When The Camellia Blooms – Season 1 Episode 17 Recap & Review


Onsang Assemble

After the last few dramatic episodes, When The Camellia Blooms returns with a somewhat slower hour of drama, laying the foundation for a tense and thrilling finale to come next week. The investigation continues to advance too as we grow ever closer to finally finding out the identity of the Joker.

We begin with Hyang-Mi’s brother, Go-Un, receiving a call revealing his sister’s death and Dongbaek collapsing on the floor and crying when looking through her friend’s belongings. Meanwhile, the women of Onsang decide to do something about the joker and vow to not let Dongbaek die.

Back at the Camellia, Dongbaek cries while going through all the things Hyang-Mi has stolen over the years, feeling guilty about her death but Yong-Sik does his best to reassure her. We then see a montage of all the women of Onsang, ready to protect her and even holding their weekly meeting for the first time in the Camellia.

At the police station, Dongbaek’s mother starts to describe what the Joker looks like and claims it’s Heung-Sik, while we see a flashback of a conversation between the two where he begged her not to do anything. All these emotions caused her to faint and it’s here we see that he actually saved her and took her to the hospital.

Back in the present, Jeong-Suk arrives at Onsang’s police station, ready to help them catch the joker but not before making Yong-Sik promise to keep her presence quiet. At the other station, Gyu-Tae is interrogated, hooked up to a lie detector test before asking the policeman to choose his last three questions as he wants Ja-Young to be there. She agrees to listen in while he tells the interrogator that he didn’t have an affair and still loves his wife to prove that he is actually telling the truth once and for all.

The inspectors look through the list of potential suspects and notice that Jessica transferred money to Hyang-Mi. After her mum berates her for it, Jessica explains that she felt like she had no other choice. We then see a flashback to a conversation she had with Jong-Ryeol where she used their daughter as blackmail to keep her husband by her side and also bring Pil-Gu to their house.

Pil-Gu returns home but he’s not happy when his mum isn’t there to pick him up, prompting him to rush over to his house. Dongbaek arrives home soon after to find an upset Pil-Gu. On their way out, Ja-Young tells Gyu-Tae that she knows he definitely didn’t kill Hyang-Mi as she saw her in the fishing hole after she was pushed off the road. They then head to the police station and Ja-Young relays what she saw that night. As she mentions the truck that took the scooter away, Jeong-Suk explains that she saw that exact same one too while in a taxi on the way to the hospital. She also remembers seeing Jong-Ryeol that night which prompts them to check his dashcam footage to get the registration number of the truck.



During breakfast, Dongbaek and Pil-Gu discuss the events from the day before and she tells him that he shouldn’t walk around by himself. As he walks to school with his friends, Pil-Gu finds himself face to face with his grandma who has been keeping a low profile up until now. After another heated conversation with Yong-Sik, Jong-Ryeol visits the Camellia as he’s worried about Dongbaek. He tells her to be careful and asks her to visit Seoul so he can help her out. After declining his offer, he asks her to take Pil-Gu with him as he doesn’t want him to live in a bar where a murderer could arrive at any time.

While sharing some food, Pil-Gu tells his grandmother that he knows his mother is waiting for her to come back despite always acting angry. He then reveals that he’s planning to go and live with his dad. After leaving, he makes a stop at Ms Kwak’s restaurant to deliver the news and tell her how nice his mother really is.

After looking through the dashcam footage, Captain Byun finds out that the truck was reported missing by Hyeun-Sik. While we see the latter getting interrogated by the police, Yong-Sik is ready and determined to confront him. We close the episode with Pil-Gu arriving at the Camellia, announcing that he has decided to live with his Dad while we see a flashback of him discussing with Yong-Sik how unhappy he has been lately.

When The Camellia Blooms has been quite the rollercoaster ride so far; it’s made me laugh, cry and gasp throughout its 17 episodes, a testament to the writers and all involved with this k-drama. While this week wasn’t as dramatic and emotional as some of the previous ones, there’s enough here to make for a highly enjoyable episode nonetheless, setting the scene for what’s to come.

I’ve certainly enjoyed seeing the relationship develop between Dongbaek and the women of Onsang. While they have always acted like they didn’t like her, we saw this week that they do actually care and this episode brought some fun sequences with them as they rallied to protect their friend. Pil-Gu had some touching scenes too, in particular with Ms Kwak when he had some sound words for her about his mother.

The episode also saw all of Yong-Sik’s suspects becoming witnesses and while he’s convinced Heung-Sik is the joker, the evidence does point towards his Dad. With just three episodes to go, When The Camellia Blooms is certainly heading towards a very tense ending and while I don’t want the show to end, I remain excited to see what will happen at the end.

 

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