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The Redemption Arc Cobra Kai Fans Agree Is Way Overdue

To look at "Cobra Kai" with a realistic perspective is to risk punching a hole right through the series. After three films with Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and four seasons with him and his rival Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), the most critical question is, well ... is karate really that important? To these guys, of course, it's a way of life and what fans have loved seeing get revisited as the Valley's most fearsome fighters head into their fifth season (and inch ever closer to the end of "The Karate Kid" saga as a whole). However, even with shifts in karate school supremacy and the alliances built and broken in the process, some still have yet to improve themselves.

Some of the most seasoned combatants may have taken students under their wing (one of which literally calls himself Hawk), but that doesn't mean the teachers of "Cobra Kai" don't have lessons to learn themselves. One sensei, in particular, has struggled with plenty of personal issues they've battled since the beginning, and fans think it's about time there's one test they really should've passed by now. It's one that doesn't involve registering a Facebook account or expanding their drinking taste beyond Coors Banquet. This one is something they can't back down from anymore — redemption.

Fans think Johnny Lawrence should've redeemed himself by now

After four seasons, two tournaments, and a rivalry that hasn't stopped since high school, fans have started to realize that the one thing that needs to change by now is Johnny. Over on the Cobra Kai Reddit page, the question was put forward as to who deserved a redemption arc, with one fan suggesting Johnny was a top priority. More importantly, he needs to become a father figure to more than Miguel, but also to his real son Robby. "The main protagonist himself (Johnny) seriously needs one because he has done NOTHING to prove himself as a father to Robby in 4 seasons," wrote u/SpaghettiLover2. "And so far, it doesn't look like Johnny is doing it by tricking Robby into going to Mexico." Another fan gave the same argument, saying, "the show is supposedly about his redemption, but he's done nothing to work on his mistakes with Robby." 

They're not wrong. Among all the home invasions that led to karate in the kitchen or a high school brawl for the ages, the frayed father-son relationship between Johnny and Robby (Tanner Buchanan) has taken somewhat of a back seat over the past four seasons. While he may be tricking his estranged son into driving to Mexico to recover Miguel (Xolo Maridueña), it could lead to a long-overdue road trip. If successful, it might also lead Johnny to find something he has always struggled to maintain — balance and inner peace.

Johnny could find what he's missing in the search for Miguel with help from Robby

One major focus not only in "Cobra Kai" but the films it spawned from is father figures and their impact. Both Johnny and Daniel saw heroes in their respective sensei, who guided them (for better or worse) down the path that led them to where they are now. As the late, great Mr. Miyagi said, "No such thing as bad student. Only bad teacher," and in the case of Johnny, former Cobra Kai co-owner Kreese (Martin Kove) had a hand in turning the former karate champ into a bitter has-been with a bruised ego. It's in the next season, though, where Lawrence could finally break the cycle and be not only the father his son always wanted but also finally accept the Dad role for Miguel as well.

While there's no denying it will make for an awkward drive home with the two young rivals in tow (that's if, you know, Miguel even agrees to come), doing so could force Johnny into finding that balance he's been lacking for so long. He'll have no choice but to play peacemaker to Robby and Miguel, allowing for a lightbulb realization that if they can change, maybe it's time he should, too. Factoring in this potential epiphany and it could finally lead him on the first step to embracing Miyagi-Do and the change that comes with it. Now, that's a Johnny Lawrence we wouldn't dare mess with.