A brilliant episode brings about an end to a deserving villain, and lays out more goons than any hour of television in recent memory.
This recap of Taxi Driver season 1, episode 14 contains spoilers.
The word of the day is “catharsis”. That has always been a word that Taxi Driver has prioritized, of course, and part of its steadily increasing brilliance is how efficiently it creates the set-up and payoff for its scenarios. Since Chairman Baek’s plot has been the most ambitiously evil that Rainbow has had to deal with thus far, and since she has come the closest of anyone to ruining our heroes, it makes sense that Taxi Driver episode 14 delivers big time on audience satisfaction by having Do-Ki beat down more nameless henchman than any TV show protagonist in recent memory.
Do-Ki is in a bad mood from the jump, and things don’t get better for him from there. Baek is torturing Kyung-Koo, smashing his fingers in with a hammer, and Go-Eun is still being held captive with Maria. Sung-Chul is blinded in one eye, just to make matters worse. Do-Ki is furious, but luckily he has plenty of people to take his frustrations out on, and a nice set of knuckledusters to do the deed with. So begins an hour-long procession of furious beatdowns, beginning with Go-Eun and Maria’s captors.
Tragedy strikes in Taxi Driver episode 14, though. On top of Kyung-Koo and Sung-Chul’s predicament, Jin-Eon is also blindsided and T-boned by Joo-Chan, who is able to stab Do-Ki before he’s eventually knocked out. Jin-Eon seemingly dies in a tearful scene, and Do-Ki is understandably even angrier than he was before. Leaving Go Eun with Jin-Eon, he first targets Joo-Chan in a game of chicken and then heads out to save Sung-Chul and Kyung-Koo from Baek’s prison.
The subsequent punch-up is brilliant, a step up even from that dumbbell debacle earlier in the season. I’m not sure if it was a single, honest take, but if any cuts were there they were incredibly difficult to detect. Do-Ki beats down all of Baek’s henchmen with the brass knuckles and then tricks the Chairman herself into making herself vulnerable so he can hold her at knife-point, demanding that she lets Sung-Chul and Kyung-Koo go. She does and is only barely able to escape herself thanks to one of the Goos. Ha-Na arrives just in time to arrest everyone, saving Do-Ki from overwhelming numbers right before he steals a police car and heads in the direction of the tracker he was able to toss into Baek’s getaway vehicle.
Taxi Driver season 1, episode 14 delivers another showdown at the docks, with Do-Ki taking out even more goons, and eventually cornering Baek herself. She insists he kills her, obviously preferring that to life in prison, but Do-Ki rightly believes she should pay for her sins for the rest of her life. Ha-Na, who followed him there, respects his decision. She asks if he is beginning to trust the authorities now, which he isn’t, but he does believe in her, and that’ll have to do for now. As he walks away, though, the damage he has taken throughout the episode catches up with him and he collapses to the ground.