For much of Cobra Kai Season 2 and 3, one of the primary antagonists was Hawk (Jacob Bertrand), a Cobra Kai student. Hawk begins the show known by his real name, Eli Moskowitz. Eli was extremely shy and self-conscious because of a scar from his cleft lip. His only friend is Demetri (Gianni Decenzo), and they are often bullied at school.
Eli, Demetri, and many other kids decide to join Cobra Kai and learn karate after Miguel fights the bullies at school. At the dojo, Sensei Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) gives Eli a tough lesson in controlling his own life, telling him “if you wanna be something other than a nerd with a scar on his lip, then you’ve gotta flip the script” in Season 1 Episode 6.
Eli returns to the Cobra Kai dojo with a blue mohawk and a new outlook on life. He flipped his script, returning as ‘Hawk.’
Hawk’s change is not always for the best, however. He becomes caught in his own ego, and believes that being a badass is all that matters. When Kreese returns to the dojo Hawk becomes caught under his wing, taking Kreese’s aggressive teachings to heart.
Hawk Changes Sides in ‘Cobra Kai’ Season 3
In the final brawl of Cobra Kai Season 3 Hawk betrays his fellow Cobra Kai students and decides to fight with his old friend Demetri. Jacob Bertrand, who plays Hawk on Cobra Kai, told TV Line even he was surprised by Hawk’s change of heart.
Bertrand said, “I voiced that to the writers, like, ‘Guys, I don’t know if people are going to believe this,’ because of how horrible he is.” Earlier in Season 3 Hawk breaks Demetri’s arm, seemingly eliminating any hope he could be good again.
Even though his change was a surprise, Bertrand says the character’s arc was well written. Bertrand told TV Line “I didn’t know if people were going to buy it like, ‘You know what? I just want to be good now!’ But honestly, after watching the season and seeing how it all played out, it definitely works.”
Will He Stay a Good Guy?
Hawk’s future will likely deal with balancing his insecurities from before he was Hawk with his newfound self-confidence. Bertrand told TV Line “Kyler coming back into Hawk’s life is sort of like a reminder of like, ‘Oh s–t, I used to be someone else.’ It brings back all of these insecurities he never really had a chance to conquer.”
Bertrand said the character will stay on the good side. “It’s hard to drop something cold turkey, especially a crazy lifestyle choice like Hawk’s,” Bertrand said. “There’s still going to be a bit of bad guy in him, but he realizes that his friends are more important than Kreese and the creed at Cobra Kai. He’ll be a good guy, but it might take him a little while to get there.”
Hawk’s Future is Uncertain
The end of Season 3 revealed that Hawk joined Miguel, Sam, Demetri, and the other students at the Miyagi-Do dojo. His future, however, is still unclear. Hawk was intensely committed to the Cobra Kai mantra of Strike First, Strike Hard, No Mercy. Now, training with Daniel LaRusso, he will have to learn balance and forget many of Kreese’s lessons.
Bertrand told TV Line Hawk’s entire personality revolved around Cobra Kai teachings. “Cobra Kai represented strength and being badass and everything he never was. When he starts learning karate and starts gaining the confidence to get the mohawk and flip the script, a lot of it goes to his head,” Bertrand said.
One of Cobra Kai’s creators and executive producers, Josh Heald, told TV Line Hawk’s story is far from over. He said “He does switch sides and helps Demetri and apologizes. But that’s one moment. It does leave a little bit of uncertainty in the audience’s mind of, ‘Is that a full arc for Hawk?’ Well, this series has a lot more story left to tell.”