Spoilers follow for Season 3 of Cobra Kai.
When the third season of martial arts drama Cobra Kai dropped on Netflix this month, fans were wondering how on earth this show could keep raising the stakes after the Season 2 finale, in which an all-out karate brawl broke out at the high school, leaving a number of students in the hospital. But viewers weren’t disappointed: as tensions between the rival dojos came to a head in Season 3, another smackdown was inevitable, this time at the LaRusso house.
And true to The Karate Kid nature, the fight wasn’t just action for action’s own sake: it served as a way for several characters to complete the arcs they had been on all season long, such as Hawk finally having a change of heart, switching sides, and joining forces with his former best friend Dimitri.
Another character who had a minor but still significant moment in the epic, bringing-down-the-house fight sequence was Miguel. After fighting his own battle early in the season to recover from his severe injuries and learn to walk again, Miguel had been left uncertain as to whether he would ever be able to do karate with the skill of his old self. And when confronted with new Cobra Kai recruit Kyler (his bully from way back in Season 1), it looked for a minute like Miguel was toast… until he finally unleashed a counter that enabled him to defeat Kyler.
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A new video on the Cobra Kai Theory channel explains that this moment was a subtle callback to a scene from earlier in the season, where Miguel inspected Mr. Miyagi’s hand drum, and learned a little about Miyagi-do karate from Daniel. In addition to continuing the show’s tradition of paying homage to Miyagi, Miguel beating Kyler in this manner is also a nice way of foreshadowing the teaming up of Miyagi-do and Eagle Fang in the final moments of the season.
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