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It's Time To Talk About That Daniel Scene In Cobra Kai Season 4

Spoilers ahead for "Cobra Kai" Season 4

The pilot episode of "The Karate Kid" sequel series "Cobra Kai" notably subverts its source material when, rather than spotlight the franchise's original protagonist, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), it's revealed his former rival, Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), is the focus of the series. However, Daniel soon becomes as much a main character as Johnny, and the ways their approaches to life, the universe, and everything contrast with one another becomes perhaps the central tension of the show.

At the start of "Cobra Kai" Season 4, Daniel and Johnny attempt to work with one another to ensure their students can defeat their rival, the Cobra Kai dojo, at the upcoming All Valley Under 18 karate tournament. However, midway through the season, their differences become irreconcilable, causing a rift to form anew between their respective karate schools.

This is, of course, not permanent but merely one more obstacle in the way of Daniel and Johnny becoming closer still to one another. At the end of Season 4, the budding friendship between Daniel and Johnny is stronger than ever, and the two men unite in their desire to raise their kids to be kind and courageous. Their path to this reconciliation at one point includes a scene where Daniel becomes more like his rival-frenemy than he, and many viewers, likely ever thought possible.

Daniel LaRusso has a major Johnny Lawrence moment

At the start of Episode 8 of "Cobra Kai" Season 4, Daniel's son, Anthony LaRusso (a grown-up Griffin Santopietro), is grounded for bullying Kenny (Dallas Dupree Young), a new student at his school. Daniel visits Anthony in his room only to discover that Anthony is hiding an iPad, undermining what is supposed to be a ban on electronic devices. Whereas the Daniel of old may have lectured his son about the importance of following the rules, in that particular moment, the LaRusso patriarch breaks the illicit iPad over his knee and yells "Quiet!" in a tone used plenty of times prior by none other than Johnny Lawrence. The next morning, Daniel's new parenting tactic shows immediate results when Anthony voluntarily takes out the kitchen trash, seemingly a new development for him.

"Cobra Kai" reiterates time and time again that both Daniel and Johnny are far from perfect. So, when Daniel successfully employes a Johnny-like technique to discipline his son, the Netflix series isn't saying that his approach is inherently better than Daniel's so much as it's arguing that flexibility is superior to the rigidity exhibited by both Daniel and Johnny at their worst.

Despite the success with which Daniel reaches Anthony, this most likely doesn't mean he will be acting overtly like Johnny with any regularity going forward. It does, however, indicate Daniel is growing as a person and that a deeper and more meaningful friendship with Johnny is likely in the series' future.