Cobra Kai season 3, episode 5 recap – “Miyagi-Do”

January 1, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Netflix, TV Recaps
4

Summary

Daniel’s soul-searching pays off in “Miyagi-Do” while the rivalry between the dojos continues to intensify.

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4

Summary

Daniel’s soul-searching pays off in “Miyagi-Do” while the rivalry between the dojos continues to intensify.

This recap of Cobra Kai season 3, episode 5, “Miyagi-Do”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.

Check out our spoiler-free season review.


“Miyagi-Do” opens with a flashback to Okinawa in 1985, or more accurately a flashback to The Karate Kid Part II, giving viewers more context for Chozen as, in the present day, he bows to Daniel. That’s unexpected. But their subsequent conversation is deeply awkward. Despite the fact that Kumiko apparently invited Chozen along, she’s amused by the dynamic and has no intention of sticking around, instead asking Chozen to give Daniel a tour around town.

Back in the Valley, Miguel is getting his physical therapy from a New Age hippy type, which Johnny is obviously not thrilled about. We also see the rest of the conversation between Kreese and Robby, but the latter isn’t interested in what he has to say — for now, anyway. Amanda also catches Sam training Miyagi-Do.

Johnny has other ideas for Miguel’s rehabilitation, which include dangling nudie mags on a fishing rod from a first-floor balcony. Miguel’s failure only makes him more frustrated, so perhaps positive vibes are better after all, but Johnny isn’t buying that. His next idea is to literally light a fire under Miguel, but all he succeeds in doing is actually setting him alight. Still no progress.

Several other subplots continue to develop, and the busy nature of this third season really begins to make itself known here. In prison, Robby researches Kreese and some of the things that he told him, including the All Valley tournament that Daniel won. He’s partway through replying to one of Sam’s emails when the resident bullies pull the computer plug. Elsewhere, Hawk and his crew torment Chris at work, which he reports to Sam, who promptly heads over. These are both things that are obviously due to pay off sooner rather than later.

Again, though, the bulk of “Miyagi-Do” takes place in Okinawa. Chozen takes Daniel to the birthplace of karate and is impressed by his knowledge of Shimpo Sensei and the like, stories imparted to him by Mr. Miyagi. Speaking of which, it turns out that Chozen still has all the Miyagi artifacts, and he and Daniel spar for the right to look at them. Finally getting his revenge for the second film, Chozen whoops him with advanced killing techniques, reversing the “kill or die” scenario from The Karate Kid Part II. Daniel, terrified and defeated, is relieved when Chozen honks his nose in victory, and humbly asks Chozen to teach him the secret Miyagi pressure points that he utilized to win their match.

Meanwhile, the determinedly Luddite Johnny begins to learn the internet so that he can research what to do about Miguel’s paralysis, turning to “Webemmed” for help. (Honestly, it’s basic, but Johnny’s complete ignorance of technology never fails to amuse me.) Outside, he hears Carmen crying, and she explains how sometimes she has feelings that she’d rather Miguel not see. Rekindling their previous romantic connection, Johnny makes her feel better and asks to borrow Miguel for a few hours for another of his harebrained physical therapy schemes.

“Miyagi-Do”, easily the most action-packed episode thus far, delivers another couple of fights. As Sam arrives at the arcade looking for revenge, Robby has the same idea, and fisticuffs break out. Robby’s fight is easily the best choreographed and performed of the season thus far, but the arcade brawl holds its own. Sam and Miyagi-Do are winning until Tory arrives and Sam is crippled by PTSD flashbacks to their previous encounter. Debilitated, she hides and fails to intervene when Hawk breaks Demetri’s arm at Tory’s urging. Hawk postures, but he clearly hates the fact he has done this — a thread to be pulled on more later.

In the comparative calm of Okinawa, Chozen tells Daniel about the shame he felt after their fight, and that Daniel forgives him means a great deal. They amicably part ways, but Chozen gives him one of the treasured Miyagi scrolls to keep for his collection.

Johnny’s latest idea is a field trip, of a kind, to a Dee Snider concert which they’re able to gain entry to by faking that Miguel is dying. They take selfies, and Miguel lets Johnny know that he can get Facebook on his laptop since he believed he no longer had an account after tossing his phone. We know what that means, folks — he’s going to see the friend request from Ali! After Miguel gets some attention for being a “Make A Wish” kid, Johnny looks down and sees he’s tapping his foot. Progress!

The fights at the arcade and the prison have very different outcomes. At the hospital, Sam breaks down to Amanda, while Robby and his bully find common ground over their mutual lack of snitching. Sometimes, it seems, violence is the answer, at least in an environment that respects it, but Sam is paying the price for her inability to defend herself and her friends.

“Miyagi-Do” also justifies Daniel’s holiday by reintroducing Yuna, who just so happens to be the Senior Vice President of Sales for… wait for it… Doyona! She’s about to save the LaRussos’ business, which is a stroke of good fortune, really. But Amanda has gotten herself embroiled in the dojo rivalry in Daniel’s absence. She goes to the Cobra Kai dojo to confront Kreese and ends up slapping him when he gets smug. That’ll surely have some consequences.

But not yet. This episode ends on a positive note with Johnny taking Miguel back home, where Carmen is thrilled to hear about his tapping foot. We end things with him logging onto Facebook and seeing Ali’s friend request. She’s looking good!


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