What Happens on the Season 3 Finale of ‘Cobra Kai’?

The Cast Of 'Cobra Kai'

Getty The cast of "Cobra Kai" poses together at The Paley Center for Media.

Season 3 of Cobra Kai officially dropped on Netflix, January 1 at 3 a.m. EST. Fans of the Karate Kid franchise who have already watched all 10 episodes, can attest to the fact that this was a loaded season. In particular, the final episode, “December 19,” was action-packed, to say the least. Here is what happened on the series’ 30th episode. 


Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso Reminisce with Ali Mills Schwarber at a Christmas Party 

Elisabeth Shue

Getty Elisabeth Shue strikes a pose in a black dress at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

As reported by Screen Rant, it had been surmised that Daniel LaRusso’s (Ralph Macchio) ex-girlfriend Dr. Ali Mills Schwarber (Elisabeth Shue) would make an appearance during Cobra Kai’s third season. This assumption ended up being correct. 

Throughout the most recent season, Ali and her former flame Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) share a correspondence on Facebook. In episode 9, titled “Feel The Night,” Ali messages Johnny and reveals that she has returned to her hometown of Encino, California, writing, 

Hey Johnny. Sorry it took me so long to write back. Things have been crazy over here. I love the new pictures. I’m actually in town for the holidays. Want to get lunch?

During the episode, Ali and Johnny spend the day together and eventually go to Golf N’ Stuff, where the pediatric surgeon reveals that she has separated from her husband, Dr. Gregory Schwarber. The former couple nearly share a kiss before Ali receives a text message reminding her to go to a Christmas party at the Encino Oaks Country Club. Ali invites the owner of Eagle Fang Karate to accompany her, which he happily accepts.

In episode 10, Johnny enters the party and sees Ali talking to Daniel, much to his dismay. Ali is then introduced to Daniel’s wife, Amanda (Courtney Henggeler), and the pair share an instant connection.

At the shindig, the LaRussos, Ali, and Johnny all share a table, where Ali talks about her relationships with both of her ex-boyfriends. She reveals that her and Daniel’s romance ended due to a misunderstanding, which was referenced in the Karate Kid Part II, as reported by Screen Rant.

“I got into UCLA and I ran into this guy that I knew who went there. Daniel sees me talking to my friend… He jumps to conclusions. Well, I was a bit upset so I probably maybe egged you on,” explained Ali. 

Toward the end of the party, Ali observes that Johnny and Daniel share similarities, despite being rivals. Ali also reveals Amanda told her that Johnny has been seeing his student Miguel Diaz’s mother Carmen (Vanessa Rubio) and encourages him to further their relationship. Johnny leaves the conversation realizing that he is in love with Carmen and drives over to her apartment to let her know his feelings. 


Eagle Fang Karate and Miyagi-Do Form an Alliance Against Cobra Kai 

William Zabka and Ralph Macchio

Getty“Cobra Kai” stars William Zabka and Ralph Macchio strike a pose together during the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.

During Episode 9, Miguel and Samantha LaRusso (Mary Mouser) trick the members of Johnny’s Eagle Fang Karate and Daniel’s Miyagi-Do to come over to the LaRussos’ house, under the guise of throwing a parent-free holiday party. Miguel and Sam attempt to convince the karate students that they must become allies to defeat the members of Cobra Kai, who have been trained by violent Vietnam veteran John Kreese (Martin Kove). While the rivaling high school students initially scoff at the idea, Demetri (Gianni DeCenzo) persuades them to go for it in a profanity-laden speech in the season’s final episode. 

Unfortunately, members of Cobra Kai break into the LaRussos’ home, and a brutal fight breaks out, with rivals Tory Nichols (Peyton List) and Sam facing off. Their fighting was interrupted by Miguel, Demetri, and Eli “Hawk” Moskowitz (Jacob Bertrand)– who realized the error of his ways during the brawl and rekindled his friendship with Demetri. 

As previously mentioned, Johnny visits Diaz’s apartment after the holiday party. Before he can confess his love for Carmen, he notices an injured Miguel leaning against the back of the couch, holding an ice pack to his chest. The karate instructor immediately goes to the Cobra Kai dojo where both his son Robby Keene (Tanner Buchanan) and Kreese are waiting for him. A fight between Johnny and his former sensei breaks out, with Robby intervening. 

Johnny reluctantly defends himself against his son and shoves him into lockers, which briefly causes him to lose consciousness. While Johnny checks on his son, Kreese hits Johnny on the back of the neck and starts to strangle him, but is interrupted by an angry Daniel LaRusso, who initiates a fight. Kreese responds by pushing Daniel through the window. They land on the sidewalk and Kreese picks up a shard of broken glass while stating, “time for you and Miyagi to reunite.” 

Daniel manages to immobilize him with a pressure point technique taught to him by Chozen Toguchi (Yuji Okumoto) during his visit to Japan in episode 5, “Miyagi-Do.” 

Kreese then promises to shut down Cobra Kai, only under the circumstance that his dojo loses the next All Valley Karate Tournament. This ultimately causes Johnny and Daniel to merge their respective dojos and become co-instructors.


Kreese’s Horrifying Backstory was Further Delved into 

Ralph Macchio, Martin Kove and William Zabka

Getty‘Cobra Kai’ stars Ralph Macchio, Martin Kove, and William Zabka pose together at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con.

Flashbacks depicting Kreese’s time serving in the Vietnam War were seen in various  episodes of Cobra Kai Season 3.

In the finale, Kreese and members of his unit were held captive and had to fight to the death over a deep pit full of serpents. Eventually, Kreese sacrifices himself and takes the place of his friend in fighting their ranking officer. Just before the fight, the officer — who blames Kreese for getting the unit captured–  discloses that Kreese’s girlfriend Betsy had recently passed away, which was information that he had previously withheld.

During most of the fight, the ranking officer has the upper hand. That is until Kreese stabs him in the leg with a piece of wood. Eventually, he falls and hangs on the platform, dangling above hundreds of snakes. Engines roar overhead and explosions go off, indicating that the prisoners of war are about to be released from their captivity. The ranking officer tells Kreese “it’s over” and instructs him to “pull [him] up.” Kreese, however, stamps on his hands, resulting in his death.

READ NEXT: Why Isn’t Aisha on ‘Cobra Kai’ Season 3?


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