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Hotel del Luna: Episode 7

Gods and their will center this episode, as the staff of Hotel del Luna try to grapple with a particular deity with many faceted faces. Our new hotel manager has seen the compassionate face of that god, but he must now see what happens when the wrathful side comes to the front to bring order. Our hoteliers face down the question: how can there be injustice in the world if there are gods to look over us all?

  
EPISODE 7 RECAP

We begin our episode in the past, as Royal Guard Chung-myung greets Princess Song-hwa, who has come to see him at his post on the wall. But Chung-myung is distracted as he spots a certain thief walking the streets of the city, her face covered in a scarf.

It isn’t long before he makes his way to Man-wol, to ask if she’s come to see him. She scoffs that she’s here to steal, but Chung-myung smiles when he sees that her only “loot” is her own wine jug. Now Man-wol is defensive, and suggests that Chung-myung was too busy tonight flirting with the princess. Chung-myung deflects that the princess was the one flirting with him, not the other way around.

Man-wol congratulates him for getting drinks from a noble, but he says that he likes Man-wol’s alcohol better and confiscates the jug from her. “It seems like you already stole what you were here for,” he says as he pats his chest, and leaves Man-wol in the streets.

And now the dream of the past fades to the present day, where Man-wol sits under her tree, new buds threatening to bloom. She smiles to think how smug Chan-sung will feel about its progress.

Meanwhile, the vengeful ghost that escaped Hotel del Luna is ready to claim another victim. A man sits in a public ladies restroom to watch, what he discovers, is not a sex tape but the ghost’s video. The ghost emerges from the phone and drags the man back into the stall as the lighting turns blood red. By the time the paramedics find him, the man is dead, his eyes red and burnt.

Yoo-na happens to be in the building and goes to investigate the bathroom. She finds the man’s abandoned cell phone and wonders if it’s possessed. As she turns to leave though, an unearthly woman dressed all in black grabs her by the neck and slams her into the wall. The woman looks like another sister of Mago, but this one is decidedly more severe. She also knows that Yoo-na is really inhabited by Soo-jung’s spirit, and she means to destroy her soul entirely for this trespass.

Yoo-na’s throat begins to sizzle where the Dark Mago holds her, but before the destruction is complete, Reaper arrives to stop Mago’s hand. He explains that this isn’t the act of a vengeful spirit, but rather Man-wol’s decision to let Soo-jung’s spirit live on in Yoo-na’s empty body.

Dark Mago releases Yoo-na and sends her running from the bathroom. She tells Reaper about the ghost she’s seeking, the one who just killed the man in the bathroom. Dark Mago sneers when Reaper tells her that Hotel del Luna is also involved in that situation, since the Vengeance Ghost was a long-term stay at the hotel until her recent escape. This version of Mago doesn’t seem to like the idea of a resting place in between life and death, and especially not when it’s been entrusted to an “evil spirit” like Man-wol. When Dark Mago hears that Man-wol may also pass on to the other world, she shares her belief that Man-wol will hurt humans again and be sent on as an evil spirit.

Back at the hotel, Chan-sung welcomes a new guest, a backpacker who wandered the earth searching for his wife before finally making his way to the hotel. But the man finds his wife after all: she wanders into the hotel lobby, her arms around a much younger man (wearing clothing definitely better suited to the 80s). It seems that she also died when her husband did, but she found the hotel right away, where she was reunited with her first love who died when they were young. Oh no.

Now, the ghost wife wants to move on with her first love, not her husband. The backpacker yells at her to get away from the younger man, but it turns out that if he had lived, he’d be three years older than him, haha. The two men move to fight with one another, while Chan-sung does his best to separate them. As he does, the backpacker throws him forcefully to the ground, Chan-sung flying much farther than if he’d been tossed by a mortal.

Fortunately, Man-wol watches from the stairs, and she arrives to deliver her signature brand of reverse psychology. She says that it should be no problem for the couple to kill each other over and over again since they’re already dead, and she passes out weapons to them to spar with. Completely put off by her response, the couple set the weapons on the floor and the fight resolves, though it’s clear everyone is still unhappy.

The backpacker retreats to the bar, where Bartender Kim and Seo-hee discuss the last time someone arrived at the hotel ready to fight. Seo-hee turns to deliver bingsu to the wife who wants to recreate her first date with her first love, while Bartender Kim offers soju and seaweed to the blubbering backpacker, who has no one else he loves to wait for.

Chan-sung retreats to his office with Hyun-joong. Hyun-joong says that the blow Chan-sung could have been dangerous, since he was hit with the powerful resentment that the ghost was feeling. But Hyun-joong also says that all is well because Man-wol was looking out for Chan-sung. This seems to take a hit at Chan-sung’s pride, especially since he’s been feeling so much more confident with the ghostly guests lately. As he leaves, Hyun-joong recommends sprinkling some salt to be sure all the evil vibes are gone.

Chan-sung turns to the mail, where he finds a glossy magazine with images of the ocean. He thinks about the moment on the beach with Man-wol, and how she said that she felt sad to see its beauty. But then Chan-sung notices the yachts in the magazine, and immediately seeks out Man-wol.

He finds her lounging, painting her toenails, and he asks if she found the sea sad because she didn’t have a yacht. It’s a reasonable assumption, especially when Man-wol confirms that she just ordered her new yacht to fill up the room left empty by all of her sold cars. They bicker back and forth, Chan-sung eventually offering to take her fishing at Wolmi Island if he can cancel her yacht purchase. As he leaves, Man-wol gleefully turns to pick out a new nail polish color that would go better with their trip to Wolmi.

As Chan-sung passes through Man-wol’s office, he lets a small smile slip when he spots the autograph from Kim Joon-hyun, now framed and on display. Chan-sung heads home where he promptly starts tossing salt over his shoulder and into his hair to wipe out those bad vibes. Sanchez spots him, and without much questioning helps his friend season himself, heehee.

Sanchez asks if Chan-sung is trying to banish Mi-ra with the salt and asks if she stole his credit card again, or borrow money in his name without his knowledge again. Then Sanchez asks if Man-wol is still buying the yacht, which apparently came recommended from Sanchez after she spotted his own yacht on his Instagram.

It seems that Sanchez plans to invite her to his yacht club as well, and he asks if he can set Man-wol up with some men there. Chan-sung is immediately flustered, and turns down all the handsome blonde men Sanchez shows him as prospective introductions. As Chan-sung darts off for the pricier Himalayan sea salt, just in case, Sanchez nods to himself that Chan-sung must like Man-wol. He then notices that they’ve been sprinkling sugar, not salt, on Chan-sung all this time.

Yoo-na has made it to school, her neck still bruised and burned from Dark Mago’s touch. As she sits in art class, hungry ghosts show up, eager to try to take possession of Yoo-na’s body themselves now that she appears weak.

Yoo-na struggles away from them, as her classmates watch her scramble from seemingly nothing. Yoo-na crawls into the cupboards at the back of class and shuts the doors on the room. “Step aside,” Hyun-joong says as he walks through the crowd of hovering students. He crouches down to reassure Yoo-na and coax her from the cupboard. As she opens the doors, he lifts her into his arms and carries her to the nurse’s office. There, he spots the marks on her neck and wonders what happened.

Back at the hotel, Man-wol stands with Reaper at the tunnel to the afterlife and asks if it was the Fourth Mago who injured her intern. Reaper demands that she not number the deity, since they are all just different faces of the same great plan. Man-wol asks how great a plan it can be, if they appear to humans in ways that they don’t want.

Reaper explains that this Mago just wanted the vengeful ghost, and Man-wol can’t help but note that one of the other Mago’s wants to help the spirit, while this one wants to destroy it. Man-wol notes that she herself is in a similar spot, with two Mago deities with different plans for her, and she wonders who is stronger, the first or the fourth. Reaper warns again that they are all united in one goal.

The hotel staff have gathered to take a look at the phone Yoo-na recovered from the bathroom. But to lure the spirit in, they need human bait, and Man-wol says that they’ve only got one piece of human bait at the hotel.

Chan-sung joins the group in their conference room, where he immediately refuses to watch the video. He reads the group chat on the phone and can see that this is clearly a sex tape taken without consent, and he says that it’s not just criminal to film it, but also to watch it.

Man-wol gives him a slow clap, and the staff reluctantly join in. She sarcastically congratulates him on his integrity, but explains that he needs to take a look so that they can catch the Room 13 ghost. Chan-sung steels himself, but when he looks at the video, it’s just an empty room.

As he and the rest of the staff keep watching, Man-wol pops into the room on screen. She says that this video wasn’t a viral sex tape, but something created by the vengeful spirit’s anger. And Man-wol suspects that the ghost sent the video to specific targets, and may have a list of more.

And indeed, a man fumbles with his phone while his wife cooks dinner and holds their baby. He moves to his office for some privacy to check out the video in his group chat, and soon he finds himself face first in his hot noodles, slammed over and over again until his wife finds him dead on the floor.

To determine who might be next on the ghost’s list, Chan-sung meets with the girl’s sister. Her sister tells him that it’s been five years since the incident, and yet the non consensual video is still online. Chan-sung asks if those who distributed the video get punished, and the sister says that they just paid small fines, all while her sister was ridiculed by her classmates daily. Not only that, but the guy who filmed and sold the video now owns a video-sharing company and is making tons of money.

The sister says that she hopes at least that her sister’s spirit can rest in peace now that she’s dead, and Chan-sung earnestly tells her that he hopes so.

Man-wol joins Chan-sung outside Jung Eun Seok’s office, the guy who filmed and sold the tape. As they watch CEO Jung get out of his expensive car and head into his high profile offices, Man-wol can’t help but noting just how well the guy is doing, enough that she wants to kill him. Man-wol is certain that the ghost will target this guy eventually, and so all they need to do is steal his phone before the video can be sent to him.

Chan-sung and Man-wol make it inside to CEO Jung’s office, and the ceo asks if they’re there to ask about advertising on his site. Chan-sung says that they’re there on behalf of a client, a client who holds a lot of resentment towards the CEO. CEO Jung seems shocked, and he says he can’t think of a single thing that could make someone resent him. Oh, wow.

The CEO gets quite agitated though when he spots Man-wol photographing his framed photos, which feature all of the amazing destinations he’s traveled to. He stands to lecture her about how rude it is to take photos without permission (geez, dude), and that’s when Man-wol turns from the framed photo of a sunflower field and snaps a picture of his wedgie instead. She asks how much money it would cost to upload it to his site, and how many it would take to buy a yacht and travel the world like he has.

While the CEO is distracted with Man-wol, Chan-sung grabs the man’s cell phone. While CEO Jung threatens to call security, Man-wol issues her own threat to invite him to the hotel one day. As they turn to leave, Man-wol can’t help but scoff at the framed work on the man’s wall with an inspirational quote: “Always do your best and god will take care of the rest.” Man-wol asks what it means if god would award this kind of life to this kind of man.

Man-wol and Chan-sung hurry back to the hotel, but the video isn’t popping up on CEO Jung’s phone. And then the staff realize that there are other ways to get a video to someone online other than a phone.

Back at his office, CEO Jung realizes that his phone is missing and demands the CCTV footage, except… that also seems to be missing, totally erased. As the man slumps at his desk in frustration, the desktop of his computer begins to ripple…

At the hotel, Chan-sung insists to Man-wol that he should return to CEO Jung’s office, while Man-wol tells him that they’ve done all they could. “The rest will be taken care of,” she says, and tells Chan-sung that the rest is in Mago’s hands. But Man-wol doesn’t know which version of Mago will appear.

An alert pops up on CEO Jung’s computer with a link to the video, and the ghost appears on screen as he opens it. The CEO tries to shut down his computer, but the power button isn’t responding so he just closes the lid on his laptop.

But as he walks through his building, the computers at the workstations light up with the video. He turns away from it, but the ghost is everywhere, even in the reflection in the glass windows. The ghost begins to emerge, her arms outstretched, and then the glass shatters all around the CEO. He falls, stunned, but then scrambles up and runs out of the building.

The ghost remains on the floor, her eyes wide as bits of bright orange ember begin to light up on her arms. She braces herself as her ghostly form begins to burn to nothing.

Chan-sung is on the way, running through the building, but when he arrives, Mago is already there, and she casts the spirit into the sky into tiny bits of ember, completely destroying the spirit. The embers float into the air and eventually out into the sky and up past the rooftop, where Man-wol stands and watches. “Why don’t deities come in the form that humans want?” she asks herself.

At the hotel, Bartender Kim pours a flaming drink in the destroyed spirit’s honor, for the one they lost before they could help her. In his office, Chan-sung receives reassurance from Hyun-joong, who tells him that he couldn’t have stopped Mago even if he had arrived sooner. Chan-sung realizes that it’s possible for any of the ghosts working at the hotel to meet this same sad fate if things go wrong while they linger in the real world. Hyun-joong smiles though as he says that they’re willing to take the risk, and try to behave.

It seems that Man-wol isn’t done with CEO Jung yet though, and she sends Chan-sung to deliver an invitation to the hotel. As soon as the CEO receives the invitation he throws it away, but that doesn’t stop the magic hidden inside. The ink lifts off the page and follows the CEO out to his car and absorbs into his GPS.

The invitation leads him now to the hotel, complete with voice directions from Man-wol, and Chan-sung greets the CEO inside and offers to see him to the room they’ve prepared. Chan-sung leads him to room 13, but instead of the shadowy catacombs, the two walk into a simple bedroom.

CEO Jung recognizes the room because it used to be his old room before he got rich. A flashback of memory shows the CEO adjusting the hidden camera in the tissue box that he’s mounted, and he waves to the camera before turning to the woman asleep on the bed.

When Chan-sung explains that the CEO is in a hotel somewhere between life or death, CEO Jung rejects it and exits out the door. Instead of the halls of the hotel, however, he’s met with a blinding light, and then he finds himself in his car, Man-wol in the passenger seat.

CEO Jung asks if he was dreaming, and Man-wol tells him that she’s brought him here, a space between life and death, to ask once more if he remembers the woman who was looking for him. Man-wol accuses him of killing her, and he says that he never killed anyone. Man-wol responds that he stripped her naked and threw her outside for others to stab, and that’s how she was killed.

As Man-wol presses him, CEO Jung realizes that his car is parked on railroad tracks, and soon a train comes lumbering down the tracks. She demands that he remember the woman, tells him to try harder, and eventually the CEO squeaks out that he can’t remember the specific woman, because he filmed so many different women in that room.

The CEO closes his eyes for impact, but when he opens them, he’s in his car and Man-wol is gone. While he considers it another dream, Man-wol has returned to room 13 where Chan-sung waits. He asks why she sent the CEO back to the living, since he didn’t give them an answer, but Man-wol wasn’t interested in that. She just wanted to show the gods what kind of man he was, and now leaves it up to them to decide his fate.

CEO Jung sits in his car, and finally he realizes the girl that Man-wol must mean. Yoon Ga-young, he finally names, and he recalls pointing and laughing at her while he and his friends watched the video on his phone in class. He remembers now that he’d heard she’d died by suicide, and shrugs as he goes to start his car.

But the car doesn’t start up, and he’s still parked right in the middle of the train tracks. Mago, the one in black, arrives and stands watch as the train barrels down and strikes CEO Jung’s car, sending it hurtling off the tracks. The news spreads quickly of CEO Jung’s accident. Additionally, the news confirms that he was already under investigation for illegal pornography distribution and embezzlement.

Hyun-joong sits with Yoo-na at the hospital, but she reassures him that she’s feeling better now after seeing a doctor, and gives the excuse that she just didn’t want to go to school. Hyun-joong of course encourages her to make an excuse for her behavior and go back, and she tells him to just come to school with her since he likes it so much. But Hyun-joong says that he can only appear visible for so long, and it’s hard during the day.

As they talk, an old blind woman is pushed in a wheelchair down the hallway. She’s escorted by a man, whom Yoo-na says is the founder of the hospital. Interestingly, she says that he has the same name as Hyun-joong.

As Hyun-joong watches her pass, he recognizes her and thinks of the last time that he saw her, when he was alive and she was still his little sister. He gave her a piggyback through town, teased that she loved him as much as the number of her loose teeth.

In the present, Yoo-na calls out to the distracted Hyun-joong, and instead gets the attention of the passing doctor who shares his name. When she turns back to Hyun-joong, he’s disappeared.

At the hotel, Bartender Kim and Seo-hee are on topic as usual, and discuss the latest that they’ve heard of Hyun-joong’s sister, and that she’s lost her sight and her health is deteriorating. But they’ve also gathered to see off the backpacker ghost and his wife and her first love, who are ready to get aboard the bus to the afterlife.

Chan-sung finds Mago, the sweeter one, at Man-wol’s tree. He notes that she seems upset, and she responds that she and her sister are upset about the way Chan-sung and Man-wol tested them. He tells her that he would have welcomed her if she had shown this version of herself to their guest to help, but Mago says that no one puts in the effort if you show up as the version they want.

Mago then notes how the flowers on the tree are going to bloom soon, and tells Chan-sung to keep doing a good job. Chan-sung immediately thinks of Man-wol and her reaction to the ocean, and now he expresses how lovely the flower is, and how it makes him sad.

Meanwhile, Man-wol lounges as she watches the news of CEO Jung’s investigation, and soon Chan-sung joins her. The news announces that the CEO’s secret stash of money was hidden in a field on a sunflower farm, and Chan-sung puts it together that the CEO didn’t like Man-wol taking photos of his framed pictures because the sunflower field was one of the framed images. Man-wol now laments that she had the answer to where his millions were stashed all along, and now “her” money has slipped away.

Some time later, Sanchez meets with Chan-sung’s ex Mi-ra, and she’s surprised to hear that Chan-sung has borrowed his yacht to take his boss out. Mi-ra asks why he’s entertaining his boss like that, and Sanchez says that he suspects that it’s a date.

At the docks, Man-wol is still pouting about the loss of “her” money. Chan-sung takes a photo of a yacht and present it to her, saying it must be her yacht now since you own something as soon as you photograph it, haha.

He tells her that she’d be a thief if she wanted something that wasn’t hers, and she scoffs that she was a thief, and wonders if he hasn’t seen that in his dreams. Chan-sung tells her that he assumed that she was well-off, since he saw her getting married to someone of high status.

Man-wol knows what scene he’s talking about, and she mutters that it wasn’t her dress, but someone else’s. She turns to Chan-sung and tells him that she was a bad person, and that she’s worried that he’ll see just how bad she was as his dreams continue.

But then Chan-sung gets a phone call, and the call prompts him to look up to the docks, where Mi-ra is approaching. Man-wol squints up at the approaching figure, and then her face freezes as she recognizes the face of Princess Song-hwa, reborn. A slew of memories are triggered at the sight–of her first encounter with Song-hwa and Chung-myung, Man-wol held by a circle of swords, her wine jug shattering on the ground, a glower from Song-hwa, a different flash of Song-hwa and Chung-myung both dressed in wedding reds and smiling at one another, a rope around Yeon-woo’s neck, Man-wol tearfully pushing through a crowd, and something sharp crushed into Man-wol’s fist, drawing blood.

In the present, Man-wol stands frozen as Mi-ra approaches her and Chan-sung.

  
COMMENTS

You bet that I flipped through my screencaps of those last few moments obsessively several times so that I could over-analyze all of the new clues we saw regarding Man-wol’s past. Those flashbacks went by quickly, but it seems like Man-wol may have dealt some deadly vengeance against the princess, and it looks like it was retribution for Yeon-woo’s death. I’m guessing that Yeon-woo got the chance to keep his promise and die happily for Man-wol, and that sent her on a path not unlike our vengeful ghost from room 13.

There’s also Man-wol’s wine jug. Last we saw it was in Chung-myung’s possession, so I’m wondering if perhaps he was caught with it and her royal highness had some questions. If the princess came for Man-wol when she discovered it, and instead took Yeon-woo’s life, I could see how Man-wol could have blamed both the princess and the man she was starting to love for his death.

I know that Lollypip has mentioned her suspicions that Chan-sung may be the reincarnation of Yeon-woo, not Chung-myung, but I’ve got another long-shot theory to throw out here: what if Chan-sung is Chung-myung reincarnated, but Man-wol is afraid of facing him because he lost respect for her when she committed her heinous acts? Mago has been stressing that Chan-sung is here to send Man-wol off, not reunite with her. Finding a lost love is a trope we are very accustomed to in dramaland, but if the backpacker ghost and his wife are supposed to give us any thematic clues, I think it’s that true love doesn’t always go the way that you think. Sometimes things end unhappily, and you have to make a decision about how to react to that. Especially following these flashes of memory, it’s unclear what Chung-myung’s relationship to the princess was, and if Man-wol killed her, even if she felt justified in it, his reaction might not have been to come to Man-wol’s aid.

From the very first scenes of this show, what it really seemed like Man-wol needed was forgiveness. She needs to be able to forgive herself, and perhaps receive forgiveness from him. A man whom she trusted, who was her friend, and whom she possibly loved. Someone who she betrayed the most might be the best person to send her off at last, and show her that there are alternatives to wrath in response to pain.

For a while, it’s been difficult to see through Man-wol’s cool exterior to guess at what could keep her at del Luna for so long, but now with the arrival of Mi-ra, we’ve got the catalyst for her undoing. Chan-sung’s evil ex-girlfriend has returned with the same face as the princess from Man-wol’s past, and Man-wol may see it as her chance to finish her vendetta and punish the woman again. Especially since it sounds like this woman has not been kind to Chan-sung in the past.

It hurts me to think of Man-wol and Chan-sung at odds with one another again, because this was the episode where it felt like Chan-sung finally got Man-wol’s brand of reverse psychology and sardonic responses. He never questioned her as she handled the lover’s tiff, nor the way she maneuvered CEO Jung to reveal his crimes to Mago for punishment. They felt like a real team, even if his managerial duties still seem to include returning yachts to their sellers.

I’m glad that we’re getting to the real conflict here, because as much as I love the aesthetic and the chemistry, I haven’t been super enthused about the main plot yet. I love the lore and the world-building of this show, and the Hong sisters do so much of that through the side characters and cases of the week that it often ends up being the side characters and one-offs that I care more about. I’ve cried so many times while watching this show, but it’s only been in the small moments, like when the tiger went back to its mountain, or the dog died alongside his master, or when Hyun-joong saw his little sister in the hospital in this episode.

But the vengeful ghost and her fate brought me back to Man-wol and her plight, and now I think we can really start to sympathize with her and what moving on to the afterlife might be like. Especially since now we know there is the risk that her soul will be destroyed forever. It’s not just the unfortunate fate of pork soup that could await Man-wol.

And that brings me to this episode’s theme and the way that it was able to unpack a lot of emotions from a very current, relevant issue. In the recent reports of the non-consensual sex tape scandals that have been in the news, there has been a lot of focus on the perpetrators exclusively. But there was a magic moment in this episode, when Chan-sung stated in no unclear terms that even the act of watching a video like that, even if you weren’t the one who took it, was a crime. It was played a bit for a laugh, but that laugh never took it so far as to invalidate his position. When the ghost, whose name was finally revealed only in the end, took her own life, it wasn’t just CEO Jung’s actions that got her there. It was all of the people who knew about the video and didn’t report CEO Jung. It was all of the anonymous internet users who copied and redistributed it so that it lived long after she did.

In a show where there is magic and gods, the writers couldn’t help but ask, why would something like this happen? How could someone do something so horrible to someone else, and benefit so much from their pain without any interference from a deity? The show demonstrates how powerless victims can feel in these circumstances, and how that neutered feeling can permeate all the way through the justice system and to their loved ones. Man-wol can’t leave things entirely in Mago’s hands in the end, and she makes a big show to bring about justice, even if she’s unable to save the soul of the girl most hurt by CEO Jung. But I can’t help but notice that the news also said that CEO Jung was already under investigation for embezzlement and illegal pornography. Is it possible that Mago had already started their own brand of retribution, and Man-wol just demanded a more immediate and satisfying resolution?

And so the question lingers: did the ghost deserve to be destroyed? Are there traumas so painful that they justify killing another person? So far, the show’s answer is no. Anything done by spirits to the living is considered a major crime that is swiftly punished. It would seem that vengeance is for god alone to deal out to those who deserve it. And so of course we have to wonder, as Chan-sung does, what that all means for Man-wol.

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From the very first scenes of this show, what it really seemed like Man-wol needed was forgiveness.

You hit the nail on the head with this one! Thank you for this wonderful recap, @abirdword!

Also, I am still one of the people who hopes that Chan-sung is just Chan-sung. Not anyone's reincarnation but himself.

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I'm hoping for no reincarnation but if it has to be, I'm hoping he's Yeon Woo.

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Chan-sung being anyone's reincarnation ruins the whole Princess is reincarnated as Mi-ra because she is portrayed by the same actress thing (although it was confirmed that she is indeed reincarnated as Mi-ra) except if it was intentional on the Deity/Mago's part.

And I am also hoping that if he is meant to be a reincarnation of someone, he has to be Yeon-woo's. I am #TeamSinkingCaptainShip but I want Man-wol to move on from Captain as much as possible.

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I'm in the #hatethecaptain team.

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I am not justifying Captain's actions. I also hate him this week! HAHA

We have a love-hate relationship.

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Captain had a duty to his people, much as Man-Wol did. There are things far greater than one's whishes.

Captain had to decide between his people and his duty in one hand, and his love. That was tragic.

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^I agree with this. Can't deny that although Captain seemed to like Man-wol and the gang, he had a bigger responsibility towards his duty and his people. We might not know if his people are good or bad but the fact that he chose to marry the princess (for what exactly?) and betrayed Man-wol says something about his real character. And it is not like we didn't saw this coming but some people just chose to ignore this. Haha

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@sensationalfantasy , ah the perils of a ship!. Personally I get it was his duty.

I think we could get this conversation going later.

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@fgb4877 see you on the Episode 8 recap then! Hehe

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I wonder if it matters whether he was to blame or not. She was turned into whatever she is - tree, hotel, superpower - to prevent her from becoming a ghost. Ma Go (and Yeon Woo I would argue) do not want her to become a ghost because they know she'll be a vengeful spirit if nothing changes, she'll do harm, and be obliterated from the reincarnation cycle.

There's only one person she could be gunning for. She softened her revenge on Mira, but said herself she's expecting HiM to show up. I expect she hated him 100 times more than she hated the princess. The princess, after all, made her no protestations of love, owed her nothing.

I expect we'll find out the Captain escaped her vengeance in the past and that's why she cannot let go of her anger.

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"I wonder if it matters whether he was to blame or not". Dear @barbrey , for us humans to think as good vs bad is an oversimplification, albeit an useful one.

Existence is so chaotic and complicated that in order to be able to effectively function in such an environment it is imperative to reduce and/or subdivide things to a manageable level. The multiplicity of the MaGos is a way to portrait those paradoxes: even if they want things done in so many different ways, they are one in the divine plan.

Also, we viewers are usually very emotional and not very prone to follow the logic of events in Dramas.

For me one of the most patent exaples of that was in "Goblin" when the Goblin used Eun-Tak's (that was the name of the female lead?) hand while she was inconcious to take the fire sword out of his chest and kill the genocidal, traitorous ghost of the Goryeo advisor. Beanies were enraged for him to use her hand without consent to take the sword. I saw a warrior sacrificing himself to destroy an enemy that could target his loved ones and that had been killing for over 900 years. A person doing his duty as he was raised to do. It was very consistent character-wise, but Beanies in general hated it because they were seeing a romance and didn't like him sacrificing all the buildup and respect between lovers in order to do what had to be done.

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@fgb4877 Good points I think I was unclear. It might matter in the long run what his intentions were, but for right now it hasn't mattered for the last thousand years. I think I'm drawing from Goodbye My Princess where she loved the Prince desperately, and he complied with his duty but loved her desperately too,but it really didn't matter what his intentions were, if he was acting for his country - whatever. The fact remained that he used her to get close to and then kill her tribe, much as is being suggested in this drama by the captain. Regardless if it was his duty, she could never ever forgive him for it.

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@barbrey , there is a lot to say about it, but I will discuss it later with you, with @sensationalfantasy and the other Beanies ;) .

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I wrote this elsewhere but I feel the need to rehash the point:

Regardless of why he did it, he killed everyone she loved in front of her eyes and used her love for him to do it. What he did to her is unforgivable. period.

Now history may judge him as a tragic figure who sacrificed his love for the country or whatever (although so far we have been given zero indication in the drama of this; and history is written by the victor)...

but when it comes to MW, he cannot be anything other than a monster.

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Dear @charlieblue17 ( but also dear @barbrey and @sensationalfantasy ), exactly my thoughts. What he did to her was unforgivable, but by doing so he destroyed a rebel group of highwaymen. He might have saved lots of his countrymen's lives.

That was a decision I can fully support in that context, but I feel pity for him. Lots of people think Royals lived easy lives, but the truth beneat that is that they had to make life and death decisions almost daily. A small mistake or a small thread could become disaster later. Most monarchs in history I don't like, but I can understand where they come from.

It is said that for commoners morality is everything, but for ruling classes context is king.

Hope to read you soon!

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so your argument is "all is fair in love and war" and "the end justifies the means"... but does it? really?

Had CM killed her crew in a fair fight I would have said -- duty first and it would have been ok (for her too, btw). Seducing MW to get there without losses on his side is rational, but also callous and cold.

In any case, I am not looking at his act from the perspective of a god trying to assert global right and wrong, but from MW's perspective...

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@charlieblue17 Of course I feel for Man-Wol. She was CHEATED and TRAITIONED by the man she loved. And she had to see the full consequences of her misplaced trust.

But he got rid of a rebel gang, and saved countless lives they could have killed. Not an easy decision, I would hate to be him.

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@charlieblue17 , I haven't discussed what do I think about his feelings for Man-Wol, if they were genuine (I think they were - he even offered them an alliance). At this moment I just discussed what he did and why even if it pains me I think he did the correct thing for his people.

"Had CM killed her crew in a fair fight I would have said -- duty first and it would have been ok (for her too, btw). Seducing MW to get there without losses on his side is rational, but also callous and cold". Remember that a commander has a duty to protect their country, but also to avoid casualties around his people. It is not unusual for military units to become close to a family since training is arduous, long and hard. You depend on them as much as they depend on you.

Every man in your platoon is, from the State's viewpoint, an expense in education and training. But almost every man had a family and friends. You want to bring them back to their loved ones, after their duty is completed. Hence, yopu try to minimize risks as much as you can.

He avoided many casualties on his side by means of his sneak attack. I still pity him, he really wanted to welcome them (as he offered to Man-Wol).

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We cannot be sure if the captain did it for his country. Nobody really explained his intentions. Have to wait until they actually show the intension.

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I'm not just hoping that this is the case but I'm about 95% sure that he's not anyone reincarnation and he's just been bestowed the trees memories, Man Wol's memories, by Ma Go. He's seen things that the general wasn't around for, Man Wol sleeping alone and her conversation under the tree where Yeon Woo gave her his 100 years. The Yeon Woo conversation is pretty much where I started feeling that and I feel it even more strongly after the recent episodes.

I think what's important is that she probably thinks he is the general. And that'll make her confront things and start to move on in her life. But the general will pop up eventually as will Yeon Woo. And he's exactly what Ma Go said, just the chosen person to help her pass on. They recognized early on that he had a very pure spirit and decided to send him into her path so they would meet this way since he'd have a good chance of being able to do it.

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After seeing the latest ep, I am convinced that Chan-sung is just Chan-sung too. He is indeed a very pure spirit that will help Man-wol to move on.

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If you watch the episode, you will understand that is not wholly about forgiveness. It is about letting go of revenge and bitterness of her heart. That is all the purpose of Mago and other deities have plans for each spirit. Man wol has two paths forged for her. One alone and another was forged by Chang Sung to send her off. The big hint is the girl from number 13. She has same fate as Man wol. It is how you treat revenge that would get you to be judged without mercy in second time. It is a surprise call on Man Wol and Chang Sung to realise their place and mission.

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Never read such a long final thoughts section on an episode lol, thanks abirdword!

This episode was very episodic with less Chan-sung and Man-wol interactions and more handling the sex tape scandal.

Btw, Mi-ra doesn't seem that evil? She seemed nice to Chan-sung when they talked but she does have a hint of evil in her face lol.

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She's a user though. She still owes him money she borrowed and seems fine with it.

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Borrowing money from a friend and not paying it back yet isn't really evil is it? I'm sure this isn't that uncommon amongst friends. She said she would repay him anyway.

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It's not evil, but he seems upset by her brushing it off as nothing.

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*Spoiler*
It is not evil. But she seemed to burrow a lot of money from him and take loans from others under his name without his consent and stealing his credit card. If she loved him truly she would not do these things. She didmisses them as nothing as well. She not that much of a good person at all. When sanchez said chung sung might be on a date she runs off to meet him?! Like seriously she just wants to be with chung sung again because she thinks now he is quite well off because working as a manager in a hotel

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The 'bad ex girlfriend' trope is a common enough one, usually used to make the female lead jealous for no reason, or alternate to BE jealous of the female lead and try to cause the couple the break up.

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The only way you should do businesses or any kind of transactions with your close ones is by being dead honest. That covers your back as a person and protects trust, which is more precious than you could imagine.

Mi-Ra lost Chang-Sung's closeness and even his love for being such a dishonest person.

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she's a leech... a cutesy harmless looking one, but still... amoral and completely irresponsible

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Haha! If I've only got the one episode to dissect, I'm going all in on it! Forgive me ^^

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Are you kidding? Great write up!

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She is a thief. “Borrowing” without consent is theft. Borrowing without intent to pay back is theft. She is a thief.

But so was Manwol...

The roles of princess and thief have been reversed from the past.

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I'm watch a J-drama where an ex boyfriend is introduced several episodes in where, you guessed it, he took money before breaking up 5 years ago. Rather than being a real plot point I thinks that's just drama writer's shorthand to tell us NOT to do any second lead shipping on this character.

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Thank you for the recap! I must say, this show is scarier than I expected. I skipped many of the scenes with that room 13 ghost so I'm thankful there are recaps.

On the topic of whether Chan-Sung is a reincarnation, I still think he's someone else. I get that there are parallels, like how he held her hand to sign and how he sees through her tough exterior (and we see another one in epi 8). But since we're getting clues pointing to the idea that Chan Sung may be Chung Myung-reincarnated, I feel that it may be a red herring as we're still in the first half of the drama and the Hong sisters may have something else planned for the actual reveal. Though I may be naive in hoping for an awesome plot twist on this secret!

On a different note, it would be really cool if the ghosts working for Man-wol are somehow tied to her past and hence they have such a strong tie even after death.

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I'm angry against Kim Sun Bi and Choi Seo Hee. They used the ghost of the room 13 for their own safety, because of them she could escape. They didn't really show any guilt at the end.

I think the worst that the villain didn't even remember what he did and who was his victim. He didn't recognize the ghost. Indifference is so painful sometimes.

Is someone take Hyun-joong's name and lied to his sister? He was a rich boy after all... I can understand why he's waiting for her now.

From the very first scenes of this show, what it really seemed like Man-wol needed was forgiveness.

I think it's why she is in this hotel. Mago seemed to want Man Wol to face her past and its consequences. But Man Wol is stubborn and didn't change at all during 1000 years. So Mago brought CS who can help Man Wol to do it.

I'm still hoping that CS is not a reincarnation and she finds someone new to be with.

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I think the worst part was when he remembered her and thee did a small chuckle, as though she was an old crush and not someone whose life he utterly destroyed.

That was when I knew he was toast.

Man Wol doesn't seem to feel she deserves forgiveness :/

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I thought the little sister named her son after dead brother? He looked younger then her, but I can't tell what we suppose to took from that because I felt P.O tanked that scene in term of acting he looked more constipated than emotional so it was hard for to tell.

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Oh. Because she called his brother and the old man said he was here and took her hand. But if it's her son, I don't understand why PO is still waiting for his sister.

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At first I thought she had dementia, and he just comforted her, but you are right it could be something nefarious too, it was hard to read this scene for me due to P.O acting as I mentioned earlier.
P.O decided to wait for her to take care for his little sister just after his death, so maybe it's something that he has hard time letting go after so many years passed? Just like backpacker's wife first love? He must wait for her too all this years.

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I thought she felt the presence of her brother as an old and blind lady. When Yoona said he had the same name, PO doens' seem happy but sad. But it's true his face was hard to read and harder for us to understand if he's just to be seperated of his sister or there is more.

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I feel bad for laughing at him during that scene.. I got distracted by his face and nose😂 He still has a long way to go.

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I assumed nefarious: somebody living under his name, him dying in an unnamed grave somewhere... my take was that anyone who works at the hotel has suffered a great injustice and that the thing that they are waiting for is for the slow cogs of justice to take their course. Not doing anything about it, bit also not letting it go. From what we know the entire construct of the hotel is built out of MW's grudge, so it seemed fitting that she is recruiting people of the same kind... Minus the human managers.

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I like that theory!

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You understood this scene like me. I wasn't sure because @abirdword didn't adress this scene like this but more about him being sad.

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yes, the scene was pretty ambivalent... so people had different takes on it. One could say that I'm becoming as cynical as MW...

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You're right, I was purposely vague on that one because I think it will unravel more in the next episodes, but I agree!

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wow that is an amazing theory I never would have come up with it on my own. The little sister seemed a lot older than the doctor though, so I just assumed that he was pretending to be "brother" to make her feel better.

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My take is a little bit different: generally speaking, rich people fail to survive cataclismic events only if they stay behind or have nothing to offer to higher-ups. On the other hand common people are cannon's fodder.

My take is that PO's character probably was a person who loved an cherished his "sister", although he was a servant or a servant's son. The doctor in the clinic probably was his younger brother.

It seems that ghosts get their memories scrambled at the moment of dying, as happened to the blind ghost lady. Only when in contact of the people that actually knows what happened they starts to remember.

Interesting. Hope to see what this weekend's episodes brings us.

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Sorry, "The doctor in the clinic probably was his younger brother" should be "the doctor in the clinic probably was HER actual younger brother".

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The Korean was was 69 years ago and Hyun-joong was military draft age at the time. That would make any 'imposter' 90 years old mow. Its more logical the sister has lead a long happy life, married young and has a now aging son whom she named after her lost brother.

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Yeah, but shouldn't he be happier to see his sister with his nephew?

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There is something painful about how he died related to his sister. Something he rather hide. He also share same fate as Man Wol except he already died. Man Wol is still human with temporary immortality that her body is frozen with time. His sister is almost blind. And also he is still a ghost and invisible to human's eye.

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In an interview done to Don Mario Vargas Llosa about "La Fiesta del Chivo" (The Feast of the Goat - Trujillo's dictatorship in Dominican Republic), he describes his investigation process for that book, that included not only archive research, but also interviews with both sides. He then starts to recall a particular interview with one of the repressors, where that particular man tried to sell him an edulcorated version of Rafael Leónidas Trujillo's time and he tells him about a particular person who claimed that he was tortures by him. Vargas Llosa then remembers an eerie moment where that era became alive for him, when that high level officer of Trujillo's Security looked right into Vargas Llosa's eye and just said "Si supiera, que yo no me acuerdo de eso" (Mind you, I don't remember that). Then Vargas Llosa formulated three (if I remember correctly) hipothesis:

1.- As he was an old man, he didn't recall of that anymore.
2.- He was avoiding answering that question directly.
3.- HIS BODY COUNT WAS SO HIGH, HE DIDN'T REMEMBER THAT PARTICULAR PERSON.

And yes, it was sad in hindsight. The horrible part is to remember that the scarred person who survived torture is the lucky one that could survive.

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Yes, they let her escape through a selfish prank knowing she’s a threat to others and herself. And then speak to Chan Sung after the fact as if they had no part in her destruction. 😡 Even Man Wol didn’t seem very concerned until she felt how upset Chan Sung was. We know she could intercept proactively if she cared.

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Chan Sun's reaction was really sad.

Man Wol didn't give up and revenged her at least.

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I felt Man Wol's revenge had more to do with her feelings for Chan Sung and her spite towards Mago's blinded justice, than sympathy for the ghost. Of course it wasn't her fault that the ghost escaped and nor is she supposed to be the one to sympathize every guest -- that's Chan Sung's role.

Speaking of her feelings for Chan Sung, it is increasing evident that she can't keep her cool when something bothers her boy. The hiker ghost accidentally pushing Chan Sung was all the trigger she needed to step in. This concern is unprecedented and so precious.

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I have a theory that Hyun-Joong is another case of scrambled memory. He actually doesn't seem like a rich kid. The bartender and housekeeper has this aura of nobility while Hyun-Joong only shows loyal servitude. I think he's actually just a young servent of a rich family and developed a brotherly love for the little master that he took care of. More so, I believe he died protecting her. Judging from her age and the HS tendency to touch the teary subjects, comfort women keeps popping up in my mind. For this part, I hope I'm wrong because I don't want so much angst in every ghost story.

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Yeah i thought its weird there is actually another rich hyung jong out there. With the ghost hyung jongs sister. I couldn't understand it. But your theory makes sense. I thought hyung jong was a soldier. He was wearing a uniform like attire when he came to the man weol inn. I always wondered why a rich boy like him went to war. But i know nothing about the korean war so kind of let that go. Can't wait until the drama resolves this.

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But he was wearing the typical student uniform, wasn't he?

Isn't it a little bit too much from a servent to call the young mistress sister ? Even if he liked her very much, Ahgasshi would be more correct, wouldn't?

I don't know, in all cases, his story seems sad.

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It was a student uniform.

I’m saying I think he got his identity mixed up at death and believes he is her brother.

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Ahh i know nothing about korean uniforms so apologies about the misunderstanding. There was a war going on in the background when he came. A bomb i think just blasted in the background so i though he is a soldier who did at in the war.

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Who died*

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The black one is a student uniform in this episode but he died as a soldier during the Korea War in the episode 3.

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Yes, it is called the Korean War (1950-53), which results, to put it short, into today we have 2 Koreas which is still at war between themselves: the South Korea, where this show airs, and North Korea, where the missiles come from.

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@kurama, that is the one i am talking about. It really kooked like a uniform of a soldier

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This episode left me verklempt, wall-sliding and clutching my (imaginary) pearls in all manner of ways.

First THE CLOTHES *wall slides* MAGO SHIN BLESS IU'S stylist. 🙌🏿
Mah gawd - the red blouse! 🤩
The lavender lace! 🤩
The pencil/wiggle skirt and peplum combo! 🤩
The houndstooth dress! 🤩

I WAS NOT READY AND NOW I AM UNDONE!

Every time a new outift popped up, I basically slammed my keyboard in admiration and jealously. What the heck show. What 👏🏿 The 👏🏿Heck. Those outfits are a drama of their own.

*inhales deeply to recollect self*
*last minute of show airs with the flashbacks*

BURY ME NOW! I am undone. UNDONE, you hear?! Show, what are you DOING to me?! 😭😭😭

I SO feel like I got my money's worth - in this one hour, I watched three dramas: ghost girl; Man Wol's outfits; and then the Night of Man Wol at the end.

Clearly, I have many feelings about this episode. 😂

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Also, that 90s style checkered blouse with the baggy leather hat and that absolutely fab lob hair cut? I live again!

Mi Ra is the absolute worst and casually turning up to the 'date' of your dutiful ex with another woman confirms it.
Also, to keep to my theme, I didn't like her sleeves in the last scene - they billowed with entitlement. In case you can't tell, I'm channelling Man Wol's level of petty here 😂😂😂

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Man Wol is now number one on my best dressed K-drama lead list. I hope it continues.

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"Mi Ra is the absolute worst and casually turning up to the 'date' of your dutiful ex with another woman confirms it". She is a taker, not a giver. She doesn't want Chang-Sung to date Man-Wol out of pettiness and curiosity. She has lost his respect (due to her burglary ways) and has no possibility to redeem herself in front of him, but still loves to interfere in his life just to show up that she still has some power over him and to mark territory.

She might be cute, charming, funny and a riot, but if you date a person like her, RUN AWAY!!!

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@saner

The wardrobe design is being let down by the camera framing. It could be telling so much more of the story.

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Can we not forget about IU's nails???

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Trust me, I've noticed.

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Whenever the director wants to show her being harsh or evil, he shoots her hand so the nails look like claws. That is awesome.

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So true.. I'm so jealous too!!! But don't forget, Man-wol is also very broke, LoL. She had her credit card maxed-out, LoL.

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My wife is starting to complain, because every time there is a wardrobe change, I shout "QUEEN!!!"

This show is killing me with the fashion.

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This reminds me of when Meryll Streep won the Golden Globes for The Devil Wears Prada where she said that their costumes where the special effects of their movie. Clearly, IU's outfits would rival the special effects on this show.

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I'll miss my favorite vengeful ghost girl. I'm sad that she didn't start with the person who most deserved her vengeance, but I understand the writers' choice. Showing the ordinary lives of her victims was a nice touch and a great way to bring attention to the molka issues.

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'The last one is the tastiest,' as Man Wol said.

I agree with you re: the ordinary lives part - not all villians wear clothes or live lifestyles that scream 'eeeeeeeviiiiiiiil'.

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Those flashback scenes at the end are too much heartbreaking !
Yeon Woo smiled until the end to her . I felt that even the Captain didn't give her such a genuine and selfless smile to her...

@Kurama - I am totally with you - For the moment I can't really empathize with those two since they tried to trapp Ku Chang Sung - I didn't expect that the ghost of the room 13 who affraid me at first had such a painful past. Those men were just trash and I think they just deserved what happened to them

Hope to see more interaction between Chang Sung and Man Wol because I just love them together and the subtle expressions or actions they have towards each other. They really care for each other. I laughed when Chang Sung was telling Sanchez to leave Man Wol alone. He may sound stiff sometimes but it was also smooth when he indirectly proposed her the date (because it's really a date *.*).

I didn't like the vibes of Mira - Found her even more annoying when she shamelessly came at the end of the episode just after she heard that Chang Sung was out with his boss.

Poor Man Wol - The almighty tests her too much ....

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Even if I love Man-Wol, I get the deity's side of the story: yes she has tried to take responsibility for what she did, and yes she has done an incredible job during her prison time as Hotel de la Luna's owner, but... has she grown as a person?, has she learned from her past mistakes?.

Hers is a special soul, since she knows what is behind the veil of afterlife and has personal knowledge of deities. Is she ready to let go her past?, is she ready to serve impartially as the MaGos does?.

I have this idea that there is a special prize waiting for Man-Wol, not just her mortality and her love.

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This was the best stand alone episode addressing current issues, I liked how they addressed it and how it's connected to Man Wol story, bu it make me hope even more that Chan Sung isn't reincarnation of anyone from that past triangle, I don't think someone who was being able to hang onto past for 1000 yrs will be able to move on when she will be faced with any of the two men again.
And this episode show me again that P.O is lacking a bit maturity to portrayal more complex characters, the more screen time he has, the less I like his acting.

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It is also a sore remainder of what could await not only Man-Wol but also the Hotel's staff if they let run their hatred free.

At first, when the Grim Reaper signaled upwards in the sky about his preference for her to go to the afterlife, I thought he wanted her to go to Heaven. Later when Room 13 guest was destroyed and the remants of her soul raised to the sky as in a spire of funerary smoke, we got the image of Man-Wol touching said smoke. This was a soul she couldn't save (and despite her cynicism, she felt she failed her), but also it could be her.

A sobering thought.

As for the Grim Reaper, I got he was not menacing her, but remembering her to behave properly.

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I thought that GR showed her which option he want for Ghost from No. 13? He want to save her soul like Mago no.1 and that was no.1 he signalling to her?

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I may be misremembering the scene, keeping the image and misplacing the event. But it would be funny for him to number 1 as signaling MaGo Nº 1 (kind flower lady) and in another scene chastizing her for numbering the deity.

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From what I remember he scolded her first, but then showed number after she asked him which deity option he wanted for No.13's Ghost.

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Was also the answer who was stronger between no. 1 and no. 4 without saying it(like not being seen by the Deities)

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I like that. They might be concientious of the deities but still are their own personas and express their ideas.

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Is it so hard to not have a reincarnation trope? Maybe it was just me but I didn't feel Yeo Jingu's character at all this week. He was just kinda there. Sometime she feels like a supporting character rather than the male lead. Not that I mind because Manwol is hands down my most favorite character in this drama. Maybe I'm more invested in the past story line but the betrayal just broke my shipper heart. There needs to be a good explanation for what happened. What I find annoying is that the past story continues to be delivered in bits and pieces and I find it difficult to understand the sequence of events and especially the context of why things are happening. Who is princess and why did they chase after the thieves? What is going on between all the characters in the past?

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Writers needs to do that in order to grab a greater audience. As much as we say we hate tropes, they also gives us a familiar setup for us not to worry about some details and that allows us as viewers to concentrate on the parts the storyteller wants us to understand.

Call it a necessary crutch.

But yes, I would rather have Chang-Sung be an entirely different person and not someone else's incarnation. Then he would be free to act as himself and not be tied by the echo of 1,350+ years events. That is why I loved "Goblin"'s Sun Mi so much: she saw the events when she was a queen and Grim Reaper was the king in Goryeo, and decided the best course of action would be for her to remove herself entirely from present events (facilitated by everyone else's reboot). She did not want a poisoned relationship with someone she really loved, so she decided for herself what was the best for her (and Grim Reaper too).

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Sorry, Yoo In-Na's Sunny.

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I’m just hoping that Chan-Sung is not the incarnation of either Captain or Yeon Woo. Please let him be a whole new character that is created to understand and help Man-Wol get onto the afterlife.

Am I the only one that can’t forget how cute and supportive the Grim Reaper was when Man-Wol asked him which Mago would send her to the afterlife? Despite him reprimanding Man-Wol to not number the Mago(s), he still put up his forefinger, indicating that he hopes the first and the passionate Mago would send her off. Plus, he’s always so serious but I’m sure he still wished the best for our dear Man-Wol.

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I took him differently after seeing Room 13 guest becoming a spire of smoke: he wanted to warn her not to go on a rampage and become a vengeful spirit. Still I get he whishes her the best.

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I am hoping he's not a reincarnation at all.

Play it completely straight as a Man Wol needs something new to break out of her frozen state.

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My thoughts exactly.

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Thanks, dear @abirdword for your recap.

We could have a Yoo-Na Paranormal Investigator spin-off ;) .

It was sad, but at the end justice was served... on both ends.

Man-Wol really freaks out when Chang-Sung is hurt.

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Before I comment on this episode, just want to drop some background info on the characters of the past. Based on the character descriptions on TvN site, Man Wol and Yeon Woo aren’t thieves at all. They are descendents of the earlier Goguryeo kingdom that was defeated by the Silla–Tang alliance. They lived as outlaws and rebels because Silla's ruler is their enemy. While Cheong Myeong was also a Goguryeo descendent, a noble in fact, his father surrendered to Tang early in the game and he was given duty to guard a border city. Based on costume, the princess is a Silla princess which would make her and Man Wol enemies by ethnicity.

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Thanks for much needed context!

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I appreciated this episode being less about the lead and more about the ghost of room 13. It's worth the screentime to incept the audience, like product placements, how much harm molka would inflict a victim.

Chan-sung joins the group in their conference room, where he immediately refuses to watch the video. He reads the group chat on the phone and can see that this is clearly a sex tape taken without consent, and he says that it’s not just criminal to film it, but also to watch it.

This part screams PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT so loud that I can't help laughing when Chan Sung said it. Serious topic though, my bad, lol.

The perpetrator not remembering which girl is such a sad truth.

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Even more when he sold that video for his personal gain as well....

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I'm pretty sure Chan Sung isn't anyone from Man Wol's past. If Chan Sung is anyone's reincarnation, the frequency of his dreams should be increasing, not decreasing. I believe Mago just opened a wormhole for him to peep into Man Wol's past. Much like Man Wol gifted Chan Sung the ability to see ghosts to help heal her guests.

Since last week, I think MW's flashbacks are merely for the audience to see the pattern of MW falling in love and not so much of her reminiscing the captain. She is enjoying the healing good vibes that Chan Sung has to offer. Material comsumption was her method to cope with the loneliness in the past. Now, even when she whines, it feels like she enjoys Chan Sung's lecturing and expects him to plan some nice treat to pacify her upset.

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Yes, it was beautiful when they had a fight over buying a yatch or not. When Chang-Sung left the room after promising to take her to Woli island she asked herself what was the best nail color to go there.

She was more interested in getting a date than in the yatch.

Baby steps... I am proud how much she has grown in mere 7 episodes.

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I find the four Mago sisters as one "deity" but in multiple parts similar to the ancient Egyptian religion where a person's spirit or soul is divided in multiple parts.
The Ancient Egyptians believed the soul had three parts,  the ka, the ba, and the akh.  
The ka and ba were spiritual entities that everyone possessed, but the akh was an entity  reserved for only the select few that were deserving of maat kheru.   Their beliefs were that the living were responsible to help the dead  journey into the Afterlife. 
The Ka: “The ka was essentially a person’s double,” it was the life force and at death it was separated from the body. They also believed the deceased body would have to resemble the past living body as much as possible so the ka could recognize its body and then the ba would “return to it each night after spending time in the sunshine.”
The Ba: The ba, another spiritual entity was the part of the soul that could travel between the worlds of the living and the dead.
The Akh: The akh, another spiritual entity which “was the transfigured spirit that survived death and mingled with the gods.” One source explained that the akh was only allowed to individuals whose souls were worthy because they were good people in their past lives.  An akh was an effective spirit, one could still influence events in this world.”       
The Maat Kheru: Maat, is the goddess of Truth, Justice and Balance. The final trial of the deceased would be to have his heart weighed against Maat. If the person had led a good and decent life, his heart would be in balance and he would pass into the Afterlife. But if the weight of his heart did not balance with Maat, a monster named the The Devourer consumed his heart.  The heart was identified as “the seat of intelligence and moral judgement, as well as of emotions.”

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It appears the series is setting up the big question of whether Man-wol deserves to go to heaven/get reincarnated, or deserves to be destroyed. The destroyed vengeful (though sympathetic) ghost in this episode is meant to be foreshadowing of Mam-wol's possible fate for her past crimes. The 'love line' between her and Chang-sun is secondary.

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Can we take a moment to appreciate Sanchez for being such a supportive friend (and comedic relief for us too lol)

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I love Sanchez! He's living his best unproblematic chaebol life, blissfully ignorant of everything.

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Hope they can show us his girlfriend, Veronica! A double date with Chan sung and Man Wol, perhaps? :)

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Veronica from TSLOMS doing a cameo would be a hoot ... something to break one of the really tense moments we know are coming up.

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"And so the question lingers: did the ghost deserve to be destroyed? Are there traumas so painful that they justify killing another person? So far, the show’s answer is no. Anything done by spirits to the living is considered a major crime that is swiftly punished."

I personally took that scene a bit differently. Previously, souls being destroyed were shot and presented in a way that almost diminishes what happened (soul dust vaccum) or like it is deserved. Our spirit this episode was destroyed, but she was allowed beauty in this - those ashes were dancing. The shot of them floating into the night sky is beautiful. It was heart breaking. In the mythos of the show, it had to happen, but it was presented in a way that was almost an apology. Yes, she harmed humans, but there is no joy in her destruction and no making light of it either.

TW: sexual assault

I fully admit this might be me not realising I've taken off my film major hat and gone more into my experiences as a survivor, but that's how I experienced it. I was shocked that they actually killed him in the end - most shows would try to rehabilitate or put him in jail, but they really leaned into gods wrath in this episode. Just the difference in the way the two "deaths" were shot says a lot to me.

When we first were introduced to Yoon Ga-young's ghost, with her in that wretched space, inside that dresser, I wondered if she experienced a sexual assault. But I didn't think they would address it. I did take it that she was drugged and assaulted and that's what the video was that had been shared. It first seemed like a camera in a hotel, but.. she was unconscious. It wasn't like the "video" she made for her revenge (which was so well done with regards to jolting you out of male gaze)

She was a really cathartic survivor portrayal to me. That might sound odd, and it hurt deeply when she was burned even though i knew it had to happen, but it was so true to the emotions of it all. They build those hotel spaces based on the wants/needs of the guests - she chose a run down warehouse. To stay in a dresser. To feel safe, to be away from all men (It's implied men have only been sent to that room to be made insane, I think?), and also because she feels she deserves that. Even before she harms anyone, she sees herself as a horrific monster.

I'm probably given too much credit to the show, but I also strongly get the impression that someone involved either experienced something or knew someone who did. There was a lot of thought put into our ghost, from the beginning of the series even

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Oh wow, so many errors! It's 2am please forgive me

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Thank you for writing this.

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I really appreciate this perspective on that scene, seeing the ghost's end as catharsis. It feels likeit leans into the idea too that perhaps Man-wol doesn't understand yet that Mago has her reasons for sending her different faces to care for souls in different ways, and that this was in fact the best way for the soul to finally rest. Thank you for sharing your perspective <3

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Beautiful image of the dancing ashes, which I saw but they didn't register till you mentioned it.

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I totally agree. This particular story had many layers that only a survivor or someone very close to a survivor could have written. I too expected them to permit him to live on, but to end up in prison. While I would have been more satisfied if my favorite ghost girl had been able to take care of him since he was her main target, I understand it wouldn't have fit the story. Kudos to the writers for how this ghost story played out.

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I'm glad someone else agrees with me on this! I wasn't sure if it would make sense, especially during a ramble at 2AM!

Honestly, I would have been more satisfied if she had been able to end him, especially since her soul was destroyed regardless. I'm so tired of stories where survivors are forced to be the 'bigger person'.. But I understand the mythology here, especially because this wasn't about forcing her to be a bigger person - it was a gods will for breaking the rules of spirits harming humans. That face of the god doesn't do morally grey areas.

I'm really glad they handled this as well as they did.

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Watching IU all glammed-up, I chuckle to recall Yoo In-na saying when she and IU went on vacation to America recently people would mistake IU for a junior high school student and the 37 year old Ms. Yoo for a high schooler.

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Yeah, even more kudos to IU for transforming her diminutive figure and pretty child-like face into a powerful, beautiful, 'big' woman on screen through acting chops. Sometimes she does look like a teenager, but I have no trouble seeing her as 1000 years old either!

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High praise, once again, if someone's already said it, for Seo Yi-Sook, who is having a great time showing her acting chops as as the varied faces of Mago. Every personality distinct and clear, each one an insight into the whole.

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Park Yoo-na struck me as channelling her inner Lady Mishel in the flashbacks, which made more sense now that some noted that the character is playing a princess of Silla.

That said, the idea of Man-Wol hating on someone for acts taken twenty or thirty lifetimes ago is weak. Her doing harm to Mi-Ra for something the princess did a thousand years ago would be a terrible crime, punishing an innocent for an event only a witch or a truly evil spirit would consider her having any part in.

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The whole point is that for MW those wounds are still as open today as if they had happened yesterday. The rest of the world may have moved on, but she hasn't and this explains her pain and raw anger at seeing that smiling face again.

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Mago is playing games with her, isn't she? At terrible risk to Mi Ra, who is a petty middle class princess leech, but might be murdered by Man Wol for no fault of her own.

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I squeed when Chung-myung spun Man-wol around. "It seems like you already stole what you were here for (my heart)." Chung-myung is such a charmer. It is no wonder Man-wol fell for him. Can a princess marry the help?

"Reaper demands that she not number the deity," but the deities number themselves. Mago is the eldest sister, the apothecary is the second eldest sister, and the pink, bubbly sister is third. So gods can kill humans.

It can't be a coincidence the hospital founder has the same name Ji Hyun-joong. Thanks a bunch for the recap, abirdword!

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Every bit of del luna reminds me of Goblin to the point that I sometimes got deluded that they're from the same writer (I know they're not). And that's a relief as I really dont want Chan-Sung to repeat the same fate with Eun-Tak.

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There are so many shots of an oversize moon in the sky that I'm constantly being reminded of 'My Ajusshi'. Remember, Ji-an had been living with the burden of having killed somebody and had to first forgive herself before moving on.

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cant help but giggle as i was thinking the same thing. Actually its like rewatching Goblin and Legend of the Sea due to the occasional shift of time periods. Am just waiting for more major revelations linking the past to the present.

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Thank you for this recap. One aspect of this episode that bothered me was the direct involvement of the Mago in the death of CEO Jung. It would have more sense if we saw CEO Jung in the afterlife and the Mago dealing out a punishment directly proportionate to his crimes in life.

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A lot of people seem to think Man Wol,Yeon Woo and the captain are a love triangle but i think the series and hotel give some clues about another possibility.
We have Hyun-Joong waiting for his little sister to pass so they can both cross to the afterlife....his sister..
What if Yeon woo was Man wol's brother? or even (younger ) twin. In the beginning the captain also called man wol Noui (sister-noonim) as a joke but what if these are all little hints?
Yeon woo loved his sister more then anyone wanting to build a house they both can live in, he IS the tree, waiting for her to let go of her grudge and join him in the afterlife. Maybe Man Wol thought his soul was the one roaming because she thinks he resented her for abandoning them. What if sweet Yeon woo feels no resentment at all but asked Ma Go to help his sister from becoming a vengefull spirit? Ma Go did say to the tree " i let you wait 1000 years, i can't keep you waiting for much longer".
That captain was an idiot, law or no law, Man Wol and her gang stole from the (chinese) oppressors and freed slave camps with Joseon Goryeo people in it. HIS PEOPLE because he is also from the same region as Man Wol. He may have struck a deal with the princess to save her life but he still betrayed her and helped cause the death of her family. As for princess reincarnation, she is still being an asshole, she steals money from nice people, mooches of others despite having a good job and admits to it and sabotages her (ex) boyfriends new friendships. Karma did not hit that "B" hard enough, we need a Karma truck of doom. and if chan sung is the captain, that truck better get him too.
And Sanchez, the lady from the hotel is waiting untill the last member of that family that killed her (for money?) dies...what if that is Sanchez's family? Will she let go of her grudge and move on if Sanchez discovers what happened and vowed to do ancestral rights for her for as long as a family member is still alive? to honor her memory and make amends? Still not sure where public servant exam guy fits into all of this though :) :)

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Basically you're mirroring all my thoughts that I've posted here and on soompi about Yeon Woo so great minds and all that! But I hadn't considered Sanchez as being guest manager's family. That's interesting - what made you think he's related to her in some way?

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She mentioned that she was the daughter in law of a great (and rich) family and that they killed her. They have refered to it a few times so not just once as backstory. Maybe they killed her because she could not give them children and refused divorce? Maybe that is why she is so hellbent on seeing 'the ast memeber of that wretched famiIy die" .I think it is supposed to go somewhere.Sanchez his family looks like they have been wealthy and influental for quite some time, they collect china and vases from that area, old traditional houses etc. They fit the bill...and frankly in Kdramaverse, nothing is coeincidence ;) who would expect sweet happy go lucky Sanchez to come from a family with blood on their hands. and that "incident of 45 years ago" they mentioned that nearly drove her to be dragged to the afterlife...did the last decendant maybe have an (illegitemate) child when no one was expecting it? = Sanchez. The mention of a girlfriend veronica and possibly marriage and another offspring might be what they are now hinting at...that might send miss manager lady over the bend, having to wait ANOTHER generation. just a hunch.

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