It’s official: despite some filming delays, season four of Cobra Kai will be hitting our screens in late 2021 as planned. With season three continuing the Cobra Kai trend of ending on a huge twist, fans are desperate to know how this new plot development is going to play out, questioning how it will affect both the kids and the adults. With very little info out there, and both the cast and crew remaining tight-lipped about what this new season will bring, fans have turned to theorising about what they think is most likely.
Using clues from the previous seasons, the original Karate Kid film series, and the few pieces of leaked info from the production itself – we’ve collated the theories we think are most likely to come to pass. From a possible Robby redemption arc, to John Kreese’s arc over the next season, to the original Karate Kid characters that might soon be making an appearance, these are the topics we think season four of Cobra Kai might dive into. Spoiler warning for seasons one to three, because here are the ten biggest theories about season four of Cobra Kai.
10. We’ll find out who Miguel’s father is
Like Daniel LaRusso before him, Miguel Diaz has been raised by an awesome single mother, with the subject of his father rarely coming up. All we know about him so far is that he deceived Miguel’s mother Carmen into marrying him at eighteen and then, when his true nature was revealed, it was enough to cause her to flee Ecuador for America with her mother and son. A scene at the dinner table in season one implied that Miguel’s father’s job was kept a secret from Carmen, and the truth both frightened her and made her question what she thought she knew about him.
Since Carmen’s relationship with Johnny Lawrence seems primed to get truly serious, and Miguel has settled into seeing Johnny as a mentor and father figure, season four would be the most inopportune time for Miguel’s father to make an appearance. Since Cobra Kai loves introducing interpersonal drama at the most inconvenient moments, it’s pretty likely that we’ll be meeting Miguel’s father sometime in season four. The real question is, will he be completely new to the Miyagi-verse, or will Miguel turn out to be the offspring of a character we already know?
9. The LaRussos will have to sell the dealership
At the end of season three, both Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence were forced to make a deal with the devil by negotiating with John Kreese. Everything hinges on the All Valley Karate Championships Tournament, since Kreese agreed to leave town and disband Cobra Kai if his students are beaten. The problem is, season three ended without us ever learning the other half of the terms. If John Kreese wins the tournament, what does he get?
Several fans have theorised that Kreese wouldn’t be satisfied with destroying Lawrence and LaRusso’s karate careers. The no mercy approach that Kreese has cultivated throughout his life means that he would probably want to take everything from both his former student and his student’s former rival. An easy way to destroy LaRusso would be to buy his car dealership, taking away the wealth that he worked so hard to build as a young man. Other minor villains in Cobra Kai have attempted to go after LaRusso’s dealership before, and it has always affected his relationship with his wife and family, so Kreese targeting LaRusso’s business could also have a knock-on effect on his personal life.
8. Terry Silver will make an appearance
It’s worth keeping in mind, however, that John Kreese is a retired military veteran who, as far as we know, has very little money. Despite being a terrifying force in the valley, and convincing everyone not in the know that he is just a wholesome small business owner, it’s hard to imagine him having the sort of cash that would allow him to buy the LaRusso dealership, or to destroy the dealership by sponsoring and empowering one of its rivals. The bad news is, we already know that Kreese has friends in high places, and we see him making a phone call at the end of season three.
Many fans have concluded that the person on the other end of the phone was Terry Silver – the wealthy toxic waste disposal businessman who created Cobra Kai and gifted it to Kreese in the first place. Silver is another Vietnam War veteran who served with Kreese, and we see Kreese save his life and cement their bond in flashbacks throughout Cobra Kai. Given that Silver was also defeated by Daniel and Mr Miyagi in The Karate Kid Part III, it would make sense that Silver would be prepared to fund Kreese’s powerplay and get his own revenge, and that he might even try his hand at training the next generation of Cobra Kai students.
7. Dimitri and Yas will make things official
Since its very first season, Cobra Kai has explored a mix between the terrifyingly high stakes of the dojo karate rivalry, and the much less violent but still intense interpersonal drama of high school. When the two, or now three, dojos aren’t training, getting into spats around the school, or pulling awful stunts and pranks to showcase their power – they are still trying to navigate grades, dating and friendship fallouts.
On the non-karate side of the show, one of the biggest twists was former queen bee and bully Yas bonding with the quiet nerd Dimitri. Though we’ve seen the pair kiss, it’s always been shown as Yas attempting to bestow some of her clout on the injured nerd, with little romance. However, fans are obsessed with this unlikely pairing, and seeing the two get together for real when Yas finally confesses her feelings are genuine could be a great way to complete both their arcs.
6. Sam LaRusso is going to lose a fight
No one in the core cast of Cobra Kai has avoided suffering across the three seasons, and that includes Sam. The young LaRusso has battled everything from panic attacks to attempted murder, and has seen her fair share of character development throughout the show. With that said, many fans still think that Sam has a lot of learning to do. Specifically, they agree that Sam needs to face up to the fact that she has not always been the good guy, both when it comes to her relationships with Miguel and Robby, and in the way she has dealt with rival Tory.
Not only that, but despite all of the personal strife she has gone through, Sam LaRusso has yet to really lose a fight. Having her formally lose at the All Valley Tournament might allow her to humble herself and better understand the actions of her competitors. Perhaps it would even lead to some reconciliation with Tory or Robby, or at least set her on the path to apologising for her mistakes and prejudices.
5. Hawk will shave off his hair
Hawk’s brightly coloured mohawk has become so iconic that it’s almost impossible to imagine his character without it. Originally, both his hair and tattoo were designed to distract from his cleft lip, which he was hugely insecure about. However, as Hawk became more confident they became a sign of his dedication to the brutality of Cobra Kai, and his willingness to punish his enemies with more over the top methods than his peers.
Since season three saw Hawk finally become disillusioned with Kree’s no mercy teachings, as well as finally patching things up with his old friend Dimitri, it’s likely that he will decide to abandon the look that is associated with his old ways. Many fans are convinced that Hawk will shave off his mohawk, or at the very least dye it a different colour. He might even amend his huge hawk back tattoo to be more of an eagle, in line with Johnny Lawrence’s new dojo.
4. Kreese will ask Robby to fight dirty
The stakes going into an All-Valley Tournament have always been high, but it’s difficult to imagine an example of when they have been more important. If Johnny Lawrence’s Eagle Fang Karate or Daniel LaRusso’s Miyagi-Do don’t win the tournament, then Kreese’s Cobra Kai will dominate karate in the valley forever. Not only that, but both Johnny and Daniel will lose control of Robby, leaving Kreese to become his new father figure and lead him down the dark path that both of them know so well.
Given the importance of the tournament, and Cobra Kai’s tendency as a series to parallel important moments in The Karate Kid film series, it seems inevitable that Kreese will fall back into old habits. If there’s one thing that fans can agree on, it’s that Kreese will ask Robby or Tory to make the most of their opponents’ injuries at some point in the fight, just as Kreese told Johnny Lawrence to sweep Daniel’s injured leg years ago. Given that Tory has shown an appetite for brutality, and Robby has fought hard to be good at points throughout his life, most people have their money on Robby as the person who will have to make the choice to obey or rebel.
3. The love triangle will be resolved
Season three of Cobra Kai put to bed one of the oldest and most important questions of The Karate Kid film series: what about Ali? Though we knew from episode one that Daniel LaRusso had moved on and was happily married with kids, it always seemed as though Johnny Lawrence was still smitten with his one that got away. Though Cobra Kai teased us with a Johnny and Ali happy ending, it nevertheless became clear that Johnny was actually a much better fit for Miguel’s mother Carmen, putting the love triangle to bed once and for all.
In a similar way, it is predicted that season four will resolve the next generation’s love triangle. Throughout the show, Sam LaRusso has developed deep feelings for both Robby and Miguel, and they have both fallen for her in return. Season four will open with Sam and Miguel tentatively dating, but it is impossible to know if that will stay the state of affairs for long. Whether Robby starts dating Tory, Sam decides to be her own woman and date neither of them, or Miguel and Sam break up for good, season four will no doubt put an end to the will-they-won’t-they – it’s getting stale.
2. Aisha will return
Characters disappear from Cobra Kai all the time, but they rarely vanish for long. Just as the bully Kyler was absent from the show in season two but returned to join the Cobra Kai dojo in season three, season four could also see Aisha make a comeback. Having relocated to a whole other school after disavowing Cobra Kai’s violent methods under John Kreese, season four could be the perfect time for Aisha to return home, finally forgiving Sam for her actions and joining Miyagi-Do or Eagle Fang Karate.
Aisha’s return could be a good way to kickstart Tory’s redemption arc, as she sees her friend adopting a form of karate that isn’t all about brutality and rage. Similarly, having both Aisha and Tory around could give writers an opportunity to resolve Sam’s love triangle in a compelling way – since Robby could believably fall for either the vengeful Tory or the forgiving Aisha, both of which would give him an opportunity to start over and decide his allegiances once and for all.
1. Hilary Swank’s character will be reintroduced
Aisha might not be the only familiar face to pop up in season four, either. The Cobra Kai team previously have confessed that they have held writing room sessions in which they discuss “every character who has ever been a part of the Miyagi-Verse” to see if they would be a good fit for Cobra Kai. Hilary Swank’s The Next Karate Kid might not be the most beloved instalment in the franchise, but it is still canon, and it’s not hard to see how a former angry kid who went on to find guidance through Mr Miyagi’s form of karate could be useful to the plot.
Whether she ends up inspiring the Tory redemption arc that some fans are desperate to see, teams up with Johnny and Daniel to defeat John Kreese once and for all, or has actually been running one of the other dojos competing this whole time, it will be interesting to see whether season four of Cobra Kai decides to utilise this character!