Season 2, episode 1. That’s all I’ve seen of the second season so far. Minor spoilers ahead. A look back at Season 1:
- HERE I said why The Sopranos epitomized the George W. Bush era, Breaking Bad was about the Obama years, and I saw in Cobra Kai the spirit of Trump’s election.
- HERE is the fun of identifying the allegories behind the characters.
Back to Season 2. This dialogue between Daniel LaRusso and his student Robbie Keene is a show-stopper:
ROBBIE: You lost focus?
DANIEL: Not anymore. Ever since the tournament, all I’ve been thinking about are ways to destroy Cobra Kai.
ROBBIE: [smiling] And now you have the answer?
DANIEL: Yes. The answer is, we won’t. Cobra Kai isn’t the enemy. There are no enemies. Your dad, his students, they’re just like you and me. They’ve just been taught the wrong way. The goal of Miyagi-Do Karate isn’t to fight them, it’s to show them a different way. Right? A better way. For them and everyone in the Valley.
That bolded line blindsided me. My blog’s tagline is “we don’t have to live like this” because I know, along with everyone else on the alternative/nationalist Right, that there are alternatives to the Tower of Mudworld Babel.
The best and most honest propagandists let people see for themselves that evil is evil and good is good. We live in a world that hisses abandon all hope. The men who run it guard their power by censoring anything that is contrary to their nation-wrecking program. They do not want anyone to know that there is, as Daniel says, a different way.
Two killer komments about the first episode of the second season:
Johnny Lawrence — “His emotional turmoil is as attractive as his redemption arc and blue eyes”
Chakrates makes observations about several of the minor characters and Johnny Lawrence, the most compelling pop culture protagonist in the past 30 years:
The black girl, I rather like her. I know girls like her, mixed, smart, looking to fit in. I don’t really mind it, but I’m sad for her. You can see the lines being drawn. She’s not a thug or a hipster, or a rich kid, or anything other than a (former) wallflower who has found a place. She’ll be either the wise negra savior or a sacrificial lamb. Either way, not pleased, but she has pathos, it’s undeniable.
Hawk is Kreese/Johnny 2.0, they cannot telegraph that any harder. I pity him, too, and frankly, I worry about Miguel and Robby. Both are fatherless children, metaphorically if not literally, like Daniel and Johnny, looking for a replacement figure.
Billy Zabka is still hot. His emotional turmoil is as attractive as his redemption arc and blue eyes. Yes, that jazzes me. He’s as much a lost soul as the kids he mentors and seeing his humble admission that he was never taught the different between mercy and honor. It’s a simple thing, but a “wow” moment for anyone not used to paying attention. I love his character.
And I just knew that greasy smile was going to cross Kreese’s face, at the end…ugh and arghh and thicker plots.
Daniel LaRusso — “You can see it in his eyes”
Suburban_elk snapped me out of my complacency about the series with this observation:
The lifestory theme that Life can be a long journey and some form of redemption may yet still. Or to put it in American: you didn’t necessarily peak in high school. (or did you?)
These themes have always been around, but they are topical now to 40-somethings aka gen xers. And here’s the point to remember: These themes are fairly “better left unsaid.” By their nature, everyone knows about them on a gut level: There’s the big gorilla (and it’s not you). Or if it is, wow: very impressive silverback you got there! (can I touch it?)
Some meta commentary though, about how these manly yet sensitive (and therefore better left unsaid) themes, these very lifestagey themes, is particular to clown world and even more particularly to America. Because somehow such life stagey themes get buried under pavement of amusement park reality. They get lost entirely. The unconscious superstructure or whatever tf, even that has gone away and disappeared for with which to guide us.
LaRusso gets all this. You can see it in his eyes.