Zabka, best known for playing Johnny Lawrence in the iconic martial arts franchise, chatted with PopCulture.com about those final moments of Cobra Kai’s Season 2 finale that has fans wondering if Elisabeth Shue’s character, Ali Mills is officially back.
“Yeah, there’s no secret that there’s talk about it,” Zabka laughed. “I believe she’s been approached and hopefully there could be a couple spots with her where she’s kind of open to the possibility, and that’s as much as I know.”
Shue’s character Ali might not have returned to YouTube’s successful Karate Kid spinoff in 2018, but she has appeared in several flashbacks. During an episode in Season 1, Daniel (Ralph Macchio) reveals to Johnny that their former girlfriend is now married and living in Denver as a pediatric surgeon. Still thinking about her from time to time, Johnny mentions her periodically throughout Season 2, even disclosing the 35-year-old question of why the two broke up in the first place as noted in the 1984 movie.
However, the biggest shock to fans appeared during this past May’s season 2 finale when a distraught Johnny threw his cellphone away, only for the last shot of the episode showing Ali Mills had sent him a friend request on Facebook.
“I’m rooting for Ali with Johnny,” Zabka tells PopCulture.com. “She’s been a huge part of Johnny, she’s a big part of The Karate Kid, [Elisabeth’s] a wonderful actress, and she’d be a great addition to the show, so I’m rooting for it, but I’m in the dark at this moment.”
While Johnny and Daniel have their highs and lows in terms of mending their relationship, Zabka admits if Ali came back into the equation on Cobra Kai, things would definitely take a turn for the two characters.
“I imagine Ali would step in and turn around some things that we would not expect,” Zabka said, adding how she would be more than just an object between Johnny and Daniel. “I think she’s going to come in with some guts and turn it on a tad. But you know, Daniel’s married now. If he were single, it might be a little different.”
Zabka admits if Shue returns as Ali in Season 3, there might also be a little tension brewing between Daniel and his wife. However, if it does indeed go that way, there’s a lot more going on than fans have witnessed throughout the first two seasons.
“If it works for him, then [Daniel’s] got some deeper things to work through because he has a lovely family that Johnny wouldn’t mind having,” Zabka laughed. “But you know, he’s kind of got it all right now, so if his ex-girlfriend from high school steps in and confuses him, then that’ll be fun to watch.”
Zabka adds that as far as he is concerned with his character, “Ali is the one that got away.”
“No one has ever filled that part of his heart again,” he said. “So it would be really exciting to see what happens when the two come together. But again, I think it’s going to be something, if it happens, that is completely unexpected and you could never predict it… but wonderful.”
The 53-year-old actor admits that his character has been “through a lot,” joking, “just give him one trophy and let him breathe.” However, he adds that Johnny has had a rough go from since the end of The Karate Kid.
“But he’s got a heart of gold, he’s trying to make it all work, but he’s downloaded everything he is from some people that weren’t the best influences,” Zabka said of his character, adding how Johnny is now on the path to redemption. “You couldn’t ask for a better part to act regardless if it’s a continuation of Karate Kid or not. It’s just a fantastic viewpoint, and it’s super fun to play.”
Zabka adds that the love from fans for Cobra Kai is something he is incredibly humbled by, adding that the “response has been amazing.”
“I’ll do it as long as they’re loving it,” Zabka said.
Good news for fans of the YouTube series: Cobra Kai recently got picked up for Season 3, and will return to the streaming service with new episodes in 2020.
All episodes of Cobra Kai are currently streaming on YouTube.0comments
Stay tuned to PopCulture.com for more with Zabka as he teases what’s ahead for Season 3, his reaction to the show flipping the script on The Karate Kid, and what made his heart jump this past season.
Photo credit: Amanda Edwards/Getty Images/Columbia Pictures