Everything rolls on the All Valley tournament of season 4 of Cobra Kai. Here’s why Sam LaRusso needs to win, and why she has the most to lose if she fails.
Samantha LaRusso (Mary Mouser) is the karate student who must win Cobra Kai the All Valley tournament of season 4 the most. Sam’s dad, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), and lifelong rival Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) have agreed to join their dojos in a bid to rid the San Fernando Valley of John Kreese (Martin Kove) and Cobra. Kai. Daniel has trained Sam in Miyagi-Do karate since she was a child, but young LaRusso is under pressure to live up to her family’s legacy.
Daniel LaRusso is a two-time All Valley Under-18 Karate Champion, winning back-to-back wins in 1984 and 1985, as seen in The Karate Kid and The Karate Kid Part III. LaRusso’s victories over Cobra Kai and his nemesis, Johnny and Mike Barnes (Sean Kanan), made New Jersey-born Daniel a local valley legend. 35 years later, Daniel still relies on his notoriety by winning the All Valley tournament. His past glories as the Karate Kid are the basis of how Daniel advertises his family’s successful car dealerships, the LaRusso Auto Group. Daniel is also proud to embody the teachings of his beloved late mentor Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki “Pat” Morita), who taught Daniel-san everything he knows about the ancient Okinawan martial arts of his family and his important philosophies.
In Cobra Kai season 4, Sam is the top student in Daniel’s Miyagi-Do dojo and her father’s hopes rest on her favorite child to continue the LaRussos’ reputation as All Valley tournament winners. In Cobra Kai season 1, Sam did not participate and Daniel was the sensei of Robby Keene (Tanner Buchanan), who represented Miyagi-Do at the All Valley. Although Robby made it to the final, he lost the championship to Johnny’s student Miguel Diaz (Xolo Mariduena) and Cobra Kai. But in Cobra Kai season 4, Robby fights for Cobra Kai and Miguel belongs to the dojo of Johnny’s Eagle Fang. Meanwhile, Samantha not only represents Miyagi-Do, she’s also a LaRusso, so she has Daniel and Mr. Miyagi’s reputation to protect, which is why Sam has to win the All Valley.
Beyond protecting LaRusso’s legacy, Samantha also personally needs the validation of being an All Valley champion. Sam has had an extremely difficult time since his nemesis, Tory Nichols (Peyton List), entered his life. Miguel’s dating drama exploded with Tory actually trying to kill Sam and send LaRusso to the hospital at the end of Cobra Kai season 2. Fighting Tory gave Sam PTSD, which she had to contend with throughout Cobra Kai Season 3. It culminated when Nichols led his dojo to break into the LaRusso house to prey on Sam and his friends.
But Sam was able to fight Tory to a standstill at the end of Cobra Kai season 3 and LaRusso regained his fighting spirit thanks to having survived his ordeal. Sam facing Tory at Cobra Kai Season 4’s All Valley tournament seems inevitable, and LaRusso must beat Nichols as his father triumphed over Johnny decades before Sam was born. Daniel Forged The Karate Kid ‘s story of overcoming obstacles in the All Valley, and now Sam must do the same for herself and her generation in Cobra Kai.
However, there is even more extraordinary pressure on Sam to win the All Valley instead of Tory because, according to Daniel and Johnny’s deal with Kreese, if Cobra Kai wins, Miyagi-Do will have to shut down forever. Getting on Samantha’s shoulders is Miyagi-Do’s very future as well as the potential shame of being the first LaRusso not to win the All Valley Championship. As such, Samantha LaRusso has more reasons than any other Cobra Kai karate student to win the All Valley tournament in Season 4, and Sam also stands to lose the most if she fails.
Next: Cobra Kai Season 4 Trailer Hints At Robby’s New Romance
Cobra Kai Season 4 premieres December 31, 2021 on Netflix.
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