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The Most Important Hawk Scene In Cobra Kai Season 3 Isn't What You Think

Spoilers for Cobra Kai season 3 ahead!

Cobra Kai shows a reversal of fortunes from the original Karate Kid. In the 1984 film, Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) is the rich bully, and Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) is the kid who's down on his luck. Decades later, the results of the All-Valley Karate Tournament still greatly impact these characters, with Johnny's life hitting the kids while Daniel's doing quite well for himself. 

Cobra Kai shows these characters continuing to be affected by how they were treated by their parental figures earlier in life, and how their trauma continues to impact the next generation. Season 3 really raises the stakes by showing Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) recovering from the paralyzing injury he sustained at the end of season 2

Meanwhile, a good portion of the newest season sees Eli Moskowitz (Jacob Bertrand), a.k.a. Hawk, continue his descent into full-blown bully. Season 2 really opened up the rift between Hawk and his former friend Demetri (Gianni Decenzo) as they pursue different ways to overcome the nerdy personas they've developed throughout their time in school. Hawk has become a standout on the series, which is particularly impressive considering he's a new character unaffiliated with the original films. He goes through some major changes in this recent batch of episodes, and it appears as though fans of the series have concluded that one moment stands out above the rest. 

Cobra Kai fans love seeing Hawk stand up for the little guy once again

Hawk entered Cobra Kai as a shy, timid nerd who constantly gets picked on for the scar on his lip. Under the guidance of Johnny, he reinvents himself with a wicked mohawk and prominent back tattoo, but soon, he goes a little overboard with the ethos of the old Cobra Kai, and basically becomes a bully. Right when you think he can't sink any lower, there's a moment late in season 3 in which Hawk realizes the error of his ways. 

Redditor u/Zizou_06 started a thread proclaiming this to be "one of the best moments in the whole show." The scene depicts Hawk taking out a couple of bullies picking on Demetri, but what the clip doesn't provide is context for Hawk's emotional journey. After being largely absent since the first season, Kyler (Joe Seo) comes back and offers his approval of the fighter Hawk has become. As u/FreelanceFrankfurter puts it, "I think that scene when Kyler gives him props made him realize he became what he hated."

The whole reason Hawk joined Cobra Kai in the first place is that he didn't want to be made fun of. He wanted to be able to stand up for himself and be known for something other than a scar. At that moment, he was watching Demetri, Bert, Miguel, and others get beat up, and it proved to be his breaking point. John Kreese (Martin Kove) transformed Cobra Kai students into the bullies Hawk once hated, and it was so satisfying to see him finally use his martial arts prowess for good. There are plenty of great Cobra Kai fight scenes, but there's just something about this one in particular that makes you want to pump your fist in the air.