Now the real pain begins.
Cobra Kai season five has officially been out for a week now, which means all of you guys have had time to watch it. There were a lot of high highs this season, and a lot of low lows spread throughout the episodes. There were some great ones. There were some below average ones. But most of the season five episodes were solid. So here's my ranking of all ten episodes of Cobra Kai season five.
10. Long, Long Way from Home (Episode 1)
Episode one felt like it reverted a little bit back to OG Cobra Kai, and I don't mean that as a good thing. The dialogue was cringe-inducing. The action was forced and cheesy. I didn't really dig the whole plotline with Miguel trying to find his dad. I really liked Robby and Johnny fighting together, but the rest of this episode felt extremely corny and dumb. Solid cliffhanger, but otherwise, a disappointing entrance into this season.
9. Downward Spiral (Episode 4)
When I first watched this episode, I really dug it, but the more I think about it, the less I like it. Downward Spiral is really the only episode that deals with the Cobra Kai-Miyagi-Do rivalry. And that part was kind of bad. The whole water park sequence was dumb. The way they resolve the conflict is to race down water slides. Like...really? The strong part of the episode comes from Terry Silver, who manipulates Daniel into overreacting and causes him to lose his family. That was devastating. So this episode has some high points of the season...but it also has some low points. So I can't put it higher.
8. Bad Eggs (Episode 7)
I really liked this episode. The standout sequence is Chozen training the rest of Miyagi-Do. I like that he's a combination between Johnny and Daniel, and I really found that whole scene to be super funny and entertaining. I also really liked when Johnny and Daniel visited Kreese. That scene was written very well. I thought it was weird that it took seven episodes for us to get to Silver's big plan, and his plan feels a little underwhelming in my opinion. It isn't a great episode, but it's good. It would be higher, but this season had a lot of good episodes.
8. Survivors (Episode 9)
This episode is good. It essentially acts as setup for the finale, but it's a good version of that. We see our characters (the adults, at least) really having fun for the first time. You see that Daniel, Johnny, Amanda, Carmen, and Chozen are all real friends. On the flip side, the kids take things into their own hands and decide to interrogate Stingray and get him to admit that Silver beat him up. This all culminates with a slow, dreadful realization as Daniel, Johnny, and Chozen are drunk and partying in the back of the limousine and they slowly realize that their driver isn't the one driving. It's a terrifying way to end the episode...and I guarantee every single person who watched this episode immediately pressed next episode because of how intense that cliffhanger was.
6. Molé (Episode 2)
This episode was a much better continuation of the stuff set up in episode two. We get more entertaining moments with Johnny and Robby. Miguel's journey with his dad fully pays off, and you get a solid set of emotional moments. Back in the valley, Chozen infiltrates Cobra Kai, pretending to be a sensei. That makes for a few interesting moments between him and Silver. This is a very good episode, and it gave me the Cobra Kai that I wanted in this season.
5. Playing with Fire (Episode 3)
Playing with Fire re-introduces us to Mike Barnes, and he was the highlight of the episode for me personally. I was frustrated with his usage throughout the rest of the season, but his initial return was really good. His apology to Daniel and reaction to Silver being back makes sense in light of the events of The Karate Kid Part III. I heard a review of this season that found it really cool that all three of Daniel's final foes in the original trilogy were good guys now, and I agree with that. That's really cool, and it makes sense, because teenagers are stupid and immature. Silver burning down Mike's furniture store is a devastating scene that makes you understand the lengths that this guy is willing to go to ensure victory. This is a really good episode.
4. Ouroboros (Episode 6)
At first, I didn't love this episode, but after thinking about it for a while, it's actually pretty great. Kreese's therapy session where he flashes through all of the people he cares about in life is one of the best scenes in the show. I loved the direction in that scene. The end of the episode where Daniel re-opens Miyagi-Do with Robby, Chozen, and Johnny all in is so satisfying and so awesome. Kim Da-Eun brings this episode down, but otherwise, I loved this episode.
3. Taikai (Episode 8)
This episode was really, really cool. It set the stage for the finale. We now know Silver's plan, so our heroes go in to try and stop him. We essentially get a rematch of the tournament. And Silver is still paying the ref off. This time, Tory does something about it. She leaves. She abandons Cobra Kai, allowing Miyagi-Do to win as both dojos make the Sekai Taikai. I loved the way that it juxtaposed the training of both dojos. It really exposed the differences between the two of them. The cliffhanger here was awesome, as Tory reveals to Sam that Silver payed off the ref. It was a great setup for the finale. I loved it.
2. Head of the Snake (Episode 10)
The finale itself is great. Sure, it gets a little ridiculous at times. Our characters commit maybe one too many felonies. But, dude. Chozen and Silver have a sword fight. All three of Daniel's former rivals try to battle Silver. Tory is fully redeemed at this point. Daniel defeats Silver with the classic crane kick. Kreese's escape from jail is fun. The season-long payoff is always just satisfying. I love how every Cobra Kai finale feels like an explosion. This definitely feels like an explosion.
1. Extreme Measures (Episode 5)
This is, for my money, the best episode of Cobra Kai we have ever gotten. There's so much series-long payoff. Robby and Miguel fight out their differences and finally accept each other as friends. Daniel is now lost without his family, so he begins going crazy and turns to Johnny for help. After attacking Stingray, he goes back to apologize, only to encounter Silver and get the absolute crap beaten out of him. It raised the stakes and felt like a darker turn for the season. I absolutely adored this episode. It was amazing.