Racket Boys episode 8 recap – injuries and new opportunities

June 22, 2021
Daniel Hart 0
K-Drama, Netflix, Weekly TV
4

Summary

Episode 8 is a brilliant chapter bringing increased competition, heartwarming moments, and more twists.

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4

Summary

Episode 8 is a brilliant chapter bringing increased competition, heartwarming moments, and more twists.

This recap of Netflix k-drama series Racket Boys season 1, episode 8 contains spoilers.

Read the recap of the previous episode.

Racket Boys is turning increasingly competitive, which is really complementing the story. I’m not a huge badminton fan myself, but the series has managed to pique my interest regardless!

Woo-chan wants to quit, but Hyeon-jong offers wise words

At the start of episode 8, Woo-chan tells Hyeon-jong that he wishes to quit to appeal to his father’s wishes. Hyeon-jong tells him how good he used to be and that he quit — the reason is that he wasn’t good, and nobody gave him an opportunity. He tells Woo-chan that he has opportunities and when he gets older, things will get tougher after graduation. The chapter starts with some wise words from the coach again.

In-sol is quite the strategist when preparing for the tournament // Hyeon-jong asks for a favour from the committee for Yoon-dam

For the tournament, In-sol has an idea for strategy and order of play — they’ve heard Seong-heon wants to avoid Hae-kang. It appears In-sol is a good strategist as he shows them video footage of their plays. And then, the team are surprised that Hyeon-jong is fully suited and booted for the tournament; he’s serious about getting one of his players in the youth national team — he asks Coach Fang to evaluate his boys fairly and to consider Yoon-dam for the nationals. Hyeon-jong is mocked, as the coaches state his team is likely to be kicked out first — they also laugh at him for bringing in canned coffee to impress them.

You have to feel for Hyeon-jong at the start of the episode; he genuinely tries for these kids, while some of the coaches act undesirably.

Hae-kang suffers from a sprained ankle

When they reach the tournament, Hae-kang challenges Seong-heon (Curly Hair) to go up first in the team matches to play against him. Unfortunately, during practise before the games, Hae-kang has an ankle sprain after slipping. He tells his father that it will be fine, and Curly Hair watches in the distance, smiling. He reports to his coach that Hae-kang will play last and wants to play him, and crush him, so he never plays again.

These kids are hella cruel and intensely competitive.

Woo-chan injures himself in the doubles game, and he’s annoyed the coach withdraws

In Yoon-dam’s singles game, he wins. Yong-tae loses. Woo-chan is up next in a doubles game with In-sol, but he looks exhausted from practising after seeing the video recordings. The doubles games begin, and Woo-chan has improved massively. But his efforts are short-lived, as Woo-chan hurts himself, but he tells the coach he wants to play despite being in pain — Hyeon-jong calls off the game and Woo-chan storms off. Seong-heon and his doubles partner look happy about it.

Woo-chan’s father watches the games in secret

But then we have a surprising twist as Woo-chan learns that his father is interested in his passion for badminton.

Outside, Woo-chan sees his father, who came to watch him. In a flashback, Woo-chan realised that his father was secretly attending his games. His father now understands why he loves the sport, especially after seeing his teammates encouraging him — he tells him to give his best for his passion. It’s good to see an understanding between them.

Hae-kang versus Seong-heon – Hae-kang wins

And then, the match we were all waiting for…

Yong-tae and Yoon-dam win their doubles game. They are elated, and so is the coach. And then Seong-heon versus Hae-kang is up — Curly Hair uses a war of words before their match begins, which annoys Hae-kang. During the match, you can tell Hae-kang’s ankle is hurting him. But to everyone’s surprise, Hae-kang lifts his performance, and he’s sure-footed. Flashbacks show Hae-kang telling his father that he’s twisted his ankle a little, but he can still run and walk. No one expected him to win, and he wants to give Seong-heon a taste of his own medicine. He knew Seong-heon was spying on him. Hae-kang wins the match!

Coach Fang tells Hyeon-jong that Yoon-dam will be picked for nationals 

It seems that Hyeon-jong’s coaching skills and genuine approach to the sport have paid off in episode 8.

Coach Fang asks the other coaches to respect Hyeon-jong and stop mocking him. He then meets up with Hyeon-jong and offers him one of the coffee cans he brought in, which he was mocked for, and they drink one together. Hyeon-jong ran Coach Fang’s coffee runs for a long time, so he knows his taste. Coach Fang reveals that Yoon-dam will be placed in the nationals, and it has nothing to do with the coffee – it’s about the rules and kills; he’s impressed that the player has fixed his stiff arm when he swings.

I liked that Coach Fang put bitterness aside, and he is interested in potential, not rivalries or politics.

Hae-kang’s injury is worse than they thought

In a surprise moment, Hyeon-jong learns off the doctor that Hae-kang has ligament damage and that he needs a cast — it’s a surprise he could walk, never mind run. As a result, the team will have to withdraw, but the coach says there will be other opportunities.

Hae-kang also made it on the national youth team

The players return to reality back at home — Coach Ranos senses tension, and the boys ask where Hae-kang is. Suddenly, Hae-kang comes out with meat for the BBQ. He’s happy but limping on his leg. We then learn why he’s happy — Hae-kang has also made it on the national youth team, and his father is over the moon. So things are on the up for this badminton team!

The ending of Racket Boys season 1, episode 8

Hyeon-jong tells Ranos that he’s surprised Hae-kang accepted the position for the national youth team when he wanted to play baseball. The baseball coach did try and visit Hae-kang, but when he approached him, Hae-kang was distracted and furious — he wants to beat the best in this sport. He has a new passion now. The team go to Grandmas and see Hae-kang is already there.

We then learn that Park-chan is interested in Se-yoon and wants to ask her out — Hae-kang overhears, and they look at each other helplessly. Hae-kang needs to speak up and quickly!

Episode 8 is a brilliant chapter bringing increased competition, heartwarming moments, and more twists.

Additional points
  • We move back to the mural with Grandma and the other neighbours — it has been ruined with graffiti, and they are upset. It meant so much to them. They get to work and start scrubbing off the graffiti. Despite knowing who it is, they can’t prove it. The same people who caused the graffiti also accidentally started a fire by throwing a cigarette near some bushes. Grandma and the others are busy having to put the fire out, and she reveals she has evidence that their enemy did it — she had recorded them on her phone.
  • We learn something new about Park-chan — he’s seen Hae-kang as a rival for years, and they have a competitive history. Unfortunately, Hae-kang does not remember him.

What did you think of Racket Boys season 1, episode 8? Comment below.

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