Cobra Kai star Mary Mouser reveals one scene she had a major issue with. In the role of Samantha LaRusso, Mouser has had a close connection to the wider Karate Kid universe. As the daughter of Daniel (Ralph Macchio), she’s following in the footsteps of the franchise’s protagonist, and over the course of five seasons so far, that has often meant that Mouser has had to portray Samantha’s struggle through her share of pressure .
Still, by the conclusion of Cobra Kai season 5, Samantha finds herself in a relatively good place. She’s made some peace with rival Tory (Peyton List), and her relationship with Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) appears to be on the upswing, as the two characters reconcile. It’s a nice change of pace for Mouser, who has frequently been at the center of dangerous dojo fighting and unrelenting romantic angst — not all of which the actor has agreed with.
In an interview with Collider, Mouser detailed one early Samantha scene that she had a problem with and how she helped to change it. She refers to the penultimate episode of Cobra Kai season 1, which featured the pivotal moment when Miguel accidentally hit Sam instead of Robby (Tanner Buchanan). As Mouser tells it, instead of Sam forgiving Miguel right away, it was vital that the two characters actually have a conversation about what happened. In the quote, which is included below, Mouser notes that the writers were receptive to her suggestions:
I know definitively that the scene at the tournament where Sam and Miguel have a little moment when he says, ‘Just watch what I do to your boyfriend out there,’ or whatever, like, ‘Watch what I do to Robby,’ that was originally a very different scene where Sam kind of came up in tears and talked to Miguel and was like, ‘I forgive you.’ And I had a big issue with that. I see what they were doing with it and it could have been a really cool version of it, but I just had this issue with the idea of the forgiveness happening that quickly without the conversation beforehand. I was like, I feel like we should see that conversation rather than having it be an internal conversation for her. And the guys were like, ‘Yeah, well, come to us with what you think.’
So Xolo and I went over and sat down on the benches at the tournament with a pencil and the pages of the script and went through and we were like, ‘Well, what’s a version of this that we could say feels like [it] gets this message across?’ And we went back to them with it, and obviously they took it and made it beautiful because that’s what they do … and they were like, ‘Are you happy with this?’ ‘Yeah, absolutely,’ and I got to have that moment of having a conversation of what felt to me like making him own it a little more and getting to see that conversation for Samantha so that later, when they did kind of reconcile and come back together, that it made more sense.