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Hotel del Luna: Episode 15

The absence of hotel owner Man-wol and the potential for her permanent absence is met with a desperate sadness and a sprinkle of solace, but nobody is quite ready to let her go. Our hotel manager, Chan-sung, experiences more dimensions of the spirit world at the mandate of our fickle god, Mago, and learns the depth of his longing for Man-wol. Although he’s tempted and tested by Mago, Chan-sung remains resolute in his patience and trust in Man-wol to return.

 
EPISODE 15 RECAP

Our three resident del Luna hoteliers stand in front of the tunnel, pondering the return of Man-wol. Bartender Kim regrets not properly bidding farewell, but Seo-hee says that it’s for the best if Man-wol resolved her thousand-year-old grudge. Hyun-joong pouts and makes the two promise to tell each other when they’re leaving. As for the fate of the hotel, rumor has it that Mago is preparing for a new owner.

Herbalist Mago brews up a concoction that will ripen by the next month and looks for the final ingredient — the moon flower — but she’s run out. At the hotel, Reapers asks about this moon drink for the new owner, and Mago explains that the drink will ripen to be bitter if the new owner carries a deep resentment.

Mago reminisces on how Man-wol threatened to cut her tongue for the disgusting drink. Aha, so that alcohol was the moon drink! Mago continues her explanation, saying that whoever drinks this moon brew will transcend the limits of time. The Moon Tree will absorb anything that carries the energy of the living, and the remaining soul becomes the owner of the Moon Lodge.

Mago comments that they’ve run out of the moon flower for this brew, and the last time she saw this flower was at the hotel’s location 200 years ago. Reaper offers to fetch this flower, but Mago has someone else in mind for this task.

Chan-sung finds Seo-hee in Man-wol’s office, and she hands him a familiar vial: the medicine to return his vision to the living world. Man-wol had left this vial with trusty Seo-hee, asking her to give this to Chan-sung when he would no longer need to come to the hotel. Seo-hee shares her interpretation of this mandate, that Man-wol didn’t want Chan-sung to remain at a hotel where she no longer exists.

In his imagination, Chan-sung sees Man-wol showing off her outfit for a foodie outing, Man-wol complaining about the dream service call requests, Man-wol promising him a long wealthy life and consequently scolding him for letting this get to his head. Chan-sung’s eyes turn sad when he sees the empty desk, and he returns the vial to the box.

When Chan-sung exits the office, he finds Mago standing in the hallway. He urgently walks toward her and asks if Man-wol has returned. She shakes her head and says that she has a task for him: Go back to the Man-wol Lodge, the hotel from the Joseon period, and fetch the moon flower.

Chan-sung suspiciously asks why Mago is sending him instead of going herself. He asks if he’ll see Man-wol from that time, and when Mago confirms this, he decides to go.

As Chan-sung approaches the Moon Tree, we hear Mago’s instructions to go around the tree to find the entrance to the Man-wol Lodge. When he returns, he will come back around the tree. He is not to eat or drink anything from this time; if he does, he will never return.

Chan-sung sees the entrance to the Man-wol Lodge on the other side of the Moon Tree and walks into the Joseon period. He smiles when he spots Seo-hee assuaging guests and Bartender Kim shaking his head at the pots of Man-wol’s alcohol.

Chan-sung finds the garden with the moon flower, and a familiar voice calls out to him as a stranger. It’s Joseon Man-wol, and she demands to know who he is. She’s surprised when Chan-sung knows her name, and she closely inspects Chan-sung before determining that he’s here to collect her debt. Man-wol dismisses him and promise to repay her debt soon.

Before she walks away, Chan-sung tries to stop her, and she defensively rams him against the wall. Chan-sung says that he’s from a faraway place and that she won’t recognize him in this time. Man-wol realizes that Chan-sung can see spirits and asks how he gained this power.

They’re interrupted by the shrill voice of Mago, and Man-wol hides behind her fan as she curses at this unwelcome guest. Chan-sung recognizes this voice, and when Man-wol learns about the Magos’ favorable treatment of Chan-sung, she looks intrigued and offers him a drink.

Bartender Kim and Seo-hee prepare a meal for Chan-sung, and Chan-sung asks if they have a human manager of the lodge. Bartender Kim reports that their human lodgekeeper recently passed away, and he wonders if Chan-sung is the replacement sent by Mago. Chan-sung denies this and asks who Man-wol mistook him for. He learns that the debt collectors are gamblers, and his eyes widen when he realizes that Man-wol has squandered her money with this new gambling habit.

After the lodgekeeper passed away, Man-wol coped by gambling and used a gambler ghost to help her cheat. She enjoyed a winning streak until Mago found out, and since then, they’ve been punished with daily visits from Beggar Mago, who’s been taking all of their money. Chan-sung notes that this period of the hotel is much worse than the modern hotel.

Man-wol appears, and Chan-sung confronts her about her gambling problem. She insists that it was for fun and that she’ll quit once she earns back her losses, but Chan-sung sternly orders her to quit now. She argues that they need money to run the hotel, but Chan-sung already knows that this is a lie. Man-wol looks impressed by Chan-sung’s knowledge, as if she’s met her match.

Next, Man-wol tries to enlist Chan-sung’s help to get rid of Beggar Mago, but Chan-sung knows that they can’t force a god to leave. Chan-sung offers a deal: He’ll lend his expertise with Mago to lure her out of the lodge, and in exchange, Man-wol will quit gambling. Man-wol agrees and offers her wrist as collateral.

Chan-sung approaches Beggar Mago and introduces himself as a tasker sent by the eldest Mago sister. He politely requests that Beggar Mago leave the lodge and says that he doesn’t want to see Man-wol experience more hardship. Beggar Mago doesn’t intend to leave that easily and offers to play a game of his choice for this deal. Chan-sung agrees and suggests baduk.

As Beggar Mago and Chan-sung concentrate on their game of baduk, Man-wol anxiously asks Bartender Kim who’s winning. Bartender Kim assesses that they’re neck and neck, and Man-wol says that Chan-sung assured confidence with his brains, since he went to a prestigious place called Harvard (ha). Chan-sung makes his final move, and Beggar Mago frowns in frustration at her loss. She leaves the premises, per their agreement, and Man-wol squees in delight.

Later that night, Chan-sung makes Man-wol write a contract that she’ll never gamble again. He then nags her to sell the extra horses to pay off the debt and gives her no room for excuses, knowing that she’ll try to justify keeping the horses to build a pretty stable. He threatens to invite back Beggar Mago, and Man-wol reluctantly agrees to his terms.

Chan-sung tells Man-wol to find other hobbies to keep her occupied and draws a map of Korea for her. He identifies places on the map — Jeonju for bibimbap, Pohang for dried herring in the winter, Pyongyang naengmyeon — and Man-wol wonders if this will be a more entertaining hobby than gambling. Chan-sung assures her that it will be fun, enough to keep her occupied for the next 200 years.

Man-wol asks if he’s visited all these places, and Chan-sung confirms that he’s eaten all these foods with someone. She asks him to stay, to experience this new hobby with her and to be the new lodgekeeper. She offers him a drink, and Chan-sung remembers Mago’s warning not to eat or drink anything, lest he get stuck in this period.

Chan-sung looks tempted and says that he could be with Man-wol without worrying that she’ll disappear. But he puts the glass down and tells Joseon Man-wol that he needs to return to where he came from because he’s waiting for someone, a person he loves very much. Aww. Man-wol regrets this missed opportunity, and he acknowledges that he may regret this decision later.

Chan-sung goes to the garden to collect the moon flowers, and Beggar Mago appears to tease him with his options to stay or go. She says that all memories of him in this Joseon period will be erased upon his return to the current time. But if he stays, he could remain as Man-wol’s 85th human lodgekeeper. She playfully quips, “To return as someone who let go, or to remain as a passing being, that’s your choice.”

Even with the playful temptation of Beggar Mago, Chan-sung sticks to his decision to leave, and he takes one last glance at the Joseon Man-wol before exiting the lodge. Once he returns, we also see a car returning from the afterlife tunnel and back at the hotel platform. Could it be?!

Handing the moon flowers to Mago, Chan-sung says that he understands why she sent him on this mission. He realizes the strength and patience he needs to embody as he waits for Man-wol. Mago nods and tells him to first celebrate, as Man-wol has returned. Ah! Chan-sung immediately races for the platform.

Man-wol gets out of the car, and the rest of our resident hoteliers follow Chan-sung as he runs through the lobby to the platform. Chan-sung embraces Man-wol tightly, and she apologizes for being late. Then, the rest of the hoteliers run yelling for Man-wol and all join in the group hug, It’s the cutest thing ever.

Through our hoteliers, we learn that Man-wol has lost some of her memories while crossing the bridge, and most of the lost memories are the oldest, most hurtful ones. Seo-hee ponders on the sadness and relief in having the most painful memories lost first.

Man-wol assures Chan-sung that she hasn’t lost any memories of him, and as a test Chan-sung asks to choose between him and the red car. She laughs and obviously chooses him, and Chan-sung looks relieved. Then, he asks how many cars she has left, and Man-wol goes into a panic, wondering if Chan-sung sold more of her cars. Haha, she’s back!

Then, Chan-sung mentions the names of the debt collectors from her Joseon days, and he finds some solace that she still remembers 200 years back. He pours her a drink and claims that he was regretting his decision to reject a drink with another pretty woman. Man-wol doesn’t believe him and says that she’s above jealousy (mmhmm). Then, she smacks him for trying to incite envy.

Chan-sung grabs her wrist and says that she must have kept her promise to quit gambling because her wrist is still intact. He shares that Mago sent him back to the Man-wol Lodge to collect the moon flowers and that he helped Man-wol out of debt while he was there. Man-wol realizes that Mago is brewing a new moon drink and remembers when she first had that bitter concoction.

At the hospital, the fake Ji Hyun-joong grandpa, Oh Tae-seok, watches over Hyun-mi and looks at an old photo of his younger self with the real Hyun-joong. We see that the two were best friends, and Yoo-na realizes that Tae-seok is a real friend, who is taking care of Hyun-mi for Hyun-joong. She shows Hyun-joong the articles of Tae-seok, who’s done great work as a medical doctor with Hyun-joong’s name.

Yoo-na thinks that Hyun-mi will live much longer with the help of this friend, but then, she receives a message about Hyun-mi in critical condition. Yoo-na rushes to the hospital, and Hyun-joong watches over his sister as the medical team saves Hyun-mi through another critical moment. Hyun-joong looks at his friend and says, “Hyun-mi is safe again, and you must be disappointed.” Huh?

Grandpa Tae-seok exits the hospital room and finds Yoo-na waiting there. He asks if she took the photo of him with Hyung-joong, and she denies this. She requests that he keep Hyun-mi alive for a long time and says that Hyun-joong is always watching over them.

Before Yoo-na leaves, Tae-seok desperately asks Yoo-na if Hyun-joong is still alive. He wonders if Hyun-joong is making him keep Hyun-mi alive while he’s actually still alive. Huh, curious.

Turns out, Hyun-joong took the photo to show off his golden days to the rest of the hotel staff. They notice the friend in the photo, and Hyun-joong says that this friend has been taking care of his sister in the hospital.

Bartender Kim and Seo-hee meet with Man-wol to request a special event for Hyun-joong when his sister visits the hotel. They want to give him the opportunity to spend more time with his sister, but Man-wol looks amused by their assumption that young innocent Hyun-joong is only waiting for his sister. She reminds them that Hyun-joong arrived at the hotel after dying of a gun wound.

As Man-wol cleans her shotgun, Chan-sung scolds her for the ominous reminder of Hyun-joong’s death. She recalls shooting her gun at a perpetrator, puncturing him with the victim’s bullet to haunt the him for life. Man-wol explains that Hyun-joong already punctured his enemy with his revenge bullet: Hyun-mi.

Hyun-joong left his sick younger sister with his enemy, and while it’s true that Hyun-joong waited over 70 years for his sister, he also used his sister to torture his killer for over 70 years. Yoo-na arrives at the hotel and tells Hyun-joong that she’s brought someone who wants to see him. It’s Tae-seok, and Hyun-joong’s smile immediately drops when he sees his friend.

Yoo-na tells Chan-sung that she wanted Hyun-joong to have an opportunity to reclaim his life while his friend is still alive, but Hyun-joong ran away immediately upon seeing his friend. She didn’t realize that bringing Tae-seok would upset him. Chan-sung says that everything depends on Hyun-joong’s choice.

Bartender Kim tells Chan-sung about Hyun-joong’s story: Hyun-joong’s parents died from a bombing during their escape, and he just barely saved his sister’s life. His sister was badly injured, and he took a shortcut through the woods instead of following the masses of refugees. While collecting water in a river, he was held at gunpoint by a runaway soldier, and this soldier turned out to be Tae-seok.

Tae-seok hungrily ate the potatoes that Hyun-joong offered him, and Hyun-joong asked that his friend join them on their journey to Busan, where his uncle lived and where he could get help for injured Hyun-mi. But the friend suddenly turned on Hyun-joong, pointing his gun and ordering Hyun-joong to switch outfits, since a runaway soldier would be killed by either side of this war.

Once they switched clothes, Tae-seok tried to run off with Hyun-joong’s belongings, but Hyun-joong desperately held on because all of Hyun-mi’s medicine was in his sack. During a tussle for the sack, Tae-seok accidentally fired his gun, fatally shooting Hyun-joong in the chest.

Waking up at the sound of the gunshot, Hyun-mi called out for her brother, blindly reaching out because of the bandages around her injured eyes. Shaken and frantic, Tae-seok apologized to Hyun-joong and tried to run away, but Hyun-joong grabbed his friend with his last ounce of strength, begging him to take Hyun-mi. Hyun-joong just barely saw his friend carrying his sister before dying.

The uncle’s family recognized Hyun-mi when they arrived in Busan, and they assumed that the boy carrying her was Hyun-joong. Ever since then, Tae-seok has been living as Ji Hyun-joong. Seo-hee comments that behind his cheerful demeanor, Hyun-joong must have carried a lot of resentment.

Man-wol finds Hyun-joong crouching at the foot of the Moon Tree and insults this image of a sad puppy under this gloomy tree, which is her way of acknowledging his sadness. She sits down next to him, and he cries as he admits his anger toward Tae-seok, who’s living out a life that he would have had. He refuses to forgive his friend, and Man-wol sympathizes with this resentment.

But Man-wol also encourages him to listen to Tae-seok. She shares that listening to the other side helped her absolve her resentment and allowed her to let go of her enemy. Hyun-joong accuses Man-wol of still remembering the firefly when she claimed otherwise, and she scolds him to mind his own memories.

Man-wol says that Yoo-na’s efforts will be for naught and gets up to send Tae-seok away, but Hyun-joong grabs the end of her skirt. She advises Hyun-joong to meet with Tae-seok, if not for his own resolution, then to acknowledge Yoo-na’s sincere effort to help the person she likes.

In the lobby, Yoo-na tells Tae-seok that his presence only deepened Hyun-joong’s pain and asks him to leave. Tae-seok offers the school uniform to Yoo-na, and she comments on how Hyun-joong loved school. Then, the elevator doors open, and Chan-sung invites Tae-seok to meet with Hyun-joong. Yoo-na looks surprised, and Chan-sung gives her the slightest smile of encouragement.

Seo-hee escorts Tae-seok to the room where Hyun-joong is waiting, and Tae-seok enters an old classroom. Hyun-joong tells Tae-seok that he’s been watching over his old friend, and we see old Tae-seok turn into his younger form in the hotel room.

At the bar, Man-wol asks Chan-sung why he isn’t worried about putting Hyun-joong in the same room with his enemy without any supervision. Chan-sung knows that Hyun-joong is kind and that watching his friend care for Hyun-mi all these years would have alleviated some of the grudge.

Man-wol reveals her plans to use Hyun-joong’s kindness and charge Tae-seok an expensive fee for this visit. She intends to use this money on a special event for Hyun-joong. In her meeting with Tae-seok, she notes his history of generous donations and asks him to make one more to the prestigious school that Hyun-joong attended.

The school hosts a ceremony at the request of their generous donor, Doctor Ji Hyun-joong, to present honorary degree to the real Ji Hyun-joong in the middle of the night. Chan-sung explains to the principal that nighttime is better for their guests.

Hyun-joong arrives with the Man-wol and the rest of our resident staff, but those are the few that are visible to the human eye. Chan-sung comments that a large crowd showed up, and we see the mass of the hotel guests in the auditorium. Reaper offered his bus to lug the hotel guests there to celebrate Hyun-joong’s graduation.

Upon receiving his honorary degree, Hyun-joong looks to the crowd with the biggest smile, and everyone applauds his achievement. Man-wol smiles proudly as she claps, and even Reaper shows a rare smile.

The hotel staff pile into Sanchez’s pizza shop to celebrate the graduation, but only Man-wol and the long-time resident staff are visible to Sanchez. Chan-sung explains that the visible staff have the ability to appear in the living world because of their long residency at the hotel.

Creeped out by the idea of ghosts eating at his shop, Sanchez takes swigs of his wine, and Chan-sung warns him not to get too drunk, as ghosts can slip into human bodies when they’re not sober. Chan-sung points to an empty chair in the corner and says that one particular ghost has been eyeing Sanchez, to which Sanchez comments that ghosts must like handsome people. Heh.

After the celebratory dinner, Sanchez jumps at the sight of an elderly woman crossing the street, convinced that it’s a ghost. But Chan-sung assures him that this person his human, showing him (PPL) dashboard video evidence. Chan-sung tells Sanchez not too be so afraid, since ghosts were once human like themselves, but Sanchez insists that his fear is normal.

Sanchez worries about Chan-sung normalcy with the spirit world, but Chan-sung assures him that all of these ghosts will soon move on to the afterlife, Man-wol included. The reality of Man-wol’s eventual fate seems to hit Chan-sung again, and Sanchez seems to sense this impending heartbreak.

Seo-hee tells Man-wol that she offered the ghost vision medicine to Chan-sung, but he returned it to the box. While Chan-sung trusted that Man-wol would return, Seo-hee admits that she was relieved to hear that Man-wol was able to cross over to the afterlife.

Man-wol reveals that she isn’t tied to the Moon Tree anymore and that Mago is preparing for the heir to the hotel. It’s an unspoken understanding between Man-wol and Chan-sung, but this is news to Seo-hee. Man-wol hopes to see Seo-hee, Bartender Kim, and Hyun-joong off before she passes on the hotel, but she isn’t sure if she has enough time.

Seo-hee runs into Chan-sung, who updates her on the pregnant pharmacist, the woman carrying the child of Seo-hee’s enemy family line. He asks if she’ll remain in the living world if this child is a son who can carry the family name, and Seo-hee knows that he’s worried that she’ll linger long after Man-wol and the hotel disappear.

Seo-hee tells Chan-sung that Man-wol returned to the living world because of Chan-sung and echoes a piece of advice that Mago once shared: “It takes more heart to let go than to hold on.” The image of the red string being snipped by the bride letting go of her lover flashes through Chan-sung’s mind.

Chan-sung finds Man-wol hauling two heavy suitcases to her office, and he opens them to find an old camera. Man-wol explains that all the pictures on the wall were taken by the manager at the time. She runs through all the photos and memories of the managers associated with each phase of the hotel.

Man-wol tries to incite a jealous response from Chan-sung by reminiscing about a handsome manager, but Chan-sung doesn’t believe her. He heard from Bartender Kim that Chan-sung is the most handsome manager they’ve had and that Man-wol fell for him purely on his looks. Heh.

Chan-sung asks why Man-wol didn’t take photos with these managers, and Man-wol responds that these transient lives passing through the hotel had no significance to her then. But now, she wishes she had a record of these seemingly insignificant lives. Chan-sung offers to fix that now and suggests that Man-wol take photos with her long-time staff.

Getting ready for the photo, Man-wol orders Hyun-joong to keep his mouth closed and Bartender Kim to keep his eyes open, but they epically fail when Chan-sung takes the photo. They do get some nice and adorable photos, with the whole staff, with our three hotel musketeers, and with Chan-sung and Man-wol.

Man-wol sits on the camera suitcase and (first cutely and then sternly) orders Chan-sung to carry her off. He initially refuses and tells Man-wol to carry the suitcase herself, but then he swoops in and carries her. She points to the bedroom, and Chan-sung twirls her around before landing her on the couch. Man-wol pouts angrily, and Chan-sung tells her to get ready to eat jjajangmyeon. Womp womp.

Hyun-joong admires the staff photo with Yoo-na and tells her that they wanted to take some final photos before the hotel closes. Yoo-na looks surprised, and Hyun-joong explains that Mago is preparing for a new hotel owner, and Hotel del Luna will end, along with its staff.

Yoo-na complains to Bartender Kim that the hotel can’t close and asks how she can meet Mago. Bartender Kim says that Chan-sung was granted entry to the Mago’s herbal pharmacy and suggests that Yoo-na ask him. Yoo-na snoops around Chan-sung’s office and finds the business card with the pharmacy information.

Mi-ra finally moves out of Sanchez’s house to move in with Young-soo. Though Mi-ra is terrible at cleaning, Young-soo says that Mi-ra makes up for it with her great cooking, which is actually her parents’ cooking. Turns out, Mi-ra’s parents run a kimchi factory, and Young-soo is amazed that he (Sanchez: “and everyone else”) grew up with Mi-ra’s parents’ kimchi. Sanchez holds his tongue and decides to tolerate the couple until Mi-ra officially moves out.

Bartender Kim serves two writer ghosts, one of which died just before releasing his new novel about a Joseon scholar. As the writer shares the storyline, Bartender Kim freezes at the eerie similarity between the main character’s story and his story: a nameless scholar whose first place in the civil examination was revoked because his vulgar writing was discovered.

Upon hearing about the novel about this pervert scholar, Bartender Kim’s hands begin to tremble. The writer reveals that the name of this scholar was Kim Shi-ik, and Bartender Kim overflows the cup with his pour. The writer hopes that his work will be published posthumously, but Bartender Kim tears up as he recalls the shame in his past.

Yoo-na arrives at the pharmacy and eyes the brewing moon drink. At the Moon Tree, Seo-hee comments that the tree has returned to its original state, but Man-wol disagrees. She says that the tree is different now because it has experienced time again, having grown leaves, bloomed flowers, and withered its petals.

Seo-hee asks if Man-wol wants the tree to grow and bloom again, but Man-wol knows that this tree is now dead. For the tree to experience time again, she’ll need to cross over. Then, Yoo-na interrupts the conversation, running in with a bottle. She admits that she stole the moon drink from Mago and hands it to Man-wol, begging her to stay at the hotel.

Mago tells Chan-sung that Yoo-na stole the moon drink, and Chan-sung knows that Yoo-na’s intentions were pure — to stop the hotel from disappearing and Hyun-joong from leaving. Mago presumes that she gave the drink to Man-wol, which would extend the life of the hotel and allow her to stay with Chan-sung.

Chan-sung asks Mago if she will stop Man-wol from making this choice, since she wanted to an amicable send-off for Man-wol. But Mago turns the question on him: What will he do if she doesn’t stop Man-wol?

When Chan-sung arrives at the hotel, Seo-hee urgently notifies him of Yoo-na’s theft and directs him to find Man-wol at the sky lounge. Chan-sung finds Man-wol watching the full moon with the moon drink bottle in her hands. He approaches Man-wol, and she tells him that the first time she drank the moon drink was during a full moon as well. She asks Chan-sung if she should drink this again.

Chan-sung tells Man-wol about his brief visit to the Joseon lodge, where he was tempted to accept the drink from Joseon Man-wol and remain by Man-wol’s side. If he had remained there, he may have become the 85th manager, who drew the picture of Man-wol in front of the lodge. “But as I hung up our photo, I decided that I would remain as the 99th manager, the last one. I won’t let a meaningless 100th time pass for you.”

Chan-sung tells her not to consume the moon drink, and Man-wol smiles in relief because she knew that he would say this. She unbottles the drink, pours it over the ledge, and drops the bottle with a look of loss. Man-wol looks to Chan-sung and says, “Thank you, Gu Chan-sung. I love you.” She reaches for his hand, and he takes it.

Chan-sung responds, “I love you.” They look at each other lovingly and watch the bright full moon together.

 
COMMENTS

I really adored this episode for all the warmth and growth, all of which was well-deserved and thus satisfying. That’s not to say that this episode was perfect by any means. It felt like the show was rushing to tie up loose ends (did the show really wait until the penultimate episode to shed light on Bartender Kim’s story?) and decided to just leave some inconsistencies unaddressed (did Man-wol really lose no memories during her walk on the bridge?), but I still appreciated the full circle feeling of this episode. Given the end of the last episode, Man-wol’s return wasn’t a big surprise, and while her return was the obvious highlight of this episode, I think this episode definitely belongs to Chan-sung.

Capricious Mago set up a cruel and sharp test for Chan-sung, sending him back to the Joseon times and tempting him to stay. For some reason, Chan-sung introducing Man-wol to the world of mukbang made me emotional (this may have been heightened due to my attachment to food) because it felt like Chan-sung had shaped a part of Man-wol’s past. Chan-sung decision to leave the certainty of Man-wol’s existence (and promise of a mukbang tour!) for the uncertainty of Man-wol’s return tugged at my heartstrings, but I knew he would make that choice. I felt confident in Chan-sung’s character, and just as Man-wol knew that Chan-sung would never hold her back as her new Moon Tree, I knew that Chan-sung would return to the present day to wait for Man-wol. I appreciate how the consistency in Chan-sung’s character allows for these beautiful and poignant moments of trust and acceptance. Chan-sung may have been too patient and trustworthy to a fault, but those are the qualities that allowed for his eventual reunion with Man-wol.

Although the fickle tendencies of the Mago personas can be annoying, I’m a fan of this concept of unreliable gods that act in ways that can seem at odds with each other. From a viewer perspective, I think it’s easier to digest some of the decisions about the plot points when you have a physical character to blame, and Mago is that character. It’s a clever tactic by the writers to redirect our blame from the writers to a character — the twists and turns, the nonsensical and choppy plot decisions made by the writers are veiled as fickle decisions by the gods. By the way of the transitive property, it seems like that Hong sisters have written themselves into the story as Mago. It’s very meta, which is also perfectly in line with the Hong Sisters style. Regardless of how Mago the character was manipulated in this show, I absolutely LOVE the actress, Seo Yi-sook. She’s been such a delight to watch as all the different Mago personas, and I love the veteran ease with which she showcases her versatile acting. Underrated but absolutely wonderful.

Reflecting on this show, I’ve realized that we missed a lot of Chan-sung’s backstory relative to the rest of the characters. Though it’s a shame that the show didn’t explore more of Chan-sung’s person story, I think Chan-sung fulfilled his role as a guide through this story, almost like a Nick Carraway of Man-wol’s Great Gatsby story. While at the expense of some necessary and timely backstories, I do find it refreshing that the focus of this story was on our female lead. Man-wol was a complex, intriguing, flawed, and beautiful character, and I love what IU has done to showcase all the dimensions of Man-wol. Over the past few years, IU has honed her abilities as an actress, and I think this has been the ultimate manifestation of her talent thus far. I’ve enjoyed seeing her grow and appreciate how much she’s harnessed her talent. Man-wol and IU have both had such long journeys, and I just want to give them a big hug, holding them tight before I need to let both of them go.

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The scene where everyone was taking a group photo together made me tear up, really going to miss the hotel gang. This episode somehow felt like the last episode with everything coming to a full circle.

Chan-sung is one of my favourite male lead characters. It's a shame his character wasn't explored as much as I wanted but I guess this drama was really Jang Man-wol centred which I don't mind.

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Can I keep Chan Sung after he sends off Man-Wol? *fingers crossed*

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Get in line😂

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Hello, I am here too! 😂😂

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He's a limited edition, we should put him in a museum so that we all can admire him, generation to generation, now and forever.

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Nah... just clone him so we can get one each! ;)

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@shichybot was... was that a... Circle reference?

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@bdxpelik hahaha! Unintentional! I had to google Circle after you mentioned it. I vaguely remember it among Jin Goo's many dramas, but I had no idea it was about cloning!

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@shichybot well, I have to applaud you on that unintentional reference

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I cried for the group hug in front of the tunnel. Love to see this 500-200-70 years of work-related relationship has evolved into one true family. They always bicker but they really care and stand for each other.

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So the time travelling bit was nothing but a time filler? And where did that door come from? And why didn’t MW remember him from 300 years ago when what CS did at that time was ‘significant’. Or did I miss something?

Basically the MaGo’s are there to do nothing but put temptation in your path as they know how it all ends.

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It wasn’t a time filler but a means for Chansung to have better clarity regarding his feelings. Did we read the same review?

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I am thinking if we watched the same show.

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Also it showed that Man-wol could improve - actually stopping gambling...
... and that some things never change, like having too many horses back before too many cars was an option :)
And it emphasized how well Chan-sung knew her.

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IMO the time travel was really significant to Chan Sung’s decision at the end. It was his mock trial. Besides being a temptation to “seize the moment” to stay with A Man Wol, it was also an opportunity to be the one leaving. We can discuss in episode 16 recap the symbolic parallels I saw from this scene.

To answer your questions for this episode:
— The door wasn’t there before. Mago placed it there for this one trip. My additional observation is walking counterclockwise takes him back in time and clockwise brings him back to the future.
— Man Wol does remember him. You will see it in episode 16.

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He was beginning to have a hard time waiting for Man-Wol. The scene in her office really shows his vulnerable state (kudos to Yeo Jin-Goo's acting, his pain and almost-hopeless-when-trying-to-be-faithful was so prominant without him saying a word or sheding a single tear). So, in MaGo's style, she tries to give him a peace of mind by offering him options. Glad that he's the same old trust-worthy Goo Chan-Sung when it comes to making conscious decision.

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The MaGo, all of them, is there to emphasize the message they have been trying to relay all this time; no matter what god or fate throw in our way, it's 'us' who make the final decision.

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Nothing in this entire drama is a filler. I like the plot of the show, as everything is linked to one another.
Beggar Mago did mentioned that when Chan-sung leaves the Joseon's Full Moon Lodge, all memories of the people regarding his time travel will be "erased". Imagine if they remembered him from 200 years ago, how would the story go in episode 1 - 3, when he first come into the hotel with everyone knowing him? The whole plot would be different...
Mago is Mago. She'll forever put tests and trials to humans, so that we can learn and make our own decisions. God doesn't make the decisions for us, but while sometimes be testing, sometimes be strengthening, God (as in Mago) will always respect the freewill of humans in terms of decision-making.

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MaGos.. especially the first one is like that teacher who tells you about life by showing..not telling.. she gave him the choice to stay in the past.. which made him realize that he needed to let her go..keeping her tied to him was just torture for man wol..
This impacted his decision at the end when he just let her go.. eventhough he will be heartbroken and devastated.. still he accepted his pain..
All this thought process was guided by MaGo and this trip

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This episode was looooong and it didn't help that the time travel part in the first half of this episode felt like a filler and DID NOT progress the plot in any way. Then we've only got the actual backstory of Hyun-joong and a hint of Bartender Kim's backstory on the second half. Talk about proper time management.

I am now convinced that the writers are actually the Magos. They're the true villains of this show.

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They are! The Hong sisters are the MaGo’s

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Pfft. I should've known better. It was obvious since Day 1. HAHAHA

Also, that's a creative plot device but the execution and utilization of the Magos weren't done well although the actress portraying them is amazing.

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The 'off to the bedroom' scene would have been my very favorite of this episode but alas they had to mess up the ending. Which leaves me with my other favorite scene: the conversation between MW and HJ under the tree. I loved it when she said 'I'm not going to tell you to forgive him, -- why would you ever forgive someone who put a bullet through your heart? -- but listening to his excuses can make you feel a little better; after all, everyone has their own hardships and reasons'. I loved it because it finally gave me a clear answer to what MW's feelings for CM were. And that answer felt satisfactory in that it aligned with my view of his and her character.

Apart from that: all the group hugs and bonding moments were also very sweet and heartwarming. despite not serving that much of a narrative purpose, the meeting between CS and JoseonMW was entertaining. It also did the job of reinforcing the point that he is it for her and that he is fully committed to saving her, even if that means stepping over his own feelings and letting her go.

Lastly, about the comment on the Magos and their relationship with the writers: In the context of a discussion about 'Dan, only love' I once mentioned the quote 'gods come in handy - they can justify almost everything' (now including bad writing) and apparently someone was paying attention. One can hide a myriad of writing faults behind capricious gods (the more the merrier). But on the plus side, the strategy has payed off in the sense that the story keeps hanging together mostly logically in the penultimate episode of a HS drama (!) And that is a rare event indeed.

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No writing faults in this series that I can see, though.
Read 'The Illiad'. The whole story is based on conflicting gods toying with mortals for their sport.

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Hilarious. Having actually read the Illiad (because people of my kind sort of have to, not because I am a pompous jerk, though the two are not mutually exclusive), I can attest that it has nothing to do with this conversation. Sure, the Greeks stories are all about gods that are essentially selfish self-centered teenagers with superpowers, but here we are talking about a universe that is supposedly governed by fairness and laws, the enforcers of which are the Magos... (even if the definition of fairness tends to change as it suits)

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Man-Wol's suggestion to Hyun-Joong comes from her direct experience, nothing could be better. Just like when she learns that seeing our enemy suffer wouldn't help your revengeful soul at all directly from chief Choi.

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Thanks for the recap! :)
What I don't understand is why people are insisting that the Hong Sisters using the unreliable and capricious Magos as a substitute for themselves is bad writing. It's just a story-telling device, and here, it is one that is used very well - since the story around the Magos "fickle"* decisions is very clear, always aimed towards a certain type of ending, and consistently balanced all kinds of plot elements.

I've put fickle in " " because again, I don't necessarily agree that they are "gods" who are expected to behave in ways that make sense to "mere humans". Low level deities working towards individual goals is more how I see them.

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As an atheist, I find no problem with Magos representing the different external factors that cause people to suffer and bring people hope.

In any other drama, Mago can be the truck of doom, the terminal illness, the lost rich father, the extremely difficult mother-in-law, the phone booth that 2 strangers run to when it suddenly rains... etc.

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Yes.
Why blame the Hongs for (possibly) hiding behind multifaced gods instead of depending on said Trucks, Illnesses, MILs, etc. At least the Hongs were a little bit creative. And the goddesses had more range and expression than Truck.

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I love the Magos as a character(s). I wonder if I'm being biased? :D After Man Wol herself, the Magos and Grim Reaper are my favorite characters in this story.

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Can I honestly say you are? Lol
I think they are sometimes cute, but I honestly hate them most of the time. Like I said above, they are those things to me. I only love the lost rich father/mother, like Man Wol.

(Not the actress though. She’s awesome)

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Haha ofc. :D I'm inclined to defend characters I love. But since I'm plenty capable of criticizing my favorites (see my wall re BTS, the Kpop group, for proof), I defend with confidence as well.

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I'm with you on the grim reaper! He's so cute! That tiny little smile he had attending Hyunjoon's graduation- who ever thought death could be such a softie??

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Because it doesn't excuse them as an awful omniscient storytelling device?
They're just cheap Deus Ex Machinas to justify the Hong's weaker plots?

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i am pretty sure that it's not what i said. instead, what was claimed is that the Hong sisters are hiding their bad writing behind the capricious Magos. the (demi-)gods (or whatever they are) provide a rationalization for what otherwise would have been clear logical lapses. which is a very neat trick, but one can only use ever so often...

As an analogy the one computer that managed to pass the Turing test did so by pretending to be a not particularly well educated Ukranian teen. So one could rationalize the faults of the algorithms as personality rather than algorithmic limitations. Which succeed in proving why the test itself is flawed, but not in demonstrating general purpose intelligence.

The Hong sisters also succeeded in convincing (at least some part of) the audience that they have a cleverly constructed plan for everything by dumping any writing flaws onto the unwitting Magos. But that does not make them genius writers, just so-so writers that managed to get a way with it.

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and sorry for belaboring the point. I was mostly ok with how the show ended, but then made the mistake of reading the HS interview, and my opinion of their contribution dropped a mile down. I'm still really salty about it, that's all.

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Haha I wasn't thinking of your comments when I said the use of the plot device isn't bad writing. :) You definitely did not say that, I agree. Nor do I think of the Hong Sisters as genius writers - I just think this drama has been very consistent and has indeed always been clear about how it will end. The weekly ghost sub plots, the dialogue explaining how the world of the show works, it has been more or less consistent. Add to that how entertaining and visually beautiful the show is, and I think the Hong Sisters, together with the team of directors, actors, etc, created a beautiful story.

The interview only shows what I already think is the case - the script is merely the blueprint. It's brought to life by a whole other team, so crediting the writer alone for a beautiful show is not enough. Good writing can be ruined by bad acting, and bad acting can be salvaged by good writing. In this case, for its consistency and the clarity in the over arching plot, I call this show well-written.

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Yes.
What I appreciate the most about this show is they have set a solid ground for their own universe and stick to it. Every plot/sub-plot point is supporting each other and heading into one direction so everything makes sense.

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A good script is not just the blueprint.
A good script is not just the story.
A well written script should contain all the information necessary to put something directly from paper to screen. That's what a script is.
A well written script will have location, setting, camera shots (depending on the director, but the more the merrier imo), time, cuts, dialogue, action, cues, fade outs, voiceovers and all other film technique information in the script itself, as well as having good ordinary story telling techniques.
And the script is the writing. Everything else effects it afterwards, for better or worse, and all parts have to work in harmony yes, but the script is the writing.
So no, if the released script is anything to go by, one CAN say this show is poorly written, as the Hong's clearly very lazily wrote their script and relied on everyone else to take up the slack.

Screenplay is not just a blueprint. It does so much more than that.

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You know, I really don't want to defend the Hong Sisters XD so I'll agree with you, and leave that be.

On a personal note, I loved the drama, loved how consistent and straight forward it was in its plot, loved the characters and am really tired by now of reading the criticism of the show - since it's been discussed to death, and I'm somewhat frustrated by how one-sidedly "white"/far removed from the ideas the show is based on, it is. No one is changing the other person's point of view, anyway.

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We will inevitably reach an impasse yes.
I'm glad you liked the show.

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I agree with you @greenfields. Your use of the word "enchanting" a day or so ago is exactly how I think of this drama. I've never felt the immediate need for a rewatch as much as I do with this one.

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Thanks :) and me too! I'm waiting for the weekend, but ep 1 is on the cards.

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Ah yes, those non-existent 'flaws' in the writing. If you can't follow a straightforward storyline perhaps its not the fault of the writers.

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Ha! I believe this is the first time in my long and dreary existence to be called stupid. I suppose there's a first for everything. color me amused.

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The story has actually been remarkably straightforward all along with plenty of foreshadowing and vignettes from the ghost-of-the-week format to reinforce the message of the main story. Most of the complaints I've read are that is isn't sufficiently K-drama 'formula'. If you look back, in retrospect nothing seems discordant with the arc of the story. Even the serial killer subplot had a reason for being in there - to compare against Man-Wol's own revenge plotline

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This. Is exactly what I've been saying. :) Thank you for summing it up better than I managed to.

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One thing I have to defend the MaGos; they are so damn consistent! Each and every one of them. People always find something to blame for the miserable wrong turns in their lives, but as MaGo always said god only gives options, the decision is ours to make.

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People will always blame God (or in this case, Mago) when things don't go their way...
How can God satisfy each and everyone? One particular Mr A would like to be rich, while another would hope that Mr A be poor. Contradicting wishes.
But in this drama, Mago showed that Gods are merely like a guide. They do bring justice to those who went out of control (like vengeful spirits) and they do knit so that fateful meetings (like Yeong-soo and Mi-ra) happened, but ultimately, it is us humans who make the choice.
The different Magos are just the different faces of God that people see. Some sees as executioner, some as Cupid, some as a mentor. It depends on the person. Even Chan-sung had only managed to see 6 out of all the Magos out there (see the final episode to know how many in total).

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at I find interesting, and that the show points out as well is that the deities' idea of justice is not always the same as our own moral compass - they bring justice by destroying "vengeful spirits" but they also put the girl who was abused by her classmate in the same category as a guy who nearly drove his classmate to suicide. This action-based judgment really excludes motivation or exceptions or discretion, which actually makes the gods seem more capricious, despite being fairly consistent. I think it was amazing to watch Man Weol "testing" the gods by the situations she created, as if to figure out the order of the universe. A kind of "if there is justice in the world, this shall be the outcome." Like in the way she gets the abusive classmate of the vengeful spirit to also face the wrath of the gods.

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Well, I think they (god, the MaGos in this case) treated everyone equally thus making them very stable (or so to speak, not capricious at all). I once compared their judgements and actions to be parallel with the modern law enforcement we all are having in our own country, no matter where we are. If we kill someone, we must go to jail even if that someone once abused us. Vigilante might sound appealing and satisfying when we have to deal with those high powers or evil criminals but we have to still admit that it's basically against the law.

In buddhism, we have this "what goes around comes around" believe that our karma (the action, holy or sinful) will be our responsibilty and will one day come back to us by natural order. An eye for an eye will only add burden to our own soul. This burden will be carried on and on to our next life until we pay all the debt.

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"The girl who was abused by her classmate"-the room13 ghost was still a victim until she started taking lives. The MaGos and the reaper let her be a 'vengeful spirit' in her closet for a long time, it's just when she turned herself into an 'evil spirit' that they came in and took action.

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I agree with @joosushin. For instance, the girl who killed molka watching creeps nonetheless took away a little girl's father right in her home, in a manner that probably left the little child traumatised. Self defence is a valid exception, but this was calculated revenge. A planned murder carried out by an adult. As cruel and unfair as it sounds, it does come with consequences. Sushin mentioned Buddhism, I'm also relying on similar beliefs.

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@greenfields
I couldn't help comparing the room13 guest with Ji-Won's murder victims. If she cried for help, I'm sure Chan-Sung wil definitely put all his efforts in and even Man-Wol will help too. Then she will get the same satisfying redemption witht those 7 guests. Too sad that by the time our hero and heroine stepped in, it was too late.

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Technically, the Dark Mago usually takes care of the vengeful/evil spirits only if they do harm a living human. This is due to the spirits' extended abilities, like going invisible, phasing through walls and such, hence giving them a lot of advantage against living humans.
They have no qualms about a spirit beating up the other, as they're on equal terms (such as no penalty arises when Man-wol "killed" the ghost of Mayor Park Gyu-ho in episode 1). Same goes to when a human killed another, such as Seol Ji-won when he was alive.

But despite being "tested" by Man-wol, I think deep inside, Dark Mago also felt slight remorse for vanquishing the spirit of Yoon Ga-young (Room #13), though it is necessarily. This is why even after Man-wol releases the culprit Jung Eun-seok, Dark Mago puts him back on the railway track and set the car in a way it cannot be started. This goes out of the norm of their doings...

With this, I see Mago in a slight more humane way than how most would view her.

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Self insertion has been considered a terrible writing trope for years. It implies arrogance, cockiness and self righteousness on the writer's part and takes away any agency the story has in its own right.

They're called divine beings in the show. A deity, low level or high level, is the same thing as a god.

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If it is self insertion at all. From the beginning, we've understood the characters very differently. I think you cannot imagine "gods" as "fickle" as the Magos, but they're an idea that I've grown up with, here in another part of Asia. And no, as low level deitys, they are not gods. In fact, they'd be even lower than humans according to our ideas, though it doesn't seem like it to you. I'm glad a commentator mentioned Buddhism above, because so far I'm the only one that brought up Asian / eastern ideas to understand the show - which is clearly based on them. The Magos are legit characters from this point of view. I've been a bit frustrated by most English speaking commentors' complete unwillingness to consider other points of view but it can't be helped I guess.

On self insertion itself, I'd be surprised if you of all people said you dislike it because of what it is considered to be, not whether it is down well or not. ^^

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1) The reason I believe it is, is because they did the same thing in Hwayugi- had often off screen, godlike characters that controlled everyone in the show, for no reason. To me the parallels between the Hong Sisters themselves, their writing style and their omnipotent, omniscient godlike characters are too obvious to miss.
Who controls the story? Is it not the writer? If you're arrogant and have no respect for you characters or story, and don't think they have agency on their own (as the Hongs do), then yes.
Who is arrogant and often controls the story in Hong dramas? Is it not the godlike characters who quite often act as if the main characters have no agency or will of their own?

2) In a fictional medium, I can most certainly imagine gods as fickle, as long as the writing supports that.
You seem to think I dislike them based on my worldview alone: I don't.


deity
/ˈdeɪɪti,ˈdiːɪti/
Learn to pronounce
noun
noun: deity; plural noun: deities

a god or goddess (in a polytheistic religion).

The reason it doesn't seem like it to me, is because the dictionary would suggest otherwise.
If they're not gods, then what they mean by deity or "divine being", as translated in the show, or "not gods", I think needs to be clarified in the show itself.
I am not against these "deities" being "lower than humans", or mimicking their East Asian roots, I don't think I ever expressed such a sentiment.
I'm not opposed to seeing them as something else, but the show never delved into that part of their mythology at all. I guess to you they don't need to because it's obvious to you because of your religion? Well I think in a fantasy show, to have good worldbuilding, they need to have more consistent rules for what these "deities" are and why, if they want them to come across as anything more than cheap plot devices, or self inserted all powerful writers...
Any show dealing with any religion needs to do this, no matter what real life religion it is based on.
Also gods/deities can be characters- I never suggested they couldn't.

3) Self insertion- I think you are confusing writing concepts.
The self insertion I am talking about is that where a writer often intentionally makse a significant character literally an idealised version of themselves, in a story that is not about the real life author.
NOT the concept that a small part of the writer is in every character and story they write because of how much soul and passion they put into it, or because they can hardly help it if their story reflects the parts of themselves that are most important to them.
They are not the same thing.
The first is arrogant. The second is in my opinion a natural process.

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Well, while similar, a deity isn't really a God in a sense.
While in Asian culture, deities are usually lower-ranking diving beings, but differs with the one God who is at the top of it all.
For western culture, an easy way to explain deity would be that it is similar to a "Saint".
Mago certainly ain't the only deity here, as the "Water Spirit" is yet another deity, hence Man-wol was also not able to send it out.
Of course in terms of ability, the Water Spirit seemed to have lesser than Mago, probably due to the differences in the ranking amongst the deities.
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In short, deities may be divine beings similar to God, but they're not really God at all. They have limited authority over things, while God can just wipe out the whole world if he deemed fit.
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On this series up till now, Mago did make few interference in between, but ultimately the decision lies on each character to make for himself. The divine interference only did guide it to the direction it goes, but would be pointless if the characters decided otherwise.

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Yes, that's what deitys are in our culture. Thanks for putting it in words. :) Merely for academic discussion, may I add a third level to the term? In more specific culture, we consider them to be even lower than humans because their lives revolve around us. They don't take pleasure in serving us, but that's their reason for existence. The Mago of wealth for instance, exists to bestow wealth on humans & the "good" mago exists to carry out a myriad of tasks all related to humans. They can't stop and walk away. So while they seem more powerful, Indian mystics would actually call them servants.

Different ways of understanding lower level beings.

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Ahhh.... and the tear fest begins! And I'm not really the type who cries when watching k-dramas or movies, etc.

I can feel Chan Sung's longing when he encountered Joseon Man Wol, and the temptation to stay when she asked him to. But I'm glad he cam back and we got to witness that beautiful scene of him and the others running to hug present-day Man-Wol. Props to Yeo Jin Goo!!! What an amazing actor!

I felt cheated with the lift, too! I think Man-Wol felt the same when he unceremoniously dumped her on the couch. Hahaha! Whyyyy, Chan Sung?!!!! Why?!!! The photo shoot was hilarious, with Hyun Joon's open mouth and Kim Sun Bi's eyes closed; and that photo of Chan Sung and Man-Wol was love. I hope Chan Sung got to keep a copy.

Cried buckets with the balcony scene, Man-Wol asking if she'll drink the wine and stay... and him telling her he didn't want her to spend meaningless time after him. He'll be the 99th manager and see her off.

Love, love, love this drama! One of the best ever!

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She’s surprised when Chan-sung knows her name, and she closely inspects Chan-sung before determining that he’s here to collect her debt. Man-wol dismisses him and promise to repay her debt soon.
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.
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Then, Chan-sung mentions the names of the debt collectors from her Joseon days, and he finds some solace that she still remembers 200 years back.

Fun fact: That debt collector’s name is the director’s name — Oh Chung Hwan

Also, the Go game between Mago and Chan Sung was replay of the famous match between Lee Sedol and AlphaGo (Google AI)

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Chan-sung.... your girl been gone for months, you can't give her some bedroom action? I mean food is great and all but damn smh

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I know right? What a tease!

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I was so excited! They didn't have to show much. CS carrying her in the bedroom then the door closes would have been fine. I feel cheated LOL

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IU as the Man-wol of 200 years ago was just gorgeous in that blue hanbok.

Up till now the Hong sisters have been extremely disciplined in their storytelling and this episode was no exception. This has been a great show to this point. At the end of this episode we are actually set up to have a happy ending. Man-wol has dropped her resentments and let go of the past- and is no longer tied to the Moontree and the Inn of the Full Moon. Will we get a happy ending? If we do then this is their greatest drama ever. If we do not it was still their best since THE MASTER’S SUN.

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I personally like this drama is because of the fact that after the "main focus" (Man-wol's resentment) had been resolved, we are still getting treated by a 2 episodes of post-achievement, instead of the usual few minutes of epilogue.
True, the ending is yet to come (as of episode 15), but there're so much to explore after Man-wol settled her long-term resentment.
This, I think, makes it a better drama than most. It would suck to have her cross the Sanzu River with Chung-myung and that's it.
Kudos to Hong Sisters and the actors/actresses, directors, CG team and all!

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First ever comment here! Made a DB account just so I could fangirl over HDL with the community here.

This episode was definitely one of my favourites, and HDL in general has been so amazing - never has a drama climbed so fast up my favourites list. The whole notion of found family here was so beautifully depicted, with Man Wol finally embracing the family and love around her - and ofc ChanSung's. Their r/s has been sooooo beautiful and that ending scene was no exception. Love the way Hong Sisters developed them as a couple - their relationship/bond is truly so special. The trip back into the past was a gift of a scene, loved CS's reaction to MW in her beautiful hanbok, and gambling sajangnim might be my fav Man Wol ever.

Such masterful writing and acting - truly one for the books!

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If anyone (Ha!) is unhappy with the show as it was, imagine the reaction if Chan-sung had stayed in the past and Man-wol had come back from the bridge to NOT get the big welcome back.

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Funny. Has cs not returned there would not have been a mw left to return either. And anyone (ha!) can be unhappy about a whole bunch of other things that have nothing to do with cs and his return from his assignment.

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I believed that Mago, as a deity, already know what will happen in the future, long before it actually happens. And though she is a deity, she respects the freewill of mankind, and wants everyone to make their own decision. However, while some decisions are very easy, some are much harder to make. Hence Mago would have to interfere and help people take baby steps. This I believe applies to Chan-sung in this episode.

As a deity, I am sure Mago would know that Man-wol would free herself from the Moon Tree this time, and would definitely keep some Moon Flower before it all wilts. She would also know in advance, what is Chan-sung’s decision, when Man-wol will be back, and what is to transpire later on. So, the little “errand” for Chan-sung, would probably be the assistance from Mago, to help him take the baby steps he requires, in order for him to confidently make his decision later on. The rule about not accepting any food or drinks there, probably be a fake, as how could consuming something traps a person in the past? But, without this fake rule, if Chan-sung have a sip of the wine with the “past Man-wol” and enjoyed dinner together, nostalgic feelings would emerge and it’d then be much harder for him to decide to leave, hence contradicting the purpose of this assistance.

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Purpose of this trial/assistance? What the Beggar Mago told him before he left: “Would you go back to being the one who send her off OR be the 85th human steward of Man-wol?” A reminder to Chan-sung that he decides he will be the one who will see her passing. This is later on put to another test, through the Moon Wine which Yoo-na stole. How could the all-knowing deity Mago allow a mere human/ghost to outsmart her and stole such valuable thing? But this is put in place, as another assistance/trial for Chan-sung. Hence she asked what would he do, if she did not stop Man-wol from consuming it.

To Chan-sung, the Man-wol in Full Moon Lodge is the past Man-wol and while they’re the same person, she’s not the one Chan-sung fell in love with and received love in return. Staying by past Man-wol’s side or leave and wait for actual Man-wol, is actually an easier decision than the one he make at the end of the episode. With the Moon Wine in hand, present Man-wol asked if Chan-sung wants her to drink and stay, and this decision is definitely harder to make, as this is the same Man-wol whom Chan-sung fell in love with. Perhaps without the “errand” at the start, Chan-sung may actually give in to his feelings and asked her to drink. The “errand” reminds him that he doesn’t want to be another passer-by, but be the final manager to see her off.

At this point, sad as it may be, Mago is probably helping Chan-sung to cope with losing Man-wol, little by little, by strengthening his resolute. Earlier, Mago did mention that the Moon Wine tasted worse when the one who drinks have deeper resentments. And since Man-wol is free from all resentments, even if she drinks, it might probably taste sweet, but would not be able to tie her up with the Moon Tree (since she has let go of everything).

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Since the deities can send others through time, they can probably time travel too so I think Chansung was sent back in time with Mago knowing what the future would be like

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Definitely agree.
Mago send Chan-sung back, not because she is lazy or something.
But to help Chan-sung realizes his feelings, so that he can make the "right" decision at the end of the episode.
Step-by-step, to strengthen him mentally.

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They might know 'what could happen' but the unpredictable human being is what they can't control. I believe MaGo send Chan-Sung back to give him a choice and at the same time a test to see if he can still hold himself together when facing temptation.

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I think it’s the first, unless I have missed it somewhere earlier (let me know if I did). The final 1 minute of the show finally heard Man-wol said “Sarang he” (I LOVE YOU) and Chan-sung replying the same. This is the first time I have heard them saying it, and like a kid, I am smiling from ear to ear.

Chan-sung and Man-wol have gone through a lot, and this is like a big bonus to me, hearing them finally saying the Sa Rang word to each other. Finally, after 15 episodes, this word has appeared… Finally!! I can’t help smiling and jumping with joy! I’m a guy and I know I’m over-reacting, but I just can’t hold it in.

The scene was done in timely fashion. Great atmosphere through the background. Music timing to match and enhance the mood. I can ask for nothing more… I would love to have this as the ending instead, because it’s just so sweet!!!

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The moon flower why was it not on the tree? I was low key hoping that the moon flower would bloom on the tree after Manwol met Chansung from the future but alas it came from a... bush???

Loved that Joseon Manwol had a lot of horses since they didn't have cars back then. Also horses really do keep eachother company LOL

Also the moment when I realized Mago lost on purpose- it made me so happy.

Manwol's development in this episode was amazing. Starting from the group hug, to punishing the fake Hyunjoon (she only made him pay for a graduation ceremony, while in the past she probably would've tried to get something fro herself) and then the family portrait. The only question is... why isn't Yuna in it?

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There’re many things this drama is focus on besides Chan-sung and Man-wol. One of my favourite is, one need to let go of his/her resentments by himself/herself. While seeing the bad person receiving a bad ending is truly satisfying (such as Seol Ji-won), it also tells you that learning to let go by yourself (blind ghost and ghost bride, and definitely Man-wol) is a much better virtue. Personally, I would rather have these as the solution to the resentments of the staffs at Hotel del Luna.

** I won’t be talking about the final episode, so as to not make it a spoiler.

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Ji Hyun-joong

While waiting for his sister to join him and go to the afterlife together, he had also resented his best friend Oh Tae-sok who had accidentally shot him. True, Hyun-joong lost his chance to live his life because of Tae-sok, but it was an accident. During the times of war, everybody wanted to survive and live. I am sure Tae-sok doesn’t mean to kill Hyun-joong, and taking care of Hyun-mi may not be a curse as what Hyun-joong thought Tae-sok felt.

From episode 15, we see that Tae-sok was truly in remorse about Hyun-joong. He probably takes care of Hyun-mi as repentance of what he had done. He may not consider it a burden (as what Hyun-joong thought he felt) as he had on numerous times have the doctors do their best to save Hyun-mi. He did not receive a grudge bullet or any spiritual binding to take care of her, hence he could just be ignorant and let her die. But he didn’t do so.

Hyun-joong will have to learn to let go of his resentments, and go to the afterlife by himself. Sad as it may be, Hyun-mi have live majority of her life with Tae-sok, and probably Hyun-joong would leave because he now doesn’t want Hyun-mi to know the truth about him and Tae-sok, leading her to live and pass through as things remain as it is now (with Tae-sok as Hyun-joong).

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Choi Seo-hee

As seen before, we truly sympathize with her losing her daughter, all because of stupid superstitious beliefs people have in the past. She lost the daughter, and curse the Yoon family (or bad karma just happened to them for the bad things they’ve done) to never prosper. However as seen in the previous episodes, Seo-hee too, as a mother, cannot afford to see another mother risk losing the baby. Why else would she request Man-wol to call Chan-sung?

Now, the lady is soon to go through the labour. Baby boy or baby girl, no one knows yet (haven’t they heard of Ultrasound test to determine the gender?). While it is soothing to find out that it is a baby girl and ends the 200 years of Seo-hee’s grudge, I personally hope the otherwise though it has to come in correct order as below.

Seo-hee, after the recent happenings (the ghost bride who cut off ties with the man she loved, Man-wol who is cold for a millennium undergo a change of heart, and Chan-sung who work so hard and sacrifice so much to allow Man-wol to pass through), realizes that she have to learn to “let go” herself in order to truly be free. Hence, instead of a grudge, Seo-hee bestows blessing instead, and go on her way. With this, the girlfriend of the late-Yoon family, finally bears a baby boy, but this one has now managed to break the curse of the Yoon family.

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Kim Seon-bi

Only know from the recent episode, he is the top score genius scholar, who due to his personal hobby of writing lewd literature, was condemned by his fellow scholars and died of shame. He had waited for 500 years in order to “clear his name” or he will be too embarrassed to face his ancestors.

Now, he thought his name was not recorded in the history, but the recent novelist who died, had known about him (from where, don’t ask me) and what he had done. This novelist even wanted to publish a book about him, but sadly died before being able to do so (as mentioned in episode 15). He had met with the “coffee-refill ghost”, who is also another novelist who died without completing his novel, and spent the time so long in the hotel to complete it.

The final episode, may help to enlighten Seon-bi to let go of his resentment and pass on. If the recently died novelist can obtain information and details of him, it is sure that few other people in the world would have his information and biography as well. Things cannot be hidden forever, but instead of hanging on the to guilt for the shame he brought upon himself, Seon-bi need to learn to stop blaming himself, forgive himself and let go.

Perhaps the novelists (both) would constantly be on the Sky Bar discussing the novel, until Seon-bi realizes that no one had actually blame him or felt disgraced over what he had done. And all the guilt and shame he bears for 500 years, are only what he carried on himself without letting go. Then as he learns to let go, he would then share his life story to the recent novelist, so he (the novelist) knows the story, and come to term that he would not be able to publish his “legendary novel” anymore and pass on. At the same time, it would probably help the “coffee-refill ghost” to realize that it is beyond his ability to complete his novel, learning to accept the reality and let go. This will then allow all of them to pass on without regrets, as sometimes the regret we have, is only the burden that we put it on ourselves.

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Friendly reminder you have spoilers here... and some scattered in posts above too

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OMG...
Sorry... clearly unintended...

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As a viewer, I am on board for the ride - so long as there are no glaringly huge plot holes that require mental gymnastics. HDL is a fantasy - which allows a lot of leeway in terms of normal human understanding and logic. With this thought firmly in mind - I enjoyed the drama.
My main focus was the interaction, the emotional and relational meaning behind the procedurals, the relationships - spoken and unspoken words and emotions - friends and lovers alike.
As for the capriciousness of the deities - it is what it is isn't it?

My take on the OTP and their skinship issues - I am as frustrated as everyone else, believe me 😜, but for this narrative - I get it. Chan Sung and Man Wol connected on a very emotional level of understanding. But from the outset - Man Wol's eventual departure is much like the Sword of Damocles. Even with this certainty at hand - love bloomed and they loved one another unconditionally and did none of the Noble Idiot drivel - but instead became each others emotional strength.

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Goo Chan-Sung! You harvard con-artist! You even outsmart the god of poverty/misfortune. Or maybe beggar MaGo is just a lousy badu player hah!

The love Man-Wol and Chan-Sung have for each other is so admirable. They only want the best for one another but in thr same time they always check the other's needs and opinions before making decisions. In the sea of dramaland noble idiocy, I'm sure this ship will sail far far far away.

Don't know about others but I appreciate the drama taking the last 2 episodes for loose-ends. It's a peace of mind having some, if not all, of my questions, doubts answered before parting with the drama. Only complain would be that all the PPL in this episode seems wrongfully placed and not so blended in.

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God will help those who helped themselves...
Chan-sung did put up a good fight with Beggar Mago, and she as a God, will definitely be able to win with one eye closed.
But when Chan-sung managed to hold his part of the baduk to certain progression level, consider it a reward from the God to him.
I trust the lost was intentional.

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Interesting you see it that way... the game was a replay of a “god of go” losing to artificial intelligence. I didn’t see it as Mago losing on purpose, but that Chan Sung has constantly passed her challenges.

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I agreed.
As I said, Chan-sung managed to hold on until certain progression level, hence passed the challenge Mago set up for him.
The game hadn't really ended, but because Chan-sung passed that mark, there's no more point to continue the game, so the white towel (or in this case, double white stones) was thrown.

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Nice observation and interpretation. I have to rewatch the scene as I didn't get the vibe that beggar MaGo lost on purpose. So at first I thought baduk might not be her specialty (and we know they specialize in different areas) althought she's a god.

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There was a series awhile ago where the gods played baduk to decide the fate of a mortal. Ah, yes. Arang and the Magistrate.

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I’m loving Man-weol’s character growth throughout the series. The script is flawed, and ultimately, it’s IU’s charms and talents that made me fell in love with her character. As much as I love Man-weol being the center of the plot, I wish that Chan-sung was given a more fleshed-out backstory. Our resident ghostly hoteliers have a good chunks of the episodes to tell their stories, but our Chan-sung gets nothing? (Okay, those who have seen the last episode knows about that one moment but I want more!)
Overall, Hotel Del Luna is an enjoyable watch for me, not because its story is so outstanding but because IU (and her fashion show) and YJG’s abilities to make me almost cry. So long and farewell, show~

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Chan-sung is just Chan-sung.
After such long time, he remains true to himself, his personality ever the same.
To extend his hands out to help anyone who's in his view.
The perfect guy, but is also a human like us all.
Fragile, weak, doubtful, uncertain...
It's these human qualities of him that makes it easy for us to relate to, yet his strong resolution and determination seemed so far-fetched. Despite all this human flaws he have, he struggled all the time to do his best, for what is good for others.

Goo Chan-sung, his character is an idol to me.

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Also, not lacking in confidence. HAHAHA! Laughed when he told Man-wol that he was the most handsome general manager in the history of HDL. And that Kim Sun Bi told him that she fell for him because of his looks.

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Ha! He was also one who is not shy to boast about him being a Harvard graduate, and was sourced by 3 of the top 100 best hotels nominated by Forbes. How does being a Harvard graduate links to good player for baduk... Did Harvard teaches that too? LOL!
Chan-sung definitely enjoys the attention he can get.

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My favorite line from today's episode was Sanchez's "When else will I get the chance to watch ghosts have a team dinner?" I love Chan-sung for chiding Man-wol on not taking photos with her managers because Manager Noh's last words "This photo will be the only proof of the time I've spent in this life. Will she remember a mere human who's just passing through here?" break my heart. I can't believe Mi-ra is a kimchi chaebol doctor, yet still owes all this money.

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I liked that through stories of staff we learn that basically grudges are more about people who can't let go rather than scale of injustice.

And I couldn't help but compare to young idol actors and Hope the P.O will stick to variety in the future, and Mina will continue with acting.

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Sanchez who is normally goofy goofy and become a comedy tension release... the goodbye scene between him and Veronica caught me with tears too (despite so little backstory on both).
P.O's acting is definitely on the dot for that scene.
Why else would I felt so emotional?

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As I expected I found the episode slow and boring.

It was clever of Hong sisters to foreshadow a loss of memories related to the bridge, scare the viewers, but then give them a taste of what that would look like by only sending Chan Sung to 200 years ago to meet past Man Wol who doesn't know him yet.

I don't know what I feel about Chan Sung giving Man Wol the idea of culinary exploits though. No, I know: it's cheating! - as often happens in time travel stories. And if everyone’s memories of him would disappear wouldn't that also? Making her walk on the bridge to lose her distressing memories to make her let go is also cheating. Man Wol’s advice to Hong Jong (“She shares that listening to the other side helped her absolve her resentment and allowed her to let go of her enemy.”) was ridiculous considering Chun Myung said absolutely nothing and she didn’t hear anything from him.

Funny moment: Chan Sung making Joseon Man Wol sell all her horses but three. LOL. He is consistent if nothing else.

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Yeah, the episode was underwhelming and honestly should have been done before hand. I was Meh the entire episode. Sigh, what a whimpering end, it had such promise to end with a roar.

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Man Wol didn't lose any memory when she walked on the bridge the first time, though.
Hearing the story from Song Hwa and Yeon Woo is enough to understand CM's story, at least for MW. After that, she did let him go.

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I also got the impression that she lost no memory. Her conversation with Hyun Jung shows she remembers everything. Like she told him, if for nothing, let go for the one who tried so hard to give you that peace of mind. She wants Chan Sung to believe she doesn’t remember the hurtful past.

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Meh, underwhelmed.

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Starting this episode, I shed so so much tears.... :( :( :(

I've never cried to much watching a show after "My Mister." But this episode really got me... I agree with the show tried to tie its loose end in a rush like Hyun-joon's story and Bartender Kim's story, but it didn't fail to make my heart so broken.

It started with Chan-seong looked around the hotel with Man-weol's absent, the group's hug, Hyun-joon's graduation ceremony, and later on the group's photo. I feel like, everyone's in Del Luna is ready to say goodbye to all of us to walk their ways to the afterlife.

Hyun-joon's story with Hyun-mi's situation now made sense to me why Hyun-mi didn't recognise her oraboni (because she's blind).

The only two things made me smiles through this episode are: Gream Reaper who's sitting in the back of the hall smiling looking at Hyun-joon's graduation while Man-weol's complaining why there are so many people (ghosts) attended the ceremony and Mrs. Choi said, "Because the Grim Reaper provided the bus..... " (I imagined if it really happened). Secondly is Sanchez's expression when Chan-seong explained to him about the ghosts' team dinner.... But I really appreciate Sanchez is no longer scared of them other than curious.... (Imagine, it's really funny if ghosts could really have a team dinner).

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I am a viewer who enjoys P.O's performance in this drama. Man Wol 's description of him as a dog lost in the rain fits P.O to a T.

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This was truly one of my favorite episodes. Slow moving? Absolutely. The last 2 episodes were about letting go and that topic in itself is not exciting. Still, I found this episode the most heartwarming and satisfyingly serene.

I liked the time travel bit that was full of philosophical questions and reversal of perspective for Chan Sung. In this short trip, 1) Mago tempted Chan Sung to seize the moment and stay with A Man Wol. 2) Chan Sung saw a slice of Man Wol’s lonely life and her various dependencies to cope with it. 3) Chan Sung also had the opportunity to be the one leaving behind someone he worries for and further understands Man Wol’s feelings — when you must let go of someone but is afraid to and need reassurance that he/she will live a better life. Also, Hanbok Man Wol looked stunning!

The group hug brought me to tears. The hotel was once a very cold and dark place. Man Wol kept everyone at arms distance because she was traumatized by the deaths of people she cared about. The hug and the picture reminded me how they were a family for months, decades, even centuries.

I got the impression that Man Wol didn’t lose any memory. Her conversation with Hyun Jung shows she remembers everything. Like she told him, if for nothing, let go for the one who tried so hard to give you that peace of mind. She wants Chan Sung to believe she doesn’t remember the hurtful past.

Regarding Hyun Jung, I like that he portrayed a different kind of stubbornness. Unlike Man Wol and Ms Choi who were wronged intentionally, Hyun Jung’s was killed accidentally and his friend did everything he could to compensate after the fact. We can’t say he’s wrong for being mad but we also see so many reasons for him to forgive. With a slight tweak of his mind he could have crossed over decades ago. He’s an example of stubbornness disadvantaging nobody but himself.

Last episode we were given the full why regarding Man Wol being tied to the tree for punishment. This episode we finally know how. The wine she drank when she met Mago 1300 years ago was her sayak (capital punishment my poison in ancient Korea). She didn’t die technically but her life was taken by Mago.

Man Wol suffered a long punishment and had every intention to end her existence before Chan Sung came along. She would have tossed the wine immediately if not for him. Again she hesitates for his sake. Chan Sung knows this and despite the immense pain he experienced when he thought Man Wol may not return, he is still determined to let her be freed. His trip to the past helped him come to this decision with almost no hesitation. He saw Man Wol’s gambling dependency and lonely nights. He understands how depressing it must be for her to live indefinitely.

I loved the last scene and the display of immeasurably deep love between Man Wol and Chan Sung. Man Wol loves Chan Sung because he can always see what’s best for her and selflessly root for her, and everything he does...

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... and everything he does deepens her love for him. Chan Sung’s love is interestingly both altruistic and self-important. The mere belief that she needs his love will make him double down. It was beautiful that they finally said “I love you” to each other.

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I couldn't have said it better!
It really sums up what I am feeling inside throughout this episode.

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For those who say that the gods are consistent and fair, please explain to me what the rules are:
1. why does the spirit of a victim taking revenge on her aggressor deserve a worse punishment than the human who kills many random people just for sport?
2. more generally, why does murder get treated differently depending on the physical state of the killer? (spirit vs human)
3. the gods making paths but the humans walking on them: why is it that when the Magos are not happy with the human's choice (for instance MW deciding that she imagined CM in CS's body) they change the outcome to what they wanted anyways?
4. how about MG4 killing sextape pervert? is that making a path? or it's ok as long as it's the Magos doing the killing...
5. what is pre-determined and what is down to choice?
6. why should someone policing right and wrong actively tempt people on the wrong path, in what in real world terms would constitute entrapment?
7. who judges the sentence for a crime? and why do different gods disagree about it? if there are rules why is there room for debate?
8. in the story with the parents keeping the kid alive: if technically they are not breaking the rules why bully the kid into dying? isn't that interfering with people's choices?
9. why is CS being punished for saving MW?
10. why is it the act of choosing each other and hoping for a lifetime together makes CS and MW 'arrogant and foolish'?

If choosing to believe in a certain outcome is already offensive, then what is acceptable behavior --apart from blindly following the will of the gods? if there is no real choice, how can there be personal responsibility? if there is no choice, what is the point?

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I'm not really interested in taking a quiz assigned by somebody who isn't my teacher, so I won't take the time to answer all of these. Also, it sounds like your issues are more expansive and about theology beyond the boundaries of this K-drama world but these two questions are related and in my opinion explained quite well so I'll take one stab at this:
1. why does the spirit of a victim taking revenge on her aggressor deserve a worse punishment than the human who kills many random people just for sport?
2. more generally, why does murder get treated differently depending on the physical state of the killer? (spirit vs human)

The answer is because spirits aren't supposed to mess with the human world- humans are for humans. Spirits aren't supposed to stay in the human world, they are supposed to move on to do what they need to do (in this world, get ready for the next life, I suppose). So sticking around to extract vengeance is post-poning their own trajectory, it's a form of self-harm.

They don't need to explain why it's against the rules for spirits to intervene in the human world, especially for vengeance, but I would think one obvious reason would be the imbalance of power- a vengeful ghost, unlimited by time, energy, resources, physical strength, doorways, needing to hide, etc, etc. can do far more damage and for far longer and the humans have no repercussions - against another human they can fight, call the cops, invoke the law, get other humans to help- even if it is at times ineffective, there are some remedies available for human on human aggression. Against a vengeful ghost humans have no defenses.

The other reason is it's partly a natural consequence- the vengeful ghost who stays on too long loses more and more of the elements that connected them to the human world at all, so they are no longer really themselves anyway.

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thanks for at least trying. I don't have a religious affiliation, nor I particularly care about any; I was asking these things specifically in the context of the HdL world -- because these are some of the key points where I would question the 'fair' and/or the 'consistent' adjective that many people seem to associate with the Magos.
These questions could be posed in a wider scope as to which extent can any religion be understood rationally and at which point does one have to suspend disbelief and go with the program. But that was not something that I intended for this conversation (we've had a rehash of that on my fanwall in relation to ep.12)

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Not gonna answer one by one, but...

I believe the consistency discussed is not where fairness and justice is the baseline, but that the drama is consistent to the fundamental beliefs of East Asian religions. East Asian civilizations accumulated a set of explanations for the suffering that people endure. Historically, life was generally hard for everyone except for the filthy rich. However there was no path to becoming rich besides being born into it. There was zero social mobility and people could only look to being born better next life. To do so one must follow rules set by deities. However people also believe that deities can be petty, can be biased, can be bribed — because they see the rich build bigger shrines and get richer, sacrifice more animals and live longer, perform extravagant rituals for better harvest. While being a decent person is how one accumulate good karma, and offerings to deities is how to beg for mercy, the suffering at present is still unexplainable. To comfort themselves, people see misfortunes as punishment. If they can’t find a misdeed in their life deserving such misfortunes, they use a past life that they have no knowledge of to take the blame.

The Magos and HDL’s worldview encompass all these ideologies.

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I ain't really a fan to debate on this, as I value the differences between each person's own perception. But herewith below, I find it as an interesting topic for me to test my own understanding on how the world of Hotel del Luna works, so I will try to provide answers based on my own opinion/perception. Due to the format of this forum, I will probably be bombarding with a series of posts... Apologies to that in advance.

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1. why does the spirit of a victim taking revenge on her aggressor deserve a worse punishment than the human who kills many random people just for sport?
This is due to the high advantage of spirits when come face-to-face with a living human. Spirits vs spirits is fine (such as Man-wol killing the spirit of Mayor Park Gyu-ho at the end of episode 1 and who knows what the hell happened in room #666 with Seol Ji-won) due to the same advantage they both have. Humans vs humans are also fine (such as Seol Ji-won killing the 7 victims) due to being on par level. But when one have the upperhand against the other, these biased match is not permitted. Man-wol knows this well, hence even with Seol Ji-won, she waited until he died and turned to spirit, before trying to kill him off with her fan.

2. more generally, why does murder get treated differently depending on the physical state of the killer? (spirit vs human)
Yes, due to the advantages. Refer above.

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3. the gods making paths but the humans walking on them: why is it that when the Magos are not happy with the human's choice (for instance MW deciding that she imagined CM in CS's body) they change the outcome to what they wanted anyways?
Can you explain what outcome did the Mago changed? Chung-myung was never reincarnated as Chan-sung, not that it was changed after Man-wol’s decision… While Sweet Mago may be “intentionally misleading” in her response to Man-wol, she never confirms Chan-sung is Chung-myung.

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that's what I meant. When MW dis not take the reincarnation bait, Mago1 more or less lied to MW that CS was CM to 'test' her. it may have not been strictly a lie in letter. but it was one in spirit.

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MG: Then, will you let him just pass by? Will you pretend to be clueless? You have met him. You can’t run away from it. (Chung-myung in Chan-sung’s body)
MG: He’s already by your side. (referring to the firefly)
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*Mago passes the ornament*
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MG: I finally get to give this to you. It’s yours.
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MW: Is it Ku Chan-sung?
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MG: If it’s him, will you be able to accept it? (just asking a question, never agree nor deny)
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MW: Is Ku Chan-sung that man?
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MG: The man you have been waiting for over 1,000 years has finally showed up, but you don’t seem happy. You were so sure of yourself that once he came to this world, you’d kill him and cease to exist. Are you second-guessing yourself now? (referring to the firefly)
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MW: So, I asked… if that man is Ku Chan-sung?
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MG: You have fed the hatred of yours for a long time. Why don’t you let go of your hatred with your love which took ages to reach you? (asking Man-wol to let go of the hatred towards Chung-myung, now that she received love from Chan-sung)
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MW: I have hated the man for over 1,000 years. But you made me see him as a man whom I fell in love with?
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MG: I’m curious to find out which man you’ll see him as. Will you see him as Ko Chung-myung and cease to exist? (letting the anger blind her eyes)
MG: Or will you see him as Ku Chan-sung and be saved? It is up to you. (asking Man-wol to listen to her heart)

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Mago did not outright said "Chan-sung is Chung-myung reincarnated".
Her words were intentionally misleading, but she did not agreed to what Man-wol asked.
Mago just let Man-wol decides her own interpretation of the situation.
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In a calmer manner, Man-wol would have realized that neither Seong-hwa nor Yeon-woo retained any memory or actions regarding their past lives. And they look exactly the same as they do in the past. So it won't make sense that Chan-sung is the oddball.
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On a side note, perhaps she think Chung-myung had also been reincarnated and went for plastic surgery to look like Chan-sung? LOL!

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4. how about MG4 killing sextape pervert? is that making a path? or it's ok as long as it's the Magos doing the killing...
Personally, there was nothing mentioned on the authority of Mago. Perhaps Magos are indeed allowed to intervene due to their higher-level status. Humans often prayed for retribution to the wicked, so perhaps she is allowed for it.

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5. what is pre-determined and what is down to choice?
I believed that certain things like karma, are pre-determined. This includes the good and bad deeds you do in this life, be carried over to the next (such as the baby girl in the restaurant where Kim Joon-hyun ate in and the mention that one can be reincarnated as a dog or pig if that person does bad deeds in life), as well as the span of natural life line. These are probably pre-determined, but what you do within the life is entirely up to the individual’s own decision.

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6. why should someone policing right and wrong actively tempt people on the wrong path, in what in real world terms would constitute entrapment?
Temptations and tests, are the same as opportunity and challenges. A positive person views every challenge as an opportunity, while a negative person would view every opportunity as challenges. In the same way, one would view temptations as test to further strengthens their beliefs, while another would view a test as temptations to commit a sin. It all comes down to how strong is their determination. To Ku Chan-sung, he never once viewed it as temptations, as it strengthens his beliefs and enable him to make the harder decision later on (example at the end of the episode)

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7. who judges the sentence for a crime? and why do different gods disagree about it? if there are rules why is there room for debate?
In real life, we also have laws. Do we then not question the laws? If yes, then why do we need lawyers? There are many ways to view a problem, and the different Magos just view it from different angle, the same as us humans. But there are certain strict rules, such as when spirits killed a person, that will be vanquished, which remains true throughout the series.

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8. in the story with the parents keeping the kid alive: if technically they are not breaking the rules why bully the kid into dying? isn't that interfering with people's choices?
As mentioned in question #4, some things are pre-determined, some are choice. Conducting “spiritual operations” to prolong the life is creating a disorder in the balance. Hence, the parents are not technically “punished”… at least not yet. What the Grim Reaper said, he only said he may have to. We don’t know for sure if he would really do it, if Man-wol failed to persuade the kid.

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9. why is CS being punished for saving MW?
Uh… what was his punishment again? I know Mago did mentioned a few times, but what exactly did he get punished with? Sure, Mago did say the price for Chan-sung to pay is high, but it wasn't really punishment for a wrong-doing...

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Punishment is when you receive something back for a wrong-doing you've committed.
Example: In real life, imagine a killer being put in jail for murder convicted.
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Price is something you willingly pay, for something that you wanted. Price is something that a person can decide against if he think it is not worth it.
Example: In real life, imagine a dad working 2 jobs, just to save money for his child to go to college.
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I believed until the very end, while it is a high price to pay, Chan-sung willingly does what he is doing. Because he is Ku Chan-sung.

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10. why is it the act of choosing each other and hoping for a lifetime together makes CS and MW 'arrogant and foolish'?
Don’t think Mago actually mentioned that hoping for a lifetime together is “arrogant and foolish”. Mago did said that in the very beginning that Man-wol was “arrogant and foolish”, as she thinks that taking her life alone, would be enough to wash away the death of her people (which she had caused) and the death of those she killed. Same goes again when Man-wol said she have nothing to be afraid of, an act that goes to show she is above the Gods. This is indeed arrogant and foolish, for challenging those of higher power.

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Well, I think by now, most people would’ve watched episode 16…
I would rather discuss this, along with some of my other rantings at the proper page, but I couldn’t resist myself. Sorry in advance to the rest.
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“Feeling sad and disappointed is only natural when witnessing disappearances. When a flower withers away, just like it dreams of new blossom, you’ll live, meet and love again. I hope that is the answer you two, an arrogant, foolish and self-pitying, yet beautiful lovers, have chosen.”
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The whole quotes as above, but I think Mago (I believed the voiceover is intended to be Mago) meant a separate meaning entirely if you put the “coma” in its rightful place. Perhaps the original Korean context would be more defining... What I think of, would be as below:
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I hope that is the answer you two; an arrogant & foolish (referring to Man-wol due to how she was in the past) , and a self-pitying (referring to Chan-sung), yet beautiful lovers (referring to both of them together, as the red threads of love followed through reincarnation) have chosen.

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Who else want to be picked up and twirled by Chan sung lol.😍

Kidding aside, loved the episode. Like others pointed out, Mago gave him a trial version of what is to come. And as always he passed with flying colors. Harverd Uni. should be proud 😁. It must have been very tempting to tell MW to drink the alchohol and stay with him.. But he knows after he dies MW will be all alone and be trapped for another 1300+ years. Instaed, he decided to swallow the heartbreak and let her go. ❤️

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Am I the only one who's confused when chansung said he doesnt want to be the 85th guy (since if I recall manager Noh was around the 40th sth guy so by right 200 years ago it should be around.. 35th?) 😂😅

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