Home > When the Camellia Blooms > When the Camellia Blooms: Episode 9 (17 & 18) Live Recap

When the Camellia Blooms: Episode 9 (17 & 18) Live Recap

Recap When the Camellia Blooms episode 9 (17&18)
When the Camellia Blooms Recap Episode 9 (17&18), image Hancinema

The serial killer list grows and grows as we are introduced to more and more people as legitimate candidates for the Gabuli crown. Hyang-mi was introduced as a potential candidate in the last episode as well as Dong-baek’s mother. So I can only assume that more people will be introduced this episode.

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Caution: Be wary of typos

Shorthand Character Chart: Coming soon!

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: Recap starts at 22:00 KST….check Twitter for updates!





Dong-baek waves out her welcome sign at the Camellia and smiles as she looks around. Then she goes inside and uses it as a floormat for the entrance.

Her baby is pleasantly sleeping in the back on a pallet on the floor and DOng-baek waits for her first customer. Two men come in and look around curiously, they ask if she is open? She smiles and says yes. She gives them their food and says it is one serving, she is so happy that they are their custmers that she gave them a lot. Please enjoy.

She measures Pilgoos height and we see the years change as Pilgoo gets taller and taller. The height is right next to the door of the Camellia. He starts to get older and older and is able to measure his height himself.

But then we graduate heights all the way to the present where DOng-baek puts up a sign thanking her neighbors for so many years. Hyang-mi and grandmother come out to separate bottles. Hyang-mi asks why she is thanking them? They always talk bad to you and want to kick you out.

Dong-baek says that they were always strange but they also always gave her kimchi. So I kind of liked it. She says that people don’t show that they hate her but they also never share their kimchi. But these ajummas share their kimchi even if they hate me.


Cut to the ajummas who are playing hwatu together in one of the ajummas places. They think that their game is not fun anymore do to Dongbaek leaving. They also think that they probably should have included DOng-baek in on their game all these years. One person thinks that she lasted a long time. I charged her more than others and gave her a bad look, but she always said hello to me. So they are all feeling bad about how the treated Dong-baek.

One of them thinks that she is leaving because Yong-sik likes her and she has a problem with Deok-soon. Cut to Deok-soon who also thinks that she is leaving because of her.

On the street, the grandmother wonders why they are leaving. She is talking to Hyangmi as they look at clothing. Hyangmi asks who will welcome a single mother orphan? She shouldn’t leave, she should just get money from Pilgoo’s father. The mtoher tells her, I told you don’t act up. Then she wonders why everyone is acting up, it makes me mad. Hyang-mi asks her what she did before.

The mother asks what Hyangmi is doing, Hyangmi sys that she wants to go to Copenhagen.

In the Camellia Bar, Dong-baek and Hyangmi pack up the place. Hyangmi notices that Dong-baek is not wearing her bracelet anymore. Dongbaek also told her not to go somewhere strange, she can come with her to a new place.

Cut back to Hyangmi and the mother walking, Hyangmi says that no one ever asked to take her with them. They never cared about her like that. This Eunnie makes her uncomfortable.


In the market, Dong-baek asks one of the ajummas for boxes. The ajumma just walks away so Dong-baek thinks she is ignoring her. But then the Ajumma comes back with boxes and some other supplies for her and tells her not to say anything about it. Then other ajummas come out one after another with boxes for Dongbaek, but they try to say it like it is no big deal.

Dong-baek continues to walk around and all the ajummas continue to look bad and regretful with how they treated Dongbaek. She finally gets back to her place and sees Deoksoon standing there. Deoksoon tells her that she shuoldn’t run away, she should stay and fight.

They go inside to chat. Deoksoon wonders if she thinks other people will welcome her where she goes? Running away does not work. Dong-baek asks if she is telling her to stay? Deoksoon says that with her personality, she will not be able to settle down. There won’t be another chairwoman like me.

Dong-baek is happy with her words and says that at least she has one person who is on her side. But everyone is the same. Thank you for being polite to me. You where the only one that treated me with respect. Because of you, I spent a good 6 years here.

Deoksoon tells her not to mention it, but Dongbaek continues and says that she was always lonely. So it was nice when Deoksoon held her hand and walked her around the neighborhood. She thought that having a mother would feel like this. Deoksoon tells her that this is what is bad about young poeple. You need to give me a signal before you say or do things. How can you run away like this?

Dong-baek says that she betrayed her in the end so she will try hard to repay her. And Yong-sik will….

Cut to Yong-sik who is in full on “Catch Gabuli…catch DOng-baek” mode as he repeats this phrase over and over again with the retro music of the show playing and Yong-sik wakling to all the key spots in the town where Gabuli was spotted.

He goes back to the polcie department to continue working on it and sees a report that looks of interest.

At home, Ja-young looks at her husbands credit card bill. It looks like she cannot check it anymore. She thinks something is up so she goes to look at Kyutaek. Suddenly Kyutaek says he feels so cold, he feels that cold gaze on his head. He thinks he has nothing to worry about, he just changed his password, thats it.

Back at the precinct, Yong-sik looks at the CCTV and shows the captain that the window is open in one view and the window is closed in another area, so that means that someone was watching me. WHo is the owner! The captain asks him if he is the captain and tells him to find it.

So Yong-sik walks out determined and starts to loosen up his legs and arms as he walks with stealth to the building. His retro music plays as he does this and gets to the building. The lock is rusty on it so he thinks that it does not seem like someone is coming in and out.

So he calls a number to find out who the owner of the building is. He calls the cleaning service team and says that whoever asks them to clean it should be the owner so he asks them for the phone number.


The camera cuts in on cat food and we see that the same cat food is in front of the Camellia.

Inside the Camellia, Dong-baek continues to try and find a loan by calling around to various places. But no one wants to give her one. Hyangmi asks why she tells them thank you to them. Dongbaek says that they always ask for $10k for collateral, am I the only one who does not have this money?

Hyangmi tells her to ask father. he is a million dollar man, that is why Pilgoo is good at baseball. DOng-baek tells her not to mention it. But Hyang-mi looks momentarily possessed and says that she is happy that she got a job in her place.

Yong-sik comes in right then looking amazingly happy so they both great him. He asks for ramen lunch.


But we cut away to Jessica and JR. He is putting some things in the back of his car as she bothers him about something. It appears that she wants to get nose surgery. She says that it was all about her snoring. He tells her that her mother will get her everything if she nags. So stop saying divorce divorce divorce. 

But she says, yes, let’s do it, let’s get a divorce. He sighs and says okay, let’s do it. She takes off her shades in disbelief and quiet shock. He tells her, if you want to get a divorce, then let’s get one.


Yong-sik and Dong-baek sit down to eat shrimp ramen and start to talk about God and how Dongbaek thinks that someone up there forgot about her. Yongsik says that the person up there does not make mistakes. They have all your data and know that it is your turn. You will have all he goo things. One Hundred percent. Dong-baek, you deserve to be happy.

Dong-baek is happy and wonders why she feels so happy. Yong-sik gives all the good parts of the food to Dongbaek. She says that this is the first time she has had shrimp with someone like this. He tells her that this is not big luck at all. But she bashfully says that he is like a bonus in her life. He smiles and blushes and tells her that she speaks well after some.

She smiles as well and tells him that he should not be sidetracked, he has a good mom and a good job and a good life. So he should not spend this time not listening to his mom. He looks at he with realization and then keeps eating sadly.

Afterwards, he cleans the dishes aggressively. Dong-baek comes in to give him more so he tells her that she put this much shrimp for a $3 ramen, you shouldn’t do that. She says that she was just cleaning out the leftovers. He tells her that if Im Soojun makes a mandu place here, I won’t be attracted to her. She smiles and asks if he likes Im Soojun so much?

The camera cuts to a logo that says “I only love you”

Dong baek tells Yongsik that he likes mandu. He says that he likes Dong-baek more. So she tells him to just peel some more shrimp.


Dong-baek walks outside and sees JR standing next to his car. He asks her if she has to say that she is sick and tired. He gives her clams. So she goes to the back to open it and put it into the refrigerator. He asks if she has to open it now?

She opens it and sees money inside. He looks like he is fretting in the eating area. He tells her that it is expensive so only give it to you and Pilgoo.

She comes out and says that these Jangbok are $30,000? He sighs and asks if she can just accept it? Even if you live well, I still want to help Pilgoo. But now I know that you both are having a hard time, so why don’t you accept it?

She says that she accepts it. She mentions how she lives and how he lives and says that raising kids costs a lot of money, but…~. She tries to say something else but starts to cry a bit. He asks why she is crying. She keeps crying and says that it is so embarrassing. I want to slap you with the money. I want to pretend to be strong like in a drama. But as a real mom, I don’t have any pride.

JR tells her, there is that TV song about being lonely and sad but not crying? Dong-baek says that woman is a B**ch, why doesn’t she cry when she is lonely and sad? She is a psychopath.

Outside, Hyangmi is sitting and sees Yong-sik walk up with a rose for DOng-baek. She tells him that this is not the best time to go inside right now. Yong-sik looks around and sees JR’s car. He sighs and hangs his head.

Inside, Dong-baek says that she will repay it with interest. He mutters that he could not tolerate a divorce in the morning and his own heart at night. Dong-baek asks for his bank account. He asks why she makes him give up everything? What if I throw away all that I have?

She says that she is not accepting him. He holds her hand and asks her to accept him. Then Yong-sik comes in looking angry as he sees them holding hands.



Yong-sik looks at them holding hands and asks Dong-baek to come to him. JR asks him who he is. Dong-baek is about to leave but JR holds tightly and tells her not to go. I will abandon everything and come to you. Think about Pilgoo, what do you think is more important?

Yong-sik tells her, Dong-baek, do whatever you want in your life. You are not the person that gets dragged around in your life. You are the Lynx what walks your own way. So do whatever you want in whatever way you want. that is the person who I like and adore and respect.

JR pleads with Dong-baek with her eyes and holds her hand tighter with his other one. She looks at him with steal eyes, retro music turns on and she tells him, let go on my hands or you will die.

Yong-sik starts to smile and wonders, how can’t I love this Lynx.

Later on we see Hyangmi walking with JR. She wants his number so she can send him a few pictures. She shows him photos of himself and Dong-baek all around the town. So they go and sit with a violin playing in the background. Hyangmi tells him that people will think that it is an affair. 

Yong-sik says that people will think that he is only ordering food. She asks if he looks like this everytime he orders food? He asks what she wants. She tells him that he knows what she wants. He tells her to send it to the dispatch. I don’t care about being #1 in search. he tells her to think about who she is dealing with. I have an agency and law team, I am not some lost ajusshi. So send the picture bravely.

He starts to walk away, she tells him that he has a lot to lose because he has a lot. Lets see if my mouth is faster or if your law is faster. He says don’t act up to her and walks away.


Ja-young is searching and searching on the computer and has a voice over where she says that she finally found the person who her husband sent the cream to and who her husband went to the motel with. When it was Dong-baek she wanted to kill herself, but now she has no will to fight back. She just feel an urgency.

She looks at him while he is sleeping and raises a footmassager over his head. She throws it on his head and blood splatters everywhere. But she wonders if she can wash the blood from the wall? So she decides not to throw the massager on his face and pours all the water on him instead. he gets up all wet and coughing the water out. She tells him that she is sorry, but she was about to kill him so…


Cut to Yong-sik waiting for Dong-baek but then Pilgoo comes so he gives all the flowers to Pilgoo and tells him congratulations for going to school! Dong-baek looks at Yong-sik and sighs. They all start to walk way.

Pilgoo straight up says that he opposed this union with her and this ajusshi. Why this ajusshi? Dong-baek tries to convince him. Pilgoo says he just doesn’t like him, he is almost a teenager so he can protect umma anyway. Teenagers are the scariest thing. He walks away.

Dong-baek thinks that her son is so great. Then she is about to cross the street but a car was about to hit her so he grabs her by her hair to pull her back. It works, but she is all like, why did you grab my hair!

They start to walk where he says that he could not grab her hand because it is a conflict between his will and his conscience and all that and how he has his own reason with how he should serve his woman preciously and with how they have some right now and he wants others to treat her well and so because of that I will treat you and serve you preciously so everyone knows that I will not touch you at all because you are so precious to me. I won’t even touch your feet.

She asks why they would touch toes, that is funny. he starts to mumble again and says that her hands are like chicken feet or pig feet or something, it is not that difficult to not hold hands. She asks why he looks at her hands like chicken or pig feet, you are strange. He says that it is a figure of speech.



JR gets a text from his law team and then remembers what Hyang-mi told him about if his lawyers are up for this. He is currently on the baseball bus. Two of his teammates wonder who that athlete is in that rumor.


Back in town, Dong-baek wonders where her mother is. Her mother comes up behind her and hits her. She tells her to be confident, you are not a sinner. Then she starts to open the door to the Camellia. her mother tells her not to be timid, when you are timid, people look down on you.

They both go inside. Dong-baek gets a phone call from someone and asks why they are calling.


Meanwhile, Yong-sik and The Captain are at the school walking around the fire area. Yong-sik wonders who refills the cat food there? he captain says that there are a lot of cat moms around here.

Meanwhile, Dongbaek meets with JR over a meal. He asks her why his son has to be raised like this? Without $480 for a trip and doing his homework at a bar.

At the school, Yongsik and the Captain wonder why Pilgoos school would have the fire. But they dont’ find anything. But they do see paint thinner that can catch on fire easily. However, Yong-sik thinks that the lighter is the thing that is more interesting. teh Captain thinks that this fire could be one of three things like hiding a crime or doing it for fun or for revenge. It could be a revenge fire.

Yong-sik’s eyes get that crazy look they get sometimes. The Captain asks him why his eyes are like that! Yong-sik walks around thinking about the clues as they leave. He tells Yong-sik that the crime scene is not like CSI tv. Everything does not fit together perfectly and the good guys do not always win. Oftentimes, real life does not have a coherent story often. Your heart cannot take those real crimes. So you should stop now.


In the dinner, Dong-baek is looking at a flyer about Boston. JR tells her that he already found a school for Pilgoo and he can give her a lot of financial support. She says that she should not swallow rat poison, even if she is in a hurry. So you give me $30,000 so you think my life and Pilgoo’s life is yours now?

He sighs and says that there are no secrets in the world. He only gambled once in Macao and all the citizens say that I am a crazy gambler. I met idols twice outside, but I am an idol killer now. If everyone knows that Pilgoo is my son, he will have the mark of being my extramarital affair forever.

She tells him not to do anything, he is not your extramarital son, he is my son. He asks why she left the house back then. If you didn’t leave then I would not be the 10 million peoples son and this kind of situation would not happen!

She tells him that he only thinks that the day we separated was right before the Korea Japan game? He says that after she left he was so bummed that he could not run from 2nd to 3rd base. She asks if he thinks she left first? You were asking me to separate from you everyday. Back then you had yourself and I only had you.

Flashback to DOng-baek cheering for JR on the TV. 

VO – When you were getting home runs or on a commercial or on reality shows, I was always in your place. When you had that scandal with the Idol, I was in your place. I wanted to trust you and your denials, but in retrospect, now I just think that you were young. You were only 24 and only new about sports but you had the entire world in your hands. So of course you would get excited. So I just accepted it.

In the flashback, JR asks her why she hid the pregnancy test? She says that it was nothing. But she actually was pregnant. She goes to the bathroom to think about this all quietly and then runs water over another pregnancy test and shows it to him.

He is frantic outside the bathroom and shows him that it is nothing. He is very relieved. She asks him if he is so relieved? Why do you look like that? He says that it is just that he is in his peak. When everything is ready…~. But she says that it will never be ready. She mentions all the sports stars that married and had kids early. He says he is different.

She nods, okay, and tells him that she might be the problem, not the situation. Maybe she is just the problem for him.

VO – I did not leave the house to give birth to the baby. You might say bad things about it and the kid in my stomach would hear everything. I did not want it to be like that.

She goes off to get all her maternity care on her own. Everyone is with their family, but she is alone.


The nurse asks if she should add the nutrition injection? The more experienced nurse shakes her head. So the nurse says that she won’t add it. Dong-baek wonders why not? Is it like I am at a burger place? If I can’t afford the meal then I should eat the burger and leave? I don’t like this hospital. No one cases so I have to protect his baby. This little boy only has me.

She goes to a family restaurant and orders something through tears. She tells the waitress to give her two servings of the most expensive thing.

VO – I decided to protect him twice. You have your daughter. I gave birth to my son. It has nothing to do with you.

Pilgoo says that he saw him already, how can he not care? I go crazy thinking about him. She tells him not to do it. How date you want him? I am going to give your money back, so don’t do anything. DOn’t matter with our life.

He tells her that she is strong, what made you change? The police? My life is so hard so my emotions are also all dried up. But can you still imagine love? Do you think you will have a happily every after with the policeman? She asks, why shouldn’t I? He tells her not to make the kid confused. 

She asks if he thinks she can’t have a nice happy normal life? Because the woman you abandoned should not be happy because she is unlucky? Because I am like that?

He tries to tell her to listen to him! Your situation is ~. 

She sighs and says that to him she is an unlucky woman, but Yong-sik told me that I more than deserve to be happy. She leaves.

VO – Dong-baek started to shine like me before, when Dong-baek was next to me.

He goes outside to keep talking to her and asks if she thinks about Pilgoo? She asks if she should run away with Pilgoo again? he says he is going crazy just in case she and Pilgoo gets hurt.

VO – I lowered myself just inc ase others felt uncomfortable in front of me.

Dong-baek starts to think about Deoksoon telling her not to run away. Her mother who says that people look down on her because she runs away. Yong-sik tells her that her life is not the life where people drag her around.

VO – Now I decided to become an uncomfortable person rather than a person that is looked down on.

DB – Jong-ryeol, I am thanking you because you came back in this good timing. Each time you make me realize that, because of you I learn how to avoid sudden rain. So now I can see a real man like Yong-sik. But you want me to run away again? I am in this situation again, now I know. There is no exit for people who run away. I am not running away anymore. So you don’t act up.

She leaves and heads back home. The drunk guy is there and stands to ask for one more drink. She is scared but yells at him AJUSSHI! DO YOU THINK I AM EASY! YOU SHOULD BEHAVE!

VO – I may still say jongdaemal when I am angry, but at least I fight back.

At the Camellia Bar, DOng-baek sees cat food in a bowl. He wonders if DOng-baek put his here, is it triangular? 

But then Dong-baek comes running up happily and calls for Yong-sik. She says that she thought about this over and over again and realized that she was easy. You know, when you see the wild animal tv show, those easy ones always get killed. The wounded, young, and timid ones. The lion just approaches them. When everyone stops, the lion knows the most timid one instinctively and chases it and kills it. they look down on me, that is why they say DOn’t act up! Because the mother is easy so all the other kids do those things to my son!

YS – Dong baek -…

Dong-baek goes t her door and slams the leaving sign on the floor.

DB – Why should I run away!

She pulls out her welcome mat and puts it at the entrance.

DB – Let them chase me!

Yong-sik is so happy and tells her that he is so crazy! How is she so pretty and cool!

She runs up to him and holds his hand and kisses him on the cheek. He is instantly stunned. She tells him that this is all his fault. You always sweet talk to me and tells me I am pretty. You can sue me it you want.

YS – You started it first.

He leans in and kisses her full on the lips for a long time.


Fade to greyish blue as we see a person with a lighter at the entrance to The Camellia. He flicks the lighter aggressively and says that he is so mad. He pushes the door to the Camellia open. Dong-baek smiles and tells him that he came. I opened the store again. Come in. She turns to go to the kitchen and Gabuli comes in. (Oh no!)


The strangest thing about this show is Dong-baek’s mother who was not even on the character chart. I kind of wonder if she knows who Gabuli is which is why she came back at the time she came back. Though I kind of think that gabuli might be a man now because they use a mans voice for Gabuli. Though, they could just be using that voice to throw us off. I am all confused.


YS – lighter?

Captain – Four fires happened before Gabuli killed people

DB – I will use it all, all. Whoever says anything about it, I will use it all.

VO – This is not even LA, it is Ongsan, Ongsan

Jessica – What is Ongsan?

JR – Why does your face look like this?

Kid – He is not Kang Pilgoo he is Hwang Pilgoo

Pilgoo – *cries about something*

JR – Kang Pilgoo

DB – Don’t see him anymore

JR – Why Ongsan? Where you waiting for me?

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  1. L
    October 16, 2019 / 10:50 am

    I think the police chief is Gabuli!!!

    • V
      October 16, 2019 / 9:29 pm

      I started to wonder that in this episode too because he seems the most unlikely! It would be a big shocker if he is!

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