‘Cobra Kai’ Could Be Teasing More than 1 Major Villain Return for Season 4

Even in the age of franchise reboots and revivals, it’s safe to say no one expected The Karate Kid to keep kicking. Stars Ralph Macchio and William Zabka — via archive footage, at least — had been absent from the franchise since 1989’s The Karate Kid Part III. Now the series has been reignited by Netflix hit Cobra Kai. And the show is primed to dig deeper into the past.

Ralph Macchio, Martin Kove, and William Zabka
Ralph Macchio, Martin Kove, and William Zabka | Jerod Harris/Getty Images

‘Cobra Kai’ fans love when old favorites return to the franchise

Initially featured on YouTube Red aka YouTube Premium, Cobra Kai brought Macchio and Zabka back as Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence. And while the series continues their characters’ rivalry, it has also brought several key actors back from the first three Karate Kid movies. Most notably, Martin Kove’s John Kreese has emerged as the show’s primary villain.

But Cobra Kai has gone to great lengths to revive other popular characters from the movies. Although Pat Morita — who played Mr. Miyagi — died in 2005, season 3 saw 1980s icon Elizabeth Shue return as the first film’s Ali Mills. Moreover, Yuji Okumoto, Tamlyn Tomita, and Traci Toguchi all reprised their roles from The Karate Kid Part II. So who’s coming back next?

RELATED: ‘Cobra Kai’: ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Predicted the Show Nearly a Decade Before Its Debut

‘Cobra Kai’ Season 4 might lean heavily into the third film

As Cobra Kai continues its run, the show appears to be tracking alongside The Karate Kid movies. For instance, seasons 1 and 2 focused mostly on Johnny, Daniel, and Kreese. And in season 3, the events of The Karate Kid Part II came to bear much more vividly. The show’s fans and its characters got a bit of closure regarding Ali’s off-screen exit from the series early in that film.

Plus, the return of Chozen and Kumiko in Cobra Kai Season 3 directly parallels Daniel’s earlier visit to Okinawa in the sequel. Just as The Karate Kid Part II sheds more light on Mr. Miyagi’s past, so too does Cobra Kai Season 3. It’s here that Daniel learns new secrets about Miyagi-Do karate, which prove critical by the season’s end. Given all that, the show might be teeing up a focus on The Karate Kid Part III.

RELATED: ‘Cobra Kai’ Has Unseen ‘The Karate Kid’ Footage in Episode 1

Terry Silver might not be alone if he returns in season 4

Throughout the season, Kreese’s history in the Vietnam War slowly unfolds in flashback. And longtime The Karate Kid fans certainly noticed the tease that Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) might return in Cobra Kai Season 4. The show’s creators, however, have not confirmed whether Silver — the primary villain of The Karate Kid Part III — will appear or how he might react to Kreese’s call.

Of course, Cobra Kai is known to subvert expectations. Ali’s and Chozen’s returns in season 3 both proved to be more healing than harmful to Johnny and Daniel, respectively. And while fans probably can’t count on a reformed Silver, the show could surprise fans by bringing back Sean Kanan’s Mike Barnes instead. A former foe of Daniel’s, Barnes was recruited by Silver in Part III.

If the show wants to hold back on Silver, perhaps he could send Barnes to assist Kreese in his place. After all, The Karate Kid trilogy ultimately revealed Silver as the baddie behind Kreese and all of Cobra Kai. He’s essentially Emperor Palpatine to Kreese’s Darth Vader. So it makes sense for the show to hold off on Silver until late season 4 or even season 5.