The bad guy gets a chance at redemption.
My husband cringes at my love to cheesy movies, shows, and songs… the latest of which was my excitement over the third season of Cobra Kai. The continued saga of the main characters in the 80’s movie The Karate Kid. I started watching it on YouTube when it first came out a while ago, and and thrilled it moved to Netflix. In the red hot global mess that was 2020, streaming platforms have been a friend, right?
I know the show is cheesy – but I am in love with redemption arc of the story and how that looks and how many original cast members are returning and what the new ones are like.
I remember watching that original movie and hating the character of Johnny Lawrence. He reminded me of all the mean people I had met in my “big long life as a teenager… and in the years since that movie first played – he had retained that villainous status. All those 80’s movie villains are in the same boat. I will admit, at first it was hard to see the redemption story, but I gave in to that – I extended some grace to that plot line and I was hooked!
This is less about the movies and the show and more about the whole notion of redemption. We are in times when it is so easy to dismiss people on things that are, in the end, rather petty. We are also in a time when true reckoning for past behaviors should and must occur.
We all are being forced to hold a mirror to our selves and are positioned to take a hard look at who we are, what we have done, and what we will be doing in a way I don’t recall ever being a part of the cultural conversation among my communities.
I often wonder where redemption and grace intersect. There is a time in our own redemption stories that we need to hold our selves in a space of grace and there is a time in the redemption stories that involve others where we must hold a space for grace. I think that grace space might be the hardest… both for ourselves and for others.