Taxi Driver 2: Episodes 1-2 (First Impressions)
When the first order for a hot plate of revenge comes in, our team slowly builds back up for the mission. But as they each find their way back home, new shadows lurk in the background.
Editor’s note: This is an Episode 1-2 review only. For a place to chat about the entire drama as it airs, visit the Drama Hangout!
We’re back! Opening the doors for the second season of Taxi Driver, we find a totally unrecognizable KIM DO-KI (Lee Je-hoon) in prison keeping himself in butt-kicking shape. After some fanservice of him working out, we see him sitting in a bus to be transported with a few other inmates – inmates arrested for child pornography — a.k.a., Do-ki’s targets. Do-ki sabotages the transportation plan and crashes the bus. Acting like he is on their side and is a fan, he is able to persuade the other inmates to get in the car with him, drugging them after they get in.
Do-ki brings them back to a room and locks them in, after setting them up to look like runaway prisoners who stole weapons from the guards. While the inmates freak out watching the news, the Korean equivalent of the SWAT team busts through the doors to arrest them, this time with more severe consequences. We zoom out from the building and see our old crew back together watching the events unfold to their pleasure.
Flashback two years before, we see JANG SUNG-CHUL (Kim Eui-sung) getting arrested for his actions moments after the crew disbands. He takes the fall himself, not wanting the others to be affected. Zooming back ahead to a year after this, all of our team members are off doing their own things. CHOI KYUNG-GOO (Jang Hyuk-jin) is working as an automotive engineer, while PARK JIN-UN (Bae Yoo-ram) is working for Korean NASA. GO EUN (Pyo Ye-jin) is working as a police officer, and Do-ki and Sung-chul are back working at the taxi service together. Sung-chul and Do-ki have revived the deluxe taxi service and are working on that together.
Our first desperate citizen in need is a man who has lost his son. After the loss of his wife, he and his son grew very close. One day, the son overheard a loan shark pressuring his dad, so he went to Vietnam in an attempt to earn money to pay off his dad’s debt. As his son promised to keep regular contact with his dad while he was gone, the dad begins to worry when his son fails to contact him for fifteen days straight. As the dad believes his son is there studying after receiving a scholarship, he doesn’t know what to think. He goes to the police and is met with shrugs and we-can’t-help-yous.
He flies to Vietnam to search for his son himself and receives a phone call from his son saying “I’m sorry.” After going back to the police and receiving zero help once again, he feels as though he is out of cards to play and has hit the end of the road. Preparing to jump off of a bridge, he sees the Deluxe Taxi sticker and phone number.
Do-ki and Sung-chul get to work on helping the man find his son. It turns out that multiple kids have gotten caught up in this trap: they believe they’re hired by a company in Vietnam as a means to make money to help their family. However, once they get there, they are taken to a remote location and are forced to create illegal gambling software, getting beat horrifically in the process. The kids are prisoners and can’t escape.
While Sung-chul arranges for Do-ki to squeeze under their roof undercover, the other three meet up at Eun’s workplace. Unfulfilled with their current lives, they all slowly make their way back to their old Batman cave hideout with Sung-chul. Reluctant at first, Sung-chul opens up and allows them all to take their old places as part of the team. Eun hops back on the computer chair and establishes communication with Do-ki while Kyung-goo and Jin-un fly out to Vietnam to back up Do-ki.
Do-ki, somehow able to do absolutely everything known to man, creates software that the thugs are pleased with. Because of his skill and talent, they give him the freedom to choose a team to help him and perfect his gambling software. He uses this team as a way to help him sneak out. After slipping out of the compound, he snags a taxi and picks up the man responsible for picking up the kids from the airport for their “job.” He squeezes information out of the man and finds Kyung-goo and Jin-un walking on the side of the road. After ecstatically jumping up and down, excited to see Do-ki, they all grab food together.
Kyung-ku and Jin-un mention to Do-ki that they saw MADAME LIM (Shim So-young) — a character I am personally so glad to see back. Her dynamic with Wang Tao Zi’s (Do-ki) is so fun to watch. Seeing a disguised Do-ki flaunting his jewelry and expensive attire, Madame Lim drools unstoppably, her eyes nearly popping out of her head. After sending a few looks her way, he hops in his car and drives away, leaving her fuming.
He uses this to his advantage as he leads her and her angry mob back to the compound where the kids are being held. Her men destroy the compound forcing the thugs to take all of the prisoners and move them to another area.
After the relocation, they meet the chairman, who turns out to be a crooked cop – the same cop who was of no help to the dad in Korea. The kids are all brought into a room and are forced to write fake suicide notes to send to their loved ones. This is the last straw for Do-ki as he finally lets out his anger and in “Do-ki” fashion, proceeding to put a beatdown on a plethora of men with ease – and yes, even the big dude.
Kyung-goo and Jin-un show up in their usual goofy costumes to match their goofy personalities – this time as cops – and push back the horde of angry men chasing after Do-ki to let him pursue the head honcho (it’s always the white suit…). Do-ki is able to catch up to the fleeing chairman and thwarts his escape by literally using a motorcycle as a projectile to stop the car the chairman is driving. Do-ki is basically a superhero at this point. We’re all in agreement, right?
Do-ki corners the chairman on a rooftop only to be held at gunpoint. However, before the gun can be fired, the chairman is shot by an unknown sniper from a hidden vantage point. Do-ki searches around confused, unable to spot the sniper. The police show up and round all of the prisoners up and clean up the aftermath.
And just like that, the team is back together and firing on all cylinders. I missed this show and I like its case-by-case format. Our team of vigilantes is always entertaining and easy to support. I’m interested to see what kind of mischief they will get into in this new season — and also the identity of the mystery sniper. It seems like the sniper knows who Do-ki is, so maybe it’s another callback to someone from last season? Either way, I’m looking forward to the crazy schemes our team is going to come up with in the name of sweet sweet revenge.