Episode 15 of Racket Boys begins with Seok-Kyun heading out and helping Song-Hee. All dressed up and hoping to impress, she calls him a sibling and shatters his hopes and dreams.
An accident out on the road though sees Hong do his best to impress Song-Hee, running his hand over her face as he looks to reverse back after almost colliding with another car. Breaking the fourth wall, he looks at the wing mirror and smiles. Smooth!
Meanwhile, Tae-Seon is back but he’s worried about what people will think of him when he makes it back on the court. It’s only made worse though when Yun-Jong badmouths him, revealing who his first opponent will be.
This certainly rattles him, which Bae is aware of when he heads back in to training again. Well, after the session Tae-Seon makes a big decision and throws his cigarettes in the bin. He’s going to quit.
While Tae-Seon remains worried, so too is Yong-Tae who’s concerned abut competing against White Wolf’s boys. Another concerned member of the group is Hyeon-Jong who ends up drinking alone in the middle of the night.
The only bright spark among the adults here is Coach Ra, who encourages the kids in the morning at breakfast. The kids themselves all encourage each other though, with Se-Yoon offering words of wisdom to Hae-Kang.
The big day arrives and the finals of Jeonnam VS Seoul gets underway. Hyeong-Jong gets himself together long enough to give them a speech about courage. He reminds the kids it’s okay if they don’t always win, which seems to only send their nerves into overdrive.
Among those with shredded nerves is Yong-Yae, who goes up against Jae-Seok on the court. It’s tough going but Jae-Seok wins the first set.
Taking a short recess, Yong-Tae runs into Yong-Dae in the hallways. It’s a short chat but the tough love and admittance that Yong-Tae has skills is enough to knock some ruthless confidence into the kid. In fact, he stops acting like Yong-Tae and starts playing with his own game-plan. In doing so, he wins!
Next up is Yoon-Dam who’s pretty nervous given what’s going on with his family. He’s off-guard and clearly not concentrating as well as he should.
He eventually collapses on the ground mid-match. When Yoon-Dam eventually regains consciousness, he’s got 5 minutes to make it back on court.
Coach Bae reassures him, telling the boy that he’s their best player and the team captain for a reason. With the clock ticking, he points to his watch (the gift Yoon-Dam got him) and tells the boy to get back out there. Well, he does just that and wins the match, bringing it to a cool 2-0 for the Seoul boys.
Backstage, the racket boys and girls run into Tae-Seon and immediately fanboy (and fangirl) over him as all the players swarm around him. They’re excited to see the celeb, but he has his sights set on his bullies, determined to smash them on the court. And he does too. After bowing backstage and shooting a smirk their way, Tae-Seon gains a little bit of retribution.
Back in the village, the shady businessmen continue to try and convince the villagers to give up. They even offer over 50 million won too and a whole wealth of promises that seem too good to be true.
The city couple are well aware of this sort of scheme and implore Song-Hee to do her best to try and stop this. Well, everyone has decided not to stamp their seals after all. The businessmen claim they have enough signatures…including one from Big Gran.
Not only that, the other names on the list are all residents who have actually moved or are deceased. They’re completely scamming the group and the city couple are the ones well-versed in this and stand up for the village.
Well, it doesn’t last long though as the businessmen return and decide to try and demolish the village with diggers. As all these masked goons show, the villagers record what they’re doing.
The digger fails to move, and a ghostly woman only they can see happens to be standing in front of it. It’s Big Gran! Thankfully police sirens wail in the distance, closing in on them as the gang leave before they arrive.
Back at the tournament, Eun-Ho is matched up against Park Chan while Hae-Kang is actually part of the doubles match given his poor eyesight. They also deduce that Hae-Kang can win within 3 sets. Before the match though, Hae-Kang takes some time to talk to Se-Yoon, admitting that he only has one reason for winning and that’s her.
The Episode Review
Racket Boys storms back on screen this week, having reduced down to one episode a week on the back of the recent Olympics coverage. This has felt like a bit of a double-edged sword in a way.
On the one hand, it’s great that we get to hang out with Hae-Kang and the gang for longer but also pretty agonizing given we’re only given one episode a week. At least those episodes seem to be long though, especially this 90 minute chapter.
With the finals underway, a few nice twists help to keep things interesting while the actual badminton matches swing the way of the racket boys given their impressive 2-0 lead.
The attention now turns to the double matches and given we’re into the last episode, it seems like this is going to be a bit of a clean house for our boys. Still, we’ll have to wait and see how the finale plays out.
Meanwhile, the villagers stand up for themselves with a really touching tribute from Big Gran right at the very end of the drama. Although it may seem a little contrived, it actually works nicely to accentuate how much this village means to everyone.
With everything resting precariously on a knife-edge, the ending leaves things wide open for next week’s follow-up. Bring it on!
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|