When The Camellia Blooms – Season 1 Episode 19 Recap & Review

 

Motherly Love

When The Camellia Blooms delivers one of its most heart-wrenching episodes so far, concentrating on the relationship between Dongbeak and her mother, finally revealing her painful past and ending the episode on a very emotional and sad note.

We begin with a drunk Jung-Ryeol reflecting on his life and past mistakes while Pil-Gu is happy back home. After checking on her son, Dongbaek tells her mum she broke up with Yong-Sik which surprises her. We then see a flashback of the two saying goodbye; Yong-Sik promises to always be there for her and she expresses how grateful she is for everything he’s done for her. In the present, she tells her mum she’s going to give all of her life to Pil-Gu. However, her mum insists that she can’t stay single all her life as she’ll be very lonely.

We then see a montage of both Dongbaek and Yong-Sik getting busy with their lives while trying not to think about each other. Dongbaek decides to pay her respects to Hyang-Mi at the memorial hall and laments her friend for deciding to do the delivery that day. As she leaves with her Mum, she insists again on wanting to give her kidney as she can’t lose another person in her life.

In the evening, Ja-Young visits the Camellia and starts drinking with Dongbaek while they talk about their lives. As she calls Gyu-Tae to pick up his drunk ex-wife, Dongbaek tells him she told her the truth about Hyang-Mi and invites them both over to cook them her best dish. Back at the station, Yong-Sik takes all the joker’s things down from the board and decides to check on Heung-Sik, who’s moving away. As he arrives in his house, Heung-Sik explains that he’s partly to blame as he knew his father’s legs were better and had noticed that he’d been killing cats again.

As they walk to the hospital for her dialysis, Dongbaek insists again about donating her kidney as she has only been her mother for 7 years and 3 months in total. She wants her to stay alive so she can pay her debt and be her mother for another 20 years.

Yong-Sik meanwhile, decides to visit the joker in prison and tells him his son is leaving Onsang because of his crimes. After talking a little more about Heung-Sik, the joker admits that he killed his victims because they were all joking around. He then recalls why he killed all his victims one by one as we see flashbacks for each of them. It’s here that we find out that he only killed Hyang-Mi because he thought she was Dongbaek. Just as the joker confesses to his last murder, we see that the whole conversation was recorded and we flashback to the inspectors giving Yong-Sik guidance to force a confession.

From here, we receive several flashbacks, the first showing why Dongbaek’s Mother won’t accept the kidney and the second regarding her will, which she speaks to Yong-Sik about. In the evening, Jeong-Suk lays in bed crying. Unfortunately, the next scene cuts to show Yong-Sik on Dongbaek’s door step, giving her the bad news about her mother; she passed away in a motel room.

As she reads the letter her mum left her, we see all the struggles she had to face and just why she abandoned Dongbaek, including Dongbaek’s father being violent and her struggle in getting back to Dongbaek after leaving her at the orphanage. It’s a tough watch and the scenes that follow show her through the years, while Dongbaek reads the letter, ending with her telling her daughter to live her life to the fullest and that she’s never stopped loving her.

The episode then closes with Dongbaek arriving in hospital and remembering the last conversation she had with her mother, who told her she was happy she was still alive for the last three months.

Whew, what an emotional episode! I certainly shed some tears watching this one and with more background around Dongbaek’s Mum, Lee Jung-Eun’s performance was excellent and absolutely stole the show today.

Witnessing the flashbacks to what her mother had to endure was really tough to watch and we see that she sacrificed her entire life for her daughter up until the last minute, where she stopped her from giving her kidney over. It’s also an interesting juxtaposition against Dongbaek who’s on the verge of giving up her entire life for Pil-Gu. I’m hoping Dongbaek will listen to her Mum and finally be happy.

Yong-Sik did a great job making the joker confess and seeing the reasons why he killed all his victims was quite chilling to watch. Now that he has worked with the inspectors, is he finally due a promotion? Only one episode is left now and while I’m sad that this great drama will end, I am really hoping for a happy ending for our two main leads, as they truly deserve it.

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  • Episode Rating
4.5

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