Cobra Kai Season 5’s Kickass Karate Kid Cameo’s Explained

Cobra Kai season 5 spoilers follow.

The past never stays buried for too long Cobra Kai, with more familiar faces from The karate kid universe returns as valley battle rises to 11.

As Karate Kid II‘s Chozen Toguchi (Yuji Okumoto) and Karate Kid III‘s TErry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) became more central parts of season five’s story, it was almost inevitable that more faces from the past would emerge, both as allies and enemies (depending on which side you’re on.)

In the case of season five, we had not one but two returnees. But for the uninitiated, there may be a question mark involved. That’s where we come to break it all down.

Here’s who these familiar faces are and what they mean to the Cobra Kai world in general.

Who is Mike Barnes and how is he connected to the Karate Kid world?

ralph maccio, mike barnes, the karate kid iii

Movie Store/Shutterstock

Mike Barnes was previously considered a major threat Cobra Kai season five aired — after all, when Terry Silver called out reinforcements, it seemed a foregone conclusion that it would be his long-standing right-hand man.

Barnes was a member of Cobra Kai back in Karate Kid III, and was one of the enemies LaRusso faced. The gang was led by Silver, but it was Barnes who really was the braun.

In the ’80s, Barnes was the kid to beat – he was proclaimed “karate’s bad boy” and recognized as one of the greatest karate fighters in the entire US: perfect for Silver’s mission to help break the spirit of Miyagi-Do.

Hired by Silver to defeat LaRusso, Barnes came closest to beating the lead character at the All-Valley tournament that year. He bullied him, targeted him with cruel deeds and tormented the poor child to gain the upper hand. (At one point, he even threatened to kill Jessica Andrews by dropping her off a cliff…he wasn’t a good guy.)

sean kanan, cobra kai, season 5

Netflix

However, LaRusso eventually became champion. His tantrum and the illegal behavior Cobra Kai displayed on the mat ruined Cobra Kai’s reputation. So not only did he lose the game, Silver lost the franchise deal for Cobra Kai dojos, which Barnes lined up to get 50% of.

It seems that time has been a healer for Barnes. When LaRusso reconnects with him in Cobra Kai season five, Barnes has shunned his life as a karate expert and is now the owner of a furniture store. In fact, he has nothing to do with Silver’s plans.

But LaRusso’s appearance in his depot sets off a ripple effect, and in a dangerous move to wake LaRusso, Silver sets Barnes’s shop on fire to send a message. Furious, Barnes later targets LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence, then teams up with him in an attempt to take Silver down for good.

Who is Jessica Andrews and how is she connected to Daniel LaRusso?

Jessica, Daniel, Karate Kid III

Sony Photos

Jessica Andrews was LaRusso’s will she likes/dislikes Karate Kid III — and nearly killed her in an intense clifftop showdown with Barnes’ gang.

During their time together in 1985, she witnessed the torment that Silver, Barnes and their cronies inflicted on LaRusso in an effort to come out on top. She even got caught up in some fights.

As their relationship went platonic, between the movies and the series, Jessica seems to be an important person in LaRusso’s life, especially in his love life. She would introduce him to her cousin, Amanda, who would become LaRusso’s long-suffering wife in… Cobra Kai.

When we meet her in season five, she provides context for Amanda when she’s tired of LaRusso’s constant fighting and his apparent paranoia about Silver. Jessica makes her realize that his fears are far from unfounded and encourages Amanda to return home.

Cobra Kai is now available on Netflix.

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