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Cobra Kai Season 3 Episode 4 Recap and Ending Explained

January 1, 2021
5 min read

One of the prime components of success for a TV show like ‘Cobra Kai’ is its audience’s sense of nostalgia. ‘The Karate Kid’ is one of the most iconic 1980s films and has inspired generations of moviegoers. Even its relatively lesser-known sequels have found their way to pop-culture permanence.

In the fourth episode of season 3, the show heavily draws from the events depicted in ‘The Karate Kid Part II.’ Dealing with issues in both his personal and professional lives, Daniel (Ralph Macchio) visits the native village of Mr. Miyagi and runs into an old friend there. Johnny (William Zabka) tries to make up to Robby (Tanner Buchanan) for missing their meeting, but his attempts of reconciliation end in yet another disaster. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Cobra Kai Season 3 Episode 4 Recap

In episode 4, titled ‘The Right Path,’ Daniel suffers a setback as Doyona rejects his offer. Missing his old sensei’s guidance and wisdom more than ever, he travels to Tomi Village on Okinawa Island and is stunned by the gentrification of the entire community. He encounters Kumiko (Tamlyn Tomita), the girl he met when he was there with Mr. Miyagi three decades ago. With her help, he manages to reconnect with his past. Back in the US, Johnny tries to make amends with Robby. They seem to be making progress, but as soon as Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) is brought up, Robby’s anger flares up again.

Cobra Kai Season 3 Episode 4 Explained: The Enmity Persists

Despite the strict rules implemented by the school administration, the remaining students of Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do’s former students continue to have altercations. It nearly culminates into another brawl during a soccer match. Both groups of students are sent to the principal’s office. But as Eli (Jacob Bertrand) and his friends ensure that they appear innocent during the squabble, they get away with no punishment at all. On the other hand, Sam (Mary Mouser), Demetri (Gianni Decenzo), and others receive detentions. All this is a part of Kreese’s (Martin Kove) reintroduction of Cobra Kai’s original values, according to which a fighter must be smart and ruthless, and their ultimate goal always has to be a victory.

A Possible Recruitment

Robby may not admit it, but he has taken after his father in more ways than one, especially in how stubborn he is. Believing that Daniel has betrayed him by handing him over to the police, Robby refuses to take his call at the detention center. When Johnny comes to visit Robby while he is doing community service at a homeless center, the boy refuses to talk to him as well. But, despite all the brimming anger and fear, Robby is still a teenager who has many issues that he has to deal with. Although he immediately tells him to leave, Johnny refuses, grabs a bowl of soup, and sits down to wait for his son.

There is a brief moment when Johnny’s dogged persistence seems to work, but it is gone when Robby discovers that his father missed their meeting because he was with Miguel. For the entirety of Robby’s life, his father has miserably failed in his duty. While Daniel initially had a great effect on Robby, he made several terrible mistakes with the boy as well. So, when Kreese shows up at the detention center, likely to recruit Robby for Cobra Kai, the latter might believe the empty promises he will soon hear.

Miguel Resumes Training

The surgery is done. It will now be months before Miguel and his family can know if it has been a success. Although Miguel told him to stay away in the previous episode, Johnny knows that his best pupil needs him. He goes back and restarts the boy’s training. The next few months will be grueling, but Miguel has shown time and again how tenacious he can be.

An Old Flame and Memories

Daniel experiences a bizarre form of cultural shock when he reaches Tomi Village. Instead of a quaint hamlet, a massive supermall occupies the location. He learns that after the crops started dying out, Mr. Sato (one of the main characters in the second film) transformed the village’s economy from an agricultural one to a more retail-based one.

This brought modernity and prosperity to the village and helped it survive. Daniel’s reunion with Kumiko is charged with an electrifying sense of nostalgia. When she discovers that he is having problems finding balance in his life and how he terribly misses Mr. Miyagi, she gives him an incredible gift: the letters from his old sensei to her aunt Yukie.

In his last letter, written in the week before he died, Mr. Miyagi talked about his journey and what Daniel and his family meant to him, helping his one-time pupil realize that people around us, and not some abstract signs, guide us back to the correct path. The episode ends with the sudden appearance of Chozen (Yuji Okumoto), Mr. Sato’s nephew. The last time they saw each other, Daniel barely won a brutal and bloody fight between them.

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