U Data crashes and burns in a tremendous payoff to four episodes of build-up — the best episode of the season thus far.
This recap of Taxi Driver season 1, episode 8 contains spoilers.
As expected, Taxi Driver episode 8, which must surely be the end of U Data, opens with Do-Ki intervening in order to save Ha-Na and Investigator Wang from Chairman Park Yang-Jin’s automotive assassins. He still has Jin-Won in the car, and so by extension tips him off that he’s not really one of the Chairman’s men, but he’s careful to blind Ha-Na with his headlights during the rescue so that she doesn’t know who her savior is. For now, anyway.
There are some bits and bobs elsewhere — Do-Chul discovers Sung-Chul’s business card and looks him up; Chairman Baek makes a considerable donation to keep Bluebird afloat after crippling budget cuts — but what we’re really concerned with is what’s going on at Chairman Park’s place, which where Do-Ki delivers Jin-Won, finding the U-Data boss killing chickens with a sword in the front yard. (This kind of animal abuse was also detailed in the real-life case that this episode seems to be based on.) Things are tense enough here as it is, and that’s without the Chairman rounding on Do-Ki about how much bad luck he seems to be having lately. For all his considerable flaws, this isn’t a stupid man, and he knows something’s up.
On that note, the Chairman takes Do-Ki back into the room where Young-Min was beaten with baseball bats, and he finds Jin-Won there, tied to a chair. The Chairman, handing him a crossbow, tells him if he shoots Jin-Won he’ll trust him completely. Flashing back to Sung-Chul telling him to make sure the videos are deleted at any cost, Do-Ki aims the crossbow, but he can’t pull the trigger. Director Jung is given the task instead, but Do-Ki gives himself away by intervening, and he’s knocked unconscious.
Elsewhere in Taxi Driver episode 8, Go Eun is in quite a state, sobbing alone in her trashed apartment. But she’s thinking mostly about Do-Ki, flashing back to their rooftop conversation and visiting him in the hospital after he collapsed. Suddenly, the Rainbow pager starts going off, and it looks like this is going to be the beginning of her return to action, just when Do-Ki needs her the most.
Speaking of Do-Ki, he wakes up a captive. It’ll take him a while to get free, but he’s still in touch with Kyung-Koo and Jin-Eon, and tells them to concentrate on finding the servers rather than rescuing him. Once the videos are all erased, presumably he can run roughshod over the rest of U Data. That’s if Ha-Na doesn’t get there first, though, since she’s able to track Jin-Won’s location. Since she can’t get another warrant after the first one didn’t turn up any results, she’s clearly about to go off the books. But Jin-Woo is willing to get her a warrant no matter what, on the strength of her injuries, just so long as she does things properly and enters the fray prepared.
On the way back to the prosecutor’s office, Ha-Na starts thinking about the premium taxi model that she keeps seeing everywhere, including during the chase that opened Taxi Driver season 1, episode 8. She’s still putting the pieces together there. Meanwhile, Sung-Chul, having been warned to lock his house up tight by Chairman Baek, given Do-Chul’s escape, returns home on high alert, but he finds Go Eun there, looking for everyone else. Do-Chul, though, is parked outside. With Go Eun back, she gets her big moment, shrugging on a leather jacket and getting astride a motorcycle to find the data center. Elsewhere, Ha-Na gets suited up in a bulletproof vest and sets out with a fleet of coppers. U Data is going down, finally.
Kyung-Koo and Jin-Eon get things off to a shaky start, though, when they attempt to rescue Do-Ki and end up running straight into the Chairman’s goons, who’re all armed with swords for the purposes of torturing chickens. They’re dragged into the same room as Do-Ki and Jin-Won, but Kyung-Koo is able to slip Do-Ki something just in time for the Chairman to arrive and begin interrogating Do-Ki. With his cover blown, Do-Ki isn’t shy about giving as good as he gets, but he’s not in the best position to fight back, so he’s powerless to stop the Chairman from hammering him with his trademark baseball bat.
Go Eun, meanwhile, returns to the now-empty surveillance van, and tearfully uploads the videos of her sister so that the traffic lights up the server, allowing her to determine its location. Do-Ki takes a hell of a licking in the meantime, but the plan works, and Go Eun is able to locate Gwangsan. She tells Do-Ki as much, telling him to stop her sister’s pain and blow everything up, which he agrees to do for her. And just like that, he’s loose, delivering perhaps the most satisfying punch in history to the Chairman’s snout. In an absurdly satisfying sequence, Do-Ki takes a dumbbell to a corridor full of the Chairman’s goons. Yang-Jin staggers outside just in time to hear that a warrant has been issued and the police are on their way, and Do-Ki isn’t far behind him. There are still enough goons left, though, to buy the Chairman enough time to lock himself in the server room, assuring Do-Ki that no matter what he does, he only has to press one button in there, and his videos will be kept alive by everyone who downloads them. In the nick of time, though, Go Eun arrives in the surveillance van and plows it straight through the wall. Do-Ki shoots the Chairman with his crossbow before he can press any buttons at all. He promises to pay for his crimes, but as Do-Ki points out, the person he really owes isn’t here anymore. So who is he going to pay?
This moment of extreme catharsis, though, is tempered by the fact that Taxi Driver season 1, episode 8 reveals Sung-Chul to now be a captive of Do-Chul. As Rainbow drives away in convoy, passing Ha-Na’s fleet in the opposite direction, a very different Chairman is in serious need of their help.
When Ha-Na arrives at Park Yang-Jin’s place, she finds carnage. Rainbow left a bunch of damning evidence tied up with Yang-Jin, but he manages to free himself and stagger back into the server room, which has been rigged to blow. Predictably, and satisfyingly, he cries for his mother. He’s still in there when Do-Ki blows the place up after a tearful countdown from Go Eun.