The Spirit Of The Well
Out of all the Korean dramas released this year, Hotel Del Luna is the one I look forward to the most and right now, is one of the top contenders for best TV shows of the year. After last week’s dramatic double bill of episodes, Hotel Del Luna takes a bit of a back seat with its latest poignant slice of ghostly drama.
Following the cliffhanger ending we received, we begin with Man-Wol watching Chan Sung from afar, while the Reaper, with the help of others who work at the hotel, separate the displaced guests into two groups – those who want to stay at the hotel and those who want to go to the afterlife. With the hotel successfully moved, Man-Wol decides to call on Yu-Na to be the new human manager there. En-route to the hotel Yu-Na is distracted by a car housing a ghost with bloody eyes, prompting her to chase after it.
Meanwhile, Chan Sung learns that Man-Wol has abandoned him and that he has no way of getting back to her. The ability to see ghosts has been taken away for the time being too and the hotel workers worry that, because of this, Man-Wol may do something dangerous again. Instead, she learns the hard way how useful Chan-Sung was to the running of the hotel.
With taxes bearing down on her and the sale of the old hotel throwing up a new set of challenges to tackle, she calls on the help of a lawyer ghost, one that died from over-working, to make sense of the numbers. The situation seems bleak, and after being duped into speaking to Chan Sung on the phone, Man-Wol rejects his offer of help and instead, continues to berate and disrespect the other workers in the hotel.
Chan Sung encounters another ghost soon after, having successfully regained his ability to see the dead, and leads him to the hotel. Once there, a wide-eyed Man-Wol is shocked to see Chan Sung appear. He plays it cool though, telling her he only led the man to the hotel so he could learn how to sell the painting – which he advises soon after making it to the hotel. He thanks her for the severance pay and tells his former boss he didn’t expect her to abandon him and the painting.
Thanks to Chan-Sung’s kind-hearted nature, he lets a spirit in that controls the village well, causing the hotel to begin flooding. Deciding to speak to the spirit personally, despite objections from Man-Wol, Chan Sung heads off to the room he’s staying at, reluctantly followed by Man-Wol at a distance. After stepping foot in his room, Chan Sung finds himself in a surreal black and white world. He asks the spirit to leave but he refuses, telling the former hotelier that he’s scared of being abandoned. While Man-Wol and Chan Sung work together to help the ghost, Yu-Na shows up at the hotel with a number of guests following her ordeal on the road.
With the spirit of the well now free, Man-Wol asks what Chan-Sung saw at the bottom of the well. Although he refuses to tell her, remaining cryptic, we cut away to see exactly what Chan saw – which includes visions of the Reaper taking Man-Wol’s soul. As they dance around this fact together in present time, the episode closes out with Chan Sung telling her she needs to take care of him from now on.
Although some may feel a little disappointed by the lack of character or plot development here, the welcome change of pace from the dramatic spike last week, is a good move and helps catch our breath before the next inevitable, shocking plot twist to come. Man-Wol and Chan Sung continue to dance around their ideas of romance too but the chemistry between them is electric at times, helping to add an extra dimension to this show. While many are predicting that these two will have a tear-eyed goodbye at the end, I’d wager a guess it goes deeper than that, with the ideas of past lives playing heavily over what’s going on here.
Stylistically, the episode is another good one with a beautiful musical score to back it up too. Although not quite as dramatic as last week’s episode 8, there’s enough here to make for another very good episode indeed.