Cobra Kai season 4, episode 9 recap – “The Fall”

December 31, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Netflix, Streaming Service, TV, TV Recaps
4.5

Summary

The All-Valley Championship begins in “The Fall”, as some unexpected developments tee up an exciting, unpredictable finale.

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4.5

Summary

The All-Valley Championship begins in “The Fall”, as some unexpected developments tee up an exciting, unpredictable finale.

This recap of Cobra Kai season 4, episode 9, “The Fall”, contains spoilers.


And just like that, the Annual All-Valley Under-18 Karate Championship is underway. Because of the way that “The Fall” works, it doesn’t make all that much sense to recap it perfectly sequentially, so I’ll try and give a brief overview of the various brackets, the winners and losers, which subplots are really percolating, and where we stand thematically heading into the finale. Cool? Cool.

Cobra Kai season 4, episode 9 recap

After a round of introductions for Miyagi-Do, Cobra Kai, and Eagle Fang, plus a lot of motivational speeches and “Yes, Sensei!”‘s all around, the skill challenges get underway. This is one of the new additions that the board insisted on, but in real-world terms the round exists for two main reasons: one, to show off some fantastic choreography; and two, to make the point that Cobra Kai is a much more well-oiled machine than either of the other two relevant dojos. Both Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang make some errors in their demonstrations. Cobra Kai don’t. This gives them an advantage going into the actual fighting stages since the winning dojo will be determined based on point totals across all categories at the end of the tournament. (I mention all this because it becomes important, dramatically.)

A cameo from Carrie Underwood gets the qualifiers started. This is a joke, essentially, since it was generally understood that the flesh-pressing, name-dropping board member who organized her appearance wasn’t good for a celebrity connection, but it felt a bit like the show showing off in the same way that guy was — I’m not sure what it added, in other words, but no matter. Another montage of the opening round makes the point that the Cobra Kai students are all using the Miyagi-Do techniques taught to them by Robby. Daniel, disgusted, confronts Robby about this, which yields a nice line: “Never put passion in front of principle. Because even if you win, you lose.”

As ever, Cobra Kai is having more success. When Tory eliminates Devon Lee, Johnny’s book-smart debate-champ last-minute pick, that eliminates Eagle Fang from the girls’ bracket and means that Miguel has to win the tournament for the dojo to win overall. It ups the stakes pretty considerably, especially when Hawk, after a pep talk from Moon, makes a point that he’s intending to win the whole tournament by running right over Kyler, who frankly deserves it. But this is a fun development. After so much focus on Robby and Miguel, and Hawk’s whole crisis of faith thing, it was easy to forget that Hawk was even in the tournament, let alone that he’d emerge as a front-runner. It’s a nice way to play with our expectations. 

Other developments are a little more predictable. Sam beats Piper, obviously, and using some of Johnny’s lessons (which he cheers for). But that was expected. Robby also brutally wins over Kenny after a motivational speech from Kreese advising him to fight his opponent, rather than his friend. This might seem like a bit of an outside-the-box idea given they’re a part of the same dojo, but tournament brackets can be unpredictable, and their little subplot has made this confrontation pretty inevitable all the way through. 

Hawk versus Miguel in the semi-finals is a nice setup, I thought, and with Miguel being somewhat turned off by Johnny getting a little too Cobra Kai on him, I was curious about where it might go. What I certainly wasn’t expecting was Miguel to attempt Johnny’s tornado kick and for his back to immediately give out. “The Fall” ends with him screaming for his sensei on the ground. 

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