Blinded By Love
Following yesterday’s dramatic slice of ghost action, Hotel Del Luna returns for another brilliant episode, managing to juggle poignant themes with heartwarming drama and well written romance.
With the distinct sound of Moonlight Sonata in the background, we begin today’s episode with Chan touching the tree and causing it to begin blossoming. Determined to find out if Chan is lying or not about his dreams, Man-Wol demands he sleep so she can find out if he’s telling the truth. He refuses and they talk more as Man discredits the idea that Chan is the reincarnated version of her long lost lover.
As he gets back to work, a woman covered in bee stings arrives and, keeping his composure, he shows her the way to the elevator. Soon after, Chan heads to the bar and tells the bartender he can handle the pressures of the job before the coffee-refill ghost from yesterday’s episode shows up and scares him again. It’s a small inclusion but a cleverly written one that comes about at the perfect time for maximum comic relief.
We also learn a little more backstory around the hotel this episode too. As it happens, if a ghost leaves with no regrets, the flowers bloom which allows Ma Go (the flower lady from last week) to give the hotel supplies in exchange. After a busy day, Chan has another dream and with it, he learns about a man named Yeon Woo who happened to be the man close to Man-Wol. However, the flower lady arrives and gives him a card.
Interspersed around this is a beautiful story that sees a man futilely trying to save his beloved dog before it dies for his owner so they can be reunited in the afterlife. It’s a beautiful, poignant moment and one that really tugged at the heartstrings of this reviewer watching the show. The reunion as they head to the great beyond is such a wonderful moment but it’s also incredibly sad to see them both die together.
Soon after this subplot is wrapped up, Chan strikes up a deal with the first ghost he saw; the lady who originally had gouged eyes. Having had her eyesight returned in a previous episode, Chan helps her move on by finding a baker that holds significance in her life. He allows the ghost to control his body and, more specifically, his hands as this was the last body part she remembers of his. However, he gets thrown out the bakery before attempting to explain himself to his friend Sanchez.
Eventually he finds the right person and she seems fulfilled. However, it turns out that the most powerful memories are those just before someone dies and the lady was a victim of a hit and run right before the man in question held her hands and fled from the scene of the crime on his bike. To make matters worse, the lady was blind as well. Overcome with rage as she learns the truth, the woman reverts back to her original form until Chan convinces her otherwise. He takes this information to the police and the man is arrested, which has the same effect for the ghost. She receives a flower and is sent on to the afterlife, now fulfilled in her role.
Chan returns to the hotel and begins settling into his job. He asks the coffee ghost if he wants a refill and tells a father and son where the beach is in one of the rooms. We also get another look at bee sting lady too who is more radiant and much less scary when we see her again.
However the attention soon returns to the blossoming tree which concerns all involved at the hotel as the tree hasn’t done that in over 1000 years. They decide that their best bet is to expose Chan to room 13 where the ghost inside goes crazy at the faintest hint of a human’s breath. Man-Wol monologues infront of a sleeping Chan lying against the blossoming tree before though. As she picks a leaf off his shoulder, he wakes up and they talk properly together. After discussing trust and protection, the trio of hotel workers task Chan with visiting room 13 and wait anxiously for news of what’s happened following this ordeal.
He turns the key and enters the room, only for it to slam shut after him. He presses on, down a dark, ominous corridor until he reaches a room with a wardrobe. Just as the weird, menacing creature inside looks ready to strike, Man-Wol arrives and suddenly kisses Chan to distract him, as wisps of black smoke trail behind them.
Once again Hotel Del Luna delivers a really great episode, carried in part by the excellent chemistry between IU and Jin-Goo. Their scenes are excellent and really help the show stand out. The majestic, grandiose music is well suited here, and the distinct cinematography, including sharp editing, return this episode too. Hotel Del Luna is quite the creative series and it’s great to see this continuing on past the first episode.
This Korean drama is chock full of so many bittersweet moments and in many ways the series feels like an emotional rollercoaster. The conflicting emotions during these ghost reunions and poignant farewells really emphasize how big of a deal it is that these people are now dead. It’s a small inclusion but one that’s enough to really add some serious weight to proceedings.
Hotel Del Luna delivers another brilliant episode here and it’s hard to argue with the quality of this one. Despite the 70 minute run time, Hotel Del Luna never feels like it drags on but quite whether the show will go some way to wrap everything up at the end remains to be seen.