My Secret Hotel remains still sooooo good I want to kiss it senseless. Probably the same feeling that Hae Young has anytime he sees his errant wifey Sang Hyo. Episode 7 was delayed a full week and I was worried that the lull would ruin the momentum but my concern was for naught. This story picks right back up from where episode 6 left off and then does a major game changer that might not make much sense but delivers satisfaction in spades. But for the murder mystery element, this drama has so much rom and com in the way it makes me swoon and laugh in equal parts. While the OTP romance is kicked up a major notch as Hae Young and Sang Hyo’s past goes public in a big way, paving the road for their step-by-step reconciliation, the murder mystery also ups the ante in a shocking doozy. Soo Ah gets my forever thanks in being brave for herself and not ruining more lives by going through with something just because she’s supposed to. Poor Sung Gyum, so close to getting the girl just an episode ago, finds himself taking a very inopportune business trip that leads him missing out on a major event at Secret Hotel.
Hae Young takes full advantage of fate giving him a second chance with Sang Hyo and doesn’t let this prime opportunity pass him by. I love that about him, and I also love that he does it because (1) he loves Sang Hyo and wants another chance and (2) she is so worried about the fate of the hotel. It’s so entertaining watching Sang Hyo’s orderly life get turned upside down now that Hae Young is back in her life, and the same is true for Hae Young as well. The mystery of the hotel is becoming deadlier and the intrigue goes up as the suspects list dwindles. I hope GM Lee is not the killer or the person ordering the killer around, I find his concern for Sang Hyo very paternalistic and if he turns out to be her birth father then she’s going to need major therapy if he also turns out to be the killer. Eun Joo remains a fantastic frenemy to Sang Hyo, helpful in getting her back together with Hae Young just so she can free up Sung Gyum for herself, but at the same time really bringing out needed forward momentum with the OTP. It was delicious earlier with all the pining and trying to get over each other, now it’s time to see if the second go at marriage will have different and better results.
Episode 7 recap:
It’s Hae Young’s wedding day (AGAIN) and his arrival at the Secret Hotel is met by Sang Hyo who happens to pass him in the corridor. They walk past each other and Hae Young is the first to turn around and thank Sang Hyo for her hard work. She sincerely congratulates him on getting married. Later Sang Hyo sits out in the courtyard and her earlier calm demeanor is all gone as she scoffs about congratulating Hae Young on getting married.
Sung Gyum is getting dressed and pauses as he’s putting on his tie. He has the bellboy take his luggage downstairs first before calling Sang Hyo asking to meet her down in the courtyard. She makes an excuse that she’s super busy and even pretends to be calling out instructions to her team as they set up the wedding. Sung Gyum is standing right there in the courtyard and can see she’s totally lying to him.
Sang Hyo freaks out when she spots Sung Gyum standing a few feet away from her. He wonders what to do about her slacking off at work, and grouses his hurt feelings that she’s making excuses not to see him when they are already dating. Sung Gyum then stops teasing her and tells Sang Hyo that he’s off on a business trip for a few days and whether it would be enough time for her to forget Gu Hae Young by the time he comes back? Sang Hyo can’t answer initially and Sung Gyum offers her more time. Sang Hyo shakes her head and is determined to forget her past at today’s wedding.
Sung Gyum hands Sang Hyo a new tie he bought since she wouldn’t buy him one and wants her to put it on him. As Sang Hyo puts the tie on Sung Gyum they get really close and Sung Gyum suddenly asks if they should get married. He reminds Sang Hyo that she asked him to marry her first, and as soon as possible at that. Sang Hyo cinches the tie tightly and orders him to forget that drunken proposal. Sung Gyum instead wants to make public their relationship to the hotel employees once he gets back from this trip. He asks if Sang Hyo is okay with that? She smiles and nods her head. Sung Gyum advises Sang Hyo to avoid Eun Joo in the mean time.
Sang Hyo finishes putting the tie on Sung Gyum and the camera pulls back to reveal that Eun Joo is standing there huffing as she watches this intimate tableau. She can’t believe Sung Gyum really plans to date Sang Hyo but is determined not to give up since it’s not over until the couple walks down the aisle.
Hae Young is not making an effort to wash up and get ready for the wedding which makes Shi Chan try to hurry him along. Soo Ah calls Hae Young’s cell and Shi Chan picks up to assure Soo Ah that Hae Young is busy getting ready. Hae Young takes the phone reluctantly and Soo Ah asks if Hae Young is ready to get married? She looks over and we see that her driver secret boyfriend is sitting beside her in the car and she’s really addressing her conversation to him.
Soo Ah tearfully tells oppa that she really loves him and will continue to love him even after the wedding. Soo Ah takes her driver’s hand as he looks at her very sadly. Soo Ah says again that she will really love only him after the wedding. She asks if oppa feels the same way and her driver mouths “I do.” Hae Young ends the call and Soo Ah looks over at her driver and asks him to drive her to the wedding now.
Shi Chan drags Hae Young to the bathroom to force him to get ready and chides him for being all glum on his wedding day. Hae Young still dawdles and Shi Chan orders him to do right by Soo Ah and prepare for the wedding. Soo Ah and her driver are unhappily driving to the wedding and both of them continue to be exceedingly morose as well.
Hae Young takes forever to shave as he keeps zoning out while Shi Chan rushes him from the room. Soo Ah is crying and her driver reminds her not to mess up her make up. Hae Young finally puts on his tux and is all ready which is when Soo Ah finally can’t stand it anymore and starts howling. Her driver also makes up his mind and asks Soo Ah to run away with him.
Sang Hyo reminds Guard Cha to be extra vigilant for the wedding in keeping order. He assures her there is no need to worry about the recent wedding thief anymore. Sang Hyo assumes he’s referring to the dead Manager Hwang who was found with Hae Young’s wallet beside him. Sang Hyo doesn’t think that means Manager Hwang was definitely the thief so asks Guard Cha to still keep an eye out. Young Mi whisks Sang Hyo away to greet the arriving groom parents.
We see Gi Chul hiding behind a beam eavesdropping on the earlier conversation and he looks shifty. He repeats to himself “Gu Hae Young’s wallet, found beside Manager Hwang’s body?” He appears frightened and looks over at Guard Cha before rushing off.
Sang Hyo greets both sets of parents and Hae Young’s parents are very nice whereas Soo Ah’s mom has an attitude and is dismissive towards Sang Hyo. Turns out the two moms were classmates in their younger days. Sang Hyo tries to play nice and says Soo Ah’s mom is just like Soo Ah….so very pretty. LOL.
Sang Hyo explains to Hae Young’s parents about the order of the upcoming ceremony and then offers them some beverages. Hae Young’s dad asks for water and Sang Hyo grabs some while thinking that Hae Young looks so much like Hae Young’s dad. Hae Young’s mom notices Sang Hyo’s name on her name tag and wonders why such an unusual name seems familiar. Sang Hyo tries to quickly leave and dodges a bullet when Hae Young’s mom thinks her name sounds like that of a famous actress. Hae Young’s mom asks her to bring Hae Young to see the parents before the ceremony.
Hae Young still sports a poker face while waiting for the wedding to start and nothing Shi Chan does can get him to cheer up. Hae Young wonders if it’s fate that he’s supposed to marry Soo Ah? If so then why did he have to meet “her”? Hae Young’s phone rings from Soo Ah calling to apologize before informing him that she’s not coming and she can’t marry him. Sang Hyo arrives just in time to hear this call.
Soo Ah thinks it’s wrong to marry him when she’s in love with another man. She hangs up the phone and turns to her driver boyfriend to announce that she feels alive again. She takes off her veil and lets the wind carry it away before the two drive off together.
Hae Young tells a shocked Shi Chan and Sang Hyo that the bride has run away. Sang Hyo orders Hae Young to bring the bride back! For this wedding she even got on her knees and this wedding also impacts the survival of the hotel. Hae Young angrily asks why Sang Hyo only thinks about the wedding when he’s the one dealing with the shocker that was just dropped on him.
Soo Ah’s mom rushes in and confirms that her daughter also called Hae Young to inform him that she’s pulled a runaway bride routine. Soo Ah’s mom is so upset and wonders how she’ll face Hae Young’s mom. Sang Hyo heads down to the ballroom and sees that preparations are almost done. Hae Young has come up with a Plan B and roped Soo Ah’s mom and Shi Chan into it. Shi Chan asks if Hae Young is sure about this and he declares that this is fate.
Sang Hyo brings the hotel team together inside the ballroom to inform them of this shocker. Hae Young also tells his parents the bad news but asks for their trust in him. He promises they won’t be disappointed with how he’s going to handle this matter.
Sang Hyo laments how the wedding preparation is so perfect this time. Eun Joo wonders where the bride is and why she’s not in the waiting room? Sang Hyo drops the shocker that the bride has run away and the wedding is off now!
Guests of the bride’s side of the family all get texts from Soo Ah’s mom not to come to the wedding or to leave immediately.
The hotel employees are all in an uproar with the wedding being cancelled leaving all the food untouched and the reporters waiting outside. Hae Young arrives in the ballroom and announces to everyone that the wedding isn’t being called off. Sang Hyo asks if the bride is back and hears that Soo Ah is still gone. Hae Young says he has Sang Hyo, right? She is his bride and she can just pretend this is like their wedding 7 years ago. Everyone gathered in the ballroom gasps to learn that Hae Young and Sang Hyo were once married.
Hae Young is perfectly serious about his suggestion especially since the wedding preparation was all done according to what Sang Hyo likes. In that case she can have a wedding ceremony that she loves. Sang Hyo wonders if Hae Young has gone crazy but he hasn’t and thinks of this as the proper wedding they didn’t have 7 years ago.
Eun Joo interrupts to write the story behind this wedding – Hae Young and Sang Hyo were married 7 years ago and broke up, but they met again and fell in love again. That’s the story she will tell the reporters outside. Sang Hyo wants to be honest and tell the reporters that the wedding has been called off. Eun Joo brings up how Sang Hyo is the future of the hotel and she’s going to let the hotel be destroyed over this? All the employees here will be out of a job after this and it’s not something Sang Hyo can fix simply by quitting her job.
Hae Young asks Sang Hyo to go through with it but she thinks its absurd. Eun Joo doesn’t find it absurd at all and raises her hand in voting yes, which leads to all the employees also voting yes for the wedding to go through with Sang Hyo and Hae Young. Before Sang Hyo can decide she’s called outside to deal with Soo Ah’s mom causing a commotion in kicking all her guests out of the hotel.
Eun Joo tells Guard Cha to delay the wedding half an hour and to remove all signs that the bride’s name is Jung Soo Ah. The bride has been changed to Nam Sang Hyo. Hae Young asks if Eun Joo thinks Sang Hyo will show up to get married and Eun Joo isn’t sure either but she would be thrilled if Sang Hyo agrees.
Sung Gyum pulls up to a resort in the mountains and a group of hotel managers rush out to greet him. He’s surprised they know he’s Director Jo and gets confirmation that GM Lee told this team that he was coming which ruins his plan to secretly observe the this hotel’s management.
As Sung Gyum heads up to his room, a pretty girl spots him and rushes into his arms calling him “Gong Min oppa” (a cameo by Hong Jin Young, Namgong Min’s We Got Married wife). Sung Gyum pries her off him and the manager explains to her that he’s Director Jo Sung Gyum. The girl apologizes for mistaking him for her husband and worries that he’s been meeting girls often and she’s here to catch him cheating on her. LOL. Poor Sung Gyum quickly makes his getaway from this crazy lady.
Sang Hyo is pacing in the courtyard wondering about Hae Young’s suggestion for yet another wedding farce. She thinks Gyung Hee is there to convince her to go ahead with the wedding but Gyung Hee brings up how people have regrets about love when death comes calling. If she had feelings still and had a chance now, she would go ahead and do it. Sang Hyo doesn’t want to let her remaining feelings cause her to make another mistake.
Guard Cha and his team are checking invitations of all the arriving guests, letting on the groom’s side guests enter while redirecting the bride’s side guests away. Inside the ballroom, the older gentleman who had a heart attack is back and he wonders why the something feels off. Eun Joo is assuring another employee that this idea will work since no one from the groom’s side of the family remembers the name of the bride anyways. The older gentleman suddenly thinks the bride’s name is not Nam Sang Hyo, wasn’t it Jung Soo Ah last time. He points to the wedding cake with Soo Ah’s name still on it and Eun Joo quickly grabs the name frosting off and eats it. Ahahaha.
Shi Chan gets on the microphone to thank the guests for attending the wedding of Gu Hae Young and Nam Sang Hyo. That gets Jung Eun to stand up and scream at Shi Chan about why the bride has changed to Nam Sang Hyo from Jung Soo Ah. All the guests start whispering about this bride change so Eun Joo takes the microphone and smoothly asks if all the guests believe in fate or miracles? Eun Joo wants to share the love story between Hae Young and Sang Hyo, a story that will make everyone believe in fate and miracles.
Guard Cha informs a shocked GM Lee that Manager Nam is now the bride in the wedding and he’s furious that no one told him until now. He is about to storm out of his office to put a stop to it when he finds Sang Hyo standing at his door. He assures her that no one can force her to go through with this wedding.
Eun Joo is getting so into her storytelling as she shares how Sang Hyo was preparing Hae Young’s wedding and the two of them tried to restrain their feelings for each other. But they still loved each other and Soo Ah saw their true love so she stepped aside and prepared this wedding for Sang Hyo and Hae Young with her blessing. That is why Soo Ah’s mom is here as well to attend the wedding. The guests are all placated and excited about the wedding to start and even a frustrated Jung Eun is told to sit the heck down!
Eun Joo announces the entrance of the groom as Hae Young walks down the aisle. Shi Chan announces the entrance of the bride and all the guests stare in anticipation towards the door. The music starts and keeps on going but the door doesn’t open and no bride is entering. Shi Chan announces again the entrance of the very nervous bride and Hae Young keeps his eyes trained on the door as if praying for Sang Hyo to arrive.
Finally the door to the ballroom opens to reveal Sang Hyo wearing a wedding dress with GM Lee walking her down the aisle. The look of relief on Hae Young’s face is sooooo palpable. GM Lee confirms one last time that Sang Hyo is good with going through with the wedding and she nods back before they head down the aisle towards Hae Young.
Sang Hyo’s smile is totally brilliant and Hae Young’s eyes light back to see her walking towards him again. Young Mi snarks at why Gyung Hee is crying when it’s Sang Hyo getting married? Gyung Hee remembers that the wedding suite needs to be prepared and sends Young Mi to do the final set up. Young Mi angrily storms off muttering about how it’s going to end soon the way she has to be ordered about. Guard Cha notes her departure up to the wedding suite.
Young Mi changes out all the names in the suite from Soo Ah to Sang Hyo before plopping down on the rose petal strewn bed and wondering when it’s her turn to live the high life? She takes out a necklace and talks to herself about the plan to blackmail Soo Ah falling apart with her running off with her secret boyfriend. But at least Manager Hwang left her a life saving route before he died. Someone appears to be spying on Young Mi who takes out her phone and calls someone. She stares at the necklace and asks the caller if her suggestion has been decided? Timing is of the essence since the other side is interested as well. She suddenly hears the suite door open and close loudly.
Hae Young and Sang Hyo exchange their vows again and everything is going swimmingly until Hae Young looks down and notices that Sang Hyo has her fingers crossed. Sang Hyo gives Hae Young a defiant “what?” look right back.
Young Mi is arguing with an unknown person in the suite and holding the necklace, declaring that she got it fair and square. if the person doesn’t want to deal then there are others who want to pay for it. Young Mi goes to the bathroom to prep it for the wedding night as well and scoffs at the person she left in the hotel room. She hears the suite door opening and closing.
The newlyweds have finished their vows and the guests are chanting for them to kiss. Hae Young steps closer and Sang Hyo warns him not to think about it. He pulls her close and strokes her veil before leaning in to kiss her.
Young Mi finishes setting up the bathroom when she’s struck from behind on the head with a heavy object by an unknown assailant. She stumbles forward into the bathroom and touches her head to find her hand covered in blood. A frightened Young Mi steps up on the sunken bathtub rim before tripping and falling dead inside the bathroom as her head strikes the edge of the tub.
Sang Hyo and Hae Young tenderly kiss and she thinks herself that this is just for show. Rose petals fall on them as the guests cheer but a very disgruntled Jung Eun storms out.
The newlyweds are gathered for group pictures and Hae Young has to remind Sang Hyo to smile. She snipes back that she’s not happy and then flashes a smile for the cameras. The hotel employees wonder where Young Mi is and we see her laying totally dead in the suite tub.
Detective Kim is eating with the Vice GM at the precinct when his partner Detective Lee sits down with the update that the person Manager Hwang called on the night he died was Sung Gyum’s mom. WHAT? Detective Kim remembers what Hae Young said, that Manager Hwang was threatening the person on the other end of the call with going to talk with the son. At the resort, Sung Gyum answers a call from assistant Simon and asks him how it went? After he hangs up, he looks at his call log and there is a call earlier from Young Mi. Ooooooh, the plot thickens!
Hae Young and Sang Hyo have changed into traditional Korean wedding outfits and are paying their respects by bowing to Hae Young’s parents. The parents ask Sang Hyo to take care of their Hae Young. The rest of the relatives tells Sang Hyo to have babies and lots of them, to take care of Hae Young, and not to fight for inheritance with the siblings.
Hae Young and Sang Hyo retire to the wedding suite together and both are exhausted after a long day. Sang Hyo wonders what kind of family Hae Young has and why everyone has such strong opinions? Hae Young reluctantly tells Sang Hyo that his family owns one of the biggest development companies in Korea. He quickly adds that his dad owns it and the succession is going to his brothers. Sang Hyo can’t believe there is so much about Hae Young that she never knew.
Eun Joo calls Sang Hyo for her to stay put in the wedding suite since the reporters are spending the night at the hotel and have totally bought into the wedding. Sang Hyo yells at Hae Young for getting her into this farcical mess. Hae Young is about to ask Sang Hyo to start over again when Sung Gyum calls asking if the wedding is over and she’s sent Hae Young away in her life.
Hae Young is annoyed she’s on the phone with Sung Gyum and purposes declares loudly that he’s going to wash up. Sang Hyo quickly lies that she’s alone. Sung Gyum describes how the stars are dotting the sky and so bright it looks like he can reach out and pluck them. Sang Hyo wants to see such stars and Sung Gyum offers to take her on a trip next time to the same place. Hae Young is about to open the door to the bathroom but hears Sang Hyo’s conversation and storms back, missing out on finding the dead Young Mi in the bathtub.
Before Sang Hyo can answer Sung Gyum’s offer to take a trip together, Hae Young grabs the phone from her hand and tosses it on the bed. Sang Hyo calls Hae Young rude for hanging up her call but he points out that they got married and she’s flirting with another man on the phone. Sang Hyo says the wedding is not real anyways and why does he keep dragging her into his impetuous mess. She storms to bed and pulls the cover over herself to ignore Hae Young.
After Sang Hyo falls asleep, Hae Young stares at her from the sofa grinning like a fool. He quickly pretends to fall asleep while Sang Hyo gets up and stares at him sleeping on the sofa. She wonders if she was too mean to him today? She walks off and Hae Young smiles after hearing what she said.
Sang Hyo opens the door to the bathroom and sees the dead Young Mi in the bathtub and screams!
Thoughts of Mine:
It sure is deadly dangerous getting married in the Secret Hotel. Death and weddings have come hand-in-hand in the last two ceremonies involving Hae Young and if the killer is trying to lay low then he or she is doing a terrible job. To kill to keep a secret only works if the kill doesn’t bring more attention to the secret. Young Mi’s death is clearly tied to Manager Hwang’s murder, and together it’s getting more and more fascinating at Secret Hotel. Thank god Hae Young is now “married” to Sang Hyo, whether it’s real or just for show (up to the two of them to hash it out), at least he’s around to keep her safe. Sung Gyum seriously got the rug pulled out from under him by picking the worst possible day to leave Sang Hyo’s side. I wonder how he’ll react when he finds out Sang Hyo married Hae Young in the eyes of the world? He probably won’t care if Sang Hyo insists its just for show and meant to save the hotel from going under. But this means Hae Young gets every legit opportunity to spend time with Sang Hyo and those two were always just about working through their past grievances and misunderstandings before they got together again. Anyone with eyes can see they still have major feelings for each other. At least Hae Young is pretty much open about it while Sang Hyo wants to just keep her head in the sand. I wonder how badly behaved Hae Young was right before their break up to leave Sang Hyo so afraid of being hurt by him again?
Soo Ah is a plot device for sure but in this episode I actually felt something for her character. The scene in the convertible with her driver was clearly intended to mimic Sang Hyo and Hae Young’s elopement and shotgun marriage in Las Vegas and it worked marvelously. I could feel Soo Ah’s love for her driver and her reluctance to get married. When he asked her to run away and she called off the wedding, it wasn’t just a convenient out for Hae Young but actually delivered a satisfying emotional moment for Soo Ah. Nicely done, drama. I do call it the height of ridiculousness that Hae Young and Sang Hyo got married just like that. Whether to save the hotel or to save face for both Soo Ah’s family and Hae Young’s family, the bride switch was so simply executed its not even worth plumbing any logical possibilities. It happened and allowed our OTP a reason to get hitched and give this drama a nice shot in the arm by ending Hae Young’s uncomfortable impending marriage to Soo Ah. Now it’s time to see what else the drama has in store in bundling up more mystery reveals and romantic interludes. A wedding kiss between Hae Young and Sang Hyo is nice and all but I really want to see them getting hot and bothered when alone.
What makes the romantic conflict satisfying to watch is in the interplay of trust and maturation. Hae Young and Sang Hyo were so young when they fell in love and tried out marriage without the understanding of how to make it work. Both were still in the early stages of their professional careers and it’s so easy to find feelings suffering under the anvil of real life responsibilities and dreams. Now they are both successful but weary and scared in stark contrast to their eager and daring younger selves. The murders and runaway brides that keep scuttling Hae Young’s resigned attempt to settle down nicely gives the two hesitant exes more excuses to keep running into each other and rekindling the unresolved longing for each other. Sung Gyum is a nice third wheel because in any situation where Hae Young is not Sang Hyo’s ex-husband, Sung Gyum would be a viable rival suitor and his brand of wooing Sang Hyo continues to curl my toes with his simmering hotness. He’s bottled up sexy without the volcanic eruption potential of Hae Young. I’m sad to see Young Mi go since death isn’t something to be cheered on even if she was a blackmailing envious snarker. It was her own greed that did her in and for that I’m sorry since her envy was understandable from her limited means background. Her death ups the stakes for Detective Kim to step back into investigative mode as the hotel that keeps many secrets offers up yet another tantalizing murder for him to solve.