Cobra Kai S1E2 Review: Strike First

Episode 2 of Cobra Kai continues where episode 1 left off. Our new protagonist, Johnny Lawrence, has started his dojo and dives back in the world of karate. The episode dives a little more into Daniel LaRusso’s personal life and reveals, while things may look amazing at work, all that glitters is not gold.

While LaRusso may have the seemingly-perfect life at work, at home, things are much more grim. With one kid addicted to video games and screens and the other getting involved in the wrong crowd at school, things are much more difficult than we were led on to believe about LaRusso in episode one. LaRusso, leaving work, sees the new Cobra Kai dojo in a mini mall strip and is taken aback by memories of Johnny Lawrence being a bully and overall, just a troubled kid. 

LaRusso struggles with his daughter throwing a wild party at his house without him knowing and she becomes embarrassed by her dad’s antics in front of her friends in typical teenage fashion. We see a glimpse of hope for Samantha, Daniel LaRusso’s daughter. While the kids she has started hanging around are quite cold hearted and cruel, she apologizes for throwing a party at her fathers. 

In Johnny Lawrence’s side of the story, opening a dojo isn’t just as easy as putting out an “Open for Business” sign out front and waiting for young students to show up. The health inspector shows up and says he has a lot of work to do before he can actually open up the business. So what does Lawrence do? He has Miguel clean up the stuff, telling him that it is “karate training.”

Miguel is struggling to fit in his new school. He has a crush on Daniel LaRusso’s daughter and is put off by one of the kids that attacked him in episode one. He sits with the un-cool kids at lunch where they tell him it’s no hope for him.

In the end of the episode, LaRusso has Samantha’s crush, the same one that attacked Miguel, over to dinner. He starts asking him about his injuries and eventually Daniel LaRusso gets it out of him that he was attacked by an “old, homeless karate guy.” LaRusso puts two and two together and realizes that it was none other than Johnny Lawrence that attacked Samantha’s friends

The Finale: Back on the Mat

In an intense moment, Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence are now face to face on the karate mat, presumably for the first time since Lawrence lost to LaRusso. LaRusso mistakenly accuses Lawrence of beating up children to which Lawrence corrects LaRusso and takes a jab at him not knowing much about his family. 

The second episode of Cobra Kai is just as pleasing to watch as the first one. With some mature humor and intense moments, it keeps you entertained for the entire show. The directors and writers do a good job of flipping the script on us, making us pull for Johnny Lawrence this time and making us both dislike and sympathize with Daniel LaRusso at the same time.