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Cobra Kai season 4: release date, story, season 3 ending explained and what we know

Cobra Kai season 4
(Image credit: TINA ROWDEN/NETFLIX)

Cobra Kai season 4 is on its way at some point, and while we're waiting for a firm release date, we're still picking up lots of new information about it all the time. It was revealed alongside the Cobra Kai season 3 trailer. While that's a bit odd, it's nice to know that any cliffhangers from season 3 will hopefully be resolved. 

It's good to see the show succeeding after been confined to YouTube as a premium show initially, and while it was good there, having it on Netflix just means that even more people can tune into this shockingly good story about the Karate Kid so many years later. 

As ever, make sure you're up to date with the show before reading ahead because we'll be recapping the story so far below. It's been an incredible ride so far, and Cobra Kai season 4 is no doubt going to continue to push onto even greater heights. So, here's everything you need to know about Cobra Kai season 4. 

Cobra Kai season 4 release date

(Image credit: CURTIS BONDS BAKER/NETFLIX)

While there's still no official Cobra Kai season 4 release date as of yet, we do know that it's just started filming thanks to a Tweet from Netflix themselves. We're expecting that this means we could see the show either at the very end of this year, or more realistically early in 2022. 

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This is very much in keeping with an interview with GamesRadar where Hurwitz said: “We hope to be shooting the show in the coming months,” Hurwitz revealed. “We’re still figuring out some of the specifics, but the intent is for early [2021], to get back on set, with all the Covid protocols in place, and to get back to some karate ass-kicking in the valley.”

Of course, while production is now underway, things could still go awry because of Covid, but hopefully, this particular show manages to make it through unscathed from this point onwards. That's very much the opposite of what we're expecting in the show itself though. 

Cobra Kai season 3 ending explained, and how it could factor into season 4

(Image credit: CURTIS BONDS BAKER/NETFLIX)

Towards the end of season 3, all of the sensible adults in Cobra Kai came together to cancel the All Valley Karate Tournament, arguing that the tournament probably isn't worth teenagers hospitalizing one another. By this point it's easy to forget that Miguel started season 3 in a coma, following season 2's cliffhanger. Perhaps the adults in the room had a point? 

It's okay, though: after a rousing speech from Miguel and Sam about how much they wanted this tournament to go ahead, they got the all-clear and a bet between Cobra Kai, Johnny Lawrence's new dojo Eagle Claw and Miyagi-Do was made. If Cobra Kai doesn't win the All Valley Karate Tournament, it'll disband. If it does win, they'll continue with their current course and Kreese will remain sensei. 

The run-up to this tournament will no doubt form the backbone of Cobra Kai season 4's story, and it's the most exciting the series has ever been.

If you thought the all-out riot at the High School that capped off season 2 was spectacular, the end of season 3 fight was smaller scale, but much more brutal. The Cobra Kai dojo invaded the LaRusso house to fight with Miguel, Sam, Demetri and the rest of the assorted Miyagi-do and Eagle Fang students who came together to discuss a truce. The result was a ton of kids laying waste to the LaRusso house while the adults were at the country club gala.

During season 3, Kreese recruited several school bullies to Cobra Kai, meaning their core group is even more sadistic than before. This brutality led to star Cobra Kai student Hawk breaking the arm of former best friend Demetri earlier in the season, and eventually he decided enough was enough. He chose to do the right thing with…yet more fighting, as he beat the assembled Cobra Kai students and defected to Eagle Claw. 

At the end of his day with Ali, Johnny decided he's ready to get serious with Miguel's mother Carmen, and arrived to tell her only to find Miguel looking bloody after his fight. Johnny and Daniel go to Cobra Kai and scuffle with Kreese in the dojo, leading to them discovering that Johnny's son Robbie is now a Cobra Kai student who wants nothing more than to get back at Daniel and Johnny. 

The appearance, however, of Ali (Elizabeth Shue, reprising her role from the movie) saw her and Johnny reconcile and end things as good friends. That's because she pointed something out to both Daniel and Johnny that Cobra Kai fans have been yelling at their screens for the last few seasons: both characters feel the other one is the bully, and feel unfairly targeted by the other. Perhaps both of them weren't so well behaved in years past?

This revelation, and the alliance between Eagle Fang and Miyagi-Do, means that Daniel and Johnny are finally pals, and so are most of the original Karate Kids that joined Cobra Kai. The season ends with a real feeling of togetherness, a much more hopeful tone than we got for season 2's crushing finale.

Cobra Kai season 4 cast: who we expect to return and the new additions

Cobra Kai season 4

(Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

Fans of the film franchise will remember Karate Kid III features multi-millionaire Terry Silver, a war buddy of Kreese's who sends Kreese off to Tahiti after his embarrassment at the hands of Miyagi and Daniel LaRusso, before kicking off a plot to embarrass the pair of them. He fails, predictably. 

It's looking pretty likely that he'll be stepping into Cobra Kai season 4 as a villain, however, as the end of season 3 of the show features Kreese making a phone call for reinforcements. While we don't get more information than that, it's looking like Terry Silver will return. 

Why do we think this? Well, throughout season 3 we saw flashbacks to John Kreese's military service, with the young version of the character played by Jesse Kove, the real-life son of star Martin Kove. 

During these flashbacks we are shown how Kreese developed his "win at all costs" mentality, but also how Kreese and Silver grow close after being captured on a mission gone wrong.

As with everyone else in this universe, Silver is a Karate expert and will probably make Kreese even more ruthless. 

Who else could be joining the party for Cobra Kai season 4? While we don';t have a huge amount of solid information at this point, we've had confirmation of a couple of friendly (and unfriendly) faces. Fans are definitely keen to see Hilary Swank coming back to play Julie Pierce again, the main character from The Next Karate Kid. Of course, whether or not she makes it back is an entirely different matter.

With Netflix now trickling out information about returning cast members, we've got  a list of those we're expecting to see below:

  • Daniel LaRusso: Ralph Macchio
  • Johnny Lawrence: William Zabka
  • Miguel: Xolo Maridueña
  • Amanda LaRusso: Courtney Henggeler
  • Samantha LaRusso: Mary Mouser
  • Robby Keene: Tanner Buchanan
  • Hawk: Jacob Bertrand
  • John Kreese: Martin Cove
  • Tory Schwarber: Peyton List
  • Carmen Diaz: Vanessa Rubio

We're definitely expecting to see Demetri (Gianni Decenzo) and Kyler (Jeo Seo) again in Cobra Kai season 4, because they were fairly integral in both the fights and story beats of season 3.  We're also expecting to see a little more focus on some of the other Cobra Kai students as well, because the roster there is looking a little thin. 

While there are no guarantees on who is returning outside of those announced, we've had another tweet from Netflix which promotes Peyton List and Vanessa Rubio to season regulars, and also announces two new faces. 

The cast of Cobra Kai will now be joined by both Dallas Dupree Young and Oona O'Brien, both of whom will apparently be playing regular characters in the show, and will no doubt end up throwing hands and feet at some point as well. 

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Cobra Kai season 4 can't come soon enough

Cobra Kai has found its perfect home on Netflix. It's the ideal binge-watch show, on a platform where it can find the audience it deserves – and three seasons in, fans are now deeply invested in this extension of a universe that was first introduced all the way back in 1984. Bring on season 4.