‘Cobra Kai’ Season 5: Thomas Ian Griffith Weighs in on Terry Silver’s Path Forward

Terry Silver in Cobra Kai season 4

YouTube Thomas Ian Griffith as Terry Silver in "Cobra Kai" season 4.

Season 4 of “Cobra Kai” saw many dramatic twists and turns: fans got to see the return of Terry Silver, the Cobra Kai sensei who manipulated Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), into joining his dojo back in “The Karate Kid Part III.” Now, Silver is back and more ruthless than ever, orchestrating the illegitimate victory of Cobra Kai at the climactic All Valley Karate Tournament, as well as the arrest and downfall of his old partner and co-sensei John Kreese (Martin Kove). With season 4 ending on a cliffhanger, it is anyone’s guess as to what may become of Silver and his schemes in the future.

Recently, actor Thomas Ian Griffith – who portrays Silver – weighed in on what it was like portraying the evil karate master over 30 years later, and teased whether the character may even see some redemption in season 5, and beyond.

Here’s what you need to know:


Griffith Praises ‘Cobra Kai’ Writers’ Ability to Craft Their Characters

Terry Silver in Cobra Kai season 4

YouTubeSilver announces the expansion of Cobra Kai after their illegitimate victory at the All Valley Tournament in the season 4 finale.

Both seasons 3 and 4 teased Silver’s backstory; both Silver and Kreese fought some hard battles in Vietnam, and after Kreese volunteered to take Silver’s place in a forced hand-to-hand fight with his battle-hardened Army Captain, Silver became indebted to him and promised him unwavering loyalty.

Interestingly, by the beginning of season 4, it is Silver who had successfully shed his former Cobra Kai persona and initially refused to go back to that dangerous lifestyle. It was Kreese, however, who talked him into it, unwillingly leading Silver down a path that would put his own liberty in jeopardy.

In an interview with Collider on Sunday, Griffith revealed that part of the reason why he decided to take the job and come back as Silver was because the show’s co-creators, Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg, had mapped out Silver’s entire backstory so thoroughly, and had seemingly answered every question about Silver’s motivations Griffith could throw at them.

“What has that guy been doing for the last 30 years?” Griffith said of Silver. “They bring this guy who has so educated himself and become an artist in his own way…but still throughout that, I just felt there was always these buried inner demons that he was [always] trying to keep at arm’s reach.” Griffith also described Terry’s arc in season 4 – that of being brought back into the dark world of Corba Kai – as “a beautiful gray area for him to live in.”


Griffith Says There Is ‘Always’ Hope for Redemption

Terry Silver in Cobra Kai season 4

YouTubeTerry Silver in “Cobra Kai” season 4.

As Griffith explained in Collider, Silver’s character is complex. Although many viewers may see him as a purely evil antagonist, Griffith believes that he is genuine in his passion for turning the students into battle-hardened Cobra Kai fighters. “I believe in what I’m doing,” Griffith said of Silver’s thought process. “[I believe] I can impact kids positively, and give them a tool that they need; we may not believe in that…but Terry believes in that.”

He went on to explain that Silver’s extreme methods were partly “because of the background he has and [his] lack of love, for a simplistic way of looking at it.” When it comes to whether Silver is redeemable, Griffith teased, “There’s always hope that he’s redeemable in some way.”

Throughout its run, “Cobra Kai” has very much proven to be a show focused on rehabilitating characters. Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), once known as the chief “Karate Kid” bully/antagonist, was shown to be a much more nuanced character since the start of the show. Even Kreese, who returned as a villain in season 2 of the show, proved to be redeemable in the most recent season, notably when he stopped Silver from forcing their student Tory Nichols (Peyton List) to cheat at the All Valley Tournament, giving her permission to “do what she wants.”

Even past and present Cobra Kai students have proven to re-habilitate themselves throughout the run of the show, such as Eli “Hawk” Moskowitz (Jacob Bertrand), Robby Keene (Tanner Buchanan), and even Tory herself.

“Literally, anything is possible,” Silver said of the show. “Whenever you predict and think, ‘oh you expect something,’ they’re gonna twist it up. And it’s wonderful as an actor to be going through that.”

Season 5 of “Cobra Kai” has already been filmed, and is currently in post-production. It will likely be released in late 2022 or 2023. A sixth season is more than likely. All “Karate Kid” films and “Cobra Kai” seasons are currently available to stream on Netflix.

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