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Cobra Kai Season 5 Early Review: Ralph Macchio’s show finds its moments to shine between all the chaos

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The fifth season of Cobra Kai is out and while it has a little more drama than the fourth season, it remains entertaining. Read our early review.

The fourth season of Cobra Kai ended with a shocking twist earlier this year. The show is back with its fifth season. Within nine months, the fifth season of the popular show has already arrived, and it’s not wasting any time in its introduction of the show’s plotlines and various dilemmas following the All Valley tournament where Terry Silver’s dojo manages to win. Throughout the Karate Kid movies, fans always wondered what would’ve happened if Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) had lost out to Cobra Kai. The series captures exactly this sentiment in Season 5.

One thing that Cobra Kai managed to succeed at in every season so far is creating a set of the perfect callbacks to the original film franchise and though it’s unfortunate that Pat Morita is no longer with us, the show does bring in other major characters for an unexpected cameo. For instance, it’s a delight to see Chozen come to Daniel’s rescue in this episode. Despite being the main antagonist in The Karate Kid Part II, it’s amazing to see how Chozen’s relationship with Daniel has developed over the years.

Amidst the ongoing struggle to locate Miguel Diaz’s father in Mexico, the fifth season opens with Miguel Diaz (Xolo Maridue*a) facing difficulties in his search. Daniel (Macchio) is uneasy about Terry Silver’s Cobra Kai attracting more kids to their dojo after their victory at the All Valley tournament. After seeing Chozen (Okumoto) on the street, LaRusso collaborates with him in order to end the events from happening again. The first chance Johnny (William Zabka) gets, he jumps in his plane and travels to Mexico in search of Miguel. Johnny suggests Robby (Tanner Buchanan) and him make an effort to find Miguel while also trying to mend his relationship with his own son. In this season, it’s all about Daniel dealing with Terry Silver’s growing threat, and how he overcomes it.

Cobra Kai has always been synonymous with drama and yet the show never seems to get boring, no matter how silly it gets. The same can be said about the new season. It may start on a slower note, but this season, the expectation is that it will throw some big punches given that an opponent like Terry Silver isn’t a usual opponent. As if to play on the nostalgia factor once again, there are moments when the show flashes back to the Karate Kid films and it’s incredible how rarely the flashbacks seem forced. I find it remarkable how Cobra Kai moves from one season to the next without getting stale despite its repetitive nature.

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No one can deny that the show is at its best when it focuses on the fights and the Karate movements, and not when it buries itself in the drama. The first part of Season 5 is rather weak on the action front, but it has been promised that the rest of the season will be bloodier and bolder. Even after all these years, Daniel is still rattled by Cobra Kai’s power, and so the exchanges between him and his wife, played by Courtney Henggeler, Amanda LaRusso, become the most real moments on the otherwise melodramatic show. The show reveals the most self-aware observations through Amanda’s character.

In Cobra Kai, Xolo Mariduea’s strong acting performance stands out among the younger cast members. Chozen’s antics are much enjoyed by the older ones, especially Yuji Okumoto. When it comes to Macchio and Zabka, sometimes it feels like they are still the same Karate Kid boys despite their physical aging. We’re used to seeing them as Daniel and Johnny, that’s the level to which we’ve grown accustomed to seeing them.

Cobra Kai Season 5 starts with a reasonably good start and as you watch the first episode, it’s likely that there are big twists in store for the rest of the show.

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