cobra kai recap

Wax On – Cobra Kai 109 ‘Different But Same’

Welcome to episode 109 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.

So we start with Robby trying and failing and trying and failing to perfect the one handed balancing technique he learned last episode at a skatepark. He finally succeeds!
Good for him, now let’s get to the good part.

Daniels morning is going great! He’s in the kitchen making breakfast, drinking his espresso, looking out the window, seeing his old karate nemesis…
Wait…one of these things is not like the others.
Yep, Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso are finally gonna face off!
Fight fight fight fight!


Anthony LaRusso is delighted, just as I am (I’m telling you, that kid is my Id made flesh). But Amanda shows up to be the voice of reason, telling them both to cool it.
The two men look at each other warily. ‘Do you want to go inside?” says Daniel, grudgingly. ‘I could eat.’ answers Johnny in the same tone.

At school, Sam is waiting outside MIguels SAT prep, meeting him with a smile and a kiss. (sidenote: So it’s a schoolday? Why isn’t Anthony at school? What even is time in this universe???) But Miguel is a little bummed because of the events of last episode. He asks if he can come over to her house, but Sam is still hesitant. Miguel then says that she’s welcome at his house anytime, his mom would love to meet her. When Sam brushes him off again, Miguel says he has to train and leaves. Aww. Come on you crazy kids! Make it work! I mean, I get why Miguel is so angry, but come on you two, communicate!

At the LaRusso house, the three adults are sitting down at the breakfast table, the men bringing out a laundry list of grudges.

‘Your husband got my rent doubled.’
‘You spray painted a dick on my face.’
‘You tried getting me banned from the All Valley.’
Amanda interrupts only to be counter interrupted. Wow these guys really are like four year olds around each other.
‘He torched my car!’
‘I did not torch your car! I’m the guy that got your car fixed, remember?’
‘Yeah well it wouldn’t have needed it if your daughter and her friends hadn’t wrecked it in the first place.’
Well that’s news to Amanda, but we’ll get back to that.

So Amanda and Daniel talk amongst themselves, and agree to take Johnny to the trade in lot to get him a ‘new’ car. New used car, whatever. (In the background Johnny eats scrambled eggs while Anthony threatens him. Hilariously, they are equally matched.)

Miguel is still sulking over Robby and Sam, his friends tell him he should either a) leave it alone because he should trust Sam or b) kick Robbys ass.
I’ll let you figure out which friend gave which advice.
(Hawk is in the background sparring with Bert

This is Bert. Tiny and full of rage.

Bert is eleven, Hawk is..(17?) Bert is tiny…basically what I’m saying here is Hawk is being an ass.
The sparring ends with Hawk kicking Bert in the face, which is as funny as it is brutal.)

Suddenly Aisha says ‘Oh that bitch!’ Lead Plastic Yasmin posted a stupid comment about her weight on Aishas (Instagram? Facebook? Twitter? I can’t tell). Aisha isn’t gonna take that, and plans her revenge: a party at the same location Yasmin was planning on that night, strike first!

Daniel takes Johnny to the LaRusso lot and tells him to choose one, but Johnny turns up his nose at all of them until they get to the ‘2009 Challenger, 5 point 7 liter.’ says Johnny (correcting Daniel in the process). ‘You know cars?’ says Daniel ‘What man doesn’t?’ Johnny answers.
And so, test drive time! At first, Daniel is tense, until he turns on the radio and REO Speedwagon comes on. Soon the two men are nodding their heads along with the beat.
As they drive, Daniel recognizes his old apartment and they pull over at get out to take a closer look. Daniel reminisces about his old apartment with his mom, coming to California from New Jersey.

‘It must have been nice, having a rich daddy give you everything.’ he says. Johnny just looks at him. ‘I didn’t have a rich daddy..I had a rich stepdad. He was a real piece of shit.
Daniel pauses. ‘I didn’t know that.’
‘Yeah, I guess my mom wanted me to have a better life….give me things she didn’t have.’

Daniel is feeling sympathy for Johnny. Feels weird.

So Laura, Johnny’s mom, married Sid for Johnny’s sake. That must have fucked him up, knowing that his mom married this jerk for his sake, so she could give him the life she felt he deserved and needed. I’m also reminded of how in ‘Quiver’ we saw that Laura was younger than Sid..yet she died before he did. The more you think about it, the worse it gets.

Hearing Johnny speak, Daniel can’t help but think of his own mom, and how she also wanted the best for him. Different but same.

So the kids are at Nestors convince buying beer for the party with Hawks fake ID. Nestor knows that the ID is sus, but decides he doesn’t care, and let’s the kids buy the beer anyway.

Looks legit. Also I need to get my nails done soon….

Miguel is outside, texting Sam in vain. She can’t answer him though, because Amanda has grounded her and taken her phone away as punishment for being involved in a hit and run (I mean, I get that, but I feel like it’s Yasmin who should be punished, not Sam).

Meanwhile, Johnny and Daniel are getting day drunk at a local bar, Coors for Johnny natch, a very dry martini for Daniel. Daniel had always assumed Johnny had the perfect life, but Johnny answers he’d come home and get bullied everyday by Sid, which is what led him to join Cobra Kai, to toughen up.
Daniel also confides in Johnny that he lost his dad when he was eight, so he never really had a father either. They’re so much alike, both were bullied, though by different people, and both had karate sensei father figures (though as Johnny points out, Mr. Miyagi never tried to kill Daniel.)

Yasmin, Moon, Kyler and Brucks have arrived at their party spot, but uh oh! Aisha and pals were there first with the beer!
Yasmin is annoyed and angry, but the boys aren’t inclined to do anything, especially when they see Miguel.
It gets worse for her when Moon locks eyes with Hawk and likes what she sees, abandoning her friend to hang out with him.
I’d feel bad for Yasmin but..*gestures to the past eight episodes*

Robby has shown up at the LaRussos looking for Daniel, but finds out that Sam is grounded. Feeling sympathetic, he fakes a twisted ankle in order to get a ride home, knowing that Amanda will ‘punish’ Sam by making her drive him. Clever boy.

Johnny and Daniel are actually getting along! Drinking and laughing, and just having a good time. And also cyber stalking Ali on facebook, because let’s face it, neither of these guys are over anything that happened to them in high-school. Turns out she has a pretty good life, married to a good looking doctor, and a doctor herself. But they both console themselves by saying that her husband ‘looks like an asshole’

Yeah he looks terrible all right.

Meanwhile at the party, Miguel has been drowning his sorrows so much, he drank all the beers in a cooler. Yasmin tried to give the party a go, but after Demetri hits on her, she decides she’s had enough, and marches up to Moon, saying shes’s leaving. Moon says she want so stay, and that she’s apologized to Aisha. Well how about that!

‘You’re just a fugly bitch and your friends are all freaks.’ Yasmin ays, glaring at Hawk.
‘Let me help you to your car.’ Aisha replies, and then gives her a brutal front wedgie! Like that girls toes aren’t even touching the ground!
Oh man, I know I’ve said violence just creates a new problems, but damn watching that was so cathartic!

‘No mercy bitch!’

Now it’s Aisha who’s triumphant, while Yasmin is the butt of the joke, everyone at the party laughing at her as she runs off. Again, I’d feel bad for her but *gestures to past nine episodes*

Robby and Sam arrive at the party, and Sam confides in him about Miguel. She hasn’t told her dad that she’s dating Miguel, because she knows he hates Johnny.
‘I just feel so guilty, I know I’ve gotta come clean to everyone.’ Robby, for some reason, can relate.

A very very drunk, emotionally hurt Miguel sees them together, and goes over to pick a fight. He tries to punch Robby, but whups.
Hits Sam instead.


Well that went well.
Angry and hurt she leaves, Robby following her. And I can’t blame her. I can’t help but feel Johnny was somewhat responsible for that. Whenever Johnny had a problem, he drank. He drank around Miguel, all the time. And Miguel, who idolizes Johnny, noticed that. And copied that behaviour.

Johnny and Daniel have ended their day drinking with some drunk driving. Seriously, how is it Johnny has never been pulled over for this?? Are there no cops in the universe? Zero cops? Cops none? They’ve agreed to have one fight at Daniels dojo (just like the end of Rocky III.)

But just as it seems we’re gonna get that sweet sweet karate action, we see Robby is already there, trying to calm down after the confrontation with Miguel. Johnny freaks out when he finds out that his son is Daniels student, making Robby come to his teachers defense.

Looks like we’re back at square one, well, maybe now things are worse than they were, as Robby is fired and kicked out of the dojo.
Well…that went well?

Cobra Callbacks:

The title of the episode ‘Different but same’ is something Mr. Miyagi says to Daniel in TKK about Ali.

Snake Bytes:

From a Forbes interview:

[Characters like Johnny Lawrence] were mostly cardboard characters but Zabka took each of them seriously.

“I would never look at it like that. I’d always try to find something in the characters that was a weak spot, a chink in their armor, a vulnerability, something to give them dimension so they just wouldn’t be two-dimensional villains,” said Zabka. “I always approached them as an actor and as an actor you try to make these characters yours and bring as much of myself to each of them.”

Daniel and Ali are ‘different but same’ and Johnny and he are different but same. And Mr. Miyagi was describing a romantic relationship…HMMMMMMMM.