We get more ghostly encounters, magically growing trees, and the first OTP smooch in this week’s episodes of Hotel Del Luna. Come join us as we discuss every ghostly moment.
Twitterpated in Flashback
We get more flashbacks regarding Man Wol’s original life… and her romance with
Kmuse: I know I am in the minority but I still am not connecting with the flashback storyline. I will admit that there were some very pretty scenes within the flashbacks so it wasn’t a total loss.
Clkytta: I’m gonna say that I like hottie captain of the guard, but I also like the other guy. Who is he? Did I miss something important?
Dramarookie: Sageuks, yawn.
Karie the Maknae: I’m getting more drawn in by the back story, probably because I love the captain of the guard’s cocky attitude.
Kdrama Jen: How can you not love the sword flashing and angsty looks? I love that we get to see where it all began.
Drama Geek: I think Kmuse is watching too many Chinese historical dramas to really see the beauty in the flashbacks. No, they’re not the most expertly filmed fight scenes, but I like seeing her vulnerable and desperate. You can also see why she likes the finer things in life. She was poor, probably born a slave, and now she gets to wear leopard leggings whenever she wants.
But let’s skip back to our current story where Chan Sung has agreed to work at Hotel Del Luna. First off, he gets a tour of the hotel, including the mysterious Room 404. This is where
Kmuse: I have a feeling this is not the last time we will see Room 404 pop up in the plot. The creepy feels were very intense and I am not just talking about the sketchy guy who entered during the retelling of Room 404’s story.
Clkytta: My cousin is watching with me and she immediately said “404, file not found”. So that makes this room even more scary because it may be a place where you just disappear.
Dramarookie: Oooh! Didn’t even make that connection, Clkytta. Very interesting.
Karie the Maknae: File Not Found! That’s exactly what I was thinking, too. I loved the cameo by one of my favorite B-listers, the friend with the old man face from Still 17.
Kdrama Jen: That 404 message IS scary! I might be having my own dramatic flashback right now to that time I had written a paper for a class and my computer went crazy and gave me that message. If the same thing happens in that room… our favorite hotel manager better run!
Drama Geek: I have never received that error message! I’m pretty sure it’s the last place humans want to find themselves.
Dream a little dream
It seems that Chan Sung is being dragged into Man Wol’s drama whether he wants to be there or not. Not only is he now in her employ (i.e. her financial keeper) but he is having dreams about Man Wol’s original life. That brings forward the question of why Chan Sung is having all these odd connections with his boss. We see that fate has had a hand in things since that fateful day he asked for a flower as a child. The goddess Mago was the old women peddling flowers and we now see that things were not left to chance.
Kmuse: I’m starting to get a bad feeling that this is some kind of Chan Sung being the reborn soul of Man Wol’s first love kind of thing… I’m not sure how I feel about that.
Clkytta: It does have a reincarnation feel to it. I need to see how it goes before I say yay or nay. He may just be a sensitive soul, he seems to do well with the ghosts now.
Karie the Maknae: Maybe it’s reincarnation, maybe it’s not. I’m getting major Goblin vibes too, with the long-lived being who craves death and doesn’t want to die, all at the same time.
Kdrama Jen: I am hoping this is not a reincarnation story, but if it gets us some steamy kisses to test the theory, I am all in!
Drama Geek: YES! Steamy kisses!!! Two mouths have not been more right for that. LOL. I actually don’t mind if he’s her reincarnated lover. She’s waited for him for a thousand years, it would nice for her to finally get to see him again. I’m pretty sure he died because of something she did.
Getting too close for comfort
Man Wol is emotionally all over the place this week as she jumps between the emotions of guilt and anger. Guilt over the fact that her literal and metaphoric tree is blooming and anger for the same reason. Her mood swings make her want to confirm that Chan Sung is having visions of her past and then a second later she wants to fire him for getting too close. The poor girl is not having a good week.
Kmuse: I am all for Man Wol having mood swings because they somehow always end up with her
Clkytta: Man Wol is the ice lady, she only likes her cars and champagne. She’s very numb and going through the motions, and that is why it is so fun to see her so confused. Plus, no one really knows her story so it is really disconcerting when this new hire starts telling her things from her past.
Dramarookie: I was surprised by her negative reaction. You would think after 1,000 years of going through the motions she would be relieved to have her life set back into motion. (Kmuse: This is where I think she feels the guilt come into play. Like, she deserves to suffer for whatever happened in the past.) (Drama Geek: I second that. She feels comfortable being tortured.)
Karie the Maknae: I find it interesting that she chooses to take justice into her own hands, but I guess it goes with her somewhat self-imposed punishment for whatever her grave error in the past was.
Kdrama Jen: She is so full of contradictions because her emotions are spinning in all directions. I like seeing how IU manages to quickly switch between cold and aloof to die-eyes and lost in memories. It’s so much fun to watch her. She has really honed her craft over the years.
Drama Geek: I love watching her thaw out, and I love that Chan Sung is very aware that he’s pushing her buttons. He’s a smart guy, and he’s also a people person. He knows how to please someone, and the opposite is true as well.
Not so nice ghosts
There are some super angry ghosts roaming the halls of Hotel Del Luna and I am not talking about the guests. Yup, our trio of long-time employees are not so happy that Man Wol’s tree is flowering. And they place all the blame on the newest member of the staff, Chan Sung. Not only do they get upset but they decide to go full evil and kill him off. Better he goes than they
Kmuse: I was shocked at how selfish they are being. I guess I should have expected it since they have selfishly been hanging on for hundreds of years… but still.
Clkytta: I did not expect this storyline. I thought the staff would be fun and family like. Yes, I realize that they are hanging on to their old lives, but I didn’t think they would plot against Chan Sung like that.
Dramarookie: This was such a bummer. Even the puppy-like bellboy was on board with driving Chan Sung to the insane asylum. It will be harder for me to like these characters now and I hope they get a chance to redeem themselves by saving him in some future storyline.
Karie the Maknae: Every group goes through their forming-storming-norming stages. I think this group is gonna regret what they did in this “storm.”
Kdrama Jen: I agree with the Maknae. I think this is a pivotal moment that will move the plot forward and create the need for some relationship repairing. We have plenty of episodes left for them to form their family!
Drama Geek: It’s easy to forget that in almost all Korean ghost stories that a ghost who hangs around after their death eventually turns into an evil spirit or holds some type of grudge. The same is true for the trio. I’m sure their judgment is clouded. I agree with the other two though, I think they’ll see that they made the wrong choice and grow to regret their decision.
You’ll save me
Man Wol is totally on board with the plot to kill off Chan Sung and find a new living employee. Of course, her resolve is tested when Chan Sung confesses his absolute belief that she would save him if he was in danger. Ouch, Man Wol is definitely feeling some guilt during that conversation.
Kmuse: I really liked this conversation because it showed that Chan Sung wasn’t unaware of the danger he has been in. But that he is also aware that Man Wol is his own kind of guardian angel. I’m not saying that the trust is completely justified considering that she is OK with the other ghosts killing him off. But it’s still sweet in its own way.
Kdrama Jen: Do you really think she is OK with the other ghosts killing him off? I think she is just a hot mess right now and not sure of anything.
Clkytta: His trust actually makes sense. She chose him. He knows there is some kind of connection between them and she needs him. She may be afraid of the tree changing, but somewhere inside her is the girl he is dreaming about. So I think he’s very aware that he could be hurt, but that she needs him so she will protect him.
Dramarookie: One of the reasons Chan Sung believes this is because he thinks she saved him from the motorcycle, but the show never actually confirmed this. (May I just digress to comment on the blind girl’s revelation about her baker crush? Such a sweet love story took a sudden disturbing turn. I liked and hated it at the same time. You never saw it coming! I’m so glad she chose not to pursue her revenge, but the guy’s arrest did feel a bit too easily wrapped up.) Normally, I’m not a huge fan of flashbacks, but this time I wish the director had shown us for sure that she stopped the motorcycle from hitting him.
Karie the Maknae: My understanding was that he went into the situation trusting that she would protect him, but that didn’t matter to the outcome of the situation. The point was his trust, not whether the motorcycle hit him or not. I still think his trust is a little misplaced — I expect Man Wol to lash out like a cornered animal when she gets hurt.
Drama Geek: I think his trust is a bit naïve, but I also think he’s right about her wanting to protect him. The tree changing is scary for her, but it’s also part of what she’s longed for. Like Kdrama Jen said earlier, she’s a hot mess.
Kisses and deadly ghosts
It’s time for us to see if Man Wol is really as uncaring as she likes to appear. The ghosts send Chan Sung to a guest’s room to light some incense. We, the audience, all know that this can’t end well and that the staff even said that the ghost hates humans. Sure enough, Chan Sung goes into a very creepy room which has a desk and a dresser standing behind it. We see something peeking out of the dresser and Chan Sung is entranced. But before he can go to his ghost-induced demise, Man Wol grabs him and forces him to look away. When Chan Sung, once again, tries to look at the ghost, Man Wol grabs his face and kisses him. YAY for sexy smooches!
Kmuse: May this be the first of many kisses.
Clkytta: That was unexpected and awesome. It was also one of those moves that a guy would usually do first, so it made it even more fun. It seems like the female leads are no longer supposed to be passive and fish-eyed and I love seeing a girl take control of the situation.
Dramarookie: I may get a lot of angry comments for this, but the scene didn’t do much for me. I like that she raced to his rescue and protected him, but the kiss itself was very … posey, like they were holding their breaths until the director yelled “Cut!” It also reminded me of a scene from Master’s Sun when So Ji Sub shows up and tells the heroine, “You’re shelter’s here. Hide.” Did anyone else feel the similarities? (Drama Geek: Not until you just said it. That’s totally how this feels. Which means it really isn’t meant to sizzle.)
Karie the Maknae: I’m right there with you, Dramarookie. I’m willing to suspend disbelief and pretend that they were both in shock and that’s why they weren’t really moving, but it didn’t have the same sizzle for me.
Kdrama Jen: I think it is an artistic choice for this kiss to feel superficial. She is just testing the waters a bit. This is not the “true love kiss.” We should be getting that in like… 6 episodes or so?
Drama Geek: Yup, this is the hold your breath kiss. It’s posed, and uncomfortable. The color pallet made it even a bit eerie.
Who do we ship?
There is a ton of talk on social media that people are liking Man Wol with her historic hottie better than Chan Sung? Which ship are you on?
Kmuse: Historic hottie is, well, hot. But he has nothing on Chan Sung. That guy has
Clkytta: Team Chan Sung, after all he’s probably the modern incarnation so it’s not really a choice is it? Historic hottie is hot, but we haven’t seen enough of him yet to know the full story. He could just be hot and that’s it.
Dramarookie: I’ll take a guy in a sharp suit over a sageuk ponytail any day.
Karie the Maknae: I’m all about those sageuk ponytails. Team Historic Hottie!
Kdrama Jen: Baby Oppa will forever and always be on my ship with IU. I like the scaredy-cat manager trying to be brave! Team Chan Sung for me!
Drama Geek: Team Baby Oppa without question. It’s not IU’s fault that she has chemistry with everyone. I actually love seeing her with both of them, and I can’t wait to see her softer side show up with Chan Sung.
Kmuse: Uhm… The amount of plot lines we have and how fast we are running through the relationship steps makes me very worried for the second half of the drama. This is a Hong Sisters fatal flaw… all the good stuff happens in the beginning and we are left limping through the narrative finish line on fumes. Please, Drama Gods, don’t let that happen again.
Clkytta: So far I’m invested. I’m hopeful that maybe the writing can continue to hold up, but it’s always hit or miss with the Hong Sisters. I wasn’t thrilled with their last two dramas. The one thing this chatty recap really has going for it is that it’s a DWASOK chatty recap. If the plot falls apart, we will let you know, and then we will focus on how pretty IU is and how Baby Oppa isn’t a baby anymore. Lol.
Dramarookie: I seriously disliked the full on horror swing that Episode 3 took with the exorcism, parents inadvertently burning up their daughter’s soul, high school girl doomed to live out the rest of her life in someone else’s body, etc. So disturbing! That is waaaaaaaaaaaay beyond the “spooky” vibe that I appreciated from the first week, and I will be checking out of this hotel if they continue in that vein. But I do hope they insert more mini-storylines like the blind girl’s unrequited love/murder. It was interesting yet meaningful since we were introduced to her earlier. I wonder if Can-I-Get-a-Refill Guy is next. What is he typing so diligently on that computer?
Karie the Maknae: I think I’m in. It’s definitely gotten more interesting this week, so I’ll stick with it for a while and cross my fingers that it doesn’t fall apart like Hwayugi did.
Kdrama Jen: This is such a visually stunning drama. I might be tempted to watch just for the pretty. Still, I like the little bit of horror mixed in with the mystery of the past and the way everything fits into the present and future. I am here with my eyes wide open. I know Hong Sisters come with some unfulfilled promises, but I will enjoy what we have so far and not worry about what might happen.
Drama Geek: I am really enjoying it and will keep watching with the understanding that it might tank by the end. I cannot pass up such a visually stunning drama. And IU is just beyond hot in every scene. So even if that’s all we talk about, so be it.
Til our next deadly encounter,
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi