The Sunbaek Cult
Episode 7 of Taxi Driver Season 2 picks up where we left off as Ha-joon is at his secret lair. There, he meets with an investor who has just had a beverage. The guy intended to seal some of his investment papers for a hotel Ha-joon had invested in.
The man jokes that Ha-joon was dumb enough to make the payment before receiving the sealed contract. Ha-joon smirks as the man chokes, claiming that he was to have the best benefits now that he became the sole investor of the hotel.
The man dies at Ha-joon’s feet but he moves to a different room without looking back. Whilst there, Ha-joon looks at his evidence board on which he has collected background information on the Secret Rainbow Taxi revenge crew. At the same time, Sung-cheol discusses the shocking suicide of Pil-seung with Do-gi.
Do-gi is sure that the man hadn’t committed suicide but someone was onto them and had staged Pil-seung’s death to get the revenge crew’s attention. Do-gi worries that the person who is looking for them must be closer than expected. Meanwhile, Jin-eon and Kyung-goo show Go-eun the new modifications they had made to the revenge taxi but end up pissing her off.
Go-eun chases the two men around the taxi stand as Sung-cheol and Do-gi watch the three in amusement. Ha-joon smiles at Do-gi but walks away with a straight face upon seeing the commotion Go-eun and the others were causing.
Do-gi watches Ha-joon drive off in his taxi with a straight face but does not think much of it yet. The episode moves on to a young woman named Jin-hee who is creating a scene outside a religious centre.
She claims that her sister, Jin-seon, was kidnapped by the religious leader – Ok Ju-man. Ju-man claims that Jin-seon had made a personal decision when she chose to follow the Sunbaek Church and that Jin-hee was trespassing on his private property. Jin-hee is being taken away by the cops when she sees the contact number for Rainbow Taxi. She tells her story to Do-gi and narrates how her older sister, Jin-seon had been her only family member.
After struggling for years to raise her, Jin-hee was finally a college graduate and working a full-time job all thanks to Jin-seon’s hard work. One day, Jin-hee notices that Jin-seon was having a nosebleed. Upon visiting a local hospital, the sisters learn that Jin-seon had a chronic illness – myeloid leukaemia and needed to be treated as soon as possible if she wanted to survive.
Jin-seon is hopeless but Jin-hee claims that she would help her sister and nurse Jin-seon back to health. At the hospital, a stranger talks to Jin-seon as she is crying alone. Following that interaction, Jin-hee notices that her sister had started following a new religion where she heard absurd sermons from a religious leader – Ju-man.
Jin-hee tries to force her sister to take her treatments but Jin-seon appears to be seriously devoted to Ju-man’s preachings. The younger of the two sisters is also shocked when she learns that Jin-seon had taken a huge loan from the bank and donated the sum to Sunbaek Church.
When the doctors tell Jin-hee that she needed to bring her sister for treatments before it is too late, Jin-hee finds out that Jin-seon had moved out of the house and into the religious centre. Despite her attempts, Jin-hee is not able to reach Jin-seon at the centre and the older sister asks the guards to stop Jin-hee from seeing her.
Jin-hee tells Do-gi that the cops had also stopped paying attention to her requests claiming that it was Jin-seon’s religious preference and that they had no right to bring her out of Sunbaek Religious Centre. Go-eun is on the rooftop, thinking about her own sister.
She asks Do-gi to sort this case out soon and reunite Jin-hee with her sister. Since Go-eun personally knew what it felt like to lose her older sister, she understood what Jin-hee was going through. Do-gi promises to sort the case out as soon as possible.
The next day, Do-gi visits the religious centre and finds that many other relatives like Jin-hee were protesting against the church but the guards would not budge. Jin-eon and Kyung-goo manage to hack the cameras inside the guarded facility which gives Do-gi and Go-eun access to what Ju-man’s religious services looked like.
They are weirded out when they see that Ju-man preached that his sick devotees did not need any medicine but only Ju-man’s blessing to heal from chronic illnesses. The man claims that pain and suffering were a means to clean a human body.
Ju-man claims that his followers needed to tough it out and bear the pain in order to be cleaned. The religious practice included Ju-man assaulting his followers to teach them that bodily pain meant nothing. Go-eun tells the group that Ju-man used to be a textile industrialist with a lot of failed businesses.
After harbouring a dream to make his own church, Ju-man started preaching to desperate people and gaslit and manipulated them into donating large sums of funds to his church. Go-eun shares that the man had a lot of accusations against him where he was involved in different scams and the group wonders how they will bring justice to Ju-man’s victims.
Do-gi asks Jin-eon to start the mission by becoming Ju-man’s follower first. Meanwhile, Ha-joon is discussing his findings on the Taxi Driver group. He states that Do-gi and the rest were responsible for the destruction of not one but two of his businesses. Ha-joon was the true owner of the illegal employment racket set up in Vietnam as well as Pil-seung’s scam with Feel Consultants.
He is upset that an ex-military officer turned Taxi Driver was able to infiltrate both businesses and shut them down to the ground. He wants to know why Do-gi was doing all this and what he and the other members of the Rainbow Taxi crew were after.
Meanwhile, Jin-hee accepts the revenge mission’s conditions and the crew sets out to work. Jin-eon first starts by visiting a hospital and putting on a scene when he starts crying. A woman comes to talk to him and brings Ju-man’s right-hand woman to preach about his power. She tells Jin-eon how Ju-man’s teachings helped her get better after she was discovered to have cancer.
Jin-eon goes to one of Ju-man’s services and hears the woman give emotional testimony about Ju-man’s power. The entire service is a huge display set up by Ju-man that gets the members of the church to start worshipping him as they donate large sums of money to the godman. Jin-eon tries talking to Jin-seon, hoping to get her out of the Sunbaek Church centre.
He learns that the woman was becoming delusional and had complete faith in Ju-man’s preachings. Jin-eon tries to take Jin-seon to the hospital but she declines the offer and states that she needed to suffer to be completely free from sin. Meanwhile, Do-gi is doing his best to start setting up the trap for Ju-man.
He shops for a hanbok and different relics in order to execute his plan. Go-eun wonders what the driver was going to do and he claims that meeting Ju-man was the next thing on his agenda. Meanwhile, he puts Kyung-goo and Jin-eon to make a list of items for the execution of the agenda.
Jin-eon attends another ‘Healing Service’ at the Sunbaek Church and drinks the ‘healing water’ that Ju-man was making his followers drink in exchange for huge sums of money. However, instead of swallowing it like the other followers, Jin-eon spits it out but is found out by one of Ju-man’s followers.
The man takes Jin-eon to an isolated room and traps him there until the new follower has memorized the 10 commandments of Ju-man. After spending the entire night in the room, Jin-eon is finally out the next morning and it seems as though the man has been through a lot.
Ju-man and his prodigy are out on a ‘date’ when he gifts her an expensive necklace set for her touching testimony at the service. At the restaurant, the godman talks about how his followers were extremely gullible for believing in his preachings. There is a camera at the restaurant that is recording them.
The waitress brings Ju-man a bill from a different table and claims that the guest had asked Ju-man to pay for his meal. Ju-man goes to talk to the customer at the table and it turns out to be Do-gi and Kyung-goo dressed in hanboks. The entire interaction seems absurd to Ju-man but Do-gi warns Ju-man to be careful as death was looming on his head. Ju-man ignores the two men and walks back to his table.
As he leaves the restaurant, a lightbox falls right in front of him and startles him. He is shocked but thinks back about what Ju-man had said. Go-eun tells Do-gi that Ju-man had added the drug named meperidine hydrochloride, which works like a pain killer in the healing water.
Do-gi and Go-eun are furious with the man and the driver states that it was finally time for them to start the revenge plan. Ju-man’s men tell him that the construction of his church had to be stopped because of the discovery of multiple relics at the site. Ju-man destroys the relics for the workers and tells them that the construction of Sunbaek Church could not be delayed any further.
Back at Rainbow Taxi’s secret headquarters, Jin-eon finds himself involuntarily singing the songs from his worship sessions. Kyung-goo makes a two-way mirror box for their mission as per Do-gi’s request.
On his drive back, Ju-man starts seeing sinister things but does not make much of it. His car breaks down in the middle of the abandoned road but he is unable to call for help as there is no service on his phone.
He finds Do-gi dressed as a monk and asks for his phone to call for help. Do-gi performs a ritual and claims that he had sent away death that was looming over Ju-man’s head and freed him. Ju-man finds the cell service in his phone has restarted and leaves the place without thinking much about it.
The Episode Review
This episode is really interesting and it could very interesting for viewers after watching the real-life godman scam around the cult leader JMS. While the story of this Sunbaek cult is very different from the original, it shows how these men manipulate the weak-minded and try to take advantage of their plight.
With that being said, Ha-joon is an interesting character. I like how they are tying his storyline with that of the show but there seems to be a plot hole. Since he was hanging out with Seo-yeon and was very good to her, how did he not notice the men chasing after her right at the Taxi Stand?
This seems like a plot hole but given the fact that the show is entertaining overall, we could overlook such tiny details. I can’t wait to see how Do-gi teaches this greedy man a lesson in the next episode.