Cobra Kai season 4 trailer and a villain returns

The smash-hit series Cobra Kai kicks off its season 4 on Netflix with a new trailer and the revelation of an old villain coming home.


The Karate Kid sequel and spinoff series Cobra Kai is one of the most welcome surprise hits we've had in recent years. After debuting on YouTube Red, old and new fans of the series alike have tuned in to the critically acclaimed show.

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Cobra Kai's Season 3 finale. (Images: Netflix)

Now its new home, Netflix, has released a fresh teaser trailer to hype up Season 4, just as it did with another popular genre show, Stranger Things.

When is Cobra Kai Season 4 arriving and what surprises does it hold? Check out the details below.

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Where we were

Cobra Kai was developed for the now-defunct YouTube Red service in 2018. It is as an official continuation to the story that began with 1984's martial arts coming-of-age film series, The Karate Kid.

Effectively, the series follows most of the continuity of the film series, exploring where the lives of Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) and Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) ended up 34 years after their fateful rivalry during the All Valley Karate Tournament.

In Season 1, we found Johnny had fallen on hard times. Divorced and estranged from his son Robby Keene (Tanner Buchanan), Johnny tries to make ends meet with odd jobs, mostly as a handyman. Meanwhile, Daniel has become a very successful businessman with his own car dealership. Happily married and with 2 kids of his own, Daniel has become something of a local celebrity, leveraging his past fame as a karate champion to promote his business.

Things change for Johnny when meeting with and agreeing to teach a boy named Miguel Diaz (Xolo Maridueña) karate. This inevitably leads Johnny to reopen the Cobra Kai dojo, but he finds it harder than he thought it would be. Daniel, learning of this, decides to reopen the Miyagi-do dojo that his mentor, Mr. Miyagi (played by the late Pat Morita) established, but this time as a more formal karate gym, with his daughter Samantha LaRusso (Mary Mouser) and, ironically, Johnny’s son Robby Keene, as his first students.

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Samantha LaRusso (Mary Mouser) and Miguel's (Xolo Maridueña) relationship is one of the key plot threads in Cobra Kai.

The first season ends with the All Valley Karate Tournament coming down to the match between Robby and Miguel. Miguel wins, but Johnny slowly realizes the bad influence he is having on his young students to due to the teachings he is imparting from his own mentor, John Kreese (Martin Kove). At the other end, Daniel decides to dedicate more time to building his dojo, to bring in more students and honor Mr. Miyagi’s legacy.

The second season of Cobra Kai moved the show to YouTube Premium and dealt with the return of John Kreese and the brewing love triangle between Robby, Miguel, and Samantha. Also, as more students join both Cobra Kai and Miyagi-do, tensions and factions continue to rise, as the rivalry carried over to school and social gatherings. Although it appeared Johnny and Daniel had reached a level of respect and even the beginnings of a friendship, the season finale puts a wrinkle in that development. At their high school, the students get into a brawl that culminates in Robby seriously injuring Miguel. This leads to Kreese taking over Cobra Kai while Daniel gives up on Miyagi-do.

Cobra Kai Season 3 is the first that brings the show to the Netflix streaming platform. Season 3 dealt with the aftermath and repercussions of the previous season. Daniel and Johnny team up to find Robby who ran away. The school incident also jeopardized Daniel’s car dealership and he must travel to Japan to save his business. There he encounters old flame Kumiko (Tamlyn Tomita) and rival Chozen Toguchi (Yuji Okumoto) who help him both with his business, as well as in finding direction with his life choices.

On the other hand, Johnny creates a new karate dojo called Eagle Fang. Due to the school brawl, the annual All Valley Karate Tournament had been canceled by the city council, prompting Johnny, Daniel, and Kreese to present their cases to restore the competition. However, Robby has been swayed by Kreese to join his Cobra Kai. Things come to a head when Cobra Kai students initiate another fight, this time at the LaRusso home.

By the end of the season finale, Johnny and Daniel find common ground after meeting with their old flame, Ali Mills (Elizabeth Shue), but find out about the attack. They confront Kreese and, in the ensuing fight, come to an agreement that if Cobra Kai loses the next tournament, Kreese will leave. Daniel and Johnny begin training their students in the Miyagi-do dojo, while Kreese calls an old friend.

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Cobra Kai Season 4 Trailer

Netflix released the Season 4 teaser trailer for Cobra Kai.

With the resolution from Season 3, the trailer shows very brief glimpses on where we will find the main cast. The now-collaborative mentoring of both Daniel and Johnny will appear to have its own difficulties, as their children and students choose where their loyalties truly lie. Meanwhile, the “soul of the valley” is on the line, jokingly referred to by Daniel’s wife Amanda (Courtney Henggeler).

The trailer also confirms when the season arrives on Netflix. Fans will be happy to know it will be earlier than expected, coming this December. This is in contrast to the previous break between Season 2 (2019) and 3 (January 2021) due to the global pandemic affecting production and shooting schedules.

Now the REAL PAIN begins, Danny boy

But it doesn’t end there. On the official Cobra Kai Twitter account, a post was shared on August 6, 2021 that had most of the regular cast. In the post, the video has the cast giving words of encouragement to karate practitioners who are competing and wishing them good luck. But wait until the end of the video for a surprise:

That’s right: It’s Thomas Ian Griffith saying a variation of his infamous line from Karate Kid III.

The inclusion of Thomas Ian-Griffith at the end is confirmation that fan-favorite villain, Terry Silver, is making his triumphant return to the Karate Kid universe. Although Karate Kid III was considered the weakest entry in the series that headlined Ralph Macchio’s Daniel LaRusso, Terry Silver was still a memorable bad guy for fans, and able to get into Daniel’s head before betraying him.

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Terry Silver (Thomas Ian-Griffith) was Daniel's (Ralph Macchio's) traitorous second karate teacher in Karate Kid III.

Even before the reveal of Terry Silver being added to the cast in Season 4, his presence has been felt in all the prior seasons. As the co-founder and the financier of the original Cobra Kai dojo, Silver has had a hand in the current status quo of the main characters of the series. In particular, Terry Silver’s history and association with John Kreese was fleshed out more in Season 3. In it, we discover how deep the friendship the two men share, with Kreese saving Silver from death in the Vietnam War.

With Season 4, it appears we will get the answers to the questions fans of the franchise have been asking, such as where Silver has been. Moreover, there will likely be answers as to why Silver allowed the Cobra Kai dojo be closed down after Karate Kid III.

What about Mike Barnes?

One character that fans would like to see return as well is Mike Barnes (played by actor Sean Kanan). The "Bad Boy" of karate competitions, Mike Barnes was another memorable villain, hired by Terry Silver specifically to humiliate and hurt Daniel LaRusso during the All Valley Karate Tournament.

Fans like the idea of having Mike Barnes encounter William Zabka’s Johnny Lawrence, as the two have never met within the Karate Kid universe. Similar to Johnny, Barnes was willing to take things too far during a competition, but even more aggressively and without remorse. So far, there is no official word on whether Barnes will or will not appear in Cobra Kai Season 4.

But with Terry Silver confirmed to be appearing in most of this upcoming season of the series, it is probably just a matter of time before Barnes appears in some shape or form. Plus, with Xolo Maridueña being cast as the DCEU's new Blue Beetle, Cobra Kai will get even more media attention in the future.

Cobra Kai Season 4 stars Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Xolo Maridueña, Mary Mouser, Courtney Henggeler, Martin Kove, Peyton List, Tanner Buchanan, Jacob Bertrand, Gianni DeCenzo, Vanessa Rubio, and Thomas Ian Griffith. Season 4 releases on the Netflix streaming service December 2021.

Geoff Borgonia
Geoffrey "Borgy" Borgonia is a veteran writer, artist, journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur based in the Philippines. When not contributing to some of the top pop culture sites on the planet, he spends the rest of his time running his business, practicing martial arts, working on and developing books, comics, and games. In his man-cave, his only luxury is sleep. Borgy on Linkedin.