‘Cobra Kai’ Cast Talks Season 5 Finale and Moving Forward With a ‘Clean Slate’ (Exclusive)

Ralph Macchio, William Zabka and others talk about that action-packed finale and unexpected cliffhanger.

Another action-packed installment of Cobra Kai has drawn to a close on Netflix, with season 5 being the most dramatic yet. In addition to reuniting members of the Karate Kid III cast, the franchise focused on the war over control of the Valley that was first sparked at the end of season 4 and unfolded -- sometimes in brutal fashion -- during the latest episodes. 

Following the results of the All Valley Tournament, Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) focused his attention on expanding the Cobra Kai empire as he tried to make his “No Mercy” style of karate the only way to fight. But Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) wasn’t having it, and after recruiting Chozen (Yuji Okumoto), the two were determined to put a stop to Silver once and for all. John Kreese (Martin Kove), meanwhile, may have been behind bars – but that didn’t stop him from causing trouble of his own. 

And given how Cobra Kai ends, Griffith teases that the series, if renewed for season 6, will “start with a clean slate.” While speaking with ET, the cast opens up about the finale and what’s in store moving forward. [Warning: Spoilers for Cobra Kai season 5.]


In the end, after the battle lines were drawn and each side spent time recruiting people to their dojo, it turns out that Terry was nothing more than fraud after it was revealed that he rigged the results of the All Valley Tournament. However, that didn’t stop Daniel’s dojo and the Cobra Kai dojo from getting into an all-out brawl before the cops were called. 

With Terry defeated by Daniel and hauled off to jail, it seems that the Valley’s war is finally over and everyone can start anew, especially all the Cobra Kai recruits who were seen disavowing their dojo. 

As for the future of that dojo, Griffith says “it will have to rise from the ashes” if it ever wants to return. “I look forward to seeing,” he says. “I don’t know if Terry’s in that world or what happens to it.” And while Terry may be facing a long time behind bars, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s gone for good. “I’m sure the guys have some things percolating and it’ll be so fascinating to see what they come up with,” the actor teases. 

For Griffith, after reprising his Karate Kid III role for the past two seasons, “it was an incredible ride,” he says, crediting the creators -- Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg -- for his “incredible arc.” 

Okumoto, meanwhile, is hopeful that Chosen will continue to stick around, especially after spending so much time with his adopted family. “I mean, you always want to be a part of something special and I tell you, this is incredibly special and it’s due to the creators,” he says. “They took a show that was iconic back in the ‘80s and they made it something that’s contemporary that a lot of people can relate to. So, to be part of that, yeah, who wouldn’t want to be part of that? It’s incredible.” 


John Kreese, meanwhile, managed to spark a prison riot, which led to an intense showdown behind bars with the military vet dead. However, his death was just a misdirect, with the finale showing him donning the doctor’s uniform and walking away free. 

So when it comes to one man headed to jail and the other getting out, what does that mean for the Valley? “One never knows,” Macchio teases. “I mean, they certainly have set up this international world, where Cobra Kai was born halfway around the planet. And who knows where that lands.”

That said, William Zabka (aka Johnny Lawrence) reveals that a lot of what was written and shot for season 5 has been cut and saved for later. “I can say this without spoiling anything too. There’s a lot of story that was written and that we shot that has actually been not included in this season,” he shares. 

He adds, “A lot of big stuff that was kicked down the field were ‘OMG moments.’”

“Yes, it was punted,” Macchio confirms, teasing there’s a lot being held for later, “which is a good sign.”