And the Korean drama that haunted us with kilig and laughter every weeknight finally closed its doors last Friday, January 24 – Hotel Del Luna.
While those who had binge-watched it prior to the Philippine telecast already knew what would happen in the end, those who had seen it for the first time probably wished for a happily ever after for the lead couple Jang Man-wol (Lee Ji-eun a.k.a. IU) and Nathan Koo (Yeo Jin-goo). Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
The surprising revelation
After sending off all her staff to the afterlife, Man-wol wandered through the empty hotel as she reminisced her time there and the moments she shared with them. As Nathan arrived, she told him how sleepy she was and he lifted her up going to her bedroom where they both fell into deep sleep. That’s when he dreamt about rescuing a little girl in trouble at a forest, who turned out to be the Man-wol, as a young boy.
That dream answered not only Nathan’s, but the spectators’, question on why he should be the one to send Man-wol off, exposing that they used to have a connection in their past life – it was Nathan’s past incarnation who told Man-wol about Hotel Del Luna upon knowing that her parents got killed. Although that encounter was only brief, the young boy’s words ingrained the idea of the guest house in her mind. Thus, it was seemingly just appropriate for Nathan to be the one to end 1,000-year-old circle by sending her off and being offered by the deities the chance to do so in his present incarnation.
The heart-rending, yet delighting goodbye
Before sending her off, Nathan’s wish to deity Mago’s (Yi-suk Seo) fancy sister to help him travel back in time was granted, allowing him and Man-wol to experience winter together for the last time.
As they reached the tunnel, the couple terribly fluttered and broke our hearts at the same time as they uttered their bittersweet farewells to one another. Although she still found it truly agonizing to leave him behind, she consoled the sobbing Nathan by vowing to meet him again in their next life and began to walk down the dark tunnel towards the bridge to the afterlife with a smile painted onto her face, signifying the happiness she felt as he finally achieved the closure she truly deserved after providing so to other ghosts, as well as the strength she possessed despite having to let go of the man she truly loved.
Both IU and Yeo Jin-goo did a great job in this particular scene as they succeeded in rending our hearts through their compelling performance and genuine emotions they exuded.
The touching, whimsical reunion
After his unforgettable stint as the general manager of Hotel Del Luna, Nathan decided to go back to New York. But before leaving, he met with Sheena (Kang Mi-na) who updated him that she’s going to take hotel management in college as she aspires to be a hotelier like him and that she already took the medicine that prohibits the seeing of ghosts for her to be able to study well.
She asked Nathan if he did the same too, which he didn’t answer. We figured out that he did not in the next scene, wherein he was still able to see Goddess Ma Go while he went to see the Mount Baekdu painting (that we first saw in the earlier episodes of the series).
As he stared at the painting, Nathan’s imagination was flashed where he was spotted quietly sitting on a park bench in a bright, sunny day while reading a book. Russel (Pyo Ji-hoon), Ms. Choi (Bae Hae-sun), and Mr. Kim (Shin Jung-geun) were also there, but those were apparently their incarnations as they failed to recognize one another.
Man-wol approached him, sat beside him, and leaned her head on his shoulder as they expressed how they look forward on that day when their paths are going to cross again and promised to be together forever once that moment came.
The unexpected cameo
Apart from the revelation about Man-wol and Nathan’s connection, audiences were also treated to another surprise as Korean superstar Kim Soo-hyun, who catapulted to immense popularity after his stint in the 2011 series Dream High that was also broadcast in ABS-CBN, made a cameo appearance!
His stint as the dapper and poised owner of Hotel Blue Moon might be really short, but that was already enough to bring kilig vibes to the viewers! Is this a hint for an upcoming sequel? Well, let’s just find out.
The netizens’ rave reactions
If you felt like going through a rollercoaster ride of emotions while watching Hotel Del Luna’s finale episode tagged as #HDLSweetestGoodbye, then you’re definitely not alone for a lot of netizens felt the same way too, as what their tweets implied.