Cobra Kai Season 4 Review (2021)

Decades after their 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament bout, a middle-aged Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence find themselves martial-arts rivals again.
JulieGDecember 28, 202190/10010 min
Year of Release
Action, Comedy
30 mins
Overall Score
Rating Summary

As I write this, Cobra Kai has made it to season four (not that we were worried) and has already been greenlit for a fifth season. You might be wondering when Cobra Kai might run out of steam? Well, with the massive reveal at the end of this season, the question is, “who knows?” How many cameos can The Karate Kid franchise actors make before the fans get ready to move on? Nostalgia is a great catalyst for feeding the fandom flames.

This season is a sure-fire hit as far as I’m concerned. And by now, most viewers will probably have a good idea of who the “big bad” is for this season. It’s pretty hard to miss in the trailer. Suffice it to say that bringing this character back was a stroke of genius. There were lots of rumours about who it might be. I don’t think it would have been half as good if Mike Barnes had returned. Yes, he was an okay “bad guy”, but he did not make as much of an impact as Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith). We’re happy with the direction the creative team took for this season.

So to keep you all up with the play, Daniel (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny (William Zabka) have seen the error of their ways, and neither one of them is doing exceptionally well. With Kreese (Martin Kove) and Johnny falling out, a huge void opened up that needed to be filled. Johnny was never going to be the lead protagonist, and that was always the plan from what I’ve read. So that means that someone else has to move into that space.

Kreese wants control of the Valley, and he’s not above doing dodgy things to get it. But that’s the reason why Kreese is such a good villain; he’s a bad guy with morals that bend when needed. And he’s unpredictable. You never know what he’ll do next. So for now, Kreese is it, and he’s doing a reasonable job of dealing with Johnny and Daniel. But even he has limits. And with Johnny gone, he’s looking for a new wingman.


The fans considered Johnny and Daniel joining forces a season or two back, so it’s honestly not that surprising. It does make for some hilarious scenes, such as Johnny and Daniel’s styles clashing so much nobody knows what’s up or down. The students are finding it tough too. Having two Senseis should be a fantastic experience, but it takes a while for Johnny and Daniel to meet in the middle. For most of this season, it appears Johnny and Daniel are never going to resolve their differences.

Nostalgia aside, Terry Silver adds a lot of depth to this season. The actor that portrays him is a legitimate martial arts practitioner. And as a character, he adds that extra sting that John Kreese sometimes misses when he strikes. These two together is a fantastic combination of smarts, money and manipulation. If Kreese had issues with expanding Cobra Kai before, he definitely wouldn’t have any problem with Terry Silver backing him up. 

Let’s stay on Terry for a bit because he’s worth a paragraph or two. The relationship between Terry and Kreese goes way back, as most fans will already know. If you’re seeing Terry Silver for the first time, you probably should watch the other films in the trilogy to understand why their relationship is essential. You don’t necessarily have to understand to enjoy Cobra Kai, but it helps.

You can’t portray specific character quirks on-screen without knowing the “why” behind it. Such as what pushes Terry to do what he does at the end. And it’s a HUGE step for the franchise to take. Terry (in my opinion) was a better Martial Artist and strategist than Kreese and was even better than Kreese at playing mind games with people. This season is one of the best (so far) because of his presence.


The kids in the show are still experiencing their bumps in the road of life. It does seem that the adults take centre stage this season, but there’s still enough drama going on with the teenagers for the audience to remain engaged. Miguel (Xolo MaridueƱa) is beginning to come into his own in his relationship with Johnny. It’s a bittersweet ending for him this season but one that I’m excited to watch as it evolves even further next season. Tory (Peyton List) used to annoy me as a character, but she gets more screen time this season, and it works exceptionally well for her character arc. She’s still the bad girl, but we learn a little more about her. As for the LaRusso kids, both Samantha and Anthony get to feature more prominently, with Anthony’s character arc becoming a concern for the LaRusso’s.

And finally, Daniel and Johnny manage to see “eye to eye” for a comeback in the final episode. Still, it looks like Johnny’s story is going in a completely different direction next season. As far as Daniel is concerned, the big reveal at the end gives the fans something extraordinary to look forward to next season. And again, if you haven’t seen the other films in the trilogy, you are missing out. Maybe try and get a little Karate Kid watching in while you wait for the fifth season to arrive next year. One thing is sure, though, and that is Cobra Kai doesn’t look like it’s going to run out of steam any time soon.

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