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Mercy Recap

At the All Valley Sports Arena, the doors open for the karate championship. Outside of the arena, Miguel is angrily practicing his punches. Aisha tells Eli not to bother trying to calm Miguel down since Miguel has been angry since Samantha broke up with him. One of the other students, Bert, says that he saw Johnny at the mini-mart in the parking lot, drunk and pissing on a LaRusso car. Eli worries that Johnny might have killed himself, and figures that they'll have to do without Johnny... just as Johnny arrives. He tells them to wait to sign up because there's one more lesson he has to teach them.

Inside the arena, Johnny reminds his students of everything that he's taught them. He then teaches them the third rule: "No mercy". Johnny explains that life isn't fair and describes things that have happened to him. He tells them that they do whatever it takes to keep moving forward and win, and that they should remember that they're badass because they're Cobra Kai. His students yell in agreement, and Johnny hands out their new gis.

At home, Amanda finds Daniel and Samantha sitting on the couch looking at their phones. She refuses to go to the tournament by herself, and reminds Daniel that the autogroup is one of the tournament's main sponsors. Once Amanda leaves, Samantha says that she'll go if Daniel wants to go. Daniel refuses at first, but admits that it's the 50th anniversary, and Samantha points out that everyone she knows will be there.

The committee board stands on the balcony and admire the new turnout. Daniel and his family arrive, and the board members come over and applaud Daniel. Daniel sees a poster of himself and stares at it.

Daryl welcomes everyone to the tournament and introduces the participating dojos. Carmen and Rosa sit in the standards and Carmen worries if Miguel loses. Rosa assures her that Miguel will learn if he loses, and she smoked a joint before they came. Daniel and his family take their front-row seats as Johnny's students come out chanting "Cobra Kai". Johnny follows them out as Daryl congratulates them on their opening and their name. Miguel glares over at Samantha, and Daryl announces that Robby is fighting as an unaffiliated entrant. Daniel tells Amanda that he didn't know Robby was fighting.

Johnny whispers something to Miguel before his first match. Miguel performs Daniels' crane kick and scores his first point with a head kick. Robby fights his way through the ranks, while Aisha takes down her opponent with a face shot. Eli lands a vicious blow to his opponent and rips off his shirt as he yells, and Moon tells Demetri that Eli is hot. The smaller Bert quickly goes down.

In the semi-finals, Miguel takes down Bert's opponent and glances over at Samantha, who looks away in disgust. Robby defeats his opponent and glares over at Johnny. Aisha loses her match and swears at her opponent, Xander, and walks off. Samantha goes after her and tells her former friend that she did a good job. Aisha doesn't want Samantha's sympathy .

Daryl introduces the remaining contestants: Miguel, Eli, Robby, and Xander Stone, the son of Amanda's friend Patricia. Xander is the returning contestant and talks about how they all have to fight against hatred.

Samantha apologizes to Aisha for abandoning her and hanging out with Yasmine, and says that she saw Aisha do a front-wedgie on Yasmine. They share a laugh and Aisha says that they could use another girl whether Samantha is with Cobra Kai or not.

Xander continues his speech and asks everyone to join in a moment of silence against intolerance. Johnny tells Miguel to kick Xander in the face. Daryl quickly takes the microphone and announces the first match: Miguel versus Xander. Miguel finally takes Xander down with a head kick, scoring his second point against Xander's first. Patricia cheers her son on, and Johnny yells encouragement to Miguel. Miguel takes Xander down with a kick to the stomach and is declares the winner.

Eli fights Robby, and Daniel tells Amanda that Robby isn't his student. He's still angry that Robby liked to him. Amanda points out that Robby is fighting against Johnny's students. Johnny tells Eli not to go easy on Robby, and the two fight. Eli scores the first point, and Daniel yells to Robby telling him to remember what he learned. Robby focuses and remembers what Daniel taught him about searching inside of himself to find balance in his life. When Eli comes at him, Robby deflects his blows and takes him down with a kick to the jaw. When Robby insults his hair, Eli kicks him in the shoulder. The ref declares him disqualified for an illegal contact, and when Johnny comes over Robby rebuffs him.

Daniel goes to the locker room where Robby is checking his injury. He tells Robby that what's between Robby and Johnny is different than what they have, and Robby apologizes for lying to him. Robby explains that he wanted to get back at his father, and Daniel tells him that he won't find his balance that way. He points out that Johnny is Robby's father and Robby is lucky to have one. Daniel says that Jonny is a guy with a lot of demons, and Miyagi taught him that there's no such thing as a bad student: just a bad teacher.

In the hallway, Johnny sees a photo of his teacher, Kreese.

Daniel tells Robby that he doesn't have to go down the path that Kreese sent Johnny down, and if Robby releases his anger then he'll feel great when he goes home whether he wins or loses. Robby says that he can't fight because of his shoulder injury, and Daniel calls for a medic.

When Samantha and Aisha come back, Miguel approaches Samantha and apologizes to her. He says that hitting her was an accident, and Samantha tells him that he shouldn't have been trying to hit anyone. She says that she expects Miguel to act like a normal person, and Miguel tells her that Robby is the enemy and he didn't wait for her to attack. Samantha doesn't know who Miguel is anymore, and Miguel tells her to watch what he does to Robby in the finals. Samantha tells Amanda that she has to go and Amanda says that she'll go with her.

The medic snaps Robby's dislocated shoulder back into place. Once she leaves, Daniel tells Robby that he doesn't need to fight. Robby figures that he'll have to face Miguel eventually and it might as well be at the tournament.

Daryl announces the final showdown, and learns that Daniel is going to coach Robby. Johnny comes over and Daniel says that someone needs to be there for Robby. Once he returns to Robby, Daniel tells the boy to let Miguel come to him. The two teenagers fight and Robby scores the first point. Miguel scores his first point, and then hits Robby in his bad shoulder for his second point.

Daniel calls time and tells Robby to find his balance. Robby blocks all of Miguel's blows and uses his own momentum to knock him out of bounds. Miguel knocks Robby to the mat, and Robby does a two-legged kick to score his second point. When he offers to help Miguel off, Miguel yanks on his hand, aggravating Robby's shoulder injury. Robby tells Daniel to let him finish, and Daniel agrees but tells him to be careful.

Johnny tells Miguel that they don't have to win dirty. Miguel reminds Johnny that he taught him that there's nothing dirty about winning, and assures Johnny that he can win. The two teenagers, tied at 2 points each, engage in the final round. Miguel catches Robby's kick, kicks him in the shoulder, and then kicks him in the stomach to score the winning point. Miguel's fellow students come out to congratulate Miguel, and Miguel pulls Johnny over when he tries to go to Robby.

Daryl presents Miguel with the trophy, and Miguel tells the crowd that he wouldn't be there without Johnny. Johnny takes the trophy and then goes after Daniel and Robby. He apologizes, and Robby tells him that it's okay before leaving. Daniel tells Johnny that he got what he wanted and won, and leaves with Robby.

Carmen and Rosa congratulate Miguel, who realizes that Samantha isn't there. Demetri tells Miguel that he's reconsidering joining Cobra Kai, and says that Samantha left awhile ago.

That night at home, Samantha goes into Daniel's dojo. She looks at a photo of the two of them together, and then launches a series of karate kicks.

As Daniel drives Robby, he assures Robby that he fought with honor and is the real winner. He tells Robby that he's proud of him, and Robby figures that Johnny is happy that Cobra Kai will take over karate in the valley. Daniel says that it'll happen over his dead body. He drives Robby to the used car lot and explains that they have to be ready to fight back. Daniel turns on the lights, revealing the Miyagi-Do Karate Dojo where he trained.

Johnny sits in his office drinking and looking at the trophy. He hears someone come in and goes to investigate. A figure in the shadows congratulates Johnny on doing what he always thought he could do: win. Kreese steps out of the shadows and says that Cobra Kai is back on top and people see that the real story has only just begun.

Written by Gadfly on Aug 11, 2018

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