Very rarely has a show shocked me in quality, Cobra Kai was a show that really did surprise me. So much so, I wrote a post on just how good the show was. So, I spent the weekend watching Season 3.
I really loved Season 3, not as much as I loved the first two seasons. But, maybe that was because I expected nothing from the first two seasons and they blew my mind. And, so coming into season 3, I had such a high expectation for the third season.
But, nevertheless the season was still great, I loved the travelling to Japan arc, and Daniel meeting some of the original cast members from Karate Kid 2. I loved the appearance of Ali Mills, and the lessons and the themes season 3 teaches. A pivotal one being, you can’t live in the past.
Of course, there is still the ridiculousness of it all, but the show is so brilliantly written, and it’s clear the creators invest love and care into it, that it is literally able to get away with anything. Miguel being able to walk again after three weeks, sure – why not? A bunch of kids taking justice into their own hands instead of calling the police, sure!
But, as I write this, I find myself being overly-critical as I start to list some of the things I wish I had seen more of, like: a bigger presence for Johnny (because I feel as though even though there are many cogs in this wheel, it should still be Johnny, that is at the centre of the show). Or, I wish we had seen more of Robby and Miguel, and their dynamic, but I understand that this season was aimed to set up the next as supposed to being seen as a stand-alone season.
There is one thing that I wish the season hadn’t have done and I can’t overlook no matter how much I love the season. The reason I love Cobra Kai, and it made me such a fan, to the point I made an entire post on it was because it had these themes that were so complex; about heroes, villains and redemption.
But, the third season, draws the lines clear in the sand, John Kreese is the ‘bad guy’ poisoning everyone, whilst everyone else is the hero. That being said, I feel as though maybe, I am not giving the season enough credit for doing the most they could due to the structure that they had already created.
By that, I mean – and a reason the show is so loved – is because it’s such easy viewing, and so I commend the show for giving us a back-story for Kreese, and showing us why he is who he is in this world. When, they didn’t have much time to shoe-horn everything in, especially in a show that has so much going on. And, even though Kreese continuously insists to show ‘No Mercy’, you see he continuously wants to bring Johnny aboard, and I really liked that.
And, so for me, where the season hiccups is in the last episode. No, not the whole episode, because I think season finale is amazing and one of the best of the entire show, but in just one moment I think Cobra Kai took the wrong decision. For a moment it seems as though Kreese is set to kill Johnny, and, by him doing so it turns him into the unequivocal ‘villain’ of the story, and the biggest strength this story has had was acknowledging there never is a hero or a villain.
I loved Kreese’ arc in season 2, where he is shown to be vulnerable, and you are almost willing Johnny to forgive him. But, I felt as though he never shined as much in the third season, even though I did love his back-story and the scene where he saves Tory from her landlord. But, even characters like Robby and Tory become somewhat villains. Whereas beforehand, you were almost supporting every character in their own way.
I also really enjoyed Hawk this season, I loved the scene where he fights his bully, but – again, following the same criticism as above, it feels as though the only reason Kyler was introduced was to create another ‘villain’ to join Cobra Kai.
I really did enjoy the season though, I loved the season finale, and the character development for Johnny and Daniel. I loved the final fights, both the one in Johnny fighting Kresse, punching Robby and apologising. And I loved the final fight at the LaRusso home.
And, again – I loved seeing more of Johnny and Miguel. One of my wishes for next season, is to see Miguel feel a little under-appreciated by Johnny like Robby has. And, in that sense it can play of the dynamics Cobra Kai is so good at, like in the first season – perspective!