Cobra Kai season 2

Season 2 of Cobra Kai delivered a lot of what fans were hoping for, and plenty of surprises. We want to talk about all of it, but we don’t want to spoil it for anyone. So definitely don’t read this until you’ve finished the season finale of Cobra Kai. But when you see one of the payoffs in the season finale, you might be interested to know that a certain fight was even longer on the set.

Spoilers for Cobra Kai’s season two finale follow.

Why Less Was More

In season one of Cobra Kai, Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) suggested he and Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) have a Rocky III-style rematch, in private where only they would know the outcome. They sort of had their rematch when Daniel found Sam (Mary Mouser) staying the night at Johnny’s house.

“The fight was longer initially when we shot it but then we started cutting it down because it was just becoming too much,” Macchio said. “The stakes are really high. LaRusso doesn’t know what’s happening. His daughter is missing, never came home, is at his house. He’s not allowing him in. That was my deal. What happened to my daughter? I need these answers. Now all bets are off so it’s that kind of amped up thing. Then these two guys, they just had this huge dinner so it goes to a different place and then just at the point it should go further, it’s interrupted. I’m interested to see how everyone feels about that and even that entire finale moving forward.”

The idea was to suggest the beginning of a rematch, but save something for subsequent seasons.

“It’s really the tip of the iceberg,” Zabka said. “It’s more of a flurry. It’s not the full rematch that I think fans want to see and that we’d be itching to do. It’s a flurry. It’s a barrage of fists and feet flying and all the aggression coming out between these two characters and manifesting in physicality and martial arts. My favorite part of that was the spinning back kick when I kick him into the television. There was a stunt guy there who stepped in for Ralph and he was  great. He had a nice chest pad on and he told me to really lay it into him and that was a very good feeling to throw a nice hard hitting back kick. There’s, I believe, much more to come of that. It’s just the tip of the iceberg of their dispute.”

There really has to be now. The fight ended in a draw when Samantha and Robbie came out of their room. We need a decisive victory.

“We were way behind schedule at that point shooting-wise,” Macchio said. “We did not have a lot of time and there was a lot of discussion of what this should be. It should just be a piece of an appetizer. It should not even be a full salad. It’s like okay, everybody’s waiting for it so give them a little taste for it and then move to something else. So that was always the discussion. We always wanted the Johnny/Daniel, any physicality to be sort of the Ross and Rachel of our show. You never want to see it go all the way because then the series is over. It was about finding the right balance to tease it and I think they did a good job.”

A Taste Of His Own Medicine

Another potential spoiler for earlier episodes is when Demetri (Gianni Decenzo) signs up for Miyagi-Do classes. Daniel was skeptical about Mr. Miyagi’s waxing and painting. Demetri has outright contempt for it.

“The fun thing about Demetri is he presents that case where you feel the simplest of teachings anyone would pick up and no matter what he tries, this kid just defies all logic on just 101 basics,” Macchio said. “But then there comes that point, and it’s one of the sweetest moments in the season for LaRusso when he takes it slow and he figures out a way to reach the kid and get to him. How he learns as a teacher as much as the student learns as the pupil on how they can move forward and understand the same lesson. I enjoy those scenes a lot.”

Cobra Kai creators Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg and Josh Heald enjoyed turning the tables on Daniel.

“For the audience, we’ve seen this a million times and for Demetri, he’s smart enough where he can kind of see through the Miyagi-Do trickery,” Schlossberg said. “He’s just like okay, just teach me the moves. Do I have to do all your work? That was immediately when we thought of that type of scene, we realized he’s the right type of student for Daniel because it’s just a challenge. It presents a challenge for Daniel to reach this kid.”

Demetri isn’t exactly the new Daniel LaRusso though. There are subtle differences.

“The difference between Daniel and Demetri is that Daniel wanted to learn Karate and also needed to learn Karate,” Heald said. “Demetri needs Karate but does not want it. Daniel even asks him, ‘Do you want to be here?’ He says, ‘Not really.’ He’s not thrilled at having to go through the motions of learning this, but there is real value to him knowing it as you see later in the season. He does need Karate and that just gave us a perfect comedic place to come with this character.”

In light of the season finale, reaching Demetri may not even be an issue in season three. Daniel promised to stop teaching Karate after the high school fight. Chances are, Cobra Kai will find a way to see him teach responsible Karate again, but will Demetri still be there when it happens?

Cobra Kai season two is now streaming on YouTube Premium.

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