Over Labor Day weekend, we finally dove into Cobra Kai. I had cruised past it a couple of times but finally decided to dive in. We made it through Season 1 and are looking forward to Season 2. The Karate Kid is an 80s classic (never-mind the sequels) and Ralph Macchio doesn’t age, so we figured it was worth a try. With a soundtrack that begins with Poison and just gets better from there, it drew me in. It’s hard for me to take off my theological hat, so of course I found spiritual things and eternal truths in the show. You can see the holy in Cobra Kai
The Worst Things Are Never the Last Things
You’ve witnessed Johnny Lawrence’s life peak when he comes in 2nd at the All Valley Tournament 34 years ago. In the first episode alone, he loses his job, he gets arrested, and his car is wrecked. Quite a bad 20 minutes for him. It sets the stage for his redemption. He begins mentoring a young man named Miguel, reopens the Cobra Kai dojo, cleans his apartment and begins some life-giving relationships. He also begins to work on reconnecting with his estranged son.
Things Aren’t Always What They Seem
On the other side of town, Daniel LaRusso seems to have it all together. He’s living in a big house (the same house the Walsh family in BH 90210 lived in), owns a series of car dealerships and has a loving family. However, there is something missing. His daughter is having out with the wrong people, he takes some underhanded measures to double the rent of tenants in the strip mall where the Cobra Kai dojo is located, and he has lost the balance in his life. He comes across a bit like King Solomon, despite having all the material goods, he has lost his way. It’s hard to imagine this is our hero from 34 years ago.
Redemption is Possible
Samatha LaRusso asks her father Daniel, “is it possible that Cobra Kai has changed?” Yes, yes it is. Johnny Lawrence has brought together the kids who were picked on in school, the Daniel LaRussos of the school, to form his Cobra Kai dojo. He has given those who have no place to belong a place to belong. While Johnny still struggles to overcome some of his questionable trainable methods, he is able to instill confidence for life in his students. Meanwhile, Daniel takes Robby, Johnny’s estranged son, under his wing. Daniel begins a journey back to the lessons that Mr. Miyagi taught him.
Remembrance is Important
Daniel and Johnny share a Eucharistic moment over some drinks late one afternoon. Of course, this is after a drive where they bond over some REO Speedwagon. They visit Daniel’s old apartment and Johnny shares why he joined Cobra Kai back in the day. In another scene Daniel, searching for answers, visits the grave of Mr. Miyagi and is reminded of much of the wisdom that Mr. Miyagi shared with him. Balance doesn’t just apply to karate, it applies to all of life. Did I mention that Daniel and Johnny bond over REO Speedwagon.
Maybe it’s a reach, but there is good news all around us, even in a television show inspired by an 80s movie. If you are looking for something to watch, you can do a lot worse than Cobra Kai.