Spoilers for Cobra Kai will follow, so if you haven't yet seen the full 10 episodes of the new YouTube Red series, turn back now.
Cobra Kai ended up being The Karate Kid sequel that no one knew we really needed until it arrived. The original series, which aired on the subscription-based YouTube Red channel, explored the ongoing feud between high school rivals Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka). But the series saved its biggest surprise for last, when former Cobra Kai leader John Kreese (Martin Kove) surfaced in the final shot of the final episode and promised that this story had only just begun.
His double-sided vulnerability. What I mean by that is, I would love to see this character evolve with a woman. I have no idea what kind of woman. But at the same time, be vulnerable to her, and she brings out the better part of him. But at the same time, he retains this darkness with regard to competition, and how he feels about losers and winners. ... It would be very interesting for me to play that as an actor.
The biggest surprise about Cobra Kai is that the series helped us see longtime bully Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) through a new lens. We catch up with the former karate championship 34 years after losing to Daniel (Ralph Macchio) in the All Valley Karate Tournament. But as Johnny starts to put Cobra Kai back together, and raise a new generation of bullies, we start to see how he considers Daniel to be the antagonist -- stealing his girlfriend and messing with Johnny at the school dance. We see Johnny in a different light, and it flips the script of what The Karate Kid means.
I think this is the plan for Cobra Kai Season 2, only, co-creators Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg and Josh Heald will work similar magic on Kreese, who has only been seen as the villain for three Karate Kid movies, and will now take center stage in the next season. When we asked Martin Kove if the team shared details of what's in store for his character, he candidly admitted:
No, they really didn't. I said, very clearly to them, is this character going to be a villain. And they said, very, very clearly, that he's going to be a little bit good and a little bit bad. [laughs] That's all I got.
But even there, that answer suggests a little bit of that grey area where the first season of Cobra Kai found its richest story material. There were very satisfying arcs to all of the characters -- both old and new -- from the Karate Kid series, and more than enough interesting plot threads were established to keep things interesting for a few more seasons, at the very least.
We don't know yet when Cobra Kai will return for season 2, but once a date has been announced, we will have it on TV Blend.