When the Camellia Blooms – Season 1 Episode 14 Recap & Review


True Intentions

After last night’s dramatic episode, When The Camellia Blooms returns with another strong and emotional episode as we find out the real reason Dongbaek’s mother has come back. We’re getting quite close to finding out the identity of the Joker too which certainly adds more suspense into the drama, setting things up nicely for a dramatic conclusion to come.

We begin with Ms Kwak running down the street after finding out about the fire before flashing back to 1987 when her husband died in a fire. Here, we see how her life became very difficult after his death and how her family and neighbours shunned her. Back in the present, she arrives at the hospital and rushes to her son’s bedside. However, when she sees Dongbaek, she angrily tells her to leave.

Meanwhile, the police are investigating the fire and find another piece of a green lighter. They then decide to visit Yong-Sik but get interrupted by Mrs Kwak who realises that her son has been after the joker all along because of Dongbaek. Heung-Sik heads home and we finally see the identity of the strange man living with him, who turns out to be his father. He then outright asks if he had anything to do with the fire.

Dongbaek leaves the hospital with her mum and they talk about Mrs Kwak and her orphaned life. Suddenly, Jung-Sook gasps when she sees a man stepping out of the lift who seems to recognise her. Leaving a car park, Jong-Ryeol is followed by the paparazzi, resulting in him questioning them over a scandal.

Byun and Yong-Sik meanwhile, head to the river to investigate Hyang-Mi’s disappearance and find the motorcycle helmet in the water. On their way back, Yong-Sik asks Byun not to tell Dongbaek about their findings as it looks like it should have been her and not Hyang-Mi.

Back at the Camellia, Dongbaek speaks with her mother just as a woman called Seong-Hui appears, claiming to be her daughter. As Dongbaek demands some answers, Seong-Hui reveals that Jung-Sook doesn’t have dementia. They then leave together to have coffee where Jung-Sook asks her why she’s here as she was a maid to her family for years.

The investigation takes Yong-Sik and Byun to Hyang-Mi’s brother and her bank account. They see that she has been sending a lot of money to him but also that Guy-Tae has transferred some to her as well.

Ja-Yeong and Gyu-Tae meet after finalising their divorce and are followed by his mother who blames everything on Ja-Yeong. As they get into his car, she’s shocked to find a gun. Later on while washing his car, he’s interrupted by Yong-Sik who’s there to interrogate him. When he finds blood on his steering wheel, he asks him for an alibi for the day Hyang-Mi disappeared and takes him to the station.

In the police station, Gyu-Tae remembers that he saw Hyang-Mi driving past his mother’s restaurant and was closely followed by a speeding car driven by Jessica, who quickly pushed her to the side of the road and caused her to crash her bike. As they look for her phone signal, they trace it to the middle of the Onsang lake.

Jung-Sook returns home and starts cooking for Dongbaek who tells her she doesn’t have dementia. Jung-Sook wants to explain everything to her daughter but Dongbaek stops her as she doesn’t want to start feeling sorry for her. Dongbaek and Yong-Sik head to hospital to check on his hand. While receiving treatment, he asks her to come over tonight and while she thinks he’s inviting her to get intimate, he actually surprises her as he needs someone to wash his hair.

As she leaves the hospital, she sees the strange man from the other day. They eventually meet where he reveals that she’s sick, prompting her to take Jung-Sook to dinner. She then flashes back to her last meal with her,  aiming to recreate the same dinner as that fateful day. Her mum starts crying and asks her how she remembers it all before revealing that the doctor told her she was sick and needs a kidney. Upset that her mum only came to ask for a kidney, Dongbaek heads back to The Camellia and cries in Yong-Sik’s arms.

The episode closes with a flashback to a pregnant Ms Kwak in her restaurant while a woman with her baby orders some food. As they start talking and spend some time together, we realise that this is Jung-Sook and Dongbaek.

While this episode wasn’t as shocking as the last one, it was another decent one nonetheless as we finally find out more about Dongbaek‘s mother and her intentions. While it looks like she came back just because she needs a kidney, we can also see that she really wants to be there for her daughter and to do the best for her. Their developing relationship has definitely been really interesting to watch and I am hoping she will stick around for the long haul this time around.

The police are getting closer to finding Hyang-Mi too and while we are still unsure who the culprit is, it feels quite unlikely that it will be Gyu-Tae and the evidence does points towards Heung-Sik’s father. The latest twist at the end was certainly the highlight of the episode, as we see that Ms Kwak and Jung-Sook met all those years ago. Seeing baby Dongbaek touching Ms Kwak’s pregnant belly was quite moving to watch too and the door is left wide open for the direction this one will take going forward.


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