Cobra Kai Season 4 delivered a shocking revelation leading up to the All-Valley tournament as its biggest bullies ended up being the LaRussos.
WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Cobra Kai Season 4, streaming now on Netflix.
In Cobra Kai, one of the recurring themes was bullying; something inherited from the original films where Kreese, Johnny and Co. fostered toxic masculinity in their sinister dojo. This resurfaced in the present with Terry joining Kreese once again, but while kids in all dojos sometimes showed noxious traits, Season 4’s biggest bullies were the LaRussos.
It’s quite shocking because Daniel was a victim at the time, which is why he trained with Mr. Miyagi and then used Miyagi-Do as a form of defense, not attack. They preferred not to engage in fights, but if the pressure were to arise they would know what to do with bullies – something Cobra Kai discovered the hard way in the trilogy.
Daniel backed off a bit, especially at the start of Cobra Kai, intimidating Johnny for not being successful in life. It was like a rematch, but hey, that’s their dynamic. But most shockingly, Daniel’s family have shown just how venomous they can be this season, with his son Anthony standing out the most. He was peripheral for the first three seasons, usually finding himself at the table playing video games, but in Season 4 he’s really horrible for Kenny. He constantly denigrates him in school, knocking him down with his friends to beat him. He even fished Kenny, pretending to be a girl they both had a crush on.
He then taped Kenny’s cosplay and leaked it, which led Kenny to Cobra Kai as he wanted violent retaliation. There’s no excuse for this, but it’s easy to empathize with Kenny, as Anthony was relentless with bullying, even stealing Kenny’s Cobra Kai clothes from the gym and displaying him in his underwear at school. . This is why Daniel was so disappointed when the truth was revealed after an altercation because he couldn’t believe his own child was what he hated.
Plus, Daniel’s wife Amanda had a hot streak herself. Granted, she wanted to stop Tory from beating Sam outside of the All-Valley karate tournament. Still, she shouldn’t have shown up to Tory’s waiting job to berate and embarrass her in front of the diners. An emotional conservative reacted, resulting in the teenager’s dismissal. Kreese was actually the voice of reason, letting Amanda know that Tory needed the job to take care of a sick mother and siblings, which is why she was so angry all the time. Amanda tried to redeem herself, but Tory threw it in the face because she rightly didn’t want a pity party from an adult who should have known better than threatening her at work.
Finally, Sam lacked compassion, intimidating Tory as the latter sorted out his problems and considered therapy. Sam just wanted revenge and ridiculed Tory when she got a replacement job singing and dancing for the kids. She even berated Tory when Tory returned to school after her expulsion, making it clear that Sam would physically injure her outside of competition.
In her rage state, she even misinterpreted Aisha’s advice for dealing with the issue head-on, as Aisha wanted Sam to talk to Tory about it, not like a monster. In the end, it painted them all as human and vulnerable, but it made it worse for how lacking in discipline and patience Daniel preached to Miyagi-Do, explaining why they were so out of touch as a family.
All four seasons of Cobra Kai are available to stream right now on Netflix.
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