There’s side-switching aplenty in this episode of Taxi Driver, and while the developments are predictable, the juxtaposition of a heel-turn and a fall to the dark (or light?) side work to great effect.
This recap of Taxi Driver season 1, episode 12 contains spoilers.
I, and I assume most viewers, never saw Chairman Baek as anything other than a villain, so the revelation of Taxi Driver episode 12 that she has been intimately involved in the exploits of the Brothers Goo didn’t come as much of a surprise – even if the episode treated it as one. But this isn’t as much of a detriment as you might think. For one thing, it gives us an arch, cartoonish villain as we approach the end of the season. And for another, it juxtaposes neatly with Ha-Na’s ongoing arc and fall to the dark (or light?) side of vigilante justice as embodied by Rainbow and Do-Ki.
Thus, the typical limitations of the justice system are to be found when Goo is laughingly arrested for Mr. Wang’s murder and promptly released on the lack of evidence after antagonizing Ha-Na into flipping out. The careful attention that has been paid to her interiority really pays off here in Taxi Driver episode 12 – Do-Ki telling her after Wang’s funeral that she can get revenge is a fist-pump moment if I ever saw one, and Ha-Na sitting before the Rainbow arcade machine is a brilliant reversal of one of the show’s longstanding gimmicks.
Of course, Baek’s companies are fronts with intimate and dodgy ties to other shady ventures and the purchase of worrying quantities of sulphuric acid. After some weeks spent exposing toxic corporate culture, revenge p**n, and voice phishing, the transition to organ trafficking feels like a bit of a leap, but it also feels like a fittingly “big” case for the final few episodes to unravel, especially with Baek positioned at its head.
There’s a pretty obvious late-game feeling here, which is an exciting prospect considering how well the show has handled its build-up and payoff in more isolated arcs. With the big heel and face turns of Chairman Baek and Ha-Na making for a thematically fitting juxtaposition, Taxi Driver season 1, episode 12 really hones in on its ideas, which helps to offset some of the predictability of both developments. This is a very good show, and it has been satisfying to see that reflected in growing ratings. Hopefully, it can stick the landing as we move through the final few episodes.