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Thursday, March 16, 2023

"Taxi Driver" Korean drama season one: Episode three 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: 11.7%

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 in the above screenshot. 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.... That's Ye-Jin below and I need to do some regular posts for her! She's 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'.

 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.

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.

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
 Stories are for two episodes which means this list of characters will be in both of today's recaps. 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 and there was a mention of them made during todays two recaps.

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.

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 third and fourth episodes

Park Joon-Mok as Park Jung-Min.... High school junior who is a somewhat new transfer student at Sejung high school. Jung-Min lives with his mother who is deaf and runs a fish stall in Jaesong. Jung-Min has been bullied so badly by the below three students, it was turning into a case of live and death which is why he contacted Rainbow Taxi.

Choi Hyun-Wok as Park Seung-Tae.... The ringleader of the group that bullies Jung-Min, he comes from a rich family and has been getting away with murder! Not in the literal sense but wouldn't put it past Seung-Tae causing someone's death.

Lee Jae-Hak as Jang Hung-Sik..... One of Jung-Min's other bullies but mainly follows the orders of Seung-Tae.

Lee Min-Jae as Oh Hak-Soo.... Same as the above character.

Previous recaps

 That above intro to this drama is easily the largest one that I've ever done but it's also the best, only drawback is that it takes so long to edit! No continuing storyline as the cases change every two episodes but as mentioned the criminals from the first case are still alive and imprisoned in Baek's dungeon, no outcome as yet though that case isn't quite dead as you'll be seeing. This next 'revenge case' didn't begin until the twenty minute mark and it had to do with school bulling, the four characters are above with the first name being the boy bullied. There were a few other minor storylines going on and think one may soon become a major one, let's get to what took place. Usually will watch an episode, recap it and then move on to the next show. Not so with this drama as there were so many questions raised during this episode had to watch the fourth show before writing this up.

 In the top two screenshot above is the owner of the Rainbow Taxi company and also the leader of this 'revenge squad'. His name is Jang and to me he's such a terrific guy, he may want to hurt others in order to get revenge but him and his troops are just meting out some due justice. It's the 20th anniversary of when Jang's parents were killed by a murderer, he was being interviewed for a TV special. Jang said he did eventually come to forgive the killer Oh who has since died in prison, wonder if Jang had anything to do with it? Everyone who knew Jang that watched this interview had a hard time not laughing as they all know his true feelings about Oh and other of society's lowlifes. The one who had the biggest chuckle was the mysterious woman named Baek, her reason for laughing so hard was because she has Jang's prisoners locked up in her mansion's dungeon! Once again we didn't see all that much of Baek though she is a key character but we did learn much more about her during this show and at the end of the fourth episode, actually that also raised many more questions!

 Jang also has an organization called Blue Bird which helps victims of crimes and it is a legit operation. He has an ally at the Northern Seoul Prosecutor's Office named Cho, we learned in the next show they've been close friends for a very long time. Cho had a prosecutor from his office working with Blue Bird but that person has recently left. In his place Cho has assigned Ha-Na who is such a gung-ho woman but to date we haven't seen her do anything with Jang's organization. Ha-Na is still working on the disappearance of the sexual predator Cho, three in the first four shows have that same last name. We viewers know he's currently a prisoner in Baek's dungeon and the first two recaps has his story. Ha-Na has continued on with the investigation and is making headway, she believes that one of Jang's Rainbow Taxi cabs was involved with Cho's disappearance and she's right with her deduction. Ha-Na did pay a visit to the Rainbow Taxi company where she first met our hero Do-Gi and the pair did not hit it off at all! Plus after that Ha-Na did draw the ire of Jang to an extent with questions about his taxis and could they have been mixed up in Cho's case? When her boss, also named Cho, heard of what she was doing he blew his top! Cho had ordered Ha-Na to abandon that case but she went against his orders, despite his berating Ha-Na will remain on the case secretly.

 Do have to add in that Ha-Na is making progress on the Cho case, a little too much which is making Jang feel quite uncomfortable. After watching so many hours of videos the day the sexual abuser Cho had gone missing she checked out one vehicle much more closely, she's discovered that it was registered to a man named.... Jang! When Ha-Na confronted him with this info he told her the name Jang was actually his father who had died twenty years ago! Upsetting this fine man is what made Ha-Na's boss so irate and at the end of the show she made a few more discoveries which I'll be getting to. By now this episode was over fifteen minutes long and finally the second revenge case for this series was about to begin. In the top three screenshots is a high school junior named Park Jung-Min, that first screenshot was of him late one night looking up info on the internet. Sleeping behind Jung-Min was his mother, they are rather poor to share the same bedroom. Her name was never mentioned but she runs a fish stall and is deaf.

 Jung-Min is a newish student at the Jaesong high school which is right outside of Seoul. During that internet session there were tears streaming down Jung-Min's face, he had been looking up ways to kill yourself pain free! There was a popup  on his screen which was a quick advert for Rainbow Taxi, like the first victim the message said if you're seeking revenge to contact them and wonder if Ha-Na will also eventually stumble across it? Jung-Min called the number and though 2:00 am soon outside his apartment was the drama's 'hero' Do-Gi. He'll assess these potential cases and then report back to Jang, what Do-Gi does is drive around and listen to a victim's story. So here's the tale Jung-Min told our hero, he's a semi-newish transfer student to the Jaesong high school and since day one has been brutally bullied. This abuse is getting worse and worse, was death Jung-Min's only escape? He's currently on crutches for the three bulling him had shoved him in front of a motorcycle, when the driver paid the damages these three goons took the money! There's many other incidents which took place but sure you get what was taking place with Jung-Min, didn't help either that he smelled of fish as he would often help his mother out at her fish stall. After leaving Do-Gi's souped up taxi Jung-Min was given an envelope, it was to report to an arcade the next day. The instructions were to go to a special game which is where Jung-Min would decide if he wants Rainbow Taxi to help him out. After almost leaving the arcade Jung-Min had a change of heart as he returned to the game and officially signed up to have Rainbow Taxi take revenge on these three cruel bullies. 

 In the top screenshot above is Rainbow Taxi's ace tech whiz Eun-Go, she wondered to her mates do they need to stoop so low to take on a bulling case? YES was the answer from the owner Jang, being bullied so badly at seventeen can have such a traumatic effect on one's life.... that is if a boy such as Jung-Min doesn't kill himself first! The trio of bullies is led by a boy named Park Seung-Tae who has had a pair of hearings to talk about how he's abusing Jung-Min. But both times Seung-Tae was able to squirm out of any trouble, his parents had no clue what was gong on as he had his 'uncles' stand up for him. Seung-Tae's partners in crime are Jang and Oh, that's the trio above with Seung-Tae the tallest boy on the left, his two cohorts are mainly 'yes men' who always obey Seung-Tae's orders. Leave it to our hero Do-Gi do make the first move in this case, he told Jang he could clear everything up in a week and the first order was that he became the homeroom teacher for Jung-Min and the bullies, the previous teacher happened to be 'sick' for a week. That's Do-Gi looking like a teacher in a few screenshots above, he didn't have a definite plan when he arrived at the high school but wanted to wait until Seung-Tae made the first move which didn't take too long.

 Though being only seventeen Seung-Tae already has the makings of a career criminal, he comes from a respectable family. The trio of bullies wouldn't listen to a word their new teacher said and Do-Gi is using he identity of Hwang In-Sung. Right off the bat Seung-Tae showed Hwang who was the King of the school as he managed to empty Hwang's wallet out that had a hefty amount of cash(!), they were about to scream out that Hwang had hit one of them unless he paid up! All of this was being videotaped, the two Rainbow Taxi mechanics Choi and Park had installed dozens of cameras around the school, watching back at the office was Eun-Go. For now Hwang(Do-Gi) is taking it easy and is just trying to gather up as much info as he could about this trio, especially Seung-Tae. After that first day of school Hwang trailed Seung-Tae to a club where though underage was permitted to enter, there he hung around with some very seedy older men who were his 'fake uncles'. To Do-Gi's (Hwang) amazement the owner of this club was the mysterious woman named Baek, she's the person that is keeping all of Jang's prisoners captive in her house's dungeon. Will have to say I'm not positive why Baek would own such a club as this as there's drug deals and many other shady activities going on, is it because she can keep a better eye on Seoul's criminals?

 Final segment, the paragraphs were a bit longer but was able to keep this recap at four segments. More should be coming up about Baek in future episodes as there are a dozen more to go. Before returning to the bulling case there was a key scene with the prosecutor Ha-Na, this time it dealt with the case that was in the first two episodes. That was of a fish factory using slightly disabled people as slave labor but of course Do-Gi saved the day. The three main perps are locked up in Baek's dungeon and what will ever become of them? The injured man above was the corrupt police chief at the village where the fish factory was located. His name is Kim and he did help out these cruel owners making sure none of the forced labor escaped. He had justice meted out to him by Do-Gi who with his super duper taxi was able to flip Kim's police cruiser over, just enough to hurt KIm badly as Do-Gi and the 'revenge squad' are not allowed to kill anyone. Kim was telling this tale to Ha-Na who knew zero about this case until the previous day. Of all people Jang, the Rainbow Taxi owner, had sent her a huge file on what took place and why would he do that as the trail may lead back to Jang and his team?  Knowing Jang he has some ulterior motive, more on the case in the next recap and the final major scene took place back at Jaesong high school.

 In a screenshot above you can see Seung-Tae telling his cohorts this is the day Hwang goes down for good, he's such a wimp so why get rid of him? Seung-Tae had coerced a female student to claim that Hwang had photos of her scantly clad in his briefcase, while Hwang went to the library to see a parent Oh had slipped photos of this girl into the briefcase. A parent being in the library was just a ruse by Seung-Tae to get Hwang out of the teacher's office, seeing no parent there made Hwang leave. But a few seconds later this girl came running out looking so disheveled, she pointed at Hwang and screamed about him having photos of her!!!! Of course Hwang was stunned but deep down think he was glad that Seung-Tae took such drastic actions for now payback will be that much sweeter. That ended the scene which will open up the next show, there was one final mini scene. Above is an unnamed woman who Jang visited in the hospital, she had tried killing herself twice. That's because her daughter Ho-Jung had committed suicide and who is that woman? Not positive but think it was the sister of Rainbow Taxi's tech ace Go-Eun and there was a brief mention made of that at the end of the next episode. That concludes this recap, the shows are over an hour in length and if I can keep these at four segments that will really please me. Plenty more screenshots to help you follow the story a bit better and the next post is the recap for episode four.

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