A dark ending brings the full scale of Ryu Seok’s plot into stark relief, undercutting Sa-wol’s moment of personal victory in the Deliveryman tournament.
This recap contains spoilers for the 2023 Netflix K-Drama Black Knight Season 1 Episode 4.
At the end of Episode 3, Sa-wol, or Refugee 034, made the potentially damning decision to sacrifice his own guaranteed second-place spot in the Deliveryman tournament to save the life of Hyeon-su.
Since Cheonmyeong Group doesn’t want that kind of complication, Heyon-su progresses to the next round and Sa-wol is disqualified.
However, Hyeon-su can’t continue because of a broken arm. The Deliverymen — led by a very stressed 5-8 — vote to reinstate Sa-wol in order to give some hope to the refugees, and Ryu Seok, thinking the narrative will make the implementation of his plans easier, agrees.
Black Knight Season 1 Episode 4 Recap
What is Ryu Seok’s relocation plan?
Ryu Seok is trying to create another mass exodus of refugees, relocating selected residents to his newly built district based on private personal information and bio-data. He wants to seed a new world with hand-picked, genetically-advantaged citizens, which is worryingly close to eugenics.
And he wants Seol-ah and the Defense Intelligence Command to help him do it, despite her obvious personal moral opposition, while his supposedly well-meaning father is left out of the loop. This creates a division at the top of Cheonmyeong and in the most upper echelons of government.
How the kidnappings and apparent experiments with the mutation tie into all this isn’t immediately clear, though a sensible guess would be that Ryu Seok is trying to develop a private superpowered army to control his new world.
What is the final round of the tournament?
While Seol-ah continues trying to investigate the men with triangle tattoos after 5-8’s tip-off, and 5-8 and his team blow up a generating unit heading for District A, Sa-wol enters the next round of the tournament.
He’s given some temporary lodgings and a mentor — who turns out to be 4-1, though nobody knows of their pre-existing relationship — while he prepares to fight another finalist, Joo Gyeong-nam.
The fight will take place in the Core District, where the air is breathable, but it’ll be broadcast live everywhere else, with the refugees enticed out into the open in huge numbers by promises of food and compressed oxygen simply for their attendance.
Sa-wol and Gyeong-nam are to have essentially an MMA fight with five-minute rounds that only ends with a knockout.
Black Knight Season 1 Episode 4 Ending Explained
The fourth episode of Black Knight intercuts the final of the tournament with 5-8 uncovering Ryu Seok’s plan out in the districts.
When 5-8 is ambushed by some of the men with triangle tattoos, he takes them down, but keeps one alive, quickly cutting the explosive device from the back of his neck so he can’t commit suicide. Looking through his phone, he pulls up all the information about the refugee relocation plan and the scheme to lure the refugees out en masse by live-streaming the tournament finale.
Does Sa-wol win the tournament?
Sa-wol wins the tournament, but his victory is short-lived. After receiving a whooping in the early rounds, a nasty cut is opened on his forehead which reveals his metal skull beneath. Ryu Seok spots it while he’s celebrating.
At the same time, 5-8 races into the districts, but he doesn’t make it in time. When Sa-wol is announced the winner, bombs go off in the various clusters of refugees, killing the vast majority of the population.
You can stream Black Knight Season 1 Episode 4 exclusively on Netflix.