The Top Scenes from Cobra Kai Season 2

Hawk, Johnny, and Miguel in Cobra Kai
[L-R] Hawk (Jacob Bertrand), Johnny (William Zabka), and Miguel (Xolo Mariduena)
in COBRA KAI

I have been a fan of the Karate Kid movie franchise since the first movie dropped in 1984. The first three films were frequently viewed and quoted by my entire family all through my childhood. And still, to this day, I don't think a family visit goes by without my hearing a Daniel-san or "wax on; wax off" reference thrown in for good measure, no matter the context.

The new Karate Kid Jackie Chan reboot didn't make much of an impression. Let's face it -- "put on your jacket; take off your jacket" doesn't have the same ring to it as "wax on; wax off." So when I heard a TV show called "Cobra Kai" would be released on YouTube, with both Ralph Macchio and William Zabka in leading roles, I was tickled but fairly positive it would be stupid. After all, how can you hope to make any successful Karate Kid spin-off without Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi?

To my dismay and delight, the show is amazing. It simultaneously pays homage to the original and creates something altogether new and more complicated. Whoever wrote the screenplay/created the plot arc for this show is genius. In Karate Kid (and it's sequels), you had clear cut good guys and bad guys. You knew who you were supposed to root for. Daniel and Mr. Miyagi were good. The Cobra Kai were bad. In "Cobra Kai", it's far more complex than that. For one thing, Johnny is down on his luck, living in a crappy apartment complex that appears eerily similar to the one Daniel moved to originally. He has no real relationships and doesn't get much respect. On the other hand, Daniel is living the good life, selling cars with a very pretty wife and two fairly entitled kids.

You also have Miguel, Johnny's original student, who, along with his friends, gets picked on and bullied at school, while Sam, Daniel's daughter, is friends with the bullies. So now the sympathy we had for Daniel is transferred to Miguel, who with his dark hair and eyes, has a physical complexion that even emulates Daniel. Emotionally, we are all tangled up when watching this show. There are no clear-cut good guys and bad guys. While that changes a little in season 2, we see almost every character at their best and their worst throughout the series.

Now, in 2019, season 2 of "Cobra Kai" is back and even better than ever. To celebrate this most excellent show, here is the best moment from each episode of "Cobra Kai", season 2, with a few second prizes and honorable mentions thrown in.

**SPOILERS AHEAD**

Episode 1 -- Mercy Part 2

First Place, Johnny vs. Kreese spar off

Kreese and Johnny spar off
Johnny (William Zabka) manages to kick the crap out of Kreese (Martin Kove) in COBRA KAI

During last season's cliffhanger, John Kreese shows up in the Cobra Kai dojo to congratulate Johnny on his big win. While we aren't sure how Johnny will react, we don't have to wait long before we see the two face off in the season's first fight. When Kreese reminds Johnny he taught him everything he knows, Johnny retorts with a "not everything" and presents Kreese with a kick to the mouth, projectiling Kreese's cigar out of his mouth and into a paper-filled trash can. Ka-Pow!

Second Place, Getting the Miyagi-do Dojo set up

Miguel and Daniel set up Miyagi-do dojo
Robby and Daniel get Miyagi-do Dojo set up. Does Robby's shirt look familiar? 

Meanwhile, Daniel and Robby get to work turning the old Miyagi homestead into a place where Daniel can truly train his disciples. Daniel removes the tarp off the old yellow car, and we even see Daniel showing Robby how to drive in a nail with one swift stroke. Brings back old memories!

Honorable Mention, First meeting with Raymond (Stingray) in the Home Depot

Every intense fighting show needs a comical character, and we get our first glimpse of this character when Johnny visits Home Depot to replace his mirror glass and meets an overzealous salesman named Raymond, who wants to talk 80s bands with Johnny. We will see more of him later. "Metallica. Noice!"

Episode 2 -- Back in Black

First Place, Parallel Training Sequences; Cement Mixer vs. The Wheel Technique

Sam and Robby train on the wheel
Sam (Mary Mouser) and Robby (Buchanan) practice the wheel technique in COBRA KAI

While this was a slower episode, it ends on a tension-filled moment, showing the parallel training methods of Johnny and Daniel. Daniel feels assured that if Robby and Sam learn what he calls the wheel technique, they will be as strong as twenty people. Essentially, the wheel technique features two fighters performing a mirrored sequence of steps. They do the steps at the same speed and must maintain balance between their steps, even when they can't see each other. Daniel raises the stakes by having Robby and Sam perfect the technique on a wooden wheel floating in a pond. The montage shows the pair doing this over and over again until they are in sync. This will prove important later on. But, as all of us know full well from Mr. Miyagi, practice makes perfect, and it's rewarding to see Robby and Sam improve with each try.

Meanwhile, across town, the Cobra Kai are being put to the test when Johnny asks the Cobras to get into the back of a cement mixer and make it turn. At first, only Miguel is brave enough to enter the "cavern." More Cobras join in, and by force of will, avoid being stuck in the cement by their combined efforts.

These two techniques are shown intercut with one another accompanied by a motivational musical track fit for a champion. 

Second Place, Johnny pimps the Cobra mobile

Miguel and Johnny meet up for a drive
Miguel and Johnny meet up for a rockin' drive in Johnny's newly decorated ride.

Johnny's an 80s guy, and every 80s guy needs a quintessential muscle car. While AC/DC's "Back in Black" plays in the background, we see Johnny's car get the treatment and the paint job we all need. Johnny and Miguel then rock said mobile through a stoplight, impressing some girls and bobbing their heads. Makes you want to break out a band T, right?

Episode 3 -- Fire and Ice

First Place, Johnny Enters the Digital Age 

Johnny makes his first internet video.
Johnny (William Zabka) makes an internet video to market the dojo in COBRA KAI

In an absolutely golden sequence of events, Johnny storms into a computer store, pissed that his laptop isn't working. Well, the issue is he doesn't know where the power button is. The humor continues. Where's the internet? What's Wi-Fi? Ah, he's finally got it working, and he gleefully searches for hot babes, wet t-shirt contest, and even crows "I knew it!" when he finds a fake news scandal site. Most delightfully, after having Aisha film a marketing video on her phone, he tells her to "Make it Chrome," "Add some hash browns like Hash Brown Team Cobra Kai or something," and "Send it to the internet!" Indeed, Johnny, you've finally got it down.

Second Place, Johnny and Miguel get burgers 

Johnny and Miguel eat burgers
Johnny has a heart-to-heart with Miguel at a burger place in COBRA KAI

In a touching scene, after Miguel angrily confronts Johnny about Robby being his son, Johnny is initially dismissive. Later on, he invites Miguel out for burgers and admits the many ways he has failed Robby as a father. Seeing the prideful Johnny in this moment of vulnerability shows us, once and for all, that he truly wants to do better for his students, especially Miguel.

Honorable Mention, bringing back the ice trick from Karate Kid II

All of us old timers remember how Daniel cut through six giant sheets of ice with his hand in Karate Kid II. Daniel's plan is to re-enact this trick as a way to attract new students at the local fair. Although we never get to see the older Daniel do the trick (since he's interrupted by the Cobra Kai rivals), we see a flashback to the original scene with Mr. Miyagi next to Daniel. Aww, sweet Mr. Miyagi.

Episode 4 -- The Moment of Truth

First Place, Daniel Fights off the Bullies, Emulating Mr. Miyagi 

Daniel meets a fisherman on the beach.
Just before he fights off the bullies, Daniel meets this fisherman that reminds him of Mr. Miyagi.

While most of this episode focuses on a quiet day at the beach with the family, I teared up during this most excellent fight sequence that perfectly parallels a similar moment in the original Karate Kid movie. Robby wanders down to the beach after suspecting he knows where Mrs. LaRusso's missing wallet could be. It turns out Robby's old criminal associates are at their tricks again. When Robby confronts them, he is surprised by an unexpected thug behind him and held in a body lock. Robby is now at the disadvantage, with 3 against one, with one guy holding a knife. Daniel drops from the stairwell, mimicking what Mr. Miyagi did to protect Daniel when the bullies were beating him by the chain-link fence so long ago. He drops on top of one of the guys, knocking Robby aside and takes on all the bullies single handed. I had to watch it multiple times, because even though Mr. Miyagi is no longer here, his spirit clearly lives in Daniel.

Episode 5 -- All In

First Place, Fight at the food court

Hawk plans to beat up Demetri at the food court.
Hawk (Jacob Bertrand) and another Cobra Kai plan to beat up Demetri at the food court. 

No question here, the epic food court throw down is the equivalent to the scene in season 1's "Counterbalance", where Miguel defeats the bullies in the school cafeteria. Up until this point, we haven't seen Robby or Sam put their skills to the test as a team. When Demetri is confronted by an angry Hawk, he is cornered by 5 bullies at the food court, and we hear the familiar sounds of Broken Edge's "No Shelter" jamming in the background from the original movie. Sam and Robby defend him using the wheel technique, with scenes of their training intercut, just so we are clear how they go to be so good. In addition, we are free to root for the Miyagi-Do side at this juncture, because neither Aisha or Miguel is with the Cobras -- only the ones that are jerks.  

Second Place, Daniel Tries to Train Demetri 

Daniel tries to train Demetri
Daniel (Ralph Macchio) struggles to train Demetri (Gianni Decenzo) in COBRA KAI

We are all familiar with the beautiful music composed by Bill Conti which accompanies Mr. Miyagi's training of Daniel in the original movies. That same music is played in the background as Daniel tries -- and fails -- to train Demetri using the same techniques Miyagi used on him. Whatever Daniel tries, Demetri patiently explains why it won't work with him. What would Miyagi have done with Demetri? Hmmm, well by the end, Daniel's finally found a common language with Demetri. Game of Thrones analogies work. Is there hope for Demetri? Maybe -- if Daniel goes slow.

Episode 6 -- Take a Right

First Place, Old Timer Cobra Kai reunion 

The originals Cobras reunite
The original Cobra Kai reunite in this golden episode from L-R: Bobby (Ron Thomas), Johnny (William Zabka), Tommy (Rob Garrison), and Jimmy (Tony O'Dell) in COBRA KAI

That's right -- you never imagined this reunion was in the works. Johnny, Bobby, Tommy, and Jimmy (isn't that an all-American set of names) get together to give Jimmy a chance to break out of the hospital, where he is being treated for cancer. The boys ride bikes (with The Matches' "The Ride" jamming in the background), throw back some beers, and even get into a brawl when a dude calls Jimmy an ugly cancer kid. This is all fan service for us original Karate Kid fans, and the whole thing ends on a note that manages to be somber, funny, and ironic, all at once.  

Honorable Mention, Cobras punished for trashing the Miyagi Dojo

Although justice isn't served, it's still rewarding to see Johnny angry and willing to punish his students for trashing the Miyagi dojo. His plan is to make them do drills until someone confesses. Since he needs to go attend to his buddies, he leaves Kreese in charge to discover the culprit. Unfortunately, Kreese has his own plans as to how to use the day. 

Episode 7, Lull

First Place, Sammy and Robby's sexy spar in the freezer

Daniel trains students in a walk-in freezer.
Daniel decides to train his students in the freezer to make their senses sharp in COBRA KAI

The chemistry between Sam and Robby has been brewing as the pair have continued to work together. But here it's clearly boiling in the ice house. Daniel has the whole Miyagi dojo doing spar drills outside in the heat. After the students complain about the temperature, Daniel decideS to let the group cool off by doing their activities in an ice freezer. The group is in a circle with one person in the middle. Daniel calls a number and the person he names has to attack the middle man, while they defend themselves the best they can. When Sam gets in the middle and Robby's number is called, the two are clearly an equal match. But while their limbs are entangled, their eyes visibly dilate with attraction, their breaths meet in the middle -- giving an impression that their souls are meeting and kissing in the air between them. It's pretty darn hot and adorable.

Second Place, Stingray wins the Red and Black Challenge

Raymond decides he is now Stingray
Raymond (Paul Walter Hauser) gives himself a new look and a new name: Stingray. 

While Daniel is working his students in the heat and cold, Johnny and Kreese decide to take the Cobra Kai to Coyote Creek to play some war games in the Red and Black Challenge -- a game that Kreese invented when he was sensei. It consists of two teams -- one wearing black headbands; the other red -- doing whatever is necessary to steal the headbands of the opposing team. As each Cobra is eliminated, it all seems to boil down to Miguel and Hawk. Miguel gains Hawk's headband, and proudly announces that the black team wins. But wait, no -- because Stingray has been hiding in a pile of leaves all darn day and surprises Miguel enough to steal his headband and announce the red team's victory. It's just a devious and ridiculous way to win, and it earns both the laughs of viewers and the begrudging respect of all the Cobras -- even Kreese.

Honorable Mention, Demetri Defends Himself! 

After a dejected Demetri fails to defend himself repeatedly, Daniel gives him a much needed pep talk. He encourages Demetri to use his paranoid nature as a strength and anticipate his opponent's next move. Demetri takes it to heart and manages to block an attack and deliver a punch! It's a glorious moment, immediately followed by him getting kicked in the gut by the next volunteer. The victory music stops and fizzles out. Creating a scene with doses of both humor and hope for Demetri.

Episode 8 -- Glory of Love

First Place, Johnny's 80s rocker-inspired daydream about Carmen

Johnny goes to visit Carmen
In Johnny's daydream, he manages to ask Carmen (Vanessa Rubio) out. 

This episode seems to be all about the different characters' love lives -- or lack thereof -- and nowhere is that lack more pronounced than in the person of Johnny, who clearly hasn't had a date in awhile. The show opens with an over-the-top daydream in which Johnny goes over to seduce Carmen (Miguel's Mom) in an 1980s music video-inspired montage of scenes, including lights, fog, romantic sparring, and big hair. Oh, and did I mention Carmen pours Coors' Banquet all over herself? You know Johnny loves his Coors.

Episode 9 -- Pulpo

First Place, Daniel and Johnny's Inadvertent Double Date

Johnny and Daniel meet up on double date
Johnny and Daniel just happen to take their ladies on a date at the same restaurant. 

Let's face it, any time Johnny and Daniel fill the screen at the same time, it's going to be a good time. These two can't help but try to outdo each other. When Johnny finally scores a date with Carmen, they hit the local Mexican restaurant. Who walks in, but Daniel and Amanda, ready for a night out after their reconciliation during the last episode. While the men should have their eyes on the ladies, they spend most of the date trying to one-up one another with stories of dojo success. After Johnny assures Daniel he had nothing to do with the dojo wrecking, the two soften towards one another and even bond over their shared prediction that the waitress would forget Carmen's special "no sour cream" request because she didn't write it down. It's the bromance we've always wanted.

Episode 10 -- No Mercy

First Place, Johnny and Daniel Fight at Johnny's Apartment

Johnny and Daniel fight
Daniel and Johnny both fight as Robby and Sam try to break them up in COBRA KAI

While this season finale is full of eye-popping action and drama, no other scene had the emotional resonance as the brief fight between Johnny and Daniel at Johnny's apartment. After a desperate Robby brings a drunk Sam to his dad's for shelter, Daniel is understandably upset that he doesn't know where his daughter is. He is able to use a cellphone tracker to find her at Johnny's. Daniel still doesn't know how to control his temper, and, after he confirms that Sam is indeed inside, kicks down the door at Johnny's refusal to let him in until Daniel "calms down." Seeing these two men, grown, and both fighting to protect their kids made for some truly great acting and sparring. As the fight occurs, we see scenes from the original Valley tournament intercut throughout, which shows us that for these two, their childhood rivalry is still fresh in their minds and never truly ended. Both of them feel like little kids in this moment. Both of them remember the fear and humiliation of the past and this fight is just an extension of that.
Demetri and Hawk fight
Demetri defeats Hawk during the final battle at the school. 

Second Place, Demetri Defends Himself Against Hawk

While the episode is filled with fights between each of the Cobra Kais and Miyagi-Dos, I always love a good underdog story, and it was highly rewarding to see Demetri finally best Hawk in the brawl. While initially his moves are purely defense, he gets up the courage to smash Hawk into a glass case, defeating his enemy.

And there you have it -- my picks for the best moment of each episode of  "Cobra Kai", Season 2. It will be very difficult to wait a whole year to see season 3, but at least we now have assurance that it will happen in 2020. Did you have a favorite moment I didn't include? Share it in the comments.

Comments

Unknown said…
The last scene of season 2 broke my heart.