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Hotel del Luna: Episode 11

With an upcoming lunar eclipse, the hotel prepares for a rare special occasion. Although this special occasion is celebrated with a renewed sense of life at the hotel for the dead, our protagonists also experience the potential of loss and the depth of sorrow that follows. Our trusty manager Chan-sung takes pride in his progress with building trust and compassion in our stubborn lingering spirit Man-wol, but he consequently realizes the difficulty of his impending loss. This fear is also mirrored by Man-wol, as she prepares for her blossoms to reach their end.

  
EPISODE 11 RECAP

Chan-sung wakes up from a dream of Man-wol racing to meet Chung-myung after seeing her wine jug hanging from the tree. Chung-myung was waiting at their rendezvous spot holding a decorative pin, but we don’t see what happens next.

As Chan-sung ponders this new piece of Man-wol’s past, Sanchez shows him a gift delivery from Man-wol. Chan-sung opens the card, which simply says, “To thank you…” He remembers embracing Man-wol by the ancient tree and smiles in satisfaction that his sincerity was acknowledged.

But then, he opens the gift and finds a tiger print suit. He’s repulsed by the flashy outfit, and Sanchez jokes that he should get the same thing for himself to greet his girlfriend, who’s visiting soon. Chan-sung immediately grows suspicious about how Man-wol got the money to buy this.

Sanchez reveals that he met up with Man-wol recently to help her settle her grandfather’s inheritance. In a flashback, we see Man-wol requesting help from Sanchez to sell a horse. She claimed that Chan-sung was too busy with hotel business and promised to treat Sanchez later down the road when he visits the hotel.

Chan-sung realizes that the horse was the CEO Wang’s payment for the dream call service. He heads to work with a refreshed conviction, and when Seo-hee informs him about the overwhelming requests for the dream call service from the rest of the guests, he says that all guests should be treated equally.

Huffy Chan-sung walks in on Man-wol admiring her new jewelry, and she notes that he didn’t wear his new suit. She flaunts her tiger print scarf that she bought to match with him. Chan-sung isn’t amused and tells Man-wol that she needs to attend to the rest of the guests who are requesting her special dream service.

Man-wol says that only guests who provide special payment are granted this service, and Chan-sung points out that she already received enough payment with the horse. He makes a deal: She can keep the money as long as she fulfills the guests’ requests for the dream service.

Man-wol argues that some guests will do no good and could even cause harm by using this service. She claims that she doesn’t discriminate by money but by the sincerity of the guests. Much to Man-wol’s frustration, Chan-sung doesn’t let these requests fall to her discretion and instead offers to filter through the guests’ requests to offer this service to those who could truly benefit.

Chan-sung and Man-wol sit through the calls — a chef passing on a secret naengmyeon recipe to his protégé, a patient who calls her “oppas” (cue: Fake Love by BTS, lol) to thank them for their inspiration — and meet the man and his son who had passed that day from a car accident. With his one call, the father initially wanted to call his wife, but he changed his mind. He wants to visit the driver who hit them.

Man-wol assumes that the father wants to curse the driver in indignation and disallows the call, but the father clarifies that he wants to apologize. We see the traumatized driver handing his resignation letter to his boss, and when he walks out, he sees the father and son. The driver falls to his knees and cries, begging for forgiveness.

The father apologizes and says that they were in the wrong for suddenly running into the street. He says that they’ve left a heavy misfortunate burden on the driver. He and his son bow to the driver in apology, and the driver apologizes and thanks them. When the father hangs up, he says that his heart feels lighter and thanks Man-wol for the service.

Man-wol looks affected by the father’s gracious forgiveness, and Chan-sung suggests that they stop here for today. But Man-wol insists that they finish their list, since they only have a few guests remaining. Chan-sung smiles at Man-wol’s growing sympathy.

Our resident hotel staff look at the blossomed flowers from the ancient tree, and Hyun-joong tries to assure Seo-hee and Bartender Kim with the possibility that these flowers could stay for a while. But Seo-hee knows that Mago wants to send Man-wol on her way — these blossoming flowers will meet their end. Bartender Kim says that they should be prepared to cross over, since it looks like Man-wol will be leaving soon.

After connecting all of the guests to the dream service, Man-wol walks out limp in exhaustion. The sessions have drained her, and Chan-sung has just the solution to reenergize her – the famous rice cake soup place that Man-wol has failed to enter due to the long lines. He has an in through a Harvard colleague, and he made a reservation for the whole place that night.

Excited for this outing, Man-wol runs back to prepare the right look for this rice cake soup restaurant. In his office, Chan-sung momentarily contemplates changing into the tiger print suit, but he ultimately decides against it.

At the restaurant, Man-wol takes pictures of the soup and of Chan-sung, and we see her smiling at the picture of him. Chan-sung wants to speak to Man-wol in banmal (informally), so he makes a deal: If he eats enough rice cakes (traditionally, rice cakes are consumed in the new year and signify growing a year older), then he can use banmal with Man-wol. They bicker about how many years each rice cake is worth, and Man-wol looks amused by his determination.

Hyun-joong admires the blossoms on the ancient tree and wonders why the flowers must sadly meet an end. We see a firefly buzz rise into the tree, transitioning into the firefly right outside the window of the restaurant. Man-wol and Chan-sung race to eat more rice cakes to gain more years, and they laugh heartily in each other’s company.

Detective Young-soo presents his investigation on the serial killer and shows the website “Helllo” (hell + lo, which means “to,” so translated to “To Hell”), which initially served as an online community to share concerns but deformed into an angry emotional outlet. He’s confirmed that their suspect uploaded curses about his wife and commented on posts about the other victims.

Young-soo also notes that the posts about the other victims had the most views and comments. The goal of the website is to collectively hate, and Young-soo thinks that the suspect may have fulfilled these curses in real life. The victims had no idea who killed them and why.

At the hotel, Yoo-na confirms with the murder victims that the suspect in custody is not the murderer. She’s convinced that the driver of the car with the ghost is their suspect and asks the victims to describe their killer to create a sketch. Hyun-joong warns her that she’ll get in big trouble if Man-wol finds out about her investigation.

Murderer Ji-won tracks down the moving truck driver to ask about Yoo-na, who he identified from his car dashboard camera. The driver gives him Yoo-na’s social media information, and he goes to Yoo-na’s school to investigate further, pretending to be an entertainment recruiter. Yoo-na’s classmates call her strange and share that Yoo-na can see ghosts. Ji-won creepily smiles in amusement.

Chan-sung approaches Bartender Kim to commend the branding of their hotel’s signature drink, Tears, and suggests that he expand this menu (i.e. “Angel’s Tears” and “Devil’s Tears,” ha). He then notices Yoo-na conversing with the murdered ghosts, and Bartender Kim explains that Yoo-na finds something unsettling about this case.

Yoo-na gives Chan-sung the license plate number of the suspected killer, and Chan-sung orders her to stay out of this dangerous case. Hyun-joong agrees and tells her to focus on school instead of this investigation. Yoo-na reluctantly agrees to hand over the investigation to Chan-sung after putting together the facial composite.

Seo-hee drops off the new list of guest requests, and Man-wol grumbles in annoyance. As Man-wol looks through the list, she asks Seo-hee why the staff aren’t frantically asking about the blossoms on the tree. Seo-hee informs her that they’re all preparing themselves and remains resolute in seeing her in-law family line end before she leaves.

Man-wol knows that Seo-hee’s daughter died in the interest of extending the family line, but she warns Seo-hee not to do anything like what she did 42 years ago. She says that the 200 years of virtue would go to waste if Seo-hee were to dissolve into an evil spirit. But Seo-hee — tightly gripping her hands with constrained hatred — says that this grudge is worth giving up her virtuous years of service.

Man-wol doesn’t push further and notes the lunar eclipse this month. Seo-hee says that it will be a long eclipse and says that she’ll prepare accordingly. Then, she heads out of the office and leads a lone guest to his quarters. Hmm, I wonder what this eclipse means for the hotel.

When Chan-sung returns home, he’s met with burly security guards who escort him to a mysterious older lady. He recognizes her from the paper that morning and asks why she wanted to meet with him. She asks to meet with Man-wol and explains that she was a former manager at Hotel del Luna.

Chan-sung brings this esteemed guest, former manager Hwang Moon-sook, to the hotel, and she’s greeted with delight by the resident staff. It’s been about 30 years since she left, and she can no longer see any other ghosts other than the staff. When Moon-sook sees Man-wol, she bows respectfully.

In Man-wol’s office, Moon-sook comments on how big the hotel became, and Man-wol credits this to Moon-sook’s shrewd investment in the Myeongdong land. Man-wol notes that she saw the news of Moon-sook becoming a big-shot president, but Moon-sook humbly says that she’s merely a candidate.

Moon-sook credits her success to Man-wol letting her go from the hotel, and Man-wol reminds her that she let her go reluctantly. Mago had dissolved Moon-sook’s spirit vision because her talents were too great to be tied down to the hotel manager role. Man-wol laments that Moon-sook could have made her a wealthier landowner if she stayed at the hotel.

Pleasantries aside, Man-wol asks the reason for Moon-sook’s sudden visit, and Moon-sook reveals that she has a request. Knowing the way to Man-wol’s heart, Moon-sook first offers up a large sparkly gift, and Man-wol is immediately all ears. Moon-sook says that it’s a small but important request, especially significant because of the longest eclipse in 39 years.

Bartender Kim explains to Chan-sung that Moon-sook was responsible for building the foundation of wealth that permits Man-wol’s extravagant lifestyle. Chan-sung expresses awe at the unfathomable — that someone as great as Moon-sook had served the hotel — and Seo-hee further explains that Man-wol never leaves any trace of her human hotel managers.

Man-wol explains to Chan-sung that the hotel is visible to humans during the eclipse, and humans can even see some of the ghost guests. Of course, the human guests will be turned away at the front desk, but Man-wol remembers a newlywed couple who stayed at their hotel during their last eclipse when Moon-sook was the manager.

In a flashback, we see the newlyweds running through the rainy night and entering the hotel for refuge. The manager at the time, Moon-sook, had convinced Man-wol to allow this couple to stay at their hotel, since the couple would otherwise spend their first wedded night in jail for violating curfew. They stayed in room 404, and Man-wol narrates that this was the first time a child was conceived at the hotel.

Man-wol says that child become Korea’s famous soccer player and whispers the name into Chan-sung’s ear. Chan-sung gasps in surprise, and Man-wol shares that Moon-sook just told her that this soccer player is her future son-in-law. In hopes of reaping the auspicious energy of the hotel, Moon-sook has requested that her daughter and son-in-law stay at the hotel for their honeymoon.

Man-wol orders him to prepare room 404, since these are human guests, but Chan-sung worries about the infamous room 404, where guests can check in but never check out. Man-wol confirms that guests can only check out into the afterlife and teases him to go check the room if he’s so concerned.

Curious and concerned, Chan-sung enters room 404 and closes the door behind him. Meanwhile, Man-wol announces to the staff that they’ll be hosting human guests for their honeymoon during the eclipse, and the staff cheer in excitement. Bartender Kim wonders where Chan-sung went, and when Hyun-joong tells him that he’s inside room 404, Bartender Kim says that they shouldn’t expect him until tomorrow. Huh, curious.

When Chan-sung returns home the following morning, he finds Sanchez calling his girlfriend, Veronica, who’s stopping by Korea soon from Shanghai. After the call, Sanchez shows off his proposal ring and asks if he can propose at Chan-sung’s hotel. Chan-sung immediately rejects this, and Sanchez suspects that something is unusual about this hotel that Chan-sung works at. He incorrectly guesses that they’re low on funds and offers to help.

They’re interrupted by Mi-ra heading out while arguing on the phone with Young-soo. Sanchez comments that she’s always fighting but continues to date Young-soo, and he wonders if they were mortal enemies in a past life (ha). Chan-sung nods in confirmation that they indeed were mortal enemies.

Sanchez was hoping to see the eclipse from the sky bar that Chan-sung boasted about, and Chan-sung apologizes for disappointing him. At the hotel, Chan-sung busily prepares for the eclipse guests — clearing out the 4th floor of ghost guests, preparing real flowers, checking the menu.

A live bee that flies out of the bouquet of flowers reminds Chan-sung of the firefly at the abandoned hotel that disappeared into the window and illuminated an outline of a ghost. He asks Hyun-joong if such thing as a bug ghosts exists, but Hyun-joong denies any knowledge of this. Before they set up the flowers, Chan-sung picks out a rose and awkwardly explains that it’s for his office. Smooth.

Chan-sung finds Man-wol exhausted from another day of dream call servicing, and she complains that she’s the only one taking care of their guests while everyone else is preparing for the eclipse guests. As a token of appreciation, Chan-sung offers her the rose and says that it’s special because it’s alive. Man-wol irately says that her garden is full of flowers, but Chan-sung argues that they’re all fake, except for the Jang Man-wol flowers on the ancient tree.

Man-wol seems embarrassed by the mention of the blossoming tree, and Chan-sung boasts that the tree blossomed as soon as he embraced her. He extends his hand to take the phone, and Man-wol vehemently rejects him, misinterpreting it as him offering another hug. Amused by her mortification, Chan-sung extends his arms and openly offers a hug. Aw, this is cute!

Man-wol begins to blabber on with her excuses, and Chan-sung shuts her up by sticking the rose in her mouth. He tells her that he’s placed an updated list of dream service requests and orders her to get back to work after recharging. He walks off, and Man-wol storms into her office, slamming down the phone and spitting out the rose.

Then, she remembers Chan-sung’s comforting embrace and his promise to not let her devolve into an evil spirit. She picks up the rose and sniffs it, confirming that it’s alive. She says that she’s indulging this rose only because it’s weak and sticks it in a bottle vase, giving it a long pensive look.

The eclipse begins, and the hotel staff excitedly get to the places to greet their honeymoon human guests. Chan-sung notes the excitement of the staff, and Man-wol says that this is a rare occasion when the hotel emerges into the living world, and the staff sense that they’re a bit more alive as an extension.

When the couple arrives at the hotel, Hyun-joong blunders his greeting, asking how long it’s been since they’ve passed and then quickly correcting it to how long they’ve been married. He escorts them into the lobby, where they’re led to an extravagant dinner with the hotel’s signature Tears drinks made by Bartender Kim.

Chan-sung finds Man-wol giddily watching the eclipsed moon from her office, and she expresses her satisfaction with seeing the despicable full moon covered. Chan-sung makes a cheesy metaphor that a new full moon (Man-wol) will resurface after the eclipse — a moon that is kinder and more frugal. He teases bad Man-wol to meet the good Man-wol outside when the full moon emerges.

Then, Chan-sung notes the punny nature of his ranking as number 0 (round like the moon) and his name — Gu, which means “round” in hanja and Chan-sung, which means “agree.” Man-wol banters back that his name must be Gu Okay, and Chan-sung corrects her that his English name is Andrew. Ah yes, some classic Hong sisters punny banter.

Chan-sung then traces the moon on the window with a diagonal cross and confirms with Man-wol that this is her mark on her possessions. He remembers Chung-myung holding the pin with this sign as he waited for Man-wol at their rendezvous point and wonders if this dream vision actually happened.

Seo-hee informs Man-wol that the couple is ready to head to their room, and she escorts the couple to room 404. She tells them not to exit the room until checkout, and the couple agrees to the terms, having heard about this room from the parents who once stayed there.

Meanwhile, Hyun-joong and Bartender Kim excitedly anticipate what great child will be conceived tonight. Reaper stirs his drink and smiles knowingly at the mention of conception, but Hyun-joong suggests that he stay in his lane and stay out of affairs regarding new life. Ha!

Sanchez calls Chan-sung and informs him that Veronica never showed up to dinner. He worries that she ghosted him because she felt burdened by his plan to propose. As he calls, a bloody figure, unbeknownst to Sanchez, approaches the table. The call is interrupted by an urgent message, and Sanchez immediately runs out of the restaurant.

We see that the bloody ghost at the table is Veronica (cameo by Seo Eun-soo), tragically dead from an accident in Shanghai. When Chan-sung arrives home, he runs into Sanchez frantically heading out with his bags to head to Shanghai. He says that he won’t be back until Veronica recovers, but then Chan-sung sees Veronica’s ghost in the house.

Chan-sung stops Sanchez and says that it’s too late, but Sanchez angrily denies this ominous message. Looking at the half-covered moon, Chan-sung urges Sanchez to trust him and asks that he come to the hotel so that he can see Veronica one last time.

When Chan-sung enters the hotel, he asks Hyun-joong to direct the woman following them into the hotel to the sky lounge. He takes Sanchez up, and we see Veronica enter the hotel soon after. At the sky lounge, Chan-sung gently explains to Sanchez that this place is a special hotel for ghosts.

He tells teary Sanchez that they don’t have much time left in the eclipse and says that Veronica will show up soon because she’s dead. Then, Veronica shows up and approaches Sanchez with a yearning look. Chan-sung gives them their space, and Veronica apologizes to Sanchez for showing up like this.

Veronica tenderly wipes away Sanchez’s tears and tells him not to cry too much because she was happy with him. As the eclipse ends, she tearfully says, “My great love, goodbye.” Sanchez pulls Veronica into an embrace just as the moon resurfaces, and she disappears in his arms. Devastated by his loss, Sanchez sobs under the bright full moon.

Man-wol and Seo-hee observe Chan-sung silently mourning, and Seo-hee says that a sudden death causes deep sadness in the surviving people. Man-wol notes that it’s been a while since she’s seen the sorrow of the those remaining alive. She meets eyes with Chan-sung, who looks at her with inexplicable sadness.

The next morning, Seo-hee greets the couple, who thank her for a memorable experience and exit into a new place — the room door disappearing behind them. The husband says that it’s just as his parents told him, that you can never find this hotel again. The wife hopes that their child will one day spend their honeymoon at this hotel.

Chan-sung tells Mi-ra that Sanchez will be in Italy for Veronica’s funeral, and Mi-ra laments that Sanchez didn’t get a chance to send off Veronica. Chan-sung cryptically says that Sanchez saw Veronica and trusts that he’ll endure, knowing that there’s more after death. Before Mi-ra can ask further, they’re interrupted by Moon-sook’s security guards who are there to escort Chan-sung.

At a crosswalk, Yoo-na studies the sketch of the killer from the victims’ descriptions, and she almost gets hit by an oncoming car. It’s Ji-won, and he feigns apology. Then, Yoo-na notices the ghost in his car and looks back at her drawing. It’s a match, so Yoo-na hails a taxi to follow Ji-won. In the car, Ji-won notices Yoo-na following him and looks satisfied that she took the bait.

Moon-sook thanks Chan-sung for facilitating a memorable stay for the newlyweds and says that Chan-sung is welcome to reach out for a job after his time at the hotel. Chan-sung says that he doesn’t intend on leaving, but Moon-sook says that Man-wol told her something different — that Chan-sung will leave soon, after sending off his last guest.

Moon-sook wonders if the rules of the hotel manager have changed and asks who this last guest is. Chan-sung responds that it’s someone that he likes very much, and Moon-sook sympathizes that this must be difficult. His voice shaking, Chan-sung acknowledges that it will be very difficult, despite knowing about this last guest in advance.

As Chan-sung looks up at the sky, he gets a call from Man-wol. She asks what he’s up to, and he says that he’s looking at the moon. Man-wol says that there’s no moon during the day, and he responds, “It must be difficult if I want to see the moon but can’t see it.” Hearing his message, Man-wol offers to meet up with him.

Right after Chan-sung hangs up, he gets a call from Yoo-na, who notifies him that she’s located Ji-won’s car. He orders her to stay there and not engage any further. While walking out of her office, Man-wol notices the wilted rose on her desk. She picks up a fallen petal, which seems to emit a menacing energy.

From the bar, Ji-won watches Yoo-na from his surveillance camera and wonders why she followed him. Then, we see the angry ghost lingering right next to him. When Chan-sung meets up with Yoo-na, she tells him that her sketch matches the driver. He takes a look at the sketch and seems alarmed by recognition of Ji-won. He quickly tells Yoo-na to leave and continues the investigation.

Chan-sung enters the wine bar and asks if anyone is there. He doesn’t see anyone but notices a set table with a used wine glass. Then, he sees a framed photo and recognizes the person: Ji-won. When he turns around, he comes face-to-face with the murdered ghost.

Meanwhile, Man-wol waits for Chan-sung at his house. She senses a presence and turns to find dark Mago, an unwelcome guest. Dark Mago claims that this is the version of the god that Man-wol anticipated the most, since she actively neglected reincarnation, healing, and fate — wishing to be exterminated by Dark Mago.

Man-wol scoffs at Dark Mago’s determination to exterminate her, but Dark Mago knows that she has something to lose now — the blossoms on the tree indicate this. Dark Mago threatens the loss of the person who caused those blossoms, and Man-wol’s expression turns dark.

Chan-sung turns to find Ji-won, who smiles at him in greeting, and Dark Mago says, “Foolish and arrogant Man-wol, did you say that you were not afraid of the blossoms ending? You are wrong. When you encounter fear, your blossoms will fall.” Realizing her fear, Man-wol hands tremble, and she looks at Mago fearfully.

As Man-wol faces Mago and Chan-sung faces Ji-won, we see the blossoms on the Moon Tree falling. Man-wol has found something to fear.

  
COMMENTS

This is a cruel joke by the gods — stacking up Man-wol’s past and present against herself and cornering her to choose her own fate. She’s already facing the demons of her past, and now she’s gained something to lose, someone arguably more valuable than her past. What I once thought as a beautiful metaphor of the blossomed flowers naturally meeting the end of their cycle — just as Man-wol will naturally meet an end to her time in the living world — has become a source of fear and loss. Dark Mago is the epitome of a maleficent god, and while I find her methods spiteful, I think the way she tests Man-wol is meant to illuminate the strength of Man-wol’s character. Knowing that Man-wol and Chan-sung both hold a conflicting determination to protect each other, I’m interested to see how Man-wol responds to Dark Mago’s challenge.

The relationship between Man-wol and Chan-sung has been flirting between romantic and platonic, and I’m not too bothered by it. I much rather prefer the platonic relationship between the two, as it feels more natural and genuine, but I can understand how their budding relationship also relies on romantic interest. They care about each other, and the more they learn about each other, the more intimate they become. I think this episode emphasized how much Chan-sung really cares for Man-wol and how much that impending loss is going to hurt. Admitting that to Moon-sook made it more real for him, and I hope that loss isn’t going to be one impelled by Dark Mago.

I like this concept of a cosmic fate, of the Universe being a place where wounds heal through twists of fate, reincarnation, and forgiveness facilitated across multiple generations. God forbid this end tragically for Man-wol and Chan-sung, but I find some solace in this thread of cosmic fate. I trust that a Man-wol and Chan-sung reunion in a future reincarnation will grant them happiness and less of this cruel game of chess with the gods.

I enjoyed exploring the concept of the eclipse and the sense of life that fills the hotel under the darkness of the moon. It was a creative vehicle to change things up at the hotel, to bridge the distance between the living and the dead. I can tell the writing is fun, the acting is playful, while maintaining the poignant thread of heartbreak and loss. Although it was a short part of the episode, Sanchez’s loss left a strong impression and transitioned perfectly into Chan-sung’s own reflections on sorrow upon loss. He faces an inevitable loss in his job, and the weight of this is starting to feel real.

Materialistic Man-wol is funny, flawed, and sometimes seems too simple, but I find Man-wol irresistibly charming. She’s hot-headed yet soft, stubborn but compassionate, fickle yet loyal. Man-wol has repeatedly proven that her love of luxuries does not make her completely artificial; she’s quite the opposite. The responsibility that Chan-sung feels to lead her to a proper send-off resembles the responsibility she feels for her resident staff. As capricious and selfish as Man-wol is, I don’t think she could rest easy if Bartender Kim, Seo-hee, and Hyun-joong failed to cross over peacefully. She won’t be as gentle and kind as Chan-sung, but she’ll fulfill her obligations in her own style — with the proper stylish outfit, a dash of annoyance, but with a heart full of compassion.

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"What I once thought as a beautiful metaphor of the blossomed flowers naturally meeting the end of their cycle — just as Man-wol will naturally meet an end to her time in the living world — has become a source of fear and loss."

A lot of commentators seem to be saying this, and I'm trying to understand why. I don't think this is anything new the show has introduced. Her death and her moving on would always have been a loss for him. Even the 1000 year old Man wol has to die at some time, and of course anyone she leaves behind will grieve and mourn her passing.

Since it was romantic love that led to Man-wol's curse (ie her belief that she brought doom upon her people by falling in love with the captain), it makes sense that it is romantic love that sets her free. But that love will naturally be accompanied by a loss, and the fear of that loss. Much like love in the real world. In fact, I find the show to be quite a comfort in that it shows that death is not the end.

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I also thought death and parting was natural and inevitable given the nature of this story.

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Yes, it was no surprise.

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All I can say is I ship them IRL. 😁

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So many are boarding RL ship across the net🤣 ... but he’s so young~~ .

I’m not saying that because I think the age gap is a problem. I really think he’s more mature than his age and they do meet in between mentally. Just that he’s at the age of exploration romantically and professionally so the RL ship won’t sail far. However I do think the chemistry IRL is crazy.

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I hope they can become a good friends after the show ended 😆

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Okay... Sorry, didn't realize IU is in a noona drama at 26! Hehehe

Kidding aside, watching the drama, I actually "feel" their age. Not sure if it's because of my own age that I feel they are like kids acting out adult roles. This is probably the reason why I can't fully immerse myself in the drama.

But anyway, I said IRL because I am thinking they'll match quite well IRL. 😁

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Don’t be sorry. I’m not against shipping them.

I just hope they’re happily in touch for many years to come and maybe bless us with another lovely drama (and all bts) in the future.

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The thing is his character's age has been set too high. Yeo Jin-goo is, of course, smart, capable, and discreet but definitely doesn't look 30.

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It's crazy how IU and YJG's chemistry is more palpable in the behind the scenes clip than on screen.. But starting from episode 9 I think their chemistry starts to pick up and I can see Man-wol and Chan-sung having a romantic relationship, rather than just platonic.

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Will now go and see more BTS...😂

Come to think of it... I started to ship them after seeing a pic from BTS, the one with YJG visiting the set in glasses.

And you are right, it's picking up from the last few episodes.

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Their romance develops gradually which is more natural according to his character. Goo Chan-Sung is not the playboy-type who flirt at first sight.

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I'm curious, they always speak about the flowers but and the fruits? I mean flowers are not only here to be beautiful, they kinda have a role...

Poor Sanchez! I must confess that I have some doubts about the existence of Veronica, but now we met her and lost her... It's really not fair.

CM was here... I really want to know all the story in the past >_<

Their bickering is so funny, the suit, the horses, the calls, the rice cakes, etc. I really like their "combination".

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The rice cake scene felt so real. Him saying he could eat all the riceball plus her earings too. The look on MW face. Lol

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I love that scene too. The fun and laughter were soo real!

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I also love that scene 😍😍😍

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That scene was really great 😂. I think that line was an ad-lib too. You can tell from the way she burst out laughing. I watched the behind the scenes, the set looks crazy fun.

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I would have loved it if the relationship stayed platonic but who can resist Man-wol’s charms?

Here I was thinking that the actress playing Veronica will be the same AWE-SooME Veronica Park aeyo for some drama crossover. Only to get my heart shattered for Sanchez’s tragic loss.

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As a general rule of thumb employees should not sleep with their employers. Admittedly that rule gets broken all the time in K-dramas.

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When the first time I heard about Sanchez’s gf named Veronica.. all I can imagined was a funny and light hearted scene... I didn’t expect it will be like this ☹️

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Ikr, whenever Veronica gets mentioned, I automatically smile but now 😑

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Me too! And maybe bec of Secret Life of My Secretary, I kept thinking of Veronica Park (and imagined someone like that).

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Most viewers could tell the rice cake laugh was real. A news article just came out that confirms it was adlibbed.

“Hotel De Luna” Yeo Jin-gu’s “Chorangi Tteok” ad-lib, IU’s real-life laugh
https://n.news.naver.com/entertain/article/477/0000202404

A rough translation is posted on my wall.

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I recall a moment in 'Five Children' when Shin Hye-sun laughed at a Sun hoon ad lib. Rather than merely 'acting' she seemed genuinely charmed by the man and the moment seemed to affect their acting together afterward.

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The rice cake scene was so heartwarming + a lot of natural chemistry. He needs to do more ad-libs, and IU’s real-life laughter was so adorable...

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From the bts, it seems he’s done plenty of ad-libbing. Unfortunately it all resulted in hysterical laughing that can’t be left in the end product 🤣

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My favourite is "Jang Man Weol-sshi, aren't your knee in a bad condition?". 🤣

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I laughed at the aired dialogue too — “Didn’t know you can run”.

Must have been killing IU trying to catch a different curveball each take. I can only imagine how much she’d slap his chest already.🤣

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Aww now i want to see all the bts scenes 😘😍

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Lol, you remember the scene where Man Weol brings a red car to meet Chan Seong at a bakery? She throws the car key to him and tells him to drive but they had to do at least three takes because Yeo Jin Goo just couldn't catch the key. So IU was like throw it to me and Yeo Jin Goo was all I'm not sure you can catch it but then she catches it smoothly in one try. His frustration 😂

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I knew it. Posted about it, too.

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"We see a firefly buzz rise into the tree, transitioning into the firefly right outside the window of the restaurant."

It seems like many fans' theory on the firefly being Chung-myung is correct.

Also, I really agree with what you said about Man-wol. She is soooooo likeable! Short temper and prickly banter but just so cute and beautiful. Her outfits each episode have been nothinf short of stunning.

IU also released an OST track in ep 12 but sadly it won't be officially released 😭 here's hoping it will make it onto her upcoming album like her song Heart in The Producers was included in her Chatshire album.

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I’m gonna die when Chan Sung wears that tiger (actually leopard) pattern suit. Please do it for Sanchez, lol.

Man Wol in her bubbly rice cake outfit and matching accessories cracked me up. After 1300 years of life and more, Man Wol goes on an actual first date. It’s both beautiful and sad to see them making each other so happy. Btw, ad-libbing in the scene was apparent. Since this date was Chan Sung’s treat to her hard work, Man Wol starts getting extra whiny after her “phone service” shift, which was really cute. The rose biting expression was priceless.

Wow, a living ex-manager returns — the smart one that made Man Wol rich. My wild guess is that the child conceived in the 404 honeymoon suite will be the next life of one of the leads. I’m betting on Man Wol, but wouldn’t be surprised if turns out to be Chan Sung.

Our poor Sanchez, you don’t deserve this. Since this is a cameo role, Veronica has made quite an impressive scene with Sanchez in the least amount of screen time.

Our poor Chan Sung absolutely knows the pain waiting ahead but he’s not a noble idiot. He’s a true Harvard con artist trying to mask his feelings while giving Man Wol the love life that she was never able to enjoy. I also appreciate that he’s never felt possessive of her. He didn’t mind dreaming of her love for the men from the past and extends his care for them because of her.

The telephone service wasn’t just some random filler. This small comedic segment started this weekend’s MW lesson — understanding those left behind in sorrow. The driver living with guilt and a criminal record for the remainder of his life while the kindhearted father and son felt bad that their mistake ruined the driver’s life. Sanchez suddenly and painfully losing Veronica before his proposal, while she worries that Sanchez will mourn for her excessively.

The driver and Sanchez were blindsided by the deaths and meeting the ghosts gave them comfort that the deceased are doing fine. Chan Sung is the reverse. He knew that death is not the end and is working for a good separation. However it’s no easier to prepare for it.

I knew Mago wasn’t truly compassionate. It’s all about getting Man Wol soundly out of her jurisdiction and onto the next phase. All her faces are working for one goal.

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Each story signalling what's ahead of Man Wol and Chan Sung, this whole week was about how people deal with loss and sorrow. I like how they approached this. And how Man Wol doesn't let herself grief after her human managers publicly, but removing all traces of them is very telling.

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Chan-Sung teasingly threatens to eat Man-Wol 'Ddeok' earrings makes me choke. Come to think of it they have been going to a lot of dates already. It's just never felt this sweet. Now that we've come to adore them as a couple, it's getting harder to see them get separated. I'll just accept any outcome except the idea of having Man-Wol reincarnate and come back to 'this' Chan-Sung. No Ji Eun-Tak, pleaseeeeeeeee writer-nim.

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Those were more like business dinners. This was a real date❤️

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My poor Sanchez, I haven't the faintest idea why the Hong Susters had to play Sanchez like that. Why did she have to die?😭 As for Man Wol, I still ship her with the captain. It's terrible, I know. That being said both IU and YJG are fighting for the chemistry, so A for effort. I enjoy them together, just not as a couple. Finally, I have always loved IU, but she is just so great in this role. 😊

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She is killing it! I love how you can see the shift of emotions in her. She is awesome in My Ahjussi but she is giving us a roller coaster of emotions in HDL.

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Oh no not terrible .. because there are at least two of us. LOL. Seriously, i also dont mind the present relationship .. it is the main story after all. I just appreciate that there are a lot of substories and it just so happens that the past is also a beautiful but tragic story.

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Will Chang Sung be able to pull Harvard scam over Goddes of Death and win more time with Man Wol in this or next life? Or will he send he of with Captain? This episode was all about sorrows and dealing with lose but also show as more sneaky side of CS.

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The scariest thing is him being left alone with all the bruises and pains when all the others move on their separate paths. Separation seems to be the theme of this entire episode.

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“him being left alone with all the bruises and pains”

What if.. this is the price that he must to pay that Mago talked about before?

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Then the Magos, well at least one of them, have to answer this question, what has he done so wrong to be punished like that? He's only here because she pull her strings. All he did is helping people earnestly.

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There are a few things that is slowly bothering me. MW has been described as a human trapped between life and afterlife. She is seen as both a ghost and a human. But she has displayed the powers to kill humans by gun or energy like a reaper.

The Grim Reaper indicated that he already knew what would happen to the eclipse conceived human child. That would infer that a human life is all fate even though we believe in free will to make choices during one's lifetime. Even perceived choices may just be circular events (a cosmic trick) to get to one's pre-determined end.

If the Grim Reaper takes souls at the end of their life times, then why is their a duplicate role of Ma Go? Is there a specific difference between a human soul (ghost) and a spirit? We know that vengeful spirits are dangerous. But The Grim Reaper seems to be able to take care of both in his assignments. The difference could help explain MW's situation and leads to this theory:

MW was found by Ma Go wandering with material treasures but at the cost of the lives of all those close to her. I had assumed that MW was the sole survivor of her gang who was given the opportunity to run the hotel as a means of penance. I do not know why a god like Ma Go would trap a human soul as an immortal innkeeper to care for souls on the way to heaven.Ma Go appears to be a superior guardian in the spirit world. She has to have a different motivation. It is then possible that MW thinks she is a human trapped between the two worlds, but in reality she has always a wandering spirit until Ma Go found her. The bargain to run the hotel, represented by the tree, was conditioned to be paid in spiritual capital not human existence. MW was tricked into being "a human" trapped in a purgatory so she could not use her full spiritual powers. It is only when MW realizes her real situation can her spirit move on in peace.

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I also have often thought this drama made more sense over all if Manwol was a spirit/ghost who didn’t know she was.

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I'm pretty sure Man Wol and everyone else in her hotel knows she's a ghost. They make it obvious in the next episode.

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Interesting thought @welh.
Just a note in that gun scene, that the corrupt mayor who was 'shot' by a ghost bullet, seemed to have been given the ability to see the policewoman ghost. What he said to her brought his crimes home to him. It was after he died and became a vengeful ghost himself that MW 'killed' his ghost with a stake. So in this case, she did not have the power or the right to kill a living human being.

The Ma Gos are the different faces of one deity with different methods to push along the plan to save MW.

It will be interesting to know if she is indeed a spirit who thinks she's still a trapped human. Or a human given the powers to enable her to run a ghost hotel.

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This show is really giving Sanchez a hard time 😭 First the unfair accusation that he drove a girl to suicide and then Veronica's death damm....I'm super grateful that Sanchez has found a good and supportive friend in Chan-sung! Tbh I wasnt expecting a love story in this episode but after it was played out, it really shook me. He was about to propose too but then tragedy struck and he never got the chance :( I'm happy that he got to see her one last time but that scene was also very sad.

So its official that the CM didn't really betray MW...but I wonder why he did it. I'm thinking the person watching CM was the princess and she caught the captain waiting there. But the reason why he chose to sell out MW and the band of thieves is still up in the air.

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Thank you @dramallama for the recap! I always can count on the recapper (is that a real word?) to eloquently point out the nuances of the drama that I miss!

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Ahhh I'm glad Sanchez finally knows the truth about the hotel but the way it happened my poor heart </3

on a brighter note, anyone else wish we got to see them wearing matching tiger prints eating their rice cake soup lol

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i'm having a bad feeling that the tiger print suit might be used for a sad moment (possibly chan sung sending man wol to the afterlife) in a sort of dark humour way.. hoping i'm wrong, this drama makes me so sad

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Thanks @dramallama for such a prompt recap. I really appreciate it!

I was thinking that although Ma Go 4's presence looks so ominous, it is actually quite 'nice' of her to meet MW and give her the alert to her own ending and her greatest fear. She's put MW on her guard to realize that her greatest test is not what she does when she faces an enemy, but what she will do when her loved one is harmed. MW has been given time to consider if she will be the same as she was 1,000 years ago or whether this time of 'reflection' has made a difference to her attitude.

It is understandable now, why MW never allowed herself to have a photo of her past managers. She could never afford to have an attachment that made her afraid to lose someone else. I guess if only she had (which was what I believe Ma Go 1 had hoped for her from the beginning) and had been able to deal with a fresh loss without being vengeful, MW would long ago have had a 'normal' life and been reincarnated. Now that her life has been too long unnaturally lengthened, perhaps she's outlived her years and should be sent off to the afterlife once her petals finish falling of her tree.

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Agreed.
At first, I was quite in the dark regarding where the dark Mago stands. Come to think of it, this was like her warning, though delivered in her signature harsh version. As a god, she kinda knows what 'could' happen, so she lays it in front of Man-Wol ahead of time and let Man-Wol choose her own fate. This reminds me of the scene Man-Wol stopped the quarreling couple by handing them weapons.

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I like how this show has brought the 'sets' together. Early on in the series we hear how MW said the Tiger and the Baekdu Mountain were a set, and she'd tie in what to eat with different events as if they were a set. (Of course the running joke is that she just craved those foods).

This episode we see the sets of new beginnings (conceiving a child) with endings (death), ...of joy and excitement over life and the new moon with sorrow and anticipation of loss. That is our life. We have all the phases of the moon. We are able to appreciate joy and attachment because we also experience sorrow and loss. For too long the moon has been full, for Man Wol. She had kept her heart protected and ensured she had no one to lose. Since she started to care for an other in earnest, her tree became more fully alive, but with that comes the dying as well.

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@growingbeautifully
I like how you pulled everything together - it helps me to see the show in a new and deeper way!

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Thanks @stpauligurl
I've actually been finding this show immensely rich in imagery and double meanings and commentary about us, human beings, although we are dealing with an other worldly set of characters. There are themes that are running through the series and pop-up more than once so that we may notice them. It's been a lovely ride, trying to catch the unfolding clues and thoughts of the writers. Sometimes they make these evident, but in the process they also 'hide' other ideas that are being played out. Keeps me on my toes!!! LOL.

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You've spoken so beautifully~ thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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Thank you @greenfields. 😁

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Lovely!

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Btw, your essay on BoD was also lovely!

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Thanks @hebang! What a sweetie you are!

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This show is indeed a deep and thoughtful piece of art. I'm sure as one of the non-Asian audiences I'm missing a lot of double meanings and metaphors. I guess tree, full moon, sword, blossoms, falling blossoms, lunar eclipse, etc. have significant meaning in ancient Korean/Asian literature/beliefs... MW said in one of the earlier episodes that she hates seeing the full moon (her past self!). In this episode she was practically grinning from ear to ear over the lunar eclipse... I wonder if eclipse/no moon signifies her new self (with no regret and resentment)...

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@persianrose
I'd like to think that she does indeed see the eclipse as a reminder of a real new moon, a sign of the time when she had no grudges, regrets and resentments. She mentioned to CS that the hotel staff were excited because it reminded them how it was when they were alive. I guess for her too, as she has no 'future' to look forward to, she is remembering with great pleasure how it was to be fresh and free.

I do hope however that since there is reincarnation in this drama-verse, she can also consider how she might have a new beginning (as a human being and not a pig! ) with a new moon.

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At this point, I just can't figure the dark Mago-shin out. Where does she really stand? It almost seems like she enjoys seeing souls turn evil.

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She’s the one what comes with a whip when people don’t listen to the nicer ones.

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Yeah, come to think of it, her threat feels more like a warning. It's her smirk I misinterpret.

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Yeah sometimes somethings need to be said in a harder and stricter way for people to understand.

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I don't think they're either good or evil, they're just drivers of change and destiny. Kind of like the Greek fates (who liked to meddle on human affairs, because their gods were fickle like that) combined with the oriental concept of Yin and Yang where you need both positive and negative to achieve balance and harmony. Or maybe she's like Nanny McPhee. 😂

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I laugh that the former manager was too good at her job that Mago had to intervene~ Man, being that good must be awesome tho.
The fact that MW to acknowledge that CS will be sending his last guest i.e herself, I guess they really will send MW to the afterlife. I don't mind tbh since this has been talked about in the earlier episode. I hope we get good emotional send-off and no trickery with 11th-hour cosmic intervention or whatever.

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Awww...YJG proved us wrong now in the chemistry department. They have that now in droves. I love how they have transitioned into this couple with mutual understanding after that hug. Those blooming flowers were a confirmation of Man-wol's feelings for him and that paved the next step in their relationship.

More cute moments, please!

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I liked this episode a lot although I don't have all that much to say about it that hasn't been said before. Some thoughts:
~ that mix of smarts and kindness plus a spine of steel... CS is bloody amazing.
~ the father-son and the driver was to me a clear parallel to MW-CM: as the driver, CM inadvertently caused her immense harm; she needs to forgive him for them to both move on in peace; but that's it about Smirkalot - to me, he is only a trigger for the story, I have zero emotional investment in his love for MW (for reasons I've repeatedly spelled out before).
~ MW hating the full moon and getting giddy about the eclipse: I like the positive spin of renewal that people here have put forward, but as I was watching ep11, what feelt like to me was that she still hates herself and wants not to be. with CS next to her, the scene gave me some serious emotional dissonance
~apart from that bit, I love all the MW+CS to pieces and they make the cutest dating-but-not-exactly couple... it's there in the look she gives him as he exits the elevator, in the look he gives her seeing her fuss about his scratches. it does not need a single word.
And I know that this is not the brand of happiness that this show is selling, but I just want them to keep at doing their cute little thing for many years to come. My only hope is that CS the Harvard scammer will have another strike of genius and find a workaround, one solution that no one else has thought of, that allows my kind of happy ending to happen. He is not the one that accepts the things as set in stone but one that makes a new path for a better ending.

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With you on the full-moon hating part. Man-Wol IS the full moon, she still can't forgive herself. But with Chan-Sung being by her side and point out the bright sight of having a newer and nicer full moon after the eclipse, isn't that romantic? hehehehe.

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I know right? I am a sucker for happy endings, and pray that the drama gods favor that little thing called love. While this show is setting us up for letting go and getting heartbroken (I really don't need another flashback about how everyone's paying for their past lives) there is this tiny, firefly-sized of a hope that everything will be okay.

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i really love the shift in chemistry between YJG and IU, i know a lot of people complained they didn't have much at the beginning of the drama but i feel like the scenes between them didn't necessarily call for it, i really enjoyed watching their relationship transition from platonic to romantic.. kdrama's have given us unrealistic portrayals of instant love i kind of really like how realistic their relationship was. platonic or not ManChan ftw!

Sanchez's story broke my heart i found myself crying along with him.. so many tears and so much more to come

And lastly YJG's adlib was so good i loved seeing IU's natural laughter coming through, watching the BTS for this drama is so much fun, hopefully they releases episode 11 & 12's BTS soon~

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11 & 12 BTS out already
https://m.tv.naver.com/v/9575798

All ManChan! Hopefully we can get another clip this week because they left out so many good scenes.

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For me, it's more like he has never let this side of him shown before. Unlike Man-Wol who expresses her feelings (and jealousy) explicitly, he was composed. Everything from his side has been slowly developed, sweeter and stronger bit by bit.

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I agree. He’s been letting his feelings for her out gradually each week.

Week 1: Fear of her
Week 2: Intrigued by her
Week 3: Sympathize her
Week 4: Cared about her
Week 5: Protect her no matter what
Week 6: Love her no matter what

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"Materialistic Man-wol is funny, flawed, and sometimes seems too simple, but I find Man-wol irresistibly charming. She’s hot-headed yet soft, stubborn but compassionate, fickle yet loyal. Man-wol has repeatedly proven that her love of luxuries does not make her completely artificial; she’s quite the opposite. The responsibility that Chan-sung feels to lead her to a proper send-off resembles the responsibility she feels for her resident staff. As capricious and selfish as Man-wol is, I don’t think she could rest easy if Bartender Kim, Seo-hee, and Hyun-joong failed to cross over peacefully. She won’t be as gentle and kind as Chan-sung, but she’ll fulfill her obligations in her own style — with the proper stylish outfit, a dash of annoyance, but with a heart full of compassion."
This paragraph though 👏👏👏

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I think there are only two ways for them to be together at this point. Either both of them reincarnate and meet in their next lives or chang sung remain unaged by some god's play until man wol reincarnate and meet him. Of course i would like if they can be together in this life itself but it seems unlikely with the impending deparure of man wol.

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Chan-sung's purpose is to tell Man-wol the truth about her past so she can resolve her grudge and move on to the afterlife. In his dreams, Chan-sung will see that Chung-myung did not betray Man-wol (the person he turned around to see was the princess who threatened to kill Man-wol as blackmail for marrying her), and Chung-myung really loved Man-wol (waiting to meet her to give her the moon-shaped hairpin).

SANCHEZ!! What did this puppy do in his past life to deserve this punishment?! Rumors of being responsible for a student's suicide, students betting on whether he would kill himself, attempting suicide, running into his bully at his class reunion, and now his girlfriend being killed on the day he proposes. I wished Chan-sung would have agreed to let Sanchez propose at the Sky Lounge since humans can see Hotel del Luna during the lunar eclipse.

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I think at that point chan sung didn't know about hotel becoming visible during a lunar eclipse. It was after the previous managers arrival he know about that

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Sanchez asked if he can propose at the hotel after the previous manager's arrival. Chan-sung stayed in room 404 the night before.

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With Room13Guest&Sanchez&Jiwon's case, the writers seem to try to address one serious issue here. It's that our world has been transformed into this scary place where people are cursing, wishing ill-will upon other people they don't even know on the internet. Sometimes this even leads to the death of a person in real life. Cyberbullying is no joke.

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I'm curiou about what happened to KCS in room 404. The drama built up the suspence early on the show and then..nothing. Waiting for an explanation to what that build up was about at least.

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Maybe it has a portal to faraway places? I'm guessing this because the bartender said KCS won't be back soon and because of something that was said in ep 12.

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Living people will exit out in another city — Incheon, as CS mentions in ep12.

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Is the Incheon reference a joke of some kind?

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I don’t think there’s another joke to it, besides being transported somewhere far.

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Oh. Just read that some Incheon zip codes begin with 404

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I know a lot of single guys who would benefit immensely by taking flirting lessons from Chan-Sung. I was married several years before I got any good at it. It helped even then. He can take it up as a profession after he saves Man-Wol and she passes on.

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Fingers crossed for a happy ending for Chan sung and Man weol. 😭😭

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