Warning! The following contains spoilers for Cobra Kai Season 3. Read at your own risk!
Cobra Kai is loaded with surprises but, between all the expected and unexpected arrivals of The Karate Kid's past characters, fans got a little something they may not have expected. Season 3 included a bit on the origins of villain John Kreese and detailed the story behind how he became a seemingly heartless villain willing to pass on his twisted morals to a younger generation.
Kreese's story was important to Cobra Kai's co-creators, as they revealed to me in a recent interview about the season. I talked with Hayden Schlossberg about why the team felt it important to detail Kreese's story and potentially reshape the perspective viewers may have had about the big bad:
Cobra Kai did a lot to make viewers sympathize with Johnny Lawrence, and whether or not that happened with some with Kreese's story in Season 3, there was definitely a better understanding. Kreese adapts the "no mercy" philosophy after being taken as a POW during Vietnam after deciding not to blow up a hut that his squadmate was still close to. The men are forced by opposing soldiers to fight to the death above a massive snake pit, where showing mercy means they die.
Kreese's true transformation comes in a showdown with Captain Turner, who first taught him karate in Vietnam. After learning his superior intentionally withheld letters from his girlfriend (including on that reveals her tragic passing), Kreese kills Turner by letting him fall into the snake pit. It's a crazy, fresh origin that puts together many pieces for the character, though Hayden Schlossberg explained much of the story's framework was already present in the movies:
As for whether or not Cobra Kai will show more of John Kreese's origin in Season 4, it seems like that's a strong possibility given the final scene. Kreese calls up his friend Twig, called "Silver" by Captain Turner when the squad was first captured in Vietnam. It appears Twig is none other than Terry Silver, a close friend and confidant of Kreese and a major villain in The Karate Kid Part III. It seems possible we'll learn more about both characters' post-war lives in future Cobra Kai episodes, as well as how the gym got started. Viewers would certainly learn more from this kind of content, though I question if any amount of background will ever make Kreese as sympathetic as Johnny Lawrence.
Cobra Kai (opens in new tab) Seasons 1-3 are currently available to stream on Netflix. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for more on the series and the latest news in television and movies.
Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
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