(Major spoiler alert: Do NOT read this story if you wish to remain in the dark on the ending of “Cobra Kai” Season 4.)
Hell of a season, Hawk — or should we call you Eli? Well, while we’re interviewing the winner — and NEW — champion of the All-Valley Under 18 Karate Tournament, going with “Jacob” seemed like the right move.
Eli “Hawk” Moskowitz, played by Jacob Bertrand (parents might recognize his voice as “Gil” in “Bubble Guppies”), won “the whole f—ing thing” this season. That comes with its perks, Bertrand told TheWrap.
“I will say my trailer is in a very, very nice position. It’s very close. It’s very close to all the parking spots,” he said. “So, you know, I think I have garnered some respect.”
That’s not nothing.
Betrand, who is currently working on Season 5, didn’t find out his character would win the Season 4 All-Valley until being handed the Episode 410 — Season 4 finale’s — script.
“They keep it all under wraps,” he said. “The biggest thing is we didn’t know who is fighting in the semifinals. We didn’t know any of that stuff until we got to read the script.”
“We knew, loosely, who we were fighting,” Bertrand continued. “I knew I was fighting Tanner [Buchanan, who plays Robby Keene) and I knew I had a fight with Xolo [Maridueña, who plays Miguel Diaz]. But I didn’t know if it was in the semis, I didn’t know if it was a little vignette fight at the beginning. Like, no one knew anything until the very end, and then it was like, ‘Oh, now all these pieces are coming together.’”
“And as soon as we got Episode 10, that’s when we started learning and fights and [I was] like, ‘Oh, shoot, I win,’” he recalled.
The hawk-less Hawk’s (Cobra Kai baddies pin Eli down in a tattoo shop and shave his head before the tourney begins, crushing his confidence) huge victory wasn’t always in the cards.
“They said, for a really long time, they had Tanner winning the All Valley. And I want to say it was like midway through the season — because they’re constantly tweaking and rewriting and thinking of things to add — they decided that I was going to win,” Bertrand said. “And I remember them pulling me aside, because I was so bummed to get my [mohawk] shaved off… they pulled me aside and were like, ‘We’re not just shaving your head for nothing, we want to give you a cool arc with a really good payoff.’”
Turns out, he never needed the intimidating hairstyle, which basically shaped the entire “Hawk” persona.
The Season 4 finale’s (fairly literal given the giant back tatt) phoenix-rising theme continues in Season 5, Bertrand said. So the ink (which alongside the mohawk and cleft lip work takes two hours each morning in the makeup chair) was not all for nothing, even if Eli sticks with the cropped top.
The 21-year-old actor would like to see his hair get longer again, he told us, but Bertrand doesn’t think Eli “needs the mohawk anymore.” Nor do we. In the world of “The Karate Kid”/”Cobra Kai,” that All-Valley trophy will pretty much carry you into your 50s — just ask Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio).
But still, for those wondering, Hawk’s mohawk was held together by a combination of Got2B Glued Styling Spiking Gel (“The blue, snot-looking hair gel,” in Bertrand’s words) and “half a can” of Tri Aerogel.
Go ahead kids, try that one at home. Sorry, environment.
Season 4 of “Cobra Kai” is now available in its entirety on Netflix. Season 5 is on the way.