Swagger season 1, episode 4 recap – “We Good?”

November 11, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Apple TV+, Streaming Service
4

Summary

Jace has to learn the value of being a team player in “We Good?”, as his successes begin to cause him and those around him problems.

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4

Summary

Jace has to learn the value of being a team player in “We Good?”, as his successes begin to cause him and those around him problems.

This recap of Swagger season 1, episode 4, “We Good?”, contains spoilers.


Being the star player of a youth basketball team has its upsides, including the potential for many millions of dollars and athletic success on the world stage. But it isn’t all good news. For Jace Carson, attention – on social media, from potential sponsors, from beloved players like Lester Davis – means he’s getting closer to his goal of NBA superstardom, to lifting himself, his mother, and his sister out of poverty. But it also paints a target on his back. He’s becoming a pawn in several competing agendas, not that he’s realizing it, and while he’s delighting in the advantages he’s moving further and further away from his friends, his loved ones, and his teammates.

Swagger season 1, episode 4 recap

“We Good?” is something Jace should ask of Crystal. He would if he was paying attention. But since all his success is coming just as she’s at her lowest, he writes her unusual behavior off as jealousy. He does the same with his teammates, not realizing that his desire to regain the number one ranking after being usurped by Nick Mendez is putting the entire team at risk of falling short, which would impact him much more than having a game in which he scored more assists than points. He has to learn to be a team player first. Stardom will come second.

This is something that Ike has consistently tried to foster in Jace, but Lester wants to stoke his ego. Jace doesn’t know it, but Lester’s interest in him is entirely self-serving; it’s just to undermine Ike and get back at him for refusing his deal. You can see why Lester is appealing to Jace. He has had the career that Ike threw away and has reaped the rewards. The rewards are flashy and expensive, so they’re all Jace sees. For a kid like him, Lester is proof positive that basketball can save him.

But Lester isn’t the only predatory factor in “We Good?”. A sneaker brand called Gladiator has a plan to compete with Nike and Adidas by latching onto promising youth players, sponsoring their teams, and continuing to outfit them as they rise through the ranks. Mendez fits the bill. He sees the attention as another facet of his success, and not as him being targeted to line someone else’s pockets. This isn’t a subtle theme, but we see it even more explicitly with Mendez, a Puerto Rican whose coach wants to assume legal guardianship of him to continue profiting from him. Luckily, Mendez’s mother is switched on enough to recognize what’s happening, and Mendez’s free-agent status lends the episode some drama when Team Swagger becomes a potential new home for him.

Many of these subplots coalesce in the episode’s now-obligatory big game, this one against Lester’s team, and it’s as well shot and involving as ever. Smartly, though, it used Jace being taken off the court to bring Royale in for more focus, and, given the opportunity to lead and show off that his father has been clamoring for, he misses the opportunity. Royale is under tremendous pressure from a father trying to live vicariously through him; even though his socioeconomic status is different from Jace and Mendez’s, his success on the court still matters greatly to both him and the people around him. Luckily, together, these boys are all beginning to realize the value of actually being a team, of being there to support one another.

Mendez signing for Swagger, though, threatens to undermine that dynamic, especially with him being number 21, which is Jace’s jersey number, being non-negotiable for him. Can Jace be mature enough to pass the number on? Does Swagger want Mendez badly enough to risk antagonizing their star player? These are questions for subsequent episodes to unpack. Thankfully, though, the episode ends with Jace’s focus elsewhere – on Crystal, where it should be. What exactly went on between her and her coach isn’t made clear, but it isn’t difficult to imagine. Jace finally being there for her is a good thing. But how will whatever happened to her affect them both going forwards?

You can stream Swagger season 1, episode 4, “We Good?”, exclusively on Apple TV+.

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