Things happen a little fast in this episode, with some question in plot holes, as the series wraps up into its final week. While we are not much closer to resolving the love triangle, as I think it could still go either way, we are definitely resolving the biggest mysteries surrounding Secret Hotel.
We rewind a little and see that Jung Eun has been crying in Hae Young’s office, depressed that Hae Young is still holding on to Sang Hyo. Shi Chan comforts her, telling her that it’s obsessive and unhealthy to hold on to someone who doesn’t love her back. Sadly, Jung Eun doesn’t realize that he’s calling her obsessive and refuses to recognize Shi Chan’s own fine qualities. She uses up all the tissues in the office so Shi Chan steps out to get some more. That’s when Hae Young messages him to come. Jung Eun has no sense of privacy – she literally picks up Shi Chan’s phone as if it’s hers and goes through his messages.
That is how she ends up at the bar next to Hae Young.
Jung Eun ends up taking Hae Young home in her car, managing to escape Shi Chan just in time after he sees the message on his phone.
The following morning Sang Hyo is still sitting at the dining table, not having cleaned anything up. She then packs a change of clothing for Hae Young and waits for him at his office. She sees him arrive in Jung Eun’s car and hides as Hae Young gives Jung Eun a curt goodbye and heads to his office. Shi Chan runs out of the building and accuses him of sleeping with Jung Eun. Hae Young doesn’t even bother responding, so Shi Chan calls him a jerk for cheating on Sang Hyo after forcing her to marry him.
Shocked at hearing all this, Sang Hyo takes a moment by the bench. She’s hurt and angry, and we get a flashback. This time instead of being shocked and heartbroken at the ticket to New York, she excitedly packs and leaves her hotel job right away. However when she arrives at the address Hae Young listed, Jung Eun opens the door. And she’s only wearing his shirt.
Jung Eun makes it seem like the two have slept with each other, and so Sang Hyo chooses not to come in to the apartment. Instead she’d rather if Jung Eun doesn’t say anything. So this seems to be the right flashback. The one that pushed Sang Hyo over the edge and is the reason why she decided to leave the apartment. And it’s the memory that she never wanted to think about again – which is probably why she replaced it with a memory of her staying in Las Vegas and fainting in their apartment.
Back in the present, Sang Hyo tells herself that it’s all in the past and what Hae Young does has nothing to do with her. But she can’t help crying even more.
Hae Young knows that Shi Chan likes Jung Eun, so he reassures his friend that nothing happened. He was sober by the time he got to his house, and would never do anything with Jung Eun anyway. He didn’t go back to his own home because he was afraid that Sang Hyo would be gone again.
In the office, Kyung Hee catches Sung Gyeom waiting by Sang Hyo’s desk. She teases him for looking for her, but he assures her that he wasn’t. Pfft. He asks Kyung Hee to watch out for Sang Hyo, because very soon a lot of things will change in the hotel.
Detective Lee gets a new breakthrough in the case. Manager Cha Dong Min was actually charged for manslaughter for the death of his classmate – who was Manager Lee’s nephew. However, Manager Lee forgave him and got him out of jail. Iiiinteresting…
Cha meets Sung Gyeom on the rooftop to explain his action the other night. He didn’t intend to hurt Sang Hyo that night, but wanted to send Sung Gyeom a warning. He wants Sung Gyeom to leave the hotel. Sung Gyeom knows that this is probably Manager Lee’s order, even though Cha denies it, and won’t back down easily. Not especially since Manager Lee got Sang Hyo involved.
Cha then calls Kyung Hee early that morning, watching her from a distance. He has a favor to ask: that she will not listen to any rumors that may swirl around him. She tearfully promises not to. Seems like these two were former lovebirds, but then he had left her at the altar. Right after their call ends, he bumps into Geum Bo, who arrests him for the attempted murder of Sang Hyo.
A vase crashes, and it turns out Kyung Hee just witnessed this and dropped the flower arrangement she was working on. So was this what Cha meant when he said to not listen to anything she may hear? Cha is led away in front of everyone – including Eun Joo. Sang Hyo ends up taking the day off, so no one tells her about what happened to Cha. Again, she’s left in the dark!
Manager Lee is furious over the fact that Sung Gyeom wants an open investigation into the hotel and the serial killings. He doesn’t want the hotel be put in such negative light. Is this investigation because of Manager Nam? Sung Gyeom sees that as an admission of guilt from Manager Lee, and warns him that the truth of his misdeeds will eventually come out. However, Manager Lee says the root of all evil is Jo Min Tae.
Before he can say anything more, Jung Sook barges into the office. Manager Lee warns Sung Gyeom to stop his rash actions again and tells Jung Sook to leave for the States immediately with her son before it’s too late. Hm, suddenly I wonder if Manager Lee isn’t really the bad guy in this show.
Shi Chan encourages Hae Young to go home early that day to beg Sang Hyo for forgiveness. If she asks about the night before, he will act as Hae Young’s alibi! Hae Young is afraid that Sang Hyo won’t be home, but Shi Chan believes that if Hae Young stays out late again, she will most definitely be gone by the next day.
Grudgingly, Hae Young goes home, and the house is empty. Her room is spotless, but her clothes are still in the drawers. The door opens, and Sang Hyo comes in! He’s suddenly so hopeful, but Sang Hyo remembers seeing Jung Eun that morning and is not as happy to see him. He asks if she’s mad he stayed out the night before, and lies that he was with Shi Chan.
Sang Hyo just accepts it, knowing he’s lying to her, and chooses to just turn in for the night in her guest room. Despite having hurt Hae Young so many times and trying to forget the past, the tears come again.
The following morning, Eun Joo quickly rushes into her office to check in on her. She ends up spilling the beans about Cha’s arrest, and Sang Hyo can’t believe it. Could he really be the one who tried to run her over? Gi Chul is convinced that Cha did it, but Kyung Hee and Sang Hyo come to Cha’s defense – he is innocent until proven guilty! Just then Sung Gyeom comes to her office and bids her to follow him.
Jung Eun then calls Hae Young with some news she just learned – the hotel serial killer was the one who tried to kill Sang Hyo. He starts calling Sang Hyo but she won’t pick up as she’s driven to the police station. So Hae Young runs out of the office. Shi Chan calls him out for acting like a crazy person, and that stops Hae Young in his tracks. Is he going to really rush towards Sang Hyo’s side right now?
Sang Hyo isn’t quite sure what to tell the police, so Sung Gyeom encourages her to just tell them what happened exactly. Thankfully she doesn’t need to say anything as Geum Bo happily informs them that Cha confessed to all the murders of Hwang and Young Mi, and the attempted murder of Sang Hyo. Sung Gyeom feels this is all too easy – what were Cha’s motives for killing them then?
Cha’s explanation: “Do I need a reason to kill? I just didn’t like them.”
Sung Gyeom can’t believe this. It’s pretty obvious that Cha is covering his tracks, but Geum Bo can’t do much about it. He got a confession without evidence, so the case and Sung Gyeom’s request for an open investigation will be closed. Sung Gyeom will never get the truth of his father’s death this way.
Meanwhile it turns out that Hae Young ended up not going to the police station. Instead he has Shi Chan call Jung Eun for an update. He didn’t feel like he had to be there at the station because he was afraid Sang Hyo and Sung Gyeom would be there together already.
Sung Gyeom drives Sang Hyo to Hae Young’s home and belatedly notices that Sang Hyo has actually been shaking the entire time. She can’t believe that Cha would be such a cold-blooded killer. Sung Gyeom reassures her with hands on her shoulders that he will protect her no matter what happens, and sadly Hae Young just got home to witness this.
When she enters his bedroom, Sang Hyo imagines Hae Young sitting on the bed waiting to comfort her. She clearly misses him and seeks his comfort over Sung Gyeom’s. However, the sight of Sung Gyeom just sent Hae Young over to the bar again.
At least he gets Shi Chan as his drinking buddy instead of Jung Eun again.
Hae Young really wants to let go of Sang Hyo now, believing that she no longer needs him. He’s no longer the “one” for her no matter how much he wants to believe it, and so it’s best to stop acting like an idiot and force her into a relationship she doesn’t want to be in. He’s afraid that he’s the one to blame for all her suffering too, and so he wants to end it all.
Oh Hae Young… 🙁
Sang Hyo looks on disapprovingly as Shi Chan drops off a very, very drunk Hae Young, and Shi Chan hopes she won’t misunderstand. As a good bro, he also backs up Hae Young’s statement that they were together the other night, and then takes his leave. It’s hard for Sang Hyo to want to take care of Hae Young because it’s been such a long day for her, and this is the last thing she needs to deal with. She goes off to her own room, leaving Hae Young to cry as he forces himself to stay asleep.
Ack, why is this so sad and painful!? This angst!!
At the hotel, Sung Gyeom bumps into Manager Lee coming out of his mother’s hotel room. He’s angry that Manager Lee put all the blame on Cha and could get away scot-free. Manager Lee only smiles: very soon a board meeting will be held to dismiss Sung Gyeom, so if there’s anything he wants to reveal he ought to do it quick.
Sung Gyeom then goes to his mother’s room and demands to know what she and Manager Lee could have been talking about at this late hour. Does she really have nothing to tell him? Jung Sook begs him to not unveil the truth, but Sung Gyeom is dead set on unmasking the killer and punishing him even though the statute of limitations has expired.
If that is the case, then Jung Sook reveals that he and “she” will be hurt in the process. Jung Sook does not name Sang Hyo, but does say that she can’t forgive her father for what he’s done. If Sung Gyeom would just stop digging around, maybe she can forget it then. That gets Sung Gyeom thinking about the connection between Sang Hyo and Manager Lee. He acts like a father figure to her, and she is an orphan, but could it be possible that he’s really her biological father and she doesn’t know it?
So Sung Gyeom sends Simon to look into Sang Hyo’s adoption papers.
The following morning, Hae Young wakes up to find Sang Hyo preparing soup and some side dishes for him instead of ramen. Quietly, she tells him that he can meet anyone he wants outside of the house as long as he doesn’t drink to the point where he can’t walk straight. Hae Young promises to do that for her, and also offers her an out: she doesn’t have to stay at his home anymore if it makes her and Sung Gyeom uncomfortable. If she’s only staying for the reporters then he’ll stop them from prying. However he doesn’t want her to stay at his home reluctantly.
She doesn’t reply with a decision, but just heads to work. I’m sure a misunderstanding is brewing between them now, so we’ll have to see how much they really care for each other. As soon as Sang Hyo leaves, Hae Young breaks down into tears again.
Hae Young enters his office to find Manager Lee waiting for him. At that same moment, Sung Gyeom receives Sang Hyo’s adoption papers; she was handed over wrapped in a Secret Hotel tablecloth and her guardian was none other than Lee Moo Yang. Oh my goodness… don’t tell me Jo Min Tae did something dastardly to Sang Hyo’s mother?!
Manager Lee explains his relationship to Sang Hyo to Hae Young, saying that he’s like a father to her. So he knows and understands her very well. Therefore Hae Young should trust his word when he says that Sang Hyo married him not just for the hotel’s sake, but because she did have feelings for Sang Hyo. He doesn’t want Sang Hyo and Sung Gyeom together – they can never be together – so hopefully Hae Young won’t let go of her.
Oh God – don’t tell me they’re half-siblings?!
When Sung Gyeom sees Manager Lee again, he is saddened by the turn of events. “Why does it have to be you?” he says to Manager Lee, as if regretting that he picked the wrong enemy.
Manager Lee’s words hit home for Hae Young, and so he rushes to his apartment hoping that Sang Hyo will be there. He sees the car key on his coffee table with a short note of thanks, and realizes that once again Sang Hyo has decided to leave him.
Flashback to the past in Las Vegas where he finds that Sang Hyo’s already left the apartment. Her coworker and neighbor comes into their apartment to kick him out and spitefully says that she left with someone who truly loves her. The coworker was only saying it for Sang Hyo’s sake, considering that she knew how heartbroken Sang Hyo was when she came back from New York.
Sang Hyo receives a call from Sung Gyeom, asking to meet outside. He prefaces their talk with an admission that he might not be able to wait for her to decision on which man she’ll pick, and that this may be the last time they’ll see each other. She understands, as she believes everything is her fault to begin with. Sung Gyeom walks away, turning away from the love he earnestly pursued, knowing they can’t be together. Though he’s brokenhearted, my heart is not broken for him.
That evening, Jung Sook approaches Manager Lee and demands to know why her son has to be kicked out of the hotel. She would rather if her son could resign on his own so that there won’t be a bad mark on his resume. Unfortunately Manager Lee can’t wait that long. Jung Sook panics and threatens to reveal the truth, which makes Manager Lee grab her shoulders to shake some sense into her.
Sung Gyeom witnesses this and believes that Manager Lee is trying to kill his mother after killing his father. He pushes Manager Lee towards the balcony railing, his anger almost making him throw Manager Lee over. Unable to take it anymore, Jung Sook screams, “I killed your father!”
Whoa. Not totally unpredictable, but not really expecting that confession to come out then.
Flashback to thirty years ago, and Jo Min Tae is clearly a horrible husband as he throws plates and abuses his wife in a drunken rage. She’s pregnant with Sung Gyeom already, but that doesn’t stop him from wanting to smash an empty wine bottle on her. Manager Lee arrives just in time to stop him, and Min Tae ends up directing his hatred towards Manager Lee. Min Tae knows that Jung Sook and Manager Lee were actually lovers, but he had stolen her away and forced her to marry him. Nevertheless, she clearly still loves Manager Lee because she wears the necklace he gave her – that same necklace Hwang and Young Mi had – around her neck every day.
Min Tae is ready to kill one of them and he attacks Manager Lee with the wine bottle. The two struggle on the second floor balcony and Manager Lee pushes Min Tae against a wall. Min Tae relaxes and it seems like it’s all over for a moment. But as soon as Manager Lee’s back is turned, Min Tae rushes forth again with the wine bottle raised.
Jung Sook screams, “No!” and pushes Min Tae away. He loses his balance and falls backwards, over the railing and down to the ground floor below. Min Tae is dead. Now what do they do?
Someone reaches the body first and picks up Jung Sook’s necklace from Min Tae’s cold hand. He looks up at Jung Sook looking down – it’s Hwang Dong Bae. So this is how all of them are connected.
Back at the present, Jung Sook calls Manager Lee her protector, having covered up her crime and kept Hwang at bay for thirty years. Sung Gyeom loosens his grip on Manager Lee and asks if she just lied to him. But no, it’s not a lie. Jung Sook apologizes but doesn’t ask for forgiveness, and he turns and walks away from her. Jung Sook ends up falling into Manager Lee’s arms, crying.
And then we have two men who can’t live with Sang Hyo: Sung Gyeom is lost at what to do following his mother’s confession while Hae Young can’t live without her after seeing her note.
And Sang Hyo? She’s at home crying, but she doesn’t even know which man she’s crying over. That’s how confused her heart is.