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"To show the world that you're not a bunch of pansy-ass nerds! We're gonna show 'em that you're tough! Because eagles don't get shit on. They're the ones that do the shitting. Just don't forget, being a badass doesn't mean being an asshole. The goal isn't to hurt other kids."
Johnny Lawrence[src]

"The Good, The Bad, and The Badass" is the eighth episode of the third season of Cobra Kai.

Summary

Informed that this year's All Valley Karate Tournament is being canceled, the three competing sensei attend a city council meeting to save it.

Plot

The episode opens by showing the contrasting methodologies at play as Daniel and Johnny both begin coaching again. They both arrive to pick Robby up from prison, still bickering about Kreese, but Robby isn’t happy to see either of them and tells both to stay out of his life.

Things are more positive for Miguel and Sam, who run into each other at school and decide they can get back together, and Yasmine and Demetri are also together now, even if she denies it.

But all three karate schools are dealt a blow when Ron informs Daniel that the All Valley Karate Tournament has been cancelled by the council so as not to foster an environment of violence. Since Daniel is the two-time champ, he might be able to overturn their decision, even if he thinks it might be for the best. But Sam insists that karate and Miyagi-Do getting a bad reputation isn’t going to help anyone.

Nobody wants the tournament to go ahead more than Miguel, who is struggling in training and obviously sees it as an opportunity to prove himself. He’s furious when Johnny reveals that he wouldn’t let him compete in the tournament anyway, despite it being for his own protection. This tournament obviously means a lot to many people, for very different reasons. The only person who seems unconcerned is Robby, who runs into Tory at the probation office and clearly begins to ponder the idea that Sam will eventually turn on him as the bitter Tory claims.

At least Carmen gets it. She goes to speak with Johnny at his apartment. And while she confesses to blaming him for what happened to Miguel she realizes now that it wasn’t his fault and that Johnny was just as hurt by what happened as she was. She reaffirms the idea that being a sensei is Johnny’s calling, and that he has to save the tournament since there are other Miguel’s out there who need him.

Thus, Daniel, Johnny, and Kreese are all present at the Northridge City Council to appeal against the All Valley cancellation. The latter speaks first, playing up his military history and falsely states that Miyagi-Do started the violence and paints a negative picture of the LaRussos which infuriates Daniel and Amanda. Amanda had to be escorted out for her interference. Johnny and Daniel team up against Kreese with also a shouting match between the them grows, with their combativeness only making the case that the tournament shouldn’t continue. But Miguel, the recent champion, arrives in the nick of time to interrupt, and Sam too, and they both make an impassioned plea for a place they can compete fairly and safely. Miguel recounts being bullied and insists there will always be bullies; karate is about standing up to them. The board is convinced and, conditional to everyone signing a disclaimer, the tournament is back on.

"The scars you can't see are the ones that hurt the most."
Samantha LaRusso


High on their success, Sam and Miguel chatted at the Miyagi-Do dojo, but Robby catches them. He attempts to attack Miguel but Sam intervenes to prevent Robby from starting another fight, proving that these various rivalries are far from over, tournament or not. At least things go better for Johnny. Carmen arrives at his apartment and they kiss, quickly heading to the bedroom at the expense of the television. Meanwhile, Robby arrives where Kreese knew he’d eventually end up — at Cobra Kai.

Trivia/Episode Discussion

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