Cobra Kai Showrunner Explains Why They Didn’t Cross The ‘Point Of No Return’ In Season 5

Warning! The following contains spoilers for Cobra Kai Season 5. Read at your own risk!

Cobra Kai took its karate fighting to a new level in Season 5, as the heroes all banded together in order to bring down Terry Silver and his new acolytes fully committed to Cobra Kai. Things got so intense that this season even featured some bloodshed and severed appendages, but despite a very close call for Chozen Toguchi, everyone survived. As it turns out, the showrunners did consider killing off characters in the latest seaosn, but they ultimately revealed they had a reason for not crossing the “point of no return” in Season 5. 

Co-showrunner Josh Heald spoke to Variety about Season 5, and Chozen’s big showdown with the dastardly Terry Silver (who ultimately fell to Daniel LaRusso in a poetic way). In the battle, it appears that Chozen is killed when Silver slashes him across the back with a katana. Chozen is later shown to be injured but calls the injury a “flesh wound” signaling that it’s not fatal. Heald conceded there were discussions about a character being killed or gravely injured, and why they didn’t ultimately do it:

We thought about somebody getting gravely injured when we entered Season 5. What might happen to Kreese in jail, what could happen with a Silver-Chozen clash, Silver-Daniel round 2 in the finale? We decided to take things up to the line and not cross over into people karate-murdering each other. It was something that was discussed, ‘Have we earned the right to enter that phase?’ Ultimately it felt like, for this season, it pushed things past the point of no return, where it’s hard to imagine remaining invested in other elements of the story. That might’ve taken on too much of an aftermath role.

It sounds like killing someone in Season 5, despite the cliffhanger situations with Chozen and later John Kreese, was removed as a possibility. Apparently, Cobra Kai’s showrunners didn’t feel like it was territory they wished to explore, even though past films like The Karate Kid, Part II certainly toyed with murderous villains. (Chozen has changed a lot though). Ultimately, killing someone felt like a major escalation of violence in the main story, so I can understand why they abstained. 

With that said, there’s something about Josh Heald’s response that signals Cobra Kai is keeping the door open to potentially kill someone off in the future. The fact that Heald says “for this season” makes it sound like death isn't completely off the table. It's possible that no options are ruled out when it comes to this show. Keep in mind that these guys have had discussions on what they’d do with Hilary Swank’s Julie Pierce, despite there being no indication she’ll ever join the show. 

The Season 5 ending of Cobra Kai sets up the Sekai Taikai, an international karate tournament that Daniel and Johnny’s dojos qualified for. Perhaps the international tourney could bring even more fearsome villains to the forefront, or even a Rocky IV-type international fight that tragically ends in the death of a main character. The only thing I know for sure is that I’ll be holding onto my Netflix subscription to watch the next season, and for when the escaped John Kreese may strike next. 

Cobra Kai Seasons 1 - 5 are currently available to stream on Netflix. Rewatch it all right now, and see just how much the action has escalated from the beginning to the latest episodes. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick contains multitudes and balances his time reporting on big happenings in the world of Star Trek, the WWE, reality television, and other sci-fi shows.