The much-anticipated release of ‘Cobra Kai’ Season 4 is just days away. The newest installation in the ‘Karate Kid Universe’ releases New Year’s Eve on Netflix. With so much to look forward to in the new season, there’s maybe some details you might’ve forgotten from Season 3. Not to worry, we’ve got it handled with an episode by episode ‘Cobra Kai’ Season 3 Recap to get you up to speed. You’ll be happy to know the entire main cast from season 3 WILL be returning.
Cobra Kai Season 3 started after a big cliffhanger from Season 2. This season comes after a long wait and the show’s transition from Youtube Red to becoming a Netflix original. Everything that seemed patched up at the end of Season 2 quickly fell apart as the huge fight between the rival karate couples happened at the high school. On top of it all, John Kreese (Martin Kove) has taken over Cobra Kai, and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) has seemed to give up all hope.
Episode 1 – Aftermath
We start ‘Cobra Kai’ Season 3 directly after the big “Miyagi-Do vs. Cobra Kai” fight. After showing mercy to Robby (Tanner Buchanan), Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) ends up hospitalized in a coma after Robby kicks him over a railing. Robby’s on the run from the police, and Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) tries his best to find him. Sam (Mary Mouser) is suspended from school after the fight and left with scars on her arm from Tory “with a y” (Peyton List). The LaRusso dealership is not doing so well with all the bad publicity. Johnny’s relationship with Miguel’s mother is put to a screeching halt. Carmen makes it very clear she doesn’t want him anywhere near Miguel. Johnny still goes to the hospital as much as he can to talk to Miguel while he’s in his coma.
One of our Cobra Kai OG’s, Aisha (Nichole Brown), sadly doesn’t return for season 3, but “head BIC” Yasmine (Annalisa Cochrane) is back from Season One.
Daniel lets Johnny know he has a lead on Robby. Miguel ends up pulling through and finally wakes up.
This episode is in memory of former Karate Kid and Cobra Kai member Rob Garrison.
Episode 2 – Nature vs. Nurture
We are introduced to Kreese’s backstory as we start Episode 2 back in 1965. At a diner in the San Fernando Valley, young John Kreese is working and bussing on some “cool kids” in town who bully him and even call him a loser. We also learn that his mom committed suicide, as one of the bullies mentions.
The monster we know now is very different from this young sweet, and fragile kid; Kreese picks up a pamphlet to join the U.S. Army and decides to join. Later on, we see Kreese’s girlfriend getting beat up by bad guys, and he whips out some karate moves. We move back to the present day, and Kreese continues to teach his class that weakness is unacceptable. He decides to start eliminating the “weakness” from his team. This leaves him mainly with Hawk(Jacob Bertrand) and Tory(who he convinces to come back).
Johnny and Daniel show up at Robby’s mom’s rehab, and she has no idea where Robby is either. Later on, Robby’s at the rehab facility, and Daniel calls the cops to get him there so he can turn himself in and have a much lighter sentence(damn Daniel).
Miguel is awake and alert but has no feeling in his legs. Johnny meets him at the hospital and tells him the doctors say he might not walk again. Miguel thinks this happened because he listened to Johnny and showed mercy. Miguel throws Johnny out of his hospital room and never wants to speak to him again.
Episode 3 – Now You’re Gonna Pay
Episode 3 of ‘Cobra Kai’ Season 3 starts to build the foundation for the season ahead. Setting up storylines and nostalgia, which was honestly awesome to watch.
Johnny plans to visit Miguel at the hospital (against his wishes) and then visit Robby in prison. Miguel’s family asks Johnny to stay and pray with them, which means he doesn’t go to visit Robby. Johnny is tumbling between lines of fatherhood and trying to decide what’s right and wrong.
Daniel tries to call Robby, who immediately hangs up. Tom Cole (owner of the rival car dealership) shows up at LaRusso Auto, where he tells them he wants to buy them out. Cole reveals he’s going exclusive with “Doyona” (a Tokyo company), which would leave Daniel’s car dealership with nothing. Daniel refuses to sign any papers and takes it upon himself to fix LaRusso Auto after neglecting it the whole summer during season 2. He heads to Japan to speak with the company himself.
After a car wash fundraiser for Miguel, students of Cobra Kai – especially Hawk – are not happy about it. Robby sees this on the news and starts a fight that he loses at the prison. Cobra Kai students steal the money from the car wash and beat up Nathaniel, one of the smaller members of the nonexistent Miyagi-Do. After seeing Cobra Kai’s nonstop violence towards them, Sam decides to reopen Miyagi-Do and train everyone herself. Sam says, “Cobra Kai’s never stopped training. We need to catch up.”
Episode 4 – The Right Path
This episode brings back a lot of nostalgia from The Karate Kid Part II, where Daniel travels with Mr. Miyagi to Okinawa. Daniel goes to speak with Doyona about keeping business with him, but they’ve already made up their minds and want to avoid negative PR. Daniel is struggling and decides to visit Mr. Miyagi’s hometown. Tomi Village is no longer a farm town and now a pretty much-urbanized shopping center. While there, he runs into his past romantic love interest Kumiko(Tamlyn Tomita), and they catch up. It’s a sweet reunion, and they toast to knowing things will work out – until they are interrupted by an old enemy, Chozen(Yuji Okumoto).
Johnny finds out Miguel’s surgery was successful, and they’re on better terms now. At this point, they still don’t know whether he’ll walk again. As Miguel starts feeling down and feels like the surgery won’t work in the long run, we see our confident Sensei makes a return. Johnny cuts him off and yells the iconic “QUIET!” Johnny tells Miguel, “You’re gonna do whatever it takes… And I’m always gonna be right here next to you”.
Johnny also visits Robby during his community service and explains how they were on the right path before the fight. Robby says, “It was one day” and “I shouldn’t be surprised that you chose Miguel over me again.” Kreese pleads with Johnny and tries to bring him back to Cobra Kai, but Johnny’s not having it. After no luck with Johnny, Kreese decides to stick his claws into Robby. Hostility builds at the school, and Kreese continues to build drama as the main villain of the show.
Episode 5 – Miyagi-Do
Daniel spends time in Okinawa with Kumiko and reconciles with Chozen after some sparring. Chozen teaches Daniel the secret Miyagi pressure points technique. Daniel later meets an adult Yuna, who was the little girl he saved during the typhoon in 1986. She also happens to work as Senior VP of Sales for Doyona International and reveals she will save Daniel’s business.
Robby gets in another fight with the inmates but now has earned their respect for not snitching.
Even though Miguel is in rehabilitation and his progress is looking positive, Johnny knows Miguel just needs to be pushed a little, and he’ll walk in no time. Johnny takes Miguel’s therapy into his own hands and brings him to a Dee Snider concert. He hands him a beer and wants Miguel to relax and have fun. While doing this, Johnny is “Miyagi-ing” him into not focusing so hard on the task at hand-his recovery. Miguel ends up tapping his foot to the music without even realizing it. Johnny’s feeling good and finally gets back on technology. Finally, halfway through the new season of Cobra Kai, he realizes Ali (Elisabeth Shue) has accepted his Facebook Request from the end of season 2.
There’s a fight between members of Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do at Golf n’ Stuff. Sam is still terrified of Tory as she tries to hunt her down, and Hawk breaks Demetri’s arm. Sam cries to her mom(Amanda LaRusso) saying, “I just wanted to show them we couldn’t be bullied.” Cobra Kai has taken it way too far, so Amanda approaches Kreese, slaps him in the face, and threatens the cops on him if he doesn’t stop sending Cobra Kai students after Miyagi-Do.
Episode 6 – King Cobra
Daniel returns from Japan so happy, but he immediately changes his tone when his wife brings up Kreese. Daniel and Amanda are on a mission to shut down Cobra Kai and head straight to the police. They try to file a restraining order against Kreese, but it’s unsuccessful. It turns out he has already put one out against Amanda -a, and her slap doesn’t look so well on paper with his past as a Vietnam vet.
Miguel helps Johnny build up his Facebook profile, as Johnny is not tech-savvy in the least and has no knowledge of “social media etiquette. ” This man liked ALL of Ali’s posts. Ali messages him about a little of what she’s been up to and life and asks him how he’s been. Miguel gives Johnny a speech about how good of a sensei he is, and it prompts him to start showing his true achievements online. He writes a lovely worded message to send to Ali. Right before he sends it, he decides to delete it all and write “not much, u?”.
We get more of a glimpse into Kreese’s time in Vietnam as he receives a photo of his girlfriend in the mail but is automatically interrupted by his hard Captain. The Captain wants him to join his squad he has heading into Northern Vietnam and teach him his fighting tactics which is a lot rougher than the karate he already knew. Kreese’s weakness and hesitation in this episode gets his group captured and held at gunpoint by Vietnamese soldiers as one of his own is killed.
This episode of ‘Cobra Kai’ Season 3 shows us a little into why Kreese is so messed up inside and why he’s so focused on winning as if it’s life or death. Kreese spends his time looking for new recruits and ends up getting many of the school’s athletes, including the bully from S1 Kyler. He starts to replace the weaker members of his team with these new and “better” fighters.
Episode 7 – Obstáculos
Daniel spends some one-on-one time with Sam and helps her overcome her fear of Tory and guilt about Miguel. They train a little, and Sam confesses all the panic attacks she’s been having. She even includes her nightmare from the night before, where Tory tries to drown her. Daniel brings her around to a few places, and they end up at the All-Valley Sports Arena. More than this being the place he beat Johnny, this is the place where Daniel shed his fears. He teaches Sam that she has it within her to get rid of the fears too. Sam decides she will start training again, and Daniel officially reopens the Miyagi Dojo.
Miguel has trained for days and can finally walk freely again with no bounds to his wheelchair or crutches. After he sees Demetri’s broken arm and finds out about the fight at Golf n’ Stuff, he decides to cut off all ties with Cobra Kai.
Johnny talks to the kids at the high school and apologizes for screwing up letting them down. He invites the team to join his new dojo and practice that afternoon. They can stay with Kreese, but they can’t say he didn’t warn them. He takes the students who have stood by his side and decides to open “Eagle Fang Karate.”
Kreese, Hawk, and the rest of the Cobra Kai crew show up at Johnny’s first practice with his new “team.” He gives Johnny one more chance to join him, and Johnny declines. Kreese swears Johnny will regret this.
Episode 8 – The Good, the Bad, and the Badass
Daniel and Johnny are still bickering, and both go to pick up Robby from prison. When Robby gets out, he tells Daniel and Johnny to stay out of his life. He ends up crossing paths with Tory in this episode. They both have fuel for the fire in ‘Cobra Kai’ Season 3 since they were “betrayed” by their lovers in Season 2.
After the big school fight, the city council has decided to cancel the All Valley Tournament for the year. Johnny, Daniel, and Kreese all want it to happen. There’s a community hearing, and all three Sensei’s show up. Their pleas get them nowhere, and the council still refuses to appeal the permit for the tournament. That is until Miguel and Sam show up. They both make a compelling case and talk about how important karate and their Sensei’s are in their life. They get the All Valley Under 18 Tournament to be back on and celebrate by catching up with a few drinks and a little friendly sparring session. Romance seems to be sparking between the two, at least before Robby shows up and tries to hit Miguel. Sam pushes him away, and prison hardened Robby runs to Cobra Kai right into the arms of Kreese.
Johnny and Carmen (Miguel’s mother) finally make up and are back in their relationship.
Episode 9 – Feel the Night
Ali Mills makes her highly awaited return and is back in town for Christmas time! She and Johnny reunite by grabbing lunch and hitting up Golf n’ Stuff. With his relationship with Carmen back on track, Johnny is on a slippery slope as he finally hangs out with “the one that got away.” Johnny and Ali attend the same Christmas party as Daniel and Amanda. Johnny walks into the party to see Ali reuniting with Daniel. Miguel and Daniel start to find common ground between their childhoods.
Miguel and Sam end up rekindling their relationship(let’s go!). The new on-again couple helps to create an alliance between students of Eagle Fang and Miyagi-Do to fight against Cobra Kai.
Some Cobra Kai students are wary about Robby’s presence and want him gone, especially after how he hurt Miguel. Tory talks to Robby to encourage him to channel his anger into power. Also, Tory is NOT happy when she hears Miguel and Sam have been working together. The Cobra Kai team breaks into the zoo to steal a snake for their Sensei, and while Hawk fails, Robby manages to capture one. Hawk sees how quickly he went from being a leader to nobody again.
Episode 10 (Finale) – December 19
The ‘Cobra Kai’ Season 3 Finale is an accumulation of everything we’ve been waiting for. We get so many answers and lots of karate – it’s easily one of the best episodes of the season.
Kreese’s Back Story
We’re back in Kreese’s backstory with a Vietnam flashback. His whole squad is imprisoned, and the Captain claims it’s all Kreese’s fault. He is the reason they will all die. One by one, the Vietnam soldiers take members from Kreese’s squad and make them fight each other on a platform over a deep pit filled with snakes. One of the few from the squad left, the soldiers take Kreese and his cold-hearted Captain out. As they walk to their fate, the Captain finally decides to tell Kreese some info that’s been kept from him.
His girlfriend back home, Betsy, died in a car crash. With Kreese enraged by his “weaknesses,” his Captain’s bullying, and his teammate’s deaths – the withheld information of the death of his girlfriend takes him over the edge. Kreese beats his Captain mercilessly until he’s hanging on the edge of the platform. The Captain pleads for Kreese to help him up, but instead, he pushes him off the ledge and says, “No mercy.” The soldier’s life Kreese ends up saving is Terry Silver, who proclaims he will do anything he ever needs from him.
Ali, Johnny, and Daniel
At the Christmas party, Ali and Johnny speak with Amanda and Daniel. Ali leaves Daniel and Johnny with a lot of wisdom and advice. She tells the two, “The truth is, you guys are more alike than you want to admit.” Ali is the magic fix and mediator we needed for Daniel and Johnny to finally drop their differences and come together. Daniel and Ali (and us viewers) finally get the closure we never got after their sudden breakup at the beginning of KK Part II. Even with Johnny’s “dreams of being back with Ali” back on the table, he does the right thing and decides to continue his relationship with Carmen. All ends well as Johnny and Ali say their goodbyes and hug it out.
The Kid’s Big Fight
During the Christmas party, Cobra Kai members show up at the LaRusso residence and start a huge fight. Led by Tory, the team bursts into the house, and chaos ensues. Tory confronts Sam and kicks her to the ground. Sam is down, but not for long as she hears Daniels’s voice in her head which pushes her to get up. She grabs a bow and starts to defend herself against Tory. As Sam has the upper hand, Tory says, “This will never be over LaRusso. You hear me?”
Meanwhile, Kyler is beating up Miguel, who refuses to give up. Miguel finally gets motivated, flips Kyler over, and punches him on the ground.
While Hawk is still on Cobra Kai’s side, he hears the evil voices of Kreese in his head and sees other members about to break Demetri’s other arm. He realizes how wrong he’s been about everything and runs to Demetri’s defense! Hawk apologizes to Demetri, and the two fight off Cobra Kai side by side.
The Kreese Confrontation
As Johnny goes to tell Carmen exactly how he feels, she opens the door to a beaten up and bleeding Miguel. Johnny, enraged, heads to the Cobra Kai dojo and starts a fight with Kreese(who’s been training Robby). Johnny gets Kreese to the ground and starts beating him relentlessly until Robby holds him back and stops him. An angered Robby tells his dad, “I can’t be my own worst enemy, but you can be.” Robby then starts to fight Johnny, who accidentally ends with Johnny defending himself and throwing Robby into the corner lockers (where he knocks out). Johnny heads over to Robby to check on him and see if he’s okay. During which Kreese gets up and starts to beat Johnny.
Daniel shows up after seeing what went down at home. He yells at Kreese for sending the Cobra Kai kids to his house. Daniel is fired up and prepares to defend himself. The two start fighting, and Kreese pushes himself and Daniel through the front window and land on the sidewalk. Daniel remembers the pressure point technique he learned back in Okinawa and uses it on Kreese, leaving him defenseless. Daniel prepares for an ending blow but stops once Sam and Miguel appear.
Johnny and Daniel are now outside face to face with Kreese, who says they should settle things the old-fashioned way, with a tournament. If Cobra Kai loses, he will leave them alone for good.
The episode comes to a close as Kreese calls Terry Silver, a villain from The Karate Kid Part III. But more importantly, Johnny and Daniel have finally joined forces! The students of Eagle Fang and Miyagi-Do show up at the Miyagi Dojo to start training. We see Daniel ready to teach the class, and Johnny comes out a few seconds later. The team-up we’ve all been waiting for is finally here.
‘Cobra Kai’ Season 3 comes to its close as new betrayals and alliances are made as everything leads up to the All Valley Tournament.
The Season 4 trailer gives us a sneak peek of what’s to come in the new Cobra Kai season.
The soul of the valley is up for grabs. Which side will take it? Cobra Kai Season 4 premieres Dec 31. pic.twitter.com/rgdqu1qIpZ
— Cobra Kai (@CobraKaiSeries) December 2, 2021
Are you excited for Cobra Kai Season 4? Please feel free to comment on any predictions you have for the upcoming season below, and we’d love to hear from you.