When the Camellia Blooms – Season 1 Episode 9 Recap & Review

The Kiss

This week’s episode of When The Camellia Blooms brings us a different side to Dongbaek who’s now determined to turn her life around and finally accept Yong-Sik’s affection. It feels like a breath of fresh air after watching her struggle until now and seeing the neighbours slowly warming up to her, was a really nice touch too.

We start with a flashback to the day Dongbaek first opened the Camellia and we see Pil-Gu grow through the years. We then cut to the present where she’s closing the bar and hanging a sign thanking everyone for the past six years. Hyun-Mi wonders why she is thanking them as the women were always horrible to her. She replies that despite their behaviour, they also always gave her kimchi.

Meanwhile the women of Ongsan discuss Dongbaek’s departure and start to feel guilty about how they have been acting towards her. Hyun-Mi talks to Dongbaek’s mother about it too and explains that she’s not sure she’s going to follow her as she moves away. As Dongbaek asks one of the neighbours for some packing boxes, she is pleasantly surprised when they all bring her some as well as useful supplies. She later goes back to the bar and has a chat with Ms Kwak who tells her that everyone is sad she’s leaving. Dongbaek replies that everyone always walked over her, but she is grateful that she always treated her with respect.

We cut to Yong-Sik, determined to find the joker once and for all in order to stop Dongbaek from moving. Watching the CCTV footage of the beauty parlor, he notices that one of the windows of the opposite building was opened when he went to investigate. He then deduces that someone might have been watching him and decides to head to the building in question. There, he finds a rusted lock on the door and some cat food on the floor.

While Dongbaek desperately tries to get a loan, Jessica threatens Jong-Ryeol with a divorce if he doesn’t let her go to Milan to study. Fed up with her behaviour, he then surprises her by agreeing to it. Dongbeak and Yong-Sik spend a nice evening eating lobster where she tells him that she feels lucky to have him and that he has brightened her life which makes him blush greatly. However, when she tells him that he should concentrate on his life and listen to his mum, he replies that he will come visit her wherever she moves to and will never fall for anyone else.

Jong-Ryeol visits Dongbaek and offers her money again for her and Pil-Gu. After finally accepting, he also begs her to take him back. Yong-Sik then appears in time to witness the exchange. This prompts her to reject Jong-Ryeol and tell him to leave her alone. As Jong-Ryeol leaves the restaurant, Hyun-Mi is waiting for him with the pictures, ready to blackmail him. However, he tells her that he is not worried and to send them if she wants.

Ja-Young finds out that the woman her husband has been seeing is Hyun-Mi which makes her think about how easy it would be to just kill him. Instead, she decides to pour a big bucket of water over his head while he sleeps. The next day, Yong-Sik arrives at Dongbaek’s house to walk her and Pil-Gu to school which doesn’t please the latter. After dropping Pil-Gu off, Yong-Sik explains that he will treat her with a lot of respect and won’t even hold her hand until they’re in a relationship.

Yong-Sik takes Captain Byun to the school to investigate the fire. He shows him the lighter but is still unable to remember where he saw it before. They then discuss the possible motives as they think the fire was an arson attack.

Dongbaek and Jong-Ryeol have dinner together where he suggests sending Pil-Gu to study abroad. She tells him that he shouldn’t feel that he can control them now that he has given her money. We then see a flashback to when they were together and why they broke up. She felt alone for a very long time and when he found out that she was potentially pregnant, he didn’t seem happy so she decided to lie about the pregnancy and leave. After listening to her, Jong-Ryeol tells her that he can’t stop worrying about her and Pil-Gu. She replies that he doesn’t need to be in their life and that she will give him his money back.

With a renewed determination and positive take on life, she tells him she will not run away anymore, prompting her to run to Yong Sik and tell him what she’s decided. She then removes the sign off her bar and they finally end up kissing. The episode ends with a strange figure standing with a lighter and Dongbaek greeting him as her first customer back after reopening.

The latest episode of When The Camellia Blooms was certainly an interesting one, with Dongbaek suddenly becoming more confident and not letting anyone dictate her life anymore. This is partly due to Yong-Sik’s constant positive influence which leads to the expected kiss between them which came just at the right time. We’re still left to wonder if the arsonist is the same person as the murderer, but evidence seems to be pointing that way.

When The Camellia Blooms remains one of my favourite weekly dramas as it manages to balance the humour and the suspense quite skillfully. As we’re also at the halfway point of the show, it will be interesting to see which direction the show takes and whether the joker will claim more victims before we reach the final episode.


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