Explaining Terry Silver’s Cobra Kai Expansion & Master Plan


Warning: SPOILERS for Cobra Kai Season 5Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) implemented a master plan in Cobra Kai season 5 that was bigger than any scheme in The Karate Kid franchise’s history. Cobra Kai season 5 picks up from Silver’s ultimate triumph at the All Valley Under 18 Karate Tournament. After the ponytailed billionaire bribed the referee, Cobra Kai’s Tory Nichols (Peyton List) won the girls’ championship, cinching an overall victory for Silver’s dojo. As a result, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) had to close their competing dojos, Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang Karate. This paved the way for Terry’s ambitious goal: Cobra Kai’s worldwide expansion.

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Terry Silver was introduced in The Karate Kid Part III when a down-and-out John Kreese (Martin Kove) turned to his old Vietnam war buddy for help. Silver was the multimillionaire co-founder of Cobra Kai and Kreese’s benefactor. Along with diabolically seeking revenge on Daniel LaRusso and Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki “Pat” Morita) on behalf of Kreese, Silver actually had a bigger goal in mind for Cobra Kai. Terry bought his own potential Cobra Kai champion, “Karate’s Bad Boy” Mike Barnes (Sean Kanan), to defeat LaRusso at the All Valley. Once Barnes became the new champion, he would spearhead Silver’s plot to take over all karate in the San Fernando Valley by opening multiple Cobra Kai dojos. But Daniel-san beat Barnes in the All Valley final and Terry’s evil dreams went up in smoke – until Kreese and Cobra Kai came back into Silver’s life 35 years later. After Silver framed Kreese for attempted murder and took sole control of Cobra Kai, he was free to pursue his true goals.

Cobra Kai season 5 is Terry Silver’s opportunity to not only fulfill the dream Daniel LaRusso denied him in The Karate Kid Part III but to go much bigger. Time and age have only fueled Silver’s desire to literally have the world at his grasp. Terry’s expansion and master plan actually signal a broadening of scope for Cobra Kai as a whole because even though Silver is defeated in season 5, the show is poised to go through with its own expansion in Cobra Kai season 6, thanks to Terry’s vaulting ambition.

Terry Silver’s Expansion Plan Is To Take Cobra Kai Global

As Terry Silver told Daniel LaRusso in Cobra Kai season 5, he doesn’t “give a s*** about your Valley.” Taking over all karate in the San Fernando Valley turned out to be only step one for Silver, and he was amused at “how small” LaRusso thinks, and how the Valley is the whole world to him. Terry had far greater things in mind than just taking over karate in the Valley, which he quickly accomplished by opening up multiple Cobra Kai dojos and then buying out competing dojos and turning those into Cobra Kai as well. But once Silver’s Karate Kid Part III plan was quickly met, he saw far more potential beyond the Valley.

Terry Silver wanted to take Cobra Kai global by sending his students to compete in the Sekai Taikai, the most prestigious karate tournament in the world. Once Cobra Kai won the Sekai Taikai, Silver would have the influence to expand globally. Terry wanted Cobra Kai dojos all over the world training young people everywhere in “The Way of the Fist.” This would fulfill a promise Silver made to his own sensei, Korea’s Master Kim Sun-Yung, when he trained in the “Way of the Fist” in the 1970s. Hence, Silver flew in Master Kim’s niece, Kim Da-Eun, and her best senseis to train Terry’s students and prepare them to compete in the Sekai Taikai.

Of course, Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence tried to stop Silver’s expansion, and they entered their own students for consideration in the Sekai Taikai. Daniel and Johnny’s plan worked because the Sekai Taikai judges (who are Rocky fans like Johnny) were impressed with all three dojos. They accepted Cobra Kai and the combined Miyagi-Do/Eagle Fang into the Sekai Taikai. Silver’s arrest after his criminal acts were exposed at the end of Cobra Kai season 5 throws his dojo’s participation up in the air. But potentially, Daniel could send Miyagi-Do and Johnny could take back control of Cobra Kai so that all of their students could compete in the Sekai Taikai in Cobra Kai season 6.

What Cobra Kai Really Means To Terry Silver

Terry did confess in Cobra Kai season 5 that his interest in training young people in the “Way of the Fist” was due to the fact that he has no children of his own. This is something he has in common with his former best friend, John Kreese. Both are decorated Vietnam veterans who never started families. Instead, Silver and Kreese each decided that their legacies would be tied to the teenagers they trained in Cobra Kai karate. Being senseis and bringing the “Way of the Fist” to young people also spreads the teachings and martial philosophy of their Master Kim Sun-Yung.

Strangely, Terry’s desire to give young people “the gift of Cobra Kai” comes from a place of sincerity for the ponytailed villain. Silver does gain immense satisfaction from guiding a complete novice like Kenny Payne (Dallas Dupree Young) and turning him into a skilled future champion in just a few months. Likewise, Master Kim Da-Eun was searching for a female champion to mold in her own image, and she wasn’t impressed with or trusted Tory Nichols. Instead, Da-Eun saw potential in Devon Lee (Oona O’Brien), although neither Devon nor Tory saw training under Master Kim as their future, and they broke out of Cobra Kai at the end of season 5.

Terry Silver’s Plan For Daniel LaRusso And His Family

Terry Silver actually considered his rivalry with Daniel LaRusso settled after Cobra Kai won the All Valley. Terry only adjusted his plans to deal with LaRusso after Daniel insisted on interfering with his schemes, such as sending Chozen Toguchi (Yuji Okumoto) to pose as a sensei and infiltrate Cobra Kai. When Silver realized “Danny Boy” wasn’t going away quietly, he decided to sidetrack Daniel by disrupting the LaRussos’ marriage, and Terry was bemused at how easy it still is to manipulate Daniel and make him do whatever he wanted. Initially, Terry simply counter-moved Daniel to make him relent, and he burned down Mike Barnes’ business to show LaRusso what happens if he keeps interfering or tries to recruit others to stop Cobra Kai.

However, Kreese (through Tory) sent LaRusso clues about the truth behind Terry attacking Stingray (Paul Walter Hauser) and framing Kreese for attempted murder. Once Daniel became a genuine threat to his plans, Silver took matters into his own hands and beat LaRusso up physically. Terry also threatened to “wrap Cobra Kai gis around” his daughter, Samantha (Mary Mouser), and Daniel’s son, Anthony (Griffin Santopietro). However, it’s unclear whether corrupting the LaRusso children was ever actually part of Terry Silver’s master plan. Until the end of Cobra Kai season 5, Terry Silver considered Daniel LaRusso a beaten man and an annoyance until “Danny Boy” and his friends literally ended Silver’s ultimate goal to expand Cobra Kai internationally by winning the Sekai Taikai.

Cobra Kai Season 5 is streaming on Netflix.

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