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Taxi Driver -- Episode 13 & 14: The Cycle of Revenge

Revenge can be bittersweet, but karma can be pure entertainment if you just sit back and watch ~ Unknown.

They say for every vengeance, there is an equal and opposite re-vengeance, and Taxi Driver continues to excel at tackling the issues it raises from revenge to re-vengeance and everything in between. Its message is clear revenge is sweet, but karma is sweeter. And I couldn't agree more. As hard as it was to watch some of the scenes as exhilarating a drama, this remains. I had been anxiously anticipating Sung Mi's backstory; I was sure it was tragic and would thoroughly explain why she ended up the monster she became, but some people don't need a story, nor do they have one; they're just plain evil, period.

And as highly as Sung Mi thinks of herself as disorganized as she is, I guess she never realized she's only as strong as her weakest link, and unfortunately for her but not so for the Taxi Deleux team; her links suck big time. They say, never underestimate the power of a cornered animal; I say never underestimate the power of a corned Kim Do Ki. By kidnapping and hurting his team, all Sung Mi and her goons succeeded to do was enrage him even more, and it doesn't take long before he was after them with the fury of a caged animal.

I applaud the writer for a well-written and thought script. What a brilliant touch bringing all the criminals full circle with their avengers. In a way, how things turned out proved Jung Sung Chul and the team right all along; punishment doesn't reduce crime, particularly if the criminal doesn't believe their acts to be criminal. Without repentance, there is no possibility of reform, and it's not just criminals that need reform but the whole criminal justice system. And as sweet as revenge can be, and, boy was it sweet; it always has a way of coming back.

I don't think I could've imagined a better ending to Baek Sung Mi; she gave it her best run for sure, but in the end, she was nothing more than a thug. As they say, you can take the thug out of the girl, but you can never take the thugness out of the girl. Even though I would've liked to see Do Ki do more with Sung Mi, but seeing the normally calculated, cold-hearted Sung MI crazed and out of sorts was satisfying enough, and that's what counts. Watching Maria and Go Eun's scenes has me more convinced more now than ever, prison is not a deterrent to crime. And boy, was my blood boiling at those two good-for-nothing idiots; they deserved everything they got, if not more. In the end, really, there's no reforming criminals without changing the system in how it treats victims and criminals alike.

I think the one thing that Taxi Driver has come full circle to is the knowledge that the practice of revenge fails to fulfill its sweet expectations. And that instead of delivering justice, revenge often creates only a cycle of retaliation, partly because one person’s moral balance rarely aligns with another’s. The upshot of these insights is a better sense of why the pursuit of revenge has persisted through the ages, despite tasting a lot more sourer than advertised. But most people fail to feel good after revenge does not mean revenge can never feel good. But that goodness can only last and be meaningful if the person or people seek revenge from admitting to their mistakes; that's what makes revenge sweet and reestablishes the avenger's belief that justice was indeed served. Watch episodes 13 & 14 here.



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