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When The Camellia Blooms: Episodes 13-14

Our heroine is finally starting to stand up for herself and the first ripples of change begin to flow through Ongsan. Happiness seems to be just around the bend for her and her lovestruck neighborhood cop, but as they grow closer, danger lurks right behind them.

  
EPISODE 13: “The Ongsan Fairy”

Kyu-tae argues against Dong-baek’s charges, unsuccessfully; then turns to Ja-young for back up. She steps forward and lays out Dong-baek’s plan: she’s going to sue her rich, well-connected landlord, who’s married to a successful lawyer?

Despite the tension, Dong-baek stays firm. Ja-young proffers her business card and says the case won’t be easy to bring forward…so if Dong-baek needs free legal advice, come to her. Ja-young walks out, leaving everyone dumbfounded (especially Kyu-tae) at this turn of events.

After the stand-off, Deok-soon walks back to her restaurant with Dong-baek and Yong-shik trailing behind her in silence. Though she tells them to leave, Dong-baek steps inside to have a heart-to-heart.

Dong-baek calls herself a traitor, confessing that finding someone who cared for her and worried about her has changed her world. She asks Deok-soon what she would have done in her place.

Deok-soon says that Yong-shik is no longer a child she can just scold. Likening Yong-shik’s feelings to a fire that burns quickly and fizzles out just as quickly, she urges Dong-baek to just observe him for a while. They can talk again after that, if she still wants to be with him.

Dong-baek asks if she’ll accept their relationship then. Deok-soon pauses and says that as a mother, Dong-baek understands how precious a child is to their mother. Raising someone else’s child is difficult thing, and as a mom, Deok-soon can’t tell Yong-shik to choose that difficult path.

When Dong-baek comes out, Yong-shik says they should get some dumplings together, citing food as the best remedy for when you’re feeling down. Surprisingly, Dong-baek agrees without hesitation.

At the food stall, Dong-baek admits to Yong-shik that she cares about him. But before Yong-shik can get too excited, Dong-baek says she’s not willing to date him officially. She can’t ignore Pil-gu and Deok-soon’s wishes.

Yong-shik likens their love to a fire, but Dong-baek doesn’t want fire, she’s done that before and lost it. She’s a mom with responsibilities, who has to make a living. She can’t just push everything away for love. If Yong-shik wants fire and passion, he should look elsewhere. Yong-shik wilts at that, and starts eating his feelings.

But Dong-baek’s not done. She notes that dumplings don’t need boiling water to cook, steam is enough for them. Using that as a metaphor, she says she wants to go slow and be warm together instead.

Though she’s not ready to date, Dong-baek wants to see where things go, and to be together for a long time.

Yong-shik can hardly believe his ears and asks her if she really means it. Upon her affirmation, his lower lip starts trembling, but he composes himself when Dong-baek says she’ll take everything back if he cries.

As they walk home together Yong-shik bursts with joy at being third in Dong-baek’s life. Third is pretty good though, it places him right after Pil-gu and the Camellia.

She tells him to put his mother first, being a good police officer second, and to place her and their sort-of-relationship third–and check on Yeong-shim’s dog.

Yong-shik is amenable to those terms but he asks that she try “something” with him. Dong-baek’s mind goes straight to a naughty place, and Yong-shik teases her before revealing his big ask: whenever she feels down or upset, come to him instead of suffering alone. He makes her pinky swear to seal their promise.

The next day at the police station, Chief Byun scolds him about the fight. Unbothered, Yong-shik just says that Dong-baek will take care of it. Dumbfounded, but persuaded, Chief Byun remarks that Dong-baek does seem to have changed.

Dong-baek sighs at the “For Lease” notice that’s been taped to the Camellia’s door and just then she gets a call from Ja-young. At Ja-young’s office, she gives Dong-baek the ledger, along with a scanned copy on a USB and another sent via email, for safe measure. She tells Dong-baek to use the Ongsan rumor mill to her advantage and let everyone know about the ledger. Ja-young advises that Dong-baek should stop squirming if someone bothers on and just instead.

Sure enough, news of the ledger’s contents even reach the governor. It has him squirming with fear as he asks his assistants if he should report himself to their political party.

With everyone talking about him, Kyu-tae isn’t having an easy time in Ongsan. The ajumma crew openly laughs at him, telling him that his political career is over. Kyu-tae clumsily tries to defend himself, but they only cackle harder.

Kyu-tae searches behind the counter at the Camellia, but is informed by Hyang-mi that the ledger’s not there. She also has her own request, and says she needs the money for her plane ticket by Friday. Before he can fight with her, Dong-baek’s mom smacks him upside the head. When he asks why she hit him, she drily tells him she has dementia.

As they have tea together, Dong-baek asks why Ja-young is helping her. Ja-young replies that Dong-baek has a way of piquing her interest. She starts to ask Dong-baek what eye cream she uses, but stops herself.

Kyu-tae sees Dong-baek come out of Ja-young’s office and he yells at her to get some patbingsu together. At the cafe, he “graciously” offers to drop the charges against Yong-shik if she drops her charges. Dong-baek barely looks at him as she enjoys her patbingsu and tells him to apologize. He refuses, so she finishes up and stands to go. Just then Kyu-tae grabs the ledger.

Dong-baek gets a steely glint in her eyes as she tells him she has two scanned copies and snatches the ledger out of his grasp. She tosses out, “See you in court.” Kyu-tae finally shouts out an apology in English.

She bites back, “Don’t talk down to me” and he blusters that English doesn’t have informal speech. She turns to walk out, so he apologizes again in a mix of English and very formal Korean. She tells him that the old Dong-baek is dead, and if he messes with her again, she won’t hesitate to shoot.

Mindful of Ja-young’s advice to make sure the rumors about the ledger spread, Dong-baek walks home slowly with her ledger conspicuously hidden behind her back. The neighborhood ajummas actually just watch her and smile as she passes, saying it serves those good-for-nothing men right.

While Dong-baek’s been taking care of Kyu-tae, Yong-shik’s been trying to work on the Joker case. Unfortunately, proper help from the other departments is in short supply, so Yong-shik decides to conduct the investigation himself.

Chief Byun laughs at his confidence but Yong-shik says he has an advantage that others don’t–he’s a native son of Ongsan.

EPISODE 14

The people of Ongsan are wary of outsiders, but they’re like one big family with each other. Where other investigators have failed, Yong-shik’s convinced people will give up information to him.

He joins the ajummas during a snack session and subtly questions them about who they think the Joker is. They throw around a few names, but they all turn out to have alibis (one was even a victim of the Joker) and Yong-shik gets fed up at the lack of substance in the conversation.

Just as he’s leaving, they bring up Kyu-tae’s name. He’s the one person who managed to make money off the Joker. He bought the building the last victim was murdered in and made a huge profit when the train terminal was built behind it a year later.

In Seoul, Jessica and Jong-ryeol start to bicker over Jessica’s lack of employment; the fight only escalates when she drops that she’ll be going to Milan for two years to study modeling–alone. He asks incredulously how she could abandon her child, but she says with their baby’s loving father, grandma, and nannies around it will be fine.

In his car, he refuses to pay for it, only relenting when Jessica threatens divorce. He says he’ll pay for her to go where ever she wants, as long as she goes after their baby’s a little older. That doesn’t cut it for Jessica though, and she tells him not to use the baby to hold her down.

The fight culminates with her demanding he stop the car. He pulls over and she storms out. He peels off, and even though he says to himself, “I shouldn’t be doing this,” he finds himself on the road to Ongsan again.

Dong-baek’s at the school to have a parent-teacher meeting about Pil-gu’s dismal grades. Dong-baek’s less concerned about his grades and more concerned about how he gets along with his classmates, and if he gets bullied for having a single mom who runs a bar. The teacher tells her that when Pil-gu gets into fights he’s definitely not the side that gets beaten up.

Seung-yeob and Jong-ryeol come across Pil-gu kicking a wall in anger because Dong-baek was called to the school. He tells them she’s a busy working mom, so the school shouldn’t have called her. Jong-ryeol sighs to see that Pil-gu has his temper.

Jong-ryeol sees a drawing Pil-gu made where he wrote down his wish to build a huge bar for Dong-baek after becoming a major leaguer. He sighs again to see how mature Pil-gu is and he says it makes him like Pil-gu even more.

The Ongsan police officers are also at the school, and as they put up a giant banner, Yong-shik shares his suspicions about Kyu-tae being the Joker.

Chief Byun dismisses it out of hand. Kyu-tae’s not just a coward, he’s so stupid that he would have left evidence all over the place. As for the building, anyone would have bought it if they’d had the money.

Yong-shik finally admits that he has no idea who the Joker could be. Chief Byun tells him to just go and check on Yeong-shim’s dog. While leaving, Yong-shik notices Pil-gu looking dispirited at baseball practice.

Jong-ryeol halfheartedly gives baseball lessons to the school’s team but gets serious when it is Pil-gu’s turn. He’s way too harsh with his criticisms however and Pil-gu throws his equipment to the ground at all the nagging.

When Pil-gu notices his mom, he runs after her shouting, but Dong-baek pretends she can’t hear him and tries to run away. He still manages to catch up with her, followed by his teammates (lol, she looks like a reluctant Pied Piper).

Self-conscious, Dong-baek tries to leave, but he brags about her to his friends, calling her a CEO and even prettier than Twice. Dong-baek grows happy to see how proud he is of her and buys everyone ice cream.

Dong-baek and Jong-ryeol sit on a bench as the children relax and eat their ice cream. Yong-shik happens upon them, carrying two big bags of popsicles for everyone too. He quietly turns away and leaves without anyone noticing him.

Dong-baek tells Jong-ryeol not to come to Ongsan anymore, and says she has a favor to ask. He gets all puffed up about how much he earns, assuming she wants financial help, but she asks him to quit The Return of Superman. She doesn’t want his loving father image on the show to hurt Pil-gu if he ever learns about their connection.

Jong-ryeol laments about her appearing now, instead of when he had been looking for her. He makes it about himself, asking her how he can bear watching her and Pil-gu like this. Dong-baek smiles and says he hasn’t changed–he’s still a jerk.

Doing some day-drinking at the Camellia, Jong-ryeol blames Dong-baek’s bad taste in men for her ruined life. Dong-baek retorts that her life isn’t his. She dated him because she liked him, she gave birth to Pil-gu because she wanted to. Everything was her choice and she’s the one responsible for the good and the bad that’s happened in her life.

Jong-ryeol is awed by her confidence, saying that she looks cool. Dong-baek informs him that she’s always been cool. She has a great body, an amazing son, and is the CEO of a business.

He guesses that she’s dating Yong-shik, “Does that hillbilly make you cool?” Yong-shik pops in just then and a smile lights up Dong-baek’s face at his entrance. He’s brought along Heung-shik to setup a CCTV camera inside the bar.

As they talk, Hyang-mi sneaks a shot of Yong-shik, Dong-baek, and Jong-ryeol. She gleefully tells Dong-baek’s mom she’s happy she got a job at the Camellia. Dong-baek’s mom says darkly, “Don’t joke around. You’ll end up dead meat.”

Dong-baek tells Heung-shik to have some food before he goes and bashfully thanks Yong-shik for being so considerate and getting a CCTV set up. She’d been feeling uneasy about leaving Pil-gu alone at the Camellia.

Jong-ryeol can’t take it anymore and butts in, confrontationally saying that he’s also thankful to Yong-shik. Instead of fighting, Yong-shik invites him out for noodles.

They go to a pojangmacha, where Jong-ryeol demands clarification on Yong-shik’s feelings for Dong-baek. Yong-shik challenges his authority to ask anything, but Jong-ryeol thinks he deserves to know. Yong-shik asks if it’s because he’s Pil-gu’s biological father.

Jong-ryeol just asks him if he thinks dating a pitiful woman will make him cool. Yong-shik calls him foolish for not seeing how amazing Dong-baek is. Jong-ryeol may have abandoned her so he could have everything, but he’s ready to give his all for Dong-baek.

Jong-ryeol says he wants to fix his mistakes, especially after seeing the way she’s been living. Yong-shik angrily asks him what’s so wrong about the way she’s living. He informs him that Jong-ryeol’s already lost his opportunity with Dong-baek, and that Pil-gu isn’t his son.

As Yong-shik walks away, Jong-ryeol grabs him by the shoulder, saying he has no say in his relationship with Pil-gu. Yong-shik calls himself a simple man in comparison to big-shot sports star Jong-ryeol. A simple man who is ready to foolishly give his all for Dong-baek.

He warns Jong-ryeol not to come to Ongsan anymore and walks away. Jong-ryeol watches him go and says it’s like looking at himself at 25.

Yong-shik and Dong-baek go to the market together early next morning (aw, he brought her a rose). She asks about his conversation with Jong-ryeol but he says they didn’t talk about much. Dong-baek wonders why she can’t manage to keep her secrets secret. Yong-shik always seems to learn everything about her

Yong-shik says that the past has no power, but Dong-baek thinks that even if he says so now, all men are the same and do care about the past. Yong-shik gets serious and says that Jong-ryeol isn’t the only man in the world. A little angry, he says that he got up at 5 a.m. just to see her because he missed her so much. If she thinks he’s no different, why is she even seeing him?

He says if they were to date, it’d be out of this world and she’d practically die of happiness everyday. So stop comparing him with some lousy man when she doesn’t know anything about him. He walks away, irritated.

Dong-baek runs after him and grabs his shirt sleeve, agreeing that he is different. Yong-shik cuts her off when she starts to thank him, telling her to stop thanking him all the time. But when Dong-baek softly says he makes her heart flutter, he smiles and has to hide how easily she’s managed to make him melt.

On the bus back home, Yong-shik says he finds women difficult, especially Dong-baek, since he likes her so much. When she becomes sad and seems to shrink into herself, he’s never sure what to do. The only thing he can think of doing is buying her sweet snacks.

He asks her if he’s too chatty but Dong-baek likes him that way, because he’s an easy guy. Yong-shik takes offense, saying that he’s difficult, but Dong-baek tells him that her life is already filled with hardships. She wants him to be the one easy thing in her life, and he’s more than happy to oblige.

Nearing the Camellia, Yong-shik tells Dong-baek that, unlike Aladdin’s Genie who only grants three wishes to a person, he’ll fulfill as many of her wishes as she wants and be the easiest guy in the world for her. Dong-baek jokes that Genie is a fairy and calls Yong-shik the Ongsan fairy (Yong-shik’s knees practically buckle at that).

Once inside, something makes Yong-shik freeze. Dong-baek gets closer; he swings her around and holds her close. It looks romantic at first glance but Yong-shik’s not looking at Dong-baek, he’s staring at the back wall.

On the wall is a message spray-painted in red, “I told you not to joke around. I have been watching you every day ever since that day.”

  
COMMENTS

The last scene sent chills down my spine. The unexpectedness of it, right when we were floating on a cloud of bliss and had forgetten about the Joker for a moment, really drove home how real the threat is. I am glad that Dong-baek had Yong-shik with her to help cushion the initial shock, but she’s not going to be unaffected and I’m now starting to really get scared for her and Pil-gu.

On another note, I cheered out loud when Ja-young took Dong-baek’s side. I hadn’t expected the show to clear up her misunderstanding about Dong-baek this early on in the story. I had always been a bit unsure about where her character exactly falls. Is she a badass woman, or just a mean person? But I am so happy that she turned out to be the former. I hope that this doesn’t mean Ja-young’s screen time is going to get cut down because I want more of her. Her genuine smile when she was with Dong-baek was everything and I want to see them become friends. Oh and of course, I have to see her properly screw Kyu-tae over before divorcing him.

This episode made me think more about the ajummas who ostracize Dong-baek. The neighborhood ajummas are all breadwinners and can’t really rely on their husbands, yet have to deal with living in a society that still measures women by the men in their lives. At first it looked like the show might be saying that the women were all just jealous of Dong-baek, which is why they hated her. After all, Dong-baek’s young, beautiful, and unattached to anybody that she would need to answer to. I still think there’s a bit of jealousy there, but this episode showed us there’s another dimension to the hostility–Dong-baek’s an outsider. She’s not just any outsider, she’s the CEO of a bar that’s been a refuge to all the neighborhood’s men, which means those men have been spending their wives’ and mothers’ hard-earned money there. It’s no wonder they were hostile and it’s also no wonder that they started to look at her approvingly when Dong-baek began to take a stand against the actions of no-good men. I loved seeing that, and I hope that they only become more and more accepting of Dong-baek, because we know that once you become their family, they will protect you fiercely.

Jong-ryeol is getting on my last nerve with his self-entitlement and constant pity show. It angers me how he calls himself Pil-gu’s father when he it’s not like he’s willing to tell the world about Pil-gu. Also, regardless of the state of his marriage, what he’s doing by pining over Dong-baek is not cool. But speaking of his marriage, how did the marriage turn sour? It doesn’t seem like they’ve been married long but they already live separately. Did Jessica sense that Jong-ryeol had never moved on from a past love? Or did she marry Jong-ryeol for his fame? Maybe they did love each other at one point, but being married (versus just dating) took the shine off their relationship for the both of them.

As for our main couple, one of the things that tickles me about their dynamic is that while other dramas have their male protagonists sweeping the women off their feet, here it’s Dong-baek who constantly makes Yong-shik swoon. Absolutely adorable.

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I am blown by the fact at how mature Dong Baek is. She knows she has feelings for Yong Shik (I mean, how could she NOT--I have feelings for Yong Shik just watching him onscreen), but she knows she can't afford the kind of passionate, all-consuming love when she has her son and a business to run. Also, going slow and staying warm for a long time is definitely the way to go. I'm glad she took Deok Sun's advise.

Slowly getting heartbroken seeing Jong-ryeol fall in love with his son. His hands are tied as he's married and has a daughter and I can understand his frustration and dilemma on what to do. Acknowledging Pil-gu as his son could cause a scandal as he's famous, not to mention it could be the last straw to push his marriage to a divorce. If he's divorced, what about his daughter (whom we don't see much btw)? And what would Pil-gu feel if he knew this weird man following him around was actually his dad? Will Dong Baek even take him back? Is this worth the risk?

I am way overthinking this.

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Sometimes the plot only exists because of the country. Scandal? JR had a child with an old girlfriend and never even knew he existed. All he had to do was get a lawyer and demand his rights taking care the child was dealing with this carefully. In my country this would not even make the news.

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Word... I am confused as to why exactly everyone in the drama is acting like JR is being a jerk. DB gave him exactly zero chances to do the right thing, because she never even told him she was pregnant. Then, literally the minute he finds out, he tries to step up and take responsibility for his son. Not just financially, but is also wanting desperately to get to know him. All the while getting treated like he has absolutely no right to have anything to do with the boy because, according to DB, "the child belongs to her only, because SHE raised him alone." Which was her choice. I'm sorry, but IMO it is DB who is being a jerk, and she was flat out WRONG to deny the opportunity for father and son to know each other. Because of what? Pride? Give me a break. I could understand bif she told him she was pregnant, and he tried to talk her into an abortion she didn't want, or tried to deny paternity or whatever....but he literally had no idea, and then when he found out, was eager to at least try to make things right the best way he could. I am really trying hard to like DB character. I mean, sure she is kind and all but really...she has made a lot of questionable choices.

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She was just trying to protect Pil-gu. I'm sure it would be a different thing if Jong-ryeol were unattached and single, but he is married with a daughter he adores. That fact is even broadcast in the Return of Superman.

I understand where she is coming from. Granted, she needs the money and Pil-gu needs a dad, but she also needs to be convinced that Jong-ryeol really loves his son and wants the best for him. The wounds of her being in that hidden relationship with him for 10 years is still deep.

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She was trying to keep PG to herself, she even says that later. The daughter and wife are just the excuses DB and YS love to use against him to deny his rights as the father. As if one thing denies the other. In DB's mind she would rather PG never gets a father. No, she doesn't need to be convinced because unlike what she thinks the child isn't her property. Again, people treat JR as if he abandoned the kid, he didn't.

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If her goal was truly to protect her son, she should have given the child’s father the opportunity to help provide for, and protect him. Just because JR was not the perfect partner, does not give her the right to deprive him of the opportunity to know his Son.

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The one thing I really like about Yong shik is that dude knows how to speak up. I love that he told Dong baek to not compare him to crappy dudes. If you feel that way, don't be with me.

See, kdramas can do this and be okay.

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He's the epitome of a guy wearing his heart on his sleeve. It's so obvious...even that tiny smile he was hiding when Dong Baek tried to appease him after that outburst.

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I think that may be under rating Yong-Sik. Every episode we see deeper into what drives him.

This episode, Yong-Sik fully unveiled that he really is more than the simple, driven person we'd seen earlier.

In this confrontation he demonstrated that he had seen right through the true nature of Jong-Ryeol. The knowing and rational verbal was a sign he had seen through him ages ago - but didn't speak as it wasn't his place. His thoughts were too well collected, It is like he had these thoughts in his head for a while. His reaction was clearly only instigated once JR caused issues for DB and PG.

I agree that it was still done with his trademark "bloodhoundness"...and I was almost shocked at how calmly he called him out - it was brutal.

I think what we are seeing is that the joyous energy he has is not an always on - it is for those he loves. For others, that energy becomes more cutting.

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The writer knows cops well. I work with one and it's pretty spot on. They might seem "simple" but they have an amazing ability to read people and recognize their true character. And they make you feel incredibly safe and protected if you're in their circle but you don't ever want to get on their bad side.

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@skidmoresy
I am really enjoying that this drama revealing its characters by "showing not telling us".

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I love that when Yong -shik wants to talk to Jong ryeol he doesn't do it in front of Pil-gu.

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I love how the characters are slowing unfolding in front of us. Yong-shik at first comes off as a loud, overzealous puppy with boundless energy and not much smarts. But as time goes by he reveals his knowledge of people, his perception of what is said and left unsaid. And then in this episode he stood up to Jong-ryol, called him out on his entitled behavior, his self- absorption and self pity. He stood up for Dong Baek, and for Pil-gu, and for himself, and it was if the man was appearing right before our eyes.

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Anyone also watching My Country too. I noticed the boy who plays Pil-gu also plays Woo do-hwan as a child

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Yes! I love him, he's adorable.

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@katrina,
Thanks for confirming that cameo. I was startled to suddenly recognize Kim Kang-hoon in ep. 4 of MY COUNTRY and was floored. He did well. It was really weird to see him in something other than pinstripes. He's been in several other shows I've seen, including MR. SUNSHINE (young Eugene Choi), DOUBTFUL VICTORY / OH, THE MYSTERIOUS (young Kim Jong-sam), and the child CHIEF KIM. ;-)

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The conversation between Dong Baek and Deok Soon was great. Go Doo-shim never disappoint. The moment she realized how hypocritical she's been, always urging DB to find a man and live her life and that there's nothing wrong with being a single mother. Yet, she's unwilling to let her own son date her. Acting was 👍.

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@msrabbit

I so agree. Such a beautiful scene. Both women were so measured in the portrayal. Never over playing it, just letting the context carry the impact.

I wrote this for this week's "What we are watching"

Deck-Soon and DB was a heart breaking reveal of the "colonised mind". Both these women know the truth of their lives - being a single mother is not a "death sentence" but also know that the community's perception makes it as if it was. As much as they want to reject it, they absorb it, and perpetrate it on themselves and their sons.

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I love how realistic Dong-baek is about relationships and how she wants a warm, long-lasting relationship as opposed to a burning hot, short-lived one. She's starting to come out of her shell and seeing her put Jong-ryeol and Kyu-tae in their places was so satisfying. Everything about this episode was so satisfying; like when Yong-shik told Dong-baek not to compare him with Jong-ryeol and how understanding he is about being third in her life. Their relationship is open, honest, and refreshing. Ja-young was awesome; I don't know what Hyang-mi is up to; and I'm 99% sure that Dong-baek's mom does NOT have dementia. It seems like she is very aware of what's going on around her and is just using the dementia as a excuse to be near Dong-baek. Does she know that her daughter is in danger or is she just trying to make up for lost time? Whatever is going on, this is the episode I had been waiting for. But now I'm worried because the Joker is near and he's watching.

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The two men in DB life see her so differently. one sees her as a pitiful creature, a kind of a project; as if to say 'look what a great man i am to have taken interest in this sorry creature'. Im offended at how KJR looks offended and tired every time he thinks of DB. Like 'i cant help but look out for the underdog but man is it tiresome'. Is that what is referred to as gas-lighting?
And then there's Young Shik who says 'you are so wonderful and i would be lucky to be part of your life'. DB went from a timid cowering person to one who stands up for herself even if she cries through it! Isnt it amazing how the right partner has the power to change our narrative?
Also im looking forward to Ja Young and Dong Baek forming a close friendship. That sisterhood promises to be all kinds of awesome.

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That is not gas-lighting. Gaslighting is making someone believe they are crazy by manipulating them etc. The term “to gaslight” comes from an old play/movie Gaslight (really good btw).

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Thanks!

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This drama is driven by women! Aside from Yong-shik, it doesn't seem to have any strong male character. NOT that I am complaining.. but suddenly makes me think if it is intentional and one of the main points of the drama... 🤔
Which will make Joker... a man? Or a woman?

We need to get some more details about Joker SOON, other than those messages...

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Thanks for the recap @queenvillain! I love watching this drama but still need the clarifications that you contribute to the recaps. I thought the ahjummas were upset at DB about her records, but now I understand why they were smiling.

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Thank you for the recap, QueenVillain.

I love how honest Dong-baek was with Yong-shik about her feelings, seeing her admit she likes him and tell him what kind of a relationship she wants was so refreshing. And I absolutely love Yong-shik for being so understanding, he knows Dong-Baek has her priorities and he's not going to be claiming the 1st place.

I'm still very confused as to who could be the joker, Heung-shik is very suspicious, him being the handyman and knowing his way around Camellia but at the same time I'm not so sure since there is Hyang-mi and the coach as well!

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This drama is dropping some great lines.

The 'steam scene' - "Lets be warm together...I want to be warm for a long time". That ranks up there with Hyang-Mi's "Emperor's new clothes" line.

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Heung-shik and Hyang-mi are definitely candidates, for reasons that become more clear at the beginning of the next ep. But if it is Hyang-mi, then who was burning the Joker's remarks off the wall while she was sleeping in the restaurant one night?

Also, I didn't realize until reading the recap that what Mom said to Hyang-mi was, "Don't joke around." That's Joker's trademark line. It doesn't seem like a line you could just throw around in this drama. I have a hard time seeing Mom as Joker and threatening her own daughter, but I also think she's faking dementia (does that mean she's deliberately wetting her pants? Ewww) So why? Why is she even here? How long had she been lurking in the shadows before she was caught?

Seems like the motive for Joker to post this threatening message may be the ledger. We know Joker was a regular back when he wrote on the wall, so maybe he's been caught doing something embarrassing? I wonder if YS will make the connection and start looking for Joker in the ledger.

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I too believe that Mom is faking. She is a straight up con artist who exhausted all of her resources and had no choice but to return to her daughter with her tail between her legs. If she did not give a damn about the safety of DB and a even younger Pil gu then, why would she care now. Her being back benefits her and only her.

I also think she and Hyang mi might have pulled a job together in the past and she is in town to get her cut which is well past gone. We still don't know the man who sent that threatening text wanting his money. Mom and Hyang mi might not have met personally, but they could intersect because of that man.

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My initial theory is that Mom abandoned DB because she found a guy, and it is a thing in SK to left kids from previous relationships behind, and that new family pop up any moment ot collect her, when the dementia was still a thing. But now it seems it take a lot darker turn but I'm still convicted that there is second family out there.

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If that is the case, the second family would have put a police report in and the officers would have saw it once Dongbaek confirmed her identity, no? For someone with dementia, that would be the 1st thing you do, make sure they are in the system in case they wonder off. She had the bracelet and nothing else.

That is why I am not believe that there is another family out there looking for her.

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@larelle79, that was my initial theory, I noticed that I used "is" in my earlier reply. Now I don't think she has dementia, and she is looking kinda shady, so maybe she is hiding from that second family? She popped up so suddenly, there must be some story behind it.

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Yes, she did use Joker's trademark line but I don't want to believe that mom could be the joker, it just doesn't fit well for me! Hyang-mi screams trouble but you're right, it was someone else who was burning the writing on the wall, I totally forgot about that scene! I really want to know how Joker chooses his victims, like what motive does he have for the killings, what does he consider "joking around"?

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That line "Don't joke around" , seems like the writer is using it to continue with the enigma of the real identity of the Joker, as she is not the only character that has said it, so we think we got a clue of who's Joker...and then, of course another character says it, so we have to wait and see who else is suspicious.

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That was great approach to starting a relationship from DongBeak, she showed a real maturity here, it show she give herself a lot of time to think about it, and didn't acted rashly. YongShik is the cutest!!! And his scene with ahjummas was hilarious. I still think Jong Ryeol deserve to have relationship with PilGu but the way he try to plomp himeself into DongBaek's life is just ... ugh, he needs to sort his own life first, his taste in women is equally questionable. And I really hope JaYoung and DongBaek will become friends, finger crossed.

Upcoming doom, so who will off HyangMi? Joker, KyuTae or DongBaek's very suspicious mother?

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I totally believe Kyu tae has the capacity to kill. She or Ja young is gonna break something in him and I think one or both can be his victim. His arrogance has truly taken a dark turn and he will no longer, in his mind, be the court jester.

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I totally see him snapping because HyangMi and DongBaek don't treat him with "respect" despite being "below" him and going on killing spree against all people who slighted him like those politicians dudes and Jayoung. Altough I think he is legit afraid of her.

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I just hope and really pray Dongbaek isn't the one killed by Joker😩😩😩 I LOOOVE YONGSIK😍 I seriously need a Hwang yong sik in my life😻

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And they had to do that in the end. Just when there were warm fuzzies all around!!
I love love how YS believes in Dong Baek. He is so proud and calm when he says to the chief that DB will take care of it. He trusts her. He doesn’t need to ask her what she was planning and doesn’t try to be part of everything. He lets her do her thing and he is ok to wait behind the lines, while happily eating his ramen.

The last scene sent shivers. What aggravated the killer? What is triggering the killer. What exactly did DB do for the killer to come out against her so strongly? Is it because of her closeness to YS?

I still feel there is a woman involved in the murder.

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Couldn't it be the ledger? Thanks to the rumor mill, everyone knows about it now. Joker is threatened by the ledger, because he (I say he because most of her customers are men) is afraid he's been recorded in the ledger.

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Interesting!!
She was a witness but didn’t really see his face. So he let her be for a few years while still watching her.
And suddenly he feels threatened because he worries he may be in the ledger. That would make sense.
But his motive won’t be because she is joking around but because she is a threat.
It’s a good possibility but am keeping my eyes peeled for other clues :)

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Someone posted alternate translations to "joking around" in an earlier thread, and one of them was "don't act up" -- which would make more sense here.

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Ja-young is the best! She needs to divorce stupid husband and find someoen who deserves her!

I was happy that DB could say what kind of relationship she wants and needs. But I don't like how she handles Pilgu's father issue. Pilgu has the right to know his father, it should be his choice. Her choice was very egoistic.

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I still believe the Joker plot is derailing the interesting rom-com story line.

If the Joker killings began when DB came to town, the current assumption would be that another "outsider" (the killer) followed her to Ongsan. Hyang-mi? DB's mother? Ja-young is also a suspect because of her husband's behavior.

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Didnt the joker have flour on his shoes in one of the episodes?

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People's reaction to this show is kind of making me dislike it even more. I remember as a teenager realizing most people don't really care about what others do, as long as they like them, people don't really question their friend's actions very deeply. That's DB and YS for me, they can get away with anything.
The ahjummas were quite strange too, they were so against DB, who was an outsider challenging their system and suddenly it's ok for her to write whatever she wants in a so called ledger that everybody pretends would have some legal value. Very unrealistic but it's cute so people liked it.

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I agree, they would seethe and claim she finally showed her true face, and that ledger is a blackmail material, but that would be point of no return in making DB part of the community in the future and that's where the show is going I think in the mind of creators. But I could buy budding friendship between DB and Jayoung after the affair allegation was cleared up, they are both outsiders in the need of friend.

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Yes, they would say how dare a low life like her try to blackmail their precious husbands? This is someone they were pushing in the street because she dared charge them for what they bought! And suddenly they would find amusing she could spread any kind of rumor about such husbands and claim the stupid ledger as proof? It's ridiculous.
But wait, this is almost halfway into the drama, guess they have to start liking her.

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So if we were to say that DB is a demon for not allowing JR to just walk all over her and be a complete douchebag because they broke up and she decided to raise the child on their own, you would be okay.

You are a JR fan and think that he is a victim, I get that, but DB has insurance. She knew what the townswomen thought of her and she knew they thought that she was possibly fooling around with their husbands as they see how large the bills are when they visit her restaurant. The appreciation from the woman now is they know it is not true and that changed the perception.

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That's not what I said @larelle79

Don't misunderstand, I have never said she is a demon or JR some poor victim, she has some good qualities and he has plenty of problems. I just said people seem to not be interested in fair judgements. There is a big difference between letting him "walk over her" and simply asking him to stay away from his child. I have posted a few times I consider him wrong when he says bad things about her parenting style, personally I think it was very bad when he took the kid on a picnic without telling anyone, if she had slapped him when she found them I'd have said nothing about it. They broke up, for whatever reason, that does not gives her the right to hide the kid and make nothing of it and keep telling him to leave. But again, like I said other times, JR is a doofus character so he has to keep saying silly arrogant things and thinking he has a chance getting back with her so the audience stays on the OTP's side. He is a puppet character.

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This.

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About the ledger, they consider DB someone below them, this ledger thing has no official value and they would consider it insulting.

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Actually they could be very valuable evidence in legal,proceedings, depending on what part of the world you are in.

Search Google with “ value of contemporaneous notes in legal proceedings” and you will get a long list of case notes and advice on how to take notes that are valuable in legal proceedings.

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I'm on the fence about Jong Ryul, because on one hand he is annoying with how he looks down on the way Dongbaek's life turned, pitying her and judging her parenting (while Young Shik sees that she did the best she could and respects the way she lives her life) but on the other hand I think he does have a right to try and have a relationship with Pil-gu as he wasn't aware before that he has a son and Pil-gu deserves to know who his father is.

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Or the fact that recently he is not seen raising his daughter from his TV marriage (a mother and nanny are doing the parenting).

I do not know what his end game is: (a) to divorce and take DB to raise both his kids because he can control her meek personality or (b) take away Pil-gu from DB.

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He absolutely has the right to have a relationship with his son. And he has the right to question why DB chose to run off alone and raise their son in poverty with the cultural shame of not having a father like she had no other choice, I lost a lot of respect for her.

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Me too. Ever since she casually told him the child was his, without any guilt, I have been trying to like her. After this ep when she asked him to quit his variety job and what she does in the next, I guess I will just try not to detest her completely.

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I just don’t understand anything she does, and I don’t really feel sorry for her like I am supposed to because she makes poor decisions and then no lays the victim.

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Thanks @queenvillian! You connected a few floating dots for me :)

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I think the sheriff might be the killer. That, or the maintenance guy. It has to be someone close to YS. I think it is the sheriff, because it is obvious that he is behaving like an airhead. Much like DB mom is pretending to have dementia.

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Thank you for your recap, @queenvillain.

In the previous episode, I was reminded of “In My City of Seoul” by The Black Skirts, which mentions camellias blooming in Busan while it’s still snowing up north. The MV plays in the background in OH HAE YOUNG AGAIN.
http://www.dramabeans.com/members/pakalanapikake/activity/905749/

I got the biggest kick out of Scary Wife Esq. offering her services pro bono to Dong-baek. I'm sure she had a field day going over the Camellia ledger with a fine-tooth comb to load up on evidence against her wandering spouse for the inevitable divorce proceedings. Peanut Moocher is toast.

Hyang-mi continues to creep me out. She's downright malicious. I had initially assumed that she met Dong-baek at the orphanage, but they seem to have crossed paths at a restaurant where Hyang-mi was working. I've got a sinking feeling that Dong-baek the wangtta is not a very good judge of character. Her discernment is off. (She fell for Jong-ryeol, after all, yet has painted Yong-shik with the same brush. Thankfully uri cop has read her the riot act on that score.) She also assumes she knows what other people are thinking, such as during her conversation with Deuk-soon after she went to the precinct. Methinks she has seriously misjudged Hyang-mi, who is now coming across as a grifter and extortionist, not to mention thief and liar. I doubt that she is truly a kleptomaniac. That text message Hyang-mi received from "gaesseulegi" ["Garbage"] when she was smoking during the Ongsan Mudflat Festival at the start of ep. 11 indicates she has ripped off someone who is now gunning for her. I wonder how many other people she has victimized in addition to "Garbage" and Lord No.

Dong-baek's mother and her apparently fake dementia has been quite bizarre. I can't help but feel that she's putting on an act. On the other hand, one of the confounding aspects of the onset of dementia is the way it comes and goes. I'm developing severe trust issues and finding it hard to believe what anyone says in this show. Yong-shik is the only one I believe at face value now.

Has Mom been watching over Dong-baek from a distance all along? I get the feeling that she may have abandoned Dong-baek to protect her, perhaps from a high-ranking (politician?) father whose status or job would be jeopardized if it became common knowledge that he has an illegitimate child. That's just a guess. Mom did not want anyone to be able to trace Dong-baek’s true identity, so instructed her to keep Mom’s name a secret, call herself “Dong-baek” after the flowers that were blooming when she was born, not mention her birthday, etc. (Think about it – we don’t know Dong-baek’s real name. She must have received her surname, along with her August 29 DOB, at the orphanage.) When Yong-shik apprehended her in the alley, Mom had no fingerprints, so that method of identification was useless, too.

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