Racket Boys episode 12 recap – the real abusive coach is revealed

By Daniel Hart
Published: July 6, 2021
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Netflix k-drama series Racket Boys season 1, episode 12


Tensions rise in the team, truths are revealed, and a tragic event happens in the community — chapter 12 has plenty of moments to discuss.

This recap of Netflix k-drama series Racket Boys season 1, episode 12 contains spoilers.

Read the recap of the previous episode.

I was a little confused as to why this episode was longer than usual, but then again, a lot does happen, and more than usual. Still, I don’t think Racket Boys justifies 90-minute chapters like Hospital Playlist, for instance. It’s a little much for what the story is worth. Anyway, let’s recap.

Tension in the team after Yong-tae’s mistake

After the Yong-tae’s slip-up, which resulted in the team losing in the draft matches against the other school, Hyeon-jong confides in his wife about what he should do. In the last chapter, Yong-tae gave away that Hae-kang has a slightly skewed vision from an eye injury. As the coach, he’s wondering how he should handle the situation after its caused predictable tension. The next day, he acts normal with the team and asks Hae-kang to play with Yong-tae. Coach Bae tells Hyeon-jong not to try and fix it with the boys and trust them.

A frustrated Hae-kang hints that Se-yoon is a close friend

Hae-kang is infuriated about what happened in the draft match and confides with the older Grandma and Se-yoon about Yong-tae. He doesn’t know how to face him. Afterward, Se-yoon asks Hae-kang if she’s a close friend after he confided with her. He teases her and says it’s a secret, and he will tell her after he wins at the Nationals Sports Festival.

This romantic storyline is going to the wire.

Hae-kang has peace talks with Yong-tae

The next day, Hae-kang arranges to meet Yong-tae privately so they can talk it out. It’s awkward at first, but Hae-kang expresses that he’s okay and that it’s better because he doesn’t have to hide his eye injury anymore and can focus on his game. He asks for a favor and tells Yong-tae to forgive Eun-ho as he’d have done the same in his position. Yong-tae sobs, believing Hae-kang should be angry at him.

The level of maturity from Hae-kang here was brilliant.

In-sol versus Hae-kang — a crushing moment for In-sol

The first heartbreak of episode 12 comes fast.

In the gymnasium, both schools have organized to play more matches. Coach Chun tells Hyeon-jong to stick to his promise about who the main school is in the gym. In the end, Hae-kang and In-sol need to compete for the remaining spot for the nationals. The other team members are worried about what this means for the team as it can cause fractures. Hyeon-jong states they cannot get involved in the situation.

So both players play against each other, and it’s intense, going down to the wire with multiple match points. In-sol hits the shuttlecock “out,” so Hae-kang wins. There’s a silence between everyone. It’s a soul-crushing moment for In-sol. They invite In-sol for social activities afterward, but he tells his team that he needs to go home and study. The team was right. This has caused an upsetting moment. When his father picks him up, In-sol sobs in the car. He doesn’t want that to be his last match. He asks his father to speak to the authorities so he can play, but his father’s face says it all.

The real abuser is revealed

And then, after two chapters of implying that Coach Bae used to abuse his players, the truth is revealed in a shocking but not surprising revelation.

Coach Bae did text Hyeon-jong after the draft match with some advice for each player and said he has complete faith in him and the boys. There’s one more sentence, which is shown to Coach Noh that used to work with the “White Wolf.” He asks Hyeon-jong to take care of Mr. Noh at the badminton store, and he’ll pay for the kit from his own pocket. Hyeon-jong states he doesn’t believe Coach Bae beat players. Mr. Noh states he’s correct, and it was another coach who recently returned to Korea and has a scar above his eye — Hyeon-jong knows this is Coach Chun.

Hyeon-jong angrily confronts Coach Chun, the abuser

Hyeon-jong panics and drives to the gym as Coach Chun abuses Yong-tae and Eun-ho — as he’s about to beat the players with a stick, Hyeon-jong arrives and grabs Coach Chun and puts him against the wall. Coach Chun believes Hyeon-jong is acting righteous and that he will be gone soon like Coach Bae. Flashbacks show Coach Bae punching Coach Chun repeatedly after seeing him beat the players. Afterward, the association tells Coach Bae to have a break, and the teams will be split up. They kept the situation a secret to save the sport at the school.

Coach Chun asks Hyeon-jong to punch him, so the team is split up. In his anger, Hyeon-jong punches the wall. He tells Coach Chun that he will bring him down his own way, and as the violent coach is about to hit them all with a stick, Coach Bae walks in with food. Coach Chun is shocked to see the “White Wolf” who stares down at him. Coach Bae tells Coach Chun to apologize to the team.

This is surely the end for Coach Chun, and it’s relieving that Coach Bae is not the real abuser, serving a good twist.

A sad death in the community — older Grandma

And then episode 12 brings another sad part of the story.

The older Grandma of the community is about to pass away, and her daughter is in total shock. The adults of the community sit around her death bed while she slowly goes to rest. The daughter holds her hand in a sorrowful moment. The dying woman surprisingly talks to her daughter after being mute for years, and it sends everyone into tears. She then dies.

A celebration of her life

The badminton joins the post-death gathering, and it’s a celebration of the woman’s life more than mourning, which shocks the boys a little. It’s a good message that death should be celebrated if the person has lived their life. More family members arrive, and the tears come again as the grieving continues. Grandma made sure the rest of the family joined. The conversation quickly turns to older Grandma’s assets, and it’s embarrassing — the daughter and the others are dismayed that the other family members are talking finances immediately.

The will is read out – the daughter gets everything

However, another heartwarming moment for the city couple — Grandma reveals to the daughter of the deceased that the city couple arranged everything, including the funeral and the food. Moments later, it’s revealed that the unselfish daughter takes all the land and assets in the will, leaving little to the ungrateful family, which infuriates them. Suddenly, the lights flicker, and the selfish part of the family is frightened, believing old Grandma is spooking them from the dead.

Ra Yeong-ja’s best and worst moment

In the last episode, we get a little insight into Ra Yeong-ja, but episode 12 brings the story full circle, so the audience understands her better.

Hae-kang asks his father, Hyeon-jong, about the time his mother won gold in the Asian Games and how it was the best and worst moment — he wonders why. Flashbacks reveal that when Ra Yeong-ja returned home to her family, her mother had died. Grief followed success, and she is in denial. She’s annoyed that no one told her that her mother’s condition had worsened. She learns that her mother told everyone not to tell her of her worsening condition so her daughter could concentrate on the Games.

The daughter of the deceased and the city woman find common ground, and we get a name!

In the present day, the wife of the city couple asks the daughter of the deceased what her name is — she’s called Shin Song-hee. She expresses how no one wants to know her name usually. What was more frustrating is that they did not exchange names!

The ending of Racket Boys season 1, episode 12

As the episode nears an end, Hae-kang and the players talk about the upcoming tournaments. Hae-kang jokingly says there will be a new champion — him. In the middle of the night, while everyone is asleep, Yong-tae wakes up and leaves the other boys in their room. Suddenly, the boys wake up to see what he’s doing — he’s secretly talking to a girl called A-yeong. He explains that she texts and calls him every day and thinks she hates him. The boys then wonder who has been smoking in the gym secretly.

Tensions rise in the team, truths are revealed, and a tragic event happens in the community — chapter 12 has plenty of moments to discuss.

Additional points
  • Eun-ho’s mother gives Coach Chun money to help her son. He reluctantly accepts it. He isn’t happy at the amount of money, so he takes it out on Eun-ho and asks him to do 30 laps.
  • Mr. Noh reveals to Hyeon-jong that the boys believed Coach Bae wasn’t the abuser before him after talking to him in the badminton store.
  • Hyeon-jong tells Coach Bae that the association and the coaches must take responsibility and find a solution to ensure that a coach like Chun never happens again.
  • The team has a new vehicle to get to tournaments due — the older Grandma arranged it for them as part of her will.

What did you think of Racket Boys season 1, episode 12? Comment below. 

Netflix, Weekly TV
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