In case you haven’t noticed, we are big fans of Cobra Kai here at the Last Movie Outpost. The combination of a good continuation, told well with convincing characters and compelling stories, sprinkled with the just the right kind of nostalgia, has hit home.
After two strong seasons is the third time a charm? Or will it suffer from that difficult third evolution? Well, based on episode 1 of this new season – that is now streaming on Netflix – the answer is no, it won’t suffer. It was a strong start.

Minor spoilers follow.
The first thing you notice is that there are real consequences and a real fall out from the school fight at the end of the last season.
A lot of the characters are in a dark place. The local community is in uproar, the school board is taking it seriously with a PTA meeting. Karate in the valley is having its reputation dragged through the mud. There is tough security in the school as parents demand something is done. In the fallout at least two fun characters seem to be gone, which is a shame. Meanwhile Hawk and Demetri have a simmering feud only kept apart by new rules and focus on what the students are doing.

Johnny is not in a good place. He feels deeply responsible and is not reacting well. As does Daniel. Some nicely pointed exposition from LaRusso’s wife outlines that their business is suffering and a contrite Daniel knows he is as responsible as Cobra Kai for what happened.
It is still funny in places, with some nice barbs at “woke” anti-violence school programmes and the Lawrence version of what happened in the original movie being dealt with early.
William Zabka remains great, capable of switching from drunk loser to comedy to touchingly deep within a few scenes. His attempts to get into the ICU to see Miguel are a highlight. Speaking of Miguel, we are forced to see his hit on the bannister several times and it makes you wince every time.
He remains in a coma, playing out a karate tournament in his head as he fights. Sam LaRusso appears to be suffering from a form of PTSD over her part in the tragedy. Robbie has gone on the run, wanted for the assault.
Kreese remains in control of the Cobra Kai dojo and is every bit as slimy yet psychotic in a very good, short scene with Daniel.
As with all episodes it leaves you on just enough of a cliff hanger, as something we have waited for over two previous seasons seems to be happening, that you want to hit that play button immediately and get on with the next episode.
Overall, a very strong start with exactly what you wanted laid out cleanly as a foundation for what’s to come. No “subverting expectations” here, and it’s better for it. It does what it always does best. It gets on with telling the story that you want to see.
We miss TV like this, and we have missed Cobra Kai. If this is how they will go forward then bring it on! Based on episode 1 it still feels like it was made for fans, by fans. The move to Netflix not hurt so far.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an entire season to binge watch. If you are further ahead then feel free to discuss below but please keep it spoiler free or use spoiler tags in the Disqus.
See you on the other side!