Cobra Kai: Quiver
May 20, 2018 9:22 PM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Johnny's dojo class attracts a group of misfits while his son Robby, who harbors ulterior motives, lands a new job. Samantha makes a new friend in science class. Daniel inspires interest in karate from an unlikely person.

Decider: Simply put, William Zabka makes this all work. He stutters and side-eyes along with his insults just enough to let us know there’s a better man beneath the words he’s saying, even if Johnny doesn’t know it. When he told Danny in “Esqueleto” that he wasn’t Kreese, he was right. He uses Kreese’s words and lessons because they’re the first things in his life that gave him a little confidence, but they’re tempered by an understanding that Kreese never had. Once again…balance. It’s all balance.

Which is why, despite the fact students are quitting in droves, Johnny’s teaching method is actually working in its own ass-backward way. You see it in Miguel, who no one is calling Rhea after he dished out sweet, sweet cafeteria justice. You see it in Aisha, who has bought way the hell into the Cobra Kai way. And you can literally see it in Eli, who returns to the dojo with a badass mohawk and more oomph in his voice than the last five episodes combined. “You see that? Doesn’t matter if you’re a loser, or a nerd, or a freak,” Johnny says. “All that matters is that you become badass.”

That is…definitely not all that matters. But it’s certainly some kind of start.
posted by ActingTheGoat (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm repeating myself, but Zabka is a major reason why this show works as well as it does. His microexpressions are entirely convincing. I wonder how much being a struggling - but working - actor who never received acclaim had informed his performance here.

That little scene at school when Miguel sees Kyler and Kyler walks away - I think that's the point (not the actual cafeteria beatdown) when Miguel turns from being purely a protagonist into... something else. That remaining look of resentment instead of trying to make things right with Kyler, but kids.

Conflicted by how Johnny treats Hawk, though. But results. But results can come with second and third order consequences.
posted by porpoise at 5:18 PM on May 21, 2018 [5 favorites]

I agree that Zabka's and Macchio's performances are really quite good.

I understand what you mean about how Johnny treats Hawk, but that's the also the premise of the show. He started with that "way of the fist" BS when he was a teenager with an abusive father he tried to drown out with rock music and he hasn't grown any since.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:05 PM on July 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

Yeah, and the show goes on an continues to explore this. It will be pretty interesting.
posted by porpoise at 1:35 AM on July 27, 2018

Wow, Zabka. I hope he gets some real wind in his career after this, because I WANT to watch more of him, dammit.
posted by kandinski at 7:45 PM on December 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

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