During the first season of the acclaimed series “Cobra Kai,” Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) takes interest in his neighbor Carmen Diaz (Vanessa Rubio), who happens to be his student Miguel’s (Xolo Maridueña) mother. After a brief flirtation, the pair go on a date and seem to be headed toward a relationship. Unfortunately, when Johnny’s son Robby Keene (Tanner Buchanan) severely injures Miguel in a school fight, Carmen distances herself from him. Throughout the show’s third season, Johnny dedicates most of his time to help Miguel heal from his injuries, and Carmen begins to trust the martial arts instructor again. In season 3, episode 8, she spends the night with him. The following morning, the nurse asks Johnny about their relationship before heading to work. While she is away, the Eagle Fang Karate owner reconnections with his ex-girlfriend, Ali Mills (Elisabeth Shue). During the date, Johnny nearly kisses his former flame and accompanies her to a holiday party. However, later in the evening, he discusses his feelings for Carmen with Ali and decides that he is ready to commit to her.
It appears that Johnny and Carmen will start a serious relationship together in the show’s upcoming season, which is currently in production. One issue that the couple may face, however, is getting approval from Miguel. While the teenager is close to his sensei, he has also spent quite a bit of time helping him curate his Facebook page to impress Ali. Miguel is also well aware of Johnny’s negative traits, like not being politically correct and having a strained relationship with Robby.
Xolo Maridueña Discussed How He Believes Miguel Will React to the Relationship
During a January interview with Entertainment Weekly, Xolo Maridueña weighed in on how he believes his character will react to his mother dating Johnny. He noted that he believes there may be “some problems if [his character] find[s] out” about the romance. He then acknowledged that Miguel views Johnny as “the ultimate father figure,” but asserted that Miguel could feel like his sensei is crossing “a line.” The actor also noted that the West Valley High School seems to be unaware that Johnny is romantically interested in his mother.
“Like Johnny’s relationship with Carmen, it’s kind not really on his radar,” said Maridueña.
He explained that Johnny often talks about Ali, who he only dated for two years in high school.
“I mean, Miguel has heard so much about this girl, Ali, that finally they get to meet and I think that’s where Miguel’s headspace is at. And totally unbeknownst to him there is a relationship, you know, with Carmen. So I think, you know, as an actor, you know, it might be a little weird to be like what the heck. It feels like you know mixing business with pleasure you know what I’m saying. I don’t know if that will work for Miguel,” stated the actor.
Maridueña Also Complimented His Co-Star William Zabka
During the interview, Maridueña also discussed how William Zabka “is the complete opposite of” his character, who often lacks tact. The actor stated that his co-star is “the sweetest man [he’s] ever met” and the fact that he can convincingly play someone “stuck in the 80s” is “a testament” to his acting abilities.
To see more of Maridueña, Rubio, and Zabka, watch “Cobra Kai,” available to stream on Netflix.
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