Cobra Kai Season 4 Trailer Breakdown: Strike Hard, Strike First, No Mercy

"Cobra Kai" season 4 is hitting Netflix on December 31, and today we got a brand new trailer. When we last left our merry band of martial artists, Cobra Kai — the version led by Kreese (Martin Kove) — broke into the LaRusso home and smashed up the place. Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) found his inner strength from Johnny's (William Zabka) words, and kicked all sorts of Cobra Kai ass. Hawk (Jacob Bertrand) remembered his humanity and joined his old friend Demetri (Gianni DeCenzo) on the side of the good guys. Sam (Mary Mouser) conquered her trauma-induced fear and took down Tory (Peyton List). Johnny's son Robby (Taylor Buchanan) sided with Kreese against his dad, and nothing good is going to come from that, friends. Certainly not after Johnny accidentally knocked Robby out. Daniel (Ralph Macchio) came in to defend Johnny, and they decided to team up. Eagle Fang forever! Kreese agreed to hit the road if Cobra Kai loses the next tournament. It's always about the tournament!

As you may recall, there is a certain phone call that happens at the end of the last episode to a certain Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith), the man who started Cobra Kai. Terry could change everything! Let's take a gander at the "Cobra Kai" season 4 trailer and get a look at what's on the way.

Johnny's Badass Mixtape 4

Set to "Rock of Ages" from Def Leppard (throwing up the devil horns here), the trailer starts off with the hope that Daniel and Johnny can work together to win back Cobra Kai by winning the All Valley tournament. Daniel is telling his wife Amanda (the absolutely hysterical Courtney Henggeler) his hopes, and she has a large glass of wine. Considering what we know of Johnny and Daniel, maybe she should pour another one. Screw that, just get a really long straw and stick it in the bottle. "Cobra Kai" has so perfectly drawn these beloved characters in their middle age that it's hard to imagine that this is going to work without some serious fights. 

We can see that in some of the clips of the Eagle Fang training sessions. "Eagles do not respond. They just swoop down and take whatever they want, but first you've gotta learn how to fly," Johnny says as he leads the kids up to a roof to jump. What's below? Some badly-placed dirty mattresses. The trailer cuts to Daniel saying, "Come on, we're gonna get sued here." Yes, that is indeed attached to yet another training issue at Daniel's dojo. They've got Dimitri tied up with mattresses strapped to him and everyone is attacking him like a training dummy. So yeah, it seems that Daniel's cooler head will not prevail. 

Wax On, Wax Off

Though we all love Johnny's hair metal heart, he's not the best at safe training practices. Daniel seems to have at least a little agency here. He's obviously teaching Johnny some Mr. Miyagi (the late Pat Morita) techniques like "wax on, wax off," which serves the dual purpose of cleaning Daniel's collection of cars. As Kreese says, they're combining their styles. In a way, the show has sort of done that to both of their characters as well. 

Johnny as a younger man was a disaster. He was a jerk, spiteful and impulsive. He's still impulsive, of course (see: kids jumping off the roof), but he's got a really good heart in there, something Daniel had as a kid. Daniel, on the other hand, has sort of become what he never wanted to be. He's sort of a rich jerk. Yeah, there's goodness under there, but he's super judge-y these days. If they can keep from letting old rivalries continue to rip them apart, they really could be a fantastic team. Kreese is certainly worried, or he wouldn't have called the guy from the very worst of the "Karate Kid" films; the third one. 

It looks like Daniel is getting a taste of his own medicine, punching baseballs shot from a cannon (maybe it's not an actual cannon — I don't understand how baseball works).

The Return of Terry Silver

At the end of last season, Kreese called his old Vietnam buddy Terry Silver (who we saw in flashbacks, played by Nick Marini), and damn, this guy is doing well! Slimy as the creator of Cobra Kai is, he's a bit of a silver fox, living in what is clearly a very expensive beach house. It also appears that Terry has kept up all the old karate skills, going by the clip where he tests Kreese's ability not to flinch. (Note: Kreese does not flinch; Would you expect him to?) Just look at that smarmy smile! We even get a quick look at the younger smarmy smile. Nothing has changed with this guy!

"I just want to make sure, this time, we win," he tells Kreese at a swanky dinner. It might happen. It appears that Robby is using what he learned from Daniel against his old teacher. He's teaching the gang to fight like Mr. Miyagi. Johnny and Daniel have to see this coming, right? Right? Tory seems to be taking "wax on, wax off" very seriously, complete with ferocious face. That is not a dig, folks. I would not want to meet Tory in an alley, and you should feel the same. She's a tough fighter!

If a Man Can't Stand, He Can't Fight

See, Terry Silver is good at manipulation. He's got that aforementioned smile, and he uses it well. He seems to have grown a bit more charm in the years since we saw him last. He's teaching Robby, with that smile on his face all the time. It's also plastered there when Kreese brings him to Daniel's dojo, and in the flashback to him secretly watching Daniel fight way back when. Ooh, the sleeze just oozes from this guy, no? Just look at it!

He looks like he might actually take a bite out of Daniel and smile while he chews. "You cannot strike first with this guy," Daniel tells Johnny, and he's not wrong. Terry is patient and you can see him just waiting for his moment. You get off balance with him and he'll take you down. "If a man can't stand, he can't fight." Terry is plotting, charming Cobra Kai and working to get his revenge on Daniel. You strike first, he'll take you down with his pretty silver ponytail and his creepy laugh. 

Trouble in Eagle Fang?

The thing is, Terry has the high ground here. He and Kreese know what they are. They're villains who will win at any cost. The motto for Cobra Kai is "Strike first, strike hard, no mercy," and they're absolutely committed to that doctrine. It's harder for the good guys sometimes, battling their inner demons and their own need for revenge to keep fighting the good fight. (Terry even says to Daniel in the trailer, "You just don't want to admit there's always been a little Cobra Kai in you.") The old rivalries between Daniel and Johnny haven't gone away, particularly in the case of Miguel. He's dating Daniel's daughter, he's been both hurt and nursed back to health by Johnny (who's also dating his mom, Carmen, played by Vanessa Rubio) and the fight over who hearts him the most may end up breaking Eagle Fang. 

While they're working it out, Robby is gaining a lot of wisdom in the very worst way. Over a training montage, he says, "Everybody thinks their way is the only way." It sounds like he's talking to Daniel. "The truth is, it doesn't matter how you fight, as long as it works." Spoken like a true villain, sir. 

Tournament Shake Up!

What's coming down the pipe, what everyone is training for is, of course, the 51st annual All Valley Under 18 Karate Tournament, and the last few moments of the trailer give us quick clips of some juicy details. Daniel is clearly having some anxiety, because we see him visiting Mr. Miyagi's grave. Miguel is getting a talking to from Johnny and his mom. It looks pretty tense and this isn't the first time that's happened. 

We're also seeing a new kid on the block, played by Dallas Dupree Young. He's getting bullied at school and he heads over to Cobra Kai. The kids there take him under their wing. Though Terry tells the dojo not to fight until the tournament, it looks like we might have another brawl for it all at an evening event. At the very least, we're seeing the kids face off with very angry faces. 

One other big moment: As you can see in the picture above, Johnny and Daniel are wearing opposing Gi. Johnny has one for Eagle Fang and Daniel has one for Miyagi Dojo. Now, they could be representing both of them because they have come together with their styles to create one dojo. They also could be facing off against each other. Despite the fact that I want them to be besties forever, I also want to see them fight! Sweep the leg, Johnny! Sorry. Old habits, you know. 

The thing is, this might happen. Something certainly is, because we also learn that the council that runs the tournament is making some changes. Though everyone seems a bit wary, they vote yes after the line, "This proposal will revolutionize the tournament. Show of hands." One guy says, "God help us all." Well, that sounds ominious. 

December 31 can't come soon enough! Now, go listen to "Rock of Ages," because it's going to in your head for the rest of the day anyway.