Hotel del Luna: Episode 6
This episode shows us more about our heroine and her hotelier’s pasts, which goes a long way towards explaining why they behave the way they do to each other. They can’t deny that they’re drawn to each other somehow, though that fact is making at least one of them remember things she’d rather not remember. The past is something Man-wol would prefer to leave behind her.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
As he waits for his subway home, Chan-sung thinks about Man-wol telling him not to feel lonely when it’s time for him to see her off to the next world. He’d stopped her from walking away with a hand on her arm, and she’d joked that she’s not going yet, not until she’s made him sick and tired of her.
There’s a strange man lying on one of the subway seats, and when he turns over, Chan-sung startles at the huge gaping wound in the back of the man’s head — he’s a ghost. Chan-sung says he shouldn’t be here, and the ghost’s response is to start spitting at Chan-sung, lol.
Chan-sung gets the ghost to follow him to a convenience store, where he buys him a beer and tells him about Hotel del Luna. An excited crowd of teenagers gets Chan-sung’s attention, and he sees that Kim Joon-hyun, Man-wol’s celebrity crush, is in the store. The students follow Kim Joon-hyun when he leaves the store, and so does Chan-sung’s ghost, ha.
Man-wol is watching Joon-hyun’s show in her office right now, as Seo-hee tells her that Yoo-na, “Ms. Fourth Choice,” came by the hotel today and wants to intern. Man-wol says she doesn’t care, so Seo-hee decides to put Hyun-joong in charge of training Yoo-na.
Man-wol finds her missing earring on her desk, the one Chan-sung kicked when he was mad. She perks up to know that it was probably Chan-sung angling for another “leaf” (her approval) from her. Chan-sung isn’t answering his phone, so she calls Sanchez.
Sanchez says that Chan-sung isn’t home because his girlfriend from the States came by today. Man-wol stops in her tracks at that, then she startles Sanchez by suddenly appearing in his yard. With a deceptively cheerful smile, she asks about the girlfriend, then claims not to be the least bit curious about her… then threatens to kill Sanchez if the girlfriend turns out to be pretty.
Mago is at the ancient tree, and she recalls Chung-myung and the princess he was in charge of protecting. She says that their bond has lasted a long time, and that she hopes he takes care of her so that she’s not hurt again.
Chan-sung follows the students to a restaurant where Kim Joon-hyun is filming an episode of The Guys Who Died After Eating.The boys scurry off to Kim Joon-hyun’s van to get his autograph, and Chan-sung almost follows them, but chickens out.
He runs into Man-wol on his walk home, and she asks if he met (someone), thinking his girlfriend. He says he did, thinking of Kim Joon-hyun. He tells her to go see for herself, but she snaps that she doesn’t want to, confusing the hell out of poor Chan-sung.
He grins when he sees that she’s wearing her lost earring, and she says that since he found it, he has to come eat webfoot octopus with her. As usual, Chan-sung says that she’s just making excuses because she’ craving webfoot octopus, and Man-wol snaps back asking if he’s sick of her already.
As they head towards the car, Chan-sung asks if Man-wol is sure she doesn’t want to see Kim Joon-hyun. When Man-wol realizes he’s right down the street, she shrieks at Chan-sung for not telling her sooner and takes off at a dead run.
They’re too late to meet Man-wol’s idol, so Chan-sung tries to cheer her up by sitting her in the same chair he sat in and feeding her the same hangover soup he ate. Chan-sung muses that the restaurant will do well now because of Kim Joon-hyun, but Man-wol says it would have done well anyway and gestures to the owner’s baby girl.
She says the baby has built up a lot of good karma in past lives, and was born very lucky. At Chan-sung’s interest, Man-wol confirms that being bad in past lives results in being reincarnated as a pig or a dog, which makes him really worried about Man-wol’s chances in her next life, hee.
She says she’s paid for her crimes by running the hotel, but Chan-sung points out that she doesn’t treat the customers very well. Man-wol tells him that her next life is none of his business, but Chan-sung protests that he’s worried about her, admonishing her to “Be nice!”
He says she can start with the ghost he sent to the hotel earlier, but Man-wol chastises him for talking to unknown ghosts in case they’re evil spirits. She tells Chan-sung that such evil spirits are the ones that turn to dust when the Grim Reaper catches them.
Speaking of Reaper, he’s heard about the ghost that escaped the hotel, and he tells Bartender Kim and Seo-hee that her soul is filled with hatred towards humans. He warns them that he’ll hold the hotel responsible if she causes any trouble, and although she’s dangerous, Seo-hee says she feels bad for her.
A young man is working late alone in his office when he gets a pop-up on his computer. It’s a website that plays video of women’s bedrooms without their knowledge, and the man watches as a woman undresses beside her bed.
He leans closer to see her face, and suddenly she looks directly at the camera — it’s the escaped ghost from the hotel. She asks, “Do you like it? I’m hot, aren’t I?” Her face morphs into a horror mask, and she reaches out of the man’s computer monitor. He dies with his eyes burned red by her fingers.
Yoo-na texts Hyun-joong, wanting him to let her come to the hotel for training. Buoyed by the rumors that she’s possessed, the other girls plan to throw a carton of milk at her, but all of their phones start getting empty text messages at once, freaking them out. HAHA, it’s Hyun-joong, and Yoo-na fails to hide her excitement when she sees him.
She tells Hyun-joong that she’s prepared to quit school in favor of working at the hotel, and he guesses that it’s because she’s being bullied. She says that the real Yoo-na was an awful person so she actually enjoys seeing how much others hated her, but Hyun-joong can tell that’s not the truth.
He says that he had lots of fun in school, veering off into a story about the love triangle between the servant, his nanny, and his father’s driver. Yoo-na asks if he was disappointed to live such a short life when he was born privileged. Hyun-joong admits it, and tells her to enjoy school while she can.
Yoo-na tries to talk Hyun-joong into playing the school’s piano for her, but the bullies come in and, knowing Yoo-na could play, they tell her to play a song. She never learned in her previous life, so her hands shake, and she’s the only one who can see Hyun-joong slide his hands under hers so that it looks like she’s playing. It convinces the bullies to leave, and the song reminds Hyun-joong of something he can’t seem to forget — his little sister, Hyun-mi.
At the hotel, Bartender Kim says it would be more appropriate for him to train Yoo-na, but Seo-hee says that Hyun-joong and Yoo-na being close to the same (living) age will give them an important connection. Bartender Kim is worried because Hyun-joong is also developing an emotional attachment to Chan-sung, but Seo-hee says that Hyun-joong also knows that the hotel may disappear if he sides with Chan-sung.
They’ve noticed that the leaves on the ancient tree are growing, and when the leaves shake like there’s a sudden wind, they guess that Chan-sung has gotten Man-wol riled up. HAHA, it’s because Chan-sung has decided they should sell the cars that Man-wol isn’t using, and she argues that she’s using them as decoration.
Poor Chan-sung looks like he has a mother of a headache, hee. Man-wol asks him what his problem is with her cars, and he shows her that she can’t even cover next month’s credit card bills. He says that nobody is interested in buying the Mount Baekdu painting, and Man-wol squawks when she learns that he sent the young groom’s parents’ black card back.
Chan-sung snaps that he doesn’t want her to be reincarnated as a pig or a dog. She asks why he even cares, since even if she’s reincarnated as a chicken she’ll just show up in his soup saying, “Hello, I’m tastier when you eat me with fresh kimchi!” PFFT, this conversation no longer makes sense.
Chan-sung goes to the sky bar to commiserate with the other employees. They tell him that Man-wol and the hotel used to be very poor, and in flashback we see them sitting around with Man-wol circa the Korean War, planning to wheedle food from the U.S. Army trucks. Meanwhile, Man-wol sits in her office surrounded by luxury, defiantly snarling that she will continue with her champagne-and-caviar lifestyle.
Chan-sung says that if Man-wol’s been poor before, then she can certainly survive on a lot less. Hyun-joong starts to warn Chan-sung that he’ll be kicked out if he insists, but Bartender Kim smacks him to shut him up. He tells Chan-sung that he’s doing a great job and they’ll just have to suck it up and live frugally (as they sip their fancy drinks, ha).
A man, dressed in royal robes and surrounded by guards, is attacked by assassins in the palace. He suffers a coughing fit and the director yells “Cut!” LOL, it’s just an actor (cameo by Lee Yi-kyung) filming a sageuk titled “The Crowned Queen.” PFFT.
The actor steps outside to practice his lines, having been told by the director to sound more kingly. Another man in identical robes yells at him for daring to stand in his way, and the actor falls back, hitting his head on the stone steps and knocking himself out. The ghost king watches, wondering why nobody can hear him.
He ends up at Hotel del Luna, and Hyun-joong assumes by his robes and regal entitlement that he’s the ghost of a dead king. Everyone at the hotel is excited to have a real king visiting, and Man-wol orders them to give him the very best service — you can practically see the dollar signs sparkling in her eyes.
As they’re all bowing to the king, Chan-sung does some mental calculations, but he can’t figure out which king this is. The king is taken to the VVIP room and showered with fancy food and even a gold chamber pot, and Man-wol goes so far as to put a halt on any new guests while the king is at the hotel.
Chan-sung asks which king their guest is, since some of them were horrible tyrants, and brags that he’s served royals before. Annoyed, Man-wol orders Chan-sung to go, and not to come back until he’s sold the Mount Baekdu painting, though she gives him permission to cut the asking price in half.
But his questions about the king have her doubting his authenticity. He signed the guest register with the name “Lee Hyun,” so Man-wol runs through the sageuks she can recall (Seo-hee points out that Lee Hwon from The Moon That Embraces the Sun was fictional, hee). Hyun-joong looks up the name on his phone and finds that it’s the name of a king in a current sageuk, played by Yoo Oh, the actor we saw earlier.
Man-wol gloats, but Seo-hee says that he’s another made-up character. After some research, Seo-hee tells Man-wol that The Crowned Queen is a drama about a queen who hires a gisaeng doppelganger to take her place in the palace. Gee, that sounds familiar. Man-wol asks why the ghost would claim to be a fictional character, so Seo-hee explains that he’s actually a minor actor named Bang Tae-woo.
The Crowned Queen was to be his first leading role, but he died of a heart attack before filming started. Evidently he was so invested in the role that after his death, he convinced himself that he really is a king. Embarrassed, Man-wol tells the others to put Ghost Bang on the bus to the afterlife first thing in the morning.
When Chan-sung hears that the king isn’t a king, he can’t resist saying “I told you so” to Man-wol. She yells that Ghost Bang must have really wanted that role, and that he’s a good enough actor to fool them all, so he deserves to be treated as a king.
Apparently Yoo Oh, the actor playing the role that was to be Ghost Bang’s, is popular, but a terrible sageuk actor. Chan-sung acknowledges that Ghost Bang would have been great in the role, and he approaches Man-wol with an idea — he wants to help their guest realize his dream of being an actor.
They send a pizza truck to the set of The Crowned Queen, which gives them an excuse to visit the set. Chan-sung goes to find the shooting schedule, leaving Man-wol to watch over the pizza truck, and she growls at the actress playing the queen (cameo by Pyo Ye-jin) when she asks her to deliver pizza to the costume staff.
Man-wol overhears Yoo Oh on the phone with his manager, complaining about his neck injury and refusing to work the last two weeks of shooting. He rips off his neck brace — he’s faking, he just wants out of the drama. When Chan-sung returns with the shooting schedule, Man-wol reads that the king isn’t in very many scenes left to be shot.
While rehearsing his lines (“Wow, I’m really bad!” ha), Yoo Oh follows a woman he thinks is the actress playing the queen, hoping she can help him. He’s surprised to see Man-wol instead, and she looks him in the eye and addresses him as “Your Majesty.” Ghost Bang steps into Yoo Oh’s body, and he suddenly takes on the gaze and bearing of a king.
They film the scene where the impostor confesses that she’s not the true queen, and Ghost Bang plays his part perfectly. When they’re finished, he slides out of Yoo Oh’s body, leaving the actor with no idea what just happened. Their plan is so successful that Ghost Bang agrees to possess Yoo Oh for the remainder of his scenes, saving the show and the actor’s reputation.
Man-wol tells Yoo Oh that she’s an acting coach, a very expensive one, and he’s more than happy to pay her whatever she wants. Chan-sung rolls his eyes, but since their guest agrees and considers this his payment for staying at the hotel, he accepts the situation.
Man-wol had no idea that actors made so much money, and she tells Chan-sung that he should go into acting. He waves her off, saying that he’s a horrible actor, hee. Man-wol suddenly remembers that she never got to eat webfoot octopus, so Chan-sung offers to take her to the coast, and she accuses him of being nice because she’s going to be his last guest.
He says that’s not true, since hoteliers aren’t supposed to have personal feelings for their guests. Man-wol huffs, but Chan-sung clarifies that he means the leaf, and she decides she’s not in the mood for webfoot octopus today. She tells him that she hired an intern, and Chan-sung finally meets Yoo-na, who tells him to quit whenever he’s ready, ha.
She wants to follow him back to the hotel since she can’t find it during the day, but he says he’s meeting someone, so Yoo-na leaves. Chan-sung’s ex-girlfriend MI-RA (Park Yoo-na) arrives, and Yoo-na watches through the window as Chan-sung greets her.
Man-wol gets dressed up super fancy to go to the coast and have webfoot octopus with Chan-sung. Hyun-joong offers to call Chan-sung and tell him that Man-wol is waiting, though he says he feels bad interrupting him since he’s with Mi-ra. HA, Yoo-na’s already told him about the pretty girlfriend.
He says he’d hate to see Chan-sung grow old alone like Manager Noh did. Man-wol’s enthusiasm drains right out of her, and she tells Hyun-joong to clear the hotel’s beach because she’s decided to go there instead.
Mi-ra asks what brought Chan-sung back to Korea, and he asks if it makes her nervous to see him here. He says he thought it was strange for her to suddenly turn up so he asked around, and found that she got kicked out of her parents’ house after taking out a loan.
Mi-ra says it was a small loan and she’ll easily be able to pay it off on her doctor’s salary. Chan-sung says that’s good, because he wants the money he loaned her back. Mi-ra says this isn’t why she wanted to see him, doing her best to charm Chan-sung, who’s having none of it.
He abruptly jumps up, having seen a familiar form outside. Grabbing a pen and a piece of paper, Chan-sung chases down Kim Joon-hyun (cameo as himself) and gets his autograph for Man-wol. He even thinks to get a photo, but when Man-wol calls him, he doesn’t get a chance to tell her his news before she cancels their trip to the coast and orders him to take the day off.
She sits alone under the ancient tree, and a firefly flits through the leaves above her head. The scene changes to one from Man-wol’s past — she’s siting by a lake, and she’s joined by Chung-myung. Man-wol says she came to drink alone and orders him to get lost.
Ignoring her, Chung-myung reaches up to gently catch a firefly, and they both watch as he sets it free to join the thousands hovering over the lake. Chung-myung says that things are different now that he’s with Man-wol, and that even familiar things will look different to her when she sees them with him. He assures her that drinking alone won’t be enjoyable anymore, because she’ll be waiting for him to show up like he did today.
Shaking off the memories, Man-wol walks away from the ancient tree. On one branch of the tree, a small blue flower bud begins to bloom.
Mago tells her sisters gleefully that the tree at Hotel del Luna is finally beginning to look pretty. The sisters discuss whether Chan-sung is the poison or the remedy — or maybe he’s both.
Yoo-na sits in a Subway trying to decide if it’s weird to invite a ghost to have a sandwich with her. She notices the man at the next table looking intently at his phone, then he leaves without touching his food. He finds a bathroom to watch a naughty viral video he’s heard about, and the ghost in the video kills him like she did the last guy.
Man-wol ends up on the hotel’s beach after all, and she makes a call to have the sun turned down, lol. Chan-sung joins her and admits that he came because he did something silly. He warns her very seriously not to laugh, then shows her the autograph from Kim Joon-hyun, which says, “To Ms. Jang Man-wol, I love you.”
She asks if he’s confessing, so he pouts and points out the autograph. Man-wol just stares at him, but when he asks if she doesn’t like it, she says softly that she loves it. Chan-sung preens a little, then says that this beach is nice even though there are no webfoot octopus.
Man-wol looks out over the water as she says, “It’s okay, because you’re here.” She adds, “It makes me sad. I’m a little sad because the ocean looks more beautiful now than it did earlier.”
So bittersweet. If Chan-sung is the reincarnation of one of the men Man-wol loved a thousand years ago — and I believe that she knows who he is — it’s clear that it doesn’t make her happy to see him again. I’m not sure why that is… maybe she betrayed him, or he betrayed her, or she has a secret she doesn’t want him to know. However Chan-sung is connected to Man-wol’s past, she seems to be slowly accepting it, but that acceptance is causing her pain as if she’s bracing herself for something terrible.
As for their current selves, I love this stage of a relationship in dramas, when the two people involved are developing feelings but they either don’t know yet or aren’t happy about it. This is when all the fun misunderstandings and awkward encounters happen, such as when Chan-sung and Man-wol were each talking about a different person and getting annoyed at each other. I think they still have a long way to go before admitting to themselves, much less each other, that there might be something between them, and it’s all tangled up in their pasts what with all the reincarnation hints. But for now it’s fun just watching Chan-sung openly admit that he cares what happens to Man-wol’s immortal soul when she eventually dies, and seeing her flustered because she hasn’t cared what anyone thinks of her in over a thousand years.
The last time she did care seems to be when she was with Chung-myung and Yeon-woo, before something shattered her life and caused her to be bound to Hotel del Luna. The scene by the lake with Chung-myung seemed so simple, but a lot of clues were laid down there. He said that things will look different to Man-wol now that he’s with her, and I think that’s going to turn out to be important. He also said that she won’t enjoy drinking alone anymore, and looking back, Man-wol’s frequent drinking does seem more an act of defiance rather than something she does because she likes it. It’s as if she’s trying to prove Chung-myung wrong and that she still enjoys being alone, but she’s not doing a very good job.
Since we’re talking about relationships, I just have to say that I’m all aboard the Yoo-na/Hyun-joong ship. How adorable are they together? I liked learning a bit more about Hyun-joong’s background and seeing him grieving his inability to be with his sister, because it gives him some gravitas to go along with Yoo-na’s sad backstory. I’m worried about their future though — Hyun-joong is planning to move on when his sister eventually dies, but Yoo-na is being trained as Hotel del Luna’s next manager, so she’s not going to be leaving this world any time soon. Hyun-joong could always choose to stay with her at the hotel when his sister passes, but making that choice after waiting over seventy years with one goal in mind will be painful for him.
One of my favorite things about Hong sisters dramas is their inside jokes and call-outs to other dramas and actors. A lot of what I know about dramas and jokes in the kdrama industry come from my early consumption of Hong sisters shows, and it’s even more fun now that I get the references directly. The teasing references to The Crowned Clown in this episode just made me so happy, and the joke about the main actor being terrible cracks me up after Yeo Jin-gu got so much attention earlier this year for his portrayals of the king and his lookalike clown. And there’s nothing more attractive than when someone can laugh at themselves, so seeing Yeo Jin-gu throw himself into the “Oh no, I’d be a horrible actor” lines just made me like him that much more. I’m really enjoying the acting choices he’s making for Chan-sung, he seems very comfortable and relaxed in the role. In fact, that goes for most of the cast, and it just adds to my enjoyment of Hotel del Luna to see all of the actors having so much fun.
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