Home > When the Camellia Blooms > When the Camellia Blooms: Episode 18 (35-36) Live Recap

When the Camellia Blooms: Episode 18 (35-36) Live Recap

Recap When the Camellia Blooms Episode 18 (35 & 36)
When the Camellia Blooms Episode 18 (35 & 36) Recap

I love every minute of this show when we are right smack in the present story of these characters. I look at the clock and think about fast forwarding when it gets contemplative or starts talking about things that they already talked about 100 times over.

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Caution: Be wary of typos

Original Soundtrack: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Shorthand Character Chart: When the Camellia Blooms Character Chart

How we do this: We update the post around every 10 minutes. Sometimes sooner, sometimes later depending on the scene. There will be typos which we have fantasies of fixing once the episode finishes airing. Also, there might be lovely updates at the bottom, so check back in!

Recap Countdown: lunchtime….check Twitter for updates!





Dong-baek asks, why are you giving me such a hard time and making me mad? Is it puberty already for you? 

Pilgoo tells her that she is the one in puberty right now, she is the one that makes him mad. He asks her what she thought when she gave birth to him? Did you ask me if it was okay to not have a father? Did you ask me if you can hang out with Hyung-sik? Diid you ask me anything? 

This ajusshi is getting divorced so me and him and the little girl will all live together. He will buy me games and send me to the major leagues.

Cut to Hong-sik sitting with the cops. They want to take his DNA. He ask if he can refuse it? But then he says that he will do it. One of the cops opens a door and sees the father there, he is super shocked. Hong-sik says that he can’t walk so he is quiet and sits there.

They decide not to take his DNA and close the door. The father says, if one more dies, then there will be a lot of trouble here. He starts to put ointment on a couple scratches on his arm.

Hong-sik leaves and locks the door behind. They caps ask him why he is doing that? he says that he is just worried that someone might come inside. They agree and think that it is difficult for family members.

Then we cut to Yong-sik who is a dump truck person as of a sudden. He smiles and ays that his plan is to go straight, everyone in Ong-san is my person! he hits the dump truck and hops on to ride along.


Kyu-tae leaves the police station with his mother asking him if Ja-young really got him out? She really has loyalty. Then she mentions that she knows someone that can introduce him to an art teacher. 

But Kyu-tae says that he will never marry again. He needs to repay the sin he committed with Ja-young. he starts to walk off. the mother runs after him and asks why he is doing this to her! he keeps walking off and says that he knows what he is good at.

Cut to the inside of the neighborhood police station where Kyu-tae and Yong-sik are looking through trash for clues. It looks like Yong-sik grabbed someones trash and brought it back to the station. Kyu-tae tells them that he might apply to be a cop too, it fits me well.

Yong-sik tells one of the officers to give this hair to his hubae for DNA testing. But the Captain says that he has a hard time due to the secret lab test on Kyu-tae’s steering wheel. Yong-sik mentions that there is no perfect crime, it is just that we did not investigate enough. We need to investigate and get evidence and then it will go away.

The captain says that Dong-baek said she could not recognize Gabuli. That kind of relaxed thinking makes then sneak out! How can I recognize a person in that situation with a mask and a hat! 

Kyu-tae starts to say that he could not recognize his own father for gambling with a hat on when he was caught on the news. They are all like, say what? But then Yong-sik stands and starts to think about the case again, he mutters that Gabuli cannot trick him.


DB asks Pilgoo if he really wants to go to Seoul? Are you doing this because you are mad? You know no one there. Pilgoo says that appa is there. I spent this much time with you so I should spend this much time with appa. Why are you looking at me like that? Do you want me to be a guy without an appa? I don’t have to have an appa.

Dong-baek says that he is right. Just because I do not have a husband does not mean that you do not have an appa. I did not think about that.

VO – Maybe I just relied on this little boy. We were using an umbrella with a little hole together. I am sorry to him, it is bitter sweat.

Later on, Dong-baek talks to Yong-sik. he says that he will tell this to her straight. I think that Hong-sik is Gabuli. I am about 85% sure. Dong-baek says that it is not Hong-sik. You were following No Kyu-tae before. Yong-sik tells her to look at him, do you think I will not be able to catch him?

DB says, why do you open your eyes like that?

He blinks and his eyes go back to normal. He tells her to trust him. After I arrest Gabuli, you can make Pilgoo come back.

Cut to Yong-sik at a crime scene and closing his eyes to help him gather clues as to what happened. He starts to imagine what was going on.

Flashback to Hyang-mi delivering one serving all the way to the crime scene.

VO – When was Hyang-mi was late with the accident. He lost his patience and carefulness. His ticks started again and he thought that Hyang-mi was Dong-baek.

The killer starts to cough and tick and then lunges to stab Hyang-mi.

In the CSI area, the team tells the Captain and Yong-sik about the death. He had one stab and he put sawdust in the mouth. And the victim swallowed a tiny yellow thing. it was not forced in, she swallowed it. 

VO – That yellow thing was found in the esophagus. She swallowed it so that means that it was not put in after death. She swallowed it on purpose.  So she was still alive. They stabbed the vein, not the artery, so she might have been alive for 30 or 40 minutes before dying.

Yong-sik and the Captain drive away wondering why Hyang-mi ate that. It was Hyang-mi’s dying message.



Dong-baek and Pilgoo walk somewhere, she is rolling his luggage. he says that she should just think of it as him studying abroad. He tells her that he will be in the major leagues.

She starts to cry. Pilgoo says that she should not cry. My friends mom doesn’t even cry if she stubs her toe.

Dong-baek asks what he is going to call the other ajumma? Mother? Pilgoo asks if she is crazy.

He gets into the car with Jjong-ryeol. Dong-baek asks if he is going to even hug her? He says that he is not a little boy.  So she rubs his head and he tells her to go. They drive off.

Dong-baek wonders why her son is acting so cool, why didn’t he even look back? But then we see Pilgoo crying his little eyes out in the back seat of the car. Jong-ryeol looks so awkward. He asks why he is crying so much? What should appa do? Why didi you act so cool? I didn’t kidnap you.

Pilgoo says he is not going with him because he wants to. I am a burden anyway. You are married to the model ajumma because you don’t have any burden! So tell umma to marry Yong-sik, ajusshi! 

He asks, so that is why you came with me?!

Pilgoo asks why all the ummas and appas always get married? he keeps crying.


Jessica’s mother talks to her husband about Jessica. The mother says that Jessica needs attention. Umma and appa start to argue about whose fault is it. Jessica is upstairs hearing it all and packing.

Then she starts to roll all her things to the next building where Jong-ryeol is. She asks her umma why she is acting like this? Her mother tells her that divorce is nothing now, so just divorce and come back if you want. Don’t worry about me. Jessica yells at her mother about something. Then she rides the elevator up and cries her eyes out in the elevator.

The umma also cries outside.

VO – Kids always want one more thing after getting everything. the parents give everything but couldn’t give one more. That is what makes the parents hurt.

Dong-baek’s mother shows up back at her house. 

VO – They always owe something to their kids.

DB’s mom asks why she changed the password lock? To keep me from coming in?

Dong-baek thinks that one comes and one leaves. The grandmother says that Pilgoo told her. So Dong-baek starts to cry again and asks when she saw Pilgoo? her mom pushes her out of the way an starts to do something at the sink. She asks DB if she ate? DB asks if she ate after abandoning me? Then she cries.


Meanwhile, Jong-ryeol asks Jessica why she is doing this? She is in the middle of unpacking. He asks why she wont’ just get a divorce? they quietly argue about it, but Pilgoo still hears everything as he looks at their picture perfect family photo.

Cut to Jong-ryeol showing Pilgoo to his room. He also gives him an allowance of way too much money for a kid his age and then tells him that it is his first time to have an appa and it is also appa’s first time to have an 8 year old son.

They start to talk about his little sister. Pilgoo asks where she is. Jong-ryeol says she is there and at her grandparents and things. Pilgoo says that it is fine, she is ugly and poops and hops around place to place. JR asks if Pilgoo thinks he is hoping around too? But the conversation is awkward. Pilgoo asks if he can lock the door when he sleeps?



The mother walks around the house wondering how to comfort her 30 something year old daughter. Then Dong-baek walks in and they both scream in fright. Then end up sleeping together in the same room. DB asks her how she can abandon her own daughter.

The mother says that she only sent her son temporarily and she felt like that. But I abandoned you. I passed out when I did. Dong-baek starts to cry. Her mom asks if she wants her to comfort her? Just close your eyes and sleep. When Gabuli is caught, bring him back. Umma is the best for kids. 

DB asks her how she can do that if she knows then? Her mother says that it was hard to live like that…giving up my own daughter.

Dong-baek looks a little happier, though not happy. She decides to sleep on the floor with her mom and cuddle. She tells her, don’t die mom. Her mom tells her to be quiet and sleep. Dong-baek tells her that she can give her her kidney or whatever. her mother sits up and says that this is why she did not want to come back, because you would say that. I would just kill myself before I got it from you. The person I could not even raise.

Dong-baek says that it is mine, though. Not yours. Why are you saying that. So they argue over this for a minute.



We open part 2 in ja-young’s office. She is looking at paperwork and then asks what the accuracy of a lie detector is, at least 90 something percent, right? That is what one research says. She keeps happily humming along. 

Then her mother in law comes in.

So they both sit to chat. ja-young tells her that she does not like cake, Kyu-tae likes cake. The mother asks why she always says Kyu-tae! ja-young says that Kyu-tae always says ja-young to her mother. So, did you come here to say something that you don’t want to say?

The mother-in-law says that she as a good mother in law. Ja-yong says that is not it, it is just that she got her own revenge. The m-i-l tells her to tell her. Ja-young asks her where she thinks she relieves all the stress she gives her? When you give me ping pong ball stress, I give Kyu-tae a volleyball size one.

She keeps talking about all those things and how she relieved all the stress she got from her mother in law to her son. The mother in law asks, so I gave you a hard time and it went to my son? Ja-young says that she stabbed her so Ja-young stabbed Kyu-tae and he became timid. From that cycle, we were all victims.

The mother tells her to get a daughter in law just like herself and walks out.


Cut to Pilgoo talking to Dong-baek on video chat. He is happy to talk to her though Dong-baek thinks that he is uncomfortable. We hear her thoughts in her voice over. though she speaks happily to him and asks if he has friends and all that. He says that these friends are strange here.

We also see Pilgoo eating cereal in the morning and reading a letter that his appa gave him about leaving to make money and how he tried to make scrambled eggs, he will try again later. Dong-baek thinks that Pilgoo is getting timid.

In the Camellia, Dong-baek asks her mother when she started talking? Her mother says around 2. Dong-baek says that Pilgoo was the same. She heard that that happens when mothers raise their kids alone, because one person talking is not enough. So she would walk around the neighborhood and talk to everyone with Pilgoo to increase his vocabulary. But all those people talked bad about her because she was a single mother. But it was okay with her. The thing she hated the most was when people said Pilgoo was a poor guy.

Cut to Pilgoo looking in the fridge. There is all bachelor style food for athletes like lots of things to drink and lots of chicken breast. But nothing for a kid. then Jessica comes out and eats lettuce while Pilgoo eats canned tuna and hot dog links.

She tells him that she doesn’t want to be super great or super bad, so lets just be like roommates. Tell me when you want to eat something and take me as a cafeteria noona. If you need anything then tell your appa. He says that they are not that close. He always asks me if I need anything so I don’t want to tell him. 

She tells him to tell her then. he asks for lunch, she says that the school ajumma is on strike. 


Yong-sik thinks that Dong-baek is like an alien acting like she is Dong-baek after she sent Pilgoo off. She is a shell of her former self. She tells her mother to set the date for surgery, but her mother does not want to. She thinks that she has a lot to do, catch Gabuli and have a funeral for Hyang-mi. It is hard to believe that she is not coming in and Pilgoo just left a few days ago. I am having a hard time so don’t make me angry and set a date for surgery so I can give my kidney to you.

Yong-sik continues talking about how he could not fill Pilgoo’s empty spot at all and how Dong-baek is just walking around miserable. She doesn’t even care if she steps in poop.

VO – She doesn’t even cry or smile, she just became an empty person.

Later on, Yong-sik helps out at the Camellia. He is outside with the grandmother. they talk about love and all that. The grandmother thinks that love and all that is all BS. He says that he loves Dong-baek, it is not his style to separate from her because he loves her. She asks if he will never ever separate from her? Then can I give you my last will?

Cut to Deok-soon pretending to sleep while the other ladies peel peas or something similar. they talk about Pilgoo and how he left. Deok-soon feels bad that pilgoo left thinking he was a burden. She thinks that she is a 70 year old woman that hurt a little boy. This will last forever because he is a little kid. I scratched that little guys heart, it will last forever. She gets upset at them and leaves.

Back with Yong-sik. Yong-sik tells the mother, okay okay okay! Just go! She points from her eyes to him signaling that she is watching him.

Yong-sik calls the captain and tells him that he is coming in. there is a report about the skin under Hyangmi’s nails. Yong-sik asks them to do the hair sample first. the captain says that the results have come out.



Cut back to Dong-baek talking to Deok-soon about Pilgoo. Deok-soon is apologizing to her about her mouth and how trouble came from it. She is sorry that she said that Pilgoo was a burden and thinks that it is carved in his heart. This is the first time Dong-baek has heard it.

Dong-baek might have kicked her out because they are outside with Dong-baek asking Deok-soon why she said that? Why did Pilgoo have to hear that? I tried so hard so he would not have to hear it! Deok-soon says that he will forget it quickly, I will try hard.

But Dong-baek says that she still remembers all those ajummas telling me, a 7 year old girl that I was a burden to my mom. You can’t undo that, Pilgoo will remember it forever. Db’s mother tells Deok-soon that she made a big mistake. How are you going to fix it? I know that you are someone who can give to others but you cannot live with owing someone.


the neighborhood police are upset and almost quietly raging because the DNA did not match. But Yong-sok thinks that the DNA is wrong! I am not just doing this with passion, I looked at all the facts! he knows about the building, he gave the cat food, he installed the CCTV, he set up the sink, only his food did not have pesticide. he stopped killing cats becuase I am interested in it. His little store has so many murder weapons and I saw the wire. the truck is Hong-sik’s truck! What more do we need!

The captain says that the picture is different and the DNA is wrong. The science says that it is wrong. DOn’t you know science? Yong-sik yells, it is Hong-sik! It is Hong-sik! All the evidence leads to Hong-sik! he hits the wall. But then he sees another piece of evidence that was just put up by another officer and runs off.

An officer calls and tells the Captain that one of the evidences is wrong and the other is right. Where did you get the hair? he turns to the side and we see many officers in the main branch running out.

VO – it is not why he killed people but why he stopped killing people. he stopped killing people 5 years ago and 5 years ago….

News from 5 years ago says that one of the construction workers fell.

VO – 5 years ago, someone had an accident.

Yong-sik goes to Hong-sik and is about to go to the back where his father is. But he is stopped by Hong-sik who almost pleads with him not to go back.

Flashback to Hong-sik’s father yelling at him about cats and why he brings cats. 

back in the police station, the captain looks at the suspect’s images, it looks like he recognizes him.

Yong-sik goes into the room.

VO – Someone was in the dark for 5 years and everyone forgot about him and no one included him as a suspect.

The father asks, what? Are you here to catch me?

VO – And everyone has a parent

Hong-sik comes in and tells Yong-sik that he can be responsible. he stars to cry and says that he put the lock on the door and locked him in, so please, Hyung…

Yong-sik tells ajusshi that they should go. Hong-sik keeps pleading with him. he says that his appa is the only one for him, he only has his apps. Yong-sik removes his hand from his arm and tells ajusshi to stand up.

The ajusshi sighs and then stands up.


Cut o Dong-baek riding a bus to Seoul. There is an ajumma strike going at a baseball stadium. She sighs and goes inside. She asks one of the baseball kids inside if they know Pilgoo? the kid says, the yellow radish kid?

Cut to Dong-baek eating with the other kids. They ask him why he lives in that expensive apartment and has this cheap lunchbox? he says that he is best at baseball anyway so whatever I eat, I take care of it. Dong-baek looks at him. he sees her too.

VO – That was the angriest face of my mom. (older Pilgoo voice). I thought she was angry then.

She goes to him and tells him to stand up. She pulls him out.

VO – In retrospect, it was a sad face.

He tells her that he will not leave! I will be a major leaguer! She tells him to choose one, umma or major leagues. I am okay if you are not a major leaguer. if someone gives me Ryu Hyun Jin, I will not trade him with you (he is a famous major league baseball player right now).

So she asks him, umma or major league? Why won’t you answer! then she hits him on his back/bottom several times and asks why are you looking at me to make your decision? Umma is really going!

Pilgoo says that he does not want to be in the major leagues, I don’t want to go to America alone! You said that you only need me! But you are getting married! I am the only kid whose mother is getting married! Do you know how it feels for your own mom to get married! At least you can get married, I can’t even get married because I am 8! I can’t go to the army! I have no where to go! Living makes me mad! 

Dong-baek yells back and asks, are you going with me or not! he yells, I am going with you!

So they walk out together. Jong-ryeol shows up, Dong-baek slaps or punches the s**t out of him. 

VO – When kids act up to me, I hit their nose.

Jong-ryeol holds his nose in pain and asks why she hit him. She asks if he knows that Pilgoo goes to school with instant rice? Don’t say anything about Pilgoo’s life, you are out. I don’t need uncles worry about my own son. Are you Pilgoo’s uncle? Is it because it will affect him if they know he is our son?

She yells at him about the radish lunch and instant rice. Whatever BS he wants to say, she will not be swayed anymore. Listen to me, if you matter in Pilgoo’s life one more time. I will have a public DNA test, so put everything you have in line.

She sighs and wild west music plays as she walks off.

VO – The thing I have to defeat was not Gabuli, it was me.

DB – hey, the think that makes you mad are all the coward, timid things, right? I gave them a little break, but everyone is Gabul to me.

VO – I can hit someones nose with my own fist. I am a fighter who can protect my own son.

PG – Mom, you were like McGregor (an MMA fighter).

VO – Decided to be the strongest mom in the world.

They walk past a news screen where Gabuli is shown arrested. But the people who actually caught him don’t get any recognition, only the other detectives. So Kyu-tae, Yong-sik, and The Captain walk away happily and normally. 

Yong-sik tells them that they should drink coffee and calls Dong-baek, but seh is not picking up the phone.


Cut to Dong-baek seeing the phone call but not answering. She is happy to sit with her son. He is sleeping so she thinks that he is still a little boy as she looks at the stickers on his hand. She thinks back to him catching bugs and running around the house with them. And of Pilgoo as a tiny little boy crying at like 8 months old.

VO – Pilgoo’s existence saved my life and he became a rooster for me. he became an adult. I did not know he was trying to protect me when I was soleda.

She finally picks up the phone when they get home. Yong-sik asks her if she saw the news? tell me! Tell me! She says thank you, because of you I won’t live timid.

He tells her that she can compliment him later! I will go to your store! She tells him not to come to the store, come to the place where I fell in love with you the first time.

She is sitting there and he runs to her. They are at the train station. He runs up and kisses her. She wondered while he was so happy.

He asks, so you fell in love with me right here! She asks why he kissed her. He happily says that back then my heart was pumping so much! But now I can kiss you! This is a miracle!

She still asks, why did you kiss me?

He wonders what the deal is? Is it because I kissed you? You said that I had to kiss first. She asks, what should I do? What should I do? I can’t tell you.

He asks, what? What happened?

He sits quietly next to her. She looks at him a few times and then starts to cry and says that she wanted to say it without crying. Then she turns to him and says his name. He asks why she is looking at him like that?

Cut to her super crying and him trying not to cry but his poor face says it all. Yong-sik asks, does Pilgoo say he hates me that much? She says that if he said he hated him then that would be great, but he is becoming like me and caring what I say more. Pilgoo is first instead of dating, I went too far.

Yong-sik says that he will be nice, but Dong-baek says that this is actually for them to be happy as well. As soon as Pilgoo could speak, he said that he would protect me. Yong-sik asks why she is so straight? Dong-baek says that PIlgoo is still a little baby for me. The most important thing is to raise him without a shadow.

YS – (I thought timing and variables was all BS).

DB – (I knew how to knockout this good boy’s nice face).

DB – I will just be a mom, not a woman. I want to be happy as a mom.

Yong-sik can’t really look at her and tells him that she is too cruel to say that. If you say that, then what can I say?

She tells him that he has no choice, they have to break up.

YS – ( I don’t know how to break up with Dong-baek, I also don’t know how to grab hold of her).

They both cry as they sit at the train station, not holding each other.

Pilgoo’s older voice – Like that, the miracle of my mothers spring ended. And, I grew up eating those spring days.


We see a grown man walking. It looks like this grown man is Pilgoo. he says that he ate, why do you ask me if I ate? Yes Umma I am busy, so don’t call me. Yes, I will be there.


I lost interest during a lot of this show, but then it would spark its magic and I would be gripped by the storyline once again. This writer needs better pacing between her heavy handed backstory tearjerker wet blanket scenes and her storyline and fun scenes. I think this is what started to ruin Fight for My Way in part 3 for me, but now she extended it to most of this drama. However, her other scenes are so amazing that I forget all about the annoying scenes until another annoying scene shows up and I wonder why I continue watching this show.

There is also something a bit too easy with how Gabuli was found. It is a bit of a whomp whomp capture. Will there be another big twist? Is Hong-sik actually Gabuli?


JR – What? A big issue?

J – it is all rumors! The people that are jealous of me made all those fake photos!

Mom – She was super duper lonely. Please don’t leave Dong-baek alone.

DB – I want to live with you for at least another 20 years. So your insurance money s not enough. So keep living.

Doctor – I think that a transplantation is the only option.

YS – Dong-baek

DB – Yong-sik, my mom?

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  1. Jane M
    November 15, 2019 / 7:38 am

    Did they jump the shark in this episode or what? A time jump AND a noble idiocy breakup? Pilgu is an adult when there was no indication the previous action was occurring in the past (no vintage cars, for example)? This was a jarring turn of events, wasn’t it? And I agree, the wrap up of the Gabuli story does not seem to be final. I think the writers are on thin ice here, but this show has been good up to now so I will not give up on it yet.

    Thanks for continuing to post recaps.

    • V
      November 16, 2019 / 7:52 am

      It was a strange way to end it, definitely.

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