kind of cringe-worthy on Daniel’s part, and amusing enough to enjoy thanks to Chozen of all people. Barnes was a character that many people thought would come back and join Terry Silver since, as the bad boy of karate, he was expected to have changed very little in the past few decades. Thankfully, cooler heads did prevail as Mike came back a very changed man, at least on the outside, since the bad boy is still very much buried within his being. But thanks to the shared hatred of Terry Silver, Barnes has become an ally, adding to the redemption arc that is needed for this story to continue its desired arc.
Chozen became a very important part of this season.
It was great enough to see him when he was brought back to teach Daniel how to let go of the past, but Chozen’s trip to America has been a great deal of fun this season since he’s shown a very different side of himself and more than that, he’s become a true friend to Daniel. Even better are his interactions with Johnny and Mike, who don’t know what to think about this character at first, but come to like him quite a bit as time wears on. Okay, Mike might not be entirely enamored of him, but Barnes does recognize the need to have allies, which makes the story even more fun as the three men, along with Daniel, become far more interesting to watch as they finally grow up and leave their personal troubles behind. The funny thing is that Terry doesn’t believe this is enough, which is a very Terry Silver thing to do.
Should I spoil the way the season ends? Nah.
Just because a bunch of us have binge-watched the entire season at this point doesn’t mean that we need to tell people everything that happens. Just let it be said that the feel of this season isn’t quite as juvenile as the others have been, meaning that as much as the kids are growing and developing, so are the adults. There is a fun cameo during the season that people will hopefully remember from the third Karate Kid movie, and yes, there are a LOT of references to the movies of the 80s and 90s. Seriously, did you expect anything else?
The fifth season is probably one of the most fun of the bunch at this point, and I can’t help but hope that there will be a season 6, to wrap things up maybe.