Episode 15 of My Secret Hotel pushed me over the edge. I simply don’t give a flying fug about this drama or any of the characters anymore. The romance, the mystery, the mood, all of that has died a slow death under the sheer inability of the screenwriter to actually tell a story. Set up an interesting premise, string along the events in a steady pace, and reach a satisfying and logical conclusion, the first part was done by the first writer but the second writer couldn’t do the latter two if her life depended on it. It’s sad but even my sorrow at what this drama could have been has withered away from the sheer repetitive dullness of watching a love triangle go nowhere based solely on not talking.
Sung Gyum spends the episode being very pissy and angry only to have a “you can’t handle the truth” moment handed to him in the end. There is still no reveal on who the killer is but frankly I wouldn’t be surprised at this point if episode 16 revealed the Secret Hotel sat on the Hellmouth and all the killings were the work of demons and Sang Hyo is really the “chosen one” not as the hotel heiress but as the slayer here to kick some butt. That would be preferable to the lameness of everything that’s happened so far. All I want now is to just forget MSH even existed and get through recapping tomorrow’s final episode, but if even that sucks donkey balls then I’ll go dig a hole to bury it afterwards so it doesn’t resurrect to taint future dramas.
Episode 15 recap:
Sang Hyo cries as she sees the romantic dinner Hae Young prepared for her sitting on the table. She believes finally that Hae Young is sincere towards her (like him insisting she marry him again wasn’t a big glaring neon sign enough) which makes her worried about what she’s going to do now. Hae Young is off being a budding alcoholic and sits at a bar stroking the wedding picture of him with Sang Hyo before asking the bartender for an entire bottle.
Shi Chan tries to counsel and console Jung Eun to get over Hae Young since he’s already married. Jung Eun refuses because she can’t find a man as good as Hae Young. Logic and common sense, this girl clearly has none. When Shi Chan steps aside to grab more tissues for her, Jung Eun intercepts a text on Shi Chan’s phone from Hae Young asking that he come to the bar. Jung Eun goes to the bar and picks up a drunk Hae Young.
Shi Chan comes back with the tissues and finds Jung Eun gone already. He reads Hae Young’s text and knows exactly where to find her. Shi Chan arrives too late as Jung Eun puts Hae Young in her car and drives off with him. Ugh, there aren’t enough words in the English language to use for “die Bitch die” so I’ll just keep saying the same refrain whenever Jung Eun shows up. It’s morning time and Sang Hyo looks around the still empty apartment where Hae Young didn’t come home last night. She packs him a change of clothes and waits for him outside his office.
Sang Hyo is about to approach Hae Young when she notices that he’s getting out of Jung Eun’s car. Sang Hyo recognizes Jung Eun and flashes back to meeting Jung Eun in the US. Jung Eun tells Hae Young that whenever he needs a place to stay he can always come to find her. Shi Chan runs out to ask where Hae Young slept last night? Was he with Joo Jung Eun? Hae Young doesn’t answer and goes inside while Shi Chan demands to know why Hae Young is out with another woman when he insisted on marrying Sang Hyo again and wanted to make the marriage work.
Sang Hyo sees and hears all of this and stumbles off to sit down and cry. Her flashback continues where Sang Hyo got the plane ticket from Hae Young, she actually packed her bags and went to New York to be with him. When she knocked on Hae Young’s door, Jung Eun opened the door wearing only Hae Young’s shirt. Jung Eun sees Sang Hyo and scoffs “You must be Las Vegas?”
Jung Eun claims Hae Young is showering now but Sang Hyo can come in and wait for him. Hae Young’s voice calls out asking if Jung Eun has seen the black shirt he laid out. Jung Eun tells Sang Hyo to come in if she wants but Hae Young is calling for her now. Hae Young tells Jung Eun to hurry up because he’s late. Sang Hyo decides not to go inside and clutches her suitcase and walks away sobbing. Oh shit, this really is baaaad.
Sang Hyo goes back to Las Vegas and rips up her picture with Hae Young before packing up the entire apartment and leaving. Sang Hyo’s friend tries to stop her from leaving and laments she she even quitting her job all for this guy to follow him to NYC. Back in the present Sang Hyo cries and tells herself that it was all over back then. She got over it already and it doesn’t matter who Gu Hae Young is with now. But then why does her tears keep coming?
Hae Young asks Shi Chan directly if he likes Jung Eun? Hae Young assures Shi Chan that nothing happened with Jung Eun. By the time he got to Jung Eun’s place he was already sober and he doesn’t see her as a woman. Shi Chan asks why Hae Young didn’t go home last night then? Hae Young was scared that when he got home Sang Hyo would have left already.
Sung Gyum is at the event planning department and runs into Gyung Hee who asks if he’s here to see Sang Hyo? Sung Gyum claims he was just passing by but then asks Gyung Hee to take care of Sang Hyo since the situation at the hotel might get messy in the near future. The cops have unearthed the connection between GM Lee and Guard Cha. When Guard Cha was in high school he accidentally killed another classmate who was GM Lee’s son. But GM Lee forgave Guard Cha and even paid for him to attend college.
Guard Cha approaches Sung Gyum outside Secret Hotel and confesses that he had no intention of hurting Sang Hyo but was trying to warn Sung Gyum to leave the hotel. Sung Gyum asks if he’ll be dead if he doesn’t heed the warning like all the others? He asks why Guard Cha is doing GM Lee’s bidding and Guard Cha claims he isn’t doing anything because of GM Lee. Sung Gyum doesn’t believe him and tells him that the investigation will be expanded soon.
Guard Cha calls Gyung Hee to plead with her to not believe anything she’s soon going to hear about him. She tearfully agrees. Guard Cha ends the call with her when the detectives arrive to arrest him for the attempted murder of Sang Hyo when he almost ran her over. Gyung Hee freaks out as she watches Guard Cha led away in handcuffs.
Eun Joo watches the detectives march Guard Cha out of the hotel and hears from the other employees that he’s been arrested for attempted murder.
Sang Hyo calls work and tells Gi Chul who answers the phone that she’s not coming in to work. Gyung Hee takes the phone and assures Sang Hyo that she’ll handle everything at work.
GM Lee storms past Simon into Sung Gyum’s office to ask him to stop his investigation otherwise when the dirty secrets all come out then a lot of people will be hurt. GM Lee asks to take full responsibility for what happened to Sang Hyo which Sung Gyum assumes means he ordered Guard Cha to do it. Sung Gyum wants all the secrets to be revealed, including how his father died. GM Lee says the death was thirty years ago and the statute of limitations has passed so there is no need to keep investigating. Sung Gyum wants to strip away GM Lee’s fake facade of righteousness so the world can see who he really is.
GM Lee grabs Sung Gym by the collar and orders him to stop now, calling Sung Gyum’s dad a piece of trash. Sung Gyum’s mom walks in and ends the conversation. GM Lee leaves Sung Gyum with the warning that if the truth comes out then Sung Gyum will be hurt the most.
Hae Young stares at pictures of him with Sang Hyo on his phone and finally calls her but hangs out before she answers. Shi Chan urges Hae Young to go home early and spend the night making up with her. Shi Chan offers to be Hae Young’s alibi for last night on where he went. Hae Young wonders if Sang Hyo is home waiting for him? Shi Chan is sure she’s home but not for long if Hae Young keeps staying home. His advice is for Hae Young to go home and sincerely woo her.
Hae Young goes home and doesn’t see Sang Hyo’s shoes in the hallway. He walks into the kitchen and remembers his mom cooking there with Sang Hyo. He wanders around the rest of the empty apartment looking sad but perks up when he sees Sang Hyo’s clothes still in the dresser. She comes back and he quickly goes to talk with her, asking if she’s alright. Sang Hyo is very calm and cool with him.
Hae Young brings up last night and apologizes for not coming home because he thought she wouldn’t be here. Sang Hyo asks where he spent last night then? Hae Young lies that he was with Shi Chan in the office. Sang Hyo quietly accepts his lie and goes to her room claiming to be tired.
Eun Joo finds Sang Hyo at work the next day and hears that she’s fine. Sang Hyo hears from Eun Joo that Guard Cha was arrested for trying to kill Sang Hyo and now the entire hotel is in an uproar. Eun Joo gets a call from a reporter and she steps aside to handle the bad PR. Sang Hyo can’t believe it’s Guard Cha but Gi Chul is certain the allegations are true. Gyung Hee orders Gi Chul to stop speculating since there is no evidence of Guard Cha doing the bad things.
Hae Young freaks out after getting a call from reporter Jung Eun about the serial murders happening in Secret Hotel and how the last attempt was on Sang Hyo’s life. He rushes out of the office to find Sang Hyo.
Sung Gyum goes to the police station with Sang Hyo to give a statement but she’s having a hard time believing Guard Cha tried to kill her. Sung Gyum tells her to just tell the truth and thinks to himself that soon it’ll all over over for GM Lee.
Detective Kim goes from watching Guard Cha’s interrogation to taking Sang Hyo’s statement. He winks at Sang Hyo that everything is over because Guard Cha confessed to killing Manager Hwang and Young Mi and trying to kill Sang Hyo. Sung Gyum asks what the motive is and hears that he doesn’t have one. Sung Gyum slams his hand on the table in anger and accuses Guard Cha of lying. Detective Kim has no choice since without further evidence and with Guard Cha’s confession, this case will be closed like this.
Guard Cha is transferred back to his cell and he passes by Sang Hyo and Sung Gyum and exchanges looks with them. Sang Hyo is rattled thinking back to the car that almost ran her over.
Shi Chan calms Hae Young down and calls Jung Eun for the latest update and hears that the murderer has been arrested and confessed. After ending the call Shi Chan wonders why Hae Young was in such a rush earlier to go find Sang Hyo when there was nothing he could do? Hae Young know he couldn’t help but still felt there was a need to be there for Sang Hyo.
Sung Gyum wordlessly drives Sang Hyo home and advises her to not think too much about today and get some rest. Sang Hyo can barely unbuckle her seat belt since she’s still too frightened. Sung Gyum apologizes for not noticing her shaken state since he was so upset earlier. After stepping out of the car, Sung Gyum puts his hand on Sang Hyo’s shoulder to assure her that from now on she’s safe so don’t be scared anymore. Sang Hyo nods her head and the camera pulls out showing Hae Young standing there waiting for Sang Hyo and taking this scene in.
Sang Hyo walks into the bedroom and finds Hae Young waiting for her there. He says with a smile and an open arm for her to come in for a hug. She smiles and is about to walk towards him when the vision disappears. Sang Hyo gets into bed and wonders where Hae Young is because she’s so scared.
Hae Young is at the bar drinking with Shi Chan keeping him company. Shi Chan wonders if Hae Young is still fighting with Sang Hyo? Hae Young calmly says it’s time to let Sang Hyo go because she doesn’t need him anymore. Maybe the person who was supposed to be with her was never him. He did insist on the marriage and the honeymoon and the playing house. Hae Young knows he’s been having like an idiot and crazy person recently all to get another chance with her. But it’s time to end now because he doesn’t want to see Sang Hyo distressed. It’s time to send Sang Hyo away.
Shi Chan brings a drunk Hae Young back home and deposits him on the bed. Shi Chan asks Sang Hyo to stop fighting and assures her that Hae Young was always with him whenever he wasn’t at home. Sang Hyo watches Hae Young sleep and thinks to herself that her day was so exhausting already but she feels even more exhausted right now. Sang Hyo softly says out loud “Hae Young-ah, I’m so exhausted.” Sang Hyo walks out and Hae Young lifts his arm to wipe his tears away as he continues to cry.
Sung Gyum runs into GM Lee at the hotel and declares that things aren’t over despite Guard Cha taking all the blame. GM Lee is sure things will be over soon and Sung Gyum will be removed as director shortly. Sung Gyum doesn’t plan to let this matter slide even if GM Lee gets him kicked out of the hotel.
Sung Gyum goes to his mom’s hotel room and notices that she has two tea sets on the table and realizes that GM Lee was just in his mom’s hotel room. Sung Gyum wants to know what her connection is with GM Lee and what secrets she’s keeping from him. His mom keeps begging Sung Gyum to stop asking questions and let things go. Sung Gyum refuses and insists that he will keep investigating who killed his dad and repay the pain a thousand fold. Sung Gyum’s mom warns him that if the truth comes out, both Sung Gyum and “that child” will be hurt. She says “I can’t forgive that child’s father.”
Sung Gyum broods in his hotel room and keeps thinking back to Sang Hyo, how GM Lee warned him to stay away from her and how Sang Hyo described GM Lee as like a father to her. Sung Gyum calls Simon to find out who adopted Sang Hyo to the US.
Hae Young wakes up to Sang Hyo making breakfast for him. She tells him to sit down and pours him a glass of water before asking him not to drink so much. Hae Young promises with a smile that he won’t do it anymore. He takes a bite of her food and compliments her on her vastly improved cooking. Hae Young brings up how it’s been awkward lately, right? Plus Sung Gyum doesn’t like her living here either. Hae Young offers to deal with the reporters and suggests she doesn’t need to live here anymore. Sang Hyo leaves for work but pauses to look back at Hae Young again. Once Sang Hyo leaves the apartment is when Hae Young breaks down in tears at the breakfast table.
Simon hands Sung Gyum a copy of Sang Hyo’s adoption record. The person who gave Sang Hyo up for adoption is GM Lee.
GM Lee pays a visit to Hae Young at his office and introduces himself as the man who walked Sang Hyo down the aisle. GM Lee tells Hae Young that she’s like a daughter to him and he was against her marrying as a substitute for a runaway bride. But he walked her down the aisle because he saw in her eyes that she was sincere about Hae Young. She didn’t do it for the hotel, she did it because she still loves Hae Young. GM Lee tells Hae Young that things won’t work between her and Sung Gyum and the moment Hae Young lets Sang Hyo go then her life will become tragic.
Sung Gyum and GM Lee meet in the hotel corridor and all Sung Gyum says is “why does it have to be you of all people?”
Sang Hyo is at work thinking about Hae Young coolly offering her to move out. She grabs her things and heads out. Hae Young finishes mulling over what GM Lee said and rushes back to his apartment but Sang Hyo has moved out already. She left the house keys on the table for him with a simple thank you note.
Hae Young flashes back to running back to Las Vegas and finding the apartment all packed up and a ripped up picture on the table. Turns out Sang Hyo’s friend saw Hae Young and told him to leave, lying that Sang Hyo left with another man, a man who was better to her and more worthy than Hae Young.
Sung Gyum calls Sang Hyo out to see him and cryptically says he wanted to see her because he feels either she won’t see him again in the future or he won’t be able to see her. Sung Gyum apologizes for telling Sang Hyo that he’ll wait for her and giving her pressure. Sang Hyo apologizes in return for putting Sung Gyum in a tough spot. Sung Gyum stares at her and thinks to herself that he can’t forgive that person so in the future Sang Hyo will similarly not be able to forgive him. Sung Gyum just wants to tell Sang Hyo that his heart was sincere towards her.
Sung Gyum’s mom wants to talk with GM Lee at the hotel and Sung Gyum overs them and follows them. Sung Gyum’s mom is upset that GM Lee is getting him removed from the hotel and wants him to wait until Sung Gyum quits his job otherwise this is a blight on his resume. She threatens to reveal everything but GM Lee grabs Sung Gyum’s mom and asks if she wants to ruin everything right now. Sung Gyum pulls GM Lee off his mom and pushes him near the railing and threatens to kill him now.
Sung Gyum’s mom keeps begging her son to stop before blurting out that she killed Sung Gyum’s dad! She was the one who did it. Flashback to 30 years ago when Sung Gyum’s dad was beating her up at the hotel while she was still pregnant with Sung Gyum. GM Lee intervened and the two men started fighting. Sung Gyum’s dad asks if GM Lee wants to kill him since he stole Sung Gyum’s mom from GM Lee.
As the two men were tussling, Sung Gyum’s dad tried to smash a wine bottle over GM Lee’s head which is when Sung Gyum’s mom pushed him away and he tumbled over the railing and fell to his death.
Manager Hwang walked up to Sung Gyum’s dad’s dead body and picked up the necklace that Sung Gyum’s dad grabbed off his mom before he fell. He then used this truth to blackmail GM Lee for all those years and GM Lee paid up to protect Sung Gyum’s mom.
Sung Gyum is devastated and asks if he’s mom is lying but his mom admits that she hated Sung Gyum’s dad enough to want him dead but the death that happened was an accident. Mom keeps apologizing to Sung Gyum who just stumbles away like a petrified zombie. GM Lee gives Sung Gyum’s mom a reassuring hug as she cries for Sung Gyum’s forgiveness.
Sung Gyum broods in his hotel room wondering to Sang Hyo what he should do? Hae Young broods in his apartment wondering how he’ll live without Sang Hyo. Sang Hyo just mopes in her apartment and wonders who she is crying for right now?
Thoughts of Mine:
The full truth of Sang Hyo and Hae Young’s marital end from 7 years is finally revealed, kept a secret for this long for no reason whatsoever. Evil witch Jung Eun was indeed involved as I suspected but why couldn’t all of this be shown so that the audience sympathizes with Sang Hyo’s reluctance to go back to Hae Young for more than he picked his job over her. This also makes Hae Young seem even more clueless, 7 years ago and again now, in letting Jung Eun basically stalk him endlessly without getting the nut job locked up. I can’t believe this drama managed to one-up it’s ineptitude by throwing in a misunderstanding this late in the game.
I blame the writing for making the entire conflict just so inexplicably crafted from Hae Young leaving with just a note and plane ticket, for Sang Hyo showing up without letting him know she was coming, to whatever reason led Hae Young to let Jung Eun stay, to Sang Hyo just taking Jung Eun at her word and not going into that apartment to confront Hae Young. Both of them are so damn passive sometimes, and it’s that passivity which leads to the world running roughshod over their rather childish romance. The marriage failed because both of them were too weak and immature to fight for it. Bummer on only themselves. Sure I loved their romance initially but the story failed so much in letting them grow in fighting for properly the second time around, especially for Sang Hyo.
The murder mystery is so toothless as this point just like the romance. Learning Sung Gyum’s mom killed his dad isn’t a shocker and makes sense for writing neither GM Lee nor Sung Gyum as the baddie since it gives GM Lee a reason to be keeping a secret for 30 years. Not sure why Sang Hyo was given up for adoption though but having all these important secrets only come like at the last moment completely robs it of any impact. It’s like going to a concert where the headliner shows up 10 minutes before the event is scheduled to end when most of the time was spent on the opening act trying haplessly to entertain the increasingly furious audience for the bait-and-switch. When the headliner finally shows up to perform the hit tracks, there is no goodwill left to enjoy the performance.
MSH has reached that painful moment when it needs to shuffle off to the side and let the audience leave to go home. I’m still not sure what the heck is going on with Guard Cha and Gyung Hee, where Soo Ah went for the last three episodes, why Sung Gyum always acts like he’s harboring a nefarious secret even when he’s pouring his heart out, why Hae Young can’t stop drinking and crying when all he needs to do is have a no holds barred conversation with Sang Hyo, and why Sang Hyo can’t decide which guy she wants to be with. While I still have all these unanswered questions, sadly for the drama even if everything is answered satisfactorily tomorrow it wouldn’t erase a trail of pathetic slime it left behind.