In the original ‘Karate Kid’ film, John Kreese is the epitome of 1980s villains, and the character fits the context of the film perfectly. One of the many positive things about ‘Cobra Kai’ is that it has found a perfect balance between nostalgia and modernity. The sequel TV series approaches certain ridiculous aspects of the original films in a cheeky way, and yet it manages to maintain the gravitas of the more serious and emotional scenes. While bringing John Kreese to 21st century TV, the creators ground him in reality, give him a relatable backstory, and even empower him with redeemable qualities. This is quite remarkable for a character who spends three movies terrorizing teenagers.
As a result, both Kreese and Martin Cove, the actor who portrays the adult version of the character, have garnered much popularity since his first appearance in the show. However, certain things that happen in season 4 have made the fans wonder whether John Kreese is leaving ‘Cobra Kai.’ This is what you need to know about this.
Is Martin Kove’s John Kreese Leaving Cobra Kai?
In season 4, a desperate Kreese enlists the help of his old friend and co-founder of Cobra Kai, Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith). He has made a bet with Daniel and Johnny that whoever loses the 51st All-Valley Karate Tournament will shut down his dojo. Silver brings his money and shrewd business acumen into the rivalry. The two of them were in Vietnam together, and Kreese saved Silver’s life. Afterward, Silver promised that he would be there for Kreese for the rest of their lives, and the latter seems to have held him to that promise throughout the years.
Initially, everything is great between the two of them. Unlike their rivals, their personal philosophies and fighting styles are not at the opposite ends of the spectrum. But at the end of the day, Kreese is vicious, petty, and likes to project himself as the alpha in all of his relationship dynamics. When he feels that Silver’s actions endanger his position as the head sensei of Cobra Kai, he tries to show the other man that he is the one in charge. All Silver has done is tell their students that everyone has a weakness. When one of the students says that Kreese doesn’t, Silver reasserts that everyone does. This seems to have triggered Kreese, who demands loyalty from Silver.
Although Silver acquiesces at the time, he begins plotting Kreese’s downfall. After Cobra Kai’s victory at the All-Valley Tournament, they celebrate together at Silver’s home. This is when Silver reminds Kreese about their conversation about weakness and tells Kreese that he indeed has one, and it’s Johnny. And then Silver says that his own weakness is Kreese. No matter what he has done over the years, it never has been enough to repay his debts.
However, now it seems that Silver is ready to move on. He gets Kreese arrested by setting him up for beating Stingray. Scenes like that are often indicative of a character’s departure from the show. But that’s not the case here. If anything, this might set Kreese off in a redemption arc. He might team up with Johnny to regain control of Cobra Kai in future episodes.