Cobra Kai Season 3’s Johnny Lawrence: A Review

Season three Johnny is fighting the pull of toxic masculinity.

Cobra Kai is back, and if you are fun and cool, you should watch it because everyone who is fun and cool will like it. I mean, there’s intrigue, there’s romance, there’s hardcore karate-ing between teenagers who somehow know how to use nunchucks, there’s Dee Snider. What’s not to like?

Most importantly, though, there’s Johnny Lawrence. And, after two seasons of shame and inner turmoil, I feel like I can finally go public with my fandom. Yes, I know Johnny has some problematic tendencies. Yes, I know he has some outdated views. And yes, he’s been known to make the occasional sexist and culturally insensitive remark. But if Season 3 has shown us anything (other than that teenagers are the fucking worst and also tacky), it’s that people can grow. Thanks to Miguel — and underrated queen Carmen — Johnny is trying to be a better man, and that must count for something, dammit.

Today, I review the new and improved Johnny Lawrence.


The Season 3 version of Johnny Lawrence


He's fighting to become a better man, and that's got to count for something.

  • Working on his shortcomings
  • #hashbrowns
  • Practicing more responsible badassery
  • Good at karate
  • Helps Miguel walk again
  • Not ashamed to apologize
  • Unbothered by social norms and arbitrary social media conventions (will write very long message in all caps and like all of your Facebook pictures)
  • Committed to self-improvement (shaves, learns how to charge laptop, no longer airing misogynistic views every five minutes)
  • Will fight several people while intoxicated, why not, he’s not afraid of you
  • Underrated sense of humor
  • Kind eyes
  • Could get it, if we’re being honest
  • True to ideals (doesn’t fall for John Kreese’s multiple corruption attempts)
  • Trying to be a better dad
  • Awesome red jacket
  • Mastermind behind beautiful and perfect “Eagle Fang” concept & logo
  • Fighting the pull of toxic masculinity
  • Willing to reexamine old grudges for the greater good
  • Gives alcohol to minors
  • Issues letting go (See: Ali with an I, LaRusso rivalry, hair, Coors Banquet, bothersome attachment to old issues of provocative magazines)
  • Should maybe try consulting actual medical experts before trying unorthodox and some would say *not good* physical therapy tactics
  • Should maybe consider not lighting teenagers on fire
  • Should maybe not get in fights with multiple people while intoxicated
  • Should have considered not being a crappy dad in the first place
  • Bailed on Robby again
  • Maybe some therapy?
  • Doesn’t know about mongooses, apparently

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One Comment

  1. A show needs to b woke o make a character that “problematic” be redeemable. It shows an understanding of toxic masculity when representing it that also allows for its critique not just reproducing it. It also shows how reactionaries use and comprehend those concepts. it’s great! And it was even more explicit in doing so this 3rd season.

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