Fate and free will may seem like opposing concepts, but both have a part to play in this week’s episodes of “Hotel Del Luna.” Even when given a choice, Goo Chan Sung (Yeo Jin Goo) fights to stay by Jang Man Wol’s (IU) side — bringing her closer and closer to her own fate. As more characters, both new and old, come into play, tensions are heightened as our story builds towards its climax. That means more surprises, touching moments, romance, and, of course, comic relief. This week’s episodes brought us all these emotions and more, so here are 7 times that “Hotel Del Luna” gave us emotional whiplash!
Warning: spoilers for “Hotel Del Luna” Episodes 9 and 10 below.
1. Chan Sung the nuisance
After a little chat with the deity Ma Go, Chan Sung has fully embraced his role as Man Wol’s ultimate nag, acting as her conscience and pestering her so she’ll become a better person — err… spirit. His tenacity is as sweet as his nagging is adorable for how much it both annoys and touches Man Wol.
Chan Sung even goes so far as to toss a precious medicine that would take away his ability to see ghosts into a nearby pond, just to show Man Wol his devotion… only to have the tender moment humorously shattered by the well-intentioned water spirit he had just rehabilitated into said pond. Nam Da Reum’s cameo as a sulky deity just trying to do a good deed brought us from tense emotions to cracking up in mere seconds. Chan Sung was trying to prove a point, here!
2. Chan Sung’s greatest fear
In exchange for revealing his own insecurities, the water spirit also showed Chan Sung what he is most afraid of — and the heartbreaking answer is that he fears Man Wol’s spirit will fail to be reincarnated and disappear forever. In the beautifully tragic scene, we see just how deeply Chan Sung cares for Man Wol and get a taste of what a sad ending might look like for the drama. Please don’t do this to us, Hong Sisters!
3. Man Wol’s jealous antics
For someone who has tried awfully hard to get rid of Chan Sung, Man Wol sure is reluctant to allow him to be pawned off to another pretty girl. And this time her threat is the lovely Jang Ji Eun (cameo by Sulli!), whose grandfather, as a ghost at the hotel, tries to set her up with Chan Sung.
Luckily for us, Man Wol’s attempts to secretly block Chan Sung from being set up with Ji Eun not only were adorable but also led to this steamy moment of closeness. Can you say “chemistry”?
4. The school reunion gone wrong
Mi Ra (Park Yoo Na) doesn’t realize she’s brought a serial killer into her friends’ lives when she invites Ji Won (David Lee) to the reunion gathering of their study abroad crew. But we’ve seen this psychopath in action, and his interest in our beloved male lead makes us extremely nervous….
5. Yeon Woo’s return
Unbeknownst to her, Mi Ra also comes face to face with someone else from her very distant past when she crosses paths with Park Young Soo (Lee Tae Sun), the modern-day reincarnation of Yeon Woo. We know this probably won’t end well, but from Young Soo forgetting his pen in a taxi to Mi Ra pretending its ink ruined her skirt in order to get his phone number, this couple is so adorable that we can’t help but ship them.
Even more meaningful than this meeting, of course, was Man Wol’s brief encounter with the man who was like family to her in their past lives. Though they don’t even so much as exchange words, the fact that Young Soo is doing well and the faint glimmer of recognition on his face are enough to bring tears to Man Wol’s eyes — as well as ours!
6. Chan Sung’s family tragedy
“Hotel Del Luna” has never before entertained the question of what happened to Chan Sung’s mother, but the drama took a sudden dive into this plot line by putting Chan Sung face to face with her ghost. Tied to the human world via a book that holds pictures of herself with Chan Sung, his mother is still ashamed that she has a son at all, and maintains that her family must not find out about him.
Man Wol admits the woman into the hotel in order to give Chan Sung the chance to see his mother off to the afterlife and get some closure, giving us an achingly sad scene for Chan Sung:
Raw and heartbreaking though it was, this tale would have been more impactful if it had been introduced earlier than the same episode in which it was resolved: have we ever heard Chan Sung even mention his mother before? “Hotel Del Luna” has given us weeks of snippets of Man Wol’s tragic past, but it robbed Chan Sung’s character of the same depth and emotional buildup by only beginning to ask about his own tragedy just minutes before we came face to face with it:
Instead, the plot line was introduced and wrapped up quickly, and we barely got to see Chan Sung deal with the emotional turmoil he must be feeling, which also would have been a wonderful opportunity to use Yeo Jin Goo’s talent to its full extent!
7. Chan Sung’s loyalty
The clumsy handling of Chan Sung’s past points to one of the few flaws of “Hotel Del Luna”: Chan Sung is a weak male lead. This may be an unpopular opinion, but Chan Sung’s unwavering loyalty to Man Wol is not particularly healthy — in a quite literal sense, because she actively endangers him:
If the roles were reversed, and Chan Sung were a female lead hopelessly clinging to a man who is selfish to the point of putting her at risk to enact his own revenge, would we not complain that she’s a weak character who needs to dump him, gain some self-esteem, and stand up for herself? The drama does itself no favors by giving us little insight into Chan Sung’s emotional world other than portraying him as simply extremely kindhearted.
The counterargument, of course, is that Chan Sung has experienced Man Wol’s past through his dreams, and understands firsthand how much she has been hurt. He knows that there is good inside her, and he (somewhat blindly) hopes that if he helps draw it out, she will do the right thing in the end and thereby protect him the way he is protecting her.
It’s a touching sentiment that might just be the only way to save Man Wol: she was betrayed in the past, and only if she absolutely trusts Chan Sung to be there for her will she make the right decision, the one that will put his safety over her revenge, in the inevitable conflict to come. But we’re hesitant to trust that “Hotel Del Luna” will give us such a happy ending, and we can only hope that Chan Sung’s devotion to Man Wol doesn’t get him hurt in the end.
Hey Soompiers, what did you think of this week’s “Hotel Del Luna”? Were these episodes a roller coaster for you? Let’s discuss in the comments!
Catch this week’s episodes of “Hotel Del Luna”:
hgordon stays up way too late on weeknights marathoning K-dramas and trying to keep up with the latest K-pop releases. Follow her adventures in Seoul on Instagram.
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