Why Cobra Kai Season 5 Daniel’s Karate Kid 3 Nightmare Come True

Warning: SPOILERS for Cobra Kai Season 4.

Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) won in the end Cobra Kai Season 4, which introduces Season 5 as Daniel LaRusso’s (Ralph Macchio) nightmare come true. As the climax of the All Valley Under 18 karate tournament of Cobra Kai season 4 concluded, Silver and John Kreese’s (Martin Kove) dojo triumphed with the overall Grand Championship and boasted Tory Nichols (Peyton List) . Despite their best efforts, Daniel, Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), and the students of Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang Karate couldn’t bring an end to Cobra Kai, meaning LaRusso must go to war against Terry Silver in Season 5 of Cobra Kai.


When Terry Silver Daniel announced his presence by invading Miyagi-Do in the middle of Cobra Kai Season 4, LaRusso rightfully panicked and he sabotaged his alliance with Johnny. In LaRusso’s defense, however, none of the enemies Daniel-san faced in The Karate Kid films made his life as miserable as Silver did in The Karate Kid Part III. By Terry’s own admission in Cobra Kai Season 4, the acts he committed torturing teenage boy LaRusso in 1985 were “insane.” Silver hired “Karate’s Bad Boy” Mike Barnes (Sean Kanan) to fight Daniel at the All Valley Tournament, and he put Barnes and his henchman on “Danny-Boy” to force him to fight Mr. Miyagis (Noriyuki “Pat”) to compete. Morita) wishes. Meanwhile, Terry posed as Daniel’s friend and tricked him into cutting ties with Mr. Miyagi in order to join Cobra Kai, where he physically tortured LaRusso. At All Valley, Silver instructed Barnes to intentionally injure Daniel using illegal tactics before LaRusso angered the Cobra Kai-rented gun to win the tournament.

Related: Karate Kid & Cobra Kai Timeline Explained (Including Season 4)

When Cobra Kai Season 5 arrives, it will answer the question of what would have happened if Terry Silver had won in The Karate Kid Part III. As Cobra Kai Season 4 makes clear, Daniel, who foiled Terry’s plan in 1985, only postponed the inevitable by 34 years. As Silver returned to guide Cobra Kai, he gradually revealed his greater plan, which was to betray Kreese, his oldest friend from Vietnam, in order to set himself up as Cobra Kai’s only sensei. The incredibly wealthy and devilish Terry Silver, now basking in his ultimate victory, is a bigger threat to the San Fernando Valley than Kreese was, and Silver’s next moves will ensure Daniel’s hell on earth in Season 5 of Cobra Kai will.

Terry Silver’s Cobra Kai dojos take over the Valley

Terry Silver Cobra Kai 4 Finale

Before Daniel ruined his plans in The Karate Kid Part III, Terry Silver announced to the audience at All Valley that he plans to open dozens of Cobra Kai dojos to take over karate in the San Fernando Valley. It’s no surprise that when Tory’s victory secured the All Valley Grand Championship for his dojo in Season 4 of Cobra Kai, Silver made the same Karate Kid Part III proclamation of expanding Cobra Kai’s dominance. Terry has already made his move, closing down the dojo location that Kreese took over from Johnny and moving Cobra Kai’s main dojo back to its original building in the Valley — which is the same location where Terry physically abuses Daniel made his knuckles bleed in 1985. Silver might even bring Mike Barnes back to help him run Cobra Kai.

Daniel broke the original terms to which he, Johnny, and Kreese had agreed that All Valley’s loser would close his dojo. While LaRusso is correct that Silver “has no honor,” Daniel realizes he now envisions an immediate future where the small group of his Miyagi-Do and Johnny’s Eagle Fang students will soon be surrounded by dozens of Cobra Kai, who were coached by Terry Silver. Season 4 of Cobra Kai saw a general cessation of karate violence while the students trained for combat at All Valley, but Silver’s Cobra Kai expansion means the floodgates are about to open. Soon, Samantha LaRusso (Mary Mouser), Eli “Hawk” Moskowitz (Jacob Bertrand), Demetri Alexopoulos (Gianni DeCenzo) and the others will once again be on the streets fighting for their lives against the Cobra Kai.

Daniel can no longer be defensive despite Miyagi’s teaching

Daniel relied on his lifelong experience that following Miyagi-san’s teachings would lead to victory, but both he and Sam were stunned and heartbroken when Tory defeated the younger LaRusso, allowing Cobra Kai to win the All Valley. While no one but Tory knows that Terry Silver bribed the referee when Cobra Kai season 4 ended, he was shaken by the fact that Daniel failed. He had no answers for Sam as she exclaimed, “We did everything right and we still lost.” But Daniel decided he could no longer rely on him to fight defensively the way Miyagi-san would have wanted him to, so LaRusso asked his “karate cousin,” Chozen Toguchi (Yuji Okumoto), to come to Los Angeles to come and help him go on the offensive against Cobra Kai.

See Also: Cobra Kai Season 4’s Surprise Cameo reunites the original Karate Kid Trilogy

In The Karate Kid Part II, Daniel and Chozen fought to the death as they buried the hatchet in Season 3 of Cobra Kai. In Chozen, Daniel has another Miyagi-Do-Sensei who has a different philosophy and knows the secrets about Miyagi Karate than Miyagi-san never told Daniel. But going on offense is unfamiliar territory for LaRusso and trusting Chozen is a risk since Daniel doesn’t really know him well. Also, fighting Chozen will take Daniel further and further from what he knows. Daniel-san also worries whether the war with Cobra Kai will dishonor Miyagi-san’s memory. The Karate Kid films show that every time Daniel “loses focus” ends in disaster, and this time there’s no Miyagi-san to bring LaRusso back from the brink.

Fighting Terry Silver could spell the end of LaRusso

Cobra Kai Daniel Amanda LaRusso

Going to war with Terry Silver and Cobra Kai could also pose an existential threat to the LaRusso family. Daniel is justifiably proud of his successful family business, LaRusso Auto Group, which he runs with his wife Amanda (Courtney Henggeler). But Silver is far wealthier than LaRusso, and if the Cobra wanted Kai Sensei, he could attack Daniel’s business and even buy out the dealership, threatening the LaRusso family financially. In Cobra Kai season 3, Daniel traveled to Okinawa to save his company, but Silver, who may still be running his family’s company, DynaTox, may choose to control the best car dealership in the Valley and the teenage karate game to dominate.

Terry Silver proved he was willing to punch Stingray (Paul Walter Hauser) so hard that the naive wannabe Kobra-Kai had to be hospitalized to frame Kreese and have him arrested for the attack. Someone so ruthless would certainly attempt a hostile takeover of LaRusso Auto Group if he felt like it, and Silver wouldn’t break a sweat taking “Danny-Boy” and Amanda’s financial well-being. John Kreese was an enemy focused only on karate, but the danger Terry Silver poses goes far beyond a karate dojo war. Whatever form his war with Terry Silver takes Cobra Kai Season 5, win or lose, Daniel LaRusso will indeed live his worst nightmare from The Karate Kid Part III.

Next: Cobra Kai prepares for Mike Barnes’ return for Season 5

Cobra Kai Season 4 is streaming on Netflix.

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About the author

John Orquiola
(2050 published articles)

John Orquiola is a staff feature writer and has been with Screen Rant for four years. He started out as an assistant director on various independent films. A lover of film and film theory, John wrote humorous film reviews on his blog, Back of the Head, which got him noticed by Screen Rant. Fortunately, John became the Star Trek guy at Screen Rant and directs feature coverage of the various Star Trek series, but he also writes on a wide range of topics, from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to Cobra Kai. His other big nerdy loves are British TV series like The Crown, Downton Abbey and Killing Eve. John can be found on Twitter at @BackoftheHead if you want to see photos of the food he’s eating.

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