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Hotel del Luna: Episode 4

Our hotelier and his new employer still can’t seem to get on the same page. As soon as he starts to see that working at Hotel del Luna offers some pretty unique perks, she decides she no longer wants him around. He’s threatening the status quo, and although Man-wol claims to be weary of this life, the thought of change can still be more terrifying than any ghost.

  
EPISODE 4 RECAP

Chan-sung tells Man-wol that he saw her in a dream, saying mean things to someone who said they’d build her a house, but that she’d looked happy. He asks if the man who taught her to write her name is the person she misses during her long stay at the hotel, but Man-wol just asks darkly why he’s seeing these things.

He days he doesn’t know, but he guesses there’s something she’s failed to learn, and wonders whether he’s here to help Man-wol figure it out. He turns to the ancient tree and touches a branch, and the instant he does, it begins to sprout leaves.

It reminds Man-wol of Mago saying that the flow of life and death has stopped for her, but when the tree grows leaves and flowers, time will begin flowing for her again. She tells Chan-sung with awe that he might be a lot more special than she expected.

As Mago leaves Hotel del Luna, she comes across Reaper attempting to take the soul of an old man who refuses to go because his dog has been trapped in his home with his dead body for a week. Mago opens the door to the man’s home so the dog can escape, then tells Reaper that the soul will eventually find his way to the Hotel del Luna. They agree that Man-wol hasn’t changed in a thousand years, but Mago grins that she sent someone to help.

Back at the hotel, Man-wol says that she thinks the tree changed because Chan-sung brought up old, forgotten memories. He complains that he didn’t sign up for dreaming as well as seeing ghosts. He thinks she should be glad the tree is alive, but Man-wol snarls, “You saved something that shouldn’t have been saved.”

He asks if she’s embarrassed that he saw her past, and she admits it, then grabs Chan-sung’s tie and shoves him backwards. They’re suddenly in a bedroom, Chan-sung lying on the bed with Man-wol looming over him. Chan-sung gets the totally wrong idea, but Man-wol only wants him to go to sleep and dream again so she can see if he’s telling the truth. Chan-sung argues that he can’t make himself dream, so Man-wol decides that he’ll just have to sleep beside her every day until he does.

She says she’ll kill him if he’s been lying, but Chan-sung says grumpily that he’s not going to tell her anything even if he does dream. Man-wol seethes for a moment then leaves the room. She goes to her office to guzzle wine directly from the bottle, and Chan-sung follows her, feeling guilty. He asks if the memories he revived are that painful, and who the man was that he saw.

Man-wol asks if he’s curious because he thinks it’s him, and Chan-sung admits that he did wonder if he was seeing a memory from his own past life. Man-wol says there’s no way he’s him, because when she puts her hand over his heart, she feels nothing.

Chan-sung says he’s glad he’s not the man she used to like, and Man-wol tells him to shut up or she’ll make him suffer. He keeps going out of frustration, so Man-wol puts him in charge of all the ghosts from now on.

After Chan-sung nearly cries when the first ghost he sees is a woman who looks like she’s been dead for quite some time, Hyun-joong steps in and smoothly takes over. Chan-sung asks Hyun-joong what happened to Man-wol that got her stuck at the hotel — is she waiting for a lover, perhaps? But Hyun-joong has no idea.

Hyun-joong gets a sense that a lot of customers are on the way and asks if Chan-sung can handle it, and Chan-sung says confidently that he cannot. He heads up to the skybar instead, where Bartender Kim says that new customers are often in bad shape, but by the time they come to the skybar, they’re all nicely groomed.

Chan-sung asks Bartender Kim where they get the things that the ghosts eat and drink, so Bartender Kim explains that when they send souls to the afterlife, positive energy is left behind that makes the flowers in the garden bloom. Mago then takes the flowers and sends them the supplies they need for the hotel guests. Chan-sung asks why Man-wol needs to earn real money, and Bartender Kim says it’s because of her lavish lifestyle, clearly disapproving.

Man-wol stares at the ancient tree, suspecting that Mago is playing a trick on her. She remembers a day when she was truly alive… she’d been holed up in a barn with a leg injury, hiding from soldiers. One had entered the barn and Man-wol had attacked, but he’d stopped her hand and she’d seen that it was Chung-myung.

She had backed off, and Chung-myung had told his soldiers that she wasn’t there. He’d gone back later to bandage Man-wol’s leg and tell her that he guessed it was her gang when he heard the slave market was attacked. He’d asked how she intended to repay him for cutting his precious face, and she’d grumbled that he’d have difficulty seducing the princess from then on, ha.

They’d heard a commotion and had seen that Yeon-woo, Man-wol’s second in command, had been captured. Chung-myung had stopped Man-wol from recklessly trying to help him, and she’d only calmed down when Chung-myung promised to save Yeon-woo. He had kept his promise, and Man-wol had run into Yeon-woo’s arms and hugged him tightly before shooting Chung-myung a look full of gratitude.

In the present, Man-wol decides that the ancient tree looks ridiculous. With tears in her eyes, she hurls a champagne glass at it, and the glass shatters when it hits the protective barrier surrounding the tree.

On the subway ride home, Chan-sung nods off, then wakes up knowing that one of the men in his dreams with Man-wol was named Yeon-woo. Mago is standing in front of him with her basket of flowers, and she giggles that she’s already given his flower. Chan-sung suddenly remembers Mago as the flower lady from his birthday all those years ago.

She admits that she may have nudged events so that he would end up working at Hotel del Luna, then complains that a tree she planted has grown thorny and unwelcoming. She asks Chan-sung to take good care of the tree, giving him her business card in case it gets difficult then disappearing.

Chan-sung tries to find her when the train stops, and he ends up in a park. He sees a man holding a white lily, and watches as a limo pulls up and the man gets in. A little dog barks at the man, and Chan-sung opens the limo door to show the man that his dog is nearby.

The man is happy to see his dog, and we see that the dog stayed with his master’s body and died in his arms. The man carries his dog into the limo with him, and they travel to the afterlife together. Chan-sung hears Bartender Kim’s voice saying that Mago hands out flowers to the souls who are going to a good place.

In a professional kitchen, a baker feels a ghostly hand touching his arm. He sees the dough kneading itself and runs screaming out of the building, right past Chan-sung’s roommate, Sanchez.

Sanchez tells Chan-sung that there was a ghost sighting at the bakery, and that he’d bought the bread that was supposedly kneaded by a ghost. Chan-sung complains that he’s in no mood to talk about ghosts, then nearly chokes when the eyeless ghost is suddenly standing right next to him.

He asks her why she’s back, freaking out Sanchez, who can’t see anything. She nods that she followed the bread, and Chan-sung sighs in defeat that he has to go back to work. At the hotel, Bartender Kim learns that the eyeless ghost is the one who kneaded the bread. It’s strange because she can’t eat it, and she’s supposed to be moving on to her afterlife today.

Guest manager Seol-hee snaps at Hyun-joong for not keeping track of the guests, making him and Bartender Kim wonder why she’s so cranky. Bartender Kim figures out that it’s almost the 25th of the month, and he tells Hyun-joong that if there’s a repeat of events that happened on that date forty-two years ago, she’ll be taken to the afterlife against her will.

Chan-sung asks Man-wol for permission for the eyeless ghost to stay at the hotel a bit longer — she was blind in life, but now that she can see, she wants to see a certain person’s face just once. She doesn’t know his name either, but she knows what his hands feel like.

Man-wol waves Chan-sung away, calling that nonsense. But Chan-sung catches her hand and reminds her that she claimed to know he’s not the man she loved by touching him, so if it’s really not possible, then she’s talking nonsense, too.

Man-wol says softly, “You’re definitely not him…” but she doesn’t struggle when Chan-sung holds her hand as she signs, the same way Chung-myung once held her hand and showed her how to write her name. Chan-sung says he feels responsible because the eyeless ghost is the first guest he brought to the hotel, so he’ll find the person she’s looking for.

Man-wol tsks that he’s being used by a ghost who can’t even pay him, but he just says that if he were stronger, he wouldn’t be here at all. He’s decided that it’s probably just his fate to be at the hotel, and not that Man-wol forced him. He gives her some water for her hangover, and he’s being so nice that Man-wol is suspicious.

He just says that you never know what might happen if he takes care of her — flowers may even grow on the ancient tree. Man-wol snaps that she’s a dried-up, thousand-year-old tree, but Chan-sung shrugs that it has leaves, so… Man-wol is so annoyed that she releases him, but he says he ruined his reputation by quitting the job at the other hotel so he has nowhere to go.

She tries to make him angry by saying that he really was her third pick, but Chan-sung continues to be cheerful, saying that those guys aren’t here and he is, so he’s going to do his job. Man-wol snarls that she doesn’t like him, but he says he’d rather not be liked because he’s bothering her than be liked because he isn’t.

Chan-sung takes his ghost girl to the bakery, and she remembers that in life, an employee had brought out the chestnut bread she could smell. He’d taken her hand and let her feel that it was warm from the oven, and she tells Chan-sung that he held her hand every time she was there.

She’s sure that she’ll know him if she touches his hand, so Chan-sung offers to lend her his body. He gets all all grabby-hands with the bakers, making them think that Chan-sung is a looney, but no luck.

When he gets to the last guy, the bakers surround him and look like they may beat him up. Sanchez walks in and vouches for him, but Chan-sung is banned from the shop. Chan-sung insists that he had a reason for grabbing everyone, so Sanchez offers to help him with whatever it is.

Bartender Kim, Seol-hee, and Hyun-joong visit the ancient tree, where they see the leaves that have sprouted. Bartender Kim sees this as a sign of impending doom, since if Man-wol’s punishment ends (one way or another), they will have to take the bus to the afterlife, and they still have things to do here.

Since Sanchez has been visiting that bakery for ages, he’s able to tell Chan-sung that a former employee works at a new place now. Chan-sung points him out to his ghost girl, who hitches a ride in Chan-sung again, and he approaches the baker (cameo by Hong Kyung) and asks to shake his hand.

The baker thinks him strange but complies, and the ghost girl is finally able to touch his hand one last time. She leaves Chan-sung’s body, and he tells her to take her time and come back to the hotel when she’s ready.

Outside, Man-wol is waiting by another new car, and she asks if it was worth it. Chan-sung says it was, then asks about the car, and Man-wol says she likes the red better than tacky brown and then licks her finger and touches the car to “claim” it, ha. She tells Chan-sung to come sleep with her, making him yelp that it’s inappropriate for a boss to sleep with her employee.

Man-wol pouts that he said he would take care of her, which includes making sure she sleeps. He caves, and they stop for dinner at a place that Man-wol says is trending on social media. It also happens to be Sanchez’s place, so Chan-sung warns Man-wol not to say anything about ghosts to him.

He introduces Man-wol as a colleague, so Sanchez starts blabbering about how stressed Chan-sung has been because of his new maniac boss. When he leaves the table, Man-wol is smirking and Chan-sung looks like he’d love to burst into flames. He says he never called her a maniac, but she says there’s nothing wrong with being a maniac sometimes.

She asks how things went at the bakery, and when Chan-sung says the ghost found the man she was looking for, Man-wol says that ghosts sometimes only remember what they want to remember. We see that the ghost girl stays to watch her baker until he’s leaving for home, and when he gets on his motorcycle, she seems to recall something she’d forgotten.

Man-wol says it’s strange that the ghost remembers hands that only gave her some bread, when a ghost’s most important memories are of when they died. We see a crash, and our ghost girl lying bloody in the street as the baker limped towards her.

She’d grabbed his hand, begging for help. But when he’d realized there were no witnesses, he’d pulled away and fled the scene, leaving her to die alone. She remembers now, and she climbs onto the back of his motorcycle, wrapping her arms around him as her face changes back into an eyeless horror.

Chan-sung runs from the restaurant, but the bakery is closed and the baker is gone. He runs in circles until he finds the baker and throws himself in front of his motorcycle. The baker swerves and narrowly misses Chan-sung, but lays down his bike, and when he stands up, Chan-sung punches him.

Chan-sung tells the ghost that if she harms the baker, she’ll turn into ashes and disappear, and he promises to make sure the baker is punished for killing her. Her face slowly changes back, and Chan-sung relaxes. He looks up to see Man-wol watching him, but she walks away without a word.

Chan-sung takes the baker to the police station to report his hit-and-run, and as he’s leaving, the ghost girl is waiting for him… holding a white lily. Chan-sung smiles, satisfied that she’s going to a good afterlife.

He’s proud to tell her that she’s the first ghost he’s sending to the afterlife. She says that she was foolish to remember the baker’s hand as a warm memory, but Chan-sung says that she was probably someone who tried to see the best in people.

Back at the hotel, Chan-sung offers the coffee ghost a refill without being asked, and he smiles at the female ghost who scared him before, now looking much better after a makeover. He welcomes a father and son, and Hyun-joong tells him that they came here together after the boy’s ball bounced into the street, and the father tried to shield him from an oncoming truck.

Seol-hee tells Man-wol that they’re all very nervous after seeing the leaves on the ancient tree, and Man-wol tells her and Bartender Kim that the person Mago said will help her leave must have arrived. Bartender Kim asks what will happen to them, but Man-wol says coldly that that’s up to them — they can go to the afterlife, or roam as vengeful spirits.

Seol-hee insists that they need to stay at the hotel for a while longer, so Bartender Kim suggests they let Chan-sung go. He says they have another candidate for his job ready anyway, and Man-wol looks at him sharply.

He’s thinking of Soo-jung, the spirit of the murdered teenager who now lives in her killer Yoo-na’s body and who can see ghosts, since technically she is one. Man-wol likes the idea, as she can use the fact that she helped SJ keep Yoo-na’s body, plus her parents are loaded.

But she sighs that she already tried to get rid of Chan-sung and he won’t leave. They can’t kill him without risking their chance at the afterlife, but Seol-hee says that Room 13 is occupied right now by a ghost who hates even the sound of a human breathing. One glimpse of this ghost drives humans insane, so they think that if Chan-sung saw this ghost and lost his mind, he would refuse to return to the hotel.

Man-wol finds Chan-sung sleeping peacefully in the garden, leaning against the ancient tree. She muses that she actually did like him, but she hates that he can see into her. She reaches to pick off a leaf that’s fallen onto his shoulder, and Chan-sung opens his eyes and sees her there.

He laughs, asking if she feels better having watched him sleep. Man-wol asks nervously if he dreamed of her, so he pats the spot next to him and offers to tell her. She gets angry that she’s considering it instead of threatening him, and when he mentions that she let her guard down to reach for the leaf, she says he’ll pay for her moment of weakness.

She says he’s responsible for anything that happens to him, but Chan-sung confidently replies that he’s sure she’ll protect him. He says that he knows she’s the one who stopped the baker’s motorcycle, and although Man-wol swears she had nothing to do with it, Chan-sung just asks her to keep protecting him.

Man-wol snarls that she’s going to kick him out, but Chan-sung gets to his feet and leaves. He thinks about the dream he had, in which he saw Man-wol sleeping beneath the large tree. A leaf had fallen, and he wonders if the one that fell on him is the same leaf from the dream.

Seol-hee asks his help with a long-term guest, and Bartender Kim gives him an incense stick to burn in Room 13. He apologizes for inconveniencing Chan-sung, and after he leaves, Bartender Kim murmurs to himself that he feels like he’s given up his virtue as a scholar.

Chan-sung unlocks the door to Room 13 to find a long hallway, and the door slams shut behind him. He makes his way to a large empty room, where a wooden wardrobe stands. Chan-sung lights the incense in a burner on the table and tucks his leaf from the ancient tree into his pocket, wondering where the guest is.

He hears a noise from inside the wardrobe, and turns to see the doors slightly open and something peering at him from inside. He seems to go into a trance and steps closer against his will, as the something in the wardrobe grins evilly.

Suddenly, Man-wol’s voice snaps Chan-sung out of his trance. She puts a hand on his shoulder and tells him not to look, or to let the ghost hear him breathing. The ghost opens the wardrobe doors wider, and Chan-sung starts to turn, but Man-wol grabs his face in her hands. At the sound of his voice, the ghost lurches out of the wardrobe. Chan-sung reflexively starts to turn around again, and to save him, Man-wol kisses him.

  
COMMENTS

Very well done, Show! I rarely get surprised by drama kisses anymore, but I genuinely didn’t see that coming. And I actually find it plausible that the only thing Man-wol could do in that moment of panic, and with no time to think, was to kiss him to keep him from turning and to shut him up, since she’d already told him twice and he didn’t listen. And hey, it worked!

Things between Man-wol and Chan-sung have really changed in quite a short amount of time, and I like their new dynamic a lot. Chan-sung seems to have found an unexpected source of sway over Man-wol through his dreams of her. My primary source of frustration in the first two episodes was that Man-wol had all the power, and Chan-sung was too off-balance to really stand up to her. Now he knows some very private things about her, and that knowledge keeps her off-balance, putting them on far more equal footing. Combined with Chan-sung’s growing confidence around the ghostly hotel guests, Man-wol is going to find it impossible to get him to leave, especially now that she’s saved him from the one thing that might have succeeded. And she can’t blame anyone but herself for the fact that she’s stuck with a manager who won’t be handled.

It’s interesting that Man-wol has spend a millennium hating Hotel del Luna and wanting to be free, yet now that the person has come along that can give her what she wants, she’s balking hard. I don’t think she’s ever been much for self-examination and introspection, so it probably never occurred to her that freedom from her curse would necessitate facing the very thing that had her fleeing from her own life. And I don’t believe her when she says that Chan-sung isn’t the person she misses, because her denial is so strong, she’s likely just convinced herself that he’s not him even if she senses differently.

I know the show wants us to think that the soldier Chung-myung is Man-wol’s lost love (and Chan-sung’s previous incarnation), but I actually think it’s Yeon-woo. I’ve thought so since Episode 3, but the way Mw panicked when Yeon-woo was captured and ran to him when he was rescued cements my belief that he’s the one Man-wol loved. She has never said the name of the man Chan-sung is seeing her with in his dreams, so at this point it could still be either of them. My guess is that whatever got Man-wol trapped at the Hotel del Luna has to do with Yeon-woo’s death, which she probably had a direct hand in, which is why she’s being punished. It’s just a theory and it doesn’t explain everything, like why Man-wol is so resistant to her own redemption and why she keeps saying she doesn’t feel she deserved to be punished. It’s still very early and I’m sure there’s a lot more to Man-wol, Chung-myung, and Yeon-woo’s story, but for now that’s where my instincts are leading me.

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If you're right, then apparently I have third lead syndrome. That's a new one on me!

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Thanks for the recap! :) I actually find it very believable that after years of "punishment" at the hotel, Man-wol is agitated when the end is near. Everyone resists change, and for Man-wol that change may mean death. (at some point) - of course she's going to resist.

Yes on the captain not being the one she loves. The very fact that Yeon-woo was also present during crucial moments means that he's important. Also, maybe the memories Chan-sung is recalling are scrambled in some way? I mean, aren't they a "gift" from Mago? Maybe she gave him a selective dose.

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... Or that she suffers the same kind of amnesia as her ghosts.

One of my biggest thesis both here and in "Master's Sun" is that ghosts are, at the end of the day, people like you and me. So selecting a narrative surrounding actual facts and eventually changing memories is not so far off.

Cheers!

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Yeah, why I say his memories are scrambled is because we're seeing the memories from HIS point of view - what he's seeing. They may not be the whole story, and they may not be accurate. We then see her react, and judge her reactions as he does. According to what he/we have seen - but it may NOT be what she remembers, is thinking.

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I think the memories could well be MW’s. Mago keeps saying the tree is MW ...

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Keep in mind though that Man Wol is not dead. So she didn’t experience the death that would scramble her memories. Time making her memories fade away is another story.

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And possibly, deliberate suppression by MW?

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That too

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I don’t think Chan Sung is the reincarnation of the captain. I think he could be the other guy. It is quite possible the other guy had feeling for Man Woel and so his memories are too vivid.

It is a shame though that he doesn’t have the same sizzling chemistry without IU as the captain.

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I still want to watch a drama with IU as the rebel leader and I wouldn't even care if their was a love triangle. That drama looks fabulous. As for this episode I am inclined to agree about the man Man Wol loves, but maybe they will surprise us. He might be her sibling and she needs to take care of him, he can still be the man she loves, just a different kind of love. Ooooh, that would be a twist.

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That would be awesome. I'd love to see a sibling relationship at the core. Not that I expect a kdrama to choose sibling over romance, but I can dream...

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clues: There are several "clues" from the previous episode to help sort out the relationships between Man Wol and the two men in her past. After Man Wol has been "saved" by Yeon-Woo after the sinking sand incident, there is just a gentle greeting between the two (who have been parted since the earlier attack) and I would have expected more if they had been lovers. Then, as the three of them are sitting around the campfire drinking, Yeon-Woo is playing a musical instrument and a distance away from the other two. In fact, there is enough distance between Yeon-Woo and Man Wol that another whole person could sit between them. But, on the other side of Man Wol and almost touching, is Chung-myung. As Yeon-Woo stops playing the instrument for a few minutes, the OST is playing a romantic song that talks about looking lovingly at each other (actually I forget what the subs said the lyrics were, but you get the idea) while Chung-myung and Man Wol are looking at each other. And Chung-myung shows her how to write her name using her hand... and later, Chan-sung uses her hand to write her name on the document she needs to sign but is too drunk to sign on her own. To me, these clues point us in the direction of Chan-sung and Chung-myung having some sort of connection to each other that might involve a love relationship with Man Wol. I still believe that Man Wol also loves Yeon-Woo, but on more of a close sibling or best friend basis. It's really hard to tell though as not everything that seems like a clue is really a clue at all.

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That kiss was just too early that it also caught me off guard. I hope show uses the kiss card to show us something new we haven't seen in a drama yet.

Also, in true kdrama fashion, a character does not get to be a reincarnation of someone unless they are portrayed by the same actor. I am also not convinced that Chan-sung is Captain's reincarnation, at least not yet.

#SinkingTogetherWithTheCaptainShip

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I maybe the only one who really does like Chan Sung with Man Wol and that kiss solidified that. With the captain, I believe the memories may be slightly distorted. I do think Man Wol adored him but I can't tell if her feelings were strong love or seem more romanticized due to the tragedy that followed. If Master's Sun is any indication, than I don't think Chan Sung is reincarnation of either guy. He has this ability to see the good in the most wicked places, Ma Go chose him for that reason. Somebody has to see past Man Wol's facade and reach to the guilt ridden, tired girl hidden. If we look at past four episodes, then there is nobody better than Chan Sung. He has come a long way from uptight, scared human to one who can face his fears to help lost souls find their way to afterlife. He is still scared but he still tries to help them. He has already fallen for Man Wol, atleast the Man Wol he keeps dreaming of. I kinda am baffled at Ma Go because even this romance seems doomed for Man Wol in the long run. I also love their banter. Chan Sung is cheeky when he wants to be and that totally throws Man Wol off. I love that now they seem to be on equal footing. Also, quick question, is it Man Wol's first kiss or not?? I think it is.

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Ms. Gem, a big clue is how ghosts remember mostly the moments surrounding their deaths in this lore.

I get the feeling that Man-Wol (or whoever the entity who gives us its senses to delve into the past) is probably an unreliable narrator and that the captain eventually played a big hand in the capture and killing of her men... which I don't blame since she was a highwaywoman and therefore an enemy of the state, and his main duty was to keep people safe.

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I'm liking Chan Sung and Man Wol in these later episodes, as they are interacting more equally and CS has the chance to prove himself instead of literally stick to her (her coattails if she had them) to get his job done. He has loosened up and is looking more at home as hotelier and as someone who cares for his ghost guests.

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Man-wol being so adamant that Chan-sung couldn't possibly be dream guy implies she did something bad - VERY bad - to dream guy. Bad enough that reincarnation is out of the question for him.

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there's something bugging me about the last paragraph of your comment. it is your opinion, but i'm going to go against it and say choeng myung is the previous incarnation. first off, there are more moments we see of him, we hardly see any of yeonwoo. secondly his profile is above yeonwoo on asianwiki which means his role has more importance (like more parts). Soo... in conclusion your opinion is not wrong, but i know yeonwoo is defnitely not her lost love. have you ever heard of a tsundere? Man wol is a tsundere to choeng myung, but she slowly opens up to him. yeonwoo is her good friend, and she's grateful for what choeng myung has sacrificed. i dont really go with your review or comments tbh

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So who else had guessed that Man wol would come save him at the last moment 🙋🙋🙋
And I was watching this at night in a dark room & seeing the blind ghost transform in her anger was NOT a pleasant sight. So in the last scene I thought I couldn't handle another creepy ghost so I peered through my fingers 😂

I'd like to think that Man wol is not just stuck because of just one person but maybe she feels responsible for all their deaths & that's why she's punishing herself (I like to think that she's stuck due to her own will & hasn't realized that the guilt & regret are keeping her there)

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And the fourth candidate.... isn't that actress in their promo poster as a staff? Don't tell me she dies(again) to become a staff or something :/

Thank you for the recap Lollypip. What you actually like about the leads' dynamic finally balancing might have irked me a bit this ep. I really like when women have the upper hand (😂) because in most other shows, the men lead the way & it takes time for the ladies to step up.
But our hero buckled up pretty early, it'd have been funny to see him floundering about a bit more :P
Although he still seems clueless in figuring out some ghost related stuff & she's guiding him but I really do like the sassy & luxury loving Man wol instead of some moments in this ep when she didn't have a proper comeback at Chan sung's smartness. 😬

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If she died again, her ghost should not look like the person she possessed. She will likely be in the same state as Man Wol left her.

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But ofc Chan sung has to help move on all the ghosts (including staff), help break Man wol's punishment, fall in love with her (I think he already has) etc in 16(?) eps so I guess the plot has to progress fast.

Also, the staff & Man wol plotting together to get rid of Chan sung was very funny lol

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Ah the treachery of the dead! They can't kill a human but they can let another ghost drive him mad!

You know the Ghost in Room 13 reminded me of Harry Potter ckass on the Boggart. The room with a wardrobe in which dwells the spirit of one's greatest fears, to drive one mad. Sounds about right! 🤪

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Very grateful for the kiss! I went from “Waaaaa, scary ghost! Stop!”, “Ooooh, a kiss! Ahhh!” 😂😂😂

I have a tonic for scary scenes now ☺️

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I'm liking Chan-sung so much more now that he has some control. He's becoming an active participant who makes decisions rather than being forced to just passively react to his circumstances. It is nice to see a more confident side to him now that he is getting more comfortable in his surroundings and knows he can affect Man-wol, whether she likes (or acknowledges) it or not. I like this new dynamic between them.

I found it pretty realistic how the thought of finally getting what she wanted freaks her out. I don't think she ever truly expected it to happen, so she isn't at all prepared for everything to change. It's one thing to dream about something you think is out of your reach and quite another to find it suddenly attainable.

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Kate Bush's "Houds of Love" comes to mind. In that song, the lady is utterly terrified to fall in love... only to cave in at the end of the song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VerK4zwMRQw

A great song, if I may...

Cheers!

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@ash27 Quirkycase, yes I like CS in these last 2 episodes. He's showing his abilities and getting the job done in the way he sees fit.

I was thinking that MW never really did want to move on. She asked Mago how long she'd be kept there, but I'm not sure that this indicated that she was impatient to be gone. If anything, she often looked like a cat who got the cream, enjoying her 'punishment' stuck in the rut but in the most lavish of good living. It is hard to want to leave such pleasant and easy surroundings, and being served by so many as well.

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Yeah, I'm not sure she wants it completely either. I think she outwardly bemoans her circumstances, saying she's stuck, being punished, not actually living etc., but I don't know that she truly dislikes her current life. I think a part of her does want out of limbo, but she enjoys the power her position gives her.

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Actually there's very little to not love about her current set up. It's very hard to let go of such a comfortable 'punishement'!! Especially when the alternative is mortal life, maybe with less or no powers and finally death!

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True. Of course, any set-up could get old after 1000 years or so, though. 😉

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@ash27 I think that's what we are seeing now. Now so much that she's longing for something in her past so much (except maybe peace), but that she's just tired of the same old with nothing to look forward to. It's a kind of hell, being left behind by everyone to the same thing forever, but she does not want to let it go.

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"Not so much that she's longing ..." not "Now"

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The push and pull banter between Man Wol and Chan Sung on the sofa was just brilliant. And the whole "I know you'll protect me" line melts my heart, and I'm sure Man Wol's too. Peak Hong Sisters writing right there.

It's like Hong Sisters have decided to combine all the cliché tropes you could think of in a romcom, but make it gender-reversed. And I LOVE IT.

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*SUDDEN KISS*
Ghost: Get a room you two! *brings out popcorn*

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Ghost: Who says you can use my room? But if you're going to be at it ... *orders in chicken and beer*

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By the way, many thanks for the Beanie that saw parallels to Man-Wol and Diana the Greek goddess. It applies to this story very well.

Could someone gives us a crash course in Confucian mythology in order to get a better grasp of what is happening and the meta references Hong Sisters have accustomed us?

Thanks in advance!!!

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Confucian mythology isn’t a thing.

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Then the lore this drama is set upon. I have this feeling that there is pun after pun after pun and I am oblivious to all of it.

I don't know if it is possible, but in 2010 there were lots of Dramas involving Gumihos, so the DramaBeans team launched an article involving Gumihos, their lore and their representation in Korean media that made my view of "My Girlfriend is a Gumiho" way more enjoyable, as she was the innocent one.

I don't know if it is possible with the hectic activity of this site, or if a fellow Beanie with much better grasp on this lore could make a special article.

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So far I just see Mago which is the mythical creator of the world. Death is the collector of dead souls. The bridge is the path to afterlife.

However, this drama is missing crucial characters that make up the full picture of Korean life and death beliefs (which is a mix of Taoism, Buddhism, and folklore). For example, they never mentioned hell or the ruler of the underworld Yeomra. Evil ghosts are punished by disintegration rather than eternal suffering in hell. Without Yeomra’s judgment of the deceased, the notion of reincarnation is also up in the air. We see souls ride off the heaven. What about the bad seeds? Do they go? Do they get banished somewhere else? The show has not specified. At the moment it seems like everyone is sent to afterlife indiscriminately. So are we talking about a comfortable purgatory until a judgment day?

So far I think the realm of life and death is fusion of religions and simplified to just fit the story.

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Even if Mago is quite an interesting character (meddlesome, mysterious and chatty but warm and caring), for some reason the lore in "Arang and the Magistrate" feels more lived and wholesome.

Thanks for your post!

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The scene with the old man and the dog broke my heart. 😭😭😭 I love how the ghost stories have so much warmth and at the same time sad truth in them. So far they've touched on so many topics. Lonely death phenomenon, fatherly love, bullying, and even murder.

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I can’t put my finger on it but in the previous episodes I wasn’t entirely convinced about chan sung easy capitulation to his new role. Almost as if they were in a hurry to get to the good stuff so they glossed over it. As much as I enjoyed eps 3,4 it niggles as to why he decided so easily. Or maybe I missed it. Happy to hear your thoughts beanies.

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@dramamad
I'm glad I am not the only one.

For someone who had spent their entire life running from the bargain he was so easily converted...Also his viewing of spirits appears very selective and safe that would not force his hand.

For me, this drama is failing to ground itself...hoping viewers will just stay for the mythic setup. That can work for a while but once a drama requires repeated and new suspensions of disbelief it starts to feel hollow.

I really hope it plans to fill these in before too long, or start to reveal the bigger issues it wants to cover that meant it couldn't spend time on the set up.

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I agree with you and @dramamad . I don't mind him changing quickly but I don't feel they properly laid the groundwork for it. It seems rushed. And am I the only one that hated his reaction to her kiss, standing there like a virgin mannequin (or S Korean girl in some earlier dramas I've seen, arms straight down at the sides, no reaction). These are my main complaints about the episode but still enjoying on the whole.

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I also wasn't a fan of that kiss scene. I don't like those kind of set ups (I mean, couldn't she have covered his mouth with her hands? I don't like using a kiss as an excuse to do something or keep someone quiet). And then we had the awkward stand-still-for-what-seems-like-forever-with-a-bugged-eyed-expression moment. LOL

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Yeah I don't mind the conceit of keeping someone quiet by missing them, but that drawn out blank reaction - when he is supposed to like her, didn't he admit it? - was too much. I can understand the shock of the moment, but then you pull her in for a proper kiss. Just when the power dynamics were beginning to equalize, we get this lame, un passionate non-response.

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She covered his ears with her two hands.

@barbrey He’s not in love with her. He only confessed that his mind is occupied by her. They are not in a relationship so the kiss was not expected.

I don’t like these set ups either but the reactions are generally the same for all actors regardless of gender. Happened to Seo In Guk in Master’s Sun as well. The actors are directed to stay still. The moment is either a complete freezing of time or time acted out in slow motion. Even the ghost is moving -10 speed.

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@geliguolu I know what the director is doing and why - my contention is that this is amateurish filmmaking. A kiss to shut him up fine, but a kiss that never seems to end between two sets of cold hard lips, his arms straight down. Like a limp dick, pardon my expression. Bad choice. Make it quick or signal something more. I don't want to see anyone, whatever gender, kiss or be missed like that. They could have just turned their heads away even so we don't see the awkward lip lock. You know I'm so glad I watched Whatcha Wearing? Or I'd think S Koreans were fairly close to asexual. Nobody kisses like these kisses except ten year olds.

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@barbrey Believe it or not, Koreans still find these scenes aesthetically pleasing and most are Korean comments are complimenting this scene. As a cliffhanger, I don’t mind that they stay starring while listening to the OST.

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I would need to see stats telling me Koreans prefer these lip meets to actual kisses. I think it unlikely but maybe I'm wrong.

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Piping in although I am not watching this drama after the 1st episode. I did watch the clip on the kiss though.

Kdramas love this kind of kiss scenes. Usually it's the FL who needs to be bugged eyed but because the roles are reversed, CS is the one. Doesn't matter as it still makes the bug eyed person look stupid and inept. How do people find this romantic or anything remotely like it?

@geliguolu I can definitely believe what you said of the Korean netizens' reaction to this scene. But how many are die hard fans who will love and sing praises of the scene even if their fave IU or Jin Goo were to kiss the wall instead? When I read knetz comments in any drama which stars a popular actor, I can discount 90%.

@barbrey if you are referring to stats sampling the Korean population, I too am curious. However, the fact that kdrama continues to film kiss scenes like this, means that the target audience must at least like it if not love it.

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Dear @outofthisworld , my educated guess is that Koreans and much of Asian people have wayyyy less opportunity to touch each other, since it is socially frowned upon. We westerners tend to take things like publicly hugging our families or friends, kissing in the cheek our friends from the opposite sex or just simply handshaking newly met people or business partners for granted. In their place, they bow.

So for them, "skinship" has a lot more impact and means so much more.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but this is my overall impression.

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@fgb4877 I'm Asian but I can't generalize for Asians because there are many countries and therefore diverse cultures and religions in this part of the world.

As a Singaporean Chinese, we may not greet people by kissing their cheeks but that's more because we have a different way of greeting. Neither do we frown on physical touch like hugging family, friends and there are couples who kiss in the public, just not passionately making out.

I can't say if this is the case for the Koreans because I do get the impression that they are more conservative than the Chinese. Still, I doubt the lack of physical proximity or touch attributed to this poor form of film making. Perhaps, being conservative and prude makes french kissing scenes a taboo but all we are asking for is some natural form of human reaction instead of a brick wall.

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@outofthisworld , thanks for the aclaratory. I am Latin American, so we do skinship even with people just barely met.

Regrettably I haven't been in Asia to see what life is really like there, so I hope I didn't stepped on a landmine. In fact, while that comment was loading I repented and closed the tab hoping it didn't upload, so I didn't know it was really posted.

Thanks again.

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I'm reminded of a past K'drama (Oh My Venus) that had a Korean-American character. This guy had a penchant for hugging people, to which one character relied "Welcome to Korea!" because he was so OBVIOUSLY from somewhere else.

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@fgb4877 Asians can get touchy-feely too, but generally they do so privately. Generalizing: A domestic East Asian (not schooled or employed overseas or trying to act like they are from another country) will keep a mannerly distance with friends and family in public. Even when they are with a significant other, they shouldn’t publicly display intimacy. However they can be just as passionate behind closed doors, even to new friends or not-so-close acquaintances. The idea is “don’t let people see you ___”. My friends and I will walk like we don’t know each other on the streets but be hanging our arms around each other in a karaoke room or restaurant private room.

These scenes (I honestly hate) were done so in the past because passionate kisses on tv is just like a couple’s PDA. The audience will feel mildly uncomfortable to watch a passionate kiss in a living room with family members. It’s like the sex scenes of Chinese period dramas where the participants are fully clothed in white undergarments. Won’t completely go away.

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Cont...

Nowadays, dramas do have more realistic kiss scenes (still far from French) but it only happened for about last 7-8 years. Some audience still need that little step ladder to reach the real kiss. The mainstream drama writers still have to add accidents, dares, life and death needs to justify these emotionless kisses. So to brush it off as poor filmmaking or acting is unfair to directors and actors.

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hmmm... about the kiss: she needed him to stop talking and ideally breathing and her hands were occupied with his ears. hence the mouth to mouth thing. Shock is fairly appropriate as an initial reaction on his part. But I also had the thought that he should kiss her properly in response... wrapping his arms around her and going for it... only to imagine what would happen had he done that: I bet MW would have completely freaked out and fed him to the angry ghost. She is not ready for passion.

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Yes. I find it tiresome - sorry guys - that we're going too far down the Koreans hate skinship rabbit hole when what we're talking about is purely good story and good direction and what a lot of people are finding problematic chemistry between the leads. First, that kiss did not cover his mouth and would not have shut him up after the first momentary shock. so right away it was badly directed. Second, we're on episode 4 and it would have been a good move to show him start to return the kiss even if he didn't finish it. This aids in the chemistry but also in the plot flow. Third, please don't make him stand there arms at side in typical k drama Park Shin Hye mode. It is a complete turn off whichever gender because it is completely unrealistic - the kiss went on too long to be stunned. I won't say anything more about this - most of beanies and Asians like this kind of kissing? - because it feels a fruitless argument.

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@barbrey I think I agree with you. The problem that I have with these kinds of kisses is that they DON'T MAKE SENSE in any type of real world, any type of culture.

The normal reaction to being kissed like that out of the blue are that either 1) you're happy being kissed and kiss your kisser back or 2) you're not happy with being kissed and you withdraw your face (and possibly take some other actions too)

Nobody stands still with their eyes wide open in situations like that for an extended (camera swirling) period of time. That's why I find these shots so annoying, they take me out of the story and highlight that this is acting.

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@barbrey @cloggie there's no question, Korean wide eyed kisses are stupid and illogical. But in the sea of stupid illogical fish kissed this was better than most -- because it kind of made sense in the context of the story as a negated-mouth-to-mouth (and yes, for that purpose it could have been shot better). I find it kind of cheeky and meta... It is also fun to have the man do that for a change. Maybe it's my prior on not taking Hong sisters dramas too seriously, but it's ok as long as you don't think about it as an actual kiss (at least for me).

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I understand the shock. I am not looking for a reciprocated kiss, since this is not a romantic moment. What I didn't like was the the setup/excuse for the "kiss." Also, we have the two actors standing there for what seems like minutes. The position is held until the episode ends. Perhaps the scene could have been shot differently. It just made things really awkward. Again, I wasn't looking for a romantic kiss.

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I'm okay with the pace because I don't think they could have another episode of GCS being afraid and avoiding to work at HDL. He’s naturally hyper curious about everything and is quite the opposite of his weak-heart; to not run away from situations. Yes, he made the promise to his dad to stay away from Seoul but when he finally encounters’ MW on the train did he run? No, he stood his ground. Mr. Noh even pointed out how he could see that GCS was braver then he looks because despite being afraid of ghosts he somehow instinctually felt safe around MW.

Initially, he had that constant reminder from the blind ghost following him around. The more you see the same one thing, the more you get 'used' to it and he was able to eventually look closely to discover that the blind girl was just ‘lost’ and needed guidance/healing. Plus every time he bantered about refusing the position w/ MQ, there was always a 'pause' moment where he questioned or found he could have empathy for her for a split-second. The tiger case was another time he could see MW had true intentions about helping the souls.

Lastly, in Mr. Noh’s last moments that he was able to convey to GCS that he never regretted working at HDL because of how he felt fulfilled. He’s the one that pointed out that, wouldn’t it be fun? … GCS realizes maybe it’s not so bad. All of his curiosity that was built up kicks in and he wants to know even more about Hotel Del Luna and Man Wol.
(Also, he’s reminded constantly that there is nowhere to run).

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I agree. This guy is supposed to be a quick thinker. *pulling out Harvard degree* He’s not weak minded, he just has regular adrenaline driven impulses.

It’s quite apparent he wasn’t sure what his father sold him to do. The worst a ghost or goblin can do is take his life. Now that that is no longer a concern, his resistance and fear of Man Wol has subsided. The rest is just his consideration for a job. He is actually getting paid (if he can turn the hotel black) so its not slavery. If he’s not worried about being killed or being shortchanged, why not?

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And I think he knows now that the work of the hotel is worth doing, and that he is able to do that work well, and is on a rather short list.

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@sph_7
This is a case where the adage "show it - don't tell it" would carry more weight. Despite what we are told, to date almost nothing our "Mr Harvard" has done shows he is a quick thinker....more the opposite.

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Please give examples of how he isn’t a quick thinker. Besides being reasonably afraid of ghosts, I don’t think there was much hinder in his thinking.

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Yes exactly!

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@sph_7

When Man-Wol gave him the option to run away and he would have his freedom. "Mr Harvard" runs but returns. He then accepts her statement that he is still trapped as he did not run....This is a riddle, he did run, but returning is after the fact. Man-Wol did not state why he had to run or how far...only he had to run then.

If Chan-Sung was a sharp as the drama wants us to believe, he would have never accepted her statement when it is so easy to disprove. He may have wanted to work for her on his own terms but he could have been released from the debt.

The issue is he constantly comes out 2nd in every encounter because he can't see the tools to better his odds.

I suspect that as the reply was to ask for an example rather than use an example to rebut the assertion means that the drama is yet to "show us"

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@Sadkdramalama
You can accept it or not — you gave a very poor example.

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@SadKDramaLama

MW's option was more of a 'chance'. At that time, MW was the one making all the terms of the contract. If GCS tried to think his way out, MW simply wouldn't accept it and would hunt him down. Plus, GCS literally just saw her stab that ghost with her powers... so, I don't think I'd even argue to run.

Her chance wasn't meant as a riddle but more as a 'poetic device' for the viewers. Just giving him the chance the run away was a moment where she let her guard down. Him returning was gave MW another reason to keep him by her side.

.... In EP. 4, he's not coming out second as much. He's slowly building his footing to become more equal.

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Agree with all that you said. I just feel like I missed the turning point where he went from screaming and running in the streets to this may just be my life calling. Is it the writing directing or Yeo Jin gu?

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@zlksthecat
I agree with you and to add to that, MW had promised many times that CS would be safe if he remained by her side, and she had really come to save him from the Roman soldier ghost. Since CS was stuck with seeing ghosts, he might as well get paid for it and get the protection promised with the job!

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I believe they EXPLICITLY showed one of the turning points. The hotel is a wonderland, with a beach, amazing roof view and all the mysteries. He was going home via train and he saw how dull the real world is, with people in almost a shade of blue and all sleepy and weary. He was excited about this new world, and that was one of the reasons he stayed. (He also said some other things, bad reputation for quitting his other job, always being able to see ghosts now, not getting Man Wol out of his head). I think they laid it down really solidly.

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Thank you for mentioning that scene. I totally missed the message. The whole time I was waiting for a ghost to jump out and scare him.😂
And then got kind of disappointed nothing happened.

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The dullness of that scene was so well done that I literally became bored for that instant.

Only because of this comment, that I realize I didn't put 'two-and-two' together as a contrast scene between the real world and the hotel's. It's a small but rather detailed shot since the moment Ma Go enters, it instantly peaks your interest again.

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@laura @sph_7 @zlksthecat
LOL ... True, I too was waiting for a ghost to scare CS on the train, ... but it was the gentle Ma Go instead who gave him more direction and a job, to take care of the spiky tree.

Seeing as CS is so perceptive and that he knows MW and the tree are linked (especially the fact that she did not care to show him the tree, as if she was reluctant to reveal it to him), he must have gotten a boost to his ego and to his overall interest in MW, that this deity was giving him a job to do, that was directly linked to MW. Probably was right up his ally of what he wanted to find out more about. How could he resist?

Good catch as to the dullness of our normal 'unghostly' lives compared to the splendours and unpredictableness of HdlL. Of course at this stage, he is not aware about how treacherous ghosts can be too (just like humans, well they were humans so ...) and so he jumps at the chance to do a good job!

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His father probably filled his head with fantastical stories of the hotel as he was growing up, many many many times, always ending with the admonition, “Don’t go there!” Given that, what bold young man would resist the temptation?

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“He says he doesn’t know, but he guesses there’s something she’s failed to learn, and wonders whether he’s here to help Man-wol figure it out. ”

Given Man-wol’s personality, and a thousand years, I rather think she’s refusing to learn rather than trying and failing.

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Habits are chains. They can be gold ones leading to fulfillment and success or not.

I guess her (bad) habits are a hindrance.

A 1,350+ years old loving to drink champagne instead of Gojoseon era liquor and exchanging the exciting speed of a horse for a collection of race cars.

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And designer fashion traded for the worn garb of a highway-woman. I won’t sat haute couture since I haven’t seen anything that weird (what can I say?)...

I suspect that her redemption arc will show us that her bad habits are a result of her resistance, not a cause. Having said that, as someone already said, I hope her redemption arc leaves her with her core self in tact, not turn her into a gooey soft person.

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If you observe Man-Wol, you will see that her core hasn't change between her Gojoseon era self and the modern one. Will never abandon a comrade in peril in Gojoseo era?, will run to save her minion in the modern era!.

And I think that yes, her bad habits are part of her resistance, but they are still rooted on the person she was when a highwaywoman.

I hope too that she will still be intact (or ar least self consistent) in the later part of the arc. In Gumiho, the cowering double (main lead) became bold and self-sacrificing when in love. Alas, love changes us forever...

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I know that the hotel is legally register in the city government, and the Manager takes care of it. Who is the registered owner of the hotel, is it Man-wol? Or the Manager? Wondering if the hotel is registered under Man-wol and if Man-wol has an ID... :) Ah, just a random thought...

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The registered owner of the current building is Manager Noh, who recently passed away.

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The kiss does nothing for me because I am too far gone on my Chung-myung ship. Damn does IU and Lee Do-hyun have chemistry. My initial theory was Yeon-woo loved Man-wol for our quintessential love triangle, but my new theory is Man-wol and Yeon-woo are related, perhaps siblings.

After crying over Manager Noh ghost's Goblin farewell last week "You were my sister, my daughter, and my granddaughter," I sobbed over dog owner ghost today. "Soon-dol, bark! Go outside!" The old man loved his dog, and dogs will always be man's best friend. If blind ghost was killed by the baker's motorcycle, why are her eyes dug out?

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It was for "saving life from the scary ghost purposes" so i think feeling nothing is okay. Haha

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@panshel
Blind Ghost with scary dug out eyes was probably just a tactic to scare us and Chan Sung. It might also have been the image that Ghost herself had of how she looked to others as a blind person. She was probably born blind, as it was mentioned somewhere that she never saw anyone before.

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You're the only other person I guess who can see this 'chemistry' between chang myung and man wol lol . That boy is slaying it really. He really shines in the very few scenes he's in and I think he's doing quite good in the scenes with IU. But I do think, he's the one man wol used to like, cause for yeon woo her concern seems more brotherly/ friendly. It would be too weird a twist (and unnecessary too imo), to make yeon woo her love interest. Anyway we'll see. ;)

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This is quite a long shot, but what if the title isn't incorrect Spanish because the moon is in some way masculine? Like the man in the moon.

What if the significant other from Man-wol's past was somehow transported into the sky or transformed into a planet or made into a moon god? In Greek mythology there was a moon goddess, but everything here is gender-reversed, so...

------

Or, what if the Hong sisters deliberately reversed the gender in their Spanish because they wanted to do gender reversals start to finish in as many ways as possible? What if they deliberately titled the show in a language that had gendered nouns just so they could pull that? I mean, they could have just said "Hotel of the Moon" in Korean words.

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Dear Lord Cobol, I know my mother language. El hombre en la luna (the man in the moon) is still a bad example. The man would be masculine but the moon would still be feminine!. I wrote a small post on this in episode 3 recap.

Selene would be the moon goddess in Greek mythology if memory serves well, so to be honest I am way more inclined to poetic license from the Hong Sisters as far as the adjective usage.

The other explanation is that, for Koreans, we (Spanish speakers) are exotic people living in faraway lands and living very different lives, and the few persons learning Spanish in Korea do so after learning English (and using it as a bridge language) which doesn't use gender adjectives so they don't have a good grasp on the concept.

I don't blame them. Spanish is a ridiculously complex, nuanced and capricious language despite its wonders.

Cheers!.

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It’s almost like one of the writers is trying to impress a Spanish speaker but never really took classes. Maybe a Señor Sanchez? 😂

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... A mucha honra (... And proud of it) ;D .

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Quite the imagination you have there😂👏

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Why not? I think we'd all prefer to believe it a deliberate choice for symbolic reasons rather than a screw up, so I'm going with that!

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Similar to what I posted in Ep 3.

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Speaking of Sanchez, Chan Sung’s face when Sanchez was blabbing about his boss in front of his boss was priceless 🤣.

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I am very sensitive to second hand embarrasment, and it was painful (in a good way) to see.

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The first moment when the camera lingered on Yeon-Woo, it's pretty obvious that there's more to him than just a comrade. I am so excited to know more about this trio of friends.
I love how confident Chan-sung is when he said he know she'd protect him. Usually it's the other way around where the female is the damsel in distress, but gender role reverse is so much fun for me. And it doesn't make him look weak. If anything, he seems to be growing stronger and braver by the episode.

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I'm entertaining the idea of CS actually being the Captain's descendant. Since CS dad touch tree, tree flowers. CS touches tree, leaves sprout...

I am loving the show thus far, only fear is how the ending will be, because Hong Sisters' writings usually start strong then falter at the end...

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I was thinking about the tree. One meaning of mortality if you're a god or goddess is to become a human, a mortal, with an ending. I think she might be a goddess (Diana, or based on Diana, as explained in former post), and the flowering of the tree means both life and death - becoming human means both. I like this because it implies a happy ending for our couple as well - living out a human lifetime together before the afterlife.

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The kiss was pretty meh for me, not enough build up to make it exciting. But I like how the relationship between Man Wol and Chan Sung shaping up, he was send to shake thing up for her and it's shown pretty naturally imho and with this episode I admit I care more for present relationship than the past one, I think Yeo Jin Gu found his footing in this role, I didn't bought how fast he turn from scaredy cat to ghost whisperer but I won't be complaining too much because I like ghost whisperer Chan Sung better.

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The kiss is not supposed to mean anything to the characters so feeling meh is about right. This is a common tactic Hong Sisters use to generate hype (hate it). I recall she did it in Master’s Sun and Hwayugi. Before the leads had enough romantic attraction, one will kiss the other to save him/her from evil spirits.

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Random stuff (some from my wall):

1) Regarding the lack of chemistry that half the people were complaining about, I think I know why. The behind the scenes showed IU and Jingoo too busy laughing and joking that they can’t keep a straight face when cameras roll. 🤣 Jingoo had to tell IU she was smiling when she shouldn’t be. IU was teasing Jingoo for wanting to go home too soon. They were just yapping all the way until the real take. So they both tighten up when camera rolls to pull through. Usually “1 take ok” is a proud achievement but they could have taken a few more attempts to make it better.

2) Bts also showed LJK teasing that if Tree (MW) waited a little longer, he would have showed up to work after the exorcism.🤣

3) I love this scene where Chan Sung manhandled Man Wol to sign documents. Mr. Scaredy-Cat became Mr. Smarty-Pants (damn Harvard overachievers) and is slaying at this job. I love the sarcastic remarks and subtle smiles of victory when Man-Wol is left speechless.

4) Jingoo finally lowered his pitch. I love his 10-floors-underground voice because he instantly grows mature and sexy. Unfortunately he keeps this natural voice for melos most of the time. Time to use it for the right purpose, to impregnate women’s ears.

5) Chan Sung’s hand fetish (under possession) is so cute I can’t stop smiling 😂

6) Neither men were at the tree this time in Chan Sung’s dream. Bug or clarification? Hmmm.🤔

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The only one there to remember was MW. Thus, it is her memory. Which means that CS is remembering MW’s memories, all those memories she had suppressed. So, when MW is saving CS, she’s saving herself?!?

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Maybe it’s not anyone’s memory. Maybe it’s just a time periscope that Mago gifted Chan Sung to help heal Man Wol. Much like the ghost contacts that Man Wol gifted Chan Sung to help heal her guests.

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I was just wondering, does anyone what the song was when Chan Sung was walking in the hallway while he was heading to room 13?

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Can I just say Yeo Jin Goo looks so good in that semi-formal attire without the tie? I feel like this one matches his body much better. The usual suit and tie makes him look so stuffy.

I think Chan Sung is not a reincarnation of anyone, he's just chosen by Ma Go to bring about change and redemption in Man Wol's life. I'm convinced that we're going to see Yeo Jin Goo in the past as well. Hopefully as a nobleman / prince since I miss his acting so much from Crowned Clown.

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I've been trying to remember if I've heard any reference in the dialogue where they talk about seeing each other in the "next life" and I can't pinpoint any reference. When we are talking about the supernatural, ghosts are one thing, but reincarnated people are something else entirely. I am not sure that believing in one means you also believe in the other, so if anyone remembers the characters here actually talking about reincarnation, please mention it here because that would mean that could play a bigger part in the drama. While I love the supernatural dramas and films, I come from a religion that believes that when people die they (or their spirit) are just sleeping and not ghosts or ever to be another person in life.

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There was no mention of seeing each other in the next life, however there was advice given to the ghosts that to commit a bad sin, like killing a human, eradicated the chance for them to have a better next life. Being dissipated into dust, as punishment for evil, meant that even their spirit was gone for good with no chance to continue being reborn into a better life.

The Afterlife seems to be a place in which they can still be judged to be worthy for a next life, as in reincarnation. What kind of next life would depend on what good they had done in the recent past life.

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In "Goblin" (the K-Drama) lore, people reincarnated four times. After that, we didn't know what happened to their souls.

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Thanks @lollypip These last episodes 3-4 felt better to me. I felt that the world building was coherentlyand nicely done, and the laws remained more or less consistent. We got more backstory and great repartee between the leads and I feel that YJG has found his stride. It's all less awkward (or maybe it just does not bother me anymore?) and the tale is coming along well, with even the side story or 2 adding to the main arc.

I find it great that the scaredy cat Chan Sung, is actually extremely perceptive. Instead of merely asking why he's getting dreams of Man Wol's past, he is already suggesting (correctly) that maybe he is with her to help MW figure out what she failed to figure out on her own. And that's what I'm looking forward to seeing as MW stubbornly struggles against him knowing or telling her what she does not want to remember or know about herself.

I was at first bemused by the total lack of pleasure over the tree coming more alive. The look on MW's face was shock and she was aghast at the change. Instead of appreciating it's renewed freshness and beauty, it is insulted as gaudy and unsightly, and something not meant to be saved. This brought to mind the Picture of Dorian Gray, and I wondered at first if the tree that had swallowed up the negative energy of Man Wol, so that she remained eternally young and pretty, might then reverse the process and make her more difficult to deal with, and older faster, the more beautiful the tree became. Thank goodness that although it is true that her time restarts with the tree's re-livening, the reversal will not be to the extent that Dorian Gray's horrific changes happened. And this seems a kinder tree, that does not throw back every spiky branch at MW.

I've come to the conclusion that this show can be enjoyed quite tremendously (like 70%) on the level of its production quality, the very many beautiful scenes and settings in which we see MW, the overall beauty of sight and sound, the bickering interactions and the interesting backstory. That means that even if the last one third of the show goes off the rails, it would still have been an enjoyable show. Of course if the overall arc and redemption of MW and company, through the righteous, good-hearted CS comes out roses, that will add 25% with the remaining 5% depending on whether the dramaverse logic holds true all the way. 😆

Fighting Hotel (de la) Luna!

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Yes, I’m really glad that Chan Sung is a perceptive and thoughtful man. From the trailers before the show, it was really hard to see that he’s smart. (Plus 09 was dumb down to his very last screw. I’m scarred.)

I agree with @kurama that he was never afraid of Man Wol. I don’t think he was even afraid of the notion of ghosts. He was more afraid of the scary looks of ghosts (they do look scary). Like @ziksthecat mentioned above, he didn’t run from MW the first time he met her, despite having a clear premonition that she’s not a regular living being. He sat directly across to negotiate, asked clear cut questions to assess the consequences of breaching their contract. Now that the benefits of staying (protection from a super being and the opportunity to doing something meaningful for others, with salary) outweigh the consequences of breaching (being left to deal with his new ability on his own), it’s a no-brainer for someone with a sincere heart and straightforward mind.

His memory is also amazing because he was able to recognize Mago pretty quickly. Although she didn’t say much about her purpose and relationship to the hotel, he quickly made the connection and asked some good questions. I’m surprised her vague answers didn’t cloud things for him and he had an even clearer idea that he’s there to help the owner more than the guests.

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This drama is drawing out some interesting references. picture of Dorian Gray, and Diana the Moon/Huntress goddess from Greco-Roman mythology to mention two delightful ones!

I think all the speculation generated amongst the viewers deserves a few percentage points; not every drama manages that? And the speculation and supporting deeper dives are really interesting parts of the conversation here on Dramabeans and elsewhere!

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So true @hebang. I mention that I already count this show as one that has me 70% enjoying it, possible bad ending notwithstanding, and a lot of that is also due to the abundant opportunities to speculate that this show offers. The conversations are great over here and the reason the enjoyment is great as well!

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These kind of shows always hook me. With Scarlet Heart, I was the one originally posting about the Korean water maid and origin mythology and what the writer had done with it - discovering this added so much texture to the show and our discussions on DB. Then Black got me hooked because of our brilliant beanies and their theories - I doubt I'd have finished the confusing series without that input - we all became detectives. Cheese in the Trap had half of us researching psychopathy - I am now an expert! Lol. I am sure there were others but these are the few that really sent me on a research bent.

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I don't think they would dare to make Man-Wol old... except for a little while and as a test to both lovers. Hong Sisters did something similar in "My Girlfriend is a Gumiho" when the male lead abandoned Mi-Ho in a ferry and she became... furry for not having near her her fox bead (BTW, when that character became sad, dispirited or felt abandoned she kind of reverted to her Nine Tailed Fox form). Obviously the male lead felt remorse and came back for her, so she became Shin Min-Ah again ;) .

So... no making IU ugly or old except as a test =) .

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LOL!

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I... think I missed the opportunity for a good pun. Mi-Ho would be furryous at me XD .

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I love the fact that Chan Sung never was scared of Man Wol. He always had some trust in her. And now he accepted his job, he can show his strength.

For the past, I think she loved the captain but maybe this love made Yeon-woo to be killed. I hope Chan Sung is not a reincarnation, I would prefer she falls in love with someone who has no connection with her past. I want her to live a new life.

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@kurama
It is likely that the one she trusted was treacherous and she ended up losing everyone in her gang because of this. She probably considers that caring for someone is a weakness and she has kept herself aloof from that for 1,000 years.

I personally do not think CS is a reincarnation from her past at all. And yes, her living a new life sounds like just the thing for her after living the same life for so long.

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About the Blind Ghost and Man Wol
The blind ghost finally got a lily that meant she could have a good afterlife. Before she had been lost and wandering, still thinking that she was blind. Once she could see, she wanted to see the one whom she thought had been warm towards her. When it turns out that she remembers him as the one who killed her and refused to help, her warm feelings turned to resentment and wrath, her form returned to the one of a blind, vengeful spirit, and she wanted to exact vengeance. But CS decided to be the saviour both of Blind Ghost and the baker by risking his life. He prevents Blind Ghost from committing the sin that would get her dissipated as dust/ashes and keeps baker alive to receive his punishment. Blind ghost had to let go of her anger and resentment and desire for revenge. Only then could she return to her better, sighted and truer(?) form and accept the lily.

This is likely the analogy for Man Wol's salvation. What Blind Ghost went through could be a foreshadowing of what Man Wol has to do in order to move on from her living-death to fuller life. Man Wol too has been blind to what she needs to do and is lost in seeking fleeting pleasure as an end in itself.

Now that she sees that with CS that she has to face the things that she has blinded herself to, instead of seeking to keep him with her, to help her discover more, she rejects him from her past and her present ... the opposite of what the Blind Ghost does.

In the future, Chan Sung may be called upon to risk his life to save MW as he saved the Blind Ghost, however in the present, it is MW who seems to be his protector (at least he believes it!) and his saviour. This is the confirmation of the turning point for MW, because she no longer stood back to let things happen. Not only did she engineer the near attack on CS, but she could no longer stand by to let it happen. She has been her own worst enemy for a long time, and now again, she is thwarting herself, but finally for the good.

Her sad, hidden form is reflected in the Moon Tree, her 2nd self. It is the image of the thing that holds her resentment and grudges. (@packmule3 likens the tree swallowing up of the sword to its taking in her grudges.) The tree remained neither dead nor alive, only growing big and spiky on her negative energy. But with CS's help, it's form changes to reflect what has been predicted for MW, life (with nice green leaves) and death (leaves that fall).

Blind Ghost was more likely to remember happy memories over the tragedies, no matter how small those happy memories were. This is unlike Man Wol who seems to not want to remember the good in her past or who interprets even good deeds (of CS) negatively as a waste of time or as being weak.

Instead of being happy that the Tree was rejuvenated, MW refuses to acknowledge that it is the very thing that she needs. She does not want to accept the changes that she has to make to resolve her mistakes, regrets and...

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She does not want to accept the changes that she has to make to resolve her mistakes, regrets and grudges. She has 12 more episodes to struggle against this with CS annoying her all the way! LOL. And I hope she finally gets her lily!

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One thought struck me ... as her time starts, MW will become mortal and possibly more human again, so does that mean she loses her powers and can't protect CS or herself? Hmmm ....

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I wondered about this, too. I object to worlds where mortals have god like powers; I prefer such to be left to supernatural beings. But in this drama, Mago keeps saying that only MW’s clock has paused. So how did she get her powers? Are there other *mortals* with her powers? Is MW still a human? If not what is she?Will these and other questions be answered by the drama?

Your thought on declining powers as her clock starts to speed up is really intriguing, and could naturally lead to her receiving a lily from Mago...

What was that bet from Goblin...?

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That bit from Goblin? It was how Eun Tak finally remembered who Goblin was to her and how she missed him. And then before they could properly enjoy their happily ever after, mortality got in the way. 😢

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... You seem familiar with Hong Sister's style. Man-Wol most probably will become mortal and will need protection from the hotelier. They love to have the roles reversed in their scripts.

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@fgb4877 LOL, actually I am not familiar with their style and although I was 1 of the few who watched Big til the end and Master's Sun and Gumiho, I never analysed enough to know it. But I'm reading here and there that they have a style, (heh!) and maybe I'm stumbling upon it!?!

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I would think the reason for MW resenting/suppressing the good memories in her past, and interpreting good deeds negatively has to be that her happiness lead to the great tragedy at the beginning of the drama. Until she correctly remembers (faulty memory was a key part of the blind ghost thread) and deals with her role in making the tragedy happen...

Getting her lily would mean she died; that would be one direction for the ending (unless you think she is already dead?) . Would that classify as a sad ending? One hopes for one of their better endings!

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@hebang The lily definitely symbolises that the person dies and goes to a happy afterlife. I'm hoping that MW gets to live fully first in the present, after resolving her past and then gets to a happy afterlife herself. She will definitely have to die ultimately, but of course, I hope they don't pull a Goblin ending on us and kill her off before she gets a chance to live properly (but not necessarily lavishly) and with real joy.

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Beautiful!

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Heh, @hebang thanks!

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My only concern going forward is that we are only going to get superficial stories about the ghost guests.

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I would not worry too much about this. In Masters Sun, the writers showed us a number of ghost of the week stories, but most of them were reflections of or learning experiences for the main characters. We also have a driving mystery re Man Wol's identity (I believe she is actually or an avatar of tripartite huntress virgin goddess Diana - goddess of the woods, the moon and the dead (specifically passing from life to death)), her past, and her love story.

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It is funny how I keep upvoting your post just to be remebered I have already upvoted you. Thanks for your post describing Diana's mythology in episode 3, it gave a better understanding of what was going on and what should happen next.

My guess is that it will her mythological counterpart's story, and that she will keep resisting, kicking, screaming and fighting all the way while she spirals down to love, that's why I have linked Kate Bush's "Hound of Love" twice so far...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VerK4zwMRQw

Well... Thrice =D .

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Sorry, she will follow her mythological counterpart's story... but she will keep trying to get rid of him just to repent at the last moment and do things like this kiss, so the situation will keep spiraling down and escalating.

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I like IU since "Producers". I wish there would be another drama about Cindy and Baek Seung Chan haha , especially now that Kim Soo Hyun has returned from military service :)

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This episode was Chan Sung's. The first 3 episodes was where Man Won was a force of nature and everyone else was trying not to float away. Especially Chan Sung. It's not that I hated it, but I wanted Chan Sung to get the upper hand too and now he do. Oh how the tables have turned!!

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CS really did a 180 this episode. From resenting his new job to embracing it. From treating her (reluctantly) as his boss to giving up any pretense of her being anything other than a woman he is interested in. It’s even in the lack of a tie and the relaxed cut of his suit. Now that the tree has proven him to be important to her, he is kind of gloating. And I find that as amusing as MW finds it irritating. I basically love every bit of their interactions this ep.

The Hong sister have a whole new take on the phrase ‘love is a battlefield’… For MW growing any sort of feelings is a capitulation… while CS approaches the goal of getting the tree to bloom as a challenge (you said you feel nothing? I'll prove you wrong HA!). I like this love as competition angle … it gives a very literal meaning to ‘love conquest’. A dubious prospect in real relationships but super entertaining in fiction. Not to mention the best 'damsel in distress' save of the year!

But I do wonder where this unshakable trust comes from... i mean yes the sharing of memories thing gives them a whole new level of intimacy... and the tree growing leaves... but still... was it the conversation with MG? The fact that he knows that a path has been open and it’s up to him to reach it?

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This this this! Everything you said. Even YGJ acting was diff. I mean I dont know how to word it out but I felt like we were dealing with a diff person. As in someone who is confident and knows what he wants. And I liked it so much better than the Chan Sung, who was running away and denying whatever he was feeling or not feeling.

And as you pointed out in the end, same thing I was wondering. Is this change all from the dreams? Did we miss something? Whatever it is, I love all the mysteries and how unpredictable it is for now. I love a drama which makes us to scratch our heads trying to predict and solve the mysteries ahead. And this drama does it brilliantly. I hope it will keep on going and surprises us beyond our imagination. *fingers crossed*

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I get the gloating bit -- she was teasing him for being a wimp and now he has the upper hand and is smart enough to take it. I even get the being interested in her romantically - he was attracted to her from the start I think (it's the growing up thinking that a big bad wolf will come to get you only to meet 'pretty' MW instead -- men are simple as that). And the more he gets to know about her the more fascinating he finds her.

What I don't get is his trust in her... I keep wondering about the motorbike episode: in the restaurant she made it sound as if she was unconcerned about him getting himself killed… but was she? Is CS right about that? I kind of like that we, the audience, don’t really know either way. And that in the end it does not matter: because as he puts his trust in her she can’t help but become worthy of it.

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"And that in the end it does not matter: because as he puts his trust in her she can’t help but become worthy of it."
I think this is how her redemption arc will be achieved, begun by CS's trust in her, even with his life.
I do think from the comments made by Mago that her punishment is largely self-inflicted. Her reaction to the tree blooming seemed to me to show how she believes herself unworthy or undeserving of forgiveness. Her healing may not only be atonement for her sin-whatever that may be--but also growing to believe in herself again.

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I think he pivoted his attitude after meeting Mago. Mago reinforced the deceased manager’s word that the hotel is more than it appears. Since he was keen to the meaning of the white lily he had a very clear idea who Mago is — a god of some sort. With this knowledge, of someone controlling afterlife, stems a faith. Her presence and the understanding that she had placed him at Man Wol’s mercy since he was a little boy gave him trust that this set up had a purpose.

His trust did not begin yet when MW was selling the painting or when she made the deal with the bully’s parents. He questioned her motives. But since then he’s been hearing a lot about MW from the hotel staff, seen her use her way to serve justice (with the bully student), sensed her vulnerability in his dreams. His did not seem attracted yet, but there’s empathy. The empathy he could give a ghost that has done nothing but scare him half to death on multiple occasions, he had such empathy for Man Wol. He trusted the blind ghost to use his body (knowing that a ghost can completely overtaking someone’s body), so he should have at least that much trust in Man Wol, and more because Man Wol has saved him before. However I don’t believe Man Wol deflected the motorcycle. I think the punk didn’t want to kill him and swerved. Just like Chan Sung misunderstands her waiting for a lover, he gives too much credit for her kindness.

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Yes @geliguolu And from the little we see... CS seems to be a relatively trusting person. He actually allowed the ghost to possess him. Something I'd never do!!!

He's been taking it on faith that MW has been telling him the truth. So he expects that as she sees him as a weak human needing her protection, that she will protect him. She also promised to do that more than once since the beginning.

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One extra thing I like about ep.4 developments is how openly they talk to each other about stuff. The scene where she finds him sleeping under her tree is an interesting one for this: she’s just made a decision that she knows is selfish/wrong, she feels bad about it so he looks for him to talk it out. What about it: 1) she generally has no problem with people’s choices leading to their demise and her being the agent of it (see the possession story in ep.3) but not in his case; 2) she feels bad so she needs to reason herself out of her conundrum; and doing that requires talking to/at him (because his opinion matters). Even if his answer is everything she does not want to hear...

I'm looking forward to see what the room 13 episode will change in their dynamic. If the knowledge that she almost drove him mad to be rid of him will finally shake his trust in her, or if the fact that she could not go through with it will only reinforce his confidence.

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Huh. I had convinced myself that the captain was the one she was waiting for so when she was so frantic over Yeon-woo I figured he was her brother.

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I admit...I'm getting pretty into this. Not that I had a reluctance to get into it, just, one can only be too careful with Hong Sister's dramas. That and things weren't really clicking yet in the first week. However, despite it not completely absorbing me at first, I admit I really liked the world of the Hotel (even more after these episodes) and felt the leads had potential. This week had much more synergy between everything and the shift in OTP dynamic sold me on them. I wanted to love them before, but did see a bit more chemistry with the Captain.

But seeing the male lead have to actually step up his game to ruffle the female lead apparently makes it much more satisfying for me when it finally happens. It made the gender reversal feel more organic seeing the characters play through it fully like this, more than some of the flashier moments (though those have certainly been enjoyable). And ever since that shift in their relationship, I've begun to feel that sweet, warm pull that Hong Sister's pairings offer me when they're at their best. Chan-sung's betting on her always coming through and protecting him cemented it for me.

IU is brilliant here. Every now and then her delivery felt forced initially, but episode 4 marked the turning point when her performance as Man-wol began to feel effortless. I actually really love Yeo Jin-goo as Chan-sung (I know he is getting many mixed opinions these days). He also needed to settle into the role, but I find him a much improved, more charming Kang Candy from Master's Sun.

Many have made the Beauty and the Beast comparison, and that's clearly played out even more this week. This is what warmed me to the show that otherwise could have just felt like a mash-up of all the Hong Sister's past fantasy dramas. I mean, Man-wol being 1,000 year old being (Gumiho?), running a hotel with ghosts (Master's Sun), but with a personalty more like the Monkey King's? To be fair, I happen to really like that combination of elements, but what really sold me is the twists that the light horror vibes of the ghost hotel are giving the Beauty+the Beast set-up, like Man-wol's gang not pulling for her growth, but instead being as reluctant as her for any changes to occur their...(after?)life-style.

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@chandler Hi there! Great to see you here.

but what really sold me is the twists that the light horror vibes of the ghost hotel are giving the Beauty+the Beast set-up, like Man-wol's gang not pulling for her growth, but instead being as reluctant as her for any changes to occur their...(after?)life-style.

What you say here struck me. Those ghosts chose to remain for their own reasons, but they are actually self-centred enough to want to keep MW stuck with them. So the effort to unstick MW includes getting the hotel staff to move on as well!

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@growingbeautifully Great to see you too!

Yes, that's exactly what I like about this distinction. It's an apt change in the context of Hotel Del Luna's world and I'm invested in seeing how the gang's development as they come to terms with their reluctance to leave. And, eventually, for them to finally prepare to move on together.

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This show has me completely hooked. But I am not really sure why.

The writing is good and we have some truly tear jerking poignant moments- like when the sweet doggy gets into the limo to heaven with the old man.

IU is stunning in this show- she is always beautiful but her costuming in this show is off the charts (but why cannot they do the same for our male lead?). In fact, the cinematography in this show is excellent, as are the settings. IU's acting is very good - though not at the Daesang level performance of Shin Hye-sun in ANGELS LAST MISSION. But she is definitely showing the conflicting feelings that you would expect upon learning that she is no longer frozen in time.

The Kiss of Life at the end of this episode was dramatically well timed. It is clear that the two leads are falling in love- though neither can admit it- and having the kiss happen this way adds an early physical element that can only add depth to the drama.

I cannot put my finger on what exactly has me so hooked on this show. But I eagerly await the next episode.

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@oldawyer
I join you in hanging from that hook. My conjecture with regards to why I like it (and you can see if anything resonates) includes my catnip of wanting to see a person (usually one much younger than 1,000 years!) who is broken in some way, possibly abandoned, traumatised and so on, come to terms with where they are at, and deciding that they can be healed. That the healing process involves other flawed characters, sometimes team work and usually romance just adds more joy to my catnip.

When on top of that I get an intriguing fantasy whose logic more or less holds together, plus so much beauty in practically every scene and setting, gorgeous wardrobe, heart-stirring music and actors who can deliver with nuance and conviction, I'm over the moon.

And ... I like the twist here, where it is not the weak human who needs to become the super gal/guy, but the powerful, supernatural character who needs to become a mere, mortal human being to reach fulfillment.

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Growing Beautifully I think that you may be on to something here. Your comment makes a lot of sense to me. It resonates with the twist on the fairy tale- The Beauty who is a Beast but may, with the help of a good but simple man, become a Beauty. Meanwhile, the guy who fills the role of the Beauty in the fairy the is in fact a beautiful human being: A mere man- but a real man who we hope will continue to have the courage to see our broken heroine through the healing that she needs.
With maybe an occasional assist from a little old lady Goddess.

So, I am buying your idea here as a fairly logical hypothesis. And I too am a sucker for this kind of a story.

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"And ... I like the twist here, where it is not the weak human who needs to become the super gal/guy, but the powerful, supernatural character who needs to become a mere, mortal human being to reach fulfillment."

There is a fabulous book by Michael Ende called "The Neverending Story" (you probably have seen the movie based on the first part of the book). In the second part, Bastian enters the realm of Fantastica, and as he was fat, a loner and bullied, when he enters he becomes a handsome child with super strenght and super powers. As the story progresses he starts losing his sense of self (as he later discovers, he has been changing whishes for the memories of himself as a human in the real world) and starts his journey back home. At the end of the day he enters the Fountain of Life (courtesy of his friends Atreyu and Fulkur), recovers his human form and the most precious thing he didn't know he had: the capability to love. Then he can go back to the human world after spending so much time in his fantasy.

I think Man-Wol has more than 1,350 years of supressed memories and emotions that are stirred again by the male lead. Then she can figure herself who she was, and what she needs to start going back home... to a more human life with all the weakness, uncertainty and heartbreak it implies. She needs to learn to love again to do so, since she has lost her sense of otherness with all her isolation.

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Thanks for the synopsis of the 2nd part of The Neverending Story, @fgb4877. Sounds quite appropriate for Man Wol's growth!

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