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When the Camellia Blooms: Episodes 15-16

The aftermath of an ominous warning causes a ripple effect of paranoia and fear. With her safe haven being threatened, our heroine must figure out how to protect what she loves.

  
EPISODE 15: “The Lynx of This Area”

Dong-baek’s spooked by the act of vandalism and Yong-shik notices that the security camera’s been deliberately painted over. The footage reveals a dark figure breaking into the Camellia and evading the camera’s field of vision before rendering it useless.

Chief Byun is called over and watches intently as Yong-shik demonstrates with ease how to pick the lock. Yong-shik deduces that it was done by someone who knows the Camellia inside-out, from the bar’s layout to the position of the camera. It was only installed yesterday, so the Joker must have been at the bar and therefore, caught on tape.

The flustered chief plans to call the forensics team but Yong-shik shushes him. He doesn’t want to scare Dong-baek, but she hears their conversation clearly as she takes out an old box from the attic to show them.

It’s filled with articles calling her a prostitute because according to the media, only prostitutes become the victims of serial murders. The articles advise her to “behave herself” since she managed to survive. Yong-shik is angry for her, but Dong-baek matter-of-factly states that nobody is curious about the truth – whatever the public believes becomes the truth.

She confesses that the harsh comments affect her even now. “The Joker didn’t kill me, but people stabbed me over and over.” Yong-shik swears she’ll never have to experience this again, but Dong-baek is more worried about Pil-gu, who’s bound to stumble upon comments online.

When Yong-shik proclaims that he’ll arrest the Joker, Chief Byun breaks his silence to bring Yong-shik back to reality – a case can’t be solved with sheer determination. Dong-baek silently takes in the eerie message as the chief points out that they need to do something about the wall.

Dong-baek heads out to check on Pil-gu, telling Yong-shik that he doesn’t need to escort her. He’s reluctant to let her go and asks why they’re seeing each other if she’s just going to do everything alone, but the paint job is much more important to her right now.

The Joker made it clear that she’s being watched so Dong-baek decides to keep the bar open. She knows that whoever did this will want to see her reaction today.

She tenses up while gathering the courage to walk through the alleyway, losing confidence when she sees a man slouched against the wall. Dong-baek’s just about to give up when Yong-shik calls out from behind. Though she says she could’ve gone alone, she’s relieved to see him.

Yong-shik eyes the man and smoothly positions himself between him and Dong-baek as he rattles on that he’s here because he’s clingy. Dong-baek’s still on alert as they walk together, jumping at the sound of the drunken man’s coughs.

Sensing her fear, Yong-shik suggests her to stay home and rest. Dong-baek shares that she’s scared of centipedes but learned that you must squish them immediately if you’re afraid. It’s scarier if they hide while you’re screaming, so she’s determined to catch the centipede of a killer today.

Yong-shik observes her as he recalls how he first fell for her gutsy, yet calm personality. These days, it makes him angry because he feels sorry for no reason.

Stopping in his tracks to take her hand, he wipes a confused Dong-baek’s palm with his sleeve. “You’ll get sweaty. Why are you always clenching your fists so hard?” He’d followed Dong-baek earlier and witnessed her hesitation in the alley as she dug her fingernails into her palms.

Yong-shik likens her to Sirasoni – an independent street fighter who, due to having no followers, didn’t gain power despite being better than a legendary gang leader. Dong-baek can be strong alone, but she’s gained a minion who will run to her whenever she falters. They both end up in better spirits as he sweetly coaches her to unclench her fists.

Chief Byun complains that he’s doing all the grunt work as Yong-shik investigates. Hah, the chief/subordinate roles are always reversed with these two. Chief Byun orders him to identify everyone in the footage and look into anyone who keeps looking at the camera.

That turns out to be a tall order because the men of Ongsan had all gathered around the CCTV, commenting that Dong-baek became scary as they read the new sign: “If you speak rudely, I’ll do the same.”

Yong-shik writes down some names and the chief is surprised to see Jung-sook listed. He muses that things started happening after she arrived. Yong-shik’s on the defensive, “how could she do such a thing to her own daughter?” but Chief Byun suspects an ulterior motive. He begins to wonder if she even suffers from dementia – his grandmother did and they act quite differently.

Jung-sook sets the table as Chief Byun narrates that she isn’t causing any trouble and seems to be helping her daughter out. When Dong-baek instructs Pil-gu during breakfast to not go anywhere alone, she’s surprised to learn that Jung-sook walks him from place to place.

As they head to school, Dong-baek suggests moving to a safer city. Seoul’s too expensive, but Daejeon has a school with a good baseball team. Jung-sook’s expression is unreadable as she looks at her daughter. To Dong-baek’s chagrin, Jung-sook affectionately refers to Pil-gu by her name again.

At a bank, Dong-baek is deemed unqualified for a small business loan. She shows Jung-sook her account balance of less than 2 million won – a low amount for working so hard everyday. Dong-baek laments that those born to wealth lead different lives to people born with nothing. Jung-sook can’t take her eyes off the bankbook, seemingly doing some calculations.

Yong-shik’s glued to the monitor as he diligently reviews the footage. Chief Byun instructs him to make note of everyone he saw from the moment he bought the camera to when it was installed.

Yong-shik thinks back to yesterday: he bought the camera from Heung-shik’s store and ran into Kyu-tae, who made a fuss about them drilling holes into his wall. Heung-shik shrank into the sidelines as the two men battled it out.

Kyu-tae picked up a cable (like the one from the crime scene) off the shelf and swung it around. His feelings got hurt when Yong-shik suggested that the camera was needed to catch Kyu-tae in action.

They then ran into the ajumma squad. Intimidated by Deok-soon, Yong-shik stuttered while explaining his actions. He thought she was letting him go until she dropped the bomb with a smile on her face: he won’t inherit her restaurant.

Deok-soon passive-aggressively mentions the bird-poop-covered-CCTV at her restaurant that Yong-shik never cared about. But sure, go and install one at the Camellia.

When asked why she let birds poop there, Chan-sook backed her up. “Is she supposed to block their butt holes, then?” HA. There’s no winning an argument with these ladies.

They found Ja-young loitering outside the bar. Yong-shik got her approval to install the camera and hilariously shared his political opinion: if anyone from her family were to become the governor, it should be her.

He and Heung-shik bid the busy “future governor” farewell, who’d walked away dejectedly. She’d just wanted a drink!

He rounds out his notes by adding Jong-ryeol, Hyang-mi, Jung-sook, and Dong-baek.

Dong-baek suggests to Mom that she leave, so they don’t have to suffer together. Besides, wouldn’t it better for her to suffer alone peacefully? Jung-sook answers that being alone makes people cause trouble. She’s lost in her own world as she explains that when isolated, a fool will think of foolish things, and a bad person will only think of bad things. Dong-baek gets the creeps as Jung-sook continues that suffering alone causes anger and desperation, creating monsters.

Yong-shik finds it frightening that the suspects are all people he knows very well…he can’t imagine any of them being a killer. Chief Byun hesitates before reassuring him that it must be an outsider.

Jung-sook ominously says that everybody looks nice on the outside, advising Dong-baek to be careful who she trusts.

EPISODE 16

Jung-sook flags down a taxi and promises she’ll be back tomorrow night, leaving Dong-baek confused about where she’s been heading recently. She’s reluctant to enter the Camellia alone but heads inside cautiously.

As Jong-ryeol carries some boxes home, Jessica waves around a promise that he’d signed, citing his agreement to let her attend grad school. Apparently, Jessica’s mom wrote the document and Jong-ryeol just stamped it. He complains that she’s barely his wife, so she brings up divorce again.

Tired of the same old conversations, Jong-ryeol compromises. She can go to Milan after weaning off their daughter. He tells her leave with a box of abalone, but retracts his offer when Jessica calls his fans tacky for sending it.

Dong-baek searches every corner of the Camellia to ensure she’s alone. She’s overly sensitive to even sounds she hears daily. A hiker comes in for lunch, activating a bell. The welcoming sound she used to love has become frightening.

When Jessica wonders if she should’ve just stayed with “Seok-han,” her mother warns to never utter his name again. They held a wedding and lived together for 2 years, but with no paperwork there’s no evidence of that marriage. Mom says she’s committing fraud while Jessica maintains that she’s innocent. They stop talking when a man coughs from a different room.

Jong-ryeol liquidates his assets and withdraws cash to purchase the building. Knowing that Dong-baek won’t take his money, he hides it in the abalone box.

Ja-young scans Kyu-tae’s credit card statement and figures out the charge for “Chung-dae MT” is a motel. She arrives just when Hyang-mi is checking out. Hyang-mi initially hides, but changes tactics, greeting Ja-young familiarly — but Ja-young doesn’t recognize her.

Hyang-mi drops a few hints about being close to Kyu-tae before boldly sharing that her “boyfriend” covered her expenses to live there. Ja-young doesn’t understand and tries to end the conversation. Hyang-mi quips that everyone dismisses her, making her want to do bad things.

At the realtor’s office, Dong-baek discusses moving to Daejeon, but it’s expensive. Jong-ryeol arrives to talk about the building and both are surprised to see the other. From the waiting area, Jong-ryeol hangs his head as the realtor advises Dong-baek to ask for child support. Dong-baek thinks it’s petty to ask, uncomfortably glancing back at Jong-ryeol.

He follows Dong-baek later, using the realtor’s words and calling her a kid for not asking for help. Dong-baek doesn’t want him to have a say in Pil-gu’s life and Jong-ryeol can’t believe what he’s hearing. Dong-baek hurts him further by requesting him to stop visiting Ongsan and seeing Pil-gu.

Parked in front of the school, Jong-ryeol beats himself up for being incapable of speaking nicely – he wanted to be honest and tell Dong-baek he’d missed her a lot.

His pity party stops short when a fire alarm sends him sprinting towards the school. Pil-gu watches as Jong-ryeol lectures Seung-yeob about the dangers of fires, so enraged that he even says, “What if my kid got hurt?”

Seung-yeob mutters that people would think Jong-ryeol’s the head of the PTA with how worried he is.

Jong-ryeol frantically inspects Pil-gu with concern but Pil-gu shakes him off, claiming that he’s busy. Jong-ryeol is upset when he learns that Pil-gu spends his free time at the bar. Offended, he retorts that Jong-ryeol should return to training in Seoul because everyone thinks he’s been fired.

Kyu-tae listlessly hands Hyang-mi enough money to cover a flight to Copenhagen as he recalls how she’d cornered him at home one day. She showed him the photo of them at the motel, commenting that it’s the thought of cheating that counts. Nobody will care about the truth, just what they see. It was then that Kyu-tae realised that she wasn’t stupid.

Hyang-mi plans to extort more from him later, warning Kyu-tae that she met Ja-young at the motel. She advises him to be more careful – Ja-young is a divorce lawyer, after all.

Seung-yeob informs Dong-baek that training ended early since somebody kept complaining about toxic gases. At the mention of Pil-gu heading to the bar, Dong-baek runs off in a panicked state. He’s not there and can’t be reached; she can’t help but be afraid that this has something to do with the Joker.

Yong-shik is still glued to his screen, but this time he’s watching footage from 5 years ago, in front of OK Aesthetics. The chief berates him for wasting time but Yong-shik is positive that the scene will reveal something.

Dong-baek barges into the station and everyone’s focus shifts to finding Pil-gu. Yong-shik leaves the security footage running and we linger on the screen for a moment as it pans to the buildings near the crime scene.

Unbeknownst to everyone else, Pil-gu’s having a picnic with Jong-ryeol by a mudflat. Jong-ryeol caters to his needs, boasting that the abalone was prepared by a famous chef.

When Pil-gu asks why he’s only sharing food with him, Jong-ryeol makes up an excuse that Pil-gu’s tiny and needs to grow.

Pil-gu says he’ll apparently be tall anyway, since he takes after his dad. Touched, Jong-ryeol shares that there’s an expensive box of abalone that’s meant only for Pil-gu and Dong-baek.

Dong-baek returns to the Camellia after an unfruitful search for Pil-gu. She freezes when she steps inside to see the father and son, spitting images of each other, watching a baseball game. Her legs give out as she falls to the floor in relief.

She makes Pil-gu promise to not be alone at the bar anymore. As she gets up, both men rush to steady her. Pil-gu watches as she pushes Jong-ryeol away to hold onto Yong-shik. Dong-baek warns him to stop playing games and to call her when he finishes school.

Yong-shik nods in agreement while Jong-ryeol looks annoyed, starting to comment about her spending time with Yong-shik instead of watching the bar.

Yong-shik notices the way Pil-gu looks at Jong-ryeol. He attacks his jugular to prevent him from speaking, laughing that Jong-ryeol must be drunk. Dong-baek notices Pil-gu’s lingering glance as Jong-ryeol is dragged outside. The two men get into an argument about who’s worse for Dong-baek. Jong-ryeol brings up Pil-gu and his long history with Dong-baek to claim the upper hand.

Yong-shik challenges him to repeat that to Pil-gu, then explain that he disappeared, married a model, and had another child. Jong-ryeol warns him not to act up when Yong-shik accuses him of not caring about Pil-gu’s scars.

Jong-ryeol heatedly asks if Yong-shik believes he can take care of them. “You just started liking her, so stop acting like you matter.” His believes his years with Dong-baek trumps Yong-shik’s few months, so Yong-shik should stop thinking his feelings can conquer everything.

Pil-gu skips dinner to watch baseball by himself, staring solemnly instead of cheering as someone hits a home run. Dong-baek ends up closing the bar while Yong-shik installs a new lock. She wonders if she’ll be okay even if she rests. It’s now sinking in that the Joker is among the customers that she serves, and Pil-gu could’ve interacted with them – what if she’s still afraid after taking a break?

The Camellia is filled with precious memories but now she’s spooked when the door opens. Yong-shik, who’d been listening intently, reminds Dong-baek that she was going to catch the Joker like a centipede. However, Dong-baek now recognizes that Pil-gu’s been watched for five years too, unsure what to do.

Jong-ryeol’s mood turns from bad to worse when Jessica sends him another text threatening divorce. He’s startled by Hyang-mi who wants his contact information. He’s not interested in the picture she wants to send him, blowing her off. She wonders how much journalists would pay for a picture of Jong-ryeol tending to Dong-baek’s hand.

Dong-baek admits that she’s exhausted from pretending to be okay. Yong-shik doesn’t let on that he feels angry that she is breaking down. He slaps on a smile, caresses her hand, and reassures her that it’s okay. She tears up as she declares that she doesn’t want to be Sirasoni. His face falls as she cries that she wants to leave this town.

Earlier that day, Yong-shik investigates the school’s warehouse where the fire started. Seung-yeob thinks the fire was caused by smoking. He couldn’t find a cigarette butt but found a green lighter that smells like paint thinner, which Yong-shik recognizes from somewhere.

  
COMMENTS

It’s no secret that Dong-baek has always pretended to be okay, secretly suffering on the inside. Although Yong-shik is upset about her “breaking down”, I’ll be honest… I’m kind of glad. Being able to show your weakness and ask for help is a strength in itself. She and Pil-gu both deny their true feelings to put on a strong front; that pressure adds up over time and both mother and son seem to have reached their tipping point. They need to lean on people they trust and I think they’ve each found themselves a pretty good “minion” willing to protect them. Yong-shik for Dong-baek, and Jong-ryeol for Pil-gu.

Although I can see that Jong-ryeol really treasured and loved Dong-baek, I don’t agree that his “10 years of history” with her automatically makes him a better partner than Yong-shik. If anything, Yong-shik understands Dong-baek more than Jong-ryeol does. He notices little details and is able to communicate on a deeper level, getting her to open up. Jong-ryeol and Yong-shik are similar in that they get frustrated with some of her actions. However, Yong-shik outwardly acts in a way that Dong-baek needs in the moment, whereas Jong-ryeol reacts by arguing. If he truly wants to be a contender for her heart, he needs to re-evaluate his own actions.

Pil-gu and Jong-ryeol’s scenes have been my favorite throughout this show. Jong-ryeol has consistently shown that he does everything in his power to get to know his son and make sure he’s living well. He may be a bit clumsy at expressing himself, but his heart is genuine. Pil-gu shoulders a lot more burden than a child should have to. He is smart, and seems to have already figured out who Jong-ryeol is. I hope that Pil-gu can lean on Jong-ryeol for support and guidance. (On a side note, I love how happy he looks whenever he interacts with his grandma!)

A recurring theme this episode is that people believe what they want to believe. A pre-conceived bias can blind one from the truth. The media believes Dong-baek is a prostitute. Yong-shik barely gets his investigation going because he can’t think of his neighbors as killers. The fact that nobody will believe Kyu-tae if he denied having an affair with Hyang-mi if she releases the “proof” that she fabricated. Ja-young not realizing that she’s looking right at the woman who she’s looking for, even when Hyang-mi gives her hints. If everyone takes a step back to think outside the bias, then perhaps the real version of the truth will present itself. (…Joker? Were you here all along?)

By now, I’m sure that most viewers have Heung-shik on their radar as the prime suspect. He’s always wearing worker gloves, has those cables lying around his shop, and would probably smell like paint thinner. He’s also the one who physically installed the security camera, so he would know best how to not get caught. I’m curious to see if this is just a fake-out, or if he really is our guy. If he is, then as Yong-shik feared, he really is as ordinary as they come. He’s never at the forefront of any scene, always a wallflower – his existence is rarely acknowledged. Hyang-mi and Jung-sook did warn us that being cast to the side could make somebody want to do bad things…

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I suspect the lack of detail on the JOKER's identity is deliberate. This small tight-knit village that was originally shown in sun-drenched pastel hues has now become like being trapped in a train with the murderer. It wasn't just DB's fear at the end of the episode, it was that first the show just cast doubt on everyone until you didn't know where to turn.

The character discussions this week were so revealing"

The ajummas - (when Yong-Sik was trying to pump them for information) revealed their gossip about everyone to be so false - it's nothing more than slander and ostracising those based on difference and prejudice.

Yong-Sik- is shown he is not simple. He had seen right through the true nature of Jong-Ryeol and he had read PG's realisation well before anyone else.

The difference between the truth of DB's ledger and the villages gossip. Her ledger is true but never "killed" anyone but the smear and innuendo of the entire community is called out for effectively killing...they become "dead" to the community.

Captain Byun and YS hope / misplaced belief that monsters don't live within us and the outsider is the natural suspect. Not only do the police have the "Invisible gorilla problem" - potentially why they failed to catch the Joker. In addition, that "safe" fairytale view of the world is the foundation stone of discrimination of DB, YS and PG.

I don't know who the Joker is (sure lots of suspects) - but this show may get way more claustrophobic before it is revealed. This drama may just be the reverse "Wizard of OZ". Only ...."THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME".... may not mean what we thought it did.

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I don't think Yong-shik was upset at her for breaking down but at the situation around her breakdown. He feels helpless. Usually, when she's going through a tough time, he can do something. It's either some gesture or he can beat someone up (verbally or physically). He's a man of action. But he is stuck at the moment because they don't know who the Joker is and so he can't arrest him like he wants to.

Also, can I just say I'm terrified!? The time between the flashforward (the crime and the dead woman) and the present is getting smaller. Like the flashforward is about Yong-shik investigating the fire that happened in that same episode. We're not too far now from the murder...

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I would have been a nervous wreck in Dong Baek's shoes, to see that death threat and to know that a serial killer has been watching you and your son for many years. I would have left then and there.

Hyang-mi is such a wild card. I really don't know if she's a good one or will turn traitor in the end.

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JongRyeol is such a dumbass, he should focus on his son and his own family, I really don't like his interaction with YongShik, they both flexing their muscles and try to win over another. I like DongBeak growth and her relationship with YongShik but I'm not sure how I feel about how fast she let her mother into her life, her mom is more shady than HyangMi.

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Who else thinks that baby girl is not JR’s kid?

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There is something fishy about Jessica and her mother. This is definitely a possibility.

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The entire JR story is about how "normality" is not all its cracked up to be.

His words to DB are about walking back into social conventions...as if it is safe, normal and accepting. Yet all we see is that it is a mask built on illusion.

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YES!! I was thinking the same. His wife has a fishy past, that even her mom knows and feels ashamed about it; and I wouldn't be surprised at all, if at the end he finds out he is not the biological father of their daughter.

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I dislike the wife, very much. I don't trust her at all, not for one second.

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That was foreshadowed in the conversation between Jessica and her mother. And this being a kdrama where everyone is connected, Jessica’s ex is connected to Another of our shady characters.

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Jongryeol needs to wise up to the fact that wanting the best for your son DOES NOT EQUAL putting his mother and her choices down. His attitude really irks me, and he seems incapable of just speaking to Dongbaek with some respect (and yet, he goes on and on about their shared 10 years, as if he gets a pass because of them).

Pilgu remains a little star in my heart, and I hope he won't come out of this scarred. He is a lovely boy and all I want is for him to enjoy the rest of his childhood.

On the issue of the killer: I understand building it up slowly, and I admit, it plays into the paranoia and suspicion. The impatient part of me just really really wants to know the answer though!

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-Pil-gu has definitely figured it out. The way he questions why Jong-ryeol pays attention to him, those lingering looks, the way he was watching what was probably one of Jong-ryeol's games. . . the kid is sharp and has figured it out on his own.
-I do suspect Heung-shik but that could be a red herring. And I have no idea what Hyang-mi or Dong-baek's mom are up to.
-And I would have beat up Jong-ryeol for taking Pil-gu and not telling anyone. Poor Dong-baek was worried sick!

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@selena, I can't agree that JR treasured DB. If he had, she would never have had a reason to leave him. His love for her was mainly selfish -- all about what was in it for him with no thought for her needs. And it's still mainly about him. His son, his first love. They matter in connection to him.

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Great comment, totally agree. He talks about how Dongbaek should be more considerate/caring towards Pilgu, but him trying to force his way in isn't any better than whatever behaviour he thinks he has the right to criticise.

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JR's word always give me that sense of "ownership". The underlying message is never about respect - it's more possession.

Hey, maybe thats just me and other read it differently.

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Hit the nail on the head, imo

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Telling scene was much earlier when JR was going to a friend’s wedding. DB asked if she should go with him. JR responded that it would be too much trouble if they were seen together, Anand how would he explain her?

He only used DB until he started to have success, then left her behind like trash. JR was and is utter trash.

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There have been hints the day is long why DB was hesitant to tell JR about the pregnancy.

But you know.....

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It was heartbreaking to see Pil-Gu's realization.

Everyone is looking fishy to me. DB's mother (does she really have dementia??), Hwang-Mi (why copenhagen.. what's there?), Heung-shik (is he the killer or is he related to the killings?).. There is also this Chicken delivery guy who pops up randomly. I keep suspecting everyone!!

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I don't think Mom could have dementia. It probably was a ruse to get in the door. She obviously can navigate the world when she wants to. But why did she want to come back into DB's life, and how did she find her? Has she been lurking nearby all her life?

HM seems like a serial con artist. More on that in next recap.

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Mom keeps searching DB’s house for something - her seal, perhaps? And she was really curious about DB’s insurance policy ...

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Yikes!!!

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So in other words she may just be here to screw DB over again?

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It’s hard to put a positive spin on it.

I will say though the drama is throwing a LOT of red herrings at us!

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Or to look out for her. I mean, she has been saying repeatedly that DB is trusting the wrong people. And her saying that is always with a scene with Hyang mi.

Kdramas love to make 'connections', no matter how far out there they are. Everyone knows everyone like Korea is Mayberry.

Or Mom is just continuing to be garbage herself.

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Trusting the wrong people could also refer to herself.

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Yeah, mom's question about DB's life insurance policy was suspicious. It's hard to figure her out as in other scenes she seems to be supporting of Dongbaek.

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JR took Pil gu without contacting DB to let her know that they were together and he will bring him home safely.

JR had the audacity to sit in the at bar like he was the hero in this situation and put down DB, who was out looking for her kid.

Screw that dude and all the excuses made for him.

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I agree with you. JR is worthless. He is NOT thinking of his son or DB, he is ONLY concerned with his wants. And he is NOT going towards DB and PG; he is running AWAY from a failed marriage that only existed for mutual PR gains.

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He never asks permission, he never finds out what people really want or really think. A complete egotist. He may have had interest in and compassion for others once upon a time, but probably the life of a star athlete, where everyone around him was only concerned with him and what he did and thought and felt - well, would teach him to believe he was the center of the universe.

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I don't think is started with his professional career. With the way his mother reacted and treated DB, this has been going on for awhile. She probably told him that he walked on water all his life.

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Yes, by star athlete I meant hiw whole life, not just professional career. I see it even in high school, kids that become totally self-obsessed because their family life, their school life, and all of their personal ambition is wrapped up in their sports success.

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"Who is the joker?" is a very well kept mystery in this show. I have the feeling that it's not only 1 person.
This girl Hyang-mi is weird and she has so many secrets, I wouldn't be surprised if she is involved in all these murders, and maybe that's the reason why she wants to leave the country (she could be an accomplice).
The guy who installed the cameras, he has a very low key presence, but he know where the camera was installed, he is a handy man, so he could be the one.
Dongbaek's mom, I don't believe she really has dementia. I think she knows much more than what we think.

I like the pace of the show so far, sometimes slow, but definitely entertaining, not only because of the love story, but also the serial killer mystery, and what happened in Dongbaek's past

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At this point, the murder mystery does not interest me.
I wish the story just focused in on DB, the small town prejudices, gossip, and biases and how DB, as a single mother, would be accepted by the town.

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Absolutely agree with you. This drama would have been a really interesting slice of life story - without the murder thread.

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The murder is why we are getting such a sweet slice of live show (so uncommon in Kdrama).

If you really look at it, this show - RomCom/Murder doesn't fit. Instead, it's actually more akin to the Terminal Illness genre...except characters don't know about the death. As I wrote earlier - As Yansha asked Yudhisthira beside the Lake of Death:
- Q: What is the most wonderful thing in life?
- A: Everyday innumerable humans and their animals die, yet people live everyday as if they are immortal.

This couple is so un-Kdrama sweet. They are so atypical - their romance is neither fated or filled with makjang brutally towards to each other.

I suspect this kindness is only possible because it is not a K RomCom and the "terminal illness" means we are exploring something different. Loss and growth and limits.

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Understand what you are saying.

I’m just holding onto a thin thread of hope that this is not a Terminal Illness genre drama. DB took off the bracelet and placed it in a tin in front of HM. And, the show has been throwing up quite a few red herrings...we’ll see.

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Oh @hebang, me too.

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The show has found its own strange little niche for me and just...works. I didn't think I'd be interested in the mystery, but as the show has gone on, I've only grown more intrigued.

I think because as the mystery unfolds, I grow more suspicious of all the characters, even if I don't think they actually could be Joker. The show successfully made me curious about the character's motivations, what they're all really up to, and where their behavior will lead them.

It helps that it easily manages to blend humor into Yong-shik's investigative ventures, like buttering up the village ajummas for information, and the sequence of him going back over his funny interactions with people before installing the camera. That, and the show just feels well-balanced to me, in staying focused on the growth of the characters as they face the obstacles related to the murder investigation.

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Isn't the writing and narrative really good? I'm so impressed by this writer. I'm more impressed too by the memory recalls shown from another perspective, like the fire scene, the drowning scene, where we get a bit more info but from someone else's perspective. Very food use of film as a narrative medium, shows real mastery of the craft of scriptwriting for tv where you force the medium to bow to the best way to tell the story, which drives everything from the scene colouring (sepia or coolblue tones), to the background music and sounds (which never get too overwhelming or too scary.)

I love this show!

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@chandler & @purebristles
Brilliant thread.

I hadn't realised how effective a narrative tool CAMELLIA is using.

If the writer wants us to interrogate the entire social response to family (and e.g. single mothers) without going all makjang or beating us over the head with it - this simple suspicion makes us do that without noticing.

Our suspicions just makes us hyperaware of every characters motivations. We can't help but see their growth and their hypocrisies - even the incidental ones.

The writer knows how viewers are programmed to behave to genres and then just twisted that for a totally different purpose...such clever writing.

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The camera focused suspiciously long on the footage on the computer screen when it panned to the other buildings after Yong-shik left. Like Yong-shik missed a vital clue by walking away before the video finished. Was there a figure hiding in the shadows??? I couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary, but the camera sure did linger...Is there something there?

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@umbrellaman,
I wondered the same thing -- Did Yong-shik miss seeing something when he was called away from his computer? This was the video version of two characters passing like ships in the night.

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Watching later episodes we do discover that something was seen in the clips. So it did linger for a reason.

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Im curious about the “Yeong Shim and the cats” person that keeps being mentioned by Chief Byun from the beginning of the drama. It seems like a recurring joke within the drama that YS cant be bothered to take care of the cat matter but what are the odds that he/she is Joker?

Yeong-shim’s cat issue also reminds me of the oddity of cat food being left around.

But then there’s so many red herrings in the show. This is purely my wild conjecture.

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Sorry should have been dogs not cats. My bad memory at work.

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Such a nice detail.

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It is like a reccuring joke which is why I believe Young shim and the dogs will probably come into play later, maybe even in relation to the Joker case.

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I was just thinking Joker might be YeongShim and his dogs too! Which would make sense that DongBaek bugged YongSik a few episodes ago to "please do go have a look at YongShim's dogs".

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While I initially thought Joker was HeungSik but I now think it's a red herring. My guess is now he's HeungSik's dad, who'd have access to the same materials.

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I am really enjoying this show. The growth of the of DB is very satisfying to watch, in the beginning she was just too wishy-washy. I think the mother is there to help her daughter and the only way to get in the door was to fake dementia... though the letting loose of a bowel movement might be a bit much, however effective. There certainly is a mystery there, to be sure and many unanswered questions. However, the mother does seem to be helping out a lot, so no matter what this is very nice. The biological father, his heart is in the right place, even if he is sloppy in his actions. I think he will get there. Really enjoying the whole cast. The romance between DB and YS really warms my heart. They do make a great couple, or will, hopefully, expectantly. The joker is a scarey aspect of the story and not one to take lightly. A good mixture of suspense, drama and comedy.

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grammer error, sorry... The growth of DB is very satisfying to watch.....

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I just thought of something: there are actually a few mysteries here.

1. Who is Joker?
2. Why did Dongbaek's mother leave her? And related, why did she rename Dongbaek?
3. Who protected Dongbaek, assuming this person switched on the sprinkler system when Joker was about to get her?

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Exactly. While Dong-baek was caught up in her inner turmoil during that flashback in ep 6 (or ep 11-12), I couldn't help but notice how cryptic her mother was being when she abandoned her. Just why couldn't she tell anyone her real name?

I had a feeling the person who protected her was her mother and that she's been around for a while. She only just got caught, hence the dementia ruse.

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Soooooo I wasn't going to watch this, cause the premise didn't seem like my thing (kind of missed the whole mystery-thriller aspect of the plot somehow), but everything I'm reading about it makes me really want to pick this up. And it sounds like this is a great moment to jump in, lol.

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