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Hotel del Luna: Episode 12

This episode is full of emotional moments and surprising revelations as our long-lived heroine begins to face the fact of her own mortality. It’s not so much death that she fears – she’s been around death for a millennium – but the pain of leaving someone she loves behind to suffer and grieve. Unfortunately, their fates have long since been determined and all there is to do is accept it, but that’s turning out to be much more difficult than it seems.

 
EPISODE 12 RECAP

Dark Mago informs Man-wol that she’s in danger of losing the person who made the flowers grow on the Moon Tree. Man-wol just laughs, thinking that Dark Mago is waiting for her to admit to being afraid so she can drag her off to the afterlife. She challenges Dark Mago to bring “him” to her now and they can finally end this.

Dark Mago tells Man-wol that Chan-sung will be the one to bring “him” to Man-wol. Man-wol asks angrily why she’s involving Chan-sung, but Dark Mago says it’s not her: “It’s the one that wants you to leave in peace. You’ve endured for the past thousand years, and all you wish is to cease to exist. The price that Chan-sung needs to pay in return is very unfair.”

Man-wol claims that Chan-sung is the one who insists on staying with her, and Dark Mago calls her wicked. She says that because of Man-wol, Chan-sung had to encounter the person that hurt him most (his mother). She asks how much more Chan-sung will have to suffer, and Man-wol finally looks afraid.

Meanwhile, Chan-sung hurries to help Yoo-na, who’s followed Ji-won to the wine bar he owns and recognized him as the serial killer. Chan-sung comes face-to-face with the ghost who’s been trailing Ji-won, then Ji-won himself appears to say an ominous hello.

Ji-won acts like he’s just an old school buddy greeting Chan-sung, and Chan-sung is wary but he goes along with it. He asks if Ji-won came back to Korea because his father (a judge) gave up on him becoming a lawyer, and Ji-won says his father actually passed away so he’s doing what he wants now.

Chan-sung asks to try the wine Ji-won sells, and when Ji-won steps away, Chan-sung quietly asks the ghost, “Was it him? Did he kill you?” and she nods. Ji-won decants the wine, then opens a drawer filled with syringes and vials of drugs.

When he returns to the table, Chan-sung has moved to a curtained-off area of the room. Ji-won follows him and Chan-sung asks point-blank if Ji-won’s hobby is murder. Instead of answering, Chan-sung lunges at Chan-sung with a syringe. Chan-sung fights him until he drops it, but Ji-won grabs the syringe and goes after Chan-sung again.

Man-wol paces her office as she tries to call Chan-sung, worried that he didn’t meet her like they agreed. Seo-hee tries to calm her down, and when she asks Man-wol why she’s so restless, Man-wol can only think of Dark Mago’s threat of losing Chan-sung.

Yoo-na is also growing worried for Chan-sung, and when she sees the police and an ambulance at Ji-won’s bar, she calls Hyun-joong in a panic. Hyun-joong tearfully tells Bartender Kim, Seo-hee, and Man-wol that Chan-sung has been killed by Ji-won, but Man-wol refuses to believe it. Soon Chan-sung walks through the hotel’s front door, and Man-wol approaches him slowly, then reaches up to feel his face.

Her eyes fill with tears as she puts her hand over his heart, then she turns to the rest of the staff as they wait anxiously to hear if Chan-sung is alive or dead. Man-wol snarls a curse at Hyun-joong and attacks him, and Bartender Kim and Seo-hee hold her back while Hyun-joong runs around her to grab the very much alive Chan-sung in a big hug.

Man-wol storms off angry, leaving poor confused Chan-sung to get hit or hugged by the others, depending on their emotional reaction. He’s surprised that they thought he was dead, so Hyun-joong explains, and Chan-sung tells them that he’d called Young-soo before he went into the bar to confront Ji-won.

Young-soo had come in just as Ji-won was about to drug Chan-sung, but Ji-won had broken a wine bottle and taken the sharp glass to his own throat, though he didn’t die. The ghosts bicker over who was more scared that Chan-sung was a ghost, then they agree what they really have to worry about is Man-wol’s inevitable bad mood.

Chan-sung takes a bottle of champagne to Man-wol’s office, but she comes in behind him carrying shopping bags. When she dumps out her bags on the table, Chan-sung is amused — it looks like she bought out an entire pharmacy. He enjoys letting Man-wol fuss over his injuries, even when she puts constipation cream on his face, hee.

He asks her how she, of all people, wasn’t sure if he was alive or dead, and Man-wol admits that she was afraid. She gripes at him for embarrassing her in front of her employees, so Chan-sung suggests she take some medicine too, to calm down. He wraps her in a hug, and although she complains, Man-wol doesn’t pull away.

Young-soo and his team search Ji-won’s bar and find the drugs he used to subdue his victims, and bottles of wine with the website name “Helllo” on the labels.. Young-soo tells his partner that he got a tip regarding the real murderer, but he’s confused at how the wrongfully accused man’s dead wife could have called him.

Man-wol tells Chan-sung to take everything she bought and take the day off, and she even includes champagne and caviar. She tells him to use one of her cars, and she’s so surprised when he asks for the red one that she actually gives it to him. Chan-sung gloats that she likes him more than she likes her cars, hee.

Chan-sung says that he’ll have to explain what happened to Young-soo without mentioning the ghost, and Man-wol sighs that Yeon-woo was very scared of ghosts. She tells Chan-sung that Yeon-woo’s mother raised her after she was found dying in the wilderness, and she and Yeon-woo grew up like siblings.

Man-wol notes with a tiny smile that she hasn’t told Chan-sung about her past before, and Chan-sung says, “Maybe it’s the blooming flowers,” as at the same time, Man-wol says, “Its time must be up soon.” Oof. They both become very aware of time running out, and Chan-sung suddenly leaves without taking the medicine and other things with him.

Chan-sung sits alone, tormented by memories of Mago telling him to look after the flowers on the Moon Tree so he can see Man-wol off well, and Man-wol telling him not to feel too lonely after seeing her off.

Ji-won manages to slip his police guard, and a flashback shows us that in the bar, Chan-sung told Ji-won that his seventh victim was there with them. He’d known that the “Helllo” wine bottles were filled with samples of the victims’ blood, and exactly which bottle held the blood of the latest victim.

Ji-won had called Chan-sung crazy, but Chan-sung had proceeded to place the wine bottles of blood in order of the murder victims. He’d said that the seventh victim was next to Ji-won at that moment and that she also told him what Ji-won had behind his back, and Ji-won had startled at the feel of a cold touch on his hand holding the syringe.

Young-soo calls Chan-sung because Ji-won is on the roof and is refusing to speak to anyone but him. Chan-sung finds Ji-won balanced on the ledge, and he asks Chan-sung if he’s being helped by another ghost now. Chan-sung says that a spirit is always watching over him and cuts his eyes to the side, where Man-wol is lounging against the railing.

She asks casually if she should give Ji-won a push, but Chan-sung says he needs to pay for his crimes. Ji-won can’t see her, and he demands Chan-sung’s attention to blame him for his life falling apart. Chan-sung says that was all Ji-won’s fault, and another flashback takes us back to their Harvard days.

Chan-sung had confronted Ji-won with the gun he’d sent to Sanchez. Ji-won had gloated that there was no proof he was the one who sent it, but Chan-sung had retorted that only one person needed to believe him — Ji-won’s father. He’d asked who Ji-won’s father would believe, an unreliable son he sent away or a straight-A Harvard student.

He’d spun the gun on the table like a crazy game of spin-the-bottle, and the weapon had come to rest pointed at Ji-won. Chan-sung told Ji-won to leave quietly before he told his father what he was up to. Now Ji-won sneers that he should have pulled the trigger, and Man-wol realizes that Chan-sung and Ji-won know each other.

Chan-sung approaches Ji-won and tells him that his deeds won’t end with his death — he needs to stay alive and pay for his sins to save his soul. Ji-won argues that he was only doing what other people (from the Helllo website) asked him to do, so those deaths aren’t his responsibility. Chan-sung says that people visit that website to vent their worst thoughts, but that nobody actually wants those thoughts put into action.

He bellows at Ji-won to get down, but Ji-won tells him that he made a post on Helllo expressing his hatred of Chan-sung. He says he hopes it receives a lot of support, smiles an eerie smile, and topples backwards off the roof. Chan-sung tries to catch him, but he can only watch helplessly as Ji-won falls to his death.

As Chan-sung runs downstairs, Man-wol remains on the roof, and she picks up the phone Ji-won was holding. Ji-won’s ghost appears in front of her, able to see her now, and his smile is gruesome as he says that death really isn’t the end.

Man-wol says coolly that Chan-sung didn’t want this, but that she was eager for Ji-won to die because she’s not allowed to harm living humans. She stabs at Ji-won with her black fan, but a shadowy shield stops her. Ji-won giggles, crowing that his hatred and resentment are protecting him, and we see that his post on Helllo has already gotten hundreds of hatefully supportive responses.

Man-wol growls that she’ll get rid of the hideous power protecting Ji-won and rip him to shreds. Ji-won just replies that he’ll become uglier and more powerful, then dissipates in a cloud of black smoke.

Young-soo has Ji-won’s post taken down from the Helllo site, but he tells Chan-sung that he couldn’t fix the ones that had already gone viral. He asks if there was a woman with Chan-sung at the wine bar, because he got a call from a woman saying she was the wrongfully accused man’s dead wife. Chan-sung says he believes in spirits so it could have been her.

He goes back to the roof to tell Man-wol that Ji-won is dead. She says that she met Ji-won’s soul, and that he’s become a vengeful ghost who resents Chan-sung. She admits that it’s a big deal, and she forbids Chan-sung to leave her side until they catch Ji-won’s soul.

Back at the hotel, Yoo-na worries that Man-wol will ban her from the hotel for putting Chan-sung in danger. Hyun-joong assures her that it won’t happen, since she also allowed his victims to reveal their wrongful deaths. He says there’s a new guest who wants to meet Yoo-na, and awww, it’s the first ghost that Yoo-na saw in Ji-won’s car. I’d wondered what happened to her.

Yoo-na takes Hyun-joong to the columbarium where her original body’s ashes are interred. She says she’s been afraid to come here since she was also murdered, but she feels better after helping with the other murder case. She asks Hyun-joong where his body is buried, but he says he doesn’t have a grave, he only knows his body is on a mountain somewhere.

Yoo-na offers to share, and she shows him a sketch she made of his face. She puts it beside her picture, and when Hyun-joong doesn’t say anything, Yoo-na assumes he doesn’t like it. She pouts that he ignored her confession, but he says sadly that he didn’t ignore it… he just thinks that she should have a boyfriend that’s alive.

Startling them both, Yoo-na impulsively kisses Hyun-joong on the cheek. Yoo-na says that she likes Hyun-joong and asks why he can’t just like her back, but he cuts her off with a real kiss.

Man-wol holds a fan to Chan-sung’s face and watches him sleep, and he wakes up to see her smiling sweetly at him. The spell is broken when she gripes that he’s sleeping in his office. He complains that the only other rooms he can sleep in are 404 and hers, and the last time he entered Room 404 he ended up in Incheon. PWAHAHA.

She tells him to sleep in her room, but he argues that he wouldn’t get much sleep, making Man-wol rawr at him. Chan-sung takes that as a challenge and says he’ll happily sleep in her room with her arm as a pillow, and it’s Man-wol’s turn to look alarmed.

She sticks the fan in his face to cool him down, but Chan-sung just grabs her hand and pulls her closer. He turns the fan on her and tells her she’s blushing, then wanders off to look for her room. Man-wol collects her wits and suggests acupuncture instead, by a famous doctor of oriental medicine.

His waiting room is packed, and Man-wol tells Chan-sung that the doctor is keeping someone alive who should have been dead three years ago. She says it’s time for them to take that patient back to their hotel, and that Reaper asked her to kill the patient in exchange for Reaper bringing Ji-won’s vengeful spirit to her.

Man-wol admits to Chan-sung that it may be her fault a vengeful spirit is stalking him, telling him that Mago said he’ll have to pay the price for making her flowers bloom. Rather than make Chan-sung pay, she promises to take care of it herself. She gives Chan-sung an ad she ripped from a magazine and instructs him to tell the doctor this is why he came.

When he’s finally called back, the doctor (cameo by Lee Seung-joon) tells Chan-sung that his indigestion is causing stress, which he can cure with acupuncture and his special herbal medicine. Chan-sung argues that the source of his stress is money, and he gives the doctor the ad, which offers an astronomical amount of money for one centimeter of Chan-sung’s lifeline.

After they leave, Chan-sung asks Man-wol if it’s even possible to buy part of someone’s lifeline. He asks if the doctor is selling lifelines to wealthy people, and Man-wol gets an odd look on her face.

Back at the clinic, the doctor tells his wife that he’s found someone willing to sell their lifeline. His wife is worried about the money, but the doctor says it’s worth it.

They go into an adjacent room, where their sick son lies in a hospital bed. His name is Hyun-jin, and a jagged line runs from the end of his own short lifeline and halfway up his arm. Man-wol doesn’t take pleasure in telling Chan-sung that the life they must end is that of the doctor’s young son.

Mago admires the beauty of the Moon Tree (and Man-wol’s soul). Reaper asks her if the Moon Tree will die when the blooms fall, and Mago says it will, since Man-wol’s life and the life of the tree are chained together. She says it’s been too long for Man-wol, and the man who was forced to remain as a small light, and we see the firefly flitting among the Moon Tree’s flowers.

Mago tells Reaper that when she was escorting “him” to the afterlife, he turned back, and has been here all this time. We see a series of moments between Man-wol and Chung-myung, including him waiting by their lake for her with a moon-shaped ornament, then Man-wol screaming as Yeon-woo is hung to death.

Chung-myung had still been holding the moon ornament when he accompanied Princess Song-hwa to witness Man-wol’s downfall. He’d thought to himself, “Live your life as a traitor, that way Man-wol can live.” He’d gripped the ornament so tightly that blood ran from his fist.

Reaper says that he didn’t take the firefly because Mago asked him not to, impressed that a human spirit has survived this long as a small light. Mago sighs that it’s a curse Chung-myung cast on himself because of a promise he made to Man-wol.

Reaper tells Mago that Man-wol made a deal with him to lesson Chan-sung’s burden, and she says sadly that Man-wol still doesn’t understand the price Chan-sung must pay. “Once she finds out, she will be sad and scared.”

When it’s time for Chan-sung’s surgery, Man-wol teases him and reassures him that he’ll live a long life. She takes his hand in hers and promises to protect him, so he doesn’t lose any of his lifeline.

In the doctor’s office, Chan-sung gives the doctor pause by asking if he’s buying lifelines to give to his sick son. The doctor explains that his boy was very ill, so he tried this surgery out of desperation, and it worked.

Meanwhile, Man-wol goes in to talk to little Hyun-jin. He asks if she’s the Grim Reaper, since every time his father does this surgery on him, he sees a man in black in his dreams. Man-wol tells him that she and Reaper have completely different all-black concepts, hee.

She cuts to the chase, telling Hyun-jin that she’s here to do a similar job, but that she can’t take him against his will so he needs to hear her out and make a decision. She points out that his parents have aged a lot, because they’ve been donating their own lifelines to Hyun-jin.

Chan-sung also tells the doctor that he knows they’ve been giving their own lives for their son. The doctor says he doesn’t care as long as his son lives, but Chan-sung tells him that it’s Hyun-jin’s decision now, and that his parents must let him go.

The doctor jumps up and runs to his son’s room, but Hyun-jin is already gone. As his parents scream and beg him to come back, Man-wol, Chan-sung, and Hyun-jin’s spirit watch unseen from the doorway.

Later, Man-wol sits in the sky bar with Reaper, who thanks her for handling the situation before he was forced to take the entire family. She still seems shocked, and she says that Hyun-jin’s parents may have preferred that.

Hyun-jin had known that his death would make his parents sad, but Man-wol had told him that such things are for those left behind to worry about. She had gently wiped the long lifeline from his arm, and he’d said in a shaky voice that he was afraid. She repeats the word “afraid” now, and Reaper promises her that he’ll find the vengeful spirit soon.

Hyun-joong helps Yoo-na with her homework in the hotel lobby, giving her forehead-flicks when she gets an answer wrong as Bartender Kim and Seo-hee watch them like indulgent parents. Seo-hee says that a man and woman are bound to catch feelings when they work closely together, but Bartender Kim says it’s never happened between them, and Seo-hee is all Not in your wildest dreams, lol.

Sanchez returns home early from Veronica’s funeral, believing that Veronica is still at Hotel del Luna. Chan-sung tells Man-wol that Sanchez was so distraught that he lied that Veronica is still there, and he begs Man-wol to go along with the lie just until Sanchez feels better.

She doesn’t say anything when Sanchez thanks her for letting him say goodbye to Veronica, and she agrees to take the pizza that Sanchez makes for Veronica to the hotel for her. But being Man-wol, she also offers to pass along any shoes or jewelry he wants Veronica to have, or maybe even a car or a yacht.

Chan-sung barks at her, but she retorts angrily that if Sanchez isn’t better soon she’ll clean him out. Chan-sung storms off in a fury, dragging Man-wol out with him. Man-wol says that she’s doing this because Chan-sung is lying to Sanchez, sick and tired of catering to people who buy lifelines for sick children or make pizza for their dead girlfriends.

She warns Chan-sung not to turn into those people, but he asks why she assumes he’ll be any different when he doesn’t want to let her go, either. He asks how she can tell him to be okay, and Man-wol admits that she needs to hear he’ll be okay or she’ll be too scared to go.

Chan-sung reminds her that he once said he was afraid of paying the price for staying by her side, and that this is what he meant — becoming a nuisance she despises. He goes back to Sanchez, who hasn’t moved since they walked out. Through his tears, Sanchez gasps, “She’s not there anymore, is she?”

Man-wol stands under the Moon Tree, looking up at the flowers. Petals begin to fall, which Dark Mago had warned would happen when she became afraid.

When Chan-sung eventually returns home, Man-wol is waiting for him. She smiles at the memory of him being so scared of his first ghost, and she admits that today, she’s the one who’s scared because the flowers are falling off the Moon Tree. Man-wol says that the petals disappear before touching the ground, and that eventually nothing will remain.

Chan-sung says that maybe the flowers are falling onto him, and he promises to bear the weight so that Man-wol doesn’t have to be afraid to leave him behind. He says it’s an act of love by a fragile human, made with all his heart.

With tears coursing down her face, Man-wol says it’s heartbreaking to be a flower petal that’s bound to vanish. She steps closer to Chan-sung and gives him the gentlest of kisses, but when she starts to back away, he pulls her back for a longer, more emotional kiss.

 
COMMENTS

Awww, not one but two kisses in this episode! We finally got a real kiss between Chan-sung and Man-wol, which just broke my heart because it felt more like a goodbye kiss than one of a love just beginning. Chan-sung and Man-wol have known from the start that they would be parted, but that doesn’t make it any less painful or frightening now that the time is growing nearer. As a super sweet bonus, there was also the first-love kiss between Hyun-joong and Yoo-na, which was also bittersweet. I’m heartbroken that one half of each couple is leaving soon — Man-wol will die when her flowers eventually wither and fall, and Hyun-joong will not be allowed to stay once Man-wol and Hotel del Luna are gone.

It’s so sad that Man-wol and Chan-sung are finally admitting their feelings to one another just as they’re realizing that they don’t have much time left. Man-wol is changing and opening up so much, but the tragedy is that it’s exactly that opening of her heart that’s causing her time on Earth to run out. All she really has left to do is to confront Chung-myung — she’s already made peace with the reincarnations of Song-hwa and Yeon-woo, but Chung-myung was the worst betrayal and the most painful hurt that Man-wol has been carrying in her heart for a millennium.

Chan-sung’s purpose was to help her let go of her pain so that she could forgive, and once she can find and forgive Chung-myung, her reason for being stuck in spiritual limbo will be gone and it will be time for her to move on. I still don’t think that Man-wol and Chan-sung are meant to be together at this point in time, but I can see them having a similar fate as the lovers from Arang and the Magistrate, with Chan-sung sacrificing himself to go with Man-wol so that they end up together in the next life with clean souls. It makes sense that everyone else from Man-wol’s past got a chance to start over, so I wouldn’t mind seeing her get the same opportunity.

It’s finally confirmed that Chung-myung is the firefly that’s been hanging around Man-wol, but it’s a shock to realize that he’s been with Man-wol all this time. I wonder if it’s because he loves her, or because he wants to atone for betraying her, though it’s probably a combination of both. I’m eager to learn the rest of what happened back when they were both alive — why Chung-myung was waiting for Man-wol with the moon ornament but was gone when she arrived at the lake, and the real reason he tricked her and killed her people.

The parallel between Chan-sung’s encounter with Ji-won and Man-wol’s inevitable final confrontation with Chung-myung wasn’t lost on me. Both Ji-won and Chung-myung caused harm to someone Chan-sung and Man-wol cared about, and there’s unfinished business between both pairs of acquaintances. I’m glad that Man-wol was there to witness Chan-sung face-off with Ji-won, because Chan-sung demonstrated that you can hold someone accountable for their actions while still extending compassion, and letting them make the choice to pay for their sins. For a thousand years, Man-wol has been anticipating seeing Chung-myung again someday and going scorched-earth on him, like she did the first time by (we assume) ending his life on his wedding day. But now she’s seen through Chan-sung’s example that cosmic balance can be achieved without endangering one’s own soul. I hope that she’s able to offer Chung-myung forgiveness and compassion, because I’m afraid that that’s going to be the final test of whether she leaves this world peacefully, or dissipates forever as a vengeful spirit.

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It hit me so hard when I finally realized that smooth Captain Chun-myung is the firefly that’s been hanging around Man-wol. It honestly felt anticlimactic. I am now scared that we may never get to know the reason why he had to betray Man-wol...

I was hoping to see Chun-myung's reincarnation as a human and how he can potentially shake Man-wol, like Young-soo and Mi-ra did but...

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I think it is obvious.

Because Princess Songhwa found out that he loved Man-wol. Not once during Songhwa and Chun-myung's wedding was he smiling, he must have been blackmailed by her. I don't believe that Chun-myung wanted to kill Man-wol and her people, he chose to save Man-wol at the great cost of her people dying.

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It is possible that the reason is as simple as this. But Chun-myung was waiting for Man-wol with the moon ornament but was gone after she arrives and we don't why and if there was more to their story. Why show that scene if it isn't relevant, right?

The thing is, I was expecting something more from the show's plot and Man-wol's backstory so even if things are given at us viewers on face value, I still couldn't find myself believing that THAT'S IT. I shouldn't have expected more but I did...

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@sensationalfantasy I personally feel that it's fine to continue to expect more, because we are far from the end and there are many more rugs to pull out from under our feet!

I'm waiting for CS to make something of the dream he had of CM and for him to have another dream. There is more than one way to interpret the moon ornament and why he held on to it.

Another thought that popped into my head about who CM saw when he was waiting at the lake, was that it was YW who came to make a deal.

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We have 4 episodes left to go so "that's it?' is probably premature. On the other hand- it must be pretty bad if the Captain is only a firefly- at least the Princess has finally made it back to being human. He as not. So I expect some serious twists.

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Well, to be fair, he hasn't crossed the bridge yet. That's why he hasn't had a chance of reincarnation.

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My only problem with hypothesizing the princess knew about her relationship to CM is that it gives her more reasons to kill her, not let her go. So I think the princess was in the dark about their feelings and merely thought she spared an informant’s life.

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I agree. I even thought the sentence “You should live as a traitor, then Manwol can live” was talking about MW initially. As in make MW a traitor (an informant) so that MW can live.

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Nah,it was more about making her believe he is a traitor so she can fuel all her guilt and hate into him,like he did in the dangeon were he told her she must live to be able to kill him...If not,i think the guilt and pain would be to great for her after loosing everyone and we even see till this day(till she saw Yeon Woo again) she still had guilt for what happend,she would probably kill herself...

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I'm not so sure, only because we're told the princess reincarnates as like a slug in her next life and takes 1300 years to become a person again. That tells me she did do something bad.

The princess coming back as both a thief and a doctor is telling as well. I get the thief, as a reversal, but doctor? I think there's another Chekhov's gun here - she will likely end up bringing CS or HE back to life, allowing for full redemption.

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Oh course she did bad things. She killed a lot of people. But there’s no indication that she killed out of jealousy. Shouldn’t she be specifically killing Man Wol if she found out CM had feelings for her?

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@geliguolu, you'd think, wouldn't you? Quick way to lose any possibility of his love completely though. And there are more blanks to consider because we dont, in-show, know the political situation either.

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@barbrey Quick way to lose any possibility of his love completely though.

Not at all. I simply think the princess doesn’t know. CM could be in love with MW behind the princess’ back the whole time.

Though personally I don’t consider what they had true love, but merely infatuation.

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I think the choice was simpler. Everyone dies, or everyone minus Manwol dies.

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yeah that's pretty much what I meant lol

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I think Mago will somehow let Chun-myung appear as a human to Man-wol to have some sort of resolution and also for her to make her decision of whether or not to forgive him.

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Mago said CS will bring him to her. He’s slowly realizing the firefly is something special and his dreams will probably show him the truth.

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Pretty clear,he went to their spot to give her his gift before parting but he was followed by the Princess that might have suspected something was wrong with him and most likely he bargained with the Princess to let Man Wol live in exchange of marriage and the bandits...Not an excuse for what he did but i see him more as a tragic character actually that choose to save her and hell for all the others including himself,feel sad for him mainly because of the circumstances and the times he had the badluck to meet and love her...I suspected pretty much since the moment he showed himself to CS in the empty house(were Del Luna was) that he stayed behind more likely because of guilt and was too ashamed or scared to face her all this time...I guess he has his aura locked or something that Man Wol can't detect him after all this time...

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i think it's not too late for Chun-myung to show himself at least once before the show ends to give us these answers, we saw him as an outline of a ghost once which might be indicating that he'll come back once to have a conversation with Man-wol, this is just my theory or we might just get our answers through Chan-sungs dreams

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This is where I expect he will possess our hero for the final conversation.

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I am now scared that we may never get to know the reason why he had to betray Man-wol...

Why? Chung-myung is literally the main story line of Man-wol. "You should just bring him to me now. Which is exactly what I've been wishing for during the endless years that I had to endure."

I am confident that we will return to his wedding night and hear Man-wol and Chung-myung's conversation up to the moment she kills him. I hope we find out why he brought his sword. Chan-sung's dreams will reveal the reason why Chung-myung had to betray Man-wol and who the person he turned around to see was.

Firefly Chung-myung and Man-wol's confrontation will be the climax of the show.

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Very anticlimactic to me too. It didn't actually make sense. She's imprisoned in the hotel for fear she'll go full ballistic on a reincarnated captain, killing a human, losing her soul and disapparating. But if the captain is not human...what are the consequences of stepping on a firefly spirit?

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Hong Sisters are the best trolls. The 11-episode setup that Chan Sung is a weak human has paid off. Many viewers thought Chan Sung died when he walked into the hotel. Even the rest of us who saw this fakeout a mile away, we all had doubts in our mind — what if the writers did go there? This scene was hilarious. IU did great, acting convincingly sad while knowing it’s a joke.

Man Wol calling Chan Sung a Harvard con artist was not entirely a joke after all. He was a bad ass all along. Even Sanchez haven’t seen this side of him and feared for him. He didn’t just talk the bully to leave. He threatened him with a gun and other terms... clearly having gun experience... and he even kept a smile on his face. Though it’s not farfetched because his father was living on the edge during his primary life. Apparently Chan Sung didn’t grow up among unicorns.

So school bully had gone full psycho serial killer after his be-feared court judge father passed away, using the same internet that voted Sanchez to die. Man Wol is again convinced that bad relationships are returning to Chan Sung's life because of her. If there is any logic to this, I guess it's related to Chan Sung bringing back her bad relationships and made those better. She brought back his bad relationships but his bad relationships turned worse as an offset, because the positivity she gained is drawn directly from himself.

We see a similar case, when the acupuncturist buys the lifelines of strangers extend his dying/dead son's life. Chan Sung points out that the couple is merely drawing down their own lifespan. Grim reaper was concerned because he will have to collect all 3 souls if they continued this "witchcraft".

Trying to guess what Chan Sung was thinking when he looked at his palm on the couch. Could he be pondering how he can share his "long life" with Man Wol? Could it be that he realizes his pains are gaining while he remove hers? Could it be that he sees hope to live long enough to meet her for a second time? All of the above?

Man Wol as herself again shows her concern and fear for Chan Sung in one of the most inconsiderate way. Poor Sanchez :(
She demands that Chan Sung don't feel or act like that, but Chan Sung honestly can't promise to let go unscathed. This fight was probably my highest tear point. They were both feeling so conflicted. The acting was so amazingly raw and hurtful. And amid all the emotional volatility Chan Sung went back to comfort Sanchez. What an amazing friend.

The conversation leading up to the kiss was perfect. After their first true quarrel as a couple, they are now calm but no less distressed. Speaking of the same situation as they did earlier, this time they delivered it without subjugation and no temper, just pure honest concern. Man Wol is at her most vulnerable state ever since her time froze. More than the fear that she will lose him, which she probably understands will not plague her once she reincarnates into whatever, she...

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... she fears what will become of Chan Sung when she leaves him behind. Chan Sung probably feels worse each day, but his mind is set to carry out his mission and love.

The director/film editors killed the kiss for me. I prefer a smoother, less chopped up scene. Some creators just can't leave the methods of their era behind. That being said, it wasn't entirely bad. The scene was emotional enough that I didn't need the physical intimacy to feel the love. I liked how they ended with a hug, the move that Chan Sung considers to be Man Wol's cheongsimhwan (herbal anti-anxiety pill). I see comments asking why is Man Wol always making the first move. I think it makes sense because even if Chan Sung is dying to kiss her (like he seemed to in his office), he's not the kind of man to do it until he knows for sure she could comfortably receive a kiss.

The flowers are withering and petals are disappearing. Chan Sung mentions the leaf that first fell on him and that maybe all the weight of the petals are landing on him. He'll take it. Going back to the transfer of relationships and lifespan mentioned earlier, these past episodes have set up the premise that there is a party that gains and party that loses. This is in line with a common East Asian ideology, that intangibles like luck, happiness, blessings, lifespan, etc are finite. When people pray for deity's blessing, they make offerings. Whatever Man Wol needs to gain or lose to successfully crossover, had to come from someone. I now believe our Chan Sung is no more than a person of great fortunes (like the little baby at the restaurant) that Mago feels capable to withstand the junk that Man Wol needs to let go. With no connection to her past, I feel even more sorry for him, being punished emotionally for no reason.

At last confirmation that Chung Myeong is the firefly. He's been lingering all along. I never doubted that he loved her, but his love was initially selfish and inconsiderate to her, causing her tremedous pain. We can argue that the results of his decisions was unexpected to him. That's why I think his guilt held him back, not love. His love was not even comparable to Yeon Woo so if YW was able to move on to afterlife, so should he. He is like Man Wol, their time was cursed by guilt and they remained unchanged.

New thoughts regarding MW's time and the tree, as far as I can tell, Man Wol created it. We've seen how the mind can manifest an illusory person out of imagination and a curse out of hatred. The tree is her Gyeong Ah and cursed little Mira. In cursing herself she accidentally cursed CM who made a promise to stay with her.

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I think the tree was tied to her by the gods as a visible manifestation of her soul.

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"With no connection to her past, I feel even more sorry for him, being punished emotionally for no reason."

Well, it's more like he's being punished for doing good deeds. That's kinda not fair, but the dark Mago has said it, right? It's going to be very unfair.

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Why do I have so much to write about this show? 🤷🏻‍♀️

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I don't know - but you write it all so well. Thank you for all your well written ideas and thoughts!

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Thank you for the appreciation 😉

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Keep them coming! I love reading your comments :)

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Re: acupuncturist, I don't think they were example of bad karma, they were siginifically older because they already gave their "lifelines" to their son, and started buying from strangers, and they offered Chang Sung their last savings, what's Grim Reaper meant, that they'll soon run of lifelines and money. I think they were example of love and fear of losing loved one, and the consequences of fighting against fate, they prolonged their son life, but still lived in constant fear of losing him.

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I didn’t mean they had bad karma. I meant they too made a choice to redistribute something, i.e. lifespan, to save a loved one.

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I must understand that wrong, sorry.

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Reading back, that paragraph was written ambiguously.

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Additionally I think that what the couple did, "disrupted" the natural order of things. They weren't just using their lives remember? They were buying years off other people for money - and the other people didn't realise they really were selling off 3 years of their life or maybe theywouldnt have agreed or demanded a higher price. Sph may not have meant bad karma but I think their actions certainly called for some.

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“After their first true quarrel as a couple...”

And they talked about death, loss, and grief in their first quarrel ... how sad it is 😔😭

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Olala. There is so much to say!

For the past, it looks like it was Yeo Woo who planed CM's "treason" for saving MW. And CM stayed all those years beside MW. So MW killed the man she loved for nothing and she was angry against him during 1000 years... It's sad.

Accepting death and grieving were the topics for all the characters. MW never really grieved during all those years. Their last discussion was beautiful with CS saying the petals are forming a pile that he has to carry. I want a happy ending, please >_<

I'm disapointed that MW let the murderer killed himself. I was really hoping she would save him. Because he deserved to go in prison for his victims. I guess we will see him in the future.

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But what kind of happy ending you are looking for, maybe just like the song said in the background of their kisses?
(Mind you, the song, «Happy Ending» was written by none other but Man-wol [or to be more exact, IU, who is playing the character] to Chan-sung. Does anyone notice that?)

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I don't mind a sad ending. Just let me cry my heart out, as long as it make sense. They are destined to be part, and the most important lesson this drama teaches us is to let go, be honest to our feelings and no regret. God's maybe cruel sometimes, but mostly the are warm and kind, and give us chance to go back, and the mere existence of this hotel is the proof.
(Side note: I'm looking forward to Hyori Lee to be the last guest appearance with her husband, then I will be happy--you know what I mean.

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I want them married with a lot of babies and bickering!

More seriously, I want MW to live the life she never had. She was trapped in the past during so long, now she should have the chance of a future.

I don't think letting go should only mean death for her, couldn't be go forward ?

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I guess the ending is happy enough to have her passes to the afterlife without being destroyed by Dark Mago. Chan-sung follows her will be happier, but if no, it will be ok.
(That's why I've mentioned the song in the background when they kiss, IU did wrote that feeling in there)
What's next? Let me imagine ... in a house of a distant future, there's a wall of photos with their next incarnation, from getting to know each other, falling in love, marrying, then have lots of babies (as you said) and live a long lives together?

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If there's one thing this show shows us, it's that there is no such thing as an end. Even if Chan Sung and Man Woll get to grow old together, they will eventually die and be reborn, even separated. Whether 50 years or 5 days, there's only a temporary happily ever after for them.

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ok. but does that mean that one should not even bother or that one should make every moment count?

I bet the 5 days vs 50y distinction make a whole lot of difference to them, reincarnation or not.

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*nods* Agreed.

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I love it when these two just tease each other! SO CUTE

I don’t know what to feel if we get a Goblin 2.0 ending. Maybe having them both reincarnated might feel different.

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I sincerely don’t want an ending like Goblin.. ☹️
It’s just sad...

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Same. Reincarnations are reincarnations, it’s not the same lifetime

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I guess what Hung sisters are preparing for us will be way more cruel. Episode 13's preview: Man-wol will gradually lost every memory in this life, probably including Chan-sung ...

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I think that’s just normal procedure of reincarnation. There’s a deity that will give the soul tea that cleanses their memory (even though they may not show such character in this drama).

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Sorry, not that.
According to Ep.13 preview. Man-wol will lose her memory, one piece by another, right before Chan-sung eyes, no tea involve.
I agree this is a kindness for Man-wol, for the full process to move on is to "forgive and forget", or may be like one of the way to fix computer is to erase all its memory. This, however, will be very brutal for Chan-sung. Think about your love one is having Alzheimer's disease ...

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You probably will not see the tea. It’s a part of reincarnation folklore. The preview didn’t show her losing her memories. She was simply telling CS that her memories will be lost eventually after she passes into the tunnel or bridge or gate or whatever version of the division is between living and afterlife.

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I wonder why Lollypip won't pay attention to that ending song, which is a special unrelease track written by IU in character as Man-wol. There are 3 parts:
1. "I hope our ending won't be sad," which I just hope for "one happy ending";
2. If can't, please make me a very painful wound so that I remember your love; and if still not,
3. Please just let me remember those falling pedal, and let that to be "our happy ending".
Think about that. I am crying when I am writing this.

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Is "Goblin 2.0 ending" Goblin and his bride or Reaper and Sunny? I predicted a Goblin-like ending with Chan-sung as the high schooler.

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Goblin and his bride but we might get a Reaper and Sunny ending

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I was giggling on my bus stop imagining Chan sung in high school uniform ala Eun tak

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I've written a novel-worth of stuff on why CS having to pay the price for doing what the gods had tasked him with to begin with is nonsense; also why the ghost story of the week was rubbish and badly executed. I'll focus on the good bits here:

~ that flashback of CS dealing with the psycho to save Sanchez gave me a whole new level of respect for CS... it also shifted my view of past happenings. Clearly, CS is not the kind of person to be bullied into doing anything. So him coming to the hotel, him taking on the task of seeing MW through was very much his choice.

~ I liked the interactions between CS and YS this ep; CS's cryptic comments seem to set up the possibility of YW and MW reconnecting.

~ the "CS is dead" trolling would have been really mean had I not spoiled myself, but as I did it was rather funny. And I loved MW’s reactions to the whole thing. she is so cute this all ep. I also loved her willingly sharing her background (are her fuzzy birth origins a hint to why the gods were so interested in her in the first place?)

~ I like how their relationships is evolving, him teasing and her letting him win more often than not (the. red. car.); also that there are hints of sexual tension here and there (the let’s sleep together throwback!) even if the director insists on keeping everything as mild as humanly possible.

also got my old wishes granted, like the staff including CS in their team-cheer. I'd imagined MW dumping a pile of leaves on CS, only to get MW dumping a tree-worth of flower petals on him instead. But in my head this would have been a very funny scene so I was not prepared for that symbolism. The chains of love...

I initially just hated the scene with CS and MW visiting Sanchez, but in retrospect that debacle warrants an extra comment: CS is the one who is lying to his friend hoping to bring him comfort while MW wants him to know to truth (rip off the bandaid so to speak, to let the wound scar and dry). CS's lie that Veronica's spirit is still hanging around at the hotel is keeping Sanchez stuck in the past rather than allowing him to find a way forward… If I wasn’t still mad, I’d very much appreciate the irony

Not ready for what comes next, but I'm in it 'til the end. please don't break my heart, Show.

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I agree, I didn't like revelation that CS has to pay price for leading MW into afterlife at all. Wasn't him working in the hotel and taking onto the task paying the price already?
And he knows that the hotel is for ghosts who have unresolved issues, so isn't it better for Sanchez mental well being to explain him that Veronica moved on, because she was at peace?

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While I think Mago 4 is a bitch at delivery, she essentially did what Man Wol did to the child that was a vegetable. And MW is now facing the same decision the boy made — leave and stop the living from suffering, or stay so the living don’t suffer the separation.

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well... I wasn't going to go there but the parents suffer either way. they either get her life spans shortened or go to an early grave out of grief for losing him. there was no real choice in any of that. and yes, since pain is there either way, maybe the better karma is what differentiates between options but this is not what they were showing and I'm not buying that. even if that was the point, showing the kid cry anticipating the pain that his dying will cause his parents was a bad way of delivering it. the logic was shaky and the execution worse.

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I agree, because the scene was painful to watch. And MW acknowledges that they may have wanted to leave together. The deciding factor is, I believe, what is natural order and what is obstruction of natural order. What becomes the wheel of life if everyone uses witchcraft to avoid death?

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@geliguolu sure, maintaining the natural order keeps the gods happy. but it does not explain the kid's choice.

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@charlieblue17 Maybe it wasn’t apparent that the kid was in a vegetative state and Man Wol was speaking to his soul. The kid is not giving the parents happiness with prolonged false hope.

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But they were also buying years off other people. And this people sold their time without realizing it. Maybe some wouldn't have, or maybe others would have asked for a higher price. Either way, it's not a fair contract if the other party doesn't understand what they're signing up for. And for the Grim Reaper to want to end that and bring things back to their natural order makes sense.

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Maintaining natural order doesn't just make god happy. It's like there must be laws in all society to balance things out. What would make this world if anyone can make their own choices without complying to any rules? I view this the same as the rich buying organs from the poor in the black market. It might be a choice of both parties but it's against the law.

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I thought that "the price" is something else more sinister, but if they hinting at him suffering after she move on, that's better be it, it's already enough.

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They hinted he would live a long life. At least we know he won’t die... I hope.

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@geliguolu, or do something stupid with his lifeline.

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I don’t want to force you to like the “nonsense”, but I wrote some thoughts to share with @greenfields that maybe can offer a different point of view.

My take on Hotel De Luna

The message was ambiguous at first but I think it is clear now, this drama is about learning to grieve and move on. Weak humans are susceptible to the happiness and sadness that karma brings but are hopeful to have better future lives, if only they keep moving forward. Humans are a mere speck in the cosmos and one lifetime is a mere segment in time of the eternally existing soul.

When people don’t grieve properly they remain stuck in the pains of the past. Man Wol embodies an extreme representation of people not willing to move on. I hope we see that she is rewarded a happier life after she lets go.

About Chan Sung paying the price for Man Wol:

These past episodes have set up the rule that there is always a party that gains and a party that loses. This is in line with a common East Asian ideology, that intangibles like luck, happiness, blessings, lifespan, etc are finite. It’s all just complex bookkeeping.

Man Wol is told that bad relationships are returning to Chan Sung's life because of her. If there is any logic to this, I guess it’s because Chan Sung brought back her bad relationships and made it neutral/better. She brought back his bad relationships but his bad relationships turned worse as an offset, because the positivity she gained is drawn directly from himself. We see a similar case, when the acupuncturist and wife draw down their own lifespan to extend their dying/dead son's life.

Chan Sung mentions the leaf that first fell on him and that maybe all the weight of the petals are landing on him. He'll take it. So it seems whatever Man Wol needs to gain or lose to successfully crossover, had to come from someone. I now believe our Chan Sung is no more than a person of great fortunes (like the little baby at the restaurant) that Mago feels capable to withstand the junk that Man Wol needs to let go. With no connection to her past, I feel even more sorry for him, having to endure emotionally for no reason. Not to worry though, because his good karma is gaining. His character is like someone becoming bodhisattva.

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(I wrote a really long reply then decided it's been discussed to death already haha so I'll keep it short). I can't call this show badly written like @sicarius insists or call its plot points nonsense, simply because it makes a lot of sense when viewed from a non-white / at least an an Asian cultural lens - which makes sense since the drama itself is South Korean. It has its flaws but more or less, it's a very nicely written drama, is entertaining and has made us care about the characters. The discussions have been fascinating though and I'm really glad the Hong Sisters wrote this because I learnt a lot too. I had no clue free will, redemption and a visibly kind god were this important in other parts of the world (ie not my own) and I think the Magos (who are not god) have been very fair & consistent in their dealings. Book keeping as you say, one is kind, one is not.

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It still makes no sense to me from a pure writing perspective no matter what culture I come from but you do you.

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I cant resist but chip in:
Asian philosophies also state that one person alone has to bear the burden of his/her own karma. People will be connected to you but they cant live your life for you. Black magic is used for transferring of life or 'good or bad' relations.
Is CS is that good that he is almost equal to bldhisattva? Sorry, but if he was his character needed a more polished actor. This one is too cute, young and naive for that.
I like watching the drama but I do believe that the basic premise is weak, the rules of the game keep changing to hit emotional highs and what directors/storywriters believe will move the audience more.

I love the references that so many of the commentators point out towards but am not sure how much of it was intended.

For me, i like the show but I dont think it will ever be great because for me there are too many storyline loopholes and some parts are badly executed.

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I said “His character is like someone becoming bodhisattva.” ... Attaining enlightenment is not a one lifetime deal and takes many many reincarnations to accumulate good karma and learn unbiased empathy and compassion. He is not there yet, but CS has the qualities to be aid the deities. Plus, I disagree that his character is naive.

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their arguing scene is so raw, CS's trembling voice really get me.. so painful but i cant stop keep watching it.

i wish MW wont have to just go like that maybe her time is flowing again so she can age with CS together and life happily ever after because afterall she is already opening her hotel for 1000 years and so many ghost can go peacefully because of her hotel. i wish that could pay everything she did before.

and i think CS is so hot when he threatened Ji Hwan to fuck off and smiling at the same time..

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i really love CS character i can actually make a whole essay about him..
he is respectful to MW, he know that he need MW's protection and dont feel embarassed, he didnt try to hide his feelings but didnt push it either, he is so smart know how to solve problems silently, he care about people around him and his character is actually close to perfect but in the most humane way..
at this point idk about everything i just want him to be happy. dont take MW away from him if that is what make him happy, he deserve a happy, beautiful life :(((

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Honestly, I'm on the upopular side on this romantic relationship between CS and MW. I feel that a platonic relationship would actually make the eventual redemption arc for MW stronger. Finding someone who cares for her and whom she cares for as she did with YW, without a romantic love would, I feel, be a much stronger arc of growth for her. That would show how much her compassion and empathy had grown for everyone, and not continued the much abused "change of personality and outlook for love" trope. Given both her and CS's tragic histories (lives of deprevation and crime, abandonment - through death or choice- and betrayal by romantic partners) going through the personal growth to become a more "humane" character and not one driven by pain and anger would parallel MW's past where she had YW in her life, loving and supporting her, staying by her side and being her family no matter what she was driven to in order to keep their clan alive. It feels like a missed moment where that could have been explored while we told the story of CM's romantic love and sacrifice, not a shoe horned love story between MW and CS. After 1300 years and no real prior romantic experience for MW (it doesn't appear that she and CM got much past the hinting and longing looks stage), their romance just doesn't ring true to me. I'm not arguing that she doesn't deserve love, and goodness know CS does, but that it makes more sense for her to either get it on her next path or find it in the afterlife.

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Actually, I think it is a very popular stand point here on DB, even if one I do not subscribe to.

Briefly why:
1) her original trauma, or 'sin', was about romantic love, so the fact that she allows herself to feel that again is critical for the healing process.

2) Love is not really changing her as much as implied here. Yes, many dramas equate falling in love with a personality transplant (especially the "smart and spunky" to "stupid and mopey" kind), but it is completely not the case here. She still is who she is... her usual complicated imperfect self, but with some of the rough edges softened. And I like the writers for that.

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I disagree with the 'sin' being about the romantic love. That was obviously the trauma, but the bigger 'sin' or shortcoming that the god(s) want her to overcome is, I think, the complete emotional cauterization that she does on herself as a result of CM's actions and her perceptions of his reasons. Not only does she murder at least four people out of rage, but she then doesn't let herself feel or express kinder emotions for over a millenium. She obviously does have some of those feelings, but she actively supresses them and focuses on her pain, anger and sense of betrayal. Her relationship with CS, because he gets up in her face about things, forces her to change her behavior and start relaxing the iron walls she has erected around her more compassionate and caring emotions. Not that she was fuzzy and soft to begin with, our glimpses of her past certainly don't suggest that. But we see growth, and I think when that kind of growth is spurred by friendship rather than romantic love, i.e. seeing the value in caring for more than just the person who is the romantic lead, it spreads to more than just that one person. So we'd see her become a part of the employee band, see her reach out to them to extend some form of friendship and kindness. Not do everything through the lens of CS.

I do agree that she is not morphing the way that many dramas mangle the hero/heroine for love. Which is great. Kudos to the writers for letting MW be MW, prickly and hard to like, much less love but still deserving of the good things love and friendship can provide. I guess I just wanted a different story, one that we don't see too terribly often in tvland.

Plus, I really would like to get to know CM, poor little firefly, better. Hopefully we'll see him fleshed out more in the final story arc.

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when i said 'sin' I meant what she hates herself for.

agree to disagree about the rest. I always disliked CM, so my interest in his story is very close to zero. his reappearance only matters as far as its implications for MW. Whether she purchases a first-class bug swatter or forgives him for the hurt he inflicted on her "out of love" - I'm fine either way, as long as she is.

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"whether she purchases a first-class bug swatter or forgives him..."
this comment alone deserves a gazillion thumbs up...hahaha

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But this is what really puzzled me more people say that CM and MW are more heart rendering or more romantic, we only saw hint of their feeling from flashback, for me i see their romance development as forced and being caught in a moment, it was more infatuation than love. While CS and MW we see the development from the very first episode till now, their slow-burn romance development and how they gradually build up their concern, care and feelings for each other is more satisfying for me. For me. Lee Do Hyun is kinda stoic in his character, like he could show so much more in one scene but it didnt actually reach there, the sudden-impact situation and background music is what help people to connect with his character. But other than that, i much prefer someone like Yeo Jin Goo who emote his acting by his eye, subtle changes in his facial reaction...i can feel his character’s emotion so much more.

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Disagree.

I think it's an important piece of MW forgiving herself and moving on. She needs to let herself love and be loved again. We see in many of the past spirits how they can create spaces to occupy their fears and wants, how they can curse themselves and also curse others after their death. With MW, she cursed herself to this life with great sorrow because she felt responsible for the death of her people and the death of the one man who loved her the most all because she fell in love with a man who betrayed her. That's the key there – YW loved her tremendously but he died because of CM whom she loved. She can't move on from the hotel because of that curse, because of that "sin", because of her mistake. Here comes CS who she will learn to love the same way she loved CM, and who will love her the same way YW loved her. To feel all of these emotions again and learn that it's alright to feel them, to love and be hurt through it and by it, is what will help MW move on from her own curse.

It sounds more to me like you just want their relationship to be platonic because you wanted the focus of the drama to be between MW and CM when that isn't what the drama has been trying to tell us since episode 1. That's exactly the opposite of the whole point of the drama - Death and moving on from it but allowing ourselves to mourn and still finding happiness amidst the sorrow. There is no point to focus on MW and CM's love story more than we are getting because MW needs to move on from it, not stay stuck in it. And CS is the catalyst for that.

Also, CM's romantic love and sacrifice, no matter how noble in his eyes, is still what it is. He betrayed her. Sure, he saved her because of his feelings for her but he ultimately chose to lie to her and have her men die just to save her. As with the ghosts we got this week, it's the sorrow of being left behind alone by a loved one vs death but suffering together. CM chose for MW the painful path, that she suffers as someone left behind and suffer she has. His intention was selfish and caused the person he loved great sorrow for centuries.

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To me, the only “love and sacrifice” I saw in the past life came from Yeon Woo. I’m still scratching my head about what CM sacrificed to love MW... before everyone died.

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He sacrificed her love for him by becoming the villain. Pretty obviously the princess gave him a choice of killing everyone or killing everyone but MW or most likely dying himself. So, as he said in this episode, he lived as the villain so she would be allowed to live.

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He needs to give up something the owns to call it a sacrifice. He gave up nothing. He didn’t own her love.

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*something he..

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We still don't know the princess gave him such bargain. It wasn't implied. What i felt was the princess didn't know about captains friendship with MW. She mostly looked at Man weol as a traitor and then as a informat who gave information on her own gang, maybe she was angry that MWs gang stole from her, who knows. Maybe she was looking for her because of that. When she said she forgive MW for giving information i felt as if it is chang myuong who told the princess that MW gave info on her gang and asked spare her life because of it.

So as a result MW became a traitor infront of her remaining gang. That must have hurt a lot as well.

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Yeah. The way I see it, he simply didn't choose to be with her and that's not really a sacrifice. That's a choice that he made for himself.

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I rather wish we had more clarity on the political situation. That one report on their backgrounds said CM is in effect a traitors son, his Gogoryeo nobleman father working for Silla and Tang so he keeps his nobleman status. I've heard nothing more about this than that report, not in-show at all. But it does lend itself to a myriad of interpretations of what traitor actually means in this context. I mean, who was CM actually working for, his native country or adopted one? That matters because we can't tell which he is betraying until we know!

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Non-Korean viewers are at a disadvantage because we don’t know enough to understand the political situation. However Koreans can tell a lot just based on their wardrobe and names. I’ve seen a few sageuks that has broadened my knowledge of Korean history of the Silla period to recognize the attire. Also, watching this in Chinese subtitles helped me a lot. I vaguely remember there were conversations that touched on their background but it isn’t magnified.

For the purpose of the drama, GCM’s as a person of Gogoryeo or Silla descendant only matters because it explains MW’s trust in him. If he’s just a regular Silla Hwarang (his attire suggests he’s a Hwarang http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hwarang ), Man Wol would absolutely never trust him nor ask him to join the rebellion. This matters for someone knowing the history, but not so significant if we simply take it that he’s the part of the princess’ camp.

My interpretation of Yeon Wol’s words is: Live as the traitor of Man Wol so she can live on. It’s the concept like putting a rival fishes side by side to stimulate their survival will.

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While I agree with many points of your analysis of MW's needing to learn to forgive herself and learn to love again, I must point out that I don't have any desire to have the drama's focus be CM and MW. The whole point of the thing has obviously been MW's redemption arc. They were pretty heavy handed in this ep pointing out that MW had to learn that a big part of feeling love is the fear of hurting others, through action or inaction, intentional or non-intentional behaviors and the efforts you go through to not hurt those you care about. The correlation between valuing the feelings of others and seeing how you impact them and her moving on to the next phase of her existence was laid out pretty clearly.

And I totally agree that CM's decision was a) a betrayal and b) so unkind to leave her to suffer the loss of her people alone but alive. She would MUCH rather have died with her people than be left alive thinking their deaths were her fault. This ep the situation with the parents and the son was a sort of parallel to her history, as she called back to with her comment about the parents perhaps wanting the reaper to take the whole family. The lack of understanding CM demonstrated by his actions there alone would kill any desire of mine to have them be the end game. Which I didn't have anyway. I just think seeing the reasons he did it, which we can guess at pretty easily just from events as they played out and history in general, will give CS the tools to help MW heal that wound. And yeah, I do feel sorry for him. Made a crap decision, been a firefly for 1300+ years.

My larger point was that MW didn't need a love interest again, although yes, that would eventually mean she had fully healed. She hadn't learned to be open to romantic love in the past, they didn't demonstrate to my satisfaction that she had cleared the growth and healing hurdles to learn to be open to it now. She needs to learn how to be part of community of people, caring about and for each other, first. Learning to love CS the way she loved CM and receiving love from him like that from YW just sets her up for the same cycle.

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Thank you for your points. I am glad you shared them.
"Learning to love CS the way she loved CM and receiving love from him like that from YW just sets her up for the same cycle."

I believe that a romantic love is not necessary for healing and the cynical side of me would say it is what is expected or draws in ratings. The romantic in me is ALWAYS happy for a romance (if it is healthy). Yet, within this story and for Man Wol, the form of love makes sense.
First, let's look at her other romantic relationship for comparison.
I have been scratching my head why there is so much emphasis placed on the love between MW and CM. If an actor who was less charismatic played CM would their relationship be viewed the same?
For me, I hesitate to call their relationship "love".; infatuation, instant attraction, yes. But the kind love where you put the other before yourself and are willing to make sacrifices (small and great) for the person you love, I don't see it. Indeed-until we learn more (and I acknowledge that we only have some of the puzzle pieces)-right now CM's decision to have Man Wol live at the expense of people is the very indication of selfishness and not truly understanding her. Perhaps it could have grown into love, but they never had the chance.
Whereas her relationship and growing love with Chan-Sung is completely different. There is no cycle to repeat. They are different people; Man Wol is a different person.
So, I find MW and CS relationship healing because they are both demonstrating the qualities of a mature love. They care more about the other person than themselves; and this has been a HUGE growth for Man Wol and has made her vulnerable.
Yes, vulnerable to pain and sadness and fear, but also to happiness, forgiveness, love, and growth. She was completely frozen and now she is thawing. That is painful yet beautiful. I don't think she could have gotten to these emotions with her employees (too much history and old habits). And who else does she have to lean on? Ma Go? The reaper? Her guests? Pickings are slim. Hence, Chan-Sung.
I agree that it would be beneficial for Man Wol to be a part of a wider community and learn to open her heart to more people, but she has barely opened her heart to one person. Think of Chan-Sung as the catalyst. Unfortunately, her time is so short (or so we are led to believe) that the opportunity to do this is small and would not seem organic to her character acr. Right now.
As you can tell I am biased towards CM and MW, so I admit I may be missing things. But I for one, am so happy that the Hong Sisters have written this couple into existence. No, they are not the passionate couple. But you feel that what they have is solid and based upon mutual trust, friendship, and respect. That to me is the most romantic you can get.

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“I have been scratching my head why there is so much emphasis placed on the love between MW and CM. If an actor who was less charismatic played CM would their relationship be viewed the same?”

Hee~~ my thought exactly 😅
I love their past story, but I’m more touched with YW’s love to MW

MW and CM are more like “summer fling”?
Their feeling didn’t have a chance to be blossoming

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Totally agree. The stark difference between MW's relationship with CM and CS is indicative that this isn't a cycle that will just continue. It shows that who MW was with CM isn't who she is with CS. And CS isn't CM. They're both different people.

I also wonder that too, if the actor playing CM was someone different, would the reaction of some viewers be the same?

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Like I said, I disagree. MW needed a love interest to move on. Not as a rebound but as proof to her that she can love again, and be loved again. And for both of those to be okay. She needed to realize that she has to stop punishing herself because of love. She can't move on from her own curse if the love she experiences is just that of the people around her. You can see that she has always been caring in her own way and even this week we saw her compassion towards the costumers who wanted the dream call. MW isn't heartless like some people think. What she needs is romantic love, love that is directed at her and one that she can reciprocate. That's what hurt her and that's what she needs to heal. It won't be the same cycle because MW is a different person from who she was 1,300 years ago and CS isn't CM. That's why the right time is now. Because she has grown a lot and experienced a lot. The same way the old hotel manager said that her experience at HDL changed and shaped her, MW's experience at HDL also changed and shaped her.

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"CS who she will learn to love the same way she loved CM, and who will love her the same way YW loved her"

Oh that's fine, I'm fine, it's good, I'll just be over here in the corner rocking and sobbing.

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I hope there's enough space in that corner because I want to join you :(

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Is there enough room for me too? I am good with comforting pats.

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"Here comes CS who she will learn to love the same way she loved CM, and who will love her the same way YW loved her. To feel all of these emotions again and learn that it's alright to feel them, to love and be hurt through it and by it, is what will help MW move on from her own curse."... great. is the same that we, koreans, are saying in forums xD.
For us, captain was selfish. We think mw would want to die with her people. Nothing excuse, for us, what he did. It's great to read similar thoughts. Thank you

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I'm glad to know I'm not alone in thinking this! Thank you for sharing :)

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Where do I start?

1) Jang Man-wol is an adorable character. I love her whining and constant bickering with Chan-sung. Her fave when he put the rose in her mouth was so cute 😂

IU also really shines in the emotional scenes. What she can do with her eyes to make it look like she is in a world of pain is so beautiful.

2) IU didn't just sing that ending song. She also wrote it too. Her talent is hard to comprehend at times. She is one of a kind. I'm sad that the song won't be officially released but hoping it will be there in her upcoming album.

3) Bracing myself for a sad ending. It hasn't come out of anywhere, of course, the whole story has lead up to this moment. A major plot twist where ManChan can live happily ever after just wouldn't fit narratively.

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IU has been amazing throughout the whole drama and I love that she’s having a blast on set too.

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You're so right, everyone seems to be having fun while watching the bts clips. Not only has she bought food for the staff to thank them for their hard work, she bought Jin-goo a birthday cake when it was his birthday during filming 🥰

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Yeap! A baby shark caaaake, what a cutie! And looks like she also has inputs on her outfits.

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The reveal that CM is firefly is... not fun and anticlimatic. Thought that was the case. Hope for something good as a reveal. My take on that fateful event was CM feeling for MW was known by SH, she decide to unleash her fury on MW and her group, CM saved her by killing everyone else. Which is...frankly speaking, so stupid. There is no way she gonna be thankful to be alive after seeing her group died in front of her. But let see if that is true because I have more words on that.

And why is CS need to suffer even more? He didnt ask for that. If you think about it, he already suffers and that should be enough. Shouldnt Mago sisters be happy he actually work at the hotel, will lead MW to afterlife thus make their job easier? I dont understand them. They are meddling on things that should be left alone (eg.YS and Mira) and did a crappy job at guiding MW. They should just hinted or outright tell MW that firefly is CM and let them sort their grief and unfinished business. But no, lets wait CS for 20 years....

I was hoping we wont get any major ghost of the week and focus on MW, her past and present, preparing to say goodbye, the whole thing that is needed for a beautiful ending but we get maleficent Jiwon....
Sigh.... 4 more episodes.

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Some says CS's price to pay will be becoming the new owner of Hotel del luna while letting Man weol move on to the afterlife. At this point i am not sure what to think of this theory. Maybe CS as the new owner and Yuna as the manager 😅

Anyway I'd like to see Yu na as the new owner.
But there is a possibility that CS would sacrifice his life to leave with Man weol. Im really curious what will happen next.

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Maybe Jingoo’s instagram can give you some hints.

Spoilers or Red-herring? You decide.
https://www.instagram.com/p/B1VGeXknD3W/

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😅 I can't understand korean and the translation seems rough. I did see the picture when he posted it. Does that mean that he will be reborn and meet her next life. Because he said he will plant a tree that live more than him?

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There’s a great translation in the top comments by fellow beanie @weaselking

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Ummm.. is he taking trolling lessons from the Hong Sisters?

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This has been my problem dealing with the supernatural trope in k-drama, namely, Goblin, You who came from the star, Arang, etc.. I never once satisfied with how they resolve things at the end. The happy endings they offered always seem forced to me.

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I think I finally realized why I love Manwol and Chansung's relationship so much and why this drama has been such a smooth and fun watch. Sure the plot is great and the visuals amazing but it's the way Chansung and Manwol treat each other as proper adults that appealed to me. I love that they are honest with each other, well with as much honesty as there can be between them, but I just love that they openly admit what they're feeling, their fears, their worries. They call each other out when someone is saying bullshit or trying to put on a front. They see through each other and they respect each other. That's really rare in kdrama and it frustrates me to no end when the two main leads can't seem to just COMMUNICATE. Here they communicate and that might be because their problems aren't between them, it's between what Fate has for them, which actually gives them space rather than tying them to create conflict within themselves.

I really like it. I like how the romance has been handled between the leads. It felt believable and natural. I have to give major props to the Hong sisters for this one.

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It is such a relief to me that Chan-sung isn't the reincarnated Chung-myung. Without the reincarnation trope Man-wol and Chan-sung's relationship is their own, not some contrivance of fate.

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Ooh nicely pointed out! And Chan Sung - who has had many opportunities to run away - has willingly entangled himself up in Man-wol's story. He's an innocent yes, but it's great that he's an innocent! Well done, Hong Sisters.

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I think their idea is that 'fate' is merely a guided line handed by god. It's the human being to make choices out of that but at the same time, we have to take responsibility for our own choices. Reincarnation is just the device that allows people to redeem/atone for their karma.

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I think the harsh lesson shown in this episode is that both souls and the living have to accept death in order to move on. The reason MW is trapped at the hotel is that she has not accepted her own death.

I speculate that the dark energy of betrayal caused MW to kill the princess and CM in the wedding suite. But afterward, MW had nothing left to live for . . . so she committed the ultimate "sin" by prematurely ending her own life by suicide. I can see CM's ghost helplessly standing over her, unable to stop her final action. This is why CM cannot move on because of this terrible regret. And MW put herself into a permanent spiritual limbo state only she could break.

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Chung Myeong as the firefly broke my heart. He truly did love (likely still do) Man Weol. He likely did what he did to save her life and be damned with all the consequences. The guilt obviously still weighs heavily on him but I don't think it's the only reason he's still lingering. He wants to see MW move on because he loves her and wants her to find peace. It's also bittersweet for him to see the woman he loves falling in love with someone else. Maybe he and MW will move on to the afterlife together with her letting go of all the hurt and grudges she's been holding on against CM.

Hopefully, in ths next life MW and CS will find each other again and have their happily ever after in that timeline, because I don't see how that is possible in this lifetime. I'm getting the feeling that CS will also meet his demise and that demise will somehow be connected to protecting/saving MW.

Yuna and Hyun Joong are so cute and adorable together. Too bad they would have to part in the end as HJ would have to move on sooner than later. Or it is possible that the soul will leave YN's body once HJ is ready to move, maybe she'll movr on herself given that she's technically already dead.

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I think firefly Chung-myung would be happy Man-wol has moved on and found love. It is like when a terminal patient dies and wishes their spouse to remarry and be happy.

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Wait... where the heck is my long ass comment. I need to edit it but...it is gone....
Arghh.... not going to write it again

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i greatly enjoyed the first half of the drama but the second half has not been as enjoyable. as the drama is coming to a close, i've been bothered with the insertion of some of these new episodic ghosts, the insertion of ji won's storyline, and then this whole jumping back and forth about how things really went down. additionally, i've been a bit disappointed at yeon woo and mira's return. the comments have been interesting reads and the thoughtful analysis many of you have provided has helped to illuminate some points. i feel like i will need to rewatch the second half to recollect my feelings on this--maybe things will go better the second time around. similar to CHARLIE's comment about mw and cs visiting sanchez, i initially hated it but can now see the point of it, at least after rewatching that scene again. i don't necessarily need the happy ending and maybe not everything needs to be nicely tied up at the end but all i am asking for is a well written ending.

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Thanks for another prompt recap @lollypip!

Show has done a great job in leading us in carefully to accepting a sad 'happy' ending or vice versa. At this stage no one will be surprised by the death or disappearance of one or both leads. LOL.

It has certainly primed us to face the truth (ie the logic of the narrative), and to let go of all our own preferred endings of story. At the same time it has left enough ambiguity and introduced some misdirection, so that various twists can still be accommodated. I'm given to understand that this is a hallmark of Hong Sisters' writing.

I'm still enjoying every scene and image, the imaginative conjectures and interpretations and some very likely explanations. But since everything is still in the air, I'm just watching in awe at what may unfold.

Thanks too to all Beanies for their thoughts and opinions. Such rich discussions, and so much to think about!! 🤓🤪

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What i feel is man weol didn't love CM as much as she loves CS. She was ready leave with her gang and promised YW she'll come back. She knew a thief like her and a high class man like CM cannot be together. Her bond with CS as strong as the one she had for YW but in a romantic way.

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I agree, the thing with CM felt like puppy love in a way... it lacks substance. They had attraction, but no real understanding of each other's character. The link with CS feels deeper and stronger.

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Hyunjoon and Yuna's first kiss!! I've been waiting forever for this couple. I've always thought Hyunjoon's biggest decision will be to leave when his sister dies or to stay with Yuna but with the moon tree's changes... what if Manwol leaves first?

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One throw-away gag in the episode seemed to have a legitimate purpose. Chan-sung's startled reaction at finding Man-wol had included a (ahem) 'back massager' in her bag of medical treatments for him is the first indication the show's given that present day Man-wol is at all sexual. Once that foundation has been established they can now proceed to the passionate kiss at the end.

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LOL Man-wol offering to pass on Sanchez' expensive stuff -- and SHE calls Chan-sung a con-man! :)

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she didn't mean any of that. it was one of her most aspersive instances of negative psychology. all to say that since Sanchez was being scammed to begin with, they might as well go all out on it... a person stuck in the past for 1k+ years objecting to Sanchez wallowing in the past, because of CS's attempt at comfort. The same CS who has been preaching her the gospel of letting go and moving on. That scene was equal parts brutal and insightful.

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How bad is the exchange rate on transferring life-lines??
The parents looked like they aged more than the 3 years they got for their son, even before you count the other folks whose lines they got. And they must have done it A LOT, if they only bought a centimeter at a time to get that huge line up the kids arm. For just 3 years.
Rate must have been at least 10-to-1 (?) Whatever deity/spirit was the middleman on these transactions must have been making out like a bandit :)

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Lol @ exchange rate

Seriously though, in addition to transferring their lifespan (in years) to their son, their practice is essentially witchcraft and it damages their longevity. High transaction cost, if you will.

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This episode makes my heart feels so heavy... it hurts so much (IU’s song at the end not really helping)

The anticipatory grief
(The term that I leard from @stpauligurl)
Or The impending grief (from Soompi https://www.soompi.com/article/1346608wpp/8-times-hotel-del-luna-episodes-11-and-12-made-us-ugly-cry)

This topic really got me 😭😭

CS already knew and accepted his fate since the beginning
He knows he will be part with MW
But with his feelings for Manwol getting deeper, this “task” is becoming more painful for him

I saw three stages here

First : The scene after MW shared a story about her and YW.. after they made a comment about the blossoming flowers... the realization...
In this scene, both of them tried to avoid this topic, didn’t want to discuss it.. CS chose to leave and sit alone, and MW can only look from afar

Second : their first quarrel.. the first time they really talked about this head on..
Full of emotion, they look angry... frustrated to themselves
Because their fate.. their situation is helpless
(don’t be like them, I want you to be okay when I’m gone..; How could you tell me to be okay?)

Third : the final scene
When they are more honest about their feeling (I’m scared.. ; It’ll be painful to carry, but I will bear it) , then the acceptance comes
Ended with hug.. the reassurance that both of them needed

It’s sad yet beautiful
It’s so close to real life situation
When we faced with the same problem (will losing someone we loved through death)
Realizing that time won’t be long, talking about death is never easy, but at the end of the day we must accept it

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hmmm it sounds like you are describing the stages of grief outlined by Elizabeth Kubler Ross. Why didn't I think of that?
from denial, to anger, to bargaining then depression and finally to acceptance.
https://grief.com/the-five-stages-of-grief/

Interesting that the Hong Sisters are writing this story. Thank you! It is a good way for all of us to prepare ourselves to grieve and say goodbye to losses in our lives.
and thanks for giving me credit @nomunamu - I totally credit my brother who is a hospital chaplain.

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Thanks @nomunamu Namu, for the link to Soompi. The BTS video was such a hoot!!

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As the episodes go on, I end up liking Chan Sung more and more. He started out almost pathetic and cowardly but this episode showed his near frightening charisma and wit.

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I don't care at all about captain... like he still has killed her own family. I'm sure MW preferred to die with them. I don't think she loved him that much either. She's not waiting for him because love but because hate.
And this chapter makes me remember Yeo Jin Goo's poem on his instagtam...
I'ill plant a tree.
I will plant a tree that will live longer than me.
So that you can meet this tree in the next life,
I will water it in your memory everyday.
I will stay beside it while it tinted the moonlight every night.
So don't be afraid when you leave me behind"

So beautiful and sad. Love them together.. once again, thank you for recap and sorry for my English. I'm practicing here xD

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Why is she waiting for him because hate when she already killed him? To kill him again?

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I never felt she was waiting for him. She hated him. The punishment was mostly for herself but since the princess and Yeon Woo reincarnated she figures CM will too. And if he does, she can't guarantee not killing him again.

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If Chung-myung were reincarnated and Man-wol tried to kill him, I could see Chan-sung stepping in-between them and getting shot or stabbed by Man-wol to mirror Chan-sung taking the curse for Mi-ra.

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Yes i agree. Some overlook yeon woo's and chan sungs sacrifices for man weol and be only sad about the captain guy staying for 1000 years as a firefly. MW became a 1000 cursed being because of the captain... If she didn't choose that path there will be nothing for the captain to wait for. YW died for MW and CS took a curse for MW. Those are bigger sacrifices at least imo.

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IU's OST at the end was so beautiful i cried, sad it won't be released officially but understandable

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@bangwon the Full Album with IU's song is out. You can see my link below at Comment 31.

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When Ji-Won slit his own throat with that broken bottle, I got goosebump. How evil his ghost could be when he is already this evil alive. But then he survived and I think: "NO WAY!" since this is the PERFECT plot device for the rest of the show. Then they twisted it aroud by making him super evil armored by all those hateful comments on the internet. Wow, I salute you, show, you're on another level.

Seeing Man-Wol and Chan-Sung trying to protect each other is both heartwarming and frustrating. However, I appreciate that they at least admit their own fear and not try to keep up a front of being alright to console one another. They are honest noble-and-not-so-idiot.

I hope this time Chan-Sung can also use his Harvard conman skills to pull through. The way he deals with Ji-Won both in the past and present is decent.

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@joosushin SuShin
One comment I made elsewhere is that I'm so relieved that Chan Sung is not like most 'heroes' who go all gung-ho out to face danger without informing anyone or any backup. (Those heroes were idiots who inevitably got into trouble). He's wise enough to call for backup and get the ghost to help him as well. I just loved that he knew how to take care of himself in the right way.

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Chan-Sung has been introduced as a straight-A Harvard graduate. It would only lead to a hair-pulling moment for us, the audience, if he is not at least this smart, right?

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Yeah, I like that about MW and CS's relationship since the beginning. They've been very honest about their fears and thoughts to each other. It's honestly refreshing. And they're both smart enough to decipher the real meaning when the other isn't being straightforward and ambiguous.

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Please....can we get more episodes of this show? I can't believe this will end with only 4 more episodes to go *sniff*

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With a good drama, like this one, for example, I like to keep them the original length they are supposed to be. Dragging will ruin the whole good things they have offered. I rather cherish them longingly in my memory than cursing them to end it.

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A good drama can make those 4 remaining episodes feel like two full length theater movies. I'm thinking of Radiant/Dazzling whose last two episodes were an entire drama all their own.

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He’d thought to himself, “Live your life as a traitor, that way Man-wol can live.”

That was Yeon-woo's voice, not Chung-myung's. Before, people rationalized that Chan-sung could not be Chung-myung's reincarnation because Man-wol said if Chan-sung was Chung-myung, she would recognize him, but the firefly has been around Man-wol all this time, yet she never recognized him. Man-wol and Chung-myung are kindred spirits punishing themselves by never forgiving themselves.

Black Mago pisses me off. Man-wol wanted to die. She held her sword against her neck to kill herself in return for finding the Inn of the Moon. It was Flowers Mago who kept her alive against her will for one thousand years. If Black Mago wants to drag Man-wol to the afterlife, then take it up with Flowers Mago. Or just go ahead and take her. Man-wol doesn't care about not being reincarnated. It won't be the first time a ghost was unfairly turned into dust despite being a spycam victim.

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