It’s been teased since the end of Season 3, but now Cobra Kai fans are about to finally see the return of maniacal billionaire Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) in all of his rich and evil glory. And while it may seem like it took a long time to get to the point of Kreeze (Martin Kove) calling in his fellow Vietnam war soldier (and the primary antagonist of Karate Kid III), Silver’s return to the franchise has been part of the creative team’s plan since the beginning of the show.
“We love the Terry Silver character from Karate Kid III. We’ve talked about his character from the beginning, you know, from before writing the first episode,” co-showrunner Hayden Schlossberg told GameSpot. “You just don’t know at what point he’s going to enter in the early days. We didn’t say, ‘Okay, it’s gonna be Season 4.’ You really have to kind of plan things out. We knew that we wanted to have a lot of fun with that character and we wanted to devote the story space to that character.”
That plan included bringing Kreese back into the fold and having him earn Johnny’s (William Zabka) trust once more, only to steal the new Cobra Kai from him and run it as his own, ousting his former student. Now, though, with Johnny and Daniel (Ralph Macchio) working together to take out Cobra Kai once and for all in Season 4’s All Valley Karate Tournament, Kreese is reaching out to the only person he thinks he can count on: Terry Silver.
“By the time Season 4 hit, we wanted to bring that energy into the show,” Schlossberg continued. “We’ve seen, at that point, Kreese with Johnny and it would be interesting to add a contemporary perspective–somebody who knows Kreese and can talk to Kreese in a different way.”
Still, the team behind Cobra Kai knows that Karate Kid III isn’t exactly the most well-regarded film in the franchise. But for guys that grew up obsessed with the franchise, a chance to dig into the Silver character is too good to pass by.
“[We get to] explore the craziness that is Terry Silver,” Schlossberg said. “We understand that movies like Karate Kid III and Rocky 4 back in the ’80s were not considered like the critical darling that the original movies like Rocky and Karate Kid were. But we were just kids at the time watching these movies and you just kind of fall in love with Drago, even though it’s kind of ridiculous. And Terry Silver was sort of like that, to this franchise.”
As for whether his return is limited to this season, the producers aren’t sharing that information just yet. However, Cobra Kai has already been renewed for a fifth season, so anything is possible. Now, if we can just get them to bring back Hillary Swank’s character from The Next Karate Kid.
Cobra Kai Season 4 launches on Netflix on December 31.