The Final Matches
Episode 16 of Racket Boys returns after a week’s hiatus for this finale to see the kids competing on the badminton court. Hae-Kang and Woo-Chan do their best but they’re soon on the ropes against the powerful Seoul players. It goes all the way to the wire too, with 29-29 stuck at a stalemate. Despite being a junior game, it’s an epic match, one that sees our Racket Boys win right at the death.
Does Se-Yoon choose Hae-Kang or Park Chan?
After winning on the court, Hae-Kang speaks to Se-Yoon backstage and tells her he likes her. He throws his arms around the girl and hugs her warmly. Park Chan sees this from afar and laments his luck, especially when he reflects on Se-Yoon’s words in the past. It turns out it never really was a contest. She told him outright that she’s liked Hae-Kang for a long time and nothing will change that.
With the games over and the lights switched off, the kids reflect on the athletes for their country, especially given their talent. Among those is Im Seo-Hyeon, the gold medalist. Se-Yeon looks up to her and manages to ask the girl about her experiences as a medalist. She gives some crucial words of advice, reminding her to never give up on her friends regardless of how high she flies. It’s solid advice, and something she takes with her going forward.
After snapping a photo together, the big moment arrives. Hae-Kang is up for his draft match against Tae-Seon of Jeonnam Sports Council.
Does Hae-Kang win his final game?
Hae-Kang is confident, believing he’ll win the game thanks to his belief in himself. The other kids are there to cheer him on, with a lot on the line. However, a reinvigorated Tae-Seon is his opponent and he’s riding a high too.
During a crucial flashback, we see him with his parents, inviting him back home with open arms. They set up his room just like it was before he left, encouraging the boy to come back whenever he wants.
Hae-Kang doesn’t win the game, heading out with Se-Yoon and crying on her shoulder after putting on a brave face for the others. It’s a tough pill for him to swallow and tears flow freely.
In a way, this is actually quite a good thing, with failure helping to grow and better your own character. Hey, we can’t expect Hae-kang to win every time, right?
Does Hae-Kang return to baseball?
When Hae-Kang finally comes out of his room after his defeat, the kids head down to the shore and discuss their plans. Hae-Kang is surprising nonchalant, deciding he’s just going to focus on turning 17 for now. Previously in the season he chose to stick with badminton and that theme continues to resonate here.
While the other kids run along, Hae-Kang and Se-Yoon hang back and hold hands while walking up the beach. It seems for now, Hae-Kang is going to stick it out with badminton, which is only reinforced with the end scenes of the episode.
How does Racket Boys end?
Time passes in a really beautiful shot as we skip forward to 2022. Yong-Tae grows from student to teacher, helping to whip up a group of youngsters into learning the disciplines of badminton.
Se-Yoon instills tough love with her new recruits too, refusing to take any lip from the kids. At the same time, a nervous man arrives in the village. He too is from the city and has decided to move. His name is Park Jeong-Hwan.
Interviews get underway too, with all the kids donning hilariously crazy outfits – including Coach Ra who dolls herself up and claims she’s “in her pyjamas”.
The guys eventually do dress properly and each says their piece. Coach Ra gives an impassioned speech about the kids and how well they’ve managed to do. Hyeon-Jong however, eventually opens up too and thanks the kids for making him feel really good about himself.
The badminton games continue as we cut forward to a summer competition. In-Sol’s father is there to cheer on his son, complete with a cute glittery placard too. On another court, Se-Yoon and Hae-Kang work together in their doubles match. As this competition gets underway, the series comes to a close.
The Episode Review
So Racket Boys bows out with a conclusive final chapter, one that rounds out most of its big plot points while leaving the prospect of a second season open too. However, the show works absolutely fine as a conclusive 16 episode drama.
The show’s main theme has been around finding yourself and following your dreams – two very important themes that have been perfectly illustrated across these episodes.
The villagers all have an okay ending, although to be fair most of those plot points had been resolved in previous episodes.
The big drama here though comes from the badminton games and our racket boys (and girls.) The final matches play out and Hae-Kang suffers a loss. Only this time he sucks it up and doesn’t let it bother him too much, instead deciding to knuckle down with his friends and take life as it comes.
That’s a good attitude to have, and the fact he’s decided to stick with badminton is telling for how far his character has come in the grand scheme of things.
Seeing Yong-Tae jump from a junior to a confident teacher, helping to whip the newcomers into shape, helps to reinforce his character growth too. Head Coach Bae is obviously aware of this as well, given his warm and respectful smile.
Either way though, the ending bows out with a solid conclusion and rounds everything out nicely.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|