- "Do you remember when we got from 'Nam? We went through hell seeing our friends die. Only to be welcomed back by hippies who called us killers. People needed to learn respect, some discipline. That's why we started Cobra Kai. Together, we made a difference. [..] We can do it again. There's a whole new generation out there that can use what we know. The only thing standing in our way is Daniel LaRusso. [..] He's even team up with... Johnny Lawrence. [..] That's why I'm here. I need a partner. And the only other person who knows how to teach Cobra Kai is you."
- ―Kreese tries to recruit Silver
Johnny and Daniel combine dojos but their opposing styles immediately clash. Kreese tries to persuade a former partner to rejoin him at Cobra Kai.
A man frantically plays a piano in a lavish mansion. His phone buzzes with an unknown caller, so he answers it. On the other end is John Kreese, greeting the man as an old friend. He simply hangs up and resumes playing the piano.
In the backyard of Miyagi-Do dojo, Johnny Lawrence shouts that the group will begin. Demetri hesitantly raises his hand, questioning what it is they are beginning. Johnny and Daniel LaRusso exchange a look. Sensei LaRusso believes they'll begin a new era, as rivalries don't have to last forever. They have to work together against Cobra Kai if they want to beat them in the All Valley. Sensei Lawrence jumps in that they have to beat their asses. They're going to learn to be more aggressive, countering "strike first" with "pre-strike". Daniel interjects that they will respond to Cobra Kai's actions. Johnny instantly negates this as eagles don't respond, they swoop down and take what they want. They're going to take back the valley. Thus, begins the differing approaches to warm ups and in training. Sensei Lawrence commands Bert and Mitch to fight, though it's more of a brawl with little technique. Meanwhile, Sam and Demetri circle one another waiting for the other to attack in a rather boring stand-off. The wax-on-wax-off technique is adapted by Johnny as his students clean out his car. He creates a make-shift obstacle course for his students. A sparring match inside leads to Hawk putting his foot through the paper windows, upsetting Daniel who adds that Miyagi-Do never spars inside Mr. Miyagi's house.
Over at Cobra Kai, Tory takes her frustrations out on a Bob bag. Kyler brags to his friends over being accepted into ASU, his option for Harvard, and pick of girls. Tory calls him pathetic, as they would have won the fight if he'd handled his business. He blames Hawk for switching sides, but Tory reminds him that Miguel just got out of a wheelchair and still kicked his ass. He snaps that he's still here while half of the squad quit. Kreese overhears them arguing from his office. Robby enters the dojo which creates tension. Kyler doesn't understand why Robby gets to stay when he doesn't even practice.
Robby heads into the back room and is packing when Kreese chastizes him for being late. He cuts him off as he isn't interested in being a Cobra Kai and just needed a place to crash for a few days and now he's leaving. Kreese offers to let him stay as long as he wants. Robby, however, isn't interested in being a pawn in the bet between the dojos. Kreese doesn't think of Robby as a pawn, but a king. He mentions that his father Johnny had all the talent but squandered it. He had the chance to come back but chose Diaz instead. Now, Robby has a mark on his head to show for it. He thinks Robby has more talent than Johnny ever did. Robby doesn't care about the trophy, though Kreese thinks the reputation of being a champion - win or loss - will follow him for the rest of his life. After all, Daniel and Johnny aren't the only ones teaming up.
Daniel and Sam coming home triggers the house alarm. Amanda and Anthony run out with her clutching a bat. She's relieved to see it's just Daniel and Sam. She answers a call from the security company to assure them it's a false alarm. The couple sits for a glass of wine as she admits to feeling trapped and more on-edge than ever because of the alarm. She thinks the Cobra Kais should be locked up, especially Tory. They can still go to the police but she refuses. Neither Sam nor their business can handle that nightmare. She can't believe their family's safety hinges on Daniel winning a karate tournament. He wants things to be normal too, but has to work with Johnny for once. They haven't beaten each other up yet, and the couple toasts to progress. He's sure they can win with LaRusso 2.0 on their side. Everyone will see Cobra Kai doesn't work, especially Robby. Sam overhears the end of the conversation.
Johnny makes dinner for the Diaz family, basing it off a Mexican dish from Chili's. Rosa chuckles in Spanish as they're Ecuadorian, not Mexican. Johnny pours salsa on her plate which makes Carmen chuckle. She asks about the first day of training, which is an admitted work in progress. She's glad the men are working together but wants to ensure Miguel's safety. Miguel promises that his back is in better shape than ever, while Johnny promises to watch out for him. Rosa asks how things are going with him and Sam. Carmen is also being happy for the reconciliation. Miguel changes the subject to Johnny reuniting with the "love of his life", the "one that got away". Johnny tries to brush it off as having not been a date, but Miguel brings up the photos they took to make him look cool. He references the sushi debacle and the mini golf course. Johnny looks nervously at Carmen.
After dinner, Carmen and Johnny wash dishes as he tries to say that things with Ali weren't romantic. He's about to tell her about his plans on the night of the LaRusso house fight, but she cuts him off. She thinks they should slow things down and wants to give it time. He unconvincingly agrees to giving it time, but tosses the sponge once she's gone.
Kreese visits the aforementioned mansion where a maid named Carla drops an ice scoop but an older man steps in to help her. When he straightens up, he spots Kreese, revealing himself as Terry Silver. They flash to their time in 1985 with Silver in the driver's seat of his car, high-fiving each other triumphantly while speaking the Cobra Kai Never Dies motto. Now, Silver asks Kreese what he wants and Kreese says that he's not there to cause trouble. As he moves to his old friend, Kreese notices the soirée going on in the backyard, which is full of younger adults. A woman walks over to see if things are okay. She introduces herself as Cheyenne, referring to Silver as "Terrance". Kreese believes the pair are married, but she laughs off the allegation - they're merely enjoying the journey for now. She invites him to stay for hors d'oruvres. Kreese stays despite Silver's clear disliking of the idea.
Meanwhile, Johnny and Daniel prepare their students for the next phase of training. Johnny will take the front yard while Daniel will take the back. Miguel thought they were stronger together, but the sensei's assure the students they are still working together - just separately. The students say goodbye to their friends, while Sam and Miguel agree to see each other after class. Later, Johnny welcomes Hawk to Eagle Fang with a front sweep. The class will practice the new move on Hawk, who admits to being a dick but is sorry for his actions. Johnny thinks talk is cheap and calls up the next student, Mitch, to take his turn.
Robby lifts weights in the back room of the Cobra Kai dojo. Tory remarks that he's supposed to use a spotter, but he doesn't need one. She calls him out for hiding during the LaRusso fight. He doesn't know what she was thinking breaking into the house, trying to hurt Sam, and then thinking everything would be sunshine and rainbows and she's lucky they didn't call the police. Tory defends herself as she's not straddling the fence like he is. Girls like Sam LaRusso think the world revolves around them because all she has to do is make a puppy dog face and say please to get what she wants. She still has Robby wrapped around her finger, after all. He claims that isn't true, but Tory wonders why he's defending her then. She warns that if he's going to stay on defense, then this dojo isn't right for him.
Meanwhile, Kreese tries to blend-in at the soirée, but the vegan tofu skewers are unappealing. Cheyenne asks about their past, with Kreese admitting they were in the Special Forces together. This is news to her as she didn't know Terrance was in the military. He claims there's not much to tell. Kreese notices a man ogling him, and the man compliments Kreese's impeccable Habsburg jawline. Cheyenne raves that Terrance is hosting the launch of her Mindfulness app. She wants to teach students all over the country to be mindful of others and themselves. Kreese likens it to him and Terrance's past of teaching children martial arts. Cheyenne refers to the groups as The Vipers. Kreese corrects that it's Cobra Kai. The man beside him calls it adorable, likening it to a karate phase. Kreese snaps it's a way of life that you can never fully leave behind.
Daniel teaches meditation and emotional control to the Miyagi-Do's, but Eagle Fang's boisterous antics and foul language breaks the teams concentration. Daniel goes outside to ask Johnny to keep it down, taking him around the back to talk in private. Johnny notes that karate isn't exactly a quiet sport.
While taking a break, Hawk retreats into the dojo where he mutters over having to "walk off" being punched below the belt saying he's just trying his best. He notices a painting on the wall and examines it. Demetri enters, explaining it's a sparring deck where Mr. Miyagi's great-grandfather taught karate on the Okinawan waterfront. Hawk touches the frame just as Chris tells him to be careful. He jokes that Chris is afraid he'll break it but Chris is serious, since Hawk already broke a door, stole Mr. Miyagi's medal, and beat up a now-angry Nate. Hawk lowers his guard to give a genuine apology for his past mistakes. Still holding a grudge, Chris tells him to go back to the Eagle gang as he's not wanted in Miyagi-Do. Hawk looks to Demetri for support, but doesn't get it, so he leaves.
Daniel and Johnny argue over the disaster of their teaching styles. Hawk intercepts Daniel as he's having trouble fitting in. Daniel doesn't know what Hawk expected since he burned bridges with everyone here. Depleted, Hawk walks away while a regretful Daniel tries to call him back. The students gather behind the senseis as Johnny blames Daniel for Hawk walking out of practice. The students watch the increasing bickering as Johnny claims he'll do what he wants with his class, while Daniel knows what Johnny is trying to do. They continue to bicker as they walk away from the students. Miguel and Sam exchange a worried look.
Johnny and Miguel walk to their apartments. Miguel wants the two senseis to get along, but Johnny thinks there's too much history. However, Miguel references Rocky III and the alliance between Apollo Creed and Rocky. He adds that even if Rocky and Apollo had history, the two needed to set their differences aside to defeat Clubber Lang. Johnny has to be the Apollo in the situation, as striking first is more badass. Johnny promises to think about it. Now alone, Miguel calls Sam. She's in her car watching Robby skateboard. They hope their plan to keep the dojos together works. They have to try everything no matter how difficult it might be.
Sam hangs up and approaches Robby. She came there everyday after he ran away hoping to find him. She was angry at him for what happened at the school, but never stopped caring about him. He points out she never stopped caring about Miguel either. She admits to thinking that was over but it was more complicated. He doesn't think it's that complicated - it's a choice and she chose. She admits that's true, but doesn't want him to make the wrong choice now. He's a good person and everyone knows it, including his dad. He counters that his father made a choice and chose to become a drunk loser who still hasn't figured out his life, but is trying to make up for it to feel better about himself. He knows that won't happen. Sam knows that his dad is trying to change, so is hers, and if Robby could come back it would bring everyone together. That's all she wants. He gets to be the first person to tell her that she's not getting what she wants. She's taken aback but reminds him this was his choice. Robby walks off to continue skating.
Kreese leans on the balcony as Silver joins him. Silver thinks he's there for money, but Kreese wants to finish what they started. He mentions they tried that 35 years ago before Kreese vanished. He also owns up to his mistakes but is back now, and wants Silver back too. Silver thinks he's doing just fine, but Kreese knows the old Silver would have round-housed the man who called Cobra Kai adorable. He references coming home from Vietnam where after seeing their friends die, they were welcomed by hippies calling them killers. The reason why they opened Cobra Kai is to teach those people respect and discipline. They can do it again with a new generation, but Daniel LaRusso stands in their way alongside a teamed-up Johnny Lawrence. He needs a partner and the only other person who knows how to teach Cobra Kai is Silver. The man muses for a moment then declines. Silver explains that back in the 1980s, he thought he could conquer the world, and almost did. He abused cocaine and was vindictive that he terrorized a teenager over a tournament, making him look deranged talking about his experiences. He hit rock bottom after that but found clarity in therapy and rebuilt his lost fortune. Kreese disappearing was the best thing to happen to him. Going into the sunset might work for Silver, but Kreese still has fight left in him. He leaves while Silver leans on the balcony.
Johnny practices an apology speech to Daniel just as someone knocks on the door. It's Daniel, holding a six-pack of beer, wanting to talk. He apologizes for the actions of the day. They drink beer with Johnny offering sliced ham that Daniel declines. Daniel acknowledges how difficult it must have been for Johnny to come to Miyagi-Do, but thinks for the sake of the kids that he should join Miyagi-Do. Johnny thinks Daniel should join Eagle Fang instead. Daniel explains that Miyagi-Do has a rich history while bluntly explaining how Eagle Fang began three weeks ago in a park. Johnny counters that just because something's better around longer doesn't make it better, especially since Miyagi-Do doesn't even have a good place to fight. They agree the co-sensei thing won't work and agree to tell the kids tomorrow.
The next morning, Sam sits in the backseat of Miyagi's car when Miguel arrives. He pretends to be the chauffeur but Sam isn't in a playful mood. Her dad was gone when she got up and neither of them know if their sensei's had a chance to talk. They see Hawk walking to the backyard with a sledgehammer.
Kyler, Tory, and the rest of the Cobra Kai's arrive at the dojo to find Robby ready to warm them up. Kyler remarks that Robby's not a member of the team and should get out. Tory asks why Robby thinks they want him, anyway. He makes a proposition - if anyone can land a hit on him he'll leave. Kyler instantly takes him up on the offer, but a simple front-kick from Robby puts him down. The other students take turns attacking Robby, but he easily subdues them with the defensive techniques he learned from Daniel coming into use. He squares off again with Kyler and another student, before Tory jumps in. He flips her to the mat and asks for no hard feelings. She kicks him in the face and he falls. He's ready to honor their deal, but she tells him to stay.
Daniel arrives at the dojo and is surprised that Johnny is on time. They prepare to get on the same page when they hear grunting and Hawk yelling "it's coming down". They rush to find Hawk taking a sledgehammer to the back fence. Daniel confronts him with the student nervously admitting talk is cheap, so he's building a bridge. Demetri clarifies that it's an Okinawan sparring deck, the same one from the painting he saw inside earlier. Hawk designed the specs while Demetri double-checked the physics. Sam and Miguel appear from the back area where Sam reminds Daniel that Mr. Miyagi used the area for extra storage, though it's just dead plants now. Plus, a new deck would mean more room for training. Miguel adds they are all going to help build it if their senseis approve. The men are dumbfounded as they look at their hardworking students. After, they both approve the decision and join the students in cleaning up.
Robby explains to the Cobra Kai's that their enemies are working together to beat them. They think they're better than Cobra Kai's - he knows because he was one of Daniel's students. But that stops today. He didn't want to join Cobra Kai but he had to look in the mirror and realize who he was.
Cheyenne asks Silver to get a bottle of wine from the cellar.
Robby adds it's not how you start but how you finish. To beat the enemy, they have to know the enemies' playbook. He's going to do that by teaching them Miyagi-Do karate so they can beat Miyagi-Do karate. He turns to Kreese, stating the students are warmed up for him.
Silver heads to the cellar to get one of his many bottles of wine. He sees an expensive wine bottle perched on a crate and expertly spin-kicks it off the crate and shatters against the wall. Cheyenne asks if he's okay and he says he's coming.
- Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso
- William Zabka as Johnny Lawrence
- Courtney Henggeler as Amanda LaRusso
- Xolo Maridueña as Miguel Diaz
- Tanner Buchanan as Robby Keene
- Mary Mouser as Samantha LaRusso
- Jacob Bertrand as Eli "Hawk" Moskowitz
- Gianni Decenzo as Demetri
- Peyton List as Tory Nichols
- Vanessa Rubio as Carmen Diaz
- Thomas Ian Griffith as Terry Silver
- Martin Kove as John Kreese
- Griffin Santopietro as Anthony LaRusso
- Joe Seo as Kyler Park
- Aedin Mincks as Mitch
- Khalil Everage as Chris
- Kevin Allison as Emile
- Salome Azizi as Cheyenne Hamidi
- Rose Bianco as Rosa
- Owen Morgan as Bert
- Nathaniel Oh as Nathaniel
- The episode title and the script reveal was officially released on Instagram on February 26, 2021.
- The episode title most likely refers to the final line of Season 3.
- Let's Begin marks the first present-day appearance of Thomas Ian Griffith (Terry Silver) in Cobra Kai. Griffith was last seen in The Karate Kid Part III, however, Terry Silver appeared in flashbacks in the Season 3 finale, December 19.
- It is revealed that during the events of The Karate Kid Part III, Silver had a cocaine addiction, explaining his irrational behaviour.
- Let's Begin featured a dedication to the late Ed Asner (Sid Weinberg), who died in 2021.
- Many flashback scenes from The Karate Kid Part III are seen, these have been re-scanned in HD format from the original negatives.
- Let's Begin picks up from the moment December 19 ended, with no time having passed in-universe.
- However some of the Miyagi-Do students that appeared in the final scene of December 19 do not appear in the opening of this episode, creating a continuity error.
- Robby's time with Miyagi-Do Karate in Season 1 and Season 2 is mentioned.
- It's the second (and for now the last) time that Johnny calls Daniel by his first name, the first was in the previous episode "December 19"
- The song that the man plays on the piano in the beginning of the episode is called La Campanella.
Behind the Scenes
|The Karate Kid Franchise|