Taxi Driver could have gone without a second season. The first season finale felt complete and had gone full circle with members of the Rainbow Taxi squad avenging all of their clients who suffered at the hands of evil criminals. But I couldn’t blame the producers if they decide to have a second season for it. For one, it really gained good ratings during its first run but narrative-wise, the first season gave a solid foundational story to its audience.
Kim Do-ki (Lee Je-hoon), Ahn Go-eun (Pyo Ye-jin), Jang Sung-chul (Kim Eui-sung), Choi Kyung-koo (Jang Hyuk-jin), and Park Jin-eon (Bae Yoo-ram) bonded because of their traumatic pasts and they became part of this group because they knew exactly how it felt to become a victim of heinous crimes. Since we now know the story of why the members of this vigilante group do their best to take revenge for their victim clients, it was easier to get into the new set of stories they introduced in the second season.
Unlike in the first season, the Rainbow Taxi squad had to deal with criminals who are part of a cult-like organization. The RT squad had to slowly piece together the whole picture of this crime group one episode at a time. The villains in the second season are as over-the-top as the first set of the Rainbow Taxi squad dealt with. Their crueler and their modus operandi are so vicious they deserve whatever punishment they get. Although, I must say, the villains in the first season are more memorable than this current set of felons. Well, it’s hard to exceed Shim So-young’s performance alone as Im Bok-ja. She was so memorable she had to do a special appearance in this season. That doesn’t mean though that the criminals the RT squad had to deal with this time weren’t effective. They are. They still managed to make my blood boil while the faux-taxi squad unraveled their crimes. Each of them is remorseless and shameless, probably because they know they are backed up by their so-called bishop.
For the second season, the writers really invested in its final case by introducing On Ha-joon (Shin Jae-ha) from the beginning and start cluing us into what the main plot is about. Turns out, the Rainbow Taxi squad is going against a bigger criminal organization. They went through hoops just to dismantle the group led by “Bishop” Park Min-geon (Park Ho-san). These two main villains are portrayed by two actors who are good at playing two-faced characters. Shin Jae-ha, even though his character’s secret was obvious from the start, is effective in bringing in tension and leading our protagonist’s actions into a thrilling chase. Park Ho-san, despite his short appearance, nailed his character as the diabolical leader of the Geumsa Organization.
Throughout their ordeal against their latest villain group, the members of the Rainbow Taxi squad became closer and grew fonder of each other. Too fond I must say that at the end of the season, we watched Go-eun subtly giving permission to Do-ki that they can be closer in the future (closer than 30cm!). I didn’t expect that “confession” since I know that romance isn’t exactly a subplot Taxi Driver is known for. But it made sense especially because Do-ki would probably be the only man Go-eun could allow in her personal space literally and figuratively. This is very much welcome progress with my two favorite characters from this series.
Although, I wonder how they would do in the third season, especially with the hints of Do-ki’s past shown in the last episode. I’m curious as to how his past resurfacing would affect his relationship with Go-eun and the operation of the Rainbow Taxi. If the first season’s ending left me satisfied, the second season’s finale left me craving for more. I need more of this fast-paced plot-driven narrative with almost-theatrical villains, who increases tension in every episode. And most of all, I’m excited to see and know more about the backstory my favorite K-dramaland anti-hero, Kim Do-ki.