Warning: minor Cobra Kai spoilers below.
What the team behind Cobra Kai has accomplished is incredible. The creators of the Karate Kid spinoff series capitalized on the special place a multi-generational movie occupies in the heart of millions and managed to create a product that serves their nostalgia but also offers a fresh narrative and further development to beloved characters. The show works so well because of the familiarity it offers in being a linear offshoot from the franchise.
With that, Cobra Kai offers fans familiar faces, continuing the story of the titular Karate Kid, Daniel LaRusso, with Ralph Macchio reprising the role. William Zabka appears opposite him, returning as original rival Johnny Lawrence, and Martin Kove appears once more as Cobra Kai founder John Kreese. They even got Elisabeth Shue to show up in season 3 as Ali Mills.
But Cobra Kai fans might be wondering why Daniel’s daughter, Samantha LaRusso (Mary Mouser) looks so familiar as well.
Sam from Cobra Kai was Mary Jones on Hulu’s Freakish
Prior to her role as Sam LaRusso on Cobra Kai, actress Mary Mouser played a recurring role on Hulu’s high-school horror series Freakish. A bunch of kids show up for detention but find themselves fighting off killer zombies after a nearby chemical plant explodes. It’s like the John Hughes classic, The Breakfast Club, except the kids in detention are on the menu. Mouser plays Mary Jones, little sister to Grover Jones (Leo Howard), who didn’t even have detention and attended anyway simply as a way to spend time with his crush, Violet Adams (Liza Koshy) — wow, that’s a total Duckie move. Those who survived must figure out how to make it out alive without much in the way of supplies or protection. Mouser only had the role of Mary for one of the show’s two seasons, which could be expected just from having watched the trailer.
She also played Lacey on Body of Proof
Mary Mouser played the role of Lacey Fleming on the medical-crime-meets-comedy-drama series Body of Proof prior to tying her gi as Sam LaRusso on Cobra Kai. Before she was Daniel-san’s daughter, she was the nearly estranged daughter of medical examiner Megan Hunt (Dana Delany), a former neurosurgeon no longer able to operate after suffering nerve damage in a car crash (and subsequently killing a patient on whom she was operating). Mouser’s character was considered a recurring role for the show’s first season, at which time Lacey lived with her father. Mouser was promoted to the main cast for the second and third seasons, as Megan gains joint custody with her ex-husband, Todd (Jeffrey Nordling), and her relationship with her daughter slowly evolves, while Lacey is shuttled back and forth between parents. Body of Proof was canceled by ABC in 2013 after three seasons.