“Hey! Long time,” John Kreese says into the phone at the end of Season 3 of Netflix’s Cobra Kai right after making an arrangement with Daniel and Johnny to settle their dispute at the All Valley High competition. The suggestion, of course, is that Kreese is calling his friend from Vietnam who — in the flashback in the scene before — said to Kreese, “I owe you, man. You saved my ass. Anything you need, I’m there for you. Your whole life. You hear me? Your whole life.”
The phone call, in effect, sets up Season 4, and knowing who is on the other end of the phone also establishes the contours of next season. The nickname of the character in Vietnam whose life Kreese saved was Twig, but his real name is Terry Silver, a character played by Thomas Ian Griffith in Karate Kid III.
In that third Karate Kid movie, we learn that Silver was a friend of Kreese’s from the Vietnam War. He’s also a wealthy businessman (who owns a toxic-waste disposal business) and the founder and owner of Kreese’s Cobra Kai dojo. Silver and Kreese had designs on opening up an entire franchise of Cobra Kai dojos, but Daniel’s defeat of Johnny Lawrence in Karate Kid destroyed those plans. In Karate Kid III, Silver (along with Kreese) is out for revenge, and in an effort to gain that revenge, Terry Silver brings in a Mike Barners, a vicious karate prospect, to defeat Daniel at the All Valley competition. Silver also briefly turns Daniel against Miyagi, training Daniel himself, which obviously brings out the worst in Daniel. Miyagi has to step in and undo all the poisoning inflicted on Daniel by Silver.
The phone call at the end of season three suggests that the trick Kreese has up his sleeve in Season 4 is Silver, who I expect is still a wealthy businessman and capable of bankrolling another “vicious” prospect who can defeat Miguel at the All Valley High. I am also guessing that the new vicious prospect will probably alienate Robby at Cobra Kai, hopefully driving him back to Johnny and Daniel.
What’s less clear is whether Thomas Ian Griffith will return for Cobra Kai Season 4. He hasn’t had an acting credit in nearly 15 years, although his performance in Karate Kid III was singled out for transcending the otherwise subpar installment. John Hurwitz, the showrunner of Cobra Kai, has not confirmed the return of the character, although he confirms his identity and alludes to the possibility of his return. “We can’t really speak to how Terry Silver would respond to that call,” Hurwitz told EW. “I think you’ll have to see if that character returns in Season 4.”
On the other hand, why create that backstory for Terry. Silver, and introduce that phone call to Silver unless the plan is to bring him back for Season Four of the series? Let’s just hope that writers do a better job with Season 4 of Cobra Kai than Robert Mark Kamen did with Karate Kid III. Let’s also hope that Anthony LaRusso is not the ringer, although if they want to bring Aisha back for this, that’d be more than OK.