Cobra Kai 3×05 “Miyagi-Do” isn’t quite as emotional as last episode, but it’s there. It’s hard to explain what makes it so, though. We all recognize there’s a bit of nostalgia involved in it, something the show typically leans into, instead of avoiding. But there’s certainly more than that, or we wouldn’t be here in the middle of season 3 finding new emotions about these same characters.
Truth is, Cobra Kai is a rare example of how to do a sequel that really concerned about “improving” on the original, but in advancing the characters, in taking them on a different, perhaps even more satisfying journey.
But the show can only do this because it recognizes the debt it owes to Karate Kid, and because despite the fact that it often attempts to provide a different point of view than the one we originally had, it never feels like it has to tear down the things we originally loved to do so.
Karate Kid and it’s sequels are still enjoyable, even after watching Cobra Kai.
In Cobra Kai 3×05 “Miyagi-Do” everyone’s facing the demons of the past, which is basically the theme of the season – and you could even say the theme of the series. Some have done a better job with those demons than others, though.
Daniel has always had a hard time accepting that other people can change, that he isn’t the only “good guy” around. That has negatively impacted his relationship with Johnny, and for a while there, he almost lets it affect the possibility of reconciliation with Chozen. Thankfully, the women of this show are always around the knock some sense into the men, and this case is no different.
The truth is, Chozen has changed. And so has Johnny. Daniel can’t be blamed for all that’s gone wrong in his relationship with Johnny during these three seasons of Cobra Kai, but neither is he completely blameless, either. This episode shows him that, perhaps, there is more he could have done to be the “good guy” he’s always prided himself on being.
You know, “Put the good out into the world, and good will come back to you,” as ends up happening at the end of this episode, the issue of the dealership all solved because Daniel once went out of his way to do the right thing.
Problem, of course, is that, at this point, so many people are involved in this “fight” the two of them started – including two dojos, and boy, things are getting ugly. Payback is the one thing on everyone’s mind, but when everyone feels like they’re in the right, that can get dicey. And often, someone will end up being hurt, typically not the one doing the most damage, either.
We all know at this point this isn’t likely to stop soon, either, and now kids are getting hurt – well, except Robby, who has found the one place where violence actually helps, jail!
Middle ground is needed still, though, and the only way that’s gonna come is if Daniel and Johnny find their own middle ground. That’s the only way to take on Kreese.
Not that Johnny is too concerned about that right now, he’s concerned about Miguel, and rightfully so. It’s kinda nice to see Johnny put his money where his mouth is. He did promise Miguel last season that, unlike how he behaved with Robby, he was always going to be there for him, and he’s doing exactly that.
And what can I say, that’s a dad move if I’ve ever seen one. And I might have cried a little bit at it, because, you know, I’m human and I got emotions.
You know what I also did – and I can’t close out this review without mentioning it? I cheered for Amanda as she confronted Kreese. Someone needed to do it, and of course Amanda is the one who dares. Surprised I am not. It was such a powerful scene, and especially as this episode ends with Ali, yes that Ali, sending Johnny a friend request, it was good that we got a moment of Amanda kicking ass.
Ali is brilliant. Elizabeth Shue is brilliant. I want to see how she fits into this world. But romantically, she’s the past, for both Daniel and Johnny. There is no going back. There shouldn’t be.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Cobra Kai 3×05 “Miyagi-Do”? Share with us in the comments below!