Cobra Kai‘s Hawk (Jacob Bertrand) is following Dutch’s (Chad McQueen) path from the original Karate Kid movies, which he has to depart from for the sake of his future. By the end of season 3, Hawk was a very different character from who he started the series as. When audiences first met him, he was not Hawk at all: He was just Eli Moskowitz, a quiet student at West Valley High School and a frequent target for bullies due to his cleft palate. Joining Cobra Kai, however, caused his life to change completely. Sensei Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) subjected him to many of the same taunts he received at school, but offered one key piece of advice amidst his insults: “Flip the script.” The next day, Eli returned to the dojo with a new mohawk hairstyle and a new persona to go with it. Eli Moskowitz was no more, and Hawk stood in his place. The new identity was everything his former self wasn’t.
Settling into his new personality, Hawk became braver, stronger, and more self-confident, albeit in an over-the-top way. After years of feeling like no-one would ever want to date him, he attracted the attention of Moon (Hannah Kepple), a popular girl at school, and broke free of his nerdy reputation. However, his newly found courage had a dark side. Hawk became aggressive and callous to the point where he was no better than his own bullies.
Hawk’s change in personality made him much like a former Cobra Kai student. His hotheaded tendencies were reminiscent of Dutch, Johnny’s right-hand-man in the first Karate Kid movie. However, this similarity started Hawk down a dark trajectory, which he needs to break unless he wants to end up like Dutch.
Like Hawk, Dutch was one of the more combative members of Cobra Kai, in and out of the dojo. After the Cobra Kai gang cornered Daniel on Halloween night, he continued to restrain Daniel even after his teammate, Bobby Brown (Rob Garrison), told him to lay off. Hawk, too, was unable to walk away from a fight he had already won. He relentlessly targeted his former best friend Demetri (Gianni DeCenzo), only becoming more determined the more Demetri evaded him. This culminated in Hawk breaking Demetri’s arm. Hawk also ignored some of John Kreese’s (Martin Kove) worst actions, just like how Dutch was willing to look the other way when Kreese started choking Johnny after his loss at the All-Valley Tournament.
If Hawk continues to follow in Dutch’s footsteps, he could face serious consequences. Dutch didn’t appear in the Cobra Kai, season 2 when Johnny reunited with his former Cobra Kai teammates. It was revealed that since The Karate Kid, Dutch found himself on a dark path and ended up in federal prison. This showed that Dutch never outgrew his anger nor his overconfidence, which may very well happen to Hawk. Hawk’s team-up with Demetri in the Cobra Kai season 3 finale showed he may be on the path to redemption, but he still carries a lot of anger with him. Even working in tandem with Miyagi-Do, Hawk could fall back into his old ways if he does not find peace within himself first. Since Chad McQueen hasn’t had his own Cobra Kai cameo yet, Hawk’s predicament gives Dutch the perfect opportunity to show up. Season 4 could see his release from prison, followed by a heart-to-heart Hawk after seeing his younger self in him.