Racket Boys episode 4 recap – the team are at risk of disbandment

June 8, 2021
Daniel Hart 0
K-Drama, Netflix, Weekly TV


Episode 4 continues to pull the audience’s heartstrings with moments of valued friendship and team spirit.

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Episode 4 continues to pull the audience’s heartstrings with moments of valued friendship and team spirit.

This recap of Netflix k-drama series Racket Boys season 1, episode 4 contains spoilers.

Read the recap of the previous episode. 

The theme of togetherness, community, family and friendship continues in episode 4, with the competitiveness of sport murmuring underneath these plot points.

Episode 4 begins with the National Summer training of 2016 for the badminton team. A younger Hae-kang plays his heart out to beat another boy who is bullying Se-yoon. It then flits to the summer, and a teacher wants to celebrate the school’s badminton success, but then the baseball team’s success takes over. Hae-kang is disheartened.

The extra funding comes with secrets

A lot of episode 4 is about funding and the risk of the badminton team getting disbanded.

In the present day, head coach Bae shows students some shots on the badminton court. Afterwards, Hyeon-jong asks a man to move his car from a parking space. He then sees this man in the gymnasium; he’s In-sol’s father, Councilman Jeong Byeong-hwi, the council chairman. The Councilman offers Hyeon-jong funding as the school superintendent is his brother, but he wants him to keep it a secret from his son in return. Hyeon-jong promises to keep it a secret and vows to guide his son In-sol.

Recruiting In-sol

So episode 4 officially introduces us to In-sol, who is a nervy, yet determined character.

Woo-chan and Yoon-dam ask the class president In-sol how long he has played badminton as they are impressed with his skills. Then, they ask if he wants to join the team. In-sol hesitates to answer, so Hae-kang grabs his friends and drags them away. Afterwards, Hyeon-jong wants to prepare his team for the national junior championships. He brings In-sol in, gives him a breakdown of the training, and asks him to do fifty laps. Flashbacks show that In-sol’s father wants Hyeon-jong to push his son so hard that he quits being an athlete forever.

Coach Bae pulls some strings to get extra funding

Head coach Bae asks the administrative chief if they can have an advance in funding. He manages to get some success and reveals to the team he secured funding for the next tournament; it has nothing to do with the Councilman’s deal.

The hotel

On the way to the tournament, it’s revealed they’ve booked one night at a hotel because there’s an expectation that they will not make it through the preliminary rounds. Hae-kang is asked to join everyone on the roof at the hotel in the middle of the night — when he gets up there, the team are all training for the tournament. They want to take it seriously to get further than the first round, so they don’t lose funding. Yong-tae believes they have a better chance now because they have Hae-kang. Meanwhile, Hyeon-jong gets wasted on alcohol with the other coaches.

Relive the moment Hae-kang stands up to the bullies:

Hungover before the tournament risk disqualification

Many of us have had that dreaded hangover where we wake up the next morning and realise the time, and we try not to panic.

Hyeon-jong is woken up by his players, and he’s hungover. However, he is relaxed about the situation and believes they can get to the tournament easily. He drives the team to the location; however, he’s unsure of the route. He blames the GPS, and head coach Bae rings them and says they have ten minutes to get there or they will be disqualified.

Coach Fang protests against a second chance

However, the team go to the wrong building — they’ve missed the badminton tournament. Head coach Bae asks the organisers to give them a chance, and Hyeon-jong apologises, stating he didn’t know there were two gyms in the area. The organisers give them the chance to compete, but Coach Fang objects to this ruling.

Hyeon-jong feels bad about missing the chance to compete

After his protest, Coach Fang tells Hyeon-jong to get a grip as he’ll never have a player enter the national team — there’s a trace of bitterness between these two men. The team have to return home without playing in the tournament. Hyeon-jong is feeling bad, and he apologises to them all, stating he should have got up earlier. The kids ask if they can enter the summer tournament, and Hyeon-jong agrees, but obviously, there’s a budget problem, especially since they did not compete.

In-sol does not have confidence that his father knows what he wants

Episode 4 gives the audience a flavour of what In-sol is about — he has strength in his character.

In the gymnasium, In-sol’s father stops his son and asks him why he doesn’t take up golf or horse riding. In-sol asks his father if he knows what he likes or what he wants to do. He wants to do it his way, without his father’s influence. His father appears to slightly agree before walking away. Hae-kang overhears the conversation, and In-sol tells him not to tell anyone what he heard. Hae-kang assures him he doesn’t care.

The team is at risk of disbandment

The Councilman then enters the headmaster’s office and raises how many badminton teams are getting disbanded. There’s a real risk of no funding now. Hyeon-jong talks to head coach Bae about it and Yong-tae overhears. He claims he didn’t hear anything but then asks about disbandment — he seems downbeat that there is a chance it could happen.

A birthday prank went wrong for Yong-tae

We always underestimate children’s feelings sometimes, forgetting how literal they can take some situations.

The next day during training, Woo-chan is hurt, and he collapses. However, it’s a birthday prank to give Yong-tae a surprise cake. However, Yong-tae takes the prank seriously, and he’s in tears over Woo-chan’s collapse. Everyone feels guilty as Yong-tae wails, calling Woo-chan is his best friend. Woo-chan and Yong-tae end up hugging each other, and they are very upset.

In-sol officially joins the badminton team

Hae-kang learns he passed the grade threshold in his latest test. A teacher tells him that In-sol has volunteered to tutor him, and he’s never done that before. In the next scene, In-sol joins the badminton team. Hyeon-jong and head coach Bae want to improve morale. The boys ask him why he changed his mind and joined — before he answers, Hae-kang interrupts and says he asked him to prove not all athletes are airheads.

Hae-in ends up in the hospital

And then there’s a quick turn of events in episode 4

Hae-kang learns some bad news and rushes to the hospital. Hae-in is sick; she collapsed at home, so she was rushed to the hospital. The badminton team carried Hae-in towards the hospital as the ambulance took too long, and then the neighbours picked them up to help. Hae-kang is moved by how much his friends helped his sister.

The ending of Racket Boys episode 4

As the episode draws to an end, Hyeon-jong cuts the team apples, but he learns none of them is at home. Instead, they are all next door playing games at Grandma’s. Hae-kang tells the team he’ll do his best from now on.

Hae-kang thanks Grandma for helping his sister in a flashback, and he asked if his friends can come over later. He’s happy to call them his friends. He slowly realises how much value he has in keeping them.

Episode 4 continues to pull the audience’s heartstrings with moments of valued friendship and team spirit.

View all