John Kreese (Martin Kove) spends almost the entire Season 5 of “Cobra Kai” behind bars following the breathtaking events of Season 4. He seeks revenge on Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) for landing him there in a variety of ways, including enlisting Tory Nichols (Peyton List) to spy on Silver. But ultimately, Kreese manages to pull off his own mini-miracle; While fighting a fellow inmate, he is apparently stabbed in the stomach and then taken to the infirmary. While the nefarious Kreese appears to be dead, it is soon revealed that Kreese smeared himself in jelly to make it appear as if he had been stabbed. He takes out the doctor and guards, dons the doctor’s suit and lab coat as disguise, and uses his therapist’s security pass to break out.
During the fight in his cell, viewers will note that unlike the infirmary fight that follows, Kreese only lands the final punches in the present. Instead, Kreese introduces himself as his younger version (Barrett Carnahan), who does almost all of the on-screen combat. Given that the bulk of Kreese’s arc this season is him undergoing therapy with serious shrink Emily Folsom (Tracey Bonner) who has one eye on redeeming him, this is brilliantly implied. This is a pretty clever way to weave the show’s themes about the clash of past and present and make Kreese look like a stone cold tough guy. It also protects Kove, who is 75 at press time, from possible injury and eliminates the need for stuntmen who obviously don’t look like the actor.
No matter how you slice it, it’s a great way to explore Kreese’s inner workings and how he sees himself.