Throughout the first three seasons of “Cobra Kai,” many of the show’s characters have notable arcs. During a recent live stream posted on the Sony Pictures Television Studios Instagram account, William “Billy” Zabka, Jacob Bertrand, Peyton List, and Xolo Maridueña discussed moments in the series that were significant for their respective characters.
William ‘Billy’ Zabka, Peyton List, Jacob Bertrand, & Xolo Maridueña Discussed Significant Scenes
Before the live stream, “Cobra Kai” fans sent in questions, which William “Billy” Zabka, who plays Johnny Lawrence, read to his castmates. One of the questions was “what scene was your favorite to define your character?”
Peyton List, who plays Tory Nichols, shared that she was fond of the scene in season 3, episode 2, where ruthless sensei John Kreese (Martin Kove) helps her character out of a difficult situation. As fans are aware, Tory was expelled from West Valley High School after starting a massive fight. The teenager also had to quit the Cobra Kai dojo because she works multiple jobs to keep her family afloat. However, Kreese convinces Tory to continue practicing at his dojo after threatening her predatory landlord.
“I just immediately in my mind went to the scene I had with Marty, with sensei Kreese when he comes to Tory’s apartment to get her to come back to the Cobra Kai dojo. And that was one of my favorite scenes to film just because you know, you see so much, you know, with Kreese’s backstory that season and really getting to know him and seeing the becoming of a villain and the sort of parallels and like Tory finding a sort of home and like parental figure in Kreese. I feel like that’s a big moment that sticks out for me in Tory,” explained List.
Maridueña then shared he believed the scene in season 2, episode 3 where Johnny reveals that he has a strained relationship with his son, Robby (Tanner Buchanan), was important for his character. He also noted that he enjoyed the fight scene where Miguel and Bertrand’s character, Eli “Hawk” Moskowitz, face off at Coyote Creek.
“That was definitely my favorite fight to film. It was like — I don’t know ever since I met Jacob and we just like clicked right away, it was like wouldn’t be so cool if it’s two Cobra Kai boys fought each other and then finally, you know, it happened and I think we were like ecstatic,” said Maridueña.
Bertrand also noted that he liked the Coyote Creek fight. In addition, the 21-year-old actor shared Hawk’s first lesson at the Cobra Kai dojo was a defining moment for his character. Zabka then revealed that he believed “the very first fight outside the convenience store in season 1, episode 1” set the tone for Johnny in “Cobra Kai.”
“It’s kind of the epitome of who Johnny is — eating a pizza surrounded by, you know, indecision and then you know sticking up for Miguel,” said Zabka. “That’s kind of because Johnny hasn’t used his karate in all these years and it’s the first time he pulled it out and he kind of did it tentatively and he did it almost to protect his car as much as he did it to protect Miguel. And to me that’s the key into him and where he lives. He kind of is still trying to figure it out and getting in a lot of trouble.”
William ‘Billy’ Zabka Talked About Another Significant Moment for Johnny in an August 2021 Interview
During an August 2021 interview with SAG-AFTRA Foundation, alongside the “Karate Kid” himself, Ralph Macchio, Zabka discussed another important scene for Johnny. In season 3, episode 9, the Eagle Fang owner spends the day with his ex-girlfriend Ali Mills (Elisabeth Shue). The actor shared that Ali’s brief return “rejuvenated Johnny.” Zabka went on to say that Johnny was able to start a real relationship with Carmen Diaz (Vanessa Rubio) with Ali’s encouragement.
“She realizes he has a heart for somebody else and she sets him free,” said Zabka.