Does Miguel die in Cobra Kai? His fate ahead of season 3 explained

The second season’s dramatic finale left fans concerned for the future of Johnny Lawrence’s star student. Will Miguel return in the upcoming third season?

Miguel in Cobra Kai season 3

The third season of Cobra Kai, the hit sequel series to the original Karate Kid movies, is arriving on Netflix in January 2021. And while we can expect the third season to be as action-packed as the first two, the second season’s dramatic finale left fans with one big question: does Miguel Diaz (Xolo Maridueña) die?

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As the first student of Cobra Kai sensei Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), bullied-teen-turned-karate-champion Miguel won the interest of many of the show’s fans from his first moments on-screen. His sweet personality and devotion to his family made him a fan favourite, while his natural karate skills, honed in the Cobra Kai dojo, made him a major force to be reckoned with.

The second season’s finale, however, left Miguel gravely injured. Warning – spoilers follow for Cobra Kai season two, episode 10: No Mercy.

After a series of misunderstandings, including some teen relationship drama among the students of Cobra Kai and rival dojo Miyagi-Do, Miguel finds himself embroiled in an intense fight in the hallways of West Valley High School, where he and his fellow karate students attend classes.

Spurred by his jealousy over ex-girlfriend Samantha LaRusso (Mary Mouser), Miguel engages in a one-on-one battle with his karate rival – and Samantha’s current boyfriend – Robby Keene (Tanner Buchanan). Robby, who is also Johnny’s son, has been trained in the defence-only karate mindset of his own sensei, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), while Miguel lives by Cobra Kai’s “Strike first. Strike hard. No mercy” policy. However, in a mid-fight moment of clarity, Miguel realises he doesn’t want to fight mercilessly and stops his attack on Robby.

Unfortunately, Robby has his own moment of turning away from his teachings, and one wrong kick sends Miguel tumbling over an upper-story banister. Miguel lands hard on a railing and stairs, injuring his spine in the process.

At the end of the second season, Miguel is in the hospital, comatose, while his mother Carmen (Vanessa Rubio) bans his sensei, Johnny, from coming near, blaming his teachings for Miguel’s tragic injuries. 

With Miguel hospitalised at the end of the finale, fans wondered whether he would ever wake up. Luckily, recent promotional materials, as released by Netflix, indicate that while he may have a long road to recovery, he will indeed live to see (and maybe even fight) another day.

The Cobra Kai season 3 trailer shows Miguel alive and awake, though nowhere near fighting form. In various trailer scenes, Johnny attempts to motivate Miguel to get out of his hospital bed and perform crunches. The pair are also seen hugging and attending what looks to be a concert together, so we can assume that Carmen lifts her ban on Johnny being in Miguel’s life.

Miguel in Cobra Kai season 3
TINA ROWDEN/NETFLIX

What remains to be seen is whether Miguel will be able to regain the ability to walk and fight again. In addition, with Cobra Kai under Kreese’s control – another unfortunate event of the season two finale – will Johnny and Miguel be able to continue training the other Cobra Kai students? And will Robby, who looked to be in a detention centre in the trailer, be forgiven for taking advantage of Miguel’s moment of mercy?

These and other questions will be answered in season three of Cobra Kai, which will premiere on Netflix in January 2021.

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Cobra Kai seasons 1-2 are streaming now on Netflix – check out our guide to the best series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, or see what else is on with our TV Guide