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Cobra Kai season 3: release date, trailer and season 2's ending explained

Cobra Kai season 3
(Image credit: Netflix)

Cobra Kai season 3 is officially happening, and a sneak-peek teaser from Netflix gave us a few indications of what we can expect when it launches sometime in 2021.

From a cult success story on YouTube Red, Netflix has picked up the Karate Kid prequel series and made it massive. So now, as its audiences widens across the world, we can all start to look forward to season 3 of Cobra Kai. Call us overprotective senseis, however, but know that there will be full spoilers for the first two seasons below, so make sure you're caught up before continuing. 

Ready? So, at the end of the second season, many characters are not in good places at all. Kreese became the villain we all expected him to be after he revealed he'd been swindling the Cobra Kai gym and its students, and Johnny Lawrence's star prodigy, Miguel, is in intensive care after a brawl at the Miyagi-Do dojo went awry. What's more, LaRusso's obsession with the gym has caused a rift between him and his wife, and his daughter, Sam, is also in the hospital after the Cobrai Kai / Miyagi-Do scrap.

It's no surprise that the show's once-cult following is building: it's something you really don't get anywhere else. It's both about middle-aged men coming to terms with their damaged pasts and how it affects those around them... and two rival dojos full of rambunctious teenagers kicking lumps out of each other.

So, if you've been there since the beginning, or you've just jumped on board the Karate Kid follow-up, here's everything we know so far about Cobra Kai season 3.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Bojack Horseman with more face-kicking. Cobra Kai is a follow-up to Karate Kid, furthering that franchise's narrative and blending it with middle-aged melancholia as the main characters come to terms with where they're at. 
  • Where can I watch it? The first two seasons are available right now on Netflix, and the third will be available there too. 
  • When can I watch it? Netflix are keeping tight-lipped about an exact date, but it's coming sometime in 2021, and will probably be sooner rather than later.  

Cobra Kai season 3 release date: when is it coming to Netflix? 

(Image credit: Guy D'Alema/Netflix)

In short… sometime in 2021. However, fans of Karate and nostalgia probably won't have to wait too long. While the coronavirus pandemic has hurt most ongoing productions, Cobra Kai Season 3 has already filmed and was going through its finishing touches when the lockdown hit. 

Speaking to CBR, series co-creator and executive producer Josh Heald confirmed that principal photography wrapped before the end of 2019, and the show is pretty much good to go. 

"Thankfully with season 3, we wrapped production before the end of 2019 and we wrapped post-production...I think there was a little bit of overlap," Heald told CBR. "We were still doing some finishing touches for the effects and some quality checks on season 3 while the quarantine aspect of the pandemic was just beginning but we finished our final mix – the last big piece of post-production – that was done in-person with raising champagne and eating cupcakes and all the things you do to feel like you're at your absolute unhealthiest coming out of the completion of a season."

So, Cobra Kai is in the can. As one of Netflix's newest acquisitions, it seems like it's really up to the streaming giant when they want to release Cobra Kai season 3. 

So, the long answer is also 2021. 

Cobra Kai season 3 trailers: everything released so far

There aren't too many story details from Cobra Kai season 3. The recently released Cobra Kai trailer from Netflix is mostly cut together with clips from S1 and S2 we've already seen, with a brief tease for season 3. However, the scant footage we get at the end of the trailer offers some interesting insights. 

So, Daniel is off to Okinawa, a place he last visited in The Karate Kid II. This opens the door for the return of The Karate Kid II characters like Chozen (Yuji Okumoto) and Kumiko (Tamlyn Tomita). Chozen was Daniel's enemy in Okinawa, while Kumiko was his love interest. Questions persist, though: will Johnny and Miguel go to Okinawa too? What secrets did Mr Miyagi keep from LaRusso? 

As we find out more about the story of Cobra Kai season 3, we'll add it here. For now, Netflix is keeping a lot of information about season 3 close to its chest. 

Cobra Kai season 3 cast: who we expect to return

The Netflix teaser reveals very little on who might be reappearing for season 3. Original characters Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) will return, in addition to Miguel (Xolo Maridueña).

There are still story threads hanging around for a few characters you should expect to make a return, although we're not a hundred percent certain they're going to be making an appearance just yet.

There's Robby Keene, Johnny's son, for one. He's spent the last two seasons training under Daniel LaRusso. After he was responsible for the fall that put Miguel on life-support, he fled for the hills.

There's also John Kreese, who is currently in charge of the titular Cobra Kai dojo after stealing it in the shocking season 2 finale. He's definitely cruising for a bruising at this point, and it wouldn't be a satisfying season 3 if he didn't get at least some form of comeuppance. 

Then, there's Miguel's mother Carmen Diaz (Vanessa Rubio) who was also, briefly, Johnny's love interest towards the end of season 2. Diaz represents a happier life and a path towards normality, so it'd be great to see her return here. Season 2 ended with Johnny missing a Facebook friend request from high school girlfriend and Karate Kid character Ali Mills (played by Elisabeth Shue in the original film), which could mean we'll have some sort of love triangle on our hands in the new series. 

For now though, much of this is wishful thinking. You can put all of these potential returning characters on the 'maybe' pile, since Netflix is keeping quiet about who might be reappearing for the time being.