When The Camellia Blooms – Episode 20 (The Finale) Recap and Review

A True Miracle

The finale of When the Camellia Blooms brings us an even stronger episode than the last, full of emotional, tense and fun moments. It’s a great ending for this drama too, as we say goodbye to all our characters who are given the perfect send-offs.

We start where we left off from before, with Dongbaek arriving in hospital where we see that her mother is actually alive but in a critical condition. She then meets with the doctor who tells her that her chances of survival are slim. Jessica’s first marriage come s to light, prompting Jung-Ryeol to hold a press conference to clear things up and defend her. He ends by telling the press he’ll sue them if they continue spreading rumours.

Dongbaek invites Heung-Sik in for some lunch, where they talk about his past visits before he looks at her menacingly, coughing as he asks her if she now pities him. After leaving Dongbaek, Yong-Sik finds out that the joker has requested to see him. While listening to him in prison, more chilling details surface surrounding Hyang-Mi’s murder. However, after finding Heung-Sik’s yellow ear plug in the glasses pouch, Yong-Sik realizes that this is what was found in Hyang-Mi’s mouth and that Heung-Sik is actually the killer. We then flashback to see that his Dad has been protecting him all along, helping to dispose of Hyang-Mi’s body.

Back at the Camellia, Dongbaek recognises the familiar cough and smashes Hyang-Mi’s beer glass over his head infront of all the women in Onsang. She looks down on him, telling him she knows he’s the joker. As the police arrive, all the women rush to her aid while Yong-Sik watches in awe over how brave Dongbaek has become.

Later on in hospital, Ms Kwak brings Pil-Gu to Dongbaek and as she tells her that her mum is leaving the world with a warm heart, we see a flashback of Jeung-Suk asking Ms Kwak to take Dongbaek in as everything that has happened in her life was all her fault. Back in the present, Ms Kwak tells Dongbaek that if she is depressed, this will affect Pil-Gu’s life even more and tells her she should live her life to the fullest. She then adds that if she decides to be with Yong-Sik, she will embrace her fondly.

Suddenly, we see the doctor rushing Jeong-Suk out in an ambulance as all the residents rally together to help her out, including the police, the women of Onsang and even Ja-Young to enable her to get to a bigger hospital. There, we see Dongbaek getting tested and as she finds out she doesn’t have her mother’s condition, she ends up giving her kidney to her. The surgery is successful and Jeong-Suk wakes up to find her daughter in a hospital bed next to her. She berates her at first for what she did but Dongbaek just smiles and hugs her, happy to have her back.


Meanwhile,  Gyu-Tae takes a drunk Ja-Young back home and after reminiscing about the beginning of their relationship, they decide to get back together. As Yong-Sik talks about his wedding plans with the rest of his colleagues, he finds out that Heung-Sik wants to see him again. The latter tells Yong-Sik that he didn’t kill the Chinese delivery man but someone made it look like he did. However, Yong-Sik is undeterred and explains that there will always be more good guys to catch the bad guys.

Back at the Camellia, Dongbaek’s luck finally changes as Gyu-Tae reveals that she’ll never have to pay rent again. She’s also finally able to make her dream come true by providing a place for people to have their parcel delivered at the Camellia. While Yong-Sik and Gyu-Tae become friends, we also see Jung-Ryeol and Jessica slowly building bridges. Jung-Ryeol then heads back to the Camellia where he gives Dongbaek and Yong-Sik a savings account for Pil-Gu which will always have money in it for him.

After a touching moment with her mum talking about happiness, Dongbaek meets with Yong-Sik. As they hug, happy to finally be together, she tells him that he’s the miracle that came into her life. The episode closes with a jump into the future, with Pil-Gu now a major league baseball player, speaking at a press conference while Dongbaek and Yong-Sik proudly watch him.

I’m going to miss When The Camellia Blooms. The show has consistently improved each week and the finale is no exception. The show offered up a final twist surrounding the joker and managed to keep us hooked right until the end with this revelation. This was cleverly plotted too and seeing Dongbaek hitting him around the head with Hyang-Mi’s beer glass felt like sweet revenge for her best friend. It also signified how far Dongbaek has come this season, growing into a confident, strong and happier woman than she was at the start of the show. Everyone’s favourite puppy-dog eyed, smitten police officer Yong-Sik is partly to thank for this. His touching and fun mannerisms throughout the show have really stood out and there’s no wonder he’s such a favourite here.

The episode really did an excellent job bringing closure for all our characters and especially for our two leads who finally got their happy ending. When The Camellia Blooms has certainly been a big surprise for me, offering up plenty of tear-jerking moments, shocking revelations and laugh out loud scenes. As we say goodbye to this one, When The Camellia Blooms remains one of the funniest Korean dramas of the year, boasting a stylish, well-written story for good measure too.


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6 thoughts on “When The Camellia Blooms – Episode 20 (The Finale) Recap and Review”

  1. I loved the series but I cried a lot. So emotional. At the end I wanted to see Dongbaek and Yong-Sik with a child of their own. I was hoping that while they watched Pil Gu a child would run to cuddle them. I thought it heartbreaking Pil Gu dad couldn’t part of his life.

  2. Why Heung Sik didn’t kill Dongbaek at the end? A warm feeling can’t overcome the urge of killing someone so why?? Heung Sik did tic at the Camellia but why he left the bar without even doing something?

  3. Yes the uniform indicates that DB and YS has a daughter together. 🙂 And they named their daughter after Hyang-Mi’s real name Go Eun (or Go Un). Hyang-Mi’s real name was Choi Go Eun. I thought this was also a sweet touch to the ending of the story to honor Hyang-Mi. And also Hyang-Mi had mentioned to Dong Baek earlier on that when she died she would want to be reborn as DongBaek’s daughter. When I saw that scene where HyangMi said that I had thought that if DongBaek was to have a daughter, she would definitely name her after HyangMi. Turns out to be so ….made the ending even more sweet for me 🙂

  4. Yes, apparently they had a daughter: Hwang Go Eun is the name written on the badge and It was a female uniform 😁

  5. the last part in the future what was the name written on the school uniform? whose uniform is it? did dongbaek and yongshik have a biological child together?

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