Cobra Kai Season 3

The much anticipated third season of the Karate Kid follow up strikes first, strikes hard and shows no mercy as the #1 show in the world.

Being released to Netflix on 1st January, one week earlier than its original release date, Cobra Kai Season 3 is everything you would expect it to be and delivers on all scales.

Whilst the first two seasons focussed on establishing the new generation of karate students, season 3 spends more time on developing the original characters and how their decisions have an impact on the kids lives.

As I have said a few times one of the things I admire most about Cobra Kai is how much the writers adore the franchise as a whole and it really shows in the way they decide to give us heartwarming throwbacks, allowing viewers to dive deeper into the events of the entire Karate Kid series.

Much like the previous seasons, the third is an easy one to binge watch and I did so in the space of a day. Each episode leaves you with a taste of wanting more and the pace of the season really starts to accelerate as we near the finale.

The season picks up on the aftermath of the school brawl at the end of season 2 and we see first hand how each character’s life has been affected by it. Whilst there isn’t a main character as such the focus still remains on Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), who spends some time learning about the history of Myagi Do Karate, and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), who seeks redemption whilst trying to still make amends with his son Robbie (Tanner Buchanan).

The kids still play a significant role in season 3 though and what of the most inspiring character arcs is Miguel’s (Xolo Maridueña) and we see what it takes for him to make a full recovery following his severe spinal injury in the finale of season 2. We get some pretty deep scenes of him trying his best to rebuild his strength to walk again and he eventually thanks to the help of Johnny. What I liked a lot about these two in season 3 is just how much their relationship had evolved since the first episode. At the end of the season Miguel isn’t just a student of Johnny’s but more like a younger brother. The way they interact with each other, go to a rock concert and always have each other’s back is one of the strongest dynamics of the entire show.

Another character left traumatised from the events of season 2’s finale is Daniel’s daughter Samantha (Mary Mouser). She spends the majority of season 3 dealing with her issues but through the help of her father finds a way to confront her worst fears and finally shows her strength in an epic encounter with Tory (Peyton List).

Like with season 2, Tory, Eli (played by Jacob Bertrand) and the rest of the Cobras are all manipulated and trained by Sensei John Kreese (Martin Kove) who is more sinister now than ever. I have read some reviews that mentioned Kreese as one of the downside’s to this season due to this over the top villainous but if anything that’s one of the reason that makes it so good. Martin Kove’s menacing presence is as perfect now as it was in the original three movies and his actions throughout season 3 has consequences on every character including Robbie who Kreese now has on his side to hurt Johnny further. Not only do we see what Kreese is like in the modern world but for the first time we get a look at his past in Vietnam and how events there paved the way for his evil ways today.

As I mentioned earlier, the focus is really on both Daniel and Johnny in season 3 and how they both grow as individuals. They are brought together a few times over the course of the season whether they like it or not and, thanks to a familiar face that comes between them in the final episode, slowly start to realise what each other have went through and they begin to have an understanding of one another which culminates in the final moments of the season.

Overall, Cobra Kai Season 3 exceeds all expectations and continues to develop each character in the right direction. I cannot praise the writers enough for doing such a great job once again by mixing nostalgia, humour, drama and action all together whilst still being able to produce something bigger, badder and better than what we have previously seen.

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