The Vengeful Spirit
Hotel Del Luna returns this week with another really good episode. With a great balance of humour and comedy throughout this 75 minute slice of Korean drama, Hotel Del Luna is fast becoming one of the contenders for best shows of 2019.
The episode itself begins with Man-Wol reminiscing about times gone past. As the tree continues to blossom – with a sickly green hue and beautiful blue flowers – the good vibes are shattered by the continuing presence of the evil spirit tormenting victims through the internet. As the grim reaper appears along with his associate, they launch their own crusade and begin hunting the evil spirit.
After resolving a conflict in the hotel atrium with a new guest, Man-Wol is approached by Chan-Sung who asks her about the ocean and her cryptic words last episode. Before we get a chance to look into this further however, he discusses financial matters with her, including Man-Wol’s desire to buy a yacht to replace her cars.
However, more pressing matters are at hand as the hotel workers, including Man-Wol, learn that the guest in Room 13 may well be responsible for killing humans. This is a particular problem as it means she’s now an evil spirit and more likely to be snatched up by the Grim reapers. In order to get to her first, her and Chan follow the link for the video circling the internet. As another victim falls prey to the Room 13 guest, Chan Sung then gets on the case and begins looking for clues around the video’s origin.
From here, the rest of the episode sees Man-Wol and Chan working together to go after the next victim before she strikes again. It turns out the victim is Jung Eun-Seok, a powerful CEO that may just have lent an unhelpful hand to the spirit’s eventual suicide. Although they take his cellphone, his laptop springs to life with the familiar video and he’s stalked by the spirit. The CEO runs through his office after shutting his laptop screen down, immediately stopped by the spirit who looks upon him vengefully. As a pane of glass shatters, the spell is broken and the evil spirit begins burning up, her skin glowing an angry orange while Jung sprints away. As Chan rushes to the scene, he realizes it’s too late. The Grim burns the spirit and makes it so she never existed.
Jung Eun-Seok then receives a letter from Man-Wol inviting him to the hotel. He declines, throwing the letter in the bin, oblivious to the letters magically floating off the letter and stalking him back to his car – right into the sat-nav which guides him to the Hotel Del Luna. Once inside, Chan shows him to his room – Room 13. As he opens the door, it’s laid out exactly as the old room where he conducted the illicit videos of the vengeful spirit when she was alive.
A brilliant white light follows as Jung steps through the doorway and winds up in his car, stuck on a level crossing waiting while the gates go down. Man-Wol appears and tells him to remember what he did before we see the train was all an illusion. Only, when Man-Wol leaves the female grim reaper re-appears and this time the threat is real. The train smashes into the car, sending it careering off track and straight into the fields beyond, killing Jung Eun-Seok immediately.
With Jung now dead, Chan heads to the tree to mull over his thoughts with the flower lady standing next to him, commenting how well the tree is doing. It really is a beautiful tree too although Man-Wol’s lustful greed for money is morbidly beautiful too – generating some hilarious moments throughout the final scenes of the episode. As Chan takes her to see about a boat, they’re interrupted by Mi Ra, whom Man-Wol appears to remember from her past life.
Just like the early episodes, Hotel Del Luna masterfully balances both its humour and horror to deliver a spooky, but outright entertaining, episode. With a steady stream of world-building throughout the series so far and more rules and groundwork given with every passing episode. Hotel Del Luna has done really well to mix up its episodes and deliver some memorable moments in the process.
The chemistry between Jin-Goo and IU is surprisingly good too and the banter these two share really helps grow their relationship. Man-Wol’s mysterious past is a constant source of wonder as well and I’d imagine through the episodes we’ll be seeing more of this. Quite where the big antagonistic threat will come from (if any) remains to be seen but I’d imagine the final, emotionally charged, episodes will show Man-Wol finally leaving the hotel.
Still, we haven’t got long to wait for the next episode and Hotel Del Luna is certainly shaping up to be one of the best shows of this year. Roll on tomorrow!