Taxi Driver reaches a fitting and neat conclusion in its final episode, and while there is potential for a follow-up season, if this is the last we see of Rainbow Taxi Service that the journey has been worthwhile.
This recap of Taxi Driver season 1, episode 16 contains spoilers, as well as an open discussion of the Taxi Driver ending.
You could make the case, I suppose, that the finale of Taxi Driver was a bit too neat and tidy. All its major cases were wrapped up, its core cast enjoyed complete arcs, and the whole thing drew to a proper close, albeit with the potential for a follow-up season there, if required. In the age of streaming, with ruthless platforms enacting their own form of revenge on underperforming – and sometimes respectably performing – shows, it’s easy to see a proper finale, one which puts all the leftover pieces together in a satisfying way rather than begging for a continuation, as something unusual. That’s the kind of ending that Taxi Driver episode 16 provided, and I, for one, was thankful for how it tied a bow on what has been a very enjoyable series that managed to wring a more-than-expected amount of thoughtful drama from a cliched premise.
In a way, the show’s usual two-episode structure persists here. After establishing Chul-Young’s guilt in the previous episode, the entirety of Rainbow gets together here to make a point in their final mission together. It hits the usual beats, including Do-Ki adopting an alias, and it amounts to what is, really, an expected conclusion. It also touches on the usual themes; Chul-Young, despite being worthy of his punishment, has a weak spot, a flicker of humanity that Rainbow can exploit, but also innocent people associated with him who might be sucked into the vortex of any payback against him. It’s a delicate push-pull for the Rainbow team, and a fitting final case, even if it lacks the big blowout action and sense of catharsis of some earlier ones.
But it’s a means to an end, really. The fact that this will be Rainbow’s final case together is never forgotten about; Ha-Na, too, reaches the end of her arc, deciding against arresting Do-Ki, and then trying to resign and being told no. Thus begins a flurry of conclusions as all the main characters decide to go their separate ways; Jin-Eon and Kyung-Koo return to their former lives; Go-Eun takes the civil service exam and becomes a police officer; Do-Ki goes traveling; Ha-Na continues on her high-flying career path, and so on, and so forth. We see this being discussed, then in a one-year-later flashforward, we see it in action, interspersed with neat resolutions for the Chul-Young case, as well as Chairman Baek and the Goo twins.
All, it seems, is well. Justice has been done, and the ramifications of it have been considered. Our characters have gone through the wringer and emerged on the other side of it, different but having learned a great deal about both the world and who they are. But Taxi Driver season 1, episode 16 can’t quite resist ending with all their pagers once again going off. Rainbow Taxi hasn’t stopped giving rides just yet.