'Cobra Kai' Season 3: Does 'Karate Kid' Character Ali Mills Return?

Season 3 of Cobra Kai hit Netflix on Friday, providing fans of The Karate Kid with another slate of episodes to binge. Season 2 created several questions about where the show would go and if certain characters, like Elisabeth Shue's Ali Mills, would return. Warning — spoilers are ahead. For eager fans who have waited for the answer, yes. Ali Mills returns! Appearing in two episodes at the tail-end of the third season, viewers were thrilled to discover the beloved character did play an important role with a return that fans have been thrilled by.

Now the actress who plays the beloved character is speaking with Entertainment Weekly, and looking back on her two-episode arc of Cobra Kai. Shue explained that appearing on the karate-centric series was not on her radar. However, the situation changed when she worked on a different show. She showed up to The Boys and immediately faced questions about The Karate Kid.

"It all started when I was working on The Boys," Shue told EW. "I was working with this wonderful director, Dan Trachtenberg, who directed the pilot for The Boys. To be honest, I really hadn't thought about being on Cobra Kai. When I showed up on the set for the first day, Dan came right over and said, 'You're doing Cobra Kai, right?' I was like, 'What? I don't know… Do you think that's a good idea?'"

The conversation continued with Trachtenberg explaining how much The Karate Kid means to him. He then reiterated that Shue "needs to be" on Cobra Kai. He said that her not appearing would be "devastating." This statement made her rethink the situation and prompted a sitdown with the showrunners.

"It was just very sweet, and it made me think, Oh, I haven't really investigated this," Shue continued to explain. "Then I sat down with the three producers and writers who created it, Jon [Hurwitz], Josh [Heald], and Hayden [Schlossberg], and they were so lovely and similar to Dan — super Karate Kid fans. They really wanted to wait and have Ali come back this season, primarily I guess because it's a reunion season. I said, 'I'll do whatever you need.'"

Shue made her appearance on Cobra Kai and realized that she still had great chemistry with both Zabka and Macchio despite the amount of time between the film and the series. She compared their time together filming the two-episode arc to a high school reunion and said that they spent all of their time between takes reminiscing about moments from The Karate Kid.

Of course, Shue's character plays a major role in Season 3 despite only appearing for two episodes, "Feel the Night" and "December 19." She is the person that disrupts a decades-old rivalry and helps these middle-aged men move forward with their lives. Shue told EW that the writing team made it possible for her to play such a meaningful role.


"Well, I give all the credit to Jon, Josh, and Hayden for coming up with a way of bringing her back into the world in an impactful way, which meant a lot," she explained. "[Johnny and Daniel's] wonderful, juvenile relationship that we as viewers love so much, I was at the center of that rivalry, and they were able to keep that going for two seasons, which is just incredible. The joy in coming back was because it was impactful, and they did still care so much for her. I'm so glad that that role was left for her to play. But that was really [the writers'] doing."