Chatty Recap: Hotel Del Luna Ep. 9&10

Man Wol tries to do the noble thing and send Chan Sung away. Which lasts for at least ten minutes and then it is back to ghost hunting and really awkward dialogue. Come join us as we discuss what we still like and what is dragging in this week’s Hotel Del Luna chatty recap.

Kicked out for your own good

Man Wol was terrified after watching Chan Sung take in a curse last week. Yes, she could save him from repercussions right away, but it startled her into making a decision. She fires Chan Sung and gives him the tiger painting as a severance package. She was so intent on escaping her emotions that she even made the decision to move, bought an old building in the countryside, and really moved Hotel Del Luna.

Needless to say, Man Wol isn’t overly thrilled to have to move. There just isn’t the same atmosphere as you get in the city. Despite the move, the interior of the hotel is exactly the same, although Man Wol feels that it is more cramped now.

Chan Sung isn’t taking his firing well. He spends half the episode searching for Man Wol and moping over losing her and the job. He finally finds Mago, who gives him a special medicine that will take away his sight of the dead, allowing him to return to his previously normal life. I am sure that it isn’t a surprise that Chan Sung decides against the cure and instead hounds Man Wol to take him back.

Kmuse: I kept expecting this to be more of a catalyst then it was. What is it going to take to get some realistic emotions between our OTP? I seriously feel like the story is doing some paint by number scripting and then we just get a very superficial performance of those steps. There is a difference between Chan Sung being unflappable and capable and him being bland.

Clkytta: I’m not sure why anyone would ever find Man Wol to be really scary. She seems more petulant than anything, she’s so mopey! That said, I like her for her mopey ways; she’s had a rough life and she’s been living in a lot of numbness for a while. The problem is that I’m not really feeling the feels between her and Chan Sung. It’s more like she’s accepting that she’s at the end of her life and resolving her issues.

Karie the Maknae: I’m with Kmuse — I expected something more emotionally resonant than what we got. Chan Sung’s speech to Ma Go was so flat, so unemotional, that I started to question Baby Oppa’s acting skills. And then I remembered that he’s BABY OPPA. It’s not him. It’s the directing.

MiataMama: Karie, how you could you even begin to question Yeo Jin Goo’s acting skills?!?! That being said, Chan Sung is pretty flat. He’s feeling more like a loyal/protective sibling towards Man Wol, than he is a romantic lead. How these two fantastic actors can have such meager chemistry with each other is beyond me.

Kdrama Jen: I think Yeo Jin Goo is doing the best he can with the character he has been given. I am not finding him flat, though. There have been a couple of scenes where I felt a little tug at my heartstrings, but I think this is more a case where we are used to feeling so much more, so this feels a little empty in comparison. I am beginning to feel more chemistry between these two, but I guess I am the fangirl minority opinion.

Hello there Mr. Serial Killer

We get our weekly dose of Intern & Bellhop as they work on moving all the Hotel’s furniture from one location to the next. And it just so happens that they come across several ghosts, all killed by the same person. Yup, we have a serial killer out there because what screams Korean romance more than serial killers? (Seriously, do you realize how many of the rom-coms we watch have killers in them? It’s a little disturbing.)

The Serial Killer is doubly scary because he is someone who knows Mi Ra, Sanchez, and Chan Sung. Eeeek!

Kmuse: I’m a bit surprised that Ex-Historic Hottie isn’t the serial killer. But I am interested to see where this story goes. I especially like how they connected the killer to Sanchez’s past. Poor guy.

Clkytta: I like that Sanchez has a solid storyline, he’s not just a fringe character who fades away. It’s super creepy that someone they know is the killer because even if you find someone to be uncomfortable, you never really think the killer will be someone you know.

Karie the Maknae: I live for Intern and the Bellhop — they are THE romance for me. And there’s some mysteries about Bellhop’s past that haven’t been uncovered yet, so I’m still on the hook for those. Also, Kmuse has an excellent point — WHY does everyone think that a rom-com mystery has to involve a serial killer? Why not a jewel thief? A con artist? SOMETHING other than a serial killer??

MiataMama: Last week I commented I wasn’t a huge fan of Sanchez, but this week’s backstory saw my feelings flip 180. I’m in full support of his character now. And I appreciate his friendship with Chan Sung even more. And Bellhop had it right, saying that ghosts are afraid of humans – Intern better be watching her back, because serial killer is cra-zy and he’s coming for her next!

Kdrama Jen: I love this little twist we have here that serial killer knows Sanchez and Chan Sung. What’s more chilling than a serial killer? It’s a serial killer who used to bully you and harbors a resentment toward you! I hope the ghosts kick his rear!

Budding romance

No, we are not talking about our OTP for this segment, but the romance between reincarnated Mi Ra and Man Wol’s old thief bestie Yeon Woo. He is back as a cop and fate, in the form of a very interfering goddess, are making sure these two get a happy ending this time around. What do we think about this? Yay or Nay?

Kmuse: I like it. It especially helps that they have all the chemistry that I have been lacking from the main romance. Their meet cute in the cab was very, well, cute and I want to see where this goes. Who knew they could make me actually like Mi Ra once she got past wanting to date Chan Sung.

Clkytta: So I don’t hate Mi Ra. She’s annoying, but honestly she’s harmless. She shows none of the conniving that her former self had. So I’m ok with Thief Bestie being with her. I’m a little worried about Thief Bestie though, it’s not a good thing to draw the attention of the death gods. Even if they are trying to promote a love match.

Karie the Maknae: Can I just say that I love Ma Go’s Cupid Unni aspect? She cracks me up. And I love that her main reason for getting Thief Bestie and Mi Ra together is because there was already tension there from their past lives. Such a lazy cupid . . . and yet I can’t argue with her methods, because it’s WORKING and I LOVE it.

MiataMama: I’m not really shipping this side romance. It’s true that these two don’t remember their former lives, so I don’t begrudge them being together. However I DO know their pasts and, like Chan Sung, I had a hard time seeing them together.

Kdrama Jen: I love this idea that these former enemies may turn those strong feelings of hatred and resentment into love this time around. Mi Ra has already been through the cycle of reincarnation and paid for her sins (according to earlier episodes), so this is a chance for healing.

Cameo

We get some great moments from Nam Da-Reum who has a cameo as a water well spirit who just wants to leave the humans who use him to make local rice wine. His well is located near the new location of Hotel Del Luna and Chan Sung accidentally invites him into the Hotel. Chaos occurs but Chan Sung eventually finds him a new location to live that is inside a conservatory garden.

Kmuse: Loving the godly mane of glory that Nam Da Reum is sporting. I approve.

Clkytta: Na Da Reum as a silvery water god who seems to be super polite and super gentle? Yes, please! Bonus points for a gorgeous mane of glory, I might just watch a historical if he’s in one.

Karie the Maknae: BEST CAMEO. MOST DIVINE MANE OF GLORY. And is it just me, or is Nam Da Reum’s voice getting even deeper? I love deep voices, and I already love Nam Da Reum, so this character was a total win for me. Especially since he wasn’t out to destroy things — he just literally could not contain himself.

MiataMama: I’m just going to start calling Nam Da Reum ‘Baby Oppa Jr.’ (I also swoon for deep voices and I totally agree with you Karie, his voice has gotten deeper!) I loved watching the interaction between him and and Yeo Jin Goo – especially when he innocently gave back the sixth-sense erasing potion, lol! Can we have a future drama where they get to be brothers. . . pretty please?!

Kdrama Jen: I love it when cameos take me by surprise. Since I was watching this episode un-subbed, I was the first of the fangirls to watch it this week. So, I just sat back and waited for them to figure out who was guarding the well. (They immediately recognized him and sent out messages about it.) It was worth waiting and not saying anything. My Kbesties are savvy drama watchers!

Chemistry? Why is it there and not here?

This isn’t so much a segment of this week’s episode as much as a place to discuss the OTP and their chemistry, or lack thereof. It became apparent that both characters have chemistry, just not with each other.

Kmuse: You know it is bad when I saw Chan Sung with the Chaebol’s daughter and thought this was a romance that I could get behind. Man Wol and Chan Sung just throw off so much friend vibe it is hard to get past that to see any actual romance. What little we do get is almost completely one-sided, with Man Wol providing all the sad gazes of longing. I need more.

Clkytta: Yeah, I’m with Kmuse on this one. These two feel more like bestie coworkers than an actual couple. I really liked our Sulli cameo, she was really sweet.

Karie the Maknae: OH! That was Sulli! I knew she looked familiar. But yes, there seems to be less and less chemistry between our OTP. On the other hand, I’m still mightily impressed by IU’s acting. Girl’s got skillz. She’s the main reason I’m sticking with the drama.

MiataMama: Again, I get a strong sibling vibe with our supposed OTP. I’m also pretty confident there will be no happily-ever-after at the conclusion of this drama. So I guess the fact that their chemistry is mostly non-existent, doesn’t really bother me all that much. Although I do feel a bit cheated, in that this one the most beautiful visuals parings that I’ve seen in drama-land and it’s being completely wasted.

Kdrama Jen: I am, apparently, watching a different drama. I am starting to feel the chemistry! I especially loved the banter back and forth in episode 9! It also made my heart ache a bit to see Chan Sung make the decision to show Man Wol the reincarnated form of her dear friend. These two might not have sizzling “throw you over the counter” chemistry (still thinking of Seo in Guk in Reply 1997), but they are developing a deep understanding. I disagree with my Fangirl besties. I am feeling a connection between them.

Complaints? Compliments?

Kmuse: I was very disappointed that we didn’t get more progress with giving depth to Chan Sung’s character. We had that whole scene with his dead mother being a ghost and hiding the secret that he existed. But instead of really going in deep it turned into an easily fixed side story that was over before it even started. Was not a fan of that scene at all.

Clkytta: OK, I’m pretty upset about the whole dead mom thing. That came out of nowhere and it was badly done. Very badly done. We have no backstory and all it did was make me mad. She even got to ride off in a limo? No, she should have been on the dingiest bus they had!

Karie the Maknae: I was hoping for so much more with the mom. Chan Sung was definitely robbed. WHY would you give your main character’s backstory the shaft? That is not good writing. And in NO WAY did that woman earn a limo ride. On the other hand, I can’t wait to see what they do with Thief Bestie — I’m interested to see how he handles the serial killer case. And can we have more of the Reaper, please?

Kmuse: One thing that they did get right was the reunion, in the form of long distance gazes, between Man Wol and Yeon Woo. Now there was all the chemistry and emotion that have been missing between the OTP. They had a whole conversation just in their eyes and I loved every second. We need more of this.

Clkytta: The reunion was perfect, IU nailed the emotions so much that she had me tearing up. They had so much chemistry, even with Thief Bestie not knowing who she was, he felt her in his heart. It was equal parts happy and sad for her to lay eyes on him.

MiataMama: Chan Sung’s mom made me SO MAD! UGH! I can’t even write about this horribly executed side story without getting angry all over again. On the other hand, I started tearing up over the gaze between Man Wol and Thief Bestie. Definitely one of THE BEST executed and most emotional scenes in the whole drama.

Kdrama Jen: I definitely agree about the Man Wol and Yeon Woo gaze. That was really powerful. I also agree that the mom-story was wasted. It is hard for me to believe that a mom who gave up her child (even if she felt shame) would not embrace him whole-heartedly at the end of her life. I keep reflecting on this, and I think this is a perspective of an older generation and their views on birth mothers. It has been my experience that this is a changing view in Korea today. This was a missed opportunity.

Final thoughts

Kmuse: I left this week’s episodes more curious about the serial killer. The romance is a back burning story and, to be honest, I would be OK if they remained just strong friends until the end.

Clkytta: The serial killer is keeping it interesting. I’d like to see how this plays out. The one lady is still stuck in his car, and I feel really bad for her and her husband. The romance just isn’t there, and I don’t know if it’s the writing or the directing or what, but it’s just not there.

Karie the Maknae: I’m beginning to wonder if Hotel del Luna was intended to be a romance at all. Maybe it’s just a really well-told ghost story. THAT I could live with.

MiataMama: Never thought this would be something I’d write, but I just want to extend a ‘thank you’ to creepy, token serial-killer. At this point it’s because of him, that I will be returning to the Hotel del Luna for another week. Really, I’m most concerned about Sanchez and Intern at this point – they need to stay safe until he is captured!! As far as the main storyline goes? Meh.

Kdrama Jen: I will proudly wave my Hotel del Luna flag and represent over here. I am enjoying the way Man Wol and Chan Sung are developing an understanding of one another. I love their loyalty and protectiveness. I am interested to see how the serial killer storyline turns out. I think he will target Chan Sung, and Man Wol will make him regret it deeply. I am also waiting for the appearance of the one who betrayed Man Wol. I think Chan Sung will have to sacrifice everything to save Man Wol from herself. Overall? I am enjoying this drama and looking forward to where we go next!

Til our next deadly encounter,

The Fangirls

Dramas With a Side of Kimchi

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2 thoughts on “Chatty Recap: Hotel Del Luna Ep. 9&10

  1. I’m with Kdrama Jen, still loving it 🙂

    I don’t think the mom story is over. They tend to do brief intros to new storylines an episode or two before we get the main story. In these two episodes we learned about the mom (and that picture of her with the baby she looked seriously miserable. That’s not a picture you create for a drama unless you’re going to tell more of the story, I think) and his backstory with Sanchez. To me, this says that the focus of the next few episodes is going to shift more to him and his backstory, and perhaps we will learn more about what his fate connection to Man Wol is.

    I still think there’s a chance that he’s the reincarnation of ex-historic-hottie, but since thief buddy is accounted for now, I think its probably that ex-historic-hottie actually the firefly. If that’s the case, there’s also a chance that ex-historic-hottie and Man Wol end up together somehow….

    I’m enjoying the mystery of how the fates are entangled and all the stories that add to the sense of this as fully realized fantasy universe.

  2. First, with Chansung’s mom, like what was that?! It would be better if she died giving birth to him or some illness than be this ghost who is so hung up with some photos..that nobody would care about. Yea, and you should hug your child once if you are sorry. He grew up fine and his father took responsibility for him. And kept in touch all those years up until that time they hv to go to the US. What is the backstory, not really clear on that.
    Moving on, .. Why do they keep casting Yeo Jin Goo with his noonas, that’s why there’s no chem..even tho IU is cute, just that nothing works here.
    Yeon woo is not even that handsome but he’s got some chem going on with Mira and IU, so what is wrong? I am waiting for Changmyung(?) reincarnation, we gotta see him in present time.
    It’s a bit boring, I watch it in 1.25x speed or 1.5, saves time.

    Serial killer is Lee David, the cutie sidekick in Let’s Fight Ghost (2016) glad to see him but a cold hearted psycho serial killer is not a dream role, haha. It’s just weird, well, you take what you can get, I guess.

    If Man wol will in some way crossover to the other side, if that is the point of this drama then what will become of Hotel Del Luna? Isn’t it essential to be there for the ghosts? Or it was just novelty? There was no need for it anyway, ghosts can just roam around freely like they’ve done for hundreds of years. So this is just Manwol’s story, the undead. Better than a vampire but she can’t go far and be away from the hotel. She can’t travel, that’s why she just go for designer clothes and luxury cars. It’s a sad existence.

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