Mini-Recap: “Taxi Driver 2” – Episodes 13 and 14

Taxi Driver 2 Episodes 13 and 14 Recap

Now that this season’s endgame is much clearer now, I think my feelings about the season are also getting a bit clearer as well.

As much as I will forever love our Rainbow Taxi crew, this season has been a bit of a valley for me. That is, it started out very strong. The opening episodes in Vietnam and then the case of the grandmother who had been scammed were such highs and really picked up where season one left off. But since then, it’s been on kind of a steady downward slope and we’ve been stuck at the bottom of the valley floor right now.

That’s not to say that the series is bad. Taxi Driver‘s valley floor is still quite higher than the sea level of the rest of Korean drama, so to speak. But there’s just something about the series, even in these bold recent episodes, that is missing.

Thinking back to that scamming case, I think it’s the idea of the team helping “the little people.” That is, giving power to the powerless. I think we’ve only gotten four standalone cases this season before this final arc. And while they’ve been mostly alright, I think pacing has been affected and perhaps hand-in-hand with the lack of cohesiveness and character-driven story that we were treated to in season one.

Taxi Driver 2 Episodes 13 and 14 Recap

Obviously, the team are all at a different point in their lives now. They all had personal stakes in the cases they were fighting in season one. That connection might not be there anymore. And that makes the show feel more like any other crime procedural.

There’s also the lack of that gray area with the gang’s vigilante justice.

But anyway, I’ll save more of the general thoughts of the season for next week, lest this become my Hindsight Review before even the finale.

But this Black Sun case, while a great “Fuck you” to all the people (including those in the media, law enforcement and the government) who allowed the real-life Burning Sun hellhole to exist, lacked an affecting connection that most of the Rainbow Taxi crew’s cases usually have.

Maybe in addition to centering the case around the murdered detective, have the team meet one of the assault victims. They mentioned in passing how any woman who reported an assault was just turned into a perpetrator instead. Having the team meet one of the victims and maybe have her also enlist the gang’s services would’ve made this case even more relatable. And also match the gravity of the case with having two clients: both the reporter and a sexual assault victim.

In the end, the Black Sun case served two purposes: Shaming the real life perpetrators and enablers of the Burning Sun scandal and serve as the gateway to introducing the real Final Boss of the season.

Taxi Driver 2 Episodes 13 and 14 Recap

Now, there’s no question Park Ho San will do a fine job as this mysterious “Bishop,” the priest/druglord/human trafficker. But the more interesting aspect of this endgame story is really On Ha Joon’s character. This whole criminal cult story feels more like a case of the week rather than a season endgame.

Being just an underling (though a high ranking one) of the Bishop kind of negates the tension they’ve built up between Ha Joon and the Rainbow Taxi crew. I don’t know that the show has done enough to build up Ha Joon’s character leading into this pair of episodes.

Because actually, Mr. Jang digging into Ha Joon’s past is probably one of the more interesting things I’m looking forward to in the final week. I would actually love to see a pseudo-redemption story where we learn about Ha Joon’s horrible life growing up. The kind of familiar story where a battered soul just ends up becoming so messed up that they are too far gone.

I’d like to think Ha Joon’s scene with Mr. Jang where he says something like he was the first person to treat him nicely was sincere. Ha Joon’s still a crazy criminal cultist or whatever. But there’s still that sliver of a broken person that just needed someone like Mr. Jang or the Rainbow Taxi crew to reach out a hand.

I honestly wish that had been the season-long story. Ha Joon still being an underling, but only because he had nothing to grab hold of. Yet he meets the Rainbow Taxi crew and they somehow soften him and give him that small glimmer of hope that he can find a family or friends, etc. That’s what the Rainbow Taxi crew do best, after all.

But of course, it would be tragically too late and we would see Ha Joon die a tragic, heroic and poignant death.

I dunno. I just want to see Ha Joon (as a main character) get a conclusion that is worthy of not only Shin Jae Ha’s talent, but also of the great rapport they show had built between Ha Joon and the team. Otherwise, it would diminish Ha Joon’s role as a mere plot device. And that would be such a waste. And probably affect my view of the season as a whole. We’ll see.

Taxi Driver 2 Episodes 13 and 14 Recap

Anyway, it was very satisfying to see how the show wrapped up the Black Sun case when thinking about the real-life scandal. But the show resorting to another death fake out after having just done one last week kind of adds to this feeling of potential burnout for the story. Which doesn’t make sense considering there is so much the series can still do and definitely enough for a season three.

So we’ll look forward to the final two episodes. It feels more like the conclusion of any other case, rather than a season-ender. But I still have hope in the Taxi Driver team.

6 thoughts on “Mini-Recap: “Taxi Driver 2” – Episodes 13 and 14

  1. Shin Jae Ha is so fine! omg. He definitely deserves a better role. He was good here, but they really dropped the ball in these last episodes.

    1. He’s great! I remember first watching him in Page Turner with Ji Soo and Kim So Hyun. Great miniseries!

      I agree they should’ve kept him as a main villain.

  2. I’m the opposite, I actually prefer these recent episodes compared to the start of the season. Much more exciting.

  3. Yeah, the fakeouts with Do Ki’s deaths feel like they just need something to fill the rest of the episodes, tbh.

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