Beanie level: Chaebol’s poor doppelganger

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” or how the Hong sisters finally joined Song Jae-jung on my black list.

8
2

    LOL! This is a wonderful saying !

    1
    0

    So true. Actually, my uncle who was an immigrant to the US as a child hardly spoke at all in high school. 30 years later at his high school reunion, he found out that the other students all thought he was the “genius who never said a word because he already knew it all.” He didn’t speak because he couldn’t, not that he wouldn’t. He just didn’t know the language well enough! But he had the reputation of being super intelligent, when in reality he was a B/C student. We’ve instilled that it’s better to fly under the radar and be silent than to broadcast your accomplishments to the world. Wish other people taught that to their kids.

    5
    0

HdL#16 Some actual thoughts: In the end, the price that CS had to pay was living a long life without her, while dreaming of a future together (and writing sappy poems in her memory on instagram). And he knew it all along (I now finally get him staring at his life line looking like someone had just kicked him in the stomach)… For being nearly a saint, he sure drew the short straw in this story (or being a saint just means that you have to suffer for everyone else’s sins? Just because you can take it? ). I am happy for MW finally being set free, but I can’t help feel immense sadness for the one left behind. He did his very best to send her off well, holding on to his tears as he was waving goodbye. But, although I think he won’t wallow in sorrow and will keep on living his life, I doubt he’ll ever let her memory go. I can’t imagine him finding someone else either… it would feel disingenuous to his and the other woman’s feelings. MW was it for him, so he’ll keep on living alone waiting for them to be reunited. I once said that he was planning for lifetimes of them together (and by now it does not even matter in what form) and yes it is very romantic, but also incredibly sad. No wonder MaGo was grumpy seeing him in front of the Baekdu mountain painting… I watched the last episode twice and cried both times, but on second watch I cried the hardest for him.

14
2

    Me too! Good thing Kim Soo Hyun showed up at the epilogue. Hahaha! Crying to drooling in 60 seconds. Hahaha!

    0
    0

    You really put it into the exact words what I have been feeling since the last episode.

    1
    0

HdL#16 That was probably the most consistent writing I’ve seen from HS. I am sad and content in equal measures. I’ll miss MW and CS. HdL team:잘했어요!

10
0

HdL15 MW’s ‘off to the bedroom!’ was the cutest overture to adult romance ever. I desperately need a do-over with a better outcome in ep16. Is some abstinence foundation paying them for PPL or what?

7
1

    We know a bedding company is paying ppl. There’s still hope.

    7
    0

HdL#14 It was not a disaster – just underwhelming. Also bus stops make me cry. Bring on the final week and some proper cute to compensate for the whole CM mess.

4
4

    The resolution to CM’s story felt way too easy and cheap (there may have been some logic to that sequence of events but with CS in the same situation I can imagine things would have played out very differently. CM’s way was reasonable, but also wishy-washy and cowardly — just like his love for MW; and the guy really has zero sense of shame – the last look of him trying to drag MW with him made me want to punch him all over again)… but at least I am not raving mad at the end of it. And the really big bonus is that I don’t have to see smirkalot ever again.

    MG’s misdirect was cruel and pointless. MW deciding that she loves CS too much to hurt him, but pretending to do it for a suicide-by-MG… still not sure what i feel about that. And I definitely can’t emotionally connect with the MW ‘forgiving’ CM scene. That felt all kinds of wrong.

    CS breaking down was the closest i’ve been to crying this whole week’s episodes. He was really a rock through this all. Fighting til the last moment, trusting her til the very end… She better be back soon, and kiss him senseless for his troubles. [a reiteration of the taking off clothes and sleep together offers would not go amiss either…]

    Side characters held on to the fort during this all mess: the invincible trio coming up to CS’s defense, protesting against the change in management and ms. Choi taking care of MW made this a tolerable episode for me. But I am still grumpy.

    So now what? amnesia troupe with CS making her fall in love with him all over again? Her keeping her promise to him and holding on to their memories while forgetting the hurtful past? I am assuming the she can’t leave before all her flowers die and her flowers living in CS’s heart means that once she is back the only time she has to leave again is with CS by hear side…

    We also still have to send off the hotel staff… but if she is not leaving yet, do we really? I am all confused about what the last 2 eps are there to achieve… Lots of fan service? I suppose I can live with that…

    7
    2

      I never liked Smirkalot.

      3
      1

        Comment was deleted

        1
        0

      “I am assuming the she can’t leave before all her flowers die and her flowers living in CS’s heart means that once she is back the only time she has to leave again is with CS by hear side…”

      Nice catch! That’s probably how this will go. I’ve thought from the very beginning the writers will give Chan Sung and Man Wol a happy ending, i.e. a long life together – and couldn’t figure out how they would logic their way into it. But that must be it!

      Agreed on the resolution to CMs story being too easy and cheap – after that grand buildup, I wanted more. It left me feeling very underwhelmed.

      3
      0

HdL#13 thoughts

CS and MW together are the cutest. They don’t even need to do anything… although the “Call me oppa. yes, onnie” had me in giggles, the “I belong to MW” hand drawing was totally swoon-worthy, not to mention the “I’ll take off all your clothes” – “Sure, but can you handle it?” squee-iness. [that boy’s got moves.] The kind of man that puts on a horrid ’tiger’ suit just to cheer up ms. Choi is the kind of man a girl can marry.

CM on the other hand… he is the real thief in this story. He took away everything she ever cared about… YW – the closest thing to family she ever had, and now CS – the closest to being happy she ever got. MW’s thousand year long stalker is a selfish coward. he had no problem attacking during that sword fight, but after he lost he started with the emotional blackmail. [he had no right to utter YW’s name. Also the gall of calling her his beautiful bride; I felt rage just watching] He even took away her closure with that rubbish suicide-forced-embrace thing. No wonder she went berserk. I loathe him.

The thing about MW hating the moon: glad to hear that it was all about her hating CM, rather than MW hating herself, but I am angry that the jerk somehow managed to steal her name too… But now I realize that her hate for him is not just about betraying her and killing off her family in front of her eyes, it’s about denying her closure, about making her into the killing monster that she became. His actions hurt her at the very core of her humanity.

How can some people continue to sing his praises after all that truly baffles me. He’s a stalker and a pervert (I get creepy crawlies every time I see him lay a hand on her). “Loving without knowing how to love hurts the one you love”. His so-called love destroyed her. He does not deserve her forgiveness. He does not deserve the price of her soul either. she should just treat him like the bug that he is. He is not worth it. Now get the hell out of CS’s body and crawl back to the hole you came from. [Honestly, a firefly is too good a body for the likes of him.]

The next step will either make or break the story for me. I can easily see this going ways that will have me swear off HS-kdramas for good, their name never to be mentioned again. Seriously. Don’t. Screw. this. Up.

Sorry for the spoilers, but I desperately needed to get this off my chest.

12
4

    I’m feeling the same thing too about Chung-myung post-ep 13. Before when we got glimpses of their relationship, I could understand the touch spot Chung-myung was in with the Princess and the whole “living as a traitor so Man-weol could be saved” deal. It’s definitely not ideal and totally just idiotic but it kinda made sense why he did what he did. Adding the tidbit about him staying behind as a firefly to hover around her all these years made me felt for him. But the scenes in ep 13 showing their last encounter breaks my heart for Man-weol more. If he had apologized then, because what he did was wrong despite his intention of keeping her safe, it might be better. Instead, the guy went full on melo mode, declaring to “watch over” (but really – haunt) a traumatized woman after forcing her to kill him. Ohhhh boy.
    AND then to come back via possessing the only person who has made Man-weol happy in over a thousand years? You’re right, Chung-myung is the thief.

    4
    1

      Comment was deleted

      2
      0

    I don’t understand why there was no severe punishment for him like what Mi Ra went through.

    I don’t like how Man Wol really turned into Kim Shin of Goblin. She received severe punishment of eternal life because she killed people during war. Fights and deaths during war are all about survival. Why should she get punishment for wanting to survive and fight for her people? It makes me mad that Kim Shin was punished and was refused death because of this. Let these two beautiful people have their peace.

    And then there’s the captain, who betrayed Man Wol and was responsible for the deaths of all her people, whose prayers were heard by the gods to turn into a firefly to watch over Man Wol. Man Wol lived through different eras without knowing his existence. I thought Ma Go number 1 has been protecting Man Wol all this time, but nope, this is not protection. If Man Wol was a special child to her, she wouldn’t treat her this way and have people who did her wrong have a better life than her. Mi Ra went through so many reincarnations and has been relieved off her sins, Captain reasoned out he cannot leave this life because of Man Wol (bs!). And then there’s poor Man Wol, still carrying the burden of the past for thousand of years, unable to let go because the gods wouldn’t let her as punishment…

    1
    0

    Aside from your piece that made me infuriated with the plot the same, I was also mad for Man Wol after learning her beloved Yeon Woo is together with Mi Ra. I am in the minority. I did not like that Ma Go interfered and have them enemies in the past fall for each other. Yeon Woo deserved better than this. I saw and felt what he went through. My heart broke for him, and it simply is just not fair that he’s still tied to his past and now his heart beats for the woman who had his head cut off many eras ago. This is not cute. I just wish they let him went on with his new life and not have him entangled with his past. I was torn for Man Wol. This is not about letting go of resentments. This is about wishing the best for the people she loved. And I believe, just like how Man Wol find this ludicrous, this romance with Mi Ra isn’t the best for Yeon Woo. I really don’t like this plot twist.

    2
    0

HdL#13 I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to hurt a character as much as I wanted to hurt smirky-stalker-bug when he started talking about YW.

10
2

    He really messed up. *nods in agreement*

    2
    0

    I’ve disliked him since he first appeared. Smooth, aloof and smug in combination have always been repelling to me.

    5
    0

MW’s song. Never paid attention to the lyrics before, but woke up to it this morning as I was trying to recover from a HdL induced bad dream and it all fell in place.

5
0

HdL#12 For the record, this was the episode that broke me. I no longer get what is the whole point.

4
30

    I’m curious..why didn’t you like ep 12? I thought it was in line with the show we’ve got so far.

    1
    1

      Copying what I wrote on soompi below as a summary:
      I had watched a short clip of the kiss before knowing any of the context. At the time MW’s initial kiss felt like a sad “goodbye” while CS’s followup felt like “this is just the beginning and I’m not letting you go no matter what”. I loved it so started watching ep12 with the full expectation of adoring the lot, only to get punched in the gut by the context and the price of that “no matter what”.

      Up to now I had believed that the gods were, if not positively inclined towards MW and CS, at least fair; only it turns out that the only rule in this game is that the puppets they are playing with (MW and CS) need to be put through the maximum amount of hurt possible. Everything else is secondary: we no longer vanish evil spirits if it so suits; CS -who has yet to do a single thing wrong- is doomed as well, just for caring about MW. It was all preordained to end in disaster from the get go and everyone’s just a cog in the machine that makes it happen. MW was right all along not to trust them; this is more perverse that even she could imagine. The gods made it such that MW loving CS is enough to destroy them both. Given that her original trauma was about her loving someone causing the destruction of everything she holds dear, I don’t know what to call that except cruel… she really stood no chance. the ending was a done conclusion regardless what she does. the test is there only as an excuse and I bloody feel like swearing.

      I’m hurt and I’m sad and I’m kind of angry. The fabric is tearing at the seams and for the first time the narrative core stopped making sense to me. it’s no longer about forgiveness, or the healing power of love, or moving on. I no longer have any idea what the hell is the point.

      even longer rant here: https://silentlurkingbluey.tumblr.com/

      3
      4

        even shorter version: I disliked the not-quite-ghost of the day story, and I hated the conversation leading up to the kiss and the MG1 stating that CS needs to ‘pay’ for the privilege of saving her.

        1
        0

        But the bottom line is that I thought they were selling to me a story about redemption and individual agency in one’s fate only to get nothing of the sort.
        I still love MW and CS to pieces, but I am too angry at this universe’s idea of fairness.

        2
        1

          I understand why you felt that way. I don’t really like any character in HdL so it didn’t make much difference, and for the record I still believe they are going for a redemption arc, but just to be fair I don’t think the story promised to do it so people should not be mad because they might not do it.

          0
          0

        This is interesting to read because our interpretations about the drama are very different. I mentioned it in a recap thread but the idea of souls, reincarnation, even the idea that Mi Ra/the Princess had to lead many lives in “lesser” beings before being born as a human again – all this is very similar to the values and beliefs of my culture; and what I grew up with. There are variations – such as the complete destruction of a soul (we believe the soul is eternal, in fact, it IS “god” – but more or less the ideas in the show conform to those of my culture.

        From my point of view, the show so far is telling us not to “curse” ourselves the way Man wol has done. It would have been appropriate for her to move on, and pay off her karmic debt through other lives. By staying on as a human, and as Man-wol, she has continued to entangle herself in further karmic webs, instead of paying off the debt, and the result is what we see: her “peers” (for lack of a better word) are being reborn as human, and an innocent being – Chan Sung – is now entangled in it too. From this perspective it makes sense for her to move on, with the trauma intact, because that is the rule of the universe.

        But I also question whether the show will do that (moving on with the trauma intact) to be honest. Man wol has yet to learn that Captain did not in fact betray her. I dunno how that went down, but the show has always pointed in that direction. There is no way the show will leave that unexplored. Ultimately, I think it will come down to love and healing, and that’s when Man wol will go. [[It may even be that when her time starts running again, she gets to lead a normal human life (but this is REALLY stretching it)]]

        There are other hints: eg knowing Man-wol probably saved Chan Sung’s life re the serial killer. If CS had been happily working away at a hotel, no one would know that his previous classmate was a serial killer (he’d probably have killed Yu Na/Ms. fourth choice), and CS’s life would have been at risk. It still is, but he had Man wol so its likely to be less at risk.

        I could be entirely wrong in the end. XD Either way, its a fun show.

        4
        3

          Comment was deleted

          0
          0

          I am not religious and have been brought up in a very-mildly-christian household. So I am approaching the idea of karma and reincarnation as an outsider. And sorry if my attempt at explaining my take on all this comes out offensive for a believer.

          I can buy into the idea that one goes through multiple cycles of existence and that there are karmic debts that one needs to pay for in this universe. I am struggling a bit with why is it so important to keep on living when having the option to go at it multiple times and in my eyes there’s a bit of a diminishing of the value now in the process, but I’m game. But wat’s really important for this narrative to work is free will. If I’m going to go through multiple cycles of pain for what I did, without remembering what my fault was, then I better have made that choice. So I liked MG’s “I open paths but it’s up for humans to follow them” as a neat way of navigating the conundrum between the existence of gods that have a say in what happens in the world and free will. I felt that in the second half of episode 12 what they did was take away that choice.

          Since it was MG that sent CS to the hotel to help MW accept her past and get into the program of rebirth and redemption, why is he to pay a (very steep) price for doing what she asked him to? Is seems we are going into forcing MW between moving on and sacrificing CS in the process or vanishing. And that is no choice at all. They both get hurt badly in the process despite (at least for CS) doing nothing to deserve it. Maybe I got this all wrong and I’d see it differently on rewatch but it stopped making sense to me. I had a similar issue with the kid: the gods did not like his family having found a loop hole in the rules, so they sent MW to force him to make a choice between all 3 dying together or leaving his parents to break apart all by themselves before their still early death. How is that a choice? What was the ethical point of that? By now it looks to me is that it’s no longer about right and wrong but rather about the gods flexing their muscles because they can.

          3
          12

            No worries re approaching this as an outsider. I’m rather skeptical too on what I grew up with, only that the show conforms to it.

            We actually don’t know yet if CS will pay a very steep price for doing what Mago wanted. *fingers crossed* because I want them to have a happy ending. But in this show, there is no such thing as an end. You die, you move on, you are reborn. The cycle of life, death and rebirth repeats itself.

            From the religious stand point that I refer to, there’s no such thing as free will. Our circumstances and temperament – determined by our past karma – limit our free will. For instance, an accident causing someone to go blind thereby cutting off many opportunities they would otherwise have had; or simply being born into a poor family and the absence of money dictating the choices one must make. Being born white into a wealthy family in an OECD country vs being born black into a poor family a war-torn country. Being dyslexic, having ADHD, female in a country that does not allow women to step out of the house without a man. Free will is limited in its “Freedom”.

            Re Chan Sung, I frame it in the backdrop of his karmic web getting entangled with Man-wol’s endless one. This is the consequence of her choosing to further spin the web; instead of moving on and paying the debts. It’s her free will that caused this. That’s what Mago means, “you brought this on him”. Man-wol did.

            Re the child. He chose to lessen the karmic burden on his parents and himself, by letting them live out what is left of their lives. It was an exercise of his free will.

            I did mention I’m reaching into something I grew up with to understand the show. 😀 I’m sure the Hong Sisters aren’t. But they are unintentionally going into obscure spiritual beliefs from remote corners of India. You won’t find this in mainstream Hindu texts, it’s in the teachings of yogis and sants (in English, saints maybe?), a quiet undercurrent to the loud, visible, religious mainstay.

            3
            0

            @greenfields but what you call “lack of freedom due to the situation one was born in” is allegedly a direct consequence of what one did in previous incarnations. So that means that my current consequences are defined by my past choices and what I chose to do about it in this lifetime defines my future. If that is not free will then I don’t know what is.

            but I don’t get the role of the gods in all this: do they change events too or just police the eternal cycle of judgements? is there room for interpretation for the weight of one’s sins? for right and wrong? for crime and punishment? the Magos seem to imply yes but are we them back to being at the mercy of capricious gods?

            Sorry for pushing you on this point… I should have payed attention in religion class rather than solving math problems behind the prof’s back. but then again my questions would have counted as heresy anyways

            1
            0

            “It was all preordained to end in disaster from the get go and everyone’s just a cog in the machine that makes it happen”
            Yeahp

            “it’s no longer about right and wrong but rather about the gods flexing their muscles because they can”
            It was NEVER about right and wrong. It was always about the gods, or rather actually the Hong Sisters, flexing.
            I sound like an asshole for bringing this up again, but I did actually think this was going to happen from day one, and have maintained this view the entire time, and this is why the Ma Go as story telling devices piss me off: They remove free will, as you have quite correctly pointede out. Which if you believe in free will (which I’m guessing you do, as do I), is a metaphysical issue in the show itself.

            2
            0

            @charlie – The idea is that free will in *this* life is negligible, yes, because of past entanglements.

            @sicarius – I suppose I have no issues with the show because I don’t care about the concept of “free will”, more about correctly identifying and working with the constraints within which my “free will” is limited.

            I do think the show is very well written. Does life exist to teach us lessons, help us heal, give us closure? Or does it just exist even though we don’t always get any of that? The show treats death and rebirth as an eternal cycle. Not good, not bad, just what is. Like Chan Sung’s mother really did just abandon her child, or the ghost whose wife abandoned him for her first love, was also just abandoned unfairly – it is what it is. Without any justification attached to it. It’s not something I see in television too often – mostly because people do want to see completed arcs and character development (me too); and I like the way it is handled here. From my perspective – the show’s treatment of its plot (so far) makes sense.

            3
            0

            @greenfields
            “not good not bad just what it is”- the problem with this is that it contradictory with some of the things explored in this show.
            This show has a broken moral spectrum. It claims it does not abide by “human morality” (whatever that is exactly, it never says), but then has every other sub plot ghost of the week making moral judgements about what right and wrong actually is.
            Chan Seong and Man Weol believe in their version of right and wrong, which doesn’t always line up with what the gods think as right or wrong (this is moral relativism), but then the whole show has these under-arching often seemingly almost Christian themes of unconditional love, forgiveness and redemption, but based on what? There’s no moral code for this to base it’s redemption arc on so it comes across as shallow.
            On top of that it’s based in ancient Asian religions (as you’ve pointed out), which contradict both moral relativism AND Christianity.
            Whatever your personal take on morality is, I find this show to have weak writing because it has three main worldviews it’s trying to make all its themes work through… and it doesn’t actually work.
            Which is probably why you, I and Charlie see this show all very differently and interpret it in different ways. You see the moving on cirlce of life aspect, but I cannot ignore that it also sometimes attempts to be a redemption arc in disguise which just doesn’t make sense to me in light of all the rest of it. To Charlie (if I’m reading you right), to now turn and fully embrace a (potentially Hindu) seemingly hopeless (at least for Man Weol) worldview when so much of the show was pointing to another direction, seems yes, pointless, and sadistic.

            3
            0

            @sicarius – actually that is my point. Redemption, moral judgments, we make them the best we can from our relative standpoints. The Magos are certainly not god, they’re merely the highest deity shown to us in the show. For instance, even black Mago has not been able to burn Park Il Do (who made a hilarious cameo) though she does usually turn spirits that harm humans, to ashes.

            All the characters are acting from their very different points of view, and there is much chaos. The only constant I’m seeing is life, death, maybe spend some time as a spirit, rebirth. So long as that holds true, I’m able to understand the incomplete and chaotic arcs. Those may be elements of Christian and other thought, but it is a whole part of the books that occupy countless shelves in my house. XD (thanks to my mum) Things like redemption matter only because we’re unable to let go of that desire – but it seems like the show is saying, “let go, move on, don’t get attached to temporary things”.

            And yup, I like that there are differing interpretations too. That the show makes no sense to you, and yet you watch it while criticizing everything it does; or that Charlie also could not justify what happened in the last episode but still loves the characters; or that I can relate a Korean drama to something the writers have likely never been exposed to.

            In any case, I wholly expect the show to diverge from my pov and onto your’s – redemption, closure, healing – because this IS television. ^^;

            3
            0

            @greenfields
            Wait what was your point?
            That morality is relative? Why is moral relativity something I, you to this show should ascribe to?
            Or is your point that this show is good because it showcases so many standpoints?
            But it doesn’t know it does. It’s not self aware. It’s just everything mushed together pretending to make sense. Are you elevating it’s chaos, which wasn’t on purpose and makes little sense when it comes down to basic storytelling, which this show is trying to adhere to in many other ways anyway? Is it smart because it is unintentionally a chaotic mess, much like the world? Is that what you mean?
            Or even…
            Is there no good or bad writing then, only chaos?

            1
            0

            “Is it smart because it is unintentionally a chaotic mess, much like the world? Is that what you mean?” Yup. Boiled down into one line and stripped away of nuance, to fit your view of the world, yes – that is what I mean. But remember it is a chaos that makes sense to me because it fits within my view of the world, and I view it as the natural order of things. So if you want to call that world view entirely delusional and unstructured, that’s fine. 😅 I also agree that the show doesn’t intend to fit my world view, imho it only unintentionally does so – possibly because different Asian beliefs intermingle with one another here and there, and Buddhism (differing variants of it) is a thing in South Korea as well. The Hong Sisters may have indeed lost control, or they may be flexing and playing with characters – either way, I’m enjoying the ride.

            I suppose this is another W: Two Worlds, which I loved although most people hated the second half because the chaos made no sense to them. On the other hand, I thought that the more nonsensical it became, the more “true” it was to Kang Chul, who hated that he’d had to suffer only so an audience could enjoy the outcome of his suffering. Very meta.

            P.S. My comment isn’t meant to sound rude. I use *your* view of the world, and *my* view of the world to clearly delineate the two differing religious/spiritual beliefs that influence our perspectives.

            1
            0

            On another note, morality is definitely relative. It is clear intolerance to assume anything else.

            1
            0

            @sicarius & Charlie – if I may add, the show draws heavily upon Eastern ideas of reincarnation, life and death, in its premise. If I understand Christianity and/or the general overall “Western” worldview correctly, reincarnation isn’t a very popular idea. So I think it may be worth considering the show from another point of view.

            I agree when I read Sico’s shitposts that from your pov, it must be a nonsensical show. But do try and consider it from a perspective that differs from yours, and you (sico) may find there’s a lot to enjoy and explore in what it is giving us.

            0
            0

            @greenfields
            I think my problem with that is you’re justifying potentially flawed and bad writing as good with your own reasoning.
            But you already know that cos we’ve had this discussion about W before: it wasn’t deliberately meta in its chaos, even though you enjoy it that way.
            The same here; it’s more likely for it to just be poorly written than it is to be smart, especially if one agrees that it was unintentional in meeting one’s worldview.

            We can discuss the origins or morality and logic some other day.

            1
            0

            Lol @sicarius I think you’re justifying good writing as being bad and flawed with your own reasoning too. 😄

            0
            0

          From the very beginning, I thought the writers were making the point that love is impossible without loss and suffering… either we die or our loved ones do, but someone is always left behind crying. and that when one commits to loving someone one has to also accept this price. And maybe the Hong sisters are simply going belabor that point for another 4 episodes but at this point it no longer feels insightful just sado-masochistic.

          2
          1

            This is true. I agree with what the point of the show is. But I think that the story they’re setting up is one in which Man-wol realizes this too? She doesn’t seem to know it yet.

            1
            0

        given how radically different people’s take on life-death-rebirth-redemption is, it occurs to me that it’s going to prove impossible for any writer to come up with an ending that does not offend someone’s sensibilities. Most likely, the Hong sisters will go for satisfying the Korean side of the audience (as Goblin’s writer did). I hope they may throw a bone to the poor Western audience as well.

        I’ll say one good thing came out of all this: I’ve never done as much serious thinking on the relativism of one’s perceptions of the world before. The show gets full marks on that front.

        1
        1

          True re serious thinking on the relativism. I’m exhausted from thinking about this show.

          1
          0

    @greenfields @sicarius This is all very interesting. Thank you for chiming in.

    I have concluded a very long time ago that no set of religious beliefs 100% stands up to thorough rational scrutiny, but it’s interesting to get everyone’s point of view. It is clear that my take on agency and responsibility in reincarnation is qualitatively very different from the Eastern view as described by greenfields. Unlike Sic, I also appreciated the show’s attempts at mashing up Buddhist and Christian aspects; it made me stretch my ethics muscles in new ways. But I’ve reached the straw that broke the camel’s back when it comes to the show’s internal logic. I’ll keep watching to see how it ends, but the ep.12 dveleopments made me lose any trust in the writers coming up with a satisfying logical resolution. From now I’ll just settle with “happy-enough ending for MW and CS”.

    1
    3

      Comment was deleted

      0
      0

      @charlieblue17, @sicarius and @greenfields
      What an interesting conversation going on with such different views. This is why I love DB?
      Such intelligent writing and very thought provoking for me. Do you all mind if I add my two cents?

      Since episode 1 I’ve been watching this show and really just enjoyed the stories and IU’s wardrobe, but didn’t worry too much about the whole reincarnation and business of paying back a debt of some kind.
      As a person who was raised catholic and called myself a christian for a few years before finally walking away from it all (I know refer to myself as a godless heathen) I find the idea of “God” making things happen or rendering any kind of judgement beyond anything I can accept.

      Shit happens, over and over again, and we as human beings spend our lives figuring out how to respond. We learn to make choices, and then hopefully we learn to live with the choices we make.

      This point of view comes from a middle-aged person who has been living with all the choices I made, and shit that has gone on in my life – but I find I’m more compassionate and empathetic as a result. Maybe that is the point of being human.
      Episodes 11 and 12 were to me, about grieving and letting go. Yes some of them didn’t make sense (the little boy whose parents were aging too fast) but others like Sanchez saying goodbye to Veronica and MW and CS finally looking at what is coming and preparing themselves for it. I couldn’t help but think of my own grief and loss and those of people I’ve known. We all grieve differently.

      We make choices in life, then we keep going. Yes this show is nonsensical in some ways, but what I’ve seen in this show is so many stories of people/ghosts making peace with whatever it was… and letting go to say goodbye.

      Isn’t that what all religions are ultimately – a way for us humans to find peace with the decisions and choices we make in our lives? A way for us to learn how to accept ourselves as we are?

      Reincarnation, karma, do-overs, forgiveness, anger, love, letting go, knowing when to let go – this is what it means to be a human being. Life is messy and imperfect, much of the time rather nice, and then really crappy at times – but we usually have a chance to take a breath and keep going. At least that is what I try to do.

      Also I don’t expect these dramas to have a wealth of internal logic – if I wanted that I’d watch the Discovery Channel.

      3
      1

        Perfectly valid. The primary purpose of the drama is to entertain, and the show does indeed score very high on that scale! I also agree that the show is about grieving and letting go, instead of trying to hold on and control the course of things. 🙂

        1
        1

          (by that I obviously mean the inevitable, such as the passing away of a loved one – not “control” as in our daily lives)

          1
          0

      Comment was deleted

      0
      0

Scared to ask, but is there any precedent for a writer killing the main lead with a quarter of the story to go? Because I think the Hong sisters might go there…

2
10

    I am worried about open endings! I hate them. I hope no one would die and we would get a ‘sensible’ happy ending. *fingers crossed*

    3
    0

    Main leads being killed in dramas are not common but it does happen once in a while. I don’t think writers are that experimental to kill off a beloved character mid series without any plans to revive the character ala the goblin in Goblin.

    Some dramas with main lead deaths:
    Time : because of real life medical reasons, the main lead was killed midseries. It did not feel off because the character was terminal in the drama.

    TLE: the main lead was killed with 4 episodes left. Some viewers say the reason for the character’s demise might be because main lead was unavailable to film extended episodes due to scheduling conflict. But as the storyline goes, imo main lead death was apt for his arc.

    4
    1

      Comment was deleted

      3
      1

        Main lead in TLE had a bullet in his head from early eps. It was expected for him to die sooner or later, they said his character has a few months only, that’s why I think his death was apt for his arc.

        I’m not watching HDL but I look forward to what will happen to YJG especially now that many are speculating he’s gonna die. I doubt writer-nim will go there, I read some comments on Naver…kviewers want a happy ending. Hua3

        1
        0

    They will kill…

    2
    1

      And we are talking about Jingoo, so I won’t be surprised if he dies.😅

      2
      1

        hahahaha he kept on dying in his dramas. Circle, reunited worlds, the crowned clown, what else??

        2
        1

          Everything after Circle… it’s like a curse🤣

          4
          0

    They won’t. It would be nice though kkk.

    1
    0

    You just said what I have been thinking. The Hong sisters traumatized me in Korean Odyssey so I know they have no qualms about killing off their leads (viewer fury be damned). Sometimes I wonder if they created the personas of Ma Go after themselves: cute and romantic one day, cruel the next.

    3
    0

Celebrating my promotion with a reminder of my most memorable chaebol doppleganger. But where is my smirking cutie and kitty?

11
8

\”We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are\”…

9
2

    ARE YOU QUOTING BONNIE FROM BIG LITTLE LIES????
    (I’ve been dying to talk about the s2 finale to someone, but NO ONE I know watched it 😭)

    0
    1

      Anais Nin (Seduction of the Minotaur?), although she is not the original source either, I think…
      🙂

      1
      0

HdL#8 I love it. and I hate it. And I need someone to give MW a long fierce hug. preferably CS.

8
0

HdL#7 To borrow from CS’s words this week the beauty saddens me.

The intro scene… seeing MW so happy and free for the first time in a millennium… only to have it all yanked away.
The look on her face at the end of the episode was just heartbreaking.

R#13… Why is the punishment for taking revenge worse than the original crime?
Those monsters get to be reborn while the victim is turned to ashes…
How is that fair? I cried with CS for the injustice of it all…

Poor intern getting caught in the crossfire…
(MG#4 is scary) also, looks like someone stole bellboy’s identity…
So everyone in the hotel has been greatly wronged by someone in the past (MW included); what they are really waiting for is some form of justice.
Will the rest of the show at least give them that closure?

last time MW said that Sanchez is so so stupid – knowing MR for what she is, but still sending her off to wreck their date means that I now have to completely agree.
[and he actually knew all along MW was CS’s boss?!!?]

Is it silly to say that I miss MW and CS this episode? I miss their bantering and exchanging thoughts without words… not enough of them being… them

3
2

    Rather than taking revenge, it may be because of some “higher” law dividing the world of the dead and the living. She was turned to ashes because she interfered with that law. I presume.

    3
    0

    Bellboy’s story is also going to be painful to watch. His sister lived most of her life with a fake oraboni. There might be a just ending, but I don’t see a happy ending to his story.

    And As for justice … Mago isn’t in the justice business.

    And what is with the “MW daring to test (judge) god” story line? One way to read the revelation of police investigations and such is that if the ghost in room 13 had just waited, she would have seen justice done. A more cynical read would say that the revelations just show the powerful CEO was just keeping a lid on the whole mess when he was alive, and justice would never have been done. Other than as a blunt message to MW to behave or else, what was the point of that tragic life and permanent death?

    2
    0

HdL random thoughts:
-CS’s answer to her ‘do you love me?’ really took forever… the fact that he can’t say ‘yes’ just yet, but ‘no’ does not feel right either… and that hint of disappointment in her eyes just after… that scene was very well done.

– I thought it interesting that he was missing her appearing in his dreams, even if he did not quite acknowledge it even to himself… I wonder is the one he’s falling in love with the MW of old? his feelings for the current MW seem a lot more complicated…

-It’s kind of crazy, but MW and CS don’t feel like a new love, but rather a really old one – when you already got used to the other’s foibles and quirks and you can nag as much as you protect and care for them… the point when you’ve grown fond of each other\’s imperfections… I guess it’s this old married couple dynamic paired with them slowly awakening to their feelings that I love them for…

-they feel responsible for one another. MW was entrusted with his safety. CS made himself responsible of taking care of her, and making her happy (the idea that she is his responsibility was first planted by Mago but he fully embraced it; and he was already half-way there on his own anyways).

-sending off del Luna customers feels lonely ‘because you won’t get to see them again’… when she said to CS not to be lonely sending her off, was a tiny bit of that her hoping to see him again in her next lifetime?

-and given how much he nags her about begin nice so when he meets her again it’s not as an animal… did he pick up on that? Feels like he’s planning multiple lifetimes of them together…

1
0

Rewatching HdL again. can\’t get myself to press play on anything else. strange mood.

2
0

HdL#6
– the confession was lovely – understated and bittersweet
– captain’s moves are a bit too smooth for my tastes*; I strongly prefer CS, with his ‘told-you-so’s, his car selling, and autograph chasing ways
– did not expect the ex story, she seems intended on clinging to CS but at least he has zero lingering interest (minus her paying back the debt)**
– MW’s reaction to hearing about the gf, including the whole ‘is she pretty?’, ‘not that I’m interested… but if you really want to tell’ conversation with Sanchez, was hilarious
– bellboy and intern are unexpectedly sweet together
– the earrings: so very Hong sisters to have meaning-infused baubles
– I knew room 13 would end up causing trouble (though I can’t muster much pity for her victims); i like that the creepy elements remain strong even as the story progresses towards the romantic section
– the hilarious meta when referencing the crowned clown
Notes:
* he’s referring to himself as her 오라버니 – the old-speak version of ‘oppa’
** as expected for a Hong sisters second female lead: I detest her on sight

6
0

HdL#5This is not the kind of show that will make you fall in love with the main actors, but I am falling hard for the characters — individually and even more so together. This understanding without words that they have going on when it comes to what is important… how they talk about everything — from her attempt to drive him mad to his dreams and their consequences. I like that while there is this affinity between them, paired with a fair dose of attraction, their relationship does not steer into the outright romantic yet. Although the petty jealous bits are highly entertaining (like MW grumbling about CS carrying the ghost bride to her room when he brough a cart to carry her, or freaking out about the news he was getting ghost-married). Feelings are developing (how many minutes did it take CS to answer ’no’ to her ‘do you love me?’) and they both know it… it’s just nice for them to take their time about it.

The continuation of the kiss was very cool: him catching on right away that it did not have romantic connotations (while still kind of enjoying it), and the ghost picking up on these feelings and using them to call him back. His save was as adorable as it was completely unnecessary – even MW thought so (saw that tiny smile walking after him, can’t fool me). The talk after was even better – the ‘why are you asking me things you already know the answer to’ whenever she does not want to admit to her feelings. The honesty of it all. The ghost of the day story was also fun, from all the reveals upon reveals, to its heartwarming conclusion…

Despite his famed Harvard degree, CS is refreshingly average, yet adorable in his imperfections. He is simply a warm, thoroughly decent guy and that is what she (and us, the audience) falls for. The fact that he can empathize with everyone’s struggles, that he cares enough to do something about it is slowing changing her – after 1000 years of detachment, he draws her into his schemes and forces her to care not only about him but also about the customers coming their way. I wonder if it’s this trait of his that will end up saving them in the end: the fact that he does not follow the set path, but instead opens a better one.

I wonder about MW all of a sudden appearing resigned to her fate. When she shot down all of her employees’ suggestions for getting rid of him, I thought she had a scheme of her own going on. Maybe using CS having feelings for her to get him to stop his mission on his own. But maybe deep down she is also tired of it all and does not have the energy to go against the gods. Seems a bit out of character, but maybe she got too caught up in the past this time… I think the ghost bride’s “if you truly love someone you need to set them free to be happy without you” meant something personal to her. And that at least for a moment she was shaken. And it’s testament to how much her opinion of CS has changed that she chose him to be the one sending her off in the end.

One thing that kind of freaked me out: why is no one looking for the missing guest from room 13? It it safe to let her roam the city? We went from “this is a super scary ghost”, to “ups, I think she ran away”, to… nothing. (???)

I don’t look forward to the second female lead’s appearance; in Hong sisters dramas this slot is usually filled by bitchy, irritating, one-track girls that never add anything good to the story; please prove me wrong.

6
5

    Heh! I was also wondering if anyone was going to go look for the Room #13 guest.

    6
    1

      Maybe later. I’m fine with taking her in smaller doses.😬

      2
      0

    IMO, CS is no average guy. Yes it was unnecessary for him to run to save Man Wol, but he did it despite being the scaredy-cat that he is, that courage means more than it seems and Man Wol felt it when he was trembling like a massage-gigye.

    He was also very perceptive how he got set up. Did you see him passive aggressively threatened the housekeeper to be nice to him?🤣

    3
    2

      Comment was deleted

      0
      0

      ‘average’ is maybe an overstatement. he is smart and has an unusually high EQ, but he is also kind of awkward and wimpy and not at all alpha. he does not feel like your average kdrama genius lead — and i mean that in a good way.

      1
      0

Since it’s too long until the next episode, here’s some HdL cleverness I detected while procrastinating today:

There’s a hidden meaning behind the cards sequence in the intro:
the queen of diamonds (MW): a powerful figure, a negative woman trying to force her will on everyone and everything; in the material world, also means quick enrichment through controversial means.
the ace of clubs (CS): a binding contract, marriage. Also his name (찬성) means ‘agreement’ (yay-sayer?).
[Her name literally means \’full moon\’]
So basically from the very first minute she’s labeled as the badass who does whatever she bloody pleases (ideally while keeping the champagne flowing), while he is her steady companion, who follows her around bound to her by agreement. Gender role reversal complete.
That’s some impressive attention to detail.

7
0

Some more thoughts on HdL in response to other beanies’ comments

About IU looking too fragile and immature for a highway bandit: to me that is part of the point, and part of the tragedy; she was just a young girl who had to do things to survive, but that life is not something she chose. Given how tiny she is — MW does a pretty decent job of it. I think she is beyond everything a survivor. The kind of person that goes on no matter what, making do with whatever cards she has been dealt. Even when it means drinking champagne instead of properly atoning for her sins. It’s this combination of girly, somewhat amoral, and core of steel that makes the character interesting in the first place. And IU’s portrayal of that is pretty amazing imo: like in the old time line when she is wounded and a perceived enemy attacks — she has this feral cornered-animal look, paired with the determination of making it out alive no matter what; or when CS tells her that he prefers her not liking him as long as she feels stuff (\’is bothered\’)… she looks shaken and plain scared at the possibility of feeling again; that layer of softness and vulnerability is all more impressive when contrasted to her usual cynical detached no-nonsense self. The only thing I find hard to believe is her being a foodie… the way she eats has me thinking that IU has never not been on a diet her entire life. But that’s a pretty minor quibble …

13
5

    “never not been on a diet” 🙂 Quite possible.

    1
    0

    Yes, it’s ridiculous, kdramas and their obsession with pretty girls eating a lot and being absurdly skinny. Well, at least she has manners while eating.

    2
    0

    I agree with all your points! I still think they did a perfect job on casting IU as Man-wol. She is really good at being this soft tiny girl who uses the glamourous lifestyle and tough demeanor to act and look strong in order to survive the punishment that has been given to her.

    4
    0

    I have little problem with her being a bandit or thief. I question how she became a leader of thieves commanding a small platoon of fearless men. They need to give that reason, otherwise it’s not convincing.

    3
    1

      Comment was deleted

      1
      0