Chatty Recap: Hotel del Luna Eps 13&14

Are we all ready to take that long trip across the bridge and into the afterlife? Well, some of us may run, and others may crawl, but we are getting closer and closer to the end of this drama and the big question of what will happen to our favorite fashionista is still hanging in the balance.

Bridge to the Afterlife

Post kiss, our couple hasn’t forgotten the fate that awaits them. Man Wol explains to Chan Sung that once you leave in that tunnel, then you get on a very long bring to the afterlife. While you cross the bridge you lose the memories of your current life one by one, and once you reach the other side, you’re empty and ready for the next life. That does not sit well with our manager, but Man Wol assures him that she’s lived a very long time and she has more memories than your average person. She promises him that no matter what, she will protect her memory of him until the end.

They immediately go back to their usual banter when Chan Sung asks what she’ll remember about him. She notices there is an item that belongs to her on his desk, and while he tells her to look for anything else that belongs to her, he sweetly draws Man Wol’s symbol on his palm, declaring himself hers.

Karie the Maknae: Their banter is my favorite. I think I like it more than their kisses!

Drama Geek: I was dying a little during the entire scene because I KNEW this was them telling us she’d be making that long walk across the bridge. And I agree that this couple isn’t about sizzling kisses or cute little dates. They use banter to both hide the deeper feelings underneath, and show each other that they care. I’m not the most expressive with my feelings in my relationships, and this is actually more my style, so I can relate.

MiataMama: The description of this bridge to the afterlife made me SO sad. Losing your life’s memories one by one. . . brings on the tears.

Kmuse: I appreciated that they expanded on what exactly happened after they entered that limo car through the bridge. It made the end of their relationship seem all the more real for me.

Clkytta: It made me sad to think of all the memories you have fading away as you walk across the bridge.

Kdrama Jen: I loved the part where he drew her moon symbol. Ack! So sweet. I am torn between being sad about the memories fading away and also comforted by the idea that a fresh start can occur.

Another Goodbye

While our lovers worry about the afterlife, we have another couple in the hotel that must face their fate as well. Except Intern isn’t aware of Bellhop’s imminent departure. He’s been waiting for his sister to pass away so that he can accompany her. Which is pretty sad when you realize they’ll get to the other side and not remember their life. But at least they’ll have the walk on the bridge?

Karie the Maknae: I need this storyline wrapped up STAT! Who is the man that took over Bellhop’s name and life? WHAT IS GOING ON THERE?

Drama Geek: I don’t know how this story will end happily. Maybe his sister will remember him, and want him to stay behind to live the life that was stolen from him.

MiataMama: Technically Intern is also dead, so I’m still hoping there’s a chance for her and Bellhop to have a happy, life-after-death together. But admittedly, things don’t seem to be tracking in the direction I want.

Kmuse: I am feeling very bittersweet about their relationship this week. I’m also very concerned that the imposter is evil and will try to kill Intern. Eeek!

Clkytta: Intern and Bellhop have been my true OTP pretty much the entire show. I’m really hoping that there is a better resolution where these two aren’t going to be apart. I agree that something is up with the fake brother. I did not like the look in his eye when he realized that Intern knew he was fake.

Kdrama Jen: These two have a sweet relationship. I think we will be getting much more detail about how Bellhop died and what role fake brother might have had in it. I also think Intern is going to be in danger.

Until the Last Heir

They’ve hinted at the reason Room Manager Choi is still around, but we get to see her backstory this week and it is really sad. She was married to the eldest son of a household, but couldn’t produce an heir. When she ended up pregnant late in life they were happy until she had a girl. They found someone else for her husband to have an heir with, but they were told the baby girl was in the way of the woman getting pregnant. So they put the baby girl in a shed without food or water and left her to die. Room Manager Choi tried to rescue her baby, but it was too late. She went crazy and the family kills her.

The last heir to that family ends up dead and enters the hotel. Room Manager Choi is excited to be able to finally put away her grievance and leave for the afterlife. The staff is worried because the last time Room Manager Choi had to deal with this family, they dug up her daughter’s grave because a shaman told them it was standing in the way of another boy being born into the family. Room Manager Choi almost turned into a vengeful ghost, but was stopped just in time. At the funeral (which she attends, looking amazing), a pregnant woman appears and says she’s carrying the dead man’s baby.

When the pregnant woman starts to miscarry while alone at a pharmacy, Man Wol gives Room Manager Choi the opportunity to see it in person, trying to prove to Ma Go that if she kills Ex-Hottie Guard that it will be satisfying.

But Room Manager Choi does exactly what we expect, and has them contact Chan Sung in time to save the baby and her mother.

Karie the Maknae: I understood Room Manager Choi’s need for revenge, because that shaman just sounded PETTY and killing a baby solves NOTHING . . . and I may have been seeing red. But I loved that she struggled to make the right choice and finally did. What a great wrap up to her storyline!

Drama Geek: You can totally understand why she’s stuck around and hoped for that family’s demise. Can we take a moment to talk about Chan Sung in his tiger suit? I was cracking up at both how amazing he actually looked, and how much the actress genuinely seemed to not be able to contain her laughter. I’ve seen several behind the scenes videos and Yeo Jin Goo is doing lots of ad libs and making everyone laugh.

MiataMama: Up until now, this drama really hasn’t been evoking much emotion from me. But, oh my word, this week had me tearing up SO MIUCH. Manager Choi’s backstory. . . gah! As a mother myself, I just couldn’t imagine the pain, sadness, and injustice she’s been carrying around all this time.

Kmuse: Yet again the ghost story really stuck with me this week. I love how the need for revenge and the giving up of hate were handled in this story and how it shone a spotlight on Man Wol’s own dilemma.

Clkytta: Manager Choi was a total crossroads, but we all knew she would do the right thing. I have to say that up until the last son died and showed up at the hotel, I was sure the family needed to die out. The saving grace was that it seems like the last son was a really good person.

Kdrama Jen: I loved this whole storyline. It was a chance for us to understand Manager Choi and to see her have to choose between revenge and humanity. I am so glad her maternal instincts won the internal battle she was waging. It also showed Man Wol that revenge does not bring peace. I also need to give a thumbs up to the tiger suit cameo appearance. It was the perfect time to wear it! Definitely check out the behind the scenes footage from this week!

Blinded by Vengeance

After they save the woman, Man Wol and Chan Sung discuss her past again, and this time she tells him about all of her murderous transgressions. She’d laid in wait for Ex-Hottie Guard and had every intention of killing him, but his words just aren’t matching what she believes to be true about him. Not that she is really hearing him, but the audience can see that he loves her.

When she hesitates with her sword, he pulls it into himself and finishes the deed. He cups her head as he bleeds to death, and tells her that he will hold her in his heart and be a moon that doesn’t rest. She burns everything down and leaves, taking the belongings of her slain people and finds the tree that becomes her prison.

Karie the Maknae: Can I call this history lite without getting mocked? Probably not. But in the glimpses we’ve had of Man Wol and Historic Ex’s past, the story has been compelling and has really drawn me in. I think I would watch an entire drama based on that one story. Historic Ex’s character is phenomenal and loyal and fascinating.

Drama Geek: I would totally watch the past story as a drama all by itself. IU and this actor had oodles of chemistry and this scene was both beautifully acted and totally heartbreaking.

MiataMama: Okay, okay. . . I was a bit hasty in hating on Historic Ex a couple weeks back. It does appear that his feelings for Man Wol were sincere. Sadly, this OTP wasn’t destined to have a happily-ever-after.

Kmuse: I’m totally having second lead syndrome during these last two episodes. I even crushed a bit with Man Wol and the firefly as it kept her company during the 1000 years. Now that is a beautifully written tragic love story that I had wished was developed to an eventual happy ending.

Clkytta: The backstory between Man Wol and Hottie Ex was well done. My heart broke for both of them.

Kdrama Jen: So, I knew all along that there must be more to the story, but it was still heart wrenching. He and her bestie worked together to save her, and then he chose to pay the ultimate price for the sins he committed, even if he tried to mitigate the damage a bit. And then he lurked as a firefly throughout the centuries and Man Wol never once uttered his name! Also, Karie the Maknae, if you are using Goblin as the measuring stick for “history lite,” then, yes, you might as well call this one that too. (Please note, Kdrama Jen does not endorse this view.)

Dream Calls Not a Good Idea?

A human boy comes to the hotel looking for his mother after receiving one of those dream calls. They try to figure out what to do with him, and he ends up missing in the hotel. They look all over for him, and someone tells Chan Sung that they saw him on the platform by the tunnel. When he gets there a car is already headed inside, and he chases after it.

I’m sure everyone knows that a human going into THE LIGHT is probably not a good idea . . . . Thankfully for him, the firefly hottie guard has his back, and helps him out of the tunnel. But not before he takes the liberty of giving his old lover a hug. Ah . . . the importance of Chan Sung always hugging her. Man Wol knows by the way he cups her head that this is not her Chan Sung. Chan Sung snaps out of the bug possession and is his regular self, but Man Wol is already suspicious and questions him about his dreams. He admits that the last one he had was a while ago, and he finally tells her about the moon hairpin and the fact that Hottie Guard was waiting by the water.

Karie the Maknae: I wanted to yell at Chan Sung for going into the tunnel, but I have to admit that I would have done the exact same thing.

Drama Geek: It was ALL worth it to see those jaw-dropping shots of the tunnel and Man Wol hugging him at the end. Her outfit and the lighting created such an amazing scene. And Yeo Jin Goo changed his facial expression just a bit, and you could tell it wasn’t Chan Sung anymore.

MiataMama: There’s no denying it – Yeo Jin Goo is so very talented! I wish they had allowed him utilize his acting savvy to a greater extent in this drama. Maybe it was his experience with dual roles in The Crowned Clown, but he was able to shift from Chan Sung to Historic Ex back to Chan Sung again so clearly and adroitly. It was really impressive!

Kmuse: Ooooh. I like that there was a valid reason that Man Wol started thinking that Chan Sung really was reincarnated of her nemesis. Very well done.

Clkytta: This made me sit up and take notice; I really liked how Yeo Jin Goo transformed into both characters. I’ve complained a lot about how I’ve found Chan Sung pretty boring, but it’s easy to see that it’s not because Yeo Jin Goo can’t act, ’cause the boy can act.

Kdrama Jen: This was very well done! Everything transformed as Yeo Jin Goo took on a completely new character. I didn’t even need a flashback to recognize that this was Firefly Guy/Historic Ex Hottie cupping her head during that hug. Also, maybe they should re-think the ghostly dream calls. This living boy was the catalyst for a whole lotta stuff!

Say it Straight, Ma Go!

Man Wol meets old lady Ma Go at the tree and they do their thing, talking around and around about her past and the hate she holds in her heart. Ma Go implies that Ex-Hottie Guard is already here with her, and Man Wol mistakes that to mean Chan Sung is her ex. Ma Go gives her the moon hair pin with Ex-Hottie’s blood on it. Man Wol envisions herself killing Chan Sung and realizes that no matter how much she hates her ex, she cannot kill the man she loves. To stop that from happening, she realizes she must empty herself out completely.

Karie the Maknae: I’m glad we’re doing this recap — I didn’t realize that the only way Man Wol saw to empty herself completely was crossing the bridge. That scene makes so much more sense now!

Drama Geek: I think she was assuming she’d be turned into dust and leave that way, but without hurting Chan Sung. It was the only way she knew of to stop herself from hurting him.

MiataMama: My heart may have stopped for a hot second when she stabbed Chan Sung! 아이고 (aigoo)!! I think as someone who can’t stay mad about anything more than a day or two, I’m struggling with how she’s still hanging on to her grudge hundreds of years later. . .

Kmuse: IU is really turning into a brilliant actress. I could feel her pain through all of episode 14.

Clkytta: So much angst! Also, Man Wol is no longer the spoiled and indifferent hotelier that we met, it’s like watching a flower blossom. Plus IU is brilliant at using facial expressions to emote.

Kdrama Jen: Do we really need to get all cryptic, Ma Go? You could have saved a lot of heartache if you had said, “So, the guy you think betrayed you is not Chan Sung reincarnated. Surprise! He is a voyeuristic firefly who has been buzzing about your life-force tree for a thousand years!” Alas, we get a mysterious and vague answer that leads Man Wol to conclude that Chang Sung is really the one she feels driven to hate.

Ghost in the Darkness

While all of this has been going on, the serial killer lurks in the dark, so they make sure all of those he has a grudge against are safe. He’s pretty weak and only manages to scare Cop Yeon Woo at the movies. But they decide to use Chan Sung as bait. Except when they get to the blood wine bar, Man Wol has given ghost serial killer her hair pin (which she has infused with her past self). She says that the Ma Gos all love Chan Sung too much to let him get hurt, and now she can go to the afterlife empty. She locks herself in with the tree and is greeted by the vengeful Ma Go.

Chan Sung finds out he isn’t the Ex and devises a plan with Grim Reaper and our other hotel ghosts where they manage to catch the Serial Killer Ghost and get the pin back. He delivers it to Man Wol before she’s dissipated into nothing. He lets her know that the bug in the jar is her ex-lover.

Karie the Maknae: The serial killer finally creeped me out! I lovedlovedLOVED it when he was finally caught by the hotel staff, and the full-on backlit slow walk. And then they called him a puppy ghost and told him to quit acting up! Hands down, that is my favorite scene from this drama, and I have a lot of them.

Drama Geek: They looked so baller when they came to catch the serial killer. And now I want a ghost busting team with these three and Reaper.

MiataMama: Poor Chan Sung, getting set up as ghost bait yet again – but I loved how he totally owned being given that task. And Reaper confirming that out of all the human managers, Chan Sung was number one in his book! Ah, I’m gonna miss Reaper.

Kmuse: It was a great scene. While it wrapped up the serial killer storyline well, I still wish that I had been just a bit more scared through the whole story arc. If you think about it, the worst he did as a ghost was whisper “hello” a few times creepily and cause Cop Bestie to fall down the stairs. I still say he ended up being Serial Killer light.

Clkytta: The whispers were pretty creepy. I loved seeing the Three Ghosteteers show up to haul off the bad guy. I loved how Reaper tried to claim he was the one who caught him and he got dissed by the hotel staff.

Kdrama Jen: Since I had an actual nightmare last week and woke up my family with my screaming, I am not willing to concede that he is not scary. A feathery whisper in the dark is freaking bone-chilling. Like some of the other fangirls, though, I also loved the way the three veteran ghosts showed up all in black and worked with Reaper to get the vengeful ghost (and save Man Wol).

Say My Name, Say My Name, Say My Name

They decide to get to the bottom of Hottie Guard’s story, and bring Mi Ra and Cop Yeon Woo to the hotel where they drink flower water that helps everyone see what really happened. Ex Hottie Guard did wait by the lake for her, but was caught by the princess, who informs him that her dad found out about Man Wol’s people and if he doesn’t take care of them, then him and all of the soldiers he’s responsible for and anyone in his family will die. When he attacks the group of thieves, Yeon Woo’s the one who tells him that he should live as a traitor so that Man Wol can live.

While (after?) they’re having cocktails, Man Wol is finally clued in that if she calls his name, he will appear. Apparently, his name have never left her lips in 1,300 years. Poor bug.

Ex-Hottie finally appears in full form, and while it’s a tearful reunion, he doesn’t really try to make excuses for his actions. He’s paid his penance and it’s time for that long walk across the bridge. And Man Wol has to take him . . . um . . . yeah, that was total foreshadowing going on at the beginning for 13.

Karie the Maknae: Like I said — I would watch the HECK out the backstory drama. I love it — the emotions, the connections, the REVENGE. It’s all there just waiting to be completely told.

Drama Geek: I feel really bad for Cop Yeon Woo. I wanted him to be able to greet Man Wol and give her a hug. I also don’t think he deserves to be stuck with Mi Ra. The show thinks it’s funny that they bicker, but I just want him to have a wonderful girl who really loves him.

MiataMama: I got distracted by the title of this section and am now humming an ATEEZ song what are we talking about again?! (DG: Um… do you know who this is originally from? Hint: not ATEEZ. LOL) Oh right – the last missing memories of the past were revealed. I didn’t know I could get so emotional over a firefly, but the tears were flowing because of that steadfast little bug.

Kmuse: I’m with Drama Geek. I wish Mi Ra was just a bit better person and more worthy of Yeon Woo. I do feel that she cares for him, but the decision to make them always fight doesn’t work for me.

Clkytta: I’m ok with Mi Ra and Cop being together. Their bickering isn’t cute, but whatever. If you think back to their past lives, she was definitely interested in him when he robbed her. It’s clearly a case of opposites attract. Firefly Ex Guard, wow, while I did not cry, I was sad for him. He is not the second lead, he’s the first lead who was forced into a really really bad spot and lost the girl. So even though I know it’s not the end game, I really wanted him to be Chan Sung. It feels so wrong for him to go across the bridge with nothing after sacrificing so much.

Kdrama Jen: I think Historic Ex Hottie has been through a thousand years of suffering and now it is his turn to receive some solace.

Bridge of Lost Memories

Man Wol tells Chan Sung to wait for her when he asks if she’ll return. And that’s what he does. He continues on with his duties, being the diligent strong person he’s always been, while time passes differently on the bridge and Man Wol and Guard walk across, erasing one memory at a time.

Chan Sung is strong . . . until he’s not. At a bus stop he finally lets all the walls down that he’s been keeping up since he learned Man Wol would have to leave someday. He bawls in desperation. And Man Wol stops on the bridge, her ex-hottie guard reaching out his hand, an invitation to join him. And she turns to look back the way she came.

Karie the Maknae: THIS IS IT. This is when I finally felt the connection between Chan Sung and Man Wol, and my heart hurt for him while he sobbed.

Drama Geek: I agree that I’ve had a hard time feeling this OTP’s connection sometimes. I’ve actually analyzed both Chan Sung’s character and this couple way more than I should have. It was the moment at the bus stop that I realized the director (and maybe writers) had a very clear idea for Chan Sung. He was put together and strong, until he wasn’t. He knew very early in their relationship that she wasn’t human and she’d have to leave. Watching him weep at the end made me wish they’d done a better job at making me understand him a little better sooner. Either way, I had tears when they ended episode 14. Such amazing cinematography.

MiataMama: I’m still not fully sold on the romance between Chan Sung and Man Wol, but his weeping on bus stop bench broke me. Where was Sanchez?? I needed him to be there to comfort Chan Sung in this moment of sorrow.

Kmuse: I think this is going to be one of those OTPs that doesn’t click to the very end. I will say that Chan Sung’s breakdown was one of the first times that I really felt connected to the character. It was very raw and I think that this visual emotion is what has been missing for me from the very beginning.

Clkytta: Finally! Finally we have real emotions and not irritating goodness and unselfishness. The whole drama Chan Sung has irritated the snot out of me because he’s so one note. He’s just so GOOD, he’s almost unreal, he has almost zero faults. He’s the perfect hotel manager because all he does is think of others, and all he’s done this entire drama is think of everyone else. I’ve had a hard time connecting with the OTP because he’s so focused on her to the detriment of himself and that’s not cool. It really makes me mad that we finally see a really human side of him and the drama is almost over.

Kdrama Jen: While I strongly disagree that this is the first time we are seeing it, I can agree that Yeo Jin Goo was brilliant in this scene. I think the role itself was designed to be played in a more restrained way. Regardless of his feelings, he has been directly told that Man Wol will be his last guest and he will need to escort her to the afterlife. Knowing the one he is falling in love with is going to have to leave soon, and also not being completely sure if he was or wasn’t the reincarnated man who betrayed Man Wol kind of puts a damper on romance.

Final Thoughts:

Karie the Maknae: These two episodes were some of the strongest in the drama, which I find interesting. Since the Hong Sisters are known for their weak endings, I think they and the director are doing their best to make up for it. I just wonder if their techniques worked — I was talking to Drama Geek and telling her I’ll have to binge watch this drama about a year from now to see if I find the story more compelling. But for now, I’m looking forward to the ending.

Drama Geek: I’m cheering for a good ending. I really need them to finish strong and have everything make sense. Okay, even if it all doesn’t make sense, I need all the characters to have a satisfying ending, and I hope it’s done in style. If nothing else, this show has upped the game on style and beautiful sets.

MiataMama: I’m not sure how they’re going to resolve the OTP’s story – sadly I’m still not very invested in them as a couple. However, I am curious to see what’s going to happen to all our supporting characters. There are still a handful of loose ends – fingers and toes crossed that the finale doesn’t crash and burn!

Kmuse: Kudos to The Hong Sisters for having such strong episodes this late in the drama. I’m also impressed that the quality of the filming and the special effects have remained consistent to the (almost) end. While it still isn’t connecting with me, I am glad that I watched since there are a lot of aspects that deserve praise.

Clkytta: I’m sorry, I feel like Man Wol should have taken Hottie Ex’s hand and walked across the bridge. My opinion hasn’t been that popular with the fangirls and there has actually been a lot of discussion about how polarized we are about this couple. I just have not felt the connection between Man Wol and Chan Sung. Let’s talk about the real OTP here. What’s going to happen with Intern and Bellhop? I didn’t cry on any of the main OTP storyline, but I totally teared up for our poor Intern when Bellhop told her he wasn’t in her timeline because she was alive and he wasn’t. Please please let these two have a happy ending.

Kdrama Jen: I am hoping for a resolution I can live with. It is rare for a Hong Sister ending to resonate with me, so I am not optimistic. I definitely feel Chan Sung and Man Wol as a couple. It was never a reach-for-the-fan kind of romance, but they have developed an understanding of one another and a deep affection that has slowly blossomed, like Man Wol’s tree. I think the Bellhop/Intern are cute, but I don’t see them having the kind of epic romance that I will still be thinking about a month from now. You never know, though…

Til our final walk across the bridge,

The Fangirls

Drama With a Side of Kimchi

3 thoughts on “Chatty Recap: Hotel del Luna Eps 13&14

  1. At the beginning, since Man Wol hadn’t died –nor had she been in danger of dying when her time stopped– I assumed that she would just start living a human life again once the tree issue was resolved. Then it seemed like she wouldn’t… but now it seems like a possible way to resolve the ending.

    It’s the theme of healing that got me thinking this again. It was really the focus of these two episodes to a greater degree than ever (although it’s never been absent). It made me think that Man Wol’s character arc has obviously been about healing, but we see in these two episodes that it isn’t falling in love that healed her, but letting go of her resentment. So, although she’s grown (blossomed!) in the last few episodes, it is interesting that we’re really feeling the stakes of their relationship, and their connection, most at this point. It’s as if now that she’s let go of that past, she is poised to have a real, full life with the whole range of experiences and emotions. I’m very curious to see where they go with it!

  2. I totally agree. I almost wonder if she will come back with no memories except of Chan Sung or no memories at all and she will get to begin again with Chan Sung in some way. Regardless, I have really enjoyed the process of watching her grow and heal. I appreciate that it wasn’t necessarily romantic love that did this for her. I am looking forward to seeing where this all goes!

  3. I also want her to be with Ex-Hottie…he’s been with her for a thousand years, that should count for some loyalty. Looking so forward to this weekend!

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