Even though compared to its predecessors, The Karate Kid II| was a major box office disappointment in 1989, the film has since gained cult status, especially because of Thomas Griffith's iconic performance as the cunning businessman, Terry Silver. The Netflix series, Cobra Kai has been busy reintroducing the world of Karate Kid and now, in its upcoming season 4, we will once again be meeting Silver. But beware, this will be no mere re-introduction if the mini-teaser of his impending return is anything to go by- while Kreese has been villainous enough, Silver is here to wreak havoc and create supreme chaos in Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso's lives.
But before we jump into exactly what impact Terry Silver's presence will have on Cobra Kai Season 4, let's get reacquainted with The Karate Kid franchise's most ruthless villain. (In case you already remember his evil and maniacal aura, skip this section and find out how he will up the villainy quotient in the upcoming season)
Who is Terry Silver?
Terry Silver is a wealthy businessman who runs Dynatox Industries, which claims to safely dispose of nuclear waste. But after an honest beginning, Silver begins dumping waste illegally and bribing his way out of any investigation into his company. Silver had fought alongside John Kreese in the Vietnam War and has been saved by the Karate instructor many times because of which he owes him his life.
After his humiliating defeat at the hands of Mr. Miyagi and Daniel which leads to Kreese losing all his students at the Cobra Kai dojo (which Silver started for him), the disgraced sensei returns to his old friend as a defeated man. Enraged by his state, Silver vows to exact vengeance on Miyagi and Daniel. He successfully manages to drive a wedge between the two and makes Daniel doubt his own skills, something Kreese has never been able to do. Silver's plans were to end Daniel's future in karate and tarnish Miyagi's reputation by spectacularly defeating the former in the All-Valley Karate Tournament. While his evil schemes work in the beginning, eventually Daniel comes to his senses and Miyagi begins training him, which ends with them winning at the tournament and Silver leaving in disgust at being defeated.
That's the last we saw of Terry Silver, though the first two seasons of Cobra Kai name-dropped him. Season 3 ended with Kreese dialing up his old friend after challenging Daniel and Johnny to compete against his Cobra Kai dojo in the All-Valley Karate Tournament and promising that if he loses, he will leave.
So, now that it is confirmed that Terry Silver is coming back to the world of The Karate Kid, the biggest question is...
How will he be instrumental as Cobra Kai Season 4's antagonist?
Silver to join forces with Kreese- As we already highlighted above, Silver owes Kreese his life and when it comes to keeping promises, he is fiercely loyal. And apparently, even after the events of The Karate Kid III, he is still Kreese's best friend. The flashback to Kreese saving Silver was a reminder that the latter still holds himself in debt of the Karate instructor. It goes without saying that he is going to partner with Kreese and while last time, he was operating alone for the majority of the film, this time the duo will be hatching evil plots together, which is not good news for Daniel and Johnny.
Terry Silver is filthy rich
Apart from his penchant for torturing others and his dogged loyalty to Kreese, the biggest thing that makes him a formidable adversary is his immense wealth. In The Karate Kid III, he created numerous impediments in Daniel and Miyagi's path to ensure that he wins. As he is, most probably, still a very rich man, Kreese will now have access to a lot of resources to make it much, much harder for Daniel and Johnny's combined dojos to win the tournament. He can bribe the people holding the tournament, his students will have much better equipment to train with and whatnot.
Terry Silver is a master manipulator
As mentioned above, Silver managed to do what Kreese could never achieve i.e., drive a wedge between Daniel and Miyagi. He successfully made Daniel doubt the methods of karate Miyagi taught him. He manipulated Daniel into resorting to dishonest means to win and losing control over how he reacts in extreme situations like when he broke a man's nose who was provoking him on Silver's orders in The Karate Kid III.
Despite the growth Daniel had achieved since The Karate Kid and Miyagi's own experience in dealing with such bullies, Silver managed to pull them apart. He knows how to get inside people's heads, especially Daniel's against whom he now holds a personal grudge since he tasted defeat at the All-Valley Karate Tournament decades ago. The stakes are much higher now and Silver will be doing his best to end Johnny and Daniel's recent alliance and ensure that they are too busy being at each other's throats to beat Kreese.
Cobra Kai students will be learning new lessons on fighting dirty
Even though it was John Kreese who taught karate to Terry Silver during their time in the military, the latter's has since modified the teachings to suit his needs. While Kreese is ruthless in his approach to Karate and is in favor of the "no mercy" philosophy, Terry Silver is more inclined towards cheap tricks when it comes to winning. Once Silver is back, Kreese's students will have a new sensei who will teach them how to use their merciless karate moves in the most harmful and dishonest ways to cripple their opponents. This will end up being very lethal to Daniel and Johnny's current principles of playing fair.
The last three seasons of Cobra Kai are currently available on Netflix. Cobra Kai season 4 is set to debut on the streamer by the end of 2021.