‘Cobra Kai’ works because it has found the perfect balance between nostalgia, modernity, self-deprecation, fanservice, and unadulterated humor. The Netflix (previously YouTube Red and YouTube Premium) series serves as a sequel to the four ‘Karate Kid’ films. The inaugural season is set 34 years after the events of the first film. After Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) reopens the eponymous dojo, it reignites his rivalry with Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio). Soon, their children and students inherit their feud, much to the dismay of both Johnny and Daniel. It isn’t long before John Kreese (Martin Kove) shows up and wrenches control of the dojo from Johnny.
By the end of the third season, Johnny and Daniel have decided to merge their dojos — Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang Karate — in their attempt to take down Cobra Kai. They have made a bet with Kreese — the dojo that loses the next all-valley tournament will shut its doors for good. Kreese decides to do his own team-up and reaches out to Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith), the co-founder of Cobra Kai. As always, ‘Cobra Kai’ makes us question the very notions of heroism and villainy and explores both the positive and terrible aspects of every character. Here is everything you need to know about the ending of ‘Cobra Kai’ season 4. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Cobra Kai Season 4 Recap
Daniel and Johnny encounter issues right from the beginning as they start training their students together. Their styles of karate are so fundamentally different that combined teaching leaves the students confused. Meanwhile, Kreese visits Silver in his mansion. Although they established Cobra Kai together, Silver ultimately left and joined his father’s company when the latter threatened to cut him off his inheritance. It seems the cocaine-using rage-filled psychopath from ‘The Karate Kid Part III’ has been replaced by a shrewd and cold-blooded businessman.
Initially, he rebuffs Kreese’s attempts to recruit him, claiming that he is a different man now. However, as the idea of returning to Cobra Kai takes hold of his thought, Silver can’t deny that it’s tempting. He ultimately agrees to teach at Cobra Kai again, as Kreese knew he would. In fact, Silver knew that Kreese knew that he wouldn’t be able to refuse. He sees through that manipulation and still falls for it.
Silver’s arrival changes things for both the Miyagi-Do/Eagle Fang coalition and Cobra Kai. He brings a much-needed sense of discipline among the students of Cobra Kai and instructs them not to engage their opponents until the tournament. After an incident that leaves the Cobra Kai students embarrassed, Silver and Kreese pay Daniel and Johnny a visit. This is the first time Daniel sees Silver in years, and all those memories of pain and trauma come rushing back. For the first time in the show, he truly becomes angry, and as the series progresses, that anger leads him to a darker path.
After discovering that Silver is back, Daniel tells Johnny that they must solely focus on Miyagi-style karate, as that’s the only thing that beat Silver the last time. Predictably, Johnny disagrees, which eventually leads to the two dojos going their separate ways. The students inevitably suffer. Miguel and Sam expertly incorporated each others’ sensei’s teachings. Now, to their dismay and exasperation, they discover that they have to go back to how things were before.
In the past, Amanda (Courtney Henggeler) had some troubles with the law. That helps her relate to Tory. Meanwhile, Anthony and his friends bully Kenny, a boy their age. Kenny is the brother of Shawn, the young man that Robby met at the juvie. Learning about Kenny’s problems, Robby decides to take him under his wing. Soon, Kenny becomes a student of Cobra Kai.
New rules for the upcoming All-Valley tournament are announced. This year, there will be skill competitions that include kata, board breaking, and weapon display. Moreover, there will be two champions, one in the male division and another in the female. As for the bet that Cobra Kai has with Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang, there will be a grand champion trophy for whichever dojo that accumulates more points.
Despite their promises to their respective sensei, Tory, Robby, Miguel, and Sam end up fighting at the prom. Afterward, the relationship between Miguel and Sam suffers, with each accusing the other of being interested in Tory and Robby, respectively. They leave the party miserable and wet from falling into a pool. But their counterparts have the time of their lives.
As the night comes to an end, Robby and Tory begin something wonderful. The last two episodes are centered around the All-Valley tournament. Several teams vie for the lucrative championship titles. Ultimately, after an unforeseen decision and a withdrawal, Miyagi-Do and Cobra Kai remain the two teams competing for the grand title.
Cobra Kai Season 4 Ending: Which Dojo Wins the All-Valley Tournament?
Cobra Kai wins the All-Valley tournament. They dominate the competition throughout the tournament, performing exemplarily during the skills competition. Although Sam and Demetri get Miyagi-Do close to overtaking Cobra Kai in terms of points, Hawk makes a mistake during his board-breaking demonstration, and Cobra Kai ends up topping the chart after the skills competitions end.
In the semi-finals of the boys’ competitions, Miguel and Hawk face-off, but the former pulls his muscle and is taken off the mat. Miguel later doesn’t show up to complete the match, and Hawk enters the finals. At the opposite end, Robby wins against Demetri to earn his own place in the finals. In the girls’ competitions, Sam and Tory are inevitably the finalists.
It is revealed that Cobra Kai has to win only one of the two finals to win the overall trophy, while Miyagi-Do has to win both. Both matches go back and forth, but ultimately, Hawk and Tory emerge as victors of their respective matches. This means that Cobra Kai wins the All-Valley championship. Later, Tory’s happiness about winning against Sam evaporates when she discovers Silver bribed the referee.
Why Does Silver Have Kreese Arrested?
It’s always about control with men like Kreese and Silver. When the latter’s training starts to prove effective for their students, Kreese decides to mark his territory, claiming that the other man has plans to take Cobra Kai from him. Silver eventually realizes that he has to leave Kreese behind and rebuild Cobra Kai by himself. The victory at the All-Valley tournament has already brought the dojo all the attention they need. And Silver is setting up several branches. He no longer needs Kreese.
While speaking to their students, Silver once states, every person has a weakness, which later leads to a major confrontation between him and Kreese. Silver later reflects that Kreese is his weakness. The man saved his life decades ago and has held it over him since. No matter what Silver has done for him, it never has been enough to repay the debts.
But now, he orchestrates Kreese’s arrest by beating up Stingray and instructing him to tell the police that Kreese assaulted him. As Kreese is taken away by the police, he loses his life’s work to a man he has sought to control. His futile screams that he is Cobra Kai doesn’t seem to be worth much.