“Pulpo” provided a brilliant, character-focused penultimate episode; the best of the season so far.
This Cobra Kai Season 2 Episode 9 recap for the episode titled “Pulpo” contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Young love is in the air in “Pulpo”, as the penultimate episode of Cobra Kai‘s remarkably consistent second season opens with contrasting scenes of Tory and Miguel and Sam and Robbie training, being romantic, and romantically training. It’s obvious that a clear rivalry has been drawn between the couples, and in this impressively character-focused episode, it all erupts in chaos.
First, though, Robbie’s mum turns up at the LaRusso house with good news: She’s going to rehab. Robbie’s obvious change in demeanor when this information is revealed was a nice little piece of acting from Tanner Buchanan, who hasn’t been asked to display much range beyond being a smolderingly handsome bad boy. Vulnerability in his character is always welcome, and the same goes with Johnny, who finally takes Carmen out and, as luck would have it, finds himself seated directly next to Daniel and Amanda.
This whole thing is truly great. As Daniel and Johnny childishly stare at each other over menus, the women take on the task of trying to rise above their idiocy and do a damn fine job of it. This clutch of scenes has everything; humor, romance, development, the works. It’s basically everything that’s great about Cobra Kai in microcosm; a brilliantly focused examination of the two leads that crystalized two full seasons of character building. Near-perfect stuff.
The same, unfortunately, can’t be said for Robbie and Sam’s evening, which is spent at a party organized by Hawk’s ex which just happens to have the entire rosters of both Miyagi-Do and Cobra Kai in attendance. It’s a recipe for disaster, obviously. Sam gets into a ridiculous chugging contest with Tory, while Hawk, a bit put out by the fact his ex now has a girlfriend, rejects Demetri’s attempts to make amends. This, in turn, prompts Demetri to take the stage and antagonize Hawk by revealing deeply personal information about him. This almost turns ugly, but the police arrive in the nick of time and clear the place out.
However, more problems emerge. Aisha lets slip that Robbie lied about the Medal of Honor, but Sam is absolutely legless and kisses Miguel, which Tory witnesses. Fearful of going home, Sam and Robbie head to the only place where they won’t be judged for being so irresponsible: To Johnny’s apartment. None of this bodes well for the finale.