Cobra Kai 3×01 “Aftermath” is a fitting season premiere, with the show attempting to establish the dynamics of the season (not that they’ve changed much in three seasons, if we’re being brutally honest) and the storylines that the show is looking to develop going forward.
It also deals directly with the aftermath (ha, very on the nose there) of the season 2 finale, with Miguel in a coma, Johnny drunk and disorderly, like always, Daniel feeling sorry for himself (also per the norm), Robbie nowhere to be found, and Sam trying to hide from what happened.
Look, I love Cobra Kai. It’s super cheesy, and yet incredibly entertaining, and if you’d told teenage me she’d be here having feelings about Johnny Lawrence, she probably would have laughed. And yes, I will likely complain a lot about how Daniel and Johnny have taken forever and a half to grow, but I still won’t stop watching the train wreck they create. That being said, it is season 3, so, like, please, some growth. Growth that sticks, I mean.
Also, please just join sides already. We know neither of you is the bad guy, and with a very defined bad guy now (I find it kind of refreshing to still hate Kreese all these years later), it’s about time you stop teasing us with the possibility and just, like, do it.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Yes, this episode ends with Daniel saying the right thing to Johnny: we both want to help Robby, so let’s join forces. The thing is …do we want Robby to be helped? Does Robby want to be helped? Is there any good path for Robby?
The show doesn’t give you an answer, and every viewer must decide their own, but the show is very explicit in saying that Robby made a mistake, but that shouldn’t mean his life is over. And that is, in general, a sentiment we wholeheartedly agree with. It’s just a hard sentiment to let settle when, you know, Miguel hasn’t woken up for two whole weeks.
But what other choice is there, for Daniel, for Johnny, for this show, than to not give up on Robby? I mean, we haven’t exactly given up on Johnny himself, so it would be pretty hypocritical of us to suddenly give up on his son.
Another standout moment from the episode is Daniel’s conversation with Sam, where they talk about this idea of “the good guys.” Sure, it’s always easier to do things when you feel like you are on the right side. You wake up and you go out and what you do is justified, because you’re trying to be good. But life doesn’t work like that.
In life no one is always the good guy – or the bad guy, really. In life we all make good choices, and bad choices, and we all have to be responsible for those. We all gotta stand up and take the responsibility.
Which is what Robby will have to do, and I do agree this all started with Daniel and Johnny, and it’s about time the two of them find a way to work together, and you know, get their collective shit together. That is literally three seasons in the making.
Part of me feels like there’s very little story left to tell if Daniel and Johnny manage to bury the hatchet, but a bigger part of me doesn’t care. This started as nostalgia, but it’s grown beyond that. I care about the kids now too, I care about the story, and though the nostalgia element is still strong, and I won’t complain if they cater to it, I would also like a story that makes sense for all characters.
And that requires some growth. Please. Now. It’s season 3.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Cobra Kai 3×01 “Aftermath”? Share with us in the comments below!
Cobra Kai season 3 is available to stream on Netflix.