A vast improvement, Cobra Kai finally provides some flawless fight sequences and a genuinely exciting storyline to fully commit to. The acting can be melodramatic at times, and the plot points are very plain to see, but the show has finally returned to its previous glory.
This recap of the Netflix series Cobra Kai season 5, episode 8, “Taikai,” contains spoilers.
Kreese revealed Terry’s masterplan to Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence in the previous instalment. Terry Silver wants Cobra Kai to enter the Sekai Taikai tournament. Episode eight, “Taikai” focuses on Cobra Kai’s admissions process and their plans to qualify for this prestigious tournament. Miyagi-Do are on hand to disrupt these preparation though and throw their hat into the ring too. This is easily the best episode of the series so far, with real stakes and genuinely exciting fight sequences.
Cobra Kai season 5, episode 8 recap
The episode opens with Terry introducing the Sekai Taikai representatives to his flagship dojo. They are embarking on the admissions process, but the Sekai Taikai rep, Gunther, reveals that they can’t guarantee success. Terry shows off his dojo and promises to make the tournament into a global success, if given the chance. He talks about corporate sponsorships, broadcast rights and his dreams of making the competition a household name in America. But Gunther is only interested in the student’s abilities, not the marketing aspect.
Daniel and his posse arrive to upset Terry’s glitzy presentation. Daniel states that his rival dojo has champions within its ranks and clarifies that Cobra Kai are known to lie and exaggerate. Gunther is curious to see what both dojos have to offer and decides to make this into a competition. Both dojos will show off their training methods and student’s skills. The Sekai Taikai representatives will then decide which dojo, if any, are worthy of entering the karate competition.
The dojos are now officially at war and both train in secret that night. Sensei Kim is angry that this petty rivalry has clouded Terry’s judgment and led them down this path. Terry calls Miyagi-Do pathetic in response, seeing them as little to no competition at all. The students meanwhile, chat about the prospects of this global tournament. Devon sees dollar signs and social media fame, telling Tory that this attention could pay her way through college. Tory hasn’t even considered a life after Cobra Kai, but this episode brings Tory’s conflicted mind-set to the forefront.
Miyagi-Do are equally excited and the students discuss the fame and fortune that comes with success in this tournament. Daniel tells the kids not to get ahead of themselves and warns them that Cobra Kai will fight dirty to win this competition. The dojos prepare for their presentations, which are sure to be extremely different from one another. The creators juxtapose these two differing approaches and vibes, intercutting between both presentations. Miyagi-Do Karate rely on 400 years of rich history, looking to the past and old school methods. Whilst Cobra Kai are state-of-the-art, utilizing technology and forward thinking to succeed. Terry talks about looking forwards and shows them the pluses of technological advances.
Johnny manages to bond with Gunther and the Sekai Taikai reps agree that they use a unique method here, but they also like Cobra Kai’s impressive business model too. They announce that both are equally impressive, although vastly different. The only way to decide a winner is to put them in direct competition. Two fights, a female one and a male one to crown a champ. Terry instantly puts forward Tory and Kenny, yet Miyagi-Do spend some time choosing their leaders.
Tory visits Kreese in prison for some helpful advice. Kreese has since resigned himself to the fact that he will never get out of prison and is completely dejected. He tells Tory to do what she thinks is best. He’s lost all faith and advises that she looks after herself from here on out. That same night, Johnny talks with Miguel, Robby and Hawk. The kids have decided to put Hawk forward and of course Sam will fight in the girl’s match. She trains vigorously with Chozen and then finds Miguel’s gift on the floor, that octopus necklace.
Kenny trains the very same night and Terry shows the student his secret move. The ‘silver bullet’ is a sharp punch to the sternum that winds the opponent. Kenny is eager to learn this deadly technique for himself and Terry fills the boy with confidence before his fight. He is up against Hawk and doesn’t hold back with the fighting talk.
The fight gets underway and Kenny comes racing out of the blocks with a manic ferocity. He lands a point instantly. Hawk fights back and strikes, but the referee says it was out of bounds. Terry’s up to his old tricks again, hiring a dodgy ref he can manipulate. Kenny lands an illegal blow to Hawk’s leg, injuring the competitor. The referee gives Kenny a warning, but the damage is already done. Kenny finishes Hawk off with the silver bullet and Miyagi-Do have to forfeit.
Next up is Sam versus Tory, but Tory has disappeared, clearly unnerved by Terry’s latest scam. Devon nervously steps up to fight in Tory’s place. Sam lands the first blow, but the referee won’t give her the point. Devon lands a debatable blow and then Sam calls for a time-out. Her father suggests she makes each point undeniably obvious and clear to win the match. She takes this on board and the referee can’t deny the next three points, making Sam victorious.
Gunther announces that they have chosen Cobra Kai, but surprisingly they also appreciated Miyagi-Do’s unique style too. Both dojos will be competing in the tournament. Daniel’s gang celebrate in style, with Johnny allowing them to throw a house party. At this event, Miguel makes out with a random girl and Sam arrives just in time to see this unfortunate scene take place. She runs off outside and Tory corners her, explaining that Sam didn’t actually lose the All Valley Championship. Tory is finally coming clean.
What did you think of the Netflix series Cobra Kai season 5, episode 8? Comment below.