Cobra Kai season 4, episode 4 recap – “Bicephaly”

December 31, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Netflix, Streaming Service, TV, TV Recaps
4

Summary

“Bicephaly” continues to drive a wedge between Johnny and Daniel as Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do continue to antagonize each other.

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4

Summary

“Bicephaly” continues to drive a wedge between Johnny and Daniel as Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do continue to antagonize each other.

This recap of Cobra Kai season 4, episode 4, “Bicephaly”, contains spoilers.


“Bicephaly” means “the condition of having two heads”, which, rumor has it, is better than having just the one. But what if those heads don’t get along? What if they have fundamental, seemingly irreconcilable differences about karate, manhood, and life? What might the consequences of that be?

Well, for Johnny, it means he can’t get it up when he’s in bed with Carmen. Among other things, obviously.

Cobra Kai season 4, episode 4

This episode is a reminder that you can be guilty by association. When Kenny is taken on a tour of the high school (he’s a middle-schooler in the same facility, which now has measures to prevent further karate battles in the halls), he’s harassed in the bathroom for wearing a Cobra Kai shirt. Hawk intervenes, but he warns Kenny to get out of Cobra Kai while he can, and he isn’t especially friendly about it. When Kenny tells the rest of the dojo about the incident, they naturally want payback. Seemingly right on cue, Kreese introduces Silver to the rest of the class. 

One of the first things Silver does as part of Cobra Kai is antagonize Robby and rough him up a little. It’s obvious he has ulterior motives in everything he does, and one of them is convincing Robby to face and control his fears. That includes, it turns out, going to see Johnny. He warns his dad to warn Hawk to leave Kenny alone, or there will be consequences. One assumes there’ll be consequences anyway, of course, but it’s the thought that counts. 

“Bicephaly” also continues the burgeoning relationship between Tory and Amanda LaRusso. It begins when Tory gets a new job, which it turns out is playing a scantily-clad mermaid at a kids’ party that Sam happens to be attending. Now, I have some thoughts about the way Cobra Kai sexualizes Tory — and Robby, to a certain extent, but not to the same degree — and none of the other characters; she even has a form-fitting Cobra Kai training outfit that none of the other students have. I don’t think it’s malicious, but I do think it perpetuates an unfortunate relationship between underprivileged young women and their sexuality. But let’s not get preachy. Either way, Sam spends the whole party tormenting Tory until she eventually storms out, and Amanda follows her outside to try and connect with her again. It still isn’t entirely successful but the attempt doesn’t go unnoticed.

Another big theme of the episode is Johnny’s annoyance with how Miguel and Daniel are bonding. We’re even treated to some flashbacks of Johnny as a little kid, his mum telling him that he has “a new daddy”, which has got to be the absolute worst way of presenting a new relationship to a young child. It isn’t difficult to see where Johnny’s warped views about parenting come from, and how he inevitably ruined his own relationship with Robby because of them. At the same time, Daniel talks to Miguel about how Mr. Miyagi fulfilled the dad role for him. It’s interesting because, in the first movie, Johnny Lawrence was a rich kid. He would be considered privileged by almost any standards. But Daniel, who grew up with a single mother, actually had a much more stable and healthy male relationship in his life thanks to Mr. Miyagi. When Johnny went looking for that role model, he found Kreese, and we know what happened there. All these similarities amongst the backstories of various core characters give Cobra Kai a lot of welcome texture.

Things come to a head in “Bicephaly” at a drive-in where both dojos are watching the Jean-Claude Van Damme classic Bloodsport. Kenny is still being mildly hazed by Kyler, who sends him to collect more food than he can comfortably carry, and Hawk rather unnecessarily makes him drop it all. Predictably, a confrontation erupts between the two dojos, and they agree to meet in 30 minutes and fight (all while Bloodsport plays in the background). But this turns out to be a set-up by Miguel, as he and the rest of Miyagi-Do watch Cobra Kai get soaked by the sprinklers. 

Miyagi-Do are very pleased about this, including Daniel, who sees the action as Miguel embracing his teachings. But Johnny, understandably, thinks it was a bad idea; that Cobra Kai won’t let the slight go unanswered. And he’s right since, at that moment, Kreese and Silver arrive. 

You can stream Cobra Kai season 4, episode 4, “Bicephaly”, exclusively on Netflix.

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