As those who have watched Cobra Kai Season 3 are aware, Elisabeth Shue surprised fans by reprising her role as Dr. Ali Mills Schwarber.
She first appears in Season 3, Episode 9, while grabbing lunch with her ex-boyfriend Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka). Before their outing, the former couple had a brief correspondence on Facebook. In her last message, Ali, who lives in Denver, revealed that she is staying at her parents’ house.
After lunch, Johnny and Ali spend hours together at Golf N’ Stuff, where they almost kiss. In Season 3, Episode 10, they reconvene at the Encino Oaks Country Club for a Christmas party. Eventually, they share a table with Ali’s other high school sweetheart, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), and his wife, Amanda (Courtney Henggeler). Ali tells high school stories, and toward the end of the night, Daniel apologizes for how their relationship ended. The pediatric surgeon also encourages Johnny to start a serious relationship with his student Miguel’s mother, Carmen Diaz (Vanessa Rubio).
Ralph Macchio Revealed That Ali Could Have Had a Different Storyline in Season 3
Overall, the final two episodes of Season 3 were a nice continuation of Ali’s storyline. However, Polygon reported during a media roundtable in December, Ralph Macchio revealed that it was unclear for quite some time if Shue was going to appear on the acclaimed series. Due to this, Cobra Kai’s writers came up with a different scenario for Season 3 under the circumstances the actress was unable to join the cast.
“There was an alternate plan if she wasn’t available. When did we find out? I guess it was going on during the whole shooting of Season 3, it was about, you know, the logistical side of it, at least from my perspective. I think I found out when I got the scripts, actually, how it was going to play out,” explained Macchio.
The actor went on to say that the aforementioned plan involved the revelation that Johnny was not actually messaging Ali on Facebook. Rather, her husband, Dr. Gregory Schwarber, who she is no longer with, was pretending to be her.
“That was the fallback, the ‘how are we gonna vacuum ourselves out of the room’ from what we’ve written, which would be her husband was doing the Facebook back-and-forth with Johnny,” stated Macchio.
Thankfully, Shue was able to step back into Ali’s shoes.
Elisabeth Shue Recently Talked About Her Character’s Appearance on the Show
Earlier this month, the actress spoke to Entertainment Weekly about her Cobra Kai appearance. During the interview, she confirmed that Season 3 was filmed in 2019 and stated that her lack of internet presence may have helped her stay so secretive about her role.
“Maybe because I’m never on the internet, I haven’t really been that aware that there is this moment coming up that a lot of people seem to care about,” said the actress.
When prompted to talk about the possibility of Ali coming back to Encino in future seasons, Shue humorously responded,
Well, we already have a plan. It’s going to be season 9. Ali is going to come back to the Valley and start her own dojo, and it’s going to be a three-way fight for the soul of the Valley.