Category: Unnie Recaps

Unnie Recap: A Transcendental Love from The King: Eternal Monarch (Ending Explained)

Before I start, can we just give a round of applause to writer Kim Eun Sook?👏🏻 How she comes up with these fantasy stories is just brilliant and I know I’m not the only one who is grateful for getting to watch her creations come to life on screen. The King: Eternal Monarch kdrama ruled with a gorgeous cinematography, had a royal line-up of characters, and bestowed a new tale of love and conflict that although at times felt inconsistent, this show merits a well-deserved praise.

At least for me, this kdrama didn’t top Goblin: The Lonely and Great God (I think this will still be her best show) but The King: Eternal Monarch still delivered a spellbinding and grandeur storyline that made me eager to watch. Kim Go Eun as Lieutenant Jeong Tae Eul, along with her other dopplegangers/parallel world identities, portrayed a more mature role that showed her growth from her last stint in Goblin. I can’t imagine any other actor portraying the regal yet lighthearted King Lee Gon but Lee Min Ho — his manner of speaking, his gaze on Tae Eul, and the subtle intensity his facial expressions give off when he is infuriated is just perfection! I did say in my recommendation post that their chemistry was kind of off for the first few episodes, but I’ve come to appreciate their romance.

I wasn’t planning on writing an ending explained post for this korean drama but the message that I got was such a relevant one, especially in these challenging times with the pandemic still hanging around, I just wanted to share my thoughts. If you have a different interpretation, please do let me know but I hope that my realization can uplift your spirits in some way as well✨

Rewriting the Past

Discovering that he could go back to the past, Lee Gon decided that he needed to kill Lee Lim on the night of the treason before he could travel to the Republic of Korea. Yeong accompanied him on his mission and they encountered a mishap where the flute (Manpasikjeok) was not halved so Lee Lim was able to acquire it as a whole. Yeong was able to save the King as a child but sustained some serious injuries. At the same time, Tae Eul was holding the Lee Lim in their time hostage, ready to kill him in the in between realm if Lee Gon failed to do so in the past.

Since Lee Lim of the past held the flute in its entirety, the half and half version that Lee Gon and Tae Eul possessed disappeared. The Lee Lim version with Tae Eul (I know, confusing right? Haha!) was ready to attack her but when she tried to pull the trigger on her gun again, the bullet successfully pierced his chest! Chasing after Lee Lim in the bamboo forest, Lee Gon was also able to successfully kill his uncle. Tae Eul’s memories disappearing once past Lee Lim died didn’t happen because I think she was inside the in between realm when his death happened. This spared her a memory reset that ought to have happened since technically the events that will lead Lee Gon to the other world won’t happen anymore.

Welcoming a New Present Future

If it wasn’t clear in the explanation above, it’s the time travel/parallel world aspect that gave me a bit of a headache in this kdrama, haha! This often leads to plot holes in my thinking but, let’s just enjoy the show and not think about it too much. With the other world never being accessed by Lee Lim, some things still fell into place in both worlds respectively while other fates unexpectedly coincided with each other. Let’s break down the final episode’s (Episode 16) fates per world:

Republic of Korea

Lee Gon’s version in this world, Lee Ji Hun, is alive and has taken on the path of a decorated soldier. Although she lost a friend in Sin Jae (Since he never crossed over to ROK), the real one is doing well as a successful CEO of a large company. Eun Sup works for the NIS and is in a relationship with Na Ri. Possessing the whole Manpasikjeok allowed Lee Gon to still travel across worlds so he was able to finally reunite with Tae Eul after countless tries of meeting other versions of her in alternate realities.

Kingdom of Corea

Our loyal and handsome bodyguard, Yeong, is still alive (Whew!) and he also has his memories intact of the other world. He also has the same younger twin siblings, Eun Bi and Kka Bi, now. Sin Jae or Kang Hyeon Min still became a cop and is also drawn to Tae Eul’s counterpart, Luna, who is also a cop. She grew up in a better environment as she crossed paths with Koo Seo Ryeong and her mom as a kid. I assumed they kind of adopted her into their family as Luna visits Seo Ryeong in jail (Mischievous until the end) and calls Luna’s new name as Koo Seo Gyeong. Secretary Mo rightfully became KOC’s Prime Minister.

A Universally Transcending Journey

This isn’t a solid, drama-free, ending for me as Kim Eun Sook has that capacity (As we learned from Goblin and Mr. Sunshine) to give a bittersweet feel to a main character’s love life. At first, I didn’t like The King: Eternal Monarch’s finale because it ended with Tae Eul and Lee Gon just meeting on weekends where they travelled and explored different timelines and worlds. They would then go back to their normal lives respectively on weekdays… this pattern continued as they grew old together. There was no mention of marriage, kids, or how they would tackle the dilemma of still being physically apart most of the time as they lived in 2 different worlds.

As I pondered for a few minutes though, I thought to myself: “So what if that’s the case?” Lee Gon is a King who has a responsibility to lead a nation while Tae Eul is a devoted cop and loving daughter — and they happily embraced this reality. No one pressured the other to give up his/her life and move to the other world as they respected each other’s individual aspirations. They were content in being able to spend time with each other when Lee Gon travels to the Republic of Korea.

I’m so used to the idea of a conventional happy ending that when I’m reminded that not everyone’s love story is the same, that a different path is sometimes what a particular couple wants and needs, it comforts me because not all decisions I make are what society expects me to make too. If they are happy with their set-up, why worry as an outsider? It’s not an easy path and I’m sure there were times when their trust and patience were challenged, but as long as they remained in the same page with their feelings, I am confident that Tae Eul and Lee Gon lived a fruitful life together👫🏻


Destiny is always viewed as a force that’s meant to happen to us no matter what actions we take. With The King: Eternal Monarch kdrama, I’d like to think that our efforts and desires can influence destiny to suit our choices. Yes, some things will probably occur no matter how much we try to avoid them, but with every action and decision we consciously make, the future will be what we make of it. Trust that the choices you make won’t lead you astray… fate will make sure of that✨

Unnie Recap: Best Kdrama Heroines of 2019

2019 has been a great year for kdramas! From romcoms to mystery thrillers, a robot futuristic genre, to period/Joseon dynasty shows, there’s always something for everyone to enjoy😊 Not every show is fully relatable but there are aspects in each that make me excited to tune in for more.

This list is solely my opinion and subject to only the kdramas that I have selected to watch. Looking forward to meeting the new faces and villains who will conquer the 2020 kdrama landscape!

Top 5 Kdrama Heroines

1. Eun Dan Oh (Extraordinary You/Ha Roo found by Chance)

What if you found out that you were merely a comic book character and that you were just an extra whose life’s purpose was to serve the main character’s progression? Never the one to back down from a fight with destiny, Eun Dan Oh (Played by Kim Hye Yoon) is the #1 heroine in my list this year. Extraordinary You was such a relatable and fun korean drama to watch as the story mirrors our struggles with daily life as well. The story setting takes place in a high school where Dan Oh is fated with a terminally ill set-up and a fiancé who hates her guts. She didn’t want to steal the spotlight of the main character but rather, she just wanted to make her own decisions not planned by the writer.

Full of energy, persistent, and loyal, Kim Hye Yoon was outstanding in her role as Eun Dan Oh. Her character is living proof that you can carve your own path to happiness as long as you don’t give up. The fact that she was helped by her soulmate and friends further solidifies how influential and loved Dan Oh is. Extraordinary You also featured a great supporting cast (Baek Kyung, Do Hwa, Dried Squid) that made me root for them as well. Although there are set-ups in our lives that we cannot alter, we can still live out our best days by accepting this fact, learning to adjust, and appreciating the blessings we already have✨

Get hooked with Extraordinary You or if you’re done watching, check out my life lessons post for this wonderful show.

2. Goo Hae Ryung (Rookie Historian: Goo Hae Ryung)

A confident and smart woman ahead of her time, Rookie Historian: Goo Hae Ryung breathed new life into period kdramas. Putting the spotlight on the influence and power of women, this show tackled the fruition of women becoming historians for the 1st time in Joseon history. It emphasized the importance of being brave enough to tell the truth but at the same time being able to handle the consequences of one’s actions.

Hae Ryung wasn’t a role model by design but she slowly grew into one by learning from her mistakes. Of course, falling in love with the Crown Prince’s younger brother isn’t such a bad predicament to be in as well! This is Shin Se Kyung’s best korean drama for me because she was able to convey a range of emotions and a comedic side to her. With 40 episodes to spare, this kdrama is a treat for all romcom and drama addicts out there!

Read about my Rookie Historian: Goo Hae Ryung first impressions and if you want a detailed read of each episode, I also wrote a complete recap for your pleasure.

3. Jang Man Weol (Hotel Del Luna)

Feisty, beautiful, and hella badass, the only reason why Jang Man Weol is not higher in the list is because her character was made to thrive in a more supernatural setting. Hotel del Luna is a kdrama that focused on her being the owner of a hotel for the dead where they could do their unfinished business before proceeding to the afterlife. Man Weol had a lot of baggage against those who had scorned her and didn’t hesitate to get revenge. She also had money problems because she was always attracted to anything that would bring her money and fortune. Not all heroines are perfect of course but it’s these traits that made me rank her a little lower than Dan Oh and Hae Ryung.

With regard to the storytelling and character development aspect, Hotel del Luna gets a 5 star rating. There are misconceptions about the kdrama being “scary” (with the dead spirits and all) but don’t buy into that. It’s a visually entertaining and funny show with lots of emotional maturity and romance. Her perfect complement came in the form of Ku Chan Seong, the hotel’s only human manager and all around moral compass. Despite falling in love, Man Weol remained true to herself and didn’t change to be a friendlier or thriftier woman for him. She did learn to forgive and move forward with her life, and most importantly, love herself in the process🌙

Do check out my recommendation post for this korean drama and peruse my Hotel del Luna ending explained post after watching all 16 episodes!

4. Lee Yeon Seo (Angel’s Last Mission: Love)

Another tough and badass heroine, Angel’s Last Mission: Love was a beloved mid-year show for me. I remember being blown away by the 1st episode’s intensity and immediately wanted more! The male lead was an angel who was given a mission to help the female lead, Lee Yeon Seo, in finding love. Sounds easy enough right? Right off the 1st episode, Yeon Seo is a shell of her former prima ballerina life — blinded by a freak accident, alone in a big mansion without her parents, and cranky as hell, love is the last thing she could ever want in her life.

As much as this post is about heroines only, I do have to give credit to the leading man, Kim Dan (Played by actor L), as he brought out the fun and softer side of the show. He was the perfect complement to Yeon Seo for her to open up to other people and face her fears in becoming a ballerina again. Make it your mission to listen to Angel’s Last Mission: Love OST as the music elevated the show’s appeal even more🎵

Probably one of the hardest life lessons post I wrote, this is a must-read for everyone who needs some encouragement to not give up and keep fighting💪🏻

5. Yoon Se Ri (Crash Landing on You)

Taking the kdrama world by storm, Crash Landing on You is an ongoing show that collided with my romcom heart just a few weeks ago! The only reason why I couldn’t rank Se Ri higher is because there has only been a handful of episodes released and we don’t know her that well yet. Nevertheless, she made such a strong impression that it’s only fitting this kdrama made my top 5 list.

Getting stranded in North Korea due to a paragliding accident, Se Ri must figure out a way to go back to South Korea. As a successful CEO of her own company, Se Ri is a cheerful, confident, yet picky woman who has expensive tastes. She meets her love interest in North Korea, Captain Jeong Hyeok, as he aids her in getting back home. I was surprised that Se Ri had a dark period in her life as shown in a flashback (She contemplated suicide) so watching her character exude a lighter and happier aura is endearing. I’m ecstatic to see how she’ll eventually take over her dad’s business and how the aftermath of leaving Jeong Hyeok will impact both of them.

Read about my Crash Landing on You summary and find out why this kdrama will be your next TV addiction!


There are plenty of other great korean dramas that aired this year too so I hope you discover your own favorites❤️ We have a different kind of life compared to a kdrama heroine but surely the feelings and thoughts that we have coincide with theirs at one episode or another. As much as watching these shows makes me want to do better and live more fruitful days, I hope these same emotions influence your lives too.

Cheers to what has been and may you all have a blessed 2020 ahead🥂

Unnie Recap: Checking out of Hotel Del Luna (Final Episode) – Ending Explained

How do you say goodbye to someone you love? This is the lingering question that stays with you while watching Hotel Del Luna‘s last episode. There’s no shortage of tears as each of our main ghosts have to separate from each other, but knowing that they can finally go to the afterlife is an end that they all individually want and deserve😢 This reminded me of Goblin since it also touched upon reincarnation and star-crossed lovers but the approach of both shows is different.

I didn’t expect to love this kdrama, especially IU, she was so great here as the feisty and determined Jang Man Weol. Her RBF was on point anytime she would strut down the hotel halls or when she had a bone to pick with her enemies. Even though she was commanding and icy, her hard shell cracked open when she fell in love again and helped her friends find peace. Yeo Jin Goo was no doubt amazing here as well as he portrayed the loyal, hardworking, and forever good guy Ku Chan Seong.

Their chemistry as the show’s OTP was not sizzling and apparent at first; instead, it was a slow flame that grew and burned brightly into the night. Their playful banters, Chan Seong’s insistence to control Man Weol’s expenses, and how he didn’t try to change her but rather, was patient with her anger is a wholehearted kind of love that the kdrama illustrated perfectly.

Check out my first impressions post for Hotel del Luna if you’re interested in starting this kdrama (And you should!) 😊

A Bittersweet Farewell

Each and every one of our lovable staff left Earth with their unfinished business ticked off before the next full moon.

Mister Kim was able to prove his innocence for being known as a disgraceful scholar and was the 1st to leave the hotel. He may not have been able to clear his name as a historical figure, at least even in a novel, he was depicted as a noble man who studied hard and was able to write great literature.

Hyun Joong waited for his sister (Hyun Mi) to pass away so they can reunite and cross the bridge together. This was hard to watch as he had to finally say goodbye to Yu Na. Even if she was heartbroken about this, seeing him reunite with Hyun Mi was all she needed to let him go. It’s the plight of being the one left behind but I know that Yu Na will be able to live a good and happy life regardless.

Ms. Choi was the last one to leave as she talked with the girlfriend of the last heir of the Myeongju Yoon family. I envisioned an ending for her that the unborn child is a daughter so her resentment of the baby being able to carry the family line as a boy would finally be put to rest. But this conclusion to her story was much better. Ms. Choi realized that it doesn’t mater what the child’s gender is because he/she is the child of a loving mother that will do anything to protect him/her. She is able to let go of her burden and move on the afterlife.

Somewhere in Another Lifetime…

I believe that the the Ku Chan Seong and Jang Man Weol in this last scene is a version of them in another lifetime already. I did at first think that Chan Seong would meet a reincarnated Man Weol in the same lifetime, perhaps in New York, but she wouldn’t be the exact same person that he fell in love with so I don’t think that’s it. Their love story was always on borrowed time, but nothing short of magical. The voiceover of them talking about meeting again in the future is exactly what unfolds before us🌛

Letting go and honoring one’s happiness is such a major theme for this kdrama as it focused on the beauty of such an act. There was a chance for Man Weol to remain on the realm of the living when Yu Na gave her the wine that could make her into the owner of the new hotel. Chan Seong calmly answered that he wanted to be the last human steward for Man Weol and that extending her life once more wouldn’t make her truly happy. He was devastated to lose her, of course, but he wasn’t selfish to keep Man Weol from attaining peace after a long time of searching for it.

It’s not always about staying together to prove that you care for one another — choosing yourself (For Man Weol) and choosing to respect such a decision (Chan Seong) is the most profound kind of love that anyone can give.

Who is the next owner of Hotel Del Luna?

A cameo by Kim Soo Hyun was made to signify the new owner and a brand new Guest House of the Moon, or in this case, Hotel Blue Moon. He looks so hot here (hee😙) and the plot possibilities for a 2nd season are endless given the show’s success.

I hope they explore the idea next time since I read that there are no plans for the kdrama to extend a 2nd season just yet. But if that happens, can the leading male & female end up together in the present timeline?🙏🏻

***

I cried too with everyone’s parting, but to know that they are leaving with a fulfilled heart was the perfect send-off for them. There’s nothing wrong in being sad when we are separated from the person we care about — whether by mortality, distance, or some other reason, the hope that we’ll be able to meet again is a promise worth taking. If not for the other person, it’s a chance for us to build self-love and prioritize our own desires✨

Though we may not achieve all our unfulfilled desires (like the ghosts) or get everything we want, Hotel del Luna conveys to us that we’ll always find a way to live well after a parting — finding love, forgiveness, and a chance to start anew🌷