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Monday, March 27, 2023

"Taxi Driver" Korean drama season one: Episode eight recap


 Air Dates: April 9th until May 29, 2021 on SBS-TV, Saturday and Sundays at 10:00 pm
Director: Park Joon-Woo... Subs done by Sally G... This episode's rating: 12.5%

Main Cast: Bit of a large cast plus there's many guest stars whose roles are big but the episodes are an hour or longer. The setting is the Rainbow Taxi company which is a legit operation and is run by an older man named Jang. For now it seems 100% of the drivers are just your regular cabbies but there is one driver who goes beyond the call of duty and will be the first character you'll read about below. His name is Kim Do-Gi, usually in recaps use the last name for males and first names for females which I hope makes things easier. However will be referring to him as Do-Gi, there's a woman that I'll be using her last name who is Baek.

A second season began on February 17th of this year, hopefully can recap most of the episodes before that season ends and may do posts for that also. Almost all of my drama recaps for the past year have been for shows with the episodes being between 25-45 minutes and have been doing a good job at keeping them brief yet also not leaving any details out. So these recaps will definitely be longer but so much takes place in this show and will already give this series a very high recommendation. As it says in this screenshot this drama is about revenge and we need more in that vein!

Lee Je-Hoon as Kim Do-Gi.... This is a man who can do it all, if I described everything we'd be here for days! Do-Gi is the most unbeatable fighter I've seen to date in a drama, he had once been an elite member of the Special Forces division of Korea's military. Four years ago his mother was slain by a crazed killer who later committed suicide in prison which meant Do-Gi couldn't avenge his mother's death. He soon met the man below who is Jang and the owner the Rainbow Taxi, he told Do-Gi if he wants revenge to join his company. Which is a legit taxi service though Do-Gi also specializes in helping others getting back at those cruel people who have made their lives a living hell! Could add more in but that's enough for now....

Kim Eui-Sung as Jang Sung-Chul..... Owner of Rainbow Taxi and that's him two screenshots above. Jang's parents were murdered twenty years ago and since then has sworn to avenge the victims of brutal crimes or who have been mistreated so badly. There's five members at the taxi company who do work on helping others get revenge but after two shows unsure if that number just may be a bit higher. Jang also runs an organization called Blue Bird which helps victims of crimes.

Esom as Kang Ha-Na.... The exact name as one of my all time fave Korean actresses! She's a prosecutor for the Seoul Northern District and was hell bent on finding what happened to a goon named Cho who disappeared after being released early from prison. But Ha-Na's supervisor told her to lay off the case and has assigned her to work with Jang, besides owning the taxi company he also has an organization helping victims of crime. Since the second show Ha-Na has been a bit leery of how the company operates, are they mixed up in some illegal activities?

Pyo Ye-Jin as Ahn Go-Eun....  I need to do some regular posts for her! Go-Eun is an elite hacker and tech expert who works at Rainbow Taxi and is one of five people there who work on the unknown 'revenge squad'. Go-Eun's sister committed suicide a few years back and we're slowly learning the details of it.

 Jang Hyuk-Jin as Choi Kyung-Goo.... The head mechanic at Rainbow Taxi, Choi and his assistant Park also work for the 'revenge squad'. Along with the above Go-Eun him and Park also work off site doing surveillance work and other duties.

Bae Yoo-Ram as Park Jin-Eon.... Bae and Park are a also comedy team and I've seen them paired up often in dramas. Park's younger brother was married to Choi's younger sister but both were killed in an apartment fire set  by an arsonist.

Cha Ji-Yeon as Baek Sung-Mi.... A very mysterious middle aged lady who owns the Nakwon Company. When Jang has to stash one of the people who they've taken revenge on he brings them to Baek who charges some very high fees. She also owns a shady night club and appears to even run a call girl ring, we learn more about Baek in every episode.

Yoo Seung-Mok as Cho Jin-Woo.... The Deputy Chief Prosecutor for the Seoul Northern District office. Cho is Ha-Na's supervisor and he's also good friends with Jang.

Lee Yoo-Joon as Wang Min-Ho.... Ha-Na's assistant at the prosecutor's office.

Guest Stars for the first two episodes
  For a while will keep these five names at the top, they were the villains from the first two episodes with the bottom four working as a team. But they've still had no official outcome as all are still trapped in the Baek's dungeon.

Cho Hyun-Woo as Cho Do-Chul.... A sexual offender who was sentenced to life in prison but was released after only eight years to public outrage.  He was picked up at court by none other than our hero Do-Gi who brought this sicko to first Jang then to Baek's 'prison'. Ha-Na is on the case to find out what's happened to Cho with no success.... yet. Cho is still alive and kicking as in the sixth episode he was able to escape from the dungeon.

Tae Hang-Ho as Park Ju-Chan.... The main owner of the fish factory and one of the most despicable men I've ever seen in a drama who gets his due justice at the end.

Song Duk-Ho as Cho Jong-Geun.... Park's assistant and he appears to be a bit slow. Cho watches over the workers/slaves at the fish factory, when he first saw Maria he fell in love and began to have his way with her. 

Kim Do-Yeon as Choi Jing-Sook.... Maria's 'handler' who is also beyond cruel, she's recruited all of the workers for Park's factory.

Jo Dae-Hee as Kim Hyun-Wook.... Corrupt police chief in this small town the factory is located in and works as Park's security man.

 Park is on the right, Choi in the middle and Cho on the left.

Guest Stars for the fifth through eighth episodes

Jeon Sung-Ii as Seo Young-Min....  Ex-employee of the U Data company, he quit after working there six months. Young-Min had been brutally harassed and bullied while at the company which is why he quit. But after leaving he was beaten to a pulp by the chairman Park and his group of 'execs', Young-Min had pressed charges but they were dropped through some very devious methods and he's currently in the hospital because of his injuries.

Baek Hyun-Jin as Park Yang-Jin.... Chairman of U Data and to say this man is brutal would be an understatement! In a way this story is a bit like the previous one as it has to deal with bulling but the other story was with high school boys and this is set in the hi-tech world. Park mainly hires workers who have a shady criminal background as he can control them.

Cho Ha-Seoko as Jung.... Director at U Data and in a way may be a meaner man than his boss Park is, he's the man with purple hair in the screenshots.

Kim Jae-Young as Ahn.... Manager of the Strategic Planning Department, like the other execs is also very brutal and he has the green hair in screenshots.

Kwak Min-Gyu as Jeon Jin-Won.... Former employee at U Data who quit after Min-Young did, he's fled to an island for fear of being hunted down!

Ryu Yi-Jae as An Jung-Eun.... Added her in the seventh episode. She was Go-Eun's older sister who committed suicide five years ago. That was because her 'boyfriend' Choi had uploaded a video of the two in bed together, the shame of that was too unbearable to keep living.

U Data.... The largest global cloud/streaming in Korea and most of their profits appear to come from adult videos. They have a unique system where they can see what everyone writes in the cloud even if the e-mail isn't sent or a comment isn't published at a social media site. That's come in very handy to get back at those former employees such as Min-Young

Previous recaps

 This recap brings us to the halfway point of the first season. Will take about a two week break from this series to get to a few others. Coming up next will be the final two recaps for the "Informa" drama that just ended it's ten episode run. Then will have a post for a special "Yodonna" show that's a spin off from the two episode series that aired last year. Then may have a few more posts for the very old "Abunai Deka" drama and after that will return to this series, I'm not a person who can binge watch a sixteen episode drama like so many others can.

 These recaps have been getting a bit longer but there's nothing I can do about that as so much has been taking place, even do leave a few things out so a fifth segment isn't needed. This will be another longish one but when that happens it usually means it was an interesting episode, all eight have been up to now. This ended up being a 250 minute story, that's about the length of three medium sized films. Out of things to blabber about so let's get to the action, it picks up where the last show ended.

 **** Two things before we begin, one is that the three previous posts for this story need to be read or nothing will make sense. The second has to do with main story for this show which is trying to locate where the U Data servers are hidden. However in this episode the location is described as Data Mine so will be using that term often but the goal is still to find out where the servers are hidden.

 That last episode ended with Park's henchmen in two cars trying to force the prosecutor Ha-Na's vehicle off the road, her assistant Wang was driving. It appeared these henchmen were going to be successful but when Do-Gi is involved the enemy never has a chance! He had somehow driven off the freeway undetected by all of the other cars, he waited until they had passed and joined this mini melee. Besides being such a top notch fighter Do-Gi can also handle a car better than anyone else, first he was able to make one car crash into the back of a forklift. Some of this is in the above screenshots, I won't do this scene justice but it was quite action packed. Right after that Do-Gi was able to force the other car to smash into a construction site so both cars chasing Ha-Na were out of commission. But so wasn't Ha-Na's car and did Do-Gi realize he may have hurt her severely too? Ha-Na was okay but not her assistant Wang who had to be brought to the hospital and we didn't see him for the rest of the show. The reason for Ha-Na being targeted was Park had heard his former employee Jeon had an inkling of where the U Data servers were hidden so was bringing Ha-Na and Wang there. But Jeon was being driven to this location by Do-Gi and even by the end of this episode Ha-Na was never aware of that.

 In a minor story but one that will become important dealt with Do-Gi's boss Jang who owns Rainbow Taxi and also runs an organization for crime victims called Blue Bird. That's Jang in the fifth screenshot above, he was at the Northern Seoul Prosecutor's office when he was informed the budgeted money from the DA's office would be cut in half. That infuriated Jang, so much money is spent on criminals yet as Jang said only $50 at present is allotted to victims and they want to cut that in half?! But there was an announcement during the meeting that a donor had made a hefty contribution to Blue Bird, so much there should be no change in how it's run. Of all people it was the mysterious woman Baek who donated the money, even after eight shows there's still so much that remains unknown about her. Jang was shocked she would appear at the prosecutor's office though don't think she's a wanted criminal. Even more shocking to Jang is when Baek brought him to her mansion's dungeon where she showed him the sexual predator Cho had escaped from his cell. Why she waited this long is unknown and to me it seems Baek wouldn't mind seeing Jang get hurt badly, she even warned him to lock his doors! When Cho escaped he stole a wallet and cell phone, that phone has a GPS tracker but she never let Jang know where this creep was and more about Cho later on in the post.

 Except for a few short scenes here and there most of the action from here on out takes place at one location. It's at the U Data Training Institute which is also the weekend home of the chairman Park, its hidden deep in the woods. This is where Jeon said the servers/Data Mine should be and sent on ahead by Do-Gi were the two Rainbow Taxi mechanics Park and Choi. They were scouting out the landscape with no success, as Choi said above a huge Data Mine needs a big outdoor AC system but for now it's still a mystery where it's located. While they were busy looking for the Data Mine Do-Gi brought Jeon to the training institute, guess there were no other options but this decision almost cost Do-Gi his life along with Jeon and the mechanics. This chairman Park is a man who is so out in left field, he's a smart guy to run such a huge company such as U Data but his behavior is beyond odd. Before Do-Gi arrived with Jeon Park was on the grounds of the institute trying to chop chickens in half when they were thrown up in the air! Park may act like a toughie but he's just a common bully, he'll only hit someone when they're tied up or he's surrounded by his bodyguards. Eventually arriving at the U Data building was Jeon who was driven by Do-Gi, don't think he had a plan and was just going to see how things panned out.

 This was an hour show and at this point we were close to the thirty minute mark when an uplifting event took place. After about a week in self confinement Go-Eun has made her return, Jang had sent out the alarm EMERGENCY to the four on his 'revenge squad', was it because of Do-Gi being at the U Data building or perhaps to warn them of Cho escaping and they could be targeted? For now it doesn't matter as Go-Eun arrived at Jang's residence where he has a secret office in his basement. Go-Eun told her boss she's still hurting but unless she helps bring down Park and his gang her pain will never go away. Until now never knew Go-Eun drove a motorcycle, she coolly jumped on one in the basement and zoomed to the Rainbow Taxi van hidden outside of the U Data building. Do-Gi may get most of the glory but Go-Eun is kind of the glue to the 'revenge' squad' and her presence is what keeps things running smoothly. Back at the U Data Institute Jeon has been captured and brought to the building's basement. Park was still a bit leery about Do-Gi as all of these current bad incidents at the company had occurred after Do-Gi began working there. To prove his faithfulness Do-Gi was ordered to shoot Jeon with an arrow(!) which he naturally couldn't do. The director Jung was then told to shoot it at Jeon but was thwarted by Do-Gi and this is when all hell broke loose!

 Park's bodyguards soon brought Do-Gi to his knees with their blows and wondered if this wasn't part of his plan? If so Do-Gi took the chance of his life as Park beat the living lights out of the tied up Do-Gi, first with his fists and then using a baseball bat. Any other person would have passed out or even died but not Do-Gi who kept his wits about him and asked a few times where the Data Mine was. Joining Do-Gi and Jeon as prisoners in the basement were the two Rainbow Taxi mechanics Choi and Park, that's them tied up above. They had gone looking for Do-Gi as they figured their mate was badly hurt which was true but there was no way they could battle Park's posse and quickly surrendered. But as Choi was passing by the tied up Do-Gi he dropped a very mini transmitter that would allow him to talk with anyone in the Rainbow Taxi high tech van. And it just so happens that Go-Eun had just arrived there and it seemed like old times for Do-Gi to talk with her, Go-Eun has gotten him out of so many jams. Even with Do-Gi tied up there was no way Park would reveal the location of the Data Mine but it had to be nearby. In a screenshot above you can see Go-Eun saying 'I'm really sorry', it was for her deceased sister Jung-Eun as Go-Eun had to upload the adult video that featured her sister as it was the only way she track where the signal from the U Data's server was coming from.

 As you can see above Go-Eun hit the jackpot as she discovered the signal was coming from a building behind the U Data institute. That news is what Do-Gi was waiting for, he had slowly been scraping away the rope against the pillar he was tied to and shortly after Go-Eun's message burst from them! Do-Gi had taken such a brutal beating from Park but that didn't affect his fighting abilities in the least! Within a minute he took out all of Park's bodyguards, two waves of them which totaled over a dozen men and I've seen no better fighter in a drama than Do-Gi. There were just two left out of the group, the director Jung who Do-Gi soon disposed of and Park who managed to escape to the Data Mine building. Do-Gi quickly sped there, this building looked like a shed about to fall down but there was so much equipment in there. On the floor was a bow and arrow, Park had wanted Do-Gi to shoot it before which he did now as he nailed Park in the shoulder! Park was severely hurt from that and also the mini beating Do-Gi gave him in the basement, Do-Gi was going to leave him and why? We soon found out the answer as entering the Data Mine shed were the two mechanics who had a device in their hands. At the time didn't know what it was but soon found out it was a detonator, Do-Gi then grabbed Park, brought him to the front of the U Data Institute building and tied the creep up. Soon he left in his own car, following him was Go-Eun on her motorcycle and the mechanics in the Rainbow Taxi van.

 There was only eight minutes to go in this episode at this point but so much more took place. Do-Gi and his troops were zooming down the freeway back to Seoul, coming the other way was Ha-Na with at least twenty police officers and workers from her prosecutor's office. Ha-Na's superior Cho had finally gotten a warrant for Ha-Na to raid Park's place, after seeing how badly hurt Wang was Cho knew justice had to be meted out and all along he silently was backing Ha-Na. At the U Data Institute Ha-Na didn't know what to make of the scene, there were about two dozen men laying on the ground injured and who could have done this? Ha-Na still has her suspicions about Rainbow Taxi but she's never been able to prove they've been part of these incidents of revenge... yet! Park had managed to untie himself and crawl his way to the Mine Data building, upon entering it he saw the detonator which was going to explode in less than a minute! And that it did sending Park to Kingdom Come(yay!) though also injuring may others just outside the building, don't think Do-Gi thought Ha-Na would ever arrive there. Though this case may appear to be over wouldn't be surprised if we hear more about it in the next show.

 So justice was served to Park and his cronies at U Data, a happy ending for that revenge case but not a happy ending to this episode. That prisoner Cho, who escaped from Baek's dungeon, had been staking out Jang's residence. Cho doesn't know about Jang's 'revenge squad' and that it was Do-Gi who captured him in the first episode. But Cho does know that Jang runs the Blue Bird organization and he helped the victims of Cho's sexual crimes to testify against him in court. Beginning to think that Baek is such an evil woman as she should have given Jang a better warning about Cho and she knew he was outside his house. Cho eventually made it inside and surprised Jang who as an older man isn't much of a fighter. The pair did have a conversation but we viewers heard so little of it but did see the final outcome. That's in the next four screenshots as Cho stabbed Jang, left him bleeding to death and fled the house, none of his 'revenge' squad' had any inkling about what was taking place with their leader and sure this incident will open up the ninth episode. WHEW(!), that ends this very long story and what a four episode story it was! Once again will highly recommend this series which has been getting even better with each episode. Plenty of screenshots below form this show which will help you follow the story a bit better and the next pair of recaps should be in about two weeks.

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