This action-packed finale delivers thrilling fight sequences, impressive twists, and a satisfying conclusion to the overarching narrative of the series. The creators have clearly worked towards this end goal all season and supply the goods.
This recap of the Netflix series Cobra Kai season 5, episode 10, “Head of the Snake,” the ending explained, contains spoilers.
Season five has been building towards an epic showdown between the Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do for some time now, and with “Head of the Snake”, the writers finally deliver what they have promised with an intense and rip-roaring finale. The final episode sees the rivals fighting in hand-to-hand combat with real stakes and something truly tangible to battle for – justice. The creators clearly spent a lot of time shaping this narrative and it seems to have been worth the wait.
Cobra Kai season 5, episode 10 recap – the ending explained
The finale begins with Kreese admitting defeat in jail. He tells his therapist that he doesn’t see a future for himself in prison, he’s not getting out and his days are numbered. The therapist tries to console him, talking of finding meaning and purpose even on the inside. But Kreese’s purpose was to teach and train students, to stop them from making the same mistakes he made. Later that day, Kreese witnesses a fight in the canteen and tries to split them up. The infamous sensei is then repeatedly stabbed in the chest and left for dead.
Back at the limo and the crazed driver is revealed to be none other than Mike Barnes. He blames Daniel for the destruction of his business and livelihood. Daniel accepts some fault, but states that Terry is to blame, he was the one that burned your store to the ground. Angered, Mike suggests driving to Terry’s to commence battle right away. Johnny and Chozen are both highly intoxicated and eager to attack, but Daniel has reservations. They drive off without Daniel, heading towards imminent danger.
On their arrival at Terry’s pad, the drunkards are met by Terry’s senseis, who instantly attack. They are outnumbered and ill-prepared. Kim sees footage of the teens breaking into Cobra Kai and ditches this fight to orchestrate another. Terry battles Chozen alone and their fisticuffs turns into a sword fight. It feels like there are real stakes involved for a change and either man could be seriously harmed. Both land painful blows, but Terry has the upper hand and slices at Chozen’s skin. He leaves the soldier for dead and returns to the fray.
Tory and Sam gather the Miyagi-Do students and head for Cobra Kai. Demetri believes the footage of Terry assaulting Stingray may still be on the Cobra Kai servers, so they formulate a plan to break in and upload the footage for all to see. Robby destroys most of the CCTV cameras, but a hidden one reveals their plan to Terry and Kim. Demetri hacks into the system and locates the footage, but Terry has erased the incriminating clip. Tory suggests uploading a different piece of footage instead.
The Miyagi-Do gang fight off Kenny and his Cobra Kai comrades, who knew about the raid thanks to their very own mole – Mitch. Both teams have a traitor in their midst, Mitch sold out Miyagi-Do and Tory has sided with her enemy. The rival squads fight one another and Kenny tests out his killer punch once again, winding Robby in the process. Anthony holds the iPad close as the footage uploads onto YouTube and the gang protect him just like they did with the eggs. Kim battles Sam and Tory, but Devon steps up and sides with Miyagi-Do, changing teams in a riotous exchange.
Stranded in the middle of nowhere, Daniel is picked up by Amanda, who has accepted the help of Stingray. He intercepted a message about the Cobra Kai ambushing the Miyagi-Do and thought the least he could do was to help the LaRussos by warning them. They drive to Cobra Kai, where the large battle is underway. Stingray gets his chance to shine and earns back his honor. The footage is then finally uploaded and all the students go silent, watching this incriminating clip unfold together. In the footage, Terry and Tory discuss the All Valley fight and Terry admits to paying off the referee, clearly cheating to win the championship.
Terry and Daniel fight, with Terry saying that he’ll do whatever it takes to be victorious. Daniel uses Terry’s training against him and defeats his nemesis. Kenny takes off his Cobra Kai shirt and throws it at Terry, who lies on the floor, a broken man. The other students follow suit and everyone seemingly quits the dojo in that very moment.
Stingray changes his testimony as the police cars and ambulances arrive outside the dojo. Tory and Robby kiss and make up, as do Miguel and Sam. Johnny and Chozen arrive on the scene, bloodied and bruised, but just about conscious. Chozen is given immediate medical attention, with a large slice taken out of his back. Mike steals one of Terry’s paintings as compensation and Terry is arrested.
The show has one last twist up its sleeve. Kreese is rushed into the hospital wing of the prison after his stabbing. The doctor tends to his wounds, but discovers that it isn’t blood on his chest but actually Jell-O. Kreese springs back to life and attacks those around him. He steals the doctor’s uniform and exits the establishment using the therapist’s security badge that he swindled earlier. Kreese makes good on his plans to escape as the finale draws to a close.
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