“The Good, The Bad, and the Badass” puts everyone temporarily on the same page as the All Valley Tournament is cancelled. Surely not!
This recap of Cobra Kai season 3, episode 8, “The Good, The Bad, and the Badass”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
With our three-way conflict now properly established, “The Good, The Bad, and the Badass” opens by showing the contrasting methodologies at play as Daniel and Johnny both begin coaching again. They both arrive to pick Robby up from prison, still bickering about Kreese, but Robby isn’t happy to see either of them and tells both to stay out of his life.
Things are more positive for Miguel and Sam, who run into each other at school and decide they can be flirty friends again, and Yasmine and Demetri are also together now, even if she denies it.
But all three karate schools are dealt a blow when Ron informs Daniel that the All Valley Karate Tournament has been cancelled so as not to foster an environment of violence. Since Daniel is the two-time champ, he might be able to overturn their decision, even if he thinks it might be for the best. But Sam insists that karate and Miyagi-Do getting a bad reputation isn’t going to help anyone.
Nobody wants the tournament to go ahead more than Miguel, who is struggling in training and obviously sees it as an opportunity to prove himself. He’s furious when Johnny reveals that he wouldn’t let him compete in the tournament anyway, despite it being for his own protection. This tournament obviously means a lot to many people, for very different reasons. The only person who seems unconcerned in Cobra Kai season 3, episode 8 is Robby, who runs into Tory at the probation office and clearly begins to ponder the idea that Sam will eventually turn on him as the bitter Tory claims.
At least Carmen gets it. She goes to speak with Johnny at his apartment in “The Good, The Bad, and the Badass”, and while she confesses to blaming him for what happened to Miguel she realizes now that it wasn’t his fault and that Johnny was just as hurt by what happened as she was. She reaffirms the idea that being a sensei is Johnny’s calling, and that he has to save the tournament since there are other Miguel’s out there who need him.
Thus, Daniel, Johnny, and Kreese are all present to appeal against the All Valley cancellation. The latter speaks first, playing up his military history and feigning woke progressivism which is only made more convincing when Amanda has to be escorted out for her interference. Johnny and Daniel both side against Kreese, and their bickering only makes the case that the tournament shouldn’t continue. But Miguel arrives in the nick of time to interrupt, and Sam too, and they both make an impassioned plea for a place they can compete fairly and safely. Miguel recounts being bullied and insists there will always be bullies; karate is about standing up to them. This is a great scene, and needless to say, the tournament is back on.
High on their success, Sam and Miguel flirt at the Miyagi-Do dojo, but Robby catches them. He swings on Miguel but Sam intervenes, proving that these various rivalries are far from over, tournament or not.
At least things go better for Johnny. Carmen arrives at his apartment and they kiss, quickly heading to the bedroom at the expense of the television. Meanwhile, Robby arrives where we knew he’d eventually end up — at Cobra Kai.
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