As fans of Cobra Kai are aware, Johnny Lawrence, portrayed by William “Billy” Zabka, has not had the best track record when it comes to relationships. For most of the series, he seems to be pining for his high school sweetheart, Dr. Ali Mills Schwarber (Elisabeth Shue).
Rekindling that romance did not seem feasible, however, as Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) informs Johnny that Ali is married and lives in Colorado in Season 1, Episode 9. The owner of Eagle Fang Karate also had a budding relationship with his student Miguel Diaz’s mother Carmen (Vanessa Rubio) until the violent events of Season 2, Episode 10 transpired.
As reported by CinemaBlend, Carmen eventually forgives Johnny, and they spend a romantic night together in Season 3, Episode 8. At the beginning of the following episode, the pair wake up embracing, and Carmen asks about their future together, to which Johnny is unable to answer.
After Carmen leaves for work, Johnny receives a Facebook message from Ali, who is staying with her parents in Encino, and the two get lunch. They also spend the day at Golf N’ Stuff and later go to a holiday party at the Encino Oaks Country Club during the season finale.
Despite almost sharing a kiss at Golf N’ Stuff, Ali supports Johnny to start a serious relationship with Carmen. The karate instructor leaves the party with the intention of telling Carmen he is in love with her.
William Zabka Commented on Johnny’s Complicated Love Life
During a recent interview with CinemaBlend, Zabka commented on his character’s relationships in Cobra Kai Season 3, stating,
The timing of that couldn’t have been worse. Here Carmen comes and they have this amazing night, and she says where does it go from here? He’s not quite ready, but there’s some depth happening with Carmen and you find out at the end that he’s got deep feelings for her. At the same time, Ali’s been the wound he’s been nursing and he’s got the scars from so long ago. He needs that. It left such brokenness in him. So when he goes and meets Ali, he’s not necessarily making a choice of one over the other; he’s going to explore this.
Zabka went on to say that while he enjoyed Johnny and Ali reconnecting, he felt like his character should be with Carmen, at least momentarily.
“What I loved about that is it brought him back to a younger time, a happier time. A lot of the struggles Johnny went through kind of fall off maybe for a second. But in the end, Ali gets wind of where Johnny’s life is at the moment and she gives him the opportunity to make a choice,” explained the actor. “It wasn’t like Johnny and Carmen were in a deeply committed relationship; this is a one-night thing that happened after a passionate moment and he’s trying to figure it out. Sometimes you have to knock on the doors and see which one’s the right one, and he ended up where he belongs, I think, for now.”
Zabka Has Previously Shared His Opinions on the Topic
This is not the first time that Zabka has shared his opinion regarding his character’s love life. Earlier this month, the actor spoke to USA Today and compared Johnny’s relationships with Carmen and Ali.
“Johnny really loves Carmen, he really loves (her son, Miguel),” said Zabka. “[Johnny and Ali have] grown… You realize that when you bump into somebody later in life – it worked then, we still love each other but we can’t move from here forward.”