Cobra Kai Season 4 – Who is Terry Silver?
If I’d told you a couple of years ago that the best part of Cobra Kai Season 4 would be Thomas Ian Griffith returning to the role of Terry Silver for the first time in the three decades since the release of The Karate Kid Part III, you’d have said that I was ridiculous. Then again, if I’d told you a couple of years before that about YouTube reviving the Karate Kid franchise three decades on with the same actors, and that it’d be fantastic, you’d have said I was ridiculous for that, too. So, given the show’s run of form, its ability to reinvent the thoroughly ridiculous villain of a truly awful film isn’t all that surprising. But anyone who rightly swerved that late-’80s flop might be asking an obvious question:
Who Is Terry Silver?
Okay, so, in The Karate Kid Part III, Terry Silver is the villain. He’s an old Vietnam buddy of John Kreese who, thanks to scheduling conflicts with Martin Kove, couldn’t feature all the way through. A wealthy toxic waste mogul, he vows to get revenge on Daniel LaRusso for what happened in the first film and sets about doing so in a variety of illogical and incoherent ways.
There’s lots of funny stuff surrounding Silver, including the fact that Thomas Ian Griffith, who plays him, was 28 at the time playing a Vietnam war veteran, while Ralph Macchio, a year Griffith’s senior, was playing a teenager. As if that wasn’t weird enough, Griffith played Silver as an absolutely demented comic book psychopath. It was a ludicrous performance in a terrible film. Even despite how much the events and characters of the second film feature in the third season of Cobra Kai, the idea of making a compelling villain out of Silver remained faintly ridiculous.
And yet here we are.
What does Silver do in Cobra Kai Season 4?
When we’re reintroduced to Terry Silver in Cobra Kai Season 4, he’s an older gentleman with long grey hair, living a life of liberal luxury eating tofu, and keeping his true nature under wraps. When Kreese first meets with him, Silver acknowledges how ridiculous his past behavior was, and claims to have no interest in continuing Kreese’s crusade against Daniel LaRusso and Miyagi-Do.
However, through some reminders of their past together in Vietnam and some challenges against his manhood, Kreese is able to lure Silver back into the fold. Silver brings fighting skill, experience, intelligence, and a great deal of money to the dojo. Pretty quickly, Kreese begins to disagree with his strategizing, while Silver, through his investment in the dojo, gradually begins to take more and more control over Cobra Kai and its students.
Silver, though, is clever. Griffith plays him as a man who is gradually unraveling, but also one who is largely subservient to Kreese given their history in Vietnam. This, however, only makes his eventual betrayal all the more satisfying. In the finale, it is revealed that Silver paid off the All-Valley’s tournament’s referee to ensure a victory for Tory, and also that he convinced Raymond, aka Stingray, to blame Kreese for the vicious assault on him that Silver himself committed. This leads to Kreese being arrested, and Silver taking complete control of Cobra Kai, just in time for the next season.