We finally get the full backstory of Man Wol’s past and realize that her own trauma is a lot deeper then expected. Come join us as we discuss whether this justifies her penance and whether we are still feeling the romance between our OTP.
A deadly ghost story
The first episode of the week was very focused on the ghost in the cupboard and her horrible tale of abuse and objectification on the internet. To say that it allowed the viewer to feel upset and justified in her offing the spy cam perverts would be an understatement. A few of the moments of this story arc that stood out were as followed.
The ghost was a girl who was drugged and raped by a man in her college. He filmed the experience and put it up on various porn websites and the girl was so devastated she took her own life. To finally receive justice, she started targeting the man and his cronies who got her in that situation. I have to admit that this is one of the scarier ghosts that we have seen to date.
All of the men are killed except the rapist and the man who uploaded the video, CEO Jung. Man Wol and Chan Sung journey to his work to warn/threaten the man about his past deeds coming to haunt him. CEO Jung thinks they are crazy and throws them out, but not before they steal his cell phone. Through the cell phone, our ghost hunting couple hope to capture the ghost before she can claim another victim. Sadly, all their thievery is for naught as the ghost shows up on every computer screen at his workplace and stalks the man. The vengeful ghost is stopped right before she murders CEO Jung by Mago and is dispersed into nothing for her crimes.
Before you get all upset thinking the slimy CEO Jung got away with his rapish ways, Man Wol sets him up to prove that he is not worthy of saving. After discovering that CEO Jung doesn’t even know who the ghost was because he raped and taped girls so often, Man Wol disappears and allows God to judge him. That judgment turns out to be him being hit by a train and his reputation as a porn distributor being brought to the attention of the South Korean public.
Karie the Maknae: Episode 7 is very focused on hammering home a point, but I am ALL for it. After the Burning Sun scandal and other scandals, I think the Hong Sisters have every right to portray a victim getting her own justice, even at the cost of her own soul.
Kmuse: Originally, I was not overly into the story since it wasn’t progressing the OTP plotline at all. And the lack of progression is something I am having problems
Clkytta: This is so timely that it’s giving me hope that the Hong Sisters are going to have a lot of success with this drama. I called it during the last recap when I said this ghost was a victim of a sex crime. That level of pain and humiliation can easily make someone turn into a vengeful ghost.
MiataMama: (I’m finally back from vacation, caught up on the newest episodes and jumping back into the chat – yeay!) This ‘real-life headline’ story, while uncomfortable to address, is definitely one that needs to be given a spotlight in current Korean culture. Good job Hong Sisters! That being said, I’m thankful we don’t have to deal with that creepy ghost anymore, eeeek!
Kdrama Jen: I am still conflicted about this storyline. Maybe it is the idea that a girl who committed no wrongs against others in her life ended up as a vengeful spirit who was then turned to dust with no hope of redemption? I am not sure what it is, but there is something niggling at my mind. I guess I don’t consider it true justice that a victim had to sacrifice her soul for revenge. I think I wanted some kind of healing for such a troubled soul. I feel unsettled. (Karie the Maknae: I agree — it feels like there needs to be mercy for the victim. At the same time, it was her choice to kill all those men. She didn’t have to seek revenge. It’s a complicated situation.)
Drama Geek: I was also very saddened that she had to sacrifice her soul in order for these horrible men to see justice. I know they are using her story to foreshadow what might happen to Man Wol and it makes my heart hurt.
Bellhop to the rescue
The Bellhop continues to grow on us as he spends the episode alternately saving Intern and being an awesome big brother. We get a glimpse at his younger sister who is in the hospital in the final stages of life and will soon be passing on. We also witness that his sister is calling someone else
Karie the Maknae: All I have to say is that I adore The Bellhop and The Intern. This is a B-line romance that makes my heart sing. They are so adorably snarky together — it’s perfection!
Kmuse: Bellhop continues to grow on me and I was very concerned for Intern when the other ghosts wanted to kick out her soul and take over the body.
Kdrama Jen: This is the real OTP for me right now. I love how the bellhop shows up when the intern is in trouble. I love how sweet they are with one another. I really need them to have a happily ever after!
Clkytta: Ok, Bellhop totally made my heart flutter. I am fully invested in this couple and I want both of them to be happy. Has anyone else noticed that he’s in his school uniform? I’m wondering if they see him and it translates as the same uniform that they wear?
MiataMama: Bellhop and Intern are my favorite couple right now! And since they are both technically ghosts, there’s the possibility of a happy ending here. . . right? Right?!? As far as big brother Bellhop goes, I started crying when his sister called out his name in the hospital. Oh, the sweet feels!
Drama Geek: I think this side couple is cute and I hope they have a ghostly happy ever after. If Bellhop was young when he died, and his sister is calling this guy by his name, then I wonder if he’s the reason Bellhop is dead. I’m sure we’ll eventually see his past play out, and then he’ll finally go to the afterlife with his sister.
Second life of a princess
Mi Ra is revealed (no huge surprise there) to be the reincarnated soul of the evil Princess from Man Wol’s past. She continues to try and get Chan Sung’s attention and Man Wol discovers that her nemesis is alive… kind of.
Karie the Maknae: I am so done with Mi Ra. I may have cheered a little when Man Wol pushed her into the ocean.
Kmuse: Mi Ra is so annoying. Is she really necessary for the story?
Kdrama Jen: Whether as a princess or in the present day, she is not a likable character. I am withholding judgment regarding whether or not she is necessary for the story. There is potential here for her to allow us to see character growth on the part of Man Wol and Chan Sung, so I am willing to put up with her simpering smile for a little longer.
Clkytta: OK, Mi Ra has literally stolen Chan Sung’s credit card and racked up a ton of debt in the past. She is a total parasite. It was very satisfying to see Man Wol push her into the ocean and I cheered too.
MiataMama: Anyone else wondering, now that Mi Ra doesn’t have her special protection bracelet from halmeoni, what the repercussions on her current life are going to be? Will she remember her past life and Man Wol?? Sadly, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of her.
Drama Geek: She may not be the most likable character but didn’t she look STUNNING on her wedding night?
Chan Sung needs more salt
Chan Sung is accidentally injured from a ghost at the hotel and we discover that this can have dire consequences if there are frequent recurrences. In order to ward of the evil juju, Chan Sung starts sprinkling salt all over himself before work. Only, he accidentally chose sugar instead of salt. Eeeek. If his hand clutching his chest is any indication, we might have some serious health risks in the future for our sweet hotelier.
Karie the Maknae: Get the boy ALL THE SALT PRONTO! I loved his solution to Man Wol’s seemingly selfish move. This boy is all heart.
Kmuse: Is it wrong that I kind of wish we would get a spinoff drama about the adventures of Sanchez? That character cracks me up.
Clkytta: I think this really cinches the point that he trusts Man Wol and needs her to protect him from otherworldly dangers. I’m pleasantly surprised to see that Sanchez is still around and he’s still full of charm and sarcasm. I’m a second vote for a Sanchez spin off.
Kdrama Jen: I feel like a Sanchez spin-off would be an office comedy with a quirky and blundering young chaebol making his way in the world. I could get behind that. As far as salt, I think Chan Sung is going to need a big old barrel of it at this rate!
MiataMama: I guess I’m the only one that’s not a huge fan of Sanchez – mostly it’s his whiny, nasally voice that annoys me. I do appreciate his friendship with Chan Sung though, because goodness knows hanging out with all the ghosts is not good for his health.
Drama Geek: I wish Chan Sung had more family to bring out his character a little more. I feel like I hit a brick wall with him when he’s not with Man Wol. Though I like his interactions with Sanchez, I wish his dad was still alive. That could add a little depth and heart to his life.
Man Wol’s tragic past
We finally find out why Man Wol is so broken, and man, are her feelings justified. But before we get into that, we have to talk a little bit about the revenge that happens in the current time. Man Wol invites Mi Ra (she is SO annoying) to come visit her at the hotel. She creates an amusement park experience just to create a curse that will destroy Mi Ra’s psyche forever… or at least this lifetime.
Just before the cursed evil kid touches Mi Ra to transfer the evil feelings, Chan Sung jumps in to save both Mi Ra and Man Wol from doing something so evil. Man Wol is obviously devastated that Chan Sung got hurt. She sends Mi Ra away and waits by Chan Sung’s side, at least until he out of the danger zone, then says goodbye to him. I’m assuming that this means she is going to force him to leave her.
Now let’s jump into the flashback that leads Man Wol on a murderous rampage. Just a note: if you were on Historic Hottie and Man Wol’s ship then prepare to have it torched and destroyed underneath you. Turns out Historic Hottie is really a historic baddie. He woos Man Wol into showing him her tribe’s hideout, then comes and kills them all with royal troops. This great deed provided him with the clout to marry the princess. Wow. Did not see that coming.
In a moment of benevolence, or guilt, Ex-historic Hottie allows Man Wol to live. Why he thought this would be a good idea after he just murdered all her family and friends, I will never know, Needless to say, Man Wol totally lost it and got revenge by killing The Princess and Ex-historic Hottie on their wedding night. But their deaths don’t bring back all her family, and her guilt over their deaths continues a thousand years later.
Karie the Maknae: Ok, NOW it all makes sense. Like, a LOT of sense. I wish we had gotten more of Man Wol’s backstory in the beginning, but I can see why the Hong Sisters held off until the halfway point too, because there were a couple of things that I did NOT see coming. And Man Wol has a heck of a lot more depth now because of it. One thing stays with me, though — Historic Hottie is being played by a pretty good actor, and it felt empty when he said, in essence, “Thanks for betraying everyone so I could get a promotion.” I wonder if he really loved her and hates himself now.
Clkytta: Man Wol deserves all the champagne and steak, all of it. And the cars, and the yacht. She has suffered such a deep betrayal and I’m ready to jump to her defense for everything I thought she did wrong before. She deserves all the happiness she can get.
Kmuse: That was justice pure and simple. Sure they were robbers and thieves, but pretending to love a girl just so you can murder everyone she cares about is brutal. It’s no wonder she wanted revenge. I also am wondering if we will see the Ex-historic Hottie in either reincarnated or ghost form. It would be interesting to add that in the story.
MiataMama: Well. I was TOTALLY blindsided by the last 10 minutes of episode eight! Poor Man Wol – I can’t begin to imagine dealing with that depth of sorrow and guilt for so long. After knowing the extent of her torment, it really makes the autographed message from her favorite foodie TV star a bit more poignant. . .
Kdrama Jen: I was not expecting THAT! So, now I am wondering if this is going to be a Goblin-like situation, like the Reaper character. There were theories that Chan Sung was the reincarnated form of Man Wol’s lover. Could this still be true, despite the fact that this man in the past betrayed her? Or were all the theories wrong and Chan Sung is not a reincarnation of any of them? Is he the friend who stood by her side? This is where I am hoping the Hong Sisters don’t let me down. I am going to be really annoyed if this is not resolved in a way that brings the closure I need.
Drama Geek: I’m with the Maknae. I think Historic Hottie really did fall in love with Man Wol, but put his own need for power above that love. I also agree with Clkytta that she deserves every freaking outfit and bauble she has ever possessed. She was condemned to a thousand years in a hotel because she killed those who had killed her family. But if you look at which god put her in the hotel… then it makes me believe it was to repair her soul before sending her to the next life. I’m wondering if being a bug or a pig might have been easier way to make it to a better life. LOL.
Kmuse: We are getting so many amazing layers when it comes to Man Wol’s character development. Sadly, the same can’t be said for Chan Sung who continues to be the bland vanilla character in the background. I’m starting to not really care if they get together and kind of wish there was some spicy leading man waiting in the wings to go into the afterlife with Man Wol.
Clkytta: Man Wol is amazing and I really want to see where they take her next. Chan Sung feels more like a plot device at this point, so I’m agreeing with Kmuse that he’s vanilla. I need him to step out of his starched shirt and get dirty and disheveled. I’m really curious if they will have some kind of reincarnation of her brother or the Captain show up cause I’m pretty sure that Chan Sung isn’t the Captain reincarnated.
Kdrama Jen: I really loved the way Chan Sung chose to hug the little ghost-child Man Wol created to torment Mi Ra. There was something about that level of sacrifice that made my heart ache a bit. I don’t think he did it to save Mi Ra as much as he did it to save Man Wol. He does not want her to become a vengeful ghost. I know he is not dashing and bold like some leading men, but I can’t help but appreciate the other ways he shows strength. I guess I don’t agree that he is vanilla. I think there are some chocolate swirls in there and whole lot of marshmallow goodness. Still, I need the overall story arc to be resolved in a manner I can accept because I am not going to be happy if there is not a really good explanation for the back-story. On one final note, I can’t let a week go by without once again saying how stunning IU is in like every scene. Even if the story fizzles, I think I will forever remember this as one long fashion shoot. Well, a fashion show with lots of ghosts!
MiataMama: I’m upset we didn’t get any previews this week. Yes, yes, I know previews lie, but still. . . I hate getting left on cliffhangers. I have no interest in a romance between our leads at this point (too much baggage to slog through there). But I totally agree with Clkytta in wishing that Chan Sung would be a little less prim and polished. I’m hoping that his tousled hair at the end of this week’s episodes is a sign of upcoming character transformation! Maybe?
Karie the Maknae: I feel like this drama took a while to pick up steam, but now that it has, I’m more interested in sticking with it. I appreciate the risky move the Hong Sisters took in taking until the halfway point to reveal Man Wol’s tragic past — the payoff has been worth it so far. And I’m with Kdrama Jen — Chan Sung is steady and loyal and has been the heart to Man Wol’s lost soul. He cares about her more than she cares about herself, which I find incredibly noble.
Drama Geek: I’m torn. I love Chan Sung when he’s with Man Wol and think that they play off each other really well. With him taking in the little girl, and the curse, I have a feeling we’ll see a new side to Chan Sung starting next week. But, if souls remain mostly the same with reincarnation, I’d say he’s a lot more like the boy we keep thinking is her brother. (I don’t think he is…Sorry, he looks at her in a way that says one-sided crush to me.) Man Wol made a side comment about “Will he show up too?” when she saw Mi Ra, and so I think the reincarnation of one of the boys will appear soon. Once she sees that person’s face, she’ll know for sure who Chan Sung really is. I am still hoping this couple will knock my socks off by then end. Right now I am a little sad the past wasn’t the real story.
Til our next deadly encounter,
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi