Tory Nichols, portrayed by Peyton List, is one of the most ruthless characters on the acclaimed series Cobra Kai. In Season 2, Episode 9, she sees her boyfriend Miguel Diaz (Xolo Maridueña) share a kiss with his ex-girlfriend Samantha LaRusso (Mary Mouser) at Moon’s (Hannah Kepple) party. In retaliation, she starts a physical altercation with the Miyagi-Do student at West Valley High School. This ends up causing a massive fight, which results in Robby Keene (Tanner Buchanan) kicking Miguel over the balcony, partially paralyzing him.
For the first few episodes of Season 3, Miguel is hospitalized, but Tory neglects to visit him. They finally interact in Season 3, Episode 6, when the Eagle Fang student gets lunch at a sushi restaurant, not realizing that his ex-girlfriend works there.
While Tory apologizes for not visiting him in the hospital, she soon pivots their conversation to talk about Miguel’s feelings for Sam. She then defends her violent actions by asserting she “didn’t have a choice” but to hurt her rival. Miguel is taken aback by the comment and tells her that “she needs help,” causing her to storm off.
Peyton List Commented On Her Character’s Reaction In That Scene
During a January interview with Entertainment Weekly, Peyton List discussed how her character acted in this scene. She described the moment as “pretty charged” asbetween “there’s a lot that’s happened” between the characters. The actress also commented on Tory’s lack of remorse for what happened to Miguel during the West Valley fight.
“[Tory is] sort just stuck in her way of not even feeling as much remorse and guilt as I think she should and the conversation ends up being more about like ‘did you even like me’ and ‘were you just with me to make Sam jealous’ or ‘what was the point of the whole thing.’ And I think there’s just a lot of anger there on Tory’s end,” said List. “And they’re not really talking to each other and it’s so quick and there really is too much that has happened. But I did think that it was interesting that I look at him and I don’t feel worse for seeing him in the state he’s in. That he’s in the wheelchair and it’s because of the fight that I started.”
List then revealed that she felt emotional while shooting the scene.
“I thought it was interesting that [Tory] didn’t feel more remorse during that because, you know, personally — I mean I definitely felt tears coming in my eyes during the scene because I felt so bad even as Tory I felt really bad,” said the 22-year-old.
The Actress Also Commented On Tory’s Mental Health
During the interview, List also addressed that her character may be suffering from mental health issues and may have potentially been abused.
“I think that there are mental health aspects and I do think she’s gone through some form of abuse and bullying and there’s just this wall up because when you’ve been hurt so badly you never want to feel that again,” explained the actress.
List went on to say that Tory’s less than ideal upbringing causes her to be defensive. She also stated that she believes the character “still has a love for [Miguel]” but is unable to “admit it because she’s been hurt so consistently throughout her life.”
To see more of List, watch Cobra Kai, available to stream on Netflix.