Ooh, boy, buckle up because we have some revenge to get to. First off though, Taxi Driver is not for the faint of heart. There are some horrible people in this show (or at least in this first episode) that are about to get what is coming to them. Plus, in true Kdrama fashion, they give us a long backstory with the victims in order for us to see how awful the criminals are. Possibly so we won’t care what happens to them.
Fair warning though, if you are guarding your mental health and only want to see pleasant things, then this show is not for you. Though, on the flip side, if you are guarding your mental health, and the best way to do that is seeing bad people being beat the heck up, then this show is definitely for you!
KOREAN DRAMA TAXI DRIVER EPISODE 1 RECAP
Character Chart – Find out about each character here!
Taxi Driver does not waste any time getting the ball rolling. We open with a protest of a criminal getting released from jail. He must be a horrible criminal because this protest is intense. Hundreds of people stand outside the jail holding signs, dozens of news teams are covering it, and a wall of cops are there to shield the criminal from the people.
Though the criminal bows in deep apology, you can tell that he does not really care. He hops in a taxi and is driven off. But this taxi is driven by our very own Kim Do-gi. Kim Do-gi drives the criminal away as if he is a normal taxi driver. Several news cars follow in hot pursuit.
We see that Do-gi is not your everyday taxi driver when he is able to lose all the newscasters that are following them with the help of his Rainbow Taxi crew. The Rainbow Taxi crew makes it look like several cars “accidentally” get caught in front of the newscasters and one even breaks down in smoke, needing a quick fixing.
This is when it gets good because the criminal, after being happy for a moment, realizes that he is being driven somewhere that he does not know. He tries to fight with Do-gi to get out of the car, but Do-gi easily fights him off, while still driving the taxi, and takes him to an undisclosed location.
From there we cut to the Rainbow Taxi team. We are introduced to Ahn Go-eun who is working with a driver (a famous Korean singer) to give her better receipts. Do-gi shows up and walks us into the building after talking to Go-eun. We see manager Choi come and manager Park both talk to him, though they are really just bickering between themselves. Do-gi smiles and keeps walking.
We cut to the owner of the company, Jang Sung-chul who is speaking with the police department about the Bluebird Foundation that helps the family of victims. He thinks they need to help them with more than money, they need services. Choi Jin-woo, the chief prosecutor, tells him that they will have someone help him.
From that we see Prosecutor Kang Ha-na in about as adorable an introduction we can get for a serious prosecutor nicknamed bulldog. She is in a hospital room in sweats brushing her teeth when the man in the room wakes up. She shows serious concern for him, which makes you think she might be his sister, but actually, she is there to arrest him. She happily does. The man’s father tells him that she will follow him until he dies! She slept here and didn’t leave!
She goes to the police station where we see her meet with Chief prosecutor Cho and CEO Jang of Rainbow Taxi and Bluebird in order to work for the Bluebird Foundation. She is not too thrilled though she tries not to show it.
Later on we catch back up with Do-gi who is driving his taxi again. We see that Do-gi is no nonsense when it comes to a*h*les. He sees a group of men harassing a van of kids for driving too slowly, so he stops his taxi and whops their a*s*s. He has them on their knees begging forgiveness and everything and tells them that they better not do that ever again.
But then the real story of this episode starts. We are introduce to the main victim of this episode. A young woman who is running for her life from a sweatshop that takes advantage of elderly people and mentally handicapped orphans. She escapes and is about to jump off a bridge into the Han river. But sees a Rainbow Taxi sticker and tearfully calls them instead.
Do-gi picks her up and hears her story. This is when we cut to her long sad backstory that is really sob inducing and could make you very angry watching it (which is why I mentioned protecting your mental health with this show). If you want to skip that scene, just know that she is at a horrible sweatshop.
Do-gi records her story and takes her to an outdoor taxi arcade game. He and gives her money to play and leaves her there. On the video game it asks, do you want these people to be punished or do you want to leave them alone. She picked that she wants them to be punished.
The Rainbow Taxi team meet (in their secret underground lair), hear her recording of how bad this group is, and all decide to help her get her revenge. This is when we see even more of her recording. This woman has tried to escape before, but just when she thought she was out, she sees a cop who is part of the bad guys and drops her right back off at the sweatshop. The cop is friends with the sweatshop owner and was the one to suggest the sweatshop people wear bright red jumpsuits so they would be easier to spot if they run away.
The Rainbow Taxi team pretend to be a newly opened chicken place and use that to break into the sweatshop. They lace the chicken with drugs to put the owners to sleep and Do-gi breaks in to scope the place out. While there he sees even more of the girls sad backstory Sherlock style and is completely enraged. he goes into the room where the men are sleeping, picks up a vase, and is about to crash it on their heads.
The episode ends there.
This last part of the episode was actually cut back and forth with what happened to the famous criminal in the beginning of the episode. This criminal is being housed by a criminal loan shark named Dae-mo (or Big Mama). Big mama only cares about money and has the criminal locked underground in a sewer style holding place. CEO jang is there as well which lets us know that he is using Big Mama to make sure these criminals get the justice that their victims deserve.
This show is well done. I enjoyed watching it though it was very heavy handed on the tragic backstories of our daily victim and on Do-gi. I didn’t mention it in the recap, but we also see Do-gi’s background with a serial killer that was arrested for killing his mother. For some reason the cops thought it was a great idea for the serial killer to explain exactly how he killed the mother while in front of scores of people and reporters as soon as he was arrested. That just striked me as something that would never happen and was used only for emotional effect.