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Cobra Kai Season 5 Sees This Unexpected Character Embracing The No Mercy Rule

Contains spoilers for Season 5 of "Cobra Kai"

In the ongoing and world-shattering struggle between (checks notes) karate schools, "Cobra Kai" has demanded a lot from some of the major players involved. A change in tactics and more added treachery (depending on which side you're on) has been rife in the 5th season that pulled out all the stops. These developments led to one hero taking things in a direction fans may never have anticipated. To get ahead of the Terry Silver streak tearing through the valley (thanks to a dastardly performance from Thomas Ian Griffith), OG students Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence (Ralph Macchio and William Zabka) turn to the only person they can.

In a last-ditch effort to take Cobra Kai down, Daniel and Johnny pay a visit to imprisoned (though not for long) John Kreese (Martin Kove), who has been stewing in his cell following his double-cross from his former partner last season. The prison-based parle understandably starts icy with Kreese unwilling to move an inch in helping his former students. It's only after Daniel offers a bargaining chip the seasoned sensei can't turn down that he changes his tune.

Daniel threw the Cobra Kai rulebook at Kreese

As it turns out, John Kreese should've stuck to his guns, as Daniel LaRusso applies a technique he perhaps hasn't considered using for 33 years.

After initiating an icy reception with Daniel and Johnny, Kreese finally acknowledges his no-win situation and tries to make a last-ditch attempt to come out with something from it. The seasoned sensei will willingly blow the whistle on Silver's activities and plans for the future on the condition that Daniel helps him end his prison time. Lacking the finances to get himself a decent lawyer, Kreese requests that Daniel pull the necessary strings to provide one and get him out. The mentor in Miyagi-Do agrees, allowing an epic bean-spilling session from Kreese that eventually blows up in his face.

Instead of getting details for a lawyer Daniel has tempted him with, Kreese gets hit with a twisted taste of his own medicine. The founder of Cobra Kai opens a note from Daniel, assuming it's a lawyer's number, only to be reminded of a core Cobra Kai principle he seemingly forgot — "NO MERCY MOTHERF****R." It's a mic drop moment that shows just what lengths Daniel is willing to go to now that Silver's power is on the rise and the playing field desperately needs to be leveled. It's the kind of move we'd expect of Daniel LaRusso during his brief time on the enemy side in "The Karate Kid Part III," but not now. Nevertheless, with such a drastic move against Kreese, what kind of retaliation awaits Daniel in the show's next chapter from a move like this being thrown?

Could Kreese finally call it quits in the fight against Daniel and Johnny?

After picking up our jaws from the floor in the finale of Season 5, the great minds behind "Cobra Kai" decide to go all out in their "oh yeah, we're going there" checklist in its closing moments. With Terry Silver on the way to the slammer, we learn that John Kreese has managed to break free of his and is looking back to his own techniques. Like the third chapter of "The Karate Kid" films, Kreese has faked his demise to get out of prison, leaving him free to roam the valley. The only question is, who is at the top of his hit list?

As much as the cheap shot thrown by Daniel during his visit may have hurt, Kreese still has more damaging issues to attend to. Silver may be beyond his reach for the time being, but Kreese has returned to the world with his business in ruin and the throne of Cobra Kai unattended. Might he meet some contention when he's reunited with Kim Da-Eun (Alicia Hannah-Kim), who was outraged by Silver finally being exposed? If so, these changes might see him eventually returning with a new perspective and plan that LaRusso isn't a part of. We can only see if that comes to pass when "Cobra Kai" returns next season.