'Cobra Kai's Xolo Maridueña gets candid on real-life lessons he picked up from playing Miguel in season 2
The second series shows the vulnerable and reserved side of Miguel and his attempts to put the life lessons he learns to practice
One of the factors about 'The Karate Kid' that struck a chord with its viewers was how it focussed on building relationships. Be it between Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki 'Pat' Morita), the then protagonists or the baddies, Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) and John Kreese (Martin Kove), it gave us a valuable lesson about love, trust, and faith. Fast forward to the successful 'Cobra Kai' Seasons 1 and 2, the idea of building and maintaining relationships remains intact.
In season 2, it was shown that Johnny and his student, Miguel Diaz (Xolo Maridueña), had a great teacher-disciple bond going as did their rival counterparts, Daniel and Robby Keene (Tanner Buchanan).
The end of 'Cobra Kai' Season 2 saw the young characters develop relationships as well. It was shown that Miguel and Tory Schwarber (Peyton List) were in a relationship, while Robby and Samantha LaRusso (Mary Mouser) get together as a couple. What the relationship did was take some of the limelight away from Johnny and Daniel, the protagonists of the show.
Talking to MEA WorldWide, Xolo Maridueña, who plays Miguel in the series, teased that the relationships in the series would be like "One big love fest".
It was earlier seen that Miguel and Samantha are through with their relationship despite the fact that Miguel still has feelings for her. Robby and Sam bond mainly due to the fact that they both have issues with their respective fathers, while Tory, who has seen Miguel as a friend and in the dojo, ends up with him. However, both the couples still have a hard time forgetting the past and moving on.
And that issue of forgetting the past saw an infuriated Tory take on Sam in a karate duel that also turns into a schoolwide brawl in the final episode. The fight ends on an ugly note as it sees Miguel being critically injured by Robby after the former gets tossed over the staircase and severely hurts his back.
Over the course of the fight, it is shown that Miguel has the upper hand over Robby, but he lets go after being reminded of Johnny's lesson about mercy when the opponent is down for the count, only for Robby to seize the opportunity and kick Miguel off the staircase.
For those who have followed both seasons, Miguel, after coming across as a brash young kid bent on winning at all costs in the first season, is seen as a more vulnerable and mature character in the second.
Ahead of the season, Maridueña hinted that his character was going to learn to be vulnerable, not only to Johnny but also towards other Cobra Kai members. "In season 2, we see Miguel try to tap into a more reserved and vulnerable side of him," he said.
"Personally, after playing Miguel, I felt that it's okay to be vulnerable in real life. It's hard because there is just so much pressure being in high school, but what I've learned from him as a character is to take a step back and sometimes just let life pass you by. Don't take things (bad) to heart."
Shedding light on the relationship angles, he said that Miguel as a character is learning from his relationship with Sam. "He is going to make an attempt to become a better man," he explained.
That he certainly did. In season 2, there are glimpses of Miguel trying to put Johnny's lessons of showing mercy to use. In addition, he also makes an attempt to discover more about his sensei that leads to a better bond between the teacher-student duo, and also, in the end, gains Sam respect. While his fate hangs by a thread at the end of the season, it is interesting to see how the yet-to-be-confirmed third season pans out for him.
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