Welcome to episode 104 of Cobra Kai! Just a reminder, please do not discuss anything further than this episode (including actors who will be in the show in the future) without putting it under the SPOILER tag. Also CW for alcohol abuse in this episode.
We open with Robby, working at some sort of Radio Shack place (wait, it’s not called Radio Shack anymore…fuck, what’s the name now? Goddamit, why does it have to change it’s name?? Or is it closed now????) A customer comes in with software problem and Robby reassures him he will take care of it.
And he does…by taking the computer and selling it online. Well at least he’s a smart delinquent? As he and his loser friends leave the parking lot where they’ve been hanging out, Robby looks down and sees a yellow flyer…one of the ones Johnny made for Cobra Kai. ‘You looking to take karate?’ his friend scoffs. ‘No. That’s my fucking dad.’ Robby says, before dropping the flyer in disgust and skateboarding away.
Now night time (transitions, what are they? I don’t know!) Johnny is wandering down the streets, drunk. Very drunk, staggering through the downtown area with a pack of Coors cans he’s whittling away at.
He’d carried poor Miguel home (after he drove there I assume? I once did the whole ‘bridal carry’ thing when I was young and stupid, it’s not easy. Do you want to throw out your back out Johnny? Because that is how you throw your back out.), only to be confronted with the boys understandably outraged and upset mother.
‘I don’t want you to see my son ever again!’ Carmen says, tears in her eyes.
‘Sensei no, Cobra Kai never dies!’ shouts poor Miguel, and we see his face, smeared with face paint and blood, just before the door slams in Johnnys face.
Unfortunately, it’s pretty common for people who’ve been abused and have mental health issues to self-medicate and become self-destructive, and it’s obvious by now that Johnny’s way of dealing with problems is with alcohol. It’s interesting that he puts on this very tough exterior, but he’s as fragile as an eggshell underneath. And he’s hurting because he was starting to bond with Miguel, the first person in a long time who’s actually looked up to him, and believed in him. It’s sad and it’s sweet at the same time.
As Johnny wanders through the downtown, hating himself, he looks up at Daniels billboard. It seems to be taunting him, smiling at him when he’s in pain. Seeing a nearby graffiti artist, he has an idea.
More on that later.
The next morning, Daniel is trying to win back Sam’s good graces by making chocolate chip bananarama pancakes (okay that sounds amazing, please make some for me!), but although Anthony dives right in, making himself a pancake taco, Sam leaves the house without even speaking to him. Ouch. That must sting. I mean, I can think of something that might help ease the tensions.
Still a little preoccupied about breakfast, Daniel is driving to work when Amanda calls him, ready to warn him about ‘the billboard’
‘The Tom Cole one? Oh yeah, it’s huge!’ says Daniel.
Amanda hesitates. ‘Not that one.’
Daniel finally sees what Amanda is talking about.
A mysterious someone (probably Johnny, I mean he had motive, means and that third thing oh right opportunity) has drawn a big ol’ dick on Daniels face on the LaRusso auto billboard.
‘Motherfu-!’ Daniel swears, looking as if he’s about to Hulk out right there in the car.
Going back to Miguel, the poor guy is being covered with cold packs by his mom Carmen, who is equal parts annoyed/worried for him. She wants him to tell her who hurt him, but he’s understandably reluctant, saying it will only make things worse (considering his principal? Yes) Rosa bless her, says that all Miguel has to do is keep his hands up and protect his face (Rosa that’s boxing, not karate, but also yes.) Miguel says he just needs more training, Carmen doesn’t think that it will help, and doesn’t understand his obsession with Johnny, or karate.
‘You don’t know him!’ he says.
‘I know he’s a loser.’ his mother replies.
‘He’s not a loser!’
Cut to Johnny, who is face down on his living room, unconscious, beer spilled on the carpet in front of him.
As he lies there in recumbent pose, his phone starts ringing.
(I forgot to mention, Johnny uses a flip phone. Dang. Also I miss flip phones. Don’t judge me!)
It’s Robby’s principal, Miss Jenkins, who says that she knows that Johnny is having fun with his son on their rafting trip-
But Robby needs to get back to school, it’s been a month.
Johnny assures the principal Robby WILL be in school and hangs up.
On his way out, he runs into Miguel, who is still dying for his karate fix in spite of everything.
‘You don’t get it kid, there is no dojo.’ Johnny says bluntly, which is pretty cold. We know how much Miguel getting hurt affected him, and yet to the kids face, he puts up a callous front.
At the school, Aisha is fucking miserable. Yasmins photo thing of her has gone viral, and she’s being mocked everywhere, people grunting at her and saying ‘here piggy’ . She’s also really unhappy with Sam, who still chooses to hang out with the Plastics despite them being cruel assholes. Can’t blame her.
‘They have short memories, they’ll forget.’ says Sam. ‘Well I’m not gonna forget.’ says Aisha pointedly before heading off. Good for you kiddo.
As Aisha walks away from Sam, Kyler swoops in and tells her that he’s looking forwards to their movie date (apparently Kyler is going to use this time as a way to get ‘intimate’ with Sam, as his friend Bruck demonstrates)
Robby and his friends are getting high and watching (a woman twerking?? whatever floats your boat I guess) when Johnny bursts in. He confronts Robby on his lying and skipping school, but his son does does not give a fuck.
Johnny acts like this isn’t getting to him, but you can see that what Robby said has hurt. And it should!
And despite his attitude, we can see that Robby is feeling pretty bad too. Both father and son are barely holding back tears, but pretending they aren’t. All hail toxic masculinity.
At the school library, Miguel is consoled about the beating by his friends, who tell him it could have been worse. Well Demitri does, as usual, Eli hardly says a word.
‘You know what the best superpower would be?’ Demitri asks. ‘Superstrength.’ says Miguel, but Demitri interrupts him. ‘Wrong, invisibility.’
Ouch. I felt that down to my bones. Just to not be seen, really escape…in high school? Yeah that would be bliss.
They’re interrupted by Kyler and Bruck, who chase them off, but not before grabbing Eli by the face. ‘Lookit this shit…who would ever kiss this?’ says Kyler, laughing.
‘Leave him alone man.’ says Miguel, still giving me those pre serum Steve Rogers vibes, but Kyler and Bruck laugh it off, dumping Demitris backpack in the garbage before walking off.
Not seeing that Sam was standing behind one of the bookshelves, and overheard the whole thing.
Her dad isn’t doing too well either. His car dealership rival has sent him at least four bags of sausages to mock him for the dick billboard thing, and his dumbass cousin started painting over the dick from the side instead of the middle (and someone took a shit up there too! Probably Johnny, means, motive, opportunity). Looks like all the LaRussos are having a terrible day (well probably not Anthony, that kid always seems to be happy as long as he has his video games and his food. Which I can totally understand.)
Miguel is picked up from school by his mom. Yay, it’s a mother son trip to the movies! And to keep him away from karate. But Miguel isn’t in the mood for the movies, he doesn’t feel safe, just sad. Poor Carmen is clearly hurting because he’s hurting, but she doesn’t know what to do.
Back to Daniels Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, guess what? Things got worse, yay! Wait no, that’s bad. Amanda set up a meeting with some women who make commercials for people. For some reason not clear to me (because why? Would you ever? Do? This??) they show him his rival, Tom Coles commercial.
Cole takes a dig at Daniels bonsai thing by offering a cactus to customers because ‘In these dry times, it really is the only responsible plant to own.’ and says ‘I’m offering you deals, great American deals.’ (pro tip: do not trust anyone who says ‘I’m offering you a (insert country of origin here) deal!’ ) Daniel has had enough, and storms out of the conference room.
Now we focus in on a woman who’s getting her ear talked off about auditing by some rando. Oh I see, it’s Johnny’s ex, Robby’s mom, Shannon Keene (Diora Baird). He interrupts her date, annoying and slut-shaming her, and then finishes by saying that she isn’t being a responsible parent.
Shannon is not having that though, because as she puts it ‘You gave up on day one, day one!’ She reminds him that she was there when Robby got mono, when he broke his wrist, not Johnny. He doesn’t refute it either. He came into the bar full of bluster and bravado, but she shot down every single argument. Shannon could be a lawyer I swear if she applied herself and oh my god I’m turning into a guidance counselor! Help!
Tom Cole (man every time I see David Shatraw, I think ‘hey it’s Tommy from Titus! which is silly because it’s been….wow, 21 years since then. Dang) is in for a rude awakening as Daniel storms in. ‘You called me a water waster and un-American!’ says Daniel, clearly hot under the collar. Tom takes some shots, but then apologizes.
Just kidding! He says Daniel must be full after eating all that dick.
Well takes one to know one ass. Daniel puts him in his place by knocking his drink from his hand with a spin kick, nicely done!
Also, that kick looks real awkward because you cannot kick in dress pants, you’ll tear the crotch out. That is my only karate tip of the day: do not do martial arts in dress clothes! Here endth the lesson, that’ll be $400 dollars.
We now see that Kyler and Sam’s hot date is kinda cold, since Sam overheard him bullying Miguel and the others. ‘We’re all just friends!’ Kyler protests unconvincingly, but Sam doesn’t believe it. Sensing his time is running out, Kyler tries to feel her up, only for Sam to bust out her own karate on him, leaving him alone and embarrassed in the movie theatre. Good for you Sam.
Johnny is having a burger in a diner or something somewhere, when he’s distracted by one table over. An adorable scene is unfolding, a three year old boy sharing a sundae with his dad. It’s so cute, seriously seriously cute. They clink spoons, the kid feeds his Dad the cherry, it’s so fucking adorable.
So Johnny leaves, and ends up knocking on a very important door.
‘Please don’t close the door.’ he begs, and launches into a heartfelt plea, and you know what, I’m just gonna put it up here, it’s a great scene.
Carmen, not Sharon was the one he was talking to. She’s not totally convinced, but as she closes the door and turns around, she sees her mother there.
Rosa just shrugs and says ‘Mi gusta’ (I like him).
Daniel is making breakfast again, but it’s sparse. He’s given up on winning Sam back, much to the dismay of Anthony, who is disgusted at the ‘dry english muffin’. But when Sam comes down the stairs, she’s all smiles, and dying for some bananarama panckes.
Yay, the LaRusso family is back together again!
Johnny is packing up the dojo when the door bell chimes. It’s Miguel! With a big grin on his face, ready to train. Johnny says he’s going to teach him the best defense. ‘More offense!’
That would be the perfect place to end.
That’s not the end.
Daniel walks into the dealership, where Louie and Anoush (I haven’t talked about them before but Louie is Daniels not so bright cousin, Anoush is his particular and slightly fussy employee). They found something other than poop up by the billboard.
‘This guy disrespected our family! What are you going to do about it?’ Louie demands.
And as we look at Daniels angry, calculating face.
The episode ends.
Bananarama is the name of the group who preformed the song ‘Cruel Summer’ in TKK.
From an interview with CBR:
How quick was it to find that chemistry with Xolo [Miguel] and Billy [Johnny]?
Vanessa Rubio (Carmen Diaz): Pretty quick, even quicker with Xolo, especially in Season 1; he was working so much, so that was really on-the-fly. I had more grounded scenes with Billy, right from the get-go. One of the first scenes that we did [together] was his monologue with Carmen, when he opens the door and we think he’s talking to somebody else but he’s talking to Carmen. That was a very grounded, vulnerable scene and we built from there, it was a great scene to begin with. It was very emotionally honest and present, so we could only get better from there.
Nothing much this week, though the Kyler/Sam shippers are out of luck I guess.