'Cobra Kai' Season 4 Storyline Brings Back 1 Vital Theme of the Original 'Karate Kid'

By Cobra Kai Season 4, fans are as invested in the new characters as the classic Karate Kid characters. Cobra Kai Season 4 picks up as Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) join Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang to beat Cobra Kai at the All Valley Karate Tournament. But, the All Valley Karate Tournament isn’t the only element back from the original movie. 

[Spoiler alert: This article contains a preview of storylines from Cobra Kai Season 4.]

Creators Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg and Josh Heald spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet by Zoom on Dec. 2. Schlossberg and Hurwitz specifically addressed the Cobra Kai Season 4 storyline that brings back an important theme from the original Karate Kid

‘Cobra Kai’ Season 4 needed new characters to get back to ‘The Karate Kid’

By Cobra Kai Season 4, the high schoolers aren’t new kids anymore. They’ve been studying Karate for three seasons, which has been two school years in the story. So, Cobra Kai Season 4 introduces a new kid at school who’s being bullied. 

“We only have 10 episodes each season,” Schlossberg said. “So we have to really pick and choose where our stories are. I think going into season 4 we really wanted to go back to the roots of what Karate Kid is all about, which is bullying. With a lot of our main kids on the show, they’re all very well versed at Karate at this point. There are still rivalries to explore there but it’s not like anybody is a complete novice to learning Karate. We wanted to add that element back into the story. So we wanted there to be fresh perspectives and somebody that’s new to Karate.”

You won’t believe who Kenny’s bully is

So far, Cobra Kai Season 4 sounds like another Karate Kid story. This new character will obviously learn Karate to stand up to his bullies. But, the bully’s identity changes everything. Anthony LaRusso (Griffin Santopietro) is the bully. 

We liked the idea that while he, in some way, has some of the positive qualities that Daniel has, he grew up in a completely different environment, a very privileged kid in a community of spoiled kids. Everybody’s really competitive. That’s the type of environment where you could inadvertently become a bully. We try to make it where he’s not this inherent monster who just wants to hurt people. He’s just, like a lot of kids, in the rat race of popularity and just kind of goofing on a kid and not realizing what it’s like to be in that other kid’s shoes. That really allowed us to get, again, back to the themes of what Karate Kid is all about, about bullying but in a different, fresh perspective. 

Where did ‘The Karate Kid’ go wrong to have a bully for a son?

Anthony’s storyline in Cobra Kai Season 4 also has major ramifications for the established characters. Daniel and Amanda (Courtney Henggeler) will eventually find out what their son has been up to.

“The ultimate underdog, the ultimate iconic bullied kid, ends up being the father of a bully,” Hurwitz said. “It’s a tough thing for all parents. I think a lot of people can look back at their childhoods and look at moments where they felt insecure. They, to make themselves feel better, were not nice to somebody else. As an adult they look back on those moments and feel like crap about them and feel regretful about those things.”

Anthony’s not going to learn good values just by osmosis. Daniel’s been kind of busy teaching Samantha (Mary Mouser) and other kids Karate, engaging in the drama with Cobra Kai. Even Amanda can’t watch Anthony all the time. 

He has good parents who mean well. Maybe they’ve been distracted in this way or that way. They’re both very busy people. They run a dealership together and Daniel has taken on this Karate dojo which is taking up a lot of his time. This kid we saw in the first three seasons is buried in his iPad. A lot of us parents don’t know exactly what our kids are doing on those iPads. We don’t know exactly what is happening there. I think it opened the eyes for Daniel and Amanda that this kid who maybe they thought was maybe a little spoiled, a little bit lazy but they never thought that he would bully people.

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