A melancholy first half gives way to the introduction of a new case as corporate bullying puts Do-Ki and Ha-Na too close for comfort.
This recap of Taxi Driver season 1, episode 5 contains spoilers.
Taxi Driver episode 5 takes its time in introducing the weekend’s new case, but that’s probably not a bad thing. In a melancholy first half, there’s a lot of time afforded to the members of the Rainbow Taxi Service that helps to characterize all of them as avenging angels; all united by their shared sense of trauma and loss. We pick up right where we left off, with Do-Ki awakening in hospital after passing out with Ha-Na, but he’s far from the only one haunted by his past.
In various scenes, we see the Rainbow members unburden themselves, mostly to each other, helping to give them a sense of closer-knit camaraderie. Choi Kyung-Koo and Park Jin-Eon have their own stories, as does Go Eun, hers intimately related to her sister. Later in the episode, when she asks Do-Ki to take her out for a drive, she opens up slightly about this, but the exact circumstances are still a little unclear. Whether Taxi Driver season 1, episode 5 is setting up a bit of a romance here also remains to be seen.
But while it takes a little bit of time to get going, we do eventually arrive at a new case: Seo-Young-Min (Jeon Sung-Il), a recruit at a company called U Data, was brutally beaten by its Chairman Park Jang-Jin (Baek Hyun-Jin), and his colorful goons, the red-haired Director Jung (Jo Ha-Suk), and the green-haired General Manager Lee (Kim Jae-Young). Their exploits are filmed by a fellow accomplice (Lee Da-Il), but Taxi Driver episode 5 winds back to before the incident in question so we have appropriate context for it before we’re forced to witness it at an uncomfortable length.
This is a skewering of corporate culture that reminded me, in some ways, of Succession and Industry, both HBO shows about psychotic workplace culture. This episode takes the idea to a more physical extreme, but it’s the same thing, really; people in positions of power using their position to force ambitious youngsters into putting up with all manner of abuses for the sake of their careers. Eventually, Young-Min has enough and quits the company, but he made a mistake after the fact by posting and then quickly deleting a comment online calling out the managers. U Data pick up on this quickly, Young-Min is swiped by the goons, and he’s eventually beaten to within an inch of his life with a baseball bat, which we’re forced to witness for much longer than seems necessary (which is a deliberate choice.)
Where Taxi Driver season 1, episode 5 spices up the usual formula is by having this case come to the attention of both the Rainbow Service and Ha-Na at the same time. The latter is incensed when Jin-Woo tells her that the charges in the U Data case have been dropped, so she continues to investigate despite having been told to drop the case. Do-Ki, meanwhile, is given the information by Sung-Chul and this time operates the Rainbow Taxi arcade machine himself, on Young-Min’s behalf, before applying for a job at U Data undercover as a dorky suck-up. Of course, on his first day of work, who does he run into in the foyer but Ha-Na?
In the epilogue of Taxi Driver episode 5, we get a bit more of Go Eun making clear that revenge for the death of her sister is what she’s ultimately looking for from the Rainbow Taxi Service. I’m sure this will continue to develop as we progress.