Netflix’s Original Series Cobra Kai episode four “Downward Spiral” kicks off with the viewer seeing William Zabka’s Johnny Lawrence coming to a realization about the meaning of sacrifice. During his early years as a father, he has quit many jobs due to him not liking any of them. However, he soon meets a man who tells him of how he has sacrificed for his family with no regrets. As a result of this Johnny realizes that sacrificing by doing jobs, he does not like is what a parent does. In his mind, Johnny sees that working a normal job is beneath him as he is made for more better things. This is a result of being told he is the best during the time he was a part of cobra kai as a student. That is why he always decided to quit his jobs in the past years of his life. Now having heard a firsthand account of what being a parent is like, he sees how much he messed up with his first child. He soon apologizes to the mother of his first child for not being the man she needed. Luckily, she forgives him having seen the change he is going through to be better for his new child.
Later into the episode, the viewer sees Tanner Buchanan’s Robby Keene decide to leave cobra kai. In his mind, he sees that cobra kai is a cancer that corrupts everyone who decides to join. He has seen this firsthand with his friend Dallas Young’s Kenny who was a nice boy until became a bully when he is taught cobra kai. This is due to him wanting to get even with his own bully by being able to beat him up. The interesting thing is Robby no matter what tries to help Kenny redeem himself. This comes from the fact that he feels responsible for teaching Kenny cobra kai earlier on. He knows that he messed up with Kenny by putting him down the wrong path to darkness. It can be seen by the viewer that Robby saw himself in Kenny when he was younger. As result of not having a father Robby had a tough time protecting himself from others that wanting to hurt him. Helping Kenny was probably Robby’s way of reconciling with a part of himself that he wants to let go. Unfortunately, he knows that can never happen unless he leaves to help put a stop to cobra kai.
At the end of the episode, Ralph Macchio’s Daniel LaRusso sees that Thomas Griffith’s Terry Silver makes good on his word about going after Daniel. During a charity event he plays mind games with Daniel by using the paranoia that Daniel has about him. It is quite fascinating to see how he slowly disassembles Daniels in front of others especially his wife. In Daniel’s mind he knows that Silver is capable of playing mind games with people. This comes from his past run ins with Silver playing the good guy to hide the monster inside. Unfortunately, Daniel plays right into Silver’s hands when he first buys the bonsai trees that Daniel puts up for the auction at the charity event which ends up adding to his paranoia as a result. The reason for this is these trees were given by Pat Morita’s Mr. Miyagi to him during the time they trained together. He knows that Silver will destroy them as payback for getting in his way. Which is why all of the paranoia gets to Daniel as he lashes out at Silver in front of everyone. The leads to Daniel’s wife having had enough of the rivalry prompting her to leave with their kids. Making that the ultimate goal of Silver’s plan come to a success.