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The Cobra Kai Character That Has Fans Split

Cobra Kai is a continuation of the Karate Kid story set in the present day, when the once-karate-students of the '80s are now full-grown adults with nearly normal lives. As Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) revives Cobra Kai Karate and Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) breathes life back into Miyagi-Do, old rivalries come to surface and virtually ruin the lives of a bunch of kids. So, the show has a similar feel to Karate Kid in that respect.

In Cobra Kai, karate is used to bring misfit kids together so they can split into two opposing groups and kick the snot out of each other like God intended. These misfits range from the popular girl who hates her social status to rebels without a cause to tormented geeks and nerds with a newfound power in the form of snap kicks and colored belts. 

One of the show's secondary storylines is a tale of brother against brother featuring two geeky teenagers who were once the best of friends. They find themselves on different sides of the karate line, and ultimately come to blows. These two friends-turned-sort-of-enemies are Hawk (Jacob Bertrand) and Demetri (Gianni Decenzo), and fans aren't sure what to think about Demetri's character.

Demetri is a funny kid who's always picked on, right?

Demetri is a tall, lanky kid. He's weak, he's nerdy, and his chances of successfully wooing a love interest are slim at best. He's also got some of the wittiest lines in the show. "I f***en love Demetri. He had some of the best lines, especially in Season 1. Great comedy and sarcasm," says Reddit user thewalkingwhit, "And he's actually a throwback to the 80's movie friend trope."

Before the resurrection of Cobra Kai Karate, Demetri and Hawk were best friends. Hawk joins Cobra Kai as one of its first new students, becoming a badass bully in the process. Demetri tries to join Cobra Kai to be with his friend, but doesn't seem to want anything to do with the "tough guy" attitude that permeates the dojo, so he bows out, and eventually starts training under Daniel LaRusso. From then on, it seems that Demetri has lost his best friend. Hawk doesn't forget about Demetri or anything. Instead, he seems to view Demetri as a traitor, and at one point goes so far as to assault him at the comic book store in season 2 over a bad Yelp review.

When you look at Demetri in this light, it seems like he's getting the short end of an unnecessarily painful stick, but some fans are providing a deeper analysis and looking at the character in a totally different way.

Is Demetri the fallen leader of a broken geek pack?

One fan on Reddit suggests that Demetri can be looked at in a much different light. "Prior to Cobra Kai, I feel like Demetri felt he had a pretty sweet gig as the 'alpha geek,'" shenaniganrogue posts, "a position he's lost because Hawk has flipped the script and deserted him. He tells himself that he's upset because their friendship as equals is effectively over; but I'd argue they were never equals and that he feels more betrayed that Hawk has stepped out from behind him, which has robbed him of his previous status."

If you watch his character through this lens of jealousy, envy, and possessiveness, all of Demetri's once-charming characteristics can become a little sickening. Back when Hawk was still a "geek," he didn't speak much. He was shy and quiet. Demetri did the talking. It was Demetri who led the small pack of high school geeks. Then, karate came into their lives and everything changed.

The user also comments on why Demetri didn't take to Cobra Kai Karate, saying it's because "he wasn't allowed to exercise that control, put his ground rules in place, or go at his own pace."

"He seem like he was raise very very safe and was never punish for his actions [sic]. So grew up [sic] with the mentality that his actions will have no consequences. Thats how i see him anyways," says El_Quetzal, another Reddit user.

Other fans don't find him to be the fallen "alpha nerd," but think "more often than not he's annoying, obnoxious, socially awkward and just hard to deal with," like TAG_TheAtheistGamer. However you feel about Demetri, he's likely to play some kind of role when Cobra Kai returns for season 3 on Netflix in January.