[Discuss Away!] Taxi Driver 2: Episodes 11-16 Finale

It’s been quite a bittersweet week for me as two of my dramas finished airing this week. First was ‘Our Blooming Youth‘ which concluded on Tuesday and then now it’s ‘Taxi Driver’ season 2 which just concluded its run on Saturday, April 15. I haven’t posted a review for this drama starting with episode 11 since I was occupied with all the other dramas and shows I’ve been watching, but here we are at last. Season 2 of ‘Taxi Driver’ might have ended, but something tells me this won’t be the last we’ll see of our Rainbow Taxi team.

To close out the drama, episodes 11-16 focused on our taxi team going up against their biggest enemies, Ha-jun and his boss, Bishop. We knew we were going to get to this point, but it was unsure as to what approach the drama was going to use to bring the bad guys down. Therefore, it was a surprise when the drama used the real-life ‘Burning Sun’ scandal (which involved former Big Bang member Seungri) as its final case leading up to the finale. Do-ki went undercover and worked as an employee at the club, ‘Black Sun’, to dig deeper into the corruption executed by Ha-jun and the organization he was a part of. Our taxi team also worked for their client: a journalist whose colleague got killed after attempting to reveal the corruption and evilness that the club was executing. Those who worked at the club and was involved were rightfully imprisoned and our taxi team was able to get some revenge for their client. Most importantly, the client summed up his thoughts and feelings about the work that our taxi team did. Though he felt as if their methods and approach weren’t lawful, he acknowledged that they were just and fair. And I felt as if this was a good way to summarize and describe the work that our taxi team did and the drama as a whole.

Our taxi team’s last taxi client was none other than the big boss, Bishop, himself who tried to kill Do-ki and the team through Ha-jun. We learned that Ha-jun’s identity and name was switched with a little boy who he killed when he was a young child and the Bishop protected him by switching his name and identity. Ha-jun was eventually raised by Bishop and gained the trust of his big boss after killing his own father who was searching for him. Of course, Ha-jun had no idea that the man he killed was his own father and didn’t learn about this until the very end in episode 16. That was when Ha-jun ended everything once and for all by taking both him and the Bishop out. And the way that he killed his biological father was also the way that he took out his father figure, Bishop. He pushed him and himself over the rooftop of the building (poor Shin Jae-ha and rooftops! First ‘Crash Course in Romance’ and then now ‘Taxi Driver’ lol).

I didn’t perceive Ha-jun learning the truth about his identity and story in the final episode as a path to a redemption arc per se. I think it was rather more of 1) a way for the drama to conclude the Bishop’s character and 2) to signify the ending to his story. I actually didn’t feel much for Ha-jun throughout the show because I primarily viewed him as a pretty straight-forward character where he was the bad guy carrying out orders from someone higher-up. Therefore, I’m glad that he learned the truth about his parents before he took both his and the Bishop’s life at the end. He ended up getting his own revenge on the Bishop for making him kill his own dad.

‘Taxi Driver’ was such an interesting show for me because it required me to not take it too seriously or to think too much about it. It was an entertaining show to watch where our team members pulled off hilarious stints and acts and role play to get revenge and meet the expectations of their clients. I did admit that it was a little difficult to stay focused at all times because of how repetitive and redundant it felt every week, but I did enjoy just watching the show for what it was. I knew that it would be exaggerative, I knew that the drama would be extra at times, I knew that our taxi team was always going to make it out alive and win every single case. I knew that our taxi team was eventually going to get revenge for their clients. So with all those expectations already aware in my mind as I sat back and watched the drama, I felt as if I could enjoy it for what it was without thinking too much about what was going on.

Eventually, this was both effective and hurtful in that the drama was fun to watch with how routine it was but it also hurt because things became very familiar. So while it was fun and funny to watch Do-ki play a bunch of different characters and identities, I wasn’t as invested or engaged because it was all sort of the same thing. Each case included a different setting or location with a client who wanted revenge for someone or something and our taxi team then came up with a great plan to get revenge. This all eventually led up to the very moment where our taxi team went up against the mastermind who was behind all the cases which turned out to be the Bishop (and his minion, Ha-jun). Even though the drama remained a fun watch until the very end, I was definitely a lot more into the show in the beginning than I was at the end.

That’s not to say that ‘Taxi Driver’ wasn’t a good drama because it actually was good and fun and entertaining. If you’re a fan of routine and formulaic type of dramas, then ‘Taxi Driver’ is probably more for you. I’m not the biggest fan of routine or procedural dramas, but I think exceptions can be made for dramas like ‘Taxi Driver’ where the characters seek justice and revenge in their own unconventional, hilarious, and exciting ways and they do a bunch of different things to achieve those goals. Plus, it helps that I’m a big fan of team-oriented dramas. Was I a fan of the drama the entire time? No. There were some moments that made me raise my eyebrows or made me question a few things (such as Kim So-yeon’s appearance in the final episode when she appeared exactly at the right moment when our taxi team was in danger and close to getting killed. Or when Do-ki was unconscious in episode 13 and Go-eun was holding onto him in the middle of the busy street intersection LOL).

But I learned to not take ‘Taxi Driver’ too seriously which assisted me in the way that I watched the show. I do appreciate that there were cases such as the ‘Black Sun’ case that was based off of actual, real-life cases. It also unfortunately remained as a tragic reminder that the characters in the drama received proper, deserving consequences and punishments for their actions that those involved in the ‘Burning Sun’ scandal did not. Another aspect about this show that I wished the drama could have explored a little bit more was Do-ki’s trauma from losing his mother. The drama hinted at it briefly a few times throughout, but it was never really a primary focus. I really enjoyed the ending of episode 13 when Do-ki had a vision of his team members hanging out and eating food together. It was touching to watch this scene given that you were accustomed to watching the team work together and basically become like family. Do-ki might have lost his mother, but he gained a second family who would do whatever they could to protect him and vice versa. This aspect of Do-ki’s story was so interesting and I definitely would have liked to see more of it in this second season.

All in all, it didn’t take me long to figure out why ‘Taxi Driver’ was such a successful and popular drama with double digit ratings with both of their seasons. There definitely is a charm to this drama and there’s also just something satisfactory about watching the good old formula of good guys taking down the bad guys in whatever shape or form that may be. It also seemed as if the second season was setting up for a third with the appearance of Moon Chae-won as well as our taxi team taking on a new case (EEEEEEK! I did not know about Moon Chae-won’s appearance in the final episode so I was so shocked to see her! I’m assuming she’s going to be in the third season if there is one and if that is the case, I will definitely need to check it out! Plus, Lee Je-hoon and Moon Chae-won potentially being in the same drama together? The K-drama gods must have heard my prayers!). Though the second season of ‘Taxi Driver’ might have concluded, the work of our rainbow taxi team has not. The drama perfectly summarized the purpose and importance of our taxi team in its final episode, commenting:

As long as the phone keeps ringing, the taxi will be in service.

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