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Recap / Cobra Kai S2E10 "No Mercy"

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Season 2, Episode 10:

No Mercy
Written by Josh Heald (Story), Jon Hurwitz (Story), Hayden Schlossberg (Story), Joe Piarulli (Story & teleplay) & Luan Thomas (Story & teleplay)
Directed by Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg

"Samantha LaRusso. You know what you did and now you're gonna pay for it. I'm coming for you, bitch!"
Tory Nichols

The morning after Moon's party, Daniel discovers — to his horror — that Robby has taken Sam to Johnny's apartment. Meanwhile, Robby begins to reconcile with his father. He is thankful for Johnny's help, and although his father feels the need to tell Daniel that Sam is at his place, Robby is willing to accept the blame to prevent further tension between the two men.

However, Daniel is in no mood to talk when he arrives, and he and Johnny begin their long-awaited "rematch". They exchange several attacks before Sam and Robby interrupt the fight. The teens' pleas fall on deaf ears, and Daniel dismisses Robby as a loser like his old man before furiously leaving with Sam.

At the school, Miguel and Aisha are worried about Tory, who has not been seen or heard from since the party. Daniel arrives with Sam, still disgusted that she turned to Johnny instead of him in her hour of need. Sam pleads for Robby's innocence, but Daniel makes it clear that he has washed his hands of his arch-rival's son. Finally, Johnny arrives with Robby; even as Johnny's attempts to be fatherly to him on his first day of school are awkward, Robby appreciates that he is trying, and encourages his father to make peace with Daniel, believing that the two of them could learn some things from each other.


Before class, Robby and Sam have a chance to talk about the events of the night before. Robby confesses to hiding the truth about Miguel returning the Medal of Honor because he felt insecure. Sam appreciates his honesty, and is about to confess to kissing Miguel when the first bell interrupts them.

Shortly into the morning announcements, Tory seizes control of the intercom to announce her revenge on Sam. The two girls circle each other in the hallway, with Robby and Miguel frantically racing to reach them. Robby gets there first and manages to briefly separate them, only for Miguel to arrive and — believing that Robby is attacking Tory — start his own fight with him.

The tension between Miyagi-Do and Cobra Kai comes to a head, triggering a massive brawl between both sides. With so many students clashing throughout the hallways, the teachers cannot restore order (and the one who at least tries gets curb-stomped for his troubles). The conflict is less a fight than a riot or even a battle, and many arch-rivals and former friends on both sides pair off. Besides Sam/Tory and Miguel/Robby, Chris fights with Mitch, Hawk attacks Demetri, and Bert throws down with Nathaniel. Stingray, hoping to get hired as a security guard, wades into the brawl for the Cobras.


Eventually, the Miyagi-Do fighters turn the tide of the battle. Chris knocks Mitch out by hitting him in the head with a book, while Hawk stalks Demetri through the halls before Demetri puts Daniel's training to use, kicking Hawk through a glass trophy case. Tory, frustrated, shifts her spiked bracelet to her knuckles, slashing Sam's arm before threatening to slice her face with it. Sam regains the upper hand and knocks her down a staircase. The climactic moment of the brawl comes when Miguel pins Robby to the floor, but — remembering what Johnny taught him about the difference between having no mercy and no honor — releases his rival while attempting to apologize. However, Robby’s anger finally boils over and he seizes the opening to attack Miguel, inadvertently kicking him over the stairway balcony. Miguel’s back strikes the steel railing on the way down, leaving him critically injured after a two-story fall. Shocked by the result of his actions, Robby promptly flees the scene. Both Sam and Miguel end up hospitalized, with Sam having suffered cracked ribs in addition to her lacerations. Miguel's prognosis is dire; the doctor tells Carmen the next 24 hours will be crucial to his recovery.

In the aftermath, Daniel and Johnny are devastated by what has happened. Facing pressure from his wife, and horrified by both Robby's actions and his daughter's injuries, Daniel decides to quit Miyagi-Do altogether. Johnny, in turn, has lost not only his prized student and the closest thing he had to a real son, but the love of Carmen, who now wants nothing to do with him.

Worse still, Johnny returns to his dojo, only to discover the remaining Cobra Kai students (minus Aisha and Bert) training under Kreese, who reveals that he has acquired the dojo's lease from Zarkarian and now owns Cobra Kai. Johnny tries to protest, but the students side with Kreese, blaming the younger sensei for what happened to Miguel. Heartbroken, Johnny states that resurrecting Cobra Kai was a "mistake", and abandons the dojo to Kreese.

On the beach, facing the sunset, Johnny drunkenly and miserably reminisces about Miguel. Fed up with it all, he throws his smartphone into the sand and leaves his Cobra Kai car behind. As he walks away, a notification appears on his discarded phone — a Facebook friend request from Ali Mills Schwarber.


  • Abuse Mistake:
    • By the time Miguel arrives to stop Tory, the first thing he sees is Robby pushing her against the lockers and kicking away Hawk's gang. He thinks Robby is attacking her, but in reality, Robby was only trying to stop the fight and was defending himself against other Cobra Kai students egging it on. Though Robby didn't help matters by holding Tory down on by her chest.
    • When Aisha tries to stop Tory and Sam, a Miyagi-Do student mistakes her for trying to attack and fights her.
  • Adults Are Useless: Tory breaks into the school office, physically seizes control of the PA system, and announces to the entire school her intention to attack Samantha. She still has time to find Sam, and fight for several minutes before any adults even show up. When they do, the teachers who try to intervene are entirely outmatched, and the others just say "Screw this, they don't pay me enough."
  • Adult Fear: Up to Eleven for Carmen, Rosa and Johnny when Miguel suffers a potentially fatal injury. Amanda shows this in her concern for Sam and Tranquil Fury at Daniel.
  • And This Is for...: Robby dedicates one of his strikes against Miguel for taking advantage of Sam.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Demetri apologizes twice to Hawk during their fight: once for pushing him against the trophy cabinet, the second for kicking him into it.
  • Artistic License – Law: Stingray is interviewing for a job as a security guard at the school, despite having no experience, no qualifications, and no permits or licences that would permit him as an adult to work with children. He wades into the brawl, targeting the Miyagi-do students, using karate techniques, and congratulates Hawk, rather than attempting to de-escalate all of the fighting students.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Hawk wastes no time going on the offensive when he catches up to and corners Demetri, relentlessly assaulting his opponent while Demetri persistently endures Hawk's blows. It also winds up being a costly error for Tory, as Sam has no trouble fending off many of her shots (one of which is meant for her face but ends up catching her arm instead).
  • Audible Sharpness: Tory's studded bracelet makes a ringing sound as she attacks Sam.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Cobra Kai — and most of its students — are back in Kreese's hands, and Daniel has given up teaching Miyagi-Do.
  • The Berserker:
    • Never has Hawk embodied this trope more than he does at the start of the brawl. He doesn't just proclaim "Oh, it is ON!" with outright bloodlust, he shoves both Nathaniel and Bert aside and plows through three other opponents within seconds of entering the battle.
    • Later, when Miguel attempts to intervene in the Sam/Tory fight, Tory not only kicks him out of the way, but — glancing at who she just hit — looks less sorry than hurt by Miguel kissing Sam.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: A fight that was meant to be between only Tory and Sam quickly spirals out of control when Miguel mistakes Robby's attempt to defuse them for an attack. The situation swiftly escalates into an all-out brawl between Miyagi-Do and Cobra Kai.
  • Bookends:
    • The episode begins and ends with "Cruel Summer". The one at the end, though, is a Dark Reprise.
    • Johnny began the series down and out. Now he is again alone, unloved, and jobless.
    • The season opened with Johnny holding Kreese in a choke-hold, but gets attacked by him after letting him go. In this episode, Miguel has Robby incapacitated, but lets him go only to be rewarded by Robby kicking him over the balcony.
  • Blood Knight: Hawk is ecstatic once the fight starts, giving off a war cry before getting involved.
  • By the Hair: How Tory drags Samantha onto the stairway landing in the latter half of the brawl.
  • Call-Back:
    • The use of Bananarama's "Cruel Summer" over everyone's arrival on the first day of school is a callback to the first film.
    • Johnny and Demetri's argument during the latter's one Cobra Kai lesson gets put to the test here. When the brawl breaks out, Demetri goes to get a teacher to stop it. But this fails to work, and when Hawk sets his sights on Demetri, Demetri ends up with no choice but to defend himself, just like Johnny said.
    • Robby pins Miguel against one of the pillars in the school lobby:
      (referencing their match in the tournament last season) "You can't cheat your way out of this one!"
  • Career-Ending Injury: Robby and Miguel's fight ends with Robby inadvertently kicking Miguel into a two story fall, breaking his back and leaving him comatose.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • At Tory's introduction, she talks about using her spiked bracelet as a vicious weapon. She uses it during the school fight and hurts Sam badly enough that she needs stitches.
    • Two episodes ago, Johnny accidentally sent a message to Ali Mills via Facebook Messenger (through no fault of his own) when he had second thoughts about going through with it. The episode concludes with a shot of Johnny's smartphone half-buried in sand, displaying a friend request notification from none other than Ali herself.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Miguel headbutts Robby during the brawl and rubs it in his face that Johnny taught him the move.
  • Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are: Demetri flees and hides the computer lab when Hawk sets his sights on him, while Hawk taunts him in an unsettling creepy voice.
    "Demetri, I know you're in here. Figured you'd hide in the computer lab. You damn nerd."
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The difficulty of individual fights varied, but beat for beat all Miyagi-Do students managed to get the upper hand over their Cobra Kai opponent. But it doesn't really matter much as the scale of the fights, plus Robby injuring Miguel, meant Miyagi-Do students failed their Martial Pacifist philosophy.
  • Cross-Referenced Titles: With the first season finale "Mercy".
  • Darkest Hour: The WHOLE episode. For BOTH sides. By the end, Miguel and Sam are both hospitalized, with the former's injuries being life-threatening and the possibility that he will be paralyzed even if he survives, Robby is on the run from the police, Daniel has shut down Miyagi-Do, seemingly for good, Kreese has reclaimed sole control of Cobra Kai with Hawk and Tory fully committed to his "no mercy" philosophy and Johnny's relationship with Carmen is in tatters, with him being reduced to the same broken-down drunken mess that he was at the beginning of the show.
  • Dark Reprise: As mentioned above, the version of "Cruel Summer" at the end. Instead of the cheerful music and the lyrics being sung in a fun-loving manner, this one has somber music and the lyrics are sung with a beautiful but depressing voice. It really makes you believe that it is indeed a cruel summer...
  • Designated Girl Fight:
    • One that at least has been built up to for half the season, between Tory stealing vodka from the club and Sam kissing Miguel at the party, Tory calls out Samantha in public to fight her one-on-one.
    • Defied with Aisha, who stays out of the fighting and tries to break up Tory and Sam, only to bash the hell out of a (male) Miyagi-do student who mistakes her for an attacker.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Miguel is hospitalized, Carmen blames Johnny for Miguel's injuries and never wants to see him again, and he's lost his dojo and his students to John Kreese, leaving him all alone and with nothing else to do but to drown his sorrows in alcohol by the beachside. He throws away his new smartphone and tosses his car keys into his car, then walks away from it all.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Not at all Played for Laughs. Tory picks a fight with Sam on school grounds because she and Miguel shared a kiss the night before. What was initially meant to be a Designated Girl Fight between Sam and Tory only, quickly escalates into an all-out bloodbath which ultimately ends in tragedy, with Miguel in a life-threatening condition (courtesy of Robby), Kreese seizing control of Cobra Kai along with the respect and loyalty of Johnny's students (leaving him by his lonesome once more), and Daniel closing down the Miyagi-Do dojo out of shame (having failed to uphold his late mentor's philosophy).
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: In an inversion of the Season 1 climax at the All Valley tournament, the fight between Miguel and Robby has gone all the way to the top floor of the campus. Miguel has Robby pinned to the ground and is about to finish him off, before he recalls the lecture described in The Fettered below. No doubt recalling when he had spat on his sense of mercy during the tournament finale in Season 1 and even more furious at the perception of having been outfought throughout, Miguel’s attempt at offering mercy to Robby came across as sheer mockery.
  • Downer Ending: Season 2 ends with Miguel seriously injured and hospitalized, Robby and Sam's relationship ruined (with Robby possibly on the run or arrested), and Daniel giving up teaching karate at Miyagi-Do after his efforts to undermine Cobra Kai only escalate things. The only person who wins is John Kreese, who manages to seize ownership of the Cobra Kai dojo from Johnny along with the faith and respect of Johnny's students, leaving Johnny alone once more and regretting that he ever resurrected the dojo in the first place.
  • Escalating Brawl: What was initially meant to only be a Designated Girl Fight between Sam and Tory, quickly escalates into an all-out brawl between Cobra Kai and Miyagi-do.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: When a teacher attempts to intervene in the brawl and is assaulted by Rickenberger for his trouble, even Hawk looks (briefly) shocked.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Despite all the violence that lead up to it, almost everyone (both Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do) looks horrified when Miguel is injured, with Hawk and Sam running to his side.
  • Extreme Mêlée Revenge: Might as well be the Trope Codifier. Several of the brawls started out in retaliation for things that happened in the past 24 hours. Hawk for Demetri revealing his secrets, Tory for Sam kissing Miguel, and Miguel for mistakenly thinking Robby was assaulting Tory.
  • The Fettered: Inverted. Miguel prepares to finish off a downed Robby, but restrains himself when he recalls Johnny's lecture about mercy and honor. This act of mercy, however, bites Miguel in the back hard, as Robby attacks him unprovoked and inadvertently sends him plummeting down a stairway railing from the second floor, crippling his back and leaving him comatose.
  • Flashback Echo: Daniel and Johnny's "rematch" cuts between the present and the original match from the end of The Karate Kid.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Around 4:44, when Sam and Robby are at Johnny's apartment, we can see that Sam is wearing a Cobra Kai shirt! No doubt Johnny gave that to her just so she would have something clean to wear... but it's a great way to mess with Daniel, too.
  • Get Out!: Johnny attempts to tell off Kreese, who has seized control of the Cobra Kai dojo, but the students present step in to defend their new sensei.
  • The Glasses Come Off: When Bert breaks Nathaniel's Nerd Glasses, Nathaniel removes them and proceeds to take Bert down for some MMA-style ground and pound.
    Nathaniel: Oh, now you're in trouble.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Little Nathaniel may be fighting for Team Miyagi-Do, but he doesn't hesitate to call Bert a "dickhead" when the latter challenges him.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Neither Demetri nor Chris want to partake in the brawl, but their former friends leave them no option. Both defeat their counterparts.
  • Harem Seeker: Hawk gloats about his intention to build a "full rotation" for himself by the midterms.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Johnny's faith in his former sensei bites him in the rear hard, as Kreese swipes control of the Cobra Kai dojo along with the loyalty of nearly all of his students, shortly after the school brawl.
  • Honor Before Reason: Miguel decides, based on Johnny's teachings, to do the honorable thing by apologising to Robby and letting him up when he has him at his mercy rather than decisively ending the fight. This backfires on him when an enraged Robby attacks him and accidentally kicks him over a railing.
  • Hope Spot:
    • Johnny gets to drop off Robby for his first day of school. Even if they still don't see eye to eye about everything, it's wonderful to see them together as father and son. (Especially since Robby is the one to suggest both dojos have lessons that would benefit the other.)
    • Robby confesses to Sam about his insecurity concerning Miguel, Sam forgives him (as she has an embarrassing secret of her own involving Miguel), and both of them seem willing to work through the issues facing their relationship.
    • At the start of the brawl, when Robby briefly manages to separate Sam/Tory, he asks Sam "Are you okay?" Whatever he might have felt about the moments-ago revelation that Sam kissed Miguel, he still cared about her.
    • Demetri narrowly escapes Hawk and hides in the computer lab. The moment he turns around to sneak away, he sees Hawk has already entered the room he's hiding in, having figured out his hiding spot.
    • Miguel defeats Robby and, despite the bloodthirsty cheers of the other students, ultimately remembers Johnny's words and decides to show mercy.
  • Hypocrite: Sam's What the Hell, Hero? to Robby... considering she also just kicked Tory over the railing. Tory's fall was shorter and she caught the rail as she went over, so she wasn't hurt, but could have also broken her neck. Also Sam attacked Tory in self-defense because the latter was about to pound her while wearing spiked knuckles, Robby attacked Miguel even after Miguel showed mercy and stopped fighting after he took Robby down.
  • Improvised Weapon:
    • Tory uses her spiked bracelet as a knuckle duster, which slices Sam's blouse and requires a few lines of stitches on her arm.
    • Chris, meanwhile, demonstrates that knowledge is power.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: The aftermath of the school brawl, combined with pressure from his wife, drives Daniel to give up teaching karate at Miyagi-Do, while also at the same time apologizing to a portrait of Miyagi for failing to uphold his philosophy.
  • It's All My Fault: Three characters blame themselves for the brawl. Johnny blames himself for corrupting his students with the Cobra Kai philosophy to the point they're willing to start a riot, Daniel realizes his efforts to deter Cobra Kai's influence only resulted in his students being dragged down to their level, and Sam blames herself for kissing Miguel and setting Tory off in the first place.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Unfortunately, John Kreese with his "no mercy". When Miguel showed some to Robby was when the latter kicked the former so hard he fell down the stairs.
  • Karma Houdini: Tory remains with Cobra Kai after the school brawl, despite the fact that her earlier actions should have gotten her arrested. Hawk, another of the main instigators of the brawl, also should have been in serious trouble, but he too is among Kreese's students at the end. In fact, it looks like neither the school system nor the cops are coming down on Cobra Kai at all (yet).
    • It turns into Karma Houdini Warranty for Tory, as she temporarily leaves Cobra Kai between this episode and the start of Season 3.
  • Kick the Dog: When one of the teens from the party approaches Hawk and sympathetically tells him that bedwetting is nothing to be ashamed of (as the teen also used to wet the bed himself), Hawk responds by knocking his books out of his hands and telling him to get out of his face.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Demetri is the only one of both dojos who does everything he can to avoid the fighting and get someone to stop it. But when Hawk chases him down, Demetri decides he has to stand and fight and... Hawk is completely unprepared for Demetri's newfound defensive skills and gets thrown into the trophy cabinet.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Because Rosa never told Carmen about the lunchroom brawl between Miguel and Kyler, Carmen never knew that Johnny teaching Miguel to fight also spared him from Kyler's wrath, which he was facing before he befriended Johnny. This ends up working against Johnny as she accuses Miguel of having been a good kid who never got hurt before meeting Johnny, which is totally untrue.
  • Manly Tears: Witnessing a hospitalized Miguel wasn't distressing enough; Johnny listens to a voicemail from Miguel he missed earlier on asking for help, and is unable to hold back his tears.
  • Martial Pacifists: Most of the Miyagi-Do students at least try to play defense and calm down the other side, but all of them get roped into a brawl regardless.
    • Chris finds himself face to face with his former friend Mitch and tells him, "I'm not going to throw the first punch." And Mitch shouldn't have mocked him after landing a good hit, as Chris rebounded using a textbook as a weapon.
    • Demetri does his best to avoid fighting, at first looking for someone to break up the brawl, and then just plain running from Hawk when the latter advances on him predatorily. It's only after being cornered and barraged with blows that he sees fit to fight — and even then, Demetri is an Apologetic Attacker.
    • Sam noticeably tries to avoid striking back against Tory, even trying to convince her to stop in the middle of the fight. She does eventually resort to hitting back, once it becomes clear that words aren't going to deescalate the conflict.
    • And Robby? He avoided involvement in the fight between Sam and Tory for a while. But when it became evident that Tory wasn't going to let up, he went in to haul her off Sam. But then, Miguel showed up, only registering that Robby had Tory against the lockers, and things just fell apart. On both of them.
  • Men of Sherwood: The Rival Dojos' remaining unnamed students finally get their moment. We see some nice moves on both sides even if the focus is still on the main characters.
  • Mob War: For the first few minutes, only Sam and Tory are involved. But one thing leads to another, and it escalates quickly after.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Robby accidentally causes Miguel to fall off the second floor of their school during a fight. He ends up fleeing the scene, but not before a brief shot revealing his horrified reaction.
    • Johnny and Daniel are both hit with this as they realize their rivalry and actions led to their students getting into a brawl and suffering severe injuries.
  • Never My Fault:
    • Hawk and Tory blame Johnny trying to teach mercy to the students for causing Miguel's injuries when Cobra Kai (specifically Tory) were the ones who started the brawl in the first place.
    • Daniel insists that he won't let Cobra Kai get away with the school brawl, ignoring his own students role in escalating things. Amanda's stern telling off seems to open his eyes and he is later shown apologizing to Mr. Miyagi's portrait for failing to uphold his teachings.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Miguel suffers from this epically; he bests Robby yet again, but just as he's about to finish him off, he falls back on what Johnny told him about mercy and stays his hand. This gets him sent flying over the railing and hospitalized in critical, possibly even life-threatening, condition when Robby, who is past the point of being merciful himself, gets a second wind.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: When Sam and Robby interrupt Daniel's fight with Johnny, Sam tries to plead for Robby's innocence, but Daniel is having none of it.
  • Not So Above It All: Aisha initially tries to break up the fight between Sam and Tory, but ends up getting just as caught up in the brawl as the others when she's mistakenly attacked by a Miyagi-Do student.
  • Oh, Crap!: Hoo-boy.
    • Tory's intercom message unnerves Sam, Miguel, and Robby. The boys, in particular, take it worse, since they know that all hell will break loose if Sam and Tory meet up again. When the bell rings, both boys go on a full-blown sprint through the corridors, but only Robby gets there before the fight begins.
    • Sam's expression when Tory produces her spiked bracelet, sparked by this exchange:
      Sam: Is that the only way you know how to fight? DIRTY?!
      Tory: (Taking off her spiked bracelet and wrapping it around her knuckles) This isn't a tournament. There are no rules.
  • Only Sane Man:
    • Demetri's response to the fight, rather than joining in or egging on the fighters, is to get a teacher.
    • Moon intervenes and tries to dissuade everyone from fighting. Unsurprisingly, her pleas fall on deaf ears.
    • Aisha also tries to de-escalate the fighting, and partakes only after a Miyagi-Do student attacks her first.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Whenever Johnny and Daniel meet, usually they get into an argument or make snarky comments at each other within moments. But after learning about the fight at the school (and the outcome), they were so full of guilt that when they meet in the elevator at the hospital, they both remain silent and even avoid making eye contact.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Demetri's idea to get a teacher would be wise when normal high school students are about to fight. Except these students are well-trained in karate and out for blood. When the staffer who does attempt to intervene falls prey to a Curb-Stomp Battle, the teacher that Demetri summons bluntly answers, "Screw this, they don't pay me enough!"
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • Neither Robby nor Johnny thinks to call the LaRussos after Moon's party to tell them Sam stayed the night at Johnny's, despite them generally being Reasonable Authority Figures as parents. Although Johnny says he will have to Daniel about it, he only comes to this conclusion the following morning, by which point it is too late and Daniel is already angry and worried because Sam never came home the night before. He then adds fuel to the fire by not letting Daniel into his apartment straight away, leading to their fight and second falling out and Robby blowing his second chance with Daniel.
    • If Sam had admitted to Robby that she kissed Miguel when she had the chance, he might not have hesitated to help her when the fight with Tory started, and the entire brawl could have worked out differently.
    • Robby's attempt to deescalate the school brawl by pulling Tory off Sam turns into a mess when Miguel arrives at the wrong moment and only sees Robby pinning Tory to a locker and fighting off the Cobra Kais trying to help her. He gets the wrong idea, thinking Robby was attacking her, and in turn tackles Robby, causing the entire situation to spiral out of control.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: You can argue that Miyagi-Do technically won the brawl. All of their main students — Robby, Sam, Demetri, Chris, and Nathaniel — outfought their counterparts from Cobra Kai. However, the fight has put Sam in the hospital, Robby horrifically injured Miguel (and only won because he pulled the Cobra Kai move of attacking Miguel when the latter offered mercy) and will now inevitably go to jail, Daniel is shutting down Miyagi-Do out of guilt over the carnage, and Bert broke Nathaniel's glasses. On top of this, eight Cobra Kai fighters (which include Hawk, Tory, Stingray, and Mitch) have defected to Kreese, who is only going to corrupt them further in the season to come.
  • Railing Kill: Neither of them is (immediately) fatal, but both the Sam/Tory and Robby/Miguel fights end with the Cobra Kai combatants going over a railing.
  • Rejected Apology: Johnny tries to apologize to Carmen for Miguel's state. Carmen, however, is having none of it.
    Johnny: I'm so sorry.
    Carmen: Sorry? Sorry? Before Miguel met you, he was a sweet boy. He avoided fights. Now look what you did. I never want to see you again.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Miguel pins a downed Robby to the floor and prepares to finish him off, but relents when he reminds himself of Johnny's lecture about mercy and honor. Robby, however, attacks Miguel unprovoked, and inadvertently pushes him off the second floor of school grounds, leaving him with life-threatening injuries and Robby potentially facing very serious criminal charges.
  • Say My Name: Tory screams Miguel's name when he falls over the railing.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The teachers and the principal, one of them saying he wasn't paid enough for that. (And they had a point, given what happened to the staff member who did intervene.)
  • Shout-Out:
    • The chimes that open the school announcements sound just like the ones from Grease.
    • During Chris and Mitch's fight, when Chris kicks him into the cinderblock wall, Mitch turns around, puts his head down, and stares for a split second before attacking. This is a Shout-Out to Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
  • Showdown at High Noon: Or at 8:30am in the hallway, but the way it's shot, Tory and Sam might as well be wearing black and white hats.
  • Sickening "Crunch!": A loud one as Miguel lands heavily on the railing, bounces off, and hits the stairs.
  • Slasher Smile: Hawk's manic, full-on Jack Torrance mugging while he looks for Demetri is terrifying.
  • Soft Glass: Downplayed. Hawk is shown with cuts on his face after being kicked into the glass trophy case, but they're still not as severe as they would be in real life.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Several tragic examples.
    • Because they are fighting outside any structure, the Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do fight without any regard for anyone's personal safety. Tory is technically correct when she counters Samantha's accusations of dirty play by indicating they're not in a tournament.
    • Many of the participants are seriously hurt in the melee. Sam requires stitches for being cut with Tory's spikes and may have cracked ribs, while Miguel suffers a Career-Ending Injury and ends up comatose after a two-story fall.
    • At the tournament last season, Robby experienced a Farmer and the Viper moment at Miguel's hands. The roles become reversed on the stairway rails, an indicator that Robby still has a few emotional scars.
    • None of the kids or adults are prepared for Miguel suffering potentially fatal injuries in the fight and react with horror almost universally.
    • What appears to be Social Media Before Reason (the other students taking shots of the battle) might have actually been a sensible idea. One, Moon already tried to get everyone to stop fighting, but to no avail. Two, the brawl escalated as far as it did because fighters on both sides kept jumping in to intervene for their teammates. Three, the authorities (school and police) will have multiple angles of footage of at least some of what really happened.
    • The school staff from teachers to security guards are caught flat footed when it comes to dealing with a large school fight with well trained martial artists. Despite being adults the kids are not that much smaller and even they are not sure how to keep it in check, with one getting beat down hard and another saying they aren't paid enough for this (the only person who is able to stop the confrontation, and actually stops it at some points, is Stingray, there applying for a security guard job, who of course is biased towards the Cobra Kai, being one of them). Though realistically, Tory would have been stopped outside the office after making her announcement, if she got to make it at all, which would have negated the entire event before it began.
    • Handshake agreements are only as valuable as the integrity of the people who make them. Johnny's landlord doesn't like him much, and since Johnny has no written lease agreement, the landlord leases the Dojo to Kreese without a second thought.
    • Cobra Kai emphasizes Attack! Attack! Attack!, a mentality that Tory and Hawk have embrace wholeheartedly. Because of this, they sacrificed defense allowing them to get hit by attacks that would normally be very easy to defend against.
  • Taking the Heat: Robby attempts to divert the blame from Sam and takes full responsibility for keeping quiet about her whereabouts. Daniel, however, wants to hear none of it and leaves with Sam without another word.
  • They Died Because of You: Discussed; Hawk points out that the fault lies on Johnny if Miguel's life-threatening injuries ultimately cost him his life.
    "Miguel's in the hospital because of you. He showed mercy to Robby Keene because of you. If he dies, that's on you."
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Tory ends her public call-out to Samantha with "I'm coming for you, bitch!"
  • Throw the Book at Them: How Chris finally takes down Mitch.
    Chris: Who's badass now?
  • Title Drop: Right before Tory tries to beat Samantha's face in, she hisses the episode's title: "No mercy."
  • Took a Level in Badass: Faced with no other choice but to fight, Demetri is able to fend off several of Hawk's attacks and eventually kick him straight into the school's trophy case for the win. Chris and Nathaniel also do very well against their respective Cobra Kai opponents.
  • Tragic Mistake: Robby was trying to diffuse the situation but when Miguel saw him backing Tory against the locker he bum rushed him and instigated the brawl. Their fight devolved into fighting for Sam's affection, but when Miguel had decided to show mercy and diffuse the situation Robby was too much in a blood rage to just stop.
  • Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: Daniel and Johnny near the end. Up to this point in the series, the two have rarely occupied the same space without snarking at (if not outright fighting) each other. Now, in the aftermath of the brawl, both men are too shell-shocked to even look at each other.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Johnny accuses the remaining Cobra Kai students of being this when they choose to side with Kreese after everything Johnny had done for them.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: The last time Hawk and Demetri faced off against each other, Demetri had barely completed his first few days at Miyagi-Do and decided to try and taunt Hawk with his new "skills," which predictably did not go well. In this episode Hawk targeted Demetri during the school fight, who tried his best to run away, but when they do throw down Demetri's newfound defensive moves catches Hawk off guard, and now being a head taller Demetri was easily able to throw him into the trophy cabinet.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Many former friends are pitted against each other due to the rivalry between Miyagi-Do and Cobra Kai, some of them including Mitch and Chris; and Hawk and Demetri.
  • Wham Episode: One representative of each dojo has been hospitalized, Miyagi-Do is apparently shut down, and Johnny has lost Cobra Kai to Kreese. And this is where they end things for season two.
  • Wham Shot: The episode concludes with a shot of Johnny's smartphone buried in sand; unbeknownst to Johnny, Ali Mills sent him a friend request.
  • What Are Records?: When Johnny drops off Robby at school, we learn that Robby doesn't know what a Trapper Keeper is. But back in the day, Johnny had an awesome one with a fighter jet.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Samantha is the first to call out Robby for kicking Miguel off the second floor. In spirit, Daniel is the second — even after cutting Robby from his life, he expresses shock upon learning what Robby did.
    • Amanda tells off Daniel for the fact his fixation on his high school rival caused their daughter to wind up hospitalized as well as for refusing to admit his culpability afterwards.
  • The Worf Effect: Inverted. Despite Hawk being a top student of Cobra Kai, the pacifistic and amateur Demetri persistently endures his opponent's relentless assaults and wins when he kicks Hawk into a trophy cabinet.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Downplayed. Robby pulls Tory off Sam to try and stop the fight from escalating. Tory proceeds to manhandle him afterward, causing him to flip her into the line of lockers. When Miguel finally reaches them, he thinks Robby is playing this one absolutely straight. Oops.
  • You Are Too Late: How the Abuse Mistake comes into play. Miguel and Robby are furiously racing over to the locker area to stop the imminent brawl between Tory and Samantha. Robby gets there in time to hear the real motivation for the showdown, but it's already in full swing by the time Miguel shows up. Then it all goes sideways.


Video Example(s):


Cobra Kai S02 E10

All hell breaks loose between two karate dojos, which is shown in one continuous shot.

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5 (13 votes)

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