K-Drama Couch Recap: “Hotel del Luna” Episode 5
Jang Man Wol finally knows Goo Chan Seong’s purpose in her existence.
Hotel del Luna episode 5 focused on the story of a ghost bride. It also gave a peek once again into Man Wol’s past. This episode introduced Ma Go’s sisters and a developing friendship between Ji Hyun Joong and Kim Yoo Na.
The episode also presented a lingering lesson about holding on and letting go.
“Goo Chan Seong will stay.”
After the unexpected kiss, Man Wol tells Chan Seong to run the moment the door opens. As instructed, Chan Seong bolts to the door. He closes it behind him just as the angry spirit leaps out of the closet. Man Wol says that no matter how hard she tries, she will not be able to go past the door. She asks the guest to go back inside the cabinet, but when she refuses, a small fight ensues.
Almost defeated, the guest, reluctantly goes inside but imitates Man Wol’s voice. As she calls out to Chan Seong using the voice of Man Wol, the latter mocks her. Man Wol says a coward like Chan Seong will not go back just because he thought she is calling for him.
But Chan Seong proves her wrong when he comes barging in, much to the guest’s delight and Man Wol’s disappointment and surprise. Chan Seong sees the spirit’s as she slowly jumps out, but he is focus is more on Man Wol. He rushes toward Man Wol thinking the ghost means to attack and hugs her for protection. The guest continues to run outside the room and out of the hotel.
Man Wol asks Chan Seong if he is okay after seeing the guest. He pretends to be scared as he confesses to looking directly at the ghost. When Man Wol scolds Chan Seong for returning, he chides her for being concern. They bicker but Chan Seong reassures her that he is doing okay.
Kim Sun Bi and Choi Seo Hee reconvene with Jang Man Wol. They present her with other possible options to get rid of Chan Seong since the guest in Room number 13 did not work. Man Wol surprises them when she declines their suggestion and says Chan Seong will be staying. Both expresses their concern but Man Wol is defiant and wants to know what is Chan Seong’s purpose in her existence.
Ji Hyun Joong and Kim Yoo Na
While things are happening back in Hotel del Luna, Hyun Joong meets up with Yoo Na. Four of her classmates talk about how she is being possessed by Su Jung’s spirit. They continue to say that she turns around every time she hears someone calls out Su Jung’s name as if responding to it.
They test it out as the four of them yells her name and Yoo Na faces them. She tries to act indifferent as she sees her classmates’ reactions, and she is about to leave but she trips. However, she does not fall all the way as Hyun Joong catches her arm.
This seems more suspicious and weirder as it appears to her classmates some unseen force has just prevented her fall. After running out scared, Yoo Na admonishes Hyun Joong but asks his reason for coming to her school. Hyun Joong talks about her being the fourth choice as manager but as they are talking, he receives a text message from Su Bin that Chan Seong is not hurt, hence Yoo Na’s appointment is deferred. Yoo Na asks for his phone number but Hyun Joong says he has never shared his number with a human before. He changes his mind and sends a text message to her saying they are now friends.
Chan Seong confronts Man Wol once again after finding out, thanks to Hyun Joong, that they set him up to meet the guest in Room 13. Man Wol praises him for not being so dumb after all. She says they are disappointed the plan did not work. Chan Seong laments that he truly sees them as colleagues, and it hurts him they will do such a thing on purpose.
Man Wol finds it weird that Chan Seong asks questions when he already knows and proceeds to clean her jewelries. But Chan Seong does not give up and continues to sulk. Man Wol tells him to let it go as the staff is only nervous because of the changes happening in the hotel. She says that the tree started growing leaves the moment he arrives, and it made the staff anxious as they realize it means they have to leave for the afterlife.
Chan Seong asks her the reason she saved him and Man Wol replies that she has no intention of doing it but a leaf changed her mind. He remembers the one he tucked in his breast pocket. He continues to prod but Man Wol is losing her patience once again as he keeps questioning her. She threatens to kill Chan Seong if he won’t stop and help her look for her missing earring.
He said she likes saying things she doesn’t mean and wonders if her crankiness is a result of her long existence. Man Wol says she was born that way, but Chan Seong said no, because in his dreams she is nice and kind. He mentions that she cared for a man and treated him with affection. He reveals that the man she called Yeon Woo is the recipient of her gentleness. Once again, Chan Seong surprises Man Wol with what he sees in his dreams about her.
Man Wol asks Chan Seong if he thinks he is Yeon Woo and he honestly answers that he did consider it but believes he is not him. She says Yeon Woo is the one who loved her the most and bluntly asks Chan Seong if he loves her. Startled, Chan Seong pauses but answers directly that he is certain he does not feel the same.
She leaves Chan Seong and while in her room, she remembers Yeon Woo saying he will build a large house for her. Yeon Woo also says that he is willing to give her a few years off his life span so she could live longer. Man Wol cries as she recollects their conversation.
The Ghost Bride
A ritual collecting hairs and nails from a dead woman has been performed. After placing the samples inside a small red pouch, the parents attach it to a lantern. They throw it in the sky in hopes that whoever finds it becomes the dead girl’s groom.
The girl, who is now a spirit, runs off and ends up in front of Hotel del Luna. Chan Seong, who happens to be out front as he is getting ready to go home, welcomes the ghost. He speaks with Man Wol and tells her the ghost’s story, that she has to marry someone so she could go to the afterlife.
Man Wol is annoyed that Chan Seong has directly brought the guest into her office, but she is excited to plan for a wedding. She sets up the location where the wedding will take place and plans on charging the parents as much as she can. She goes on shopping for jewelries and tags Chan Seong along. He argues that the girl does not want a random stranger to marry but they have to find someone who can be her groom.
To help the ghost, Chan Seong goes to find the red pouch, much to Man Wol’s annoyance. She interrupts Chan Seong’s search and manipulates the events which leads to his friend Sanchez finding the pouch. Sanchez freaks out when he sees glimpses of the ghost. Chan Seong promises to fix things and talks to Man Wol. She says that once the wedding is done his friend will be back to normal.
Ma Go’s sisters
While on her shopping spree, Chan Seong finds Man Wol too difficult to deal with, so he decides to visit Ma Go. He finds the place and he is surprise to find that Ma Go has several sisters. He consults one of them and asks if there is a way to fix the issue. Because of the bride’s reluctance to to marry someone she does not know, and that the groom is scared.
She tells him it is much better to proceed with the ceremony but suggests that they can change the reluctant groom. She says that instead of marrying a living person, they can find someone who is already dead, and Hotel del Luna has a lot of dead customers.
On his way out, one of the sisters gives him a bottle of herbal medicine to help him sleep better at night. Chan Seong gladly accepts and drinks the liquid content. Back at the hotel, Chan Seong advises the staff of the alternative plan and starts knocking on customers’ doors.
They have pre-selected the candidates, but the bride chooses Chan Seong instead. She says that if she marries one of them she has to go with the soul into the afterlife, however, she wants to go alone so it is much better to have a living groom. Chan Seong accepts the pouch and they prepare for the wedding.
Cutting the red string of fate
Hyun Joong tells Man Wol that the ghost bride picks Chan Seong and that he accepts. She immediately instructs him to go find Yoo Na. Meanwhile, Chan Seong is questioning his choice and tells himself to think of it as a dream and it will be over soon. Just as he opens the door he sees Man Wol’s past covered in a red garment and she was battered and bleeding. For a fleeting moment he thought she was there for a wedding.
He blinks and the image of old Man Wol disappears. In front of him is the present Man Wol scowling. She says how could he marry someone without asking for her permission. Chan Seong argues he does not need to ask her because he is the one who is getting married. They argue and Man Wol reveals that the ghost is not someone who does not want to marry, but a woman who is mad for not getting married. The pouch conceals the woman’s frantic wish to marry the one she loves.
While Man Wol and Chan Seong argues, one of Ma Go’s sister visits the ghost bride. She gives her a gift and says she has a huge decision to make for the sake of the living. Man Wol tells Chan Seong that she will once again save him. This time from the unwanted wedding as she manages to locate the bride’s intended groom. When the groom’s soul arrives in Hotel del Luna, he meets with the bride but at the last minute, decides to discontinue the wedding ceremony and cuts the red string that ties her to him as the groom is not really dead yet.
Things end smoothly for the ghost bride. Man Wol, together with Chan Seong, sends her off to the limousine bound for the afterlife. She confirms with the reaper if it was the third sister who gave the scissors. She scoffs and says that all sisters are helping Chan Seong now. The reaper says Ma Go is the one trying to help her. He also tells her that Chan Seong is the one who will see her off.
Chan Seong laments that in the previous hotel he worked with, he feels happy after seeing a customer leave. However, in Hotel del Luna he feels lonely. Man Wol agrees and says it is because he will not see them again. She also reveals about Ma Go’s plan and tell Chan Seong she will be his last customer. She says that when he sends her off, he must not feel lonely.
Hotel del Luna Episode 5 Afterthoughts
This episode has so much emotions. We finally get to see Man Wol being kind to a person. She was still a little snippy towards Yeon Woo. But you can feel that she adores him like a sister would. She hinted that his feelings may have gone beyond friendship. Still, it was a welcoming sight to see her smile without scorn or sarcasm.
In a way, the ghost bride’s situation was in parallel with Man Wol’s past. Something must have happened in that time that she remembered that specific part of her past or that Chan Seong saw it in his dreams. Perhaps she was also forced into marriage or it was a ploy they used to exact revenge. I hope we get to find out the circumstance that led to that specific scene.
I love how the episode teaches as a lesson about holding on and letting go. The ghost bride wanted to go alone in the afterlife if she can’t be with the one she loves. However, since her man is still living, with a family that needs him, a huge decision has to be made. The bride did the right thing for letting him go and live his life. She may have cut the bond that holds them together, but he would still remain in her heart. She could hold on to that love while having him continue living a life.
Though there is no guarantee he could have a happy life without her, there is still that tiny chance that he could. It is much easier to move on when presented with a choice, rather than force a union at the expense of other people’s happiness.
I am curious about that drink one of Ma Go’s sister gave Chan Seong. It seems that he can just have dreams of her ever if he is not really sleeping. Also there is that lady who was looking for Chan Seong, I wonder how she will fit in the narrative, now that it feels like Chan Seong is slowly being affected by Man Wol’s presence.
Screengrab from tvN.