Hotel Del Luna – Season 1 Episode 3 Recap & Review


Tormented Souls

We return to Hotel Del Luna this week with another stand-alone ghost tale to solve whilst learning more about Man Wol’s past in the process.

We begin with more backstory into Man Wol as we see her past, overlooking an ambush on a royal convey before ending up capturing the captain of the guards as a prisoner. For now she has the upper-hand until she falls in quicksand and the roles are reversed.

Chan Seon then awakens after dreaming of Man Wol in the past and, after making his way to the main atrium of the hotel, thanks her for saving him. They discuss how she managed to move him back to the hotel and their playful banter helps add some lighthearted humour after the dramatic opening segment of the episode. Man Wol shows Chan some of the rooms in the hotel, including a special room housing a massive sandy beach and lush blue sea. As he marvels at the beauty of it, she explains to him that nothing inside the hotel is strictly real because they exist outside reality.

She then takes takes him to a neon rooftop overlooking the beautiful night skyline of Seoul where they talk about life before Man Wol leaves Chan in the presence of a ghost asking for a refill on coffee. It’s a really beautiful scene too and one that adds more than a hint of romance in the air between them.

After an incident in the land of the living hints at possible issues for Man Wol to deal with, the other workers dissuade the idea of Chan Seon joining them as the hotel manager. After discussing the other 2 candidates who didn’t make the cut, Man Wol is left on her own while the other hotel workers speak to Chan about his role. From here, we learn how each of these three died originally, enhanced somewhat thanks to some clever editing. After bidding them all good night, Chan Seon heads to bed while Man Wol reminisces over her past romance.

After some drama involving the tiger picture from last week, the hotel workers are none too happy with Chan as he allows an unwelcome guest to stay at the hotel. That guest happening to be the lost spirit from earlier in the episode who fell off the bridge and is currently caught between worlds. As it turns out, all of this is linked to a necklace which Man Wol explains the significance of to Chan. We then see what really happened on the bridge and how the girl fell to her death.

Never one for subtlety, Man Wol tells Yu Na’s parents about what really happened on the bridge. She tells them to destroy the necklace which, unfortunately, kills the girl’s spirit too. As she screams for her parents to stop, they watch the necklace melt in the fire as the ghost dissolves into nothingness.

With the drama over for now, Chan learns more about Man Wol’s past, including the fact that he was third in line for the job. He confronts her about it and she tells him he completely caught her fancy so the order of placement for the job means nothing. Chan tells her he suspects she misses the past and, more specifically, her long lost lover. It turns out she’s been waiting for him all this time so Chan takes this opportunity to tell her he can’t stop thinking about her. As Man Wol struggles to keep her composure, we leave the episode with both of them staring into one another’s eyes.

Once again Hotel Del Luna delivers a really good episode. The blend of humour, romance and drama works perfectly and Man Wol’s acting really helps ignite the series. The subtle facial expressions, the ending segment with her composure wavering and all those tiny hints at a more vulnerable side under her facade is conveyed beautifully here. While Jin-Goo still does a good job with his role, it’s IU who really stands out here.

The individual case involving the tormented ghost is okay but ultimately it’s the drama between Chan and Man that’ll keep you coming back for more. Given the ending we receive here who knows what will happen next but at least we won’t have to wait too long to find out!


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