|The Moment of Truth|
|Season 2, Episode 4|
|Air date||April 24, 2019|
|Written by||Josh Heald |
|Directed by||Jon Hurwitz |
Fire and Ice
- "The key to this move is making your enemy think you are retreating. But just as they let their guard down, that's when you strike the hardest."
- ―John Kreese[src]
"The Moment of Truth" is the fourth episode of the second season of Cobra Kai.
Daniel makes another attempt to promote Miyagi Do, and receives guidance in a familiar form. Johnny grows suspicious about Kreese's backstory. A new Cobra Kai student challenges Miguel and befriends Aisha, while Robby revisits a past he'd rather forget.
Demetri's best friends, Miguel and Hawk both train at Cobra Kai, but that place isn't for him. And it was confirmed when he arrived at the dojo after hours, believing Kreese to a be a more amenable alternative to Johnny. After attempting to lay down the law and criticizing Kreese's tattoo, he leaves with a bloodied nose. Turning to Hawk for support, Demetri doesn't find much sympathy. “You know what snitches get,” he says. “They get immunity,” replies Demetri. Hawk is evidently fond of Kreese's attitude and his story about fighting in Mogadishu in the 90s, but Miguel; who knows that Mogadishu is in Somalia, and not Rwanda as Kreese suggests, recognizes he's lying through his teeth and takes his concerns to Johnny. Johnny initially defends him, but his curiosity is piqued.
Following Kreese, Johnny learns that he has been homeless for the last ten years. After Cobra Kai shut down, he was lost and aimless, refusing to take a lucrative job offered by “an old war buddy” because he did not want to accept a hand out. Kreese was then denied re-enlistment in the Army after he failed the psychological evaluation. All his stories were, unsurprisingly, false. But he sees Cobra Kai's recent success at the All-Valley Championships as a second chance at redemption, which Johnny is willing to give him, just so long as he agrees to do things Johnny's way. Meanwhile, Robby and Sam are curious as to why Cobra Kai is more popular than Miyagi-Do; Robby reasons it's that the former prizes offense, which looks more appealing, whereas the latter is all about karate as a means of self-defense. Daniel uses a story about his first job selling cars as an analogy for why Miyagi-Do has to maintain its truth and authenticity, which is more meaningful and long-lasting than flashy lights and gimmicks. Thus, he takes the kids on a recruitment drive to the local beach club, where he can schmooze the well-to-do parents.
Cobra Kai, meanwhile, has a new recruit: Tory, with a “Y”, who takes on Miguel during her first session and wins with the sneaky underhanded tactics that Kreese loves so much. Seeing a potential ally in her, Aisha asks if she'll accompany her to the beach club, where her surprisingly smoking-hot mother is undermining Daniel's efforts at promoting Miyagi-Do by showing off footage of the Cobra Kai demonstration at Valley Fest. Sam, trying to make amends with Aisha, clashes with Tory, who is nicking bottles of vodka and just generally being aggressive. When Amanda's wallet goes missing, Sam accuses Tory, who throws her through a table full of cakes. The wallet is missing because Robby's old pals from the show's first season spend the summer there nabbing wallets and stashing them on the beach. After the beach management attempts to throw him out because of his old friends, Robby tries to prove that he is no longer associated with them by starting a fight and filming it. However, Robby is then jumped by their newest recruit. Fortunately, Daniel intervenes just in time and whoops the attackers, which is all caught on video. Daniel refuses to use the footage on principle, but instead echoes the sentiments shared with him by a fisherman he encountered on the beach earlier: "If you’re offering something worthwhile, the bites will come eventually". Daniel suggested to the fisherman that he reminds him heavily of an old friend.
Back at the dojo, Daniel is explaining that he is content to be patient and wait for the people who need them, right as Demetri walks in. The episode ends with Kreese taking over a demonstration at Cobra Kai. He says explicitly, “Just as they let their guard down, that’s when you strike the hardest.”
- The episode title is possibly a nod to the song, by the band, Survivor, of the same title played in the end credits of the original film.