At the end of Season 2, nearly every character was at their lowest. However, none were quite as low as Johnny (William Zabka) and Miguel (Xolo Maridueña). After the high school karate riot left Miguel in a coma and Johnny banished from seeing his prized student, it seemed as though the heart and soul of the new Cobra Kai was dead. What’s more, Sensei Kreese (Martin Kove) reinserted himself as the leader of the dojo, kicking Johnny to the curb.
As begins, the series will pick up right after it left off–which is bad news for both teacher and student. As has been seen in the , Johnny’s drinking is more problematic than ever, and he winds up in legal trouble. Meanwhile, once Miguel comes out of his coma, it’s without the use of his legs. Luckily, though, the duo will eventually be able to help each other recover–which is especially good news for Johnny
“He feels this tremendous amount of responsibility and guilt for what happened,” Zabka told GameSpot. “And he’s also lost [Miguel’s mom] Carmine and lost their trust–and he’s lost his own sense of trusting himself. Is he capable of leading? Because look what happened. So he’s afraid even to step in there for a minute because maybe he’s gonna screw things up more. But he loves this kid and he’s determined to get to him, even though he’s technically not supposed to see him, you know?”
The actor continued, “Miguel gives Johnny some strength. It’s a two-way street with that. It’s not that Johnny’s just his mentor, but it’s like with your own kids, you know, a lot of times your kids teach you something or they tell you something about yourself.”
Those are sure to be hard lessons to learn, but Johnny’s going to need them. After everything he’s done to help Miguel gain confidence in himself, Maridueña admitted that it’s been shaken by his injury.
“Karate instilled a lot of confidence in him and having this accident, where it feels like the one thing that made me confident was taken away from you, I think is going to set Miguel right back to square one,” he explained. “And there’s going to be a lot of building back up towards that confidence. And, we see just the small moments in the trailer, that it’s hard. It’s not a transition that can be made in a day. It’s a long transition to cope with being in the situation that he’s in and a long transition to hopefully get out of this terrible injury that he was able to sustain.”
Luckily, it looks like Johnny will be helping him cope in style. One of the images released from Season 3, which you can see below, finds the sensei and Miguel at what looks like a concert, having the time of their lives. The obvious hope is that it leads to Miguel regaining the ability to not only walk, but continue his karate studies under Johnny.
Of course, that begs the question of where those teaching would take place. After all, as explained by Zabka, standing in the way is his former sensei Kreese, “who stole the dojo from Johnny. He completely betrayed him again.”
How Johnny will rebound from that remains to be seen, but it’s certainly something to be addressed when Cobra Kai premieres on Netflix in January 2021.