Fading Like A Flower
Following yesterday’s rather subdued episode, we return to Hotel Del Luna tonight with a final twist in the serial killer plot and another step toward a tragic ending to this beautifully written Korean drama. With a longer run-time clocking in at around 90 minutes or so, Hotel Del Luna makes the most of its extra run-time, ending with a final kiss between Man-Wol and Chan-Sung, a moment we’ve been waiting for since the show begun all those weeks ago.
We open the episode with Man-Wol acting apathetic toward the female Grim Reaper’s threats. In retaliation, she calls her wicked, bringing attention to the moments with Chan-Sung’s mother which appears to cut deep, as our hotel owner begins shaking.
It turns out the serial killer was Ji Won, one of Chan Sung’s old associated. He attempts to act calmly around the murderer, until Ji Won leaves the room momentarily, allowing Chan to confirm with the ghost about him being the killer. With a simple nod of the head, Ji Won then grabs a needle and the two wrestle. As Yu Na walks by the club, she notices the police tape outside and assumes Chan-Sung is dead. After relaying as much to the hotel workers, when Chan walks through the front door, Man-Wol realizes he’s actually still alive, allowing them all to breathe a sigh of relief.
Man-Wol attends to Chan-Sung’s injuries soon after and after applying the wrong ointment to his face, Chan-Sung embraces Man-Wol and the two share a tender moment together. She reveals some home truths about Yeon Woo; details about how his Mother took her in and raised her from a young age, making his death all the more difficult to swallow.
We then cut back to present day, courtesy of Chan-Sung, who fills us in on the blanks with his encounter with Ji Won. Smirking, the crazed killer slit his own throat but, still alive, he’s rushed off to hospital. Ji Won awakens soon after though, heading up to the roof while thinking over Chan-Sung’s words, where he tells her about the ghosts he sees. Ji Won heads to the roof and demands tospeak to Chan-Sung, who rushes to the scene and arrives on the roof. Man-Wol appears soon after too and the two argue about what to do with him. However, Ji-Won makes the decision for him and jumps, letting go of the roof and falling to his death, telling him he hopes his latest post on the Helllo website gains a lot of attention.
However, like clockwork Ji Won shows back up again as a spirit. Man-Wol promises to burn him to ashes however a protective veil surrounds him, preventing her from hurting him. She figures out his hatred for Chan-Sung and cursing his life before dying ultimately shields him from any wrong-doing and gives him power. As he fades away, promising to return again, Man-Wol tells Chan not to leave her side. After mischievously discussing sleep patterns, Chan goes to a sleep clinic along with Man-Wol instead. Once there, he learns that she struck a deal with the grim reaper, a plan to bring a specific spirit into the hotel in exchange for helping Chan-Sung.
Meanwhile, the flower lady and the grim discuss the Moon Tree, where he tells her that if all the flowers drop, will she cease to exist. As the familiar firefly spirit encircles the tree, we cut back in time where we learn Man-Wol’s forbidden lover was forced to betray her to save her life. The firefly happens to be his spirit; the final glimmer of a promise that may come true.
After holding up her end of the bargain, the Grim Reaper agrees to find the vengeful spirit while Chan-Sung and Man-Wol catch up with Sanchez who arrives after the funeral. Determined to make sure Veronica has a comfortable after-life experience, Chan-Sung promises to give his food to her until Man-Wol begins taunting him, prompting them both to take their conversation outside where she opens up and confesses her vulnerability and fear. Chan brushes off her excuses and heads back to Sanchez, leaving her standing by herself outside.
Dressed all in white, Man-Wol stares up at the wilting moon tree before standing outside and catching up with Chan-Sung about the flowers, telling him that the petals are falling from the tree as prophesied. Thinking it over, Chan contemplates whether the petals falling are actually falling on him, making it more painful to carry the longer it goes. He tells her not to be afraid when she does eventually leave, prompting tears to fall from her face again. Finally, after numerous episodes Man-Wol and Chan-Sung kiss and embrace properly.
Exciting and engrossing throughout, Hotel Del Luna continues its excellent work here, delivering a thrilling and absorbing 90 minutes of drama. The extended run time this week works really well too, with a lot more wiggle room for the exposition to shine through, which is always a welcome sight. Man-Wol and Chan’s kiss was also a big moment here and not only am I glad they left it to the last seconds of the episode to do so, the build-up leading this moment over the episodes has been excellent.
While the serial killer sub-plot feels a little cliched and does nothing to really further the main narrative of the show, the acting is ultimately what helps this stand-out and makes Hotel Del Luna such a wonderful show to watch. With two weeks left and the Moon Tree wilting freely, I’d imagine we’re going to receive a sad or bittersweet ending here and, given the excellent work put into this show thus far, I’m confident it’ll be every bit as memorable and emotionally charged as the rest of this show.