End Of The Road
Episode 16 of Taxi Driver begins with Sung-Chul speaking to Chul-Young in prison. This convict is excited about starting a new writing gig and vows to publish his book no matter what.
While he smirks, outside the prison Do-Ki pays his respects to his Mother. He’s enraged, and Sung-Chul eventually catches up and tells Do-Ki he needs to finish what they’ve started. The whole team is there too, and they all show up to plan their next move.
None of them can forgive Chul-Young for what’s happened and besides, they made a promise to Chul-Jin. They’re going to see this through to its conclusion.
This begins with Hyun-Soo, whom Do-Ki heads up to visit. Sitting down to drink, he’s shocked when he realizes Hyun-Soo doesn’t seem to know anything about his Father. Realizing he has leverage over Chul-Young, Do-Ki visits him in prison and promises to gain revenge through Hyun-Soo. He is, of course, using the alias Dong-Chan. Do-Ki intends to reveal all. This is the one weak spot for Chul-Young, who drops to his knees and pleads for forgiveness.
Well, Do-Ki decides to keep everything a secret and not reveal the truth just yet, for Hyun-Soo’s sake. While Chul-Young is en-route to being transferred, Sung-Chul receives a call that Han Mi-Ae, Chul-Young’s wife, has passed away.
The catalyst for this heartbreak comes from Chul-Young sadistically breaking Hyun-Soo’s arm outside the cell. He wasn’t able to visit his dementia-riddled Mother in hospital and she fell down the stairs. He’s obviously unaware of the link to his family until Sung-Chul reveals all. Chul-Young is crushed.
Meanwhile, Ha-Na makes her choice and decides against arresting Do-Ki. She tells him there’s “not enough evidence” while an enraged Baek decides not to mention the secret prison. Ha-Ni likens him to a victim and although she’s breaching her duties, claims it’s worth it to help protect people. In fact, she decides against fighting anymore.
At the police station, Ha-Na hands in her letter of resignation. The Director knows about Rainbow Taxi though and rips up her letter, telling her not to run away like a coward and to catch 100 more criminals like Baek. In fact, the Director himself is going to resign. In his stead is the new deputy chief prosecutor, Do Joong-Won.
With the case resolved, all of our Rainbow Taxi members decide to part ways and go their separate ways. Kyung-Koo and a now-recovered Jin-Eon are going back to where they were before, while Go-Eun is going to take the civil service exam. Do-Ki is going to travel. Sung-Chul? Well, he’s staying right where he is. He bows to them all and thanks them all for their hard work.
We then skip forward one year later. Chul-Young is brought in for trial while Chul-Jin is there too to witness this take place. Chul-Young stands up and admits the truth that he is the real killer. This allows justice to be served while Chul-Jin finally gets some retribution.
On the way out the courthouse, Sung-Chul learns the verdict to Baek’s trial. The Goo twins have received life behind bars. Baek however, manages to get herself 20 years in jail – extended from 10.
So what of our other characters? Well, Do-Ki does indeed go traveling, pitching up a tent in a park and admiring the views. Jin-Eon winds up working at -what’s assumed to be – NADA (The South Korean space agency) while Kyung-Koo works on a race course. Go-Eun passes her civil test and works as a police officer while Ha-Na appears to have been promoted at work.
Together, all the characters receive a ping on their pagers and convene at Sung-Chul’s hideout once again. It turns out they’re still working at Rainbow but now working to do this using both sides of the law.
The Episode Review
Taxi Driver bows out with a satisfying conclusion that rounds out all of our plot points nicely while leaving the possibility of a second season wide open. It’s probably highly unlikely we’ll ever receive this, with a rare exception being something like Voice or Stranger – but it’s certainly a nice sentiment all the same.
While some have bemoaned the change in writers, personally this hasn’t detracted from the enjoyment of Taxi Driver. Sure, there’s been a few more melodramatic beats since then, but the show has done well to maintain an air of drama with its depiction of revenge and challenging the notion of whether this is the right course of action to take or not.
The different characters each have a good send-off as well, now coming to peace with what’s happened. The way these past few episodes have tied the past to the present is a really nice touch, and rounds everything out nicely.
Quite simply this has been a very solid thriller, with lots of drama and action along the way. It may not be all that unique in its premise, but Taxi Driver has been a really enjoyable ride.