I was hoping to keep up with the second season of Taxi Driver every week, but that was easier said than done for me. Thankfully though, the show had to delay Episode 6 by a week, so I haven’t fallen too far behind. I decided to wait for Episode 6 before watching its paired Episode 5. So for now, I got to enjoy Episodes 3 and 4 first.
These episodes focused on grandmother Lee Im Soon (Byun Jung Hee) who lives alone in a rural town and ends up getting scammed by sweet talking salesman Yoo Sang Gi (Ko Sang Ho). Sang Gi, along with his two minions Goo Jae Seung and Lee Dong Geun (Yoo Dong Hun and Kang Young Taek) endear themselves to Grandma Lee, manipulating her emotions for her own son and sick grandchild in the city to scam her out of her life savings.
Thanks to the trio’s schemes, Grandma Lee is soon saddled with unexpected debt and the ire of her neighbors who had been enticed to purchase poorly made products (essentially trash) and are now convinced she is in cahoots with them.
Not wanting her now-impending criminal case to burden her son, Grandma Lee attempts to take her own life by jumping in front of a moving train. But she spots the familiar sticker on the tracks and decides to give our friends at Rainbow Taxi a call.
The gang quickly collects information showing that Sang Gi has already scammed many elderly people across the country and they all agree to take on Grandma Lee’s case.
This time, Do Gi gets into character as a jolly country bumpkin in order to get as close as he can to Sang Gi and his boys and find the opening for them to exact their revenge and ultimately recover Grandma Lee’s money.
This case, however, requires the rest of the gang to be a lot more active in the field this time. That includes Mr. Jang pretending to be a senile old man hiding a fortune in the surrounding farm and forest. And also a reluctant Go Eun who must pretend to be a performer-for-hire, complete with song and dance.
And song and dance is what the gang does to Sang Gi and his minions. They are able to string them along until their explosive comeuppance which results in the gang finding the goons’ stash of stolen money and driving Sang Gi to a perfect fate for him.
As always, Taxi Driver has no problem triggering the waterworks. And this time, they are able to do so as our Rainbow Taxi Friends ultimately get Grandma Lee’s life back to normal. But more importantly, help her realize that she must not blame herself or believe she is a burden to anyone.
Her case is closed once her son and grandson come to visit her in the countryside. Now there was always some tension in wondering how Grandma Lee’s son may actually treat her, with or without scam. But their final scenes show that he does actually care about her. And he and his son are happy to visit, though regret not being able to come more often.
As Taxi Driver‘s cases are inspired by true stories, this story is really affecting because too many times the elderly are mistreated, not cared for or even forgotten. Especially in Korea, many dramas and a lot of nonfiction series have documented the lives of older Korean citizens. Many of whom live day to day on their own, some of them are just left to fend for themselves by children and family who don’t care about them.
So it was wonderful to see the happy ending here. As they always are with Taxi Driver. That’s one of the reasons the show is so fun to watch. Action-packed and dramatic, but warm and sincere as well.
Now, in the grander arc of the season, these two episodes were our first full opportunity to get to know new taxi driver On Ha Joon. Played by the always great Shin Jae Ha, Ha Joon comes across as a clumsy, though kind young man. But he has stumbled upon the secret door to the gang’s command center below. And we are led to believe that he has finally made his way down there.
On one hand, it would appear that he really has just stumbled upon something he shouldn’t have. And maybe he gets recruited by the gang to join their mission.
On the other hand, there seem to be shadowy figures lurking about with the Rainbow Taxi gang in their sights. So it is quite possible that Ha Joon could be some sort of spy tasked with infiltrating the gang’s clandestine work.
The mystery of who shot the police chief/human trafficking boss could be related in some way. Or could just be a whole other threat altogether.
We seem to also be getting more insight on Do Ki’s past as well. So that is very welcome.
So there is definitely plenty of mystery to go around and linger for the next 12 episodes of this season. (And I definitely hope there’s more seasons to come!)
But of course, the cases of the week and just seeing our Rainbow Taxi friends doing what they do best will still be the most engaging part of Taxi Driver.
Looking forward to watching the next case!