Chatty Recap: Hotel Del Luna Ep 11&12

This was a very dramatic week at Hotel Del Luna. Come find out our thoughts about all the drama and whether it has changed our feelings about the OTP.

Cute OTP moments

Unlike last week, this week, we get a lot more OTP magic as our couple slowly starts to connect in a non-work way. We get cute dinners, a cute flower presentation, and all the sore hearts that are anticipating the end that you could want. Is this a slow burn romance, or are we in the middle of story arc whiplash?

Kmuse: Drama Geek mentioned this week that the back and forth feeling that I get with this drama might be the result of there being two writers. I think she is right. There is no other explanation as to why certain moments hit perfectly and the next episode all the plot leaves me feeling meh.

Clkytta: I’m at that spot where I want to keep watching, but when I’m watching I’m normally doing something else. So basically that means that I’m also feeling pretty meh about this one.

Karie the Maknae: I hate to beat a dead horse, but I’m not feeling the chemistry between our OTP. The cute moments were more like two good friends enjoying each other’s company, which is always fun to watch, but not nearly romantic enough.

MiataMama: I’m still baffled. How on earth do IU and Yeo Jin Goo have so little chemistry?!? I just don’t understand. . . To me, their posture and banter continues to be that of siblings and not much else.

Drama Geek: Kdrama Jen pointed out that the two people have been holding back because they know how it all ends. She goes on the afterlife and he’s left behind. That perspective made me watch this week in an entirely different light. You really can see all of the their pent up emotions and feelings every time they’re together. But… have the writers waited too late for them to finally release their emotions and be a couple. I’m leaning toward yes, but we’ll see.

Kdrama Jen: What drama are all of you watching?? These two have oodles of chemistry! Did you see how cute they were at the restaurant? Now, go watch the behind the scenes video of that! I am seriously baffled by my fangirl besties! Man Wol’s heart is hidden behind a wall of iron, forged over centuries by betrayal and bitterness. I would be more surprised if the sizzle was more at the surface. Siblings?? No way.

Evil Ex Hottie is maybe not totally evil

The dreams of the past continue and Chan Sung is seeing a bit more insight into Evil Ex Hottie’s actions. Are we correct in assuming that the misaligned hottie actually didn’t betray Man Wol? If his firefly spirit buzzing around Man Wol’s tree means anything, I would say there is another layer to this tragic story that we have not learned yet.

Clkytta: So Firefly is really Ex? And he’s not a betrayer? So confusing!

Karie the Maknae: I think Historic Ex possibly made the best of a bad situation perpetuated by Evil Princess, and now he’s trying to atone for it…? I want to think well of him, especially since he’s been a firefly for the last thousand years or so. That’s not exhausting or anything!

MiataMama: I know we still need resolution with the Historic Ex (Guardian Firefly?) storyline. But I just don’t care about him anymore. Not after the way he betrayed Man Wol and then stood by while her people were executed. There’s no good excuse for that kind of heartache.

Drama Geek: Historic Ex obviously saw it as the only way he could save Man Wol’s life. It was marry the princess and just her people die, or everyone died. I’m pretty sure everyone ended up dying anyway, it was just that Man Wol took out the princess and her ex-lover and then doomed her soul to a thousand years at the hotel. At least she got to enjoy lots of cars and clothes. Poor firefly had to live a very boring existence. Can he materialize as a ghost, say goodbye, and go off in a limo?

Kdrama Jen: I am not sure where we are going with the firefly ghost thing. I am going to wait and see!

Room 404

We finally got a glimpse about the background of Room 404 this week. And, surprisingly, it wasn’t the scary plot I was expecting. Instead, we learn that while a Lunar Eclipse occurs, humans can see the hotel. It just so happens that once a couple on their honeymoon found the hotel and when they had sexy times in room 404, they conceived a brilliant prodigy son.

You might be wondering how this matters, but it turns out that a past manager of the hotel’s daughter is marrying this prodigy. And the mother wants them to consummate their marriage at the hotel in hopes of another genius child being born.

Kmuse: This wasn’t my favorite storyline, to be honest. That is a parent getting way too involved in her child’s sex life.

Clkytta: This, my friends, is what we call fluff. You write fluff when you don’t really have anything concrete to add and you need to take up space in a drama or on a paper.

Karie the Maknae: I am glad they closed the loop on Room 404, though. And the error bit still makes me laugh — the room itself is the error, and ejects the humans somewhere else.

MiataMama: Room 404 wasn’t devouring people after all! Good news for all the wayward humans who visited.

Drama Geek: Yes, one of the sisters is really into weird side stories. I’m just wondering where the couple ended up. I’m assuming they didn’t have sexy times at the airport.

Kdrama Jen: I can agree on this one. I keep trying to think about what this storyline allowed us to see in terms of character growth or revealing new information. The only thing I can think of is this was a good way to introduce the former manager and potential future for Chan Sung.

Poor Sanchez

The prodigy couple is not the only ones taking advantage of the Hotel’s one night of visibility to humanity. Sadly, Sanchez also makes a visit. I say sadly because his long-time girlfriend (where the heck did she come from?), whom he was about to propose to, was in a fatal accident and ended up at the hotel. Chan Sung brings his bestie to the hotel so he can say his last goodbyes to the woman he loved. It was very touching and tragic.

Kmuse: I felt so bad for him. Sanchez remains one of my favorite side characters and I am a little sad that he won’t get his happy ever after during the show. I do find it a bit odd that they didn’t mention her before this episode. It left the whole situation feeling very abrupt.

Clkytta: Sanchez did not deserve this storyline and I’m very resentful that they pulled a fiancée out for an episode just to kill her.

Karie the Maknae: Sanchez’s story was sweet and then sad and then a convenient plot device. There are starting to be a few too many of those wandering around.

MiataMama: Wanna know a pet peeve of mine?! Random characters (with absolutely NO backstory) suddenly showing up at the end of my drama. 하지마! 제발. . . (Don’t do it! Please. . . ) I’m so sad for poor Sanchez.

Drama Geek: I’m pretty sure they created Sanchez’s girlfriend just for this storyline and she didn’t exist before this week. Once again we have potential for some real character depth from Chan Sung and his friends and it was super rushed like the mother storyline was. (I didn’t get to comment last week so I just wanted to say that his mom deserved more backstory and understanding. The baby picture spoke of a mother in a very desolate situation.)

Kdrama Jen: I was also taken aback by a sudden girlfriend. It would have been super inconvenient if that ghost girl a few episodes back had really ended up marrying him as Man Wol kind of plotted. Seems like this mysterious girlfriend would have come up in conversation.

Serial Killer thoughts and feelings

Our not-so-stealthy serial killer discovers that Chan Sung and Intern were following him to his dumping site. Serial Killer makes the decision to see if Intern really did suspect anything and almost runs her over. Realizing who he is, Intern follows him in a taxi back to his lair wine bar, and thankfully calls Chan Sung about her discovery.

Chan Sung views Intern’s sketch and realizes that he is someone he knew from back in his college days. He sends Intern along and says that he will deal with the situation. Chan Sung goes to confront Serial Killer about his killing ways. They tussle and just as Chan Sung is about to be overtaken, Cop Bestie shows up at the wine bar and arrests Serial Killer. It turns out that the Victim Ghost used her phone call to call Cop Bestie and identify the real killer. Seeing that he was surrounded, Serial Killer tries to take his life but doesn’t cut deep enough to finish the job.

Kmuse: I enjoyed the macabre addition of the blood-infused wine bottles. That added a bit of creepy that I just didn’t feel from the actor himself. I just don’t have that evil shiver that I get when a well written/well-acted serial killer appears. At best, this turned out to be serial killer lite. Wish it was better, but it wasn’t.

Clkytta: I really feel like our Serial Killer was miscast or at the very least, misdirected. He seems more like someone who is mildly inconvenienced than someone who is truly evil. He’s actually pretty boring.

Karie the Maknae: Yep, Mr. Serial Killer is annoying at worst. And he’s another convenient plot device. That’s two so far, in case anyone is counting.

MiataMama: I was getting some creeper vibes from Serial Killer at first. But by the end of the episode he seemed to devolve into a petulant middle schooler, got caught misbehaving. Yawn.

Drama Geek: I love David Kim and I don’t necessarily agree that he was miscast. His serial killer felt about in line with all the rest of the bad guys in this drama. We’re not in an OCN drama. 🙂

Kdrama Jen: I thought he did a great job with this role. He was so nonchalant about his evilness; that lack of affect made it even creepier for me. I also think there is so much more to come. He is no petulant middle schooler—he stored his victims’ blood in wine bottles! (Drama Geek: That was so creepy, and I loved the scene where Chan Song found all of the people he had stored, and freaked him out.)

An evil spirit

It turns out that Serial Killer’s story arc is not finished. Due to some very shoddy cop work (Seriously? Who the heck leaves a serial killer alone, unchained, in a hospital bed with no visual confirmation of his location?), he escapes to the rooftop. There he demands to talk with Chan Sung or he will jump to his death. Chan Sung arrives and after some verbal fighting back and forth, Serial Killer sends out some hate comments into cyber space and jumps off the roof.

I guess that all the negative feelings that came forward from the online comment created a power base for Serial Killer to become a powerful vengeful spirit. He was more powerful than Man Wol and managed to escape, vowing to take Chan Sung down for ruining his life.

Kmuse: Uhm… I don’t want to harp on how much I dislike stupid cop moments. But I really hate when writers rely on cop stupidity to move a storyline along. I wish I could enjoy the Serial Killer story arc more but there are just so many holes that I can’t get past it.

Clkytta: I’m with Kmuse on this one. I hate bumbling cop storylines. I do have to say that Chan Sung is starting to get a bit more interesting and I’m grateful for that.

Karie the Maknae: Cop stupidity: Convenient plot device #3. Also, this whole story was completely undermined in the way it was portrayed. Chan Sung TELLS the ghostly staff about the climax, when we should have SEEN it. Poorly done, friends, poorly done. I get that they were trying to build up the emotions surrounding Chan Sung’s “death”, but that could have been done with the audience knowing what happened. Instead, we get poorly executed fake tension, because we ALL know that Chan Sung isn’t going to die yet. That’s been made ABUNDANTLY clear.

MiataMama: Another week with Serial Killer? And now he’s a vengeful (and pouty) ghost?? Reaper? Reaper, where are you? 빨리오세요!! (Come quickly!!)

Drama Geek: The scene where Man Wol thinks Chan Sung has died and she runs over to him, and puts her hand on his chest, made me tear up. We may have believed they wouldn’t make him a ghost, but she didn’t. And I love how she went to the pharmacy and purchased EVERYTHING. LOL. Butt cream to the face, gotta love her effort. (Kmuse – OK, I can agree that this moment made the serial killer arc worth watching. )

Kdrama Jen: I think a serial killer who harnessed the power of the Internet and social media for nefarious purposes is a pretty interesting concept. To think that crowd-sourced evil created a power that even Man Wol cannot overcome is chilling. I also don’t agree that it was a no-brainer that Chan-Sung wasn’t a ghost. I have watched enough Hong Sister dramas to know that nothing is a given.

Man Wol feels fear and Chan Sung dreads saying goodbye

The overall story arc of these two episodes were of people being left behind vs the sadness of people dying and leaving their loved ones. It was well done and set up the whole emotional crescendo of Man Wol realizing that she was going to have to leave Chan Sung in a negative sad state once she leaves. Also, we got some kisses! Yay for smooches.

Kmuse: I really liked the OTP aspect this week. Again, I swear that every week I am changing my mind. They really did a good job of creating the significance of our OTPs destined separation. However, it does make me worry about the ending. I highly doubt that the Hong Sisters are going to allow us to have a tragic romantic ending (which I would have been OK with). Which means that there is going to be something that just doesn’t make sense coming up in our future.

Clkytta: I’ll be really honest, I’m watching this mainly for this recap. It’s not the worst drama by the Hong Sisters, but it’s just so meh that I’m easily distracted by other things.

Karie the Maknae: I’m with CLKytta on this one. I was telling MiataMama that this is a sad waste of a gorgeous set and IU’s fabulous wardrobe. I’m also rooting for an ending where Man Wol somehow returns to her historical self, forgives Historic Ex Turned Loyal Firefly, and they go riding off into the tunnel o’ afterlife.

MiataMama: I felt this week’s story arc was rather plodding. SO many slow and unnecessarily drawn out emotional moments. I’m ready for things to get wrapped up already. (Please let there be a happy ending for Bellhop and Intern – they’re the only ones I really care about at this point!)

Drama Geek: I wonder what this drama would be like if it were separated into two entirely different dramas. All the ghost side stories could go to one side and then the romance could be left on the other side. We’d be at about episode eight for the romance, and perfectly paced with the meaningful kiss. Sadly, we will never know. That being said, I am still enjoying these two and hope that the next four episodes leaves out any side stories and just focuses on them.

Kdrama Jen: I love the way the ghost stories and OTP moments intertwine. I am not saying it is being perfectly executed, but I certainly do not agree with the overwhelming negativity coming from my fellow fangirls. (Drama Geek: I know they can do it well, since I loved Master’s Sun. I also don’t necessarily think they did a bad job here. Just a little more OTP time since we’re also getting the past scenes too.)

Final Thoughts

Kmuse: I’m ready for this drama to be done. I just don’t feel as invested as I want to be and am ready to focus on something else. Only two weeks to go and then I can sit back and enjoy the final season of Arthdal Chronicles.

Clkytta: Chants: “Arthdal! Arthdal!” I’m also ready for this drama to be done and for a drama with more oomph to take its place.

Karie the Maknae: I’m holding out to the bitter end so I can complain loudly about it. If nothing else, this drama has me convinced that IU is a phenomenal actress. She has some serious presence.

MiataMama: I’m committed to finishing out the recap with the fangirls, but good golly, my interest in this drama is waning thin, EXPONENTIALLY, with each subsequent week. Only four more episodes, only four more episodes, only four more episodes. . .

Drama Geek: I am excited to see how it ends, even if it doesn’t make much sense. I have honestly enjoyed the entire cast and think that in the home stretch this couple will be heartbreaking, but beautiful to watch. I will be sad when we see the very last wardrobe change for Man Wol.

Kdrama Jen: Nobody mentioned the AWESOME BTS reference? I loved that the ARMY fangirl called her “Oppas.” It is these small nods to the audience that make Hong Sister dramas fun, despite their flaws. I am really enjoying this drama. I have said from the beginning that I always head into Hong Sister dramas with caution, but I think the combination of IU and Yeo Jin Goo is really working. I am looking forward to seeing where it all goes, and if I can live with whatever ending they devise!

Til our next deadly encounter,

The Fangirls

Dramas With a Side of Kimchi

5 thoughts on “Chatty Recap: Hotel Del Luna Ep 11&12

  1. I’m loving this drama, & the main couple just OOZE restrained chemistry 😀 That serial killer is chilling because he’s so REALISTIC! I’ve been watching Mindhunter and he’s so much more like real-life serial killers than most drama ones!

  2. I love it when a fantasy creates a story that allows for pure escapism during the watch and some fun mulling afterwards, and on that front, I am loving not only the wide world they’ve created, but the pacing that they’ve chosen.

    My main complaint with past Hong sisters dramas has been that the beginning creates an interesting world (they are the best at world building!!!) and but then the story narrows to the OTP and it becomes excessively melodramantic. Entwining two romances in this drama as well as the mystery of how the present came to be, and all the side stories and characters are really working for me overall.

    While I was actually surprised when comments about lack of chemistry started (and I’m with Kdramajen that this is largely due to the fact that Man Wol’s heart is basically dead at the beginning… which the show goes to great lengths to establish), now I am wondering if ex-Historic-Hottie is actually the OTP. I’m pretty sure her brother and him decided on his plan of action together… the man’s voice we heard said “live as a traitor so Man Wol can also live” or something like that… the point being that the construction of that sentence suggests a) the person also wants Man Wol to live and b) that ex-Historic-Hottie’s actions if he makes that happen with be betrayal. I don’t think someone on the princess’s side would have framed it that way. If that’s the case, I think that Man Wol might be able to forgive him; it was more than making the best of a bad situation, it was agreeing to her brother’s wish. It also lessens her responsibility for the deaths of her clan, which will help her forgive herself.

    The show talked a lot about the price that Chan Sung is going to pay. I wonder if it isn’t just that Man Wol will die, but that he will become the one who brings resolution to the story with her first love… and then end up seeing them off together.

    One small note: Sanchez started dating his girlfriend during the show, I think after the ghost marriage episode. They knew each other before, from the yachting club and whatnot. She came up several times in conversation between him and Chan Sung, although I don’t disagree with the final verdict that bringing her into the main storyline only to kill her really sucked.

    • IMHO, Veronica’s death is critically important to the story line and character development. It’s all in two scenes at the end of episode 12. My guess is that there are two causes for the truncated feeling: 1) it’s a Seo Eun-Soo cameo, she has indisputably earned main character status in kdramas, and who wouldn’t want to see more of her; and 2) editing, not writing might have been needed to keep to schedule.

      • To me it felt a little “girlfriend in the refrigerator”… her death read a bit like it was done to serve the motivations of the main couple. That’s what I didn’t like about it. But you make a good point about the editing as a possible reason she wasn’t more fleshed out in earlier episodes

        • After watching this week’s episodes, I think the directing and editing have a stronger ending in mind and have been pointed towards that at the sacrifice of a lot of other things. It seems like someone knows the Hong Sisters’ weakness and is trying to alleviate that at the expense of some other important story development.

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