(WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD FOR SEASON 2 EPISODE 3 OF COBRA KAI!)
Imagine discovering the internet for the first time, after the age of 40. Johnny Lawrence heads into all new territory in Season 2 Episode 3 of Cobra Kai. Find out how it all ends in “Fire and Ice”.
Like any good small businessmen, Johnny is upgrading his operation. He has gotten himself a computer and officially entered the 21st century. What’s hilarious is watching him try to figure out how to use it. I know that the whole “fish out of water” thing has been done a lot on TV with technology, but this was so true to life hilarious. Then Johnny finds the internet, and search engines. I know this is a spoiler filled review, but I really don’t want to spoil some of his early searches, because that would be criminal. He eventually finds some old karate videos on YouTube, but that’s not all he finds. Johnny sees an ad for Miyagi Do Karate, which takes a shot at Cobra Kai and offers free lessons. So Johnny is angry, and not sure how he’s supposed to compete with that. It might not be as bad as he thinks.
Apparently Daniel used a bunch of the dealership’s money to make that Miyagi Do commercial. His wife is not too thrilled about that, but Daniel is convinced they can make up the difference at the upcoming Valley Fest event. It’s gotten to the point of full blown obsession now with Cobra Kai. Kreese coming back has clearly pushed Daniel over the edge. He acts like he has it all under control, but it’s pretty clear that he doesn’t. It gets worse when he sees the comments for his commercial. He gets accused of whitewashing and cultural misappropriation. This is brilliant by the writers, as it is again very true to life in how society might react. It also lets viewers make up their own mind as to whether they agree or not.
Back at Cobra Kai, Johnny is trying to film his own response video. It’s not quite as professional, and very impromptu, but it’s also very Cobra Kai. This is also when Miguel and Hawk confront Johnny about Robbie being his son. This goes about as bad as you would expect. It also again highlights the different reactions that Hawk and Miguel have. It’s clear that Miguel is on Johnny’s side, no matter what. As for Hawk, there are definitely cracks in the foundation, and he definitely seems to be getting more angry. This is not the last we will hear about this.
Later on, Johnny ends up taking Miguel to some random burger joint. Turns out it wasn’t so random. This was across the street from the hospital where Robbie was born. Long story short, Johnny missed his son’s birth because he was at this burger place recovering from binge drinking. He talks about how he failed his son from the minute he was born. He then tells Miguel that he will always be on his side and will always have his best interests. This was a big moment in the show, for me. Not only is this the most emotional we have ever seen Johnny, but it really solidifies the father/son bond that he has formed with Miguel. This was definitely one of my favorite moments of the entire show so far.
Fast forward to Valley Fest, where now Daniel wants to put on a display of what Miyagi Do can do. Since the last two potential students thought Miyagi Do was some sort of slave labor scam, he felt like he needed to show everyone what the dojo is all about. The presentation goes well at first, until they are interrupted. That’s right, Johnny knows and Cobra Kai is on the scene. They put on their own display, and it was pretty amazing. Daniel didn’t get to break his ice (like in Karate Kid 2), but Johnny does break some cement blocks that were on fire. Yep, Daniel’s thunder is officially stolen.
This was a brilliantly written episode. When we found out in the trailer that Miyagi Do would be free, it never dawned on me that this could actually backfire. Now it’s Daniel who is getting desperate, and may even be putting the stable part of his life in jeopardy. Then you have John Kreese, who always seems to show up at the right time to poke the bear and add fuel to the war. This feels like a setup for a major blowout at some point this season. Don’t worry, they didn’t forget about the Robbie/Sam dynamic, there was still some attention on that as well. Cobra Kai continues to show how revivals of classic shows can be done well and add to the story in a meaningful way. Binge on!