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Why Cobra Kai Waited Until Seasons 5 To Break Out Daniel's Iconic Move

It may have taken a few years, but Daniel has finally resurrected the most important move Mr. Miyagi taught him.


The first four seasons of Cobra Kai have paid tribute to the trilogy of Karate Kid films in a number of ways, from a long list of characters entering the picture once again, to locations, storylines, and even props. One particular nod to the franchise that started it all was notably missing, though, until now.

Warning: The following contains spoilers for the Season 5 finale of Cobra Kai. If you haven't watched it yet, turn away now.

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In the Season 5 finale of Cobra Kai, the battle between Cobra Kai and seemingly everyone else comes to a head when Daniel (Ralph Macchio) goes toe-to-toe with Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) in a karate fight to end all karate fights. And in that fight, Daniel breaks out a move we haven't seen him do since the '80s to overcome his foe. That's right, after five seasons of the show, we finally see Daniel dust off the Crane Kick--the iconic move from the original Karate Kid film.

Why did it take so long, though? As co-showrunner Hayden Schlossberg tells GameSpot, there are a number of reasons we didn't see it until now.

"I think from the very beginning of the show, we have all these references that we could use from the original movie, Schlossberg said. "It's always been about the story at the time, and we figured that's just such a special move of Daniel's that like he's only going to break that out in like key choice moments."

And with the fate of the valley "resting in his foot," as Schlossberg put it, this seemed like the perfect time for Daniel to show that he's still got it.

Another reason they waited for the right moment is Macchio, himself. "Ralph is very protective of it," Schlossberg explained. "So I feel like he's not like dying to do it. He knows it's really special."

Most importantly, and oddly poetically, saving it for Daniel to use to kick Silver out of the valley is something of a full-circle moment for fans of Karate Kid 3. "If you watch Karate Kid 3, Terry Silver kind of ridicules the Crane Kick," Schlossberg said. "He talks about 'that crane crap.' And it just felt like that's a little bit of karma coming back on him."

And it certainly did the trick. Silver was down for the count and under arrest, leaving many to wonder what could possibly come next. Cobra Kai is now without a leader. And before you ask yourself if former sensei John Kreese (Martin Kove) will be slotted back into the dojo, keep in mind that he faked his death to escape from prison. So his situation's going to be a little complicated.

All five seasons of Cobra Kai are streaming on Netflix now.

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