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TELLY TALK TODAY #08—MY REVIEW OF COBRA KAI: SEASON 5, EPISODE 2.



Greetings and bienvenue, all.


In this installment of my Telly Talk Today series, I’ll be reviewing Cobra Kai: Season 5, Episode 2, “Molé.”


First things first, though.


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With that in mind and without further ado, as follows is my review of Cobra Kai: Season 5, Episode 2, “Molé.”


*BE WARNED: MILD TO MEDIUM SPOILERS FOLLOW*


• SUMMARY •


Flashbacks to 1972 depict a young Chozen as he trains under his uncle Sato. Saito rebukes Chozen for cheating to evade the more brutal nature of the training, but Chozen only ignores him.


In Mexico, Johnny and Robby get their van towed, forcing them to participate in a betting game based around consuming spicy peppers to win enough money to pay the fee for getting it back.


Miguel spends time with Hector and his family and begins to believe Hector a loving, doting family man. He calls Carmen to rebuke her for having kept this information from him for all of his life. Carmen begs Miguel to leave Hector and warns Miguel that his father is a very dangerous man. Miguel refuses to listen and later accompanies Hector to an underground fighting ring. While there, Miguel fast begins to understand that Hector is, indeed, a dangerous wanted criminal with a dark past in Ecuador.


Johnny and Robby, meanwhile, infiltrate the same fighting ring looking for Miguel and, due to a misunderstanding with Hector’s criminal associates who believe them to be members of the FBI, end up in a brawl with the ring’s prize fighter. Johnny prevails in the fight with help from Robby; but they still fail to find Miguel, who leaves with Hector despite growing disillusioned with him.


Over drinks in a store that Hector owns, Hector drunkenly confesses his criminal past and lack of regret regarding it to Miguel. Miguel realizes that Carmen was right and flees the store. When he gets outside, he’s found by Johnny and tearfully reunites with him.


In The Valley, Silver introduces his new lineup of hired sensei to his students and becomes acquainted with Chozen, inviting him over for dinner and drinks later that day. Silver is confronted by Tory, who reveals that she knows that Silver paid off the referee to ensure Cobra Kai’s victory at the All-Valley Tournament. Silver confesses to it but argues that his actions were justified because he did what was necessary to ensure Cobra Kai’s survival.


Silver later discovers Chozen’s true identity due to a toast that the two shared during dinner. He then lures Chozen to his dojo and has the other hired sensei attack him. Chozen easily beats them all before warning Silver to stay away from the LaRusso family.


• MY THOUGHTS •


“Molé” basically maintains the momentum that got started in “Long, Long Way from Home.” It’s an equally strong episode but, like its predecessor, has several structural and plot problems. For convenience’s sake, I’m going to categorize my comments by the storyline to which each applies—both the Mexico and Valley storylines.


Mexico:


o My guess from last episode was one hundred percent on point. Despite his kindly pretenses, Miguel’s father is, indeed, a crime lord of some sort.


o Why couldn’t Carmen have just TOLD Miguel and Johnny on the phone what SORT of bad guy Hector was versus repeatedly arguing that he was “dangerous?” I understand that, plotwise, the omission helps build tension. But in story, it makes no sense that she would leave Miguel and Johnny guessing and unsure about what kind of monster they had on their hands with Hector.


o Robby is a literal child—how would ANYONE in the underground fighting ring mistake him for an FBI agent? Besides that, it seems ludicrous that none of the guys who reported Robby and Johnny to Hector even bothered to read the backs of the “FBI” shirts and understand the joke.


o This is a rather silly nitpick, but how did Hector manage to unlock Miguel’s phone without Miguel’s face or at least his fingerprint? LOL.


o Johnny’s fight scene from the underground ring was a little underwhelming. It came off as rather choppy and lagging. This makes sense, given that Billy Zabka is over fifty and doing his own stunts. But it’s still a little disappointing.


o Hector’s drunken explanation of his whole evil nature for Miguel’s benefit was WAY too convenient—as was Miguel’s bumping into Johnny the second that he fled from Hector. Nevertheless, both plot twists work well enough for the story that’s being told. Cobra Kai has always been great, but it’s not exactly prestige television. The cost of admission has long been a major suspension of disbelief and an equal acceptance of the show’s questionable internal logic. Nevertheless, it’s a price well worth paying for the thrills that you get along the way.


o This episode concludes the “Mexico” arc, which is quite disappointing. This storyline was wrapped up WAY too fast and with WAY too many plot-convenient twists. Even so, the fact that we still don’t know exactly what sort of criminal Hector is and only got a taste of his dangerous nature leads me to believe that Hector is being groomed for an eventual antagonistic return later in this series.


The Valley:


o It remains the essence of crazy that Daniel is taking this rivalry with Silver over a kids’ sport as far as he is. Almost the whole time that you’re watching this episode, you literally want to slap some sense into him. You want to remind him that he’s a GROWN MAN with a FAMILY and a JOB that require the attention he’s wasting by spying on Silver and trying to decipher the man’s business plans for Cobra Kai.


o It was obvious from the start that Silver either was onto Chozen or would be soon, and I wonder how Daniel ever expected his and Chozen’s whole undercover plot to work. Daniel must surely have realized that Chozen’s enrolling for work with Cobra Kai would entail an interview or background check—which would reveal Chozen’s roots and probably his ties to Daniel himself.


o The way that Silver eventually does figure Chozen and his loyalty to Daniel out so fast by just the manner in which Chozen raises a toast seems like a bit of a butt pull to me.


o I’m going ahead and calling it now. Before this Season is over, Chozen and/or Silver will—somehow, someway—end up fighting with those swords that Silver was showing off.


o It’s absurd that Chozen thinks he can intimidate Silver into backing off of Daniel’s family forever just by defeating some second-rate sensei that Silver coerces into attacking him. Silver isn’t the sort who scares easily, and Chozen is a fool if he ever believed otherwise.


• BRASS TACKS •


“Molé” has its flaws but is still a strong follow-up to “Long, Long Way from Home” that closes out the Mexico storyline while raising the stakes in the Valley storyline.


• MY RATING •


I give Cobra Kai: Season 5, Episode 2, “Molé,” four cronuts out of five.



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