Teacher VS Students
Episode 4 of Taxi Driver begins with Ha-Na closing in on Do-Ki. She visits a mechanic who happens to have the rammed police car from before in the shop.
Realizing something doesn’t add up, she drives to the very spot where the collision took place. With shards of metal lining the ground like graffiti, Ha-Na tells her colleagues to contact the traffic authorities to see if there’s any footage that can help.
Meanwhile, Do-Ki is taken to see the principal but on the way winks at one of the bullies. They’re taken aback for sure and now it becomes clear that Do-Ki has their number. He moved the photos over to Seung-Tae’s desk, courtesy of Go Eun showing up dressed as a student, moving the photos while Do-Ki was en-route to the school library.
The next day, Seung-Tae organizes the class and forces them to stay quiet. With the cameras filming, Do-Ki plays them at their own game and decides to show the class a video instead. This clip highlights the three bullies out in the woods burying marijuana. After class, Do-Ki lets Seung-Tae know that the police have been notified of it too.
Now Do-Ki has the upper-hand and toys with Seung-Tae, forcing him to run errands in the middle of class. Seung-Tae’s revenge then hits a serious roadblock when Do-Ki shows up at his house and starts playing Go with his Dad.
In private, Do-Ki continues to blackmail the kids and forces them to give over $5000. Seung-Tae is enraged and immediately phones his contacts when Do-Ki leaves. This culminates in a whole series of thugs showing up on the rooftop to take him out.
This completely backfires, as Do-Ki takes them all out single-handedly. He even kicks Seung-Tae straight off the rooftop! The other two boys, Hyung-Sik and Hak-Soo, immediately drop to their knees and beg for forgiveness. Well, Do-Ki forces them into the police station to confess up to everything they’ve done.
Seung-Tae meanwhile is still alive after his tumble but held captive with Do-Ki. He forces the boy to eat as many pastries as possible – with everything left behind the equivalent price of Jung-Min’s compensation. No money? No problem. Do-Ki has sorted out a brand new job too to pay off his inevitable debt. It’s not, however, descaling fish!
With the case resolved, Jung-Min receives his bill of $3402. He was under the assumption this service was free but is still grateful for the help. Sung-Chul greets Jung-Min’s Mother too, telling her that Jung-Min’s tuition will be free when he passes high school.
That evening, Do-Ki and Sung-Chul meet with Ha-Na for dinner. After, Do-Ki heads outside but the sound of a whistle triggers an anxiety attack. Flashes of the past come back, as we see Do-Ki heading home after his military service. The sound of a kettle whistling accompanies his Mother’s gruesome murder.
Back in the present, word spreads that the Deluxe Taxi has been seen outside again. A tip is called in, prompting Ha-Na to eye an unconscious Do-Ki suspiciously.
The Episode Review
Taxi Driver returns with a really satisfying resolution to this bullying story. The message at the end regarding bullying and how it can be a life or death situation absolutely rings true. For anyone who’s been through bullying at school – or in life – it can feel like a black hole for which there’s no way out. I can absolutely empathize with this, and as a victim of bullying myself (resulting in cutting my wrists and thighs numerous times) that feelings of helplessness is difficult to shake.
Anyway, Jung-Min managed to get his revenge in the end and hopefully Seung-Tae and the other boys have learned their lesson now. Bullying is obviously a hot topic in Korea right now and it’s perhaps no surprise that Na-Eun was replaced by Pyo Ye-Jin in the role of Go Eun. Given the bullying accusations against the former, I can’t imagine what sort of reaction this would have garnered from the public.
Either way, the story isn’t wholly original given how many revenge thrillers there are out there, but this one has a nice hook with the taxi service. I’d imagine the cases will start ramping up though to tackle big corporations in the coming weeks. If it does, it’ll be a little disappointing as I genuinely think the strength of this show lies in its more intimate and relatable stories – especially given the scamming and the school bullying cases we’ve received so far.
Still, Taxi Driver is a nicely paced, well written series and a great stop-gap before the crazy final season of Penthouse.