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The Hellbound Theory That Has Netflix Fans Looking Twice At The Taxi Driver

"Hellbound" is the new South Korean religious thriller series that quickly became one of Netflix's top-ten shows after it debuted on November 19, 2021 (via What's on Netflix). Based on a web cartoon created by Yeon Sang-ho, who's also "Hellbound's" director, the show takes place in a world where unearthly supernatural creatures come to Earth and kill victims who are destined to spend their eternity in hell — hence the title. This leads to a conflict between two groups of people: those who believe that the killings are proof of divine retribution, and those who question that interpretation because it eliminates the possibility of free will.

The six-episode first season takes place across two timelines. In the first three episodes, Detective Jin Kyeong-hoon (Yang Ik-june) investigates a murder at a coffee shop that's supposedly committed by the divine being, but Jin is skeptical. That puts him at odds with a fanatical cult leader, Chairman Jeong Jin-soo (Yoo Ah-in as), who founded the "New Truth Society" in response to the killings.

The second portion picks up five years later and covers the latter three episodes. In them, a lawyer named Min Hye-jin (Kim Hyun-joo) works to bring down the New Truth Society when Chairman Jeong becomes convinced that a baby named Toughie is the latest target for a divine killing. 

After the time jump, Detective Jin drops out of the story. However, as a popular fan theory explains, Jin might show up at the very end of Season 1.

The mysterious taxi driver might actually be Detective Jin

According to a theory from Redditor u/secondmaincharacter and others, Detective Jin and the taxi driver at the end of the episode are the same person. When the taxi driver reassures Min Hye-jin at the end of the episode, he offers up a direct summary of the show's ethos. As Redditor u/leejh2282 put it: "No one will know what God intends, or whether God exists, but it's still better for us to stick to ourselves, believe in free will, and come up with our own morals."

The taxi driver's sentiments directly mirror what Detective Jin Kyeong-hoon said during his three-episode arc. When Jin encountered Chairman Jeong, the fanatic gave his interpretation of the coffee shop attack, saying that God was punishing the victim to set an example for others and discourage them from sinning. Jin replied that if that were the case, there was no such thing as personal autonomy for free will (via DM Talkies).

According to the fan theory, after Chairman Jeong manipulated Jin's daughter into executing the drug dealer who killed her mother, Jin left the police force so that he wouldn't have to arrest her. Five years later, he was working as a taxi driver when he ran into Min.

It's definitely a compelling theory, since both characters have the same belief system. And since the taxi driver shows up the moment when Min has just rescued Toughie from the cult, his message comes along at just the right time.