REVIEW – Cobra Kai Season 2 Episode 5 – “All In”

(WARNING!  SPOILERS AHEAD FOR SEASON 2 EPISODE 5 OF COBRA KAI!)

The rivalry between Sam and Tory is about to take a very interesting twist.  Miyagi Do is going to gain a new student.  Classic Karate Kid fans are about to have a musical easter egg that will have you cranking up the volume on your TV.  If you weren't "All In" on Cobra Kai Season 2 before, this will definitely help.

At the beginning of the episode, we get the impression that this will be a big one for Hawk.  It's hard to remember him as Eli, but we do get to see that at the beginning of the episode.  It turns out mom, with the best of intentions, was the one that told the teacher about the bullying.  It was hard to see the pain that Eli was going through, but it also serves as an interesting premise for who he has become now.  One giant back tattoo later and he is more confident than ever.  Of course, it doesn't help that Kreese seems to have singled him out as his ideal Cobra Kai candidate.  I will definitely be talking about that more at a later time.

Remember Eli's old best friend Demitri?  Well, it looks like being roughed up by Kreese and growing apart from Eli has led him to take some action.  Demitri becomes the newest student of Miyagi Do.  Daniel thinks this gives him the win that he has been waiting for, but this might end up being more trouble than he bargained for.  Let's just say Demitri isn't the best student.  I'm not talking about him being less than athletic, I'm talking about his mindset and willingness to learn.  Daniel is clearly frustrated by this, but isn't ready to give up on his newest student.  It turns out that Demitri has bigger problems than learning how to sand the floor.

Sam and Robbie go to the mall with Demitri to grab a bite to eat.  This is right around the time that Hawk finds out that Demitri has posted a negative Yelp review about Cobra Kai.  Hawk runs into Demitri at the comic book store, and has ever intention on beating up his former best friend.  It turns out that a nearby spinner rack full of comics would take the toughest blow.  Demitri manages to get out of there and run for his life.  While he's running, Karate Kid fans will notice a remake of "Danger" playing, which was the song that was playing when Daniel was running away from the skeleton clad Cobra Kai back in 1984.  Just when it looks like Demitri is about to receive his beating, Robbie and Sam jump in to save the day.  This is a pretty good fight scene in the food court, and shows them executing the circle technique that Daniel had been teaching them.  It's also a victory for Miyagi Do, as they are able to take down Hawk and his fellow Cobra Kai.  Could this be the spark that Demitri needs to step up his training?

While all of this was going on, Miguel was trying to make a video to get Sam back.  He ends up showing it to Tory, and I'm sure you could guess her reaction.  It was pretty obvious that Tory was into Miguel, and it's also obvious that Miguel is still very much hung up on Sam.  Tory tells him to lose the video because it makes him look desperate.  Taking it a step further, Tory takes Miguel out to a nearby playground at night.  Seems like harmless fun, until Tory makes her move and pretty much tells Miguel to get over Sam.  This also leads to Tory kissing Miguel, so it didn't take her long to work her charms on him.  I knew that Tory had an edge, but now we get to see how smart she is as well.  The question is, does she REALLY like Miguel or is this just a way to up her rivalry with Sam?  I guess only time will tell.

Sam seems to be doing a pretty good job of moving on, too.  After their victory at the mall, Sam and Robbie go back to the Larusso house where they have a bit of a moment.  Just when you think they will kiss as well, it's Robbie who stops at the very last moment.  Given the current circumstances, it just didn't seem right.  Sure it's awkward, but Robbie definitely does the right thing.  You could look at this and say that he blew his shot, but Sam doesn't seem like that kind of girl.  If anything, she may end up liking him even more because of this.  They will still be spending a lot of time together, so I wouldn't close the book on these two just yet.

Finally, I want to talk about Hawk, because thing are about to take a major turn.  After finding out what he planned to do to Demitri, Hawk's girlfriend breaks up with him.  I have to say, Moon really has come a long way since the beginning of the show.  Good for her!  For Hawk...not so much.  As he's taking his frustrations out on a heavy bag in the Cobra Kai dojo, he runs into Kreese.  What happens next will really add major fuel to the fire.  At the suggestion of Kreese, Hawk brings a few Cobra Kai students and vandalizes Miyagi Do.  I definitely got Karate Kid 2 vibes when watching this, but this was even harder to watch.  I think it's because Mr. Miyagi is dead, and this feels even more like sacred ground now.  These kind of actions are definitely a declaration of war.

Speaking of adding fuel to the fire, Johnny is trying to find Robbie.  After he doesn't find him at his house, he goes to Larusso Auto.  He is greeted by Anoush, and things escalate pretty quickly.  Johnny actually ends up assaulting him, because he wouldn't tell Johnny where Robbie was.  Finally, Anoush tells Johnny that Robbie now now living with Daniel's family.  At this point, how can Johnny not feel like Daniel is trying to take his son from him.  Admittedly, Johnny hasn't been the best father, but this is a real slap in the face.  It feels like this whole thing is about to blow up.

When Daniel sees the destruction at Miyagi Do, the devastation is written all over his face.  As if Mr. Miyagi's Medal of Honor being taken wasn't enough, the yellow car that was given to him by his mentor was spray painted with the Cobra Kai name.  Natually, Daniel goes right to Cobra Kai to confront Johnny about the whole thing.  Interestingly enough, Carmen had just counseled  Johnny the night before to let his rivalry with Daniel go.  Daniel comes in hot, but of course, Johnny has no idea what he's talking about.  Not only that, but he's really not going to let go of Daniel taking Robbie in now.  Just when it looks like the fight is on, Johnny takes the high road.  Kreese clearly doesn't like it, and you can see varying reactions throughout the dojo.  When Daniel tells everyone what happened, some students actually end up walking out on Cobra Kai.  It's hard to take a true count, but it seemed like less than half ended up walking out.  The core group is still there, but Johnny definitely isn't happy about these results.

It's subtle, but look at everything that Kreese has been able to set into motion since he arrived.  Things were always going to be tense between Johnny and Daniel, but now they are back at a fever pitch.  Now Kreese has a new pet project in Hawk, and you have to wonder if this new attitude will start to find it's way to some of the other students as well.  This episode was full of things that ALMOST happened, and I have a feeling we won't have to wait very long to see if some of these events actually do end up coming to pass.  Cobra Kai continues to deliver at the halfway mark of the season, with no filler or throw away episodes.  I can't wait to see what the second half has in store.

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