With more drama and some genuinely funny moments, When The Camellia Blooms returns this week with a much more consistent dose of drama, one that offers some really good character development and drama along the way.
The episode starts where it left off with Dongbaek arriving at the bar while holding Yong-Sik’s hand. Just as the three men wonder if they’re dating, the rest of the neighbourhood come out and look at them in surprise. Yong-Sik then turns around and tells Dongbaek he wants to be more than friends.
The next day, Dongbaek walks through the market while everyone is gossiping about her relationship with Yong-Sik. As she walks away, Yong-Sik suddenly appears and asks her why she held his hand the night before. She takes him away from the crowd, explaining that she was in a difficult situation and made a mistake. However, he tells her that he fell in love with her at first sight when he saw her at the library then asks her out for a meal. Unfortunately she rejects him, telling him she prefers bad boys.
Mr No’s wife confronts him about what happened that night when he didn’t pay the 8000 won. He replies with some made-up excuse which she doesn’t believe and asks him if he is having an affair. After telling him not to sue the policeman, she then leaves the room without listening to her husband.
Chan Sook and Jae-Young go to see Mr No’s wife, Hwa-ja, soon after and ask if the Camellia’s lease will get renewed. She replies that her husband will be the one dealing with it. They tell her that he spends a lot of time and money at the Camellia and that his wife should be careful, not realizing that they are speaking to said wife.
At the police station, Captain Byun is being interviewed by a journalist about the Joker’s investigation and his victims. He explains that none of the victims had anything in common but the killer always left the same note: “don’t be a joke”. We also find out that there was a witness at one of the murder scenes. Meanwhile, Mr No complains to Hyang Mi about his wife and Dongbaek looking down on him, failing to respect him. As Hyang Mi replies that she does respect him, Mr No’s wife arrives, immediately telling him to kick the tenants out and that the building will be hers soon.
Later, Yong-Sik and the other policemen go and have lunch at the Camellia while Mr No takes random pictures inside the bar, complaining about the mess. Yong-Sik immediately gets annoyed with Mr No and vows to help paint the place.
While Dongbaek and Hyang Mi discuss Yong-Sik, the latter discovers the written message from the joker on the wall. He decides to open up the case file and discuss it with Captain Byun and when Yong-Sik shows him the picture of the writing, the captain looks very concerned but refuses to say why.
The journalist who interviewed the captain earlier comes to the bar to question Dongbaek about the Joker’s case. She tells her that they are aware she is the witness whose survived. Yong-Sik comes to her aid after being asked to by Pil Gu, who was worried about his mother. He tells the journalists to leave Dongbaek alone, but they reply that they will provide her with protection. A flashback to 5 years ago confirms that she was indeed a witness and after this, her business suffered as people were afraid to come to her bar.
After this interaction, Dongbaek and Yong-Sik have dinner where she opens up to him about her past and they share a nice moment where he tells her he wants to be there for her. After rejecting him once again, he takes her inside the bar and shows her the joker’s message, vowing to protect her and keep her safe
Jong Ryeol, who has been thinking about Dongbaek and Pil gu while he was in the army, is waiting for Dongbaek outside the Camellia and sees her and Yong-Sik come inside.
The episode then ends with another flashback with Dongbaek serving someone who we’re not shown, but as soon as she turns around we see him write the famous message on the wall.
The latest episode of When the Camellia Blooms definitely picks up the pace from the last episode. We’re shown more background about the past and in particular, about the Joker. Dongbaek being a witness is an interesting twist and the threat of the Joker, brings more suspense and tension into this week’s episode, especially knowing that someone ends up getting killed.
Yong-Sik continues trying to win over Dongbaek with his quirky, goofy ways too and despite being rejected multiple times, his persistence brings with it a heavy dose of comedy. However, it looks like Dongbaek might be slowly warming up to him, especially after he promised to be there for her and help with the journalists.
When the Camellia Blooms is really starting to grow on me and there were some genuinely funny moments during the episode too. So far, this quirky Korean drama has done well to blend the humour and suspense in a compelling way. While it might not be the best Korean drama out there, it does have enough humour and interesting plot points to make for an enjoyable watch.