A Victim Of School Violence
Episode 3 of Taxi Driver begins with Sung-Chul being interviewed about his past. Specifically, he’s questioned about his parents and his feelings toward the killer.
Sung-Chul is very open, admitting that he wanted to kill the man himself. Only, he switches his story slightly, mentioning how he’s forgiven the man and moved on. Chairman Baek is watching and she laughs incredulously, commenting to herself that he should be an actor.
At the taxi firm, tempers flare between Ha-Na and Do-Ki. Eventually Sung-Chul shows and manages to break things up. Ha-Na eventually sits down with Sung-Chul and asks him about the taxis… and where Han-Sool is. Her superior is not happy about this and when he finds out, implores Ha-Na to drop the Duk-Chool chase.
Later that day, Ha-Na is driven home in a taxi by Do-Ki and Go Eun. It’s an incredibly awkward ride, one that sees Eun pretending to be English and Do-Ki completely blanking her. After dropping the girl off, the pair head off for food.
It doesn’t take long before Do-Ki has his next case. This comes in the form of a boy called Jung-Min. With his Mother working at the fish market, that smell is enough for the students there to begin beating him own, seeing him as an easy target. The other kids turn a blind eye and the teachers even tell him to “be kind.”
The students not only started taking money from him, they also push Jung-Min in front of a motorcycle to take compensation money. Heading to the police only made things worse.
In fact, these three boys head over to see Jung-Min at his house. This is enough for the boy to think twice about taking it further, worried about his Mother’s livelihood. Thankfully, Do-Ki and the others have a way out.
Jung Min chooses the blue option at the arcade and the group prepare to strike. Their targets are Seung-Tae, Hyung-Sik and Hak-Soo. Do-Ki and the others give themselves one week to get this sorted, which involves Do-Ki showing up at school dressed as a substitute teacher.
He purposefully acts flustered and awkward, making himself a target and reeling in the three bullies exactly as planned. Do-Ki immediately sees what these kids are capable of. They snatch up his money and threaten him.
After following the kids outside, he notices the trio at the local club, paying off one of the bouncers. This seems to be a hint toward their despicable deeds – and enough leverage for Do-Ki to work with for now.
The students come up with a plan of action to get back at their substitute teacher. Little do they know, Do-Ki himself actually has his own plan. After buying cigarettes from a vendor outside, the kids plant photos of another student in Do-Ki’s bag. She too is being bullied and this is enough for Do-Ki to be caught in some seriously hot water. As the episode closes out, Do-Ki is accused of sexual violence.
During the epilogue, Sung-Chul heads to the hospital where Ho-Jung’s Mother has tried to take her own life. Thankfully he talks her out of doing this again, admitting that they need to live fulfilled lives.
The Episode Review
Taxi Driver returns this week with a solid episode, tapping into the epicenter of bullying and portraying it through this horrible case of three boys bullying a fellow student. These scenes were tough to watch and it’s sadly an all-too-common story in schools around the world.
Bullying is a massive problem in Korea too and there’s been a whole wave of recent stories about school violence that make this a tough watch at times. Given the amount this shows up in K-dramas too, it’s perhaps hardly surprising. However, the show does a pretty good job setting the scene nicely for tomorrow’s follow-up.
In fact, the decision to split these cases across two episodes is a clever one, and Taxi Driver has a nice cat-and-mouse vibe with Ha-Na too. It seems like she’s going to be one-step-behind for the episodes to come and this does help add a sense of urgency to proceedings.
For now though, Taxi Driver bows out with a decent chapter.