Of all the things you might have expected from the third season of , there was one element that took many fans by surprise. After all, following the Season 2 finale, there was plenty to cover–, Johnny (William Zabka) being , and the aftermath of the . Still, Cobra Kai Season 3 managed to follow up on all of those story threads and include something unexpected: A deeper look at Sensei Kreese (Martin Kove), the villain of the first Karate Kid movie that then reappeared on the Netflix original series at the end of Season 1.
Warning: The following contains spoilers for Season 3 of Cobra Kai. If you haven’t seen the new episodes yet, what are you doing here? Go open the Netflix app and watch the third season now.
Cobra Kai has explored events from the past before, even, giving some hints at Johnny’s childhood before the first Karate Kid movie. However, there’s an entire subplot running through the new season to highlight the man Kreese was before founding Cobra Kai. We learn his humble origins as an awkward busboy at a diner, who ultimately finds himself enlisted in the Vietnam War. We then follow him throughout the war, reporting to a commanding officer that lives the “no mercy” lifestyle that would ultimately become the foundation of the Cobra Kai dojo.