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Cobra Kai Season 5 Episode 2 Recap: Deception in the Dojo

At the beginning of Cobra Kai Season 5 Episode 2, “Molé,” it’s Okinawa in 1972, and a group of men is undergoing a pain-conditioning process in martial art. A young boy, Chozen, is singled out by the sensei for his inexperience, cheating, and lack of commitment in front of the others. Shamefaced, Chozen continues the process, harder now, and the cold open ends.


We are back in Cobra Kai, and Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) is giving another one of his positive-reinforcement lectures. He talks about Kreese falling victim to his demons di lui before quickly adding he is not Cobra Kai. But they are. He discusses how their championship is a springboard to new heights and how he has brought in the finest senseis in the valley. Chozen (Yuji Okumoto) is lined up with the others. Is this a betrayal? Will Chozen be Cobra Kai’s Trojan Horse, or swayed by Silver’s manipulative nature? Terry has brought them in for a job interview. He tells his recruits to applaud the champ as Tory (Peyton List) walks in. Chozen watches with a scowl on his face of him. One of the recruits asks Tory when she plans on bringing the trophy in, but she tells him not today. The senseis pair up with the class and Chozen selects Tory, asking if she is a champion. When she replies that she is di lei, he tells her he will not go easy on her.

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Johnny (William Zabka) has bought some burritos for him and Robby (Tanner Buchanan), who is mapping out a GPS route, and it turns out they only have a few miles left to go. They are approached by a Mexican man, and there is a lot of miscommunication resulting from a language barrier regarding The Eagle Fang Mobile between them. Johnny and Robby bicker, unaware The Eagle Fang Mobile is getting stolen. Meanwhile, Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) wakes up in Hector’s (Luis Roberto Guzman) happy and refreshed. Hector is making a special breakfast for the family and requests a demonstration from Miguel, asking where he learned to move so fast. Miguel he is adept at martial arts and has been training for some time, though he’s also upset that Hector has never heard about his high-profile club / competitions di lui. Miguel is about to disclose information about himself when they are interrupted by Hector’s wife and kid. Hector says the kid is a handful and this prompts Miguel to ask if he’d ever have more children. Hector laughs and says the boy isn’t his about him, he’s from his wife’s previous marriage about him. This leads to him confessing to Miguel that he’s never had kids of his own. He tells him he was almost married, but she left. Hector suggests they spend the day together as a thank you for Miguel saving his son from certain death. Miguel is thrilled.

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Tory is training with a visibly unimpressed Chozen. He demands more from the All Valley Champion, and he believes she is much better than this. It is obvious she is troubled. Now that she is the champion, Chozen goads her that maybe she doesn’t want to train as hard. Tory tells him in no uncertain terms she doesn’t fight for trophies; she trains to become strong. Chozen is impressed she fights for the right reasons. She asks why he is a sensei and Chozen replies it is for honor because only you can take honor from yourself. Terry slithers by and interrupts, asking Chozen his name di lui (wouldn’t they have filled out an application form?) And he responds with the alias of “Sensei Joe.” Chozen’s philosophy of training the mind first and body later has caught Silver’s attention, who inquires about Chozen’s past of him.

Robby and Johnny are walking the streets of Mexico, without wheels and in need of cash. To make a quick buck, Robby enters a chili-eating contest. Meanwhile, Miguel paces back and forth in a bedroom and reluctantly calls his mom (Vanessa Rubio). She is overjoyed Miguel is alive and safe, but he calls her a liar, appalled that his pop di lei is unaware of his existence di lei. Carmen tells Miguel he doesn’t know how dangerous Hector is, and she had to run away to America. An angry Miguel is barely listening, insisting that his dad di lui is nothing like the way Carmen described him. Hector is smart, a businessman and demands respect wherever he goes. Miguel has missed out on so much, and he believes it’s all Carmen’s fault di lei. Meanwhile, Robby is winning the chili-eating contest and tells them to bring out the hottest chili in the house. Robby eats it and doesn’t so much as glance at the glass of milk in front of him. His opponent di lui eats the same chili which results in Robby and Johnny getting their faces full of milk and half-digested chilis.

Terry Silver invites “Sensei Joe” over to his house for drinks and dinner. Tory needs to talk to Silver, though, and calls him out for paying off the referee in the All Valley Tournament. He menacingly asks Tory if she has shared this with anyone else. “Not yet,” she replies. He did it for Cobra Kai, he reassures her, and she still won the fight and is the champion. The whole Valley knows this. He manipulates her further by broaching her connection di lei with Kreese (Martin Kove), and adds that he understands she’s had a difficult life, always having to claw her way to the top. Tory appears conflicted by it all, still obviously uncomfortable with his sweet-talking di lei and promises she’ll be the face of the dojo, but she stays quiet – for now.

Johnny and Robby finally have new wheels and Robby is drinking milk. Johnny asks if he is alright, wondering how he ate that last chili. Robby admits he cheated and presents the chili to Johnny that he’d hidden in his pocket di lui. Johnny thinks it is the most badass thing he has ever seen. Carmen calls them to share that she has heard from Miguel, and he is with his dad di lui – but Miguel doesn’t understand he might be in serious danger. He doesn’t know what kind of man Hector is. Meanwhile, Hector takes Miguel to a fighting club known as El-Hayo Verde. Hector is suave, ordering drinks with a snap of his fingers and introducing the impressionable Miguel to MMA fighters. Miguel is blown away, but is the boy in for a disappointment? Hector made a lot of money back in the day, but not from fighting / MMA. This is the kind of money where you make friends (and enemies) in high places. He orders tequila and the two toast to putting the past away.

Daniel (Ralph Macchio) is helping Chozen try on a suit for his dinner with Terry Silver. “Sensei Joe” has already made a connection with the ghoulish entrepreneur and Daniel is stunned they’ve pulled the wool over Silver’s eyes so effortlessly. They plan on digging deeper, finding out what Silver’s plan is before they pounce. It all makes Daniel very nervous, and he warns Chozen that everything Silver does is without honor. Now Chozen shares the events from the pre-credit teaser about how his uncle di lui tried to instill honor in him, and how he didn’t listen, looking for shortcuts and easy routes; this is intercut with scenes of Tory, forlorn, staring at her trophy di lei. Chozen is determined to push Silver to his limit of him and expose his true colors of him. Daniel reiterates that Silver already has an endgame of his own. He’ll wine and dine you and look for a weakness to exploit.

“Sensei Joe” and Silver have dinner with fine whiskey and Asian cuisine, during which Silver questions him on why he is in the Valley. Chozen spins a tale about wanting to retire until he saw Cobra Kai wanted to recruit a sensei. They discuss legacy and their training, and we are treated to a flashback of Daniel’s victory over Chozen in The Karate Kid Part 2. Maybe Chozen isn’t entirely in LaRusso’s corner? Silver mentions a rival of Cobra Kai after Chozen’s revelation about his father di lui and his own cowardice di lui, how it killed his father di lui and nearly destroyed him. Silver’s rival is LaRusso, and he suddenly wants to show Chozen something: his weapons room di lui, bearing some of the finest swords in the world. He unsheathes a blade with historical significance, revealing that his ultimate ambition di lui is to go global with Cobra Kai and spread his influence worldwide. The two toast his plan for world domination.

Robby and Johnny have arrived at the club where Miguel is enjoying tequila shots with Hector. A bouncer tips Hector off that the club has unwanted interlopers. Hector demands to know who Miguel spoke to on the phone earlier in the day, but Miguel explains he was checking up on his mom di lui. Hector gets angrier, asking if Miguel has been following him and if he’s with the feds. He takes Miguel’s phone and starts scrolling through his pictures of him. Johnny and Robby come in and Hector spots them; both are wearing matching FBI T-shirts. Hector drags Miguel away as a group of thugs moves in on Johnny and Robby from all sides. They confront Johnny and a fight breaks out. Johnny is losing to the younger, more skilled MMA fighter until he cheats and plays dirty – with a chili.

Hector and Miguel arrive at an empty store and go inside. Hector tells Miguel he needs to lie low for a while, maybe believing Johnny and Robby were real FBI. He relates a parable – similar to the story of Icarus – about getting your wings burned from getting too close to the light, but uses it to discuss his relationship of him with women. He informs Miguel it was a mistake, nearly marrying his mother di lui, and he has no regrets about the life he has chosen. Miguel is distraught, saying he needs to get going, and phones his mom in tears, apologizing to her. Johnny shows up and they embrace, though Miguel notices Robby watching from the car.

Tory has brought the trophy to the club and accepted Terry Silver’s deal, but after she leaves, Chozen arrives. Terry summons the senseis who applied to work at Cobra Kai, having figured out at dinner that Chozen was an imposter. Chozen unwittingly revealed himself by making a toast that is traditional in Okinawa, and Silver offers a high price to the sensei who can take Chozen out. Chozen fights all of them, easily winning the battle. Chozen issues a warning to Silver – if he doesn’t leave the LaRusso family alone, he will beg for mercy! Chozen is with Miyagi-Do, after all.

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