Previously on Hotel King… recap ep 9-16
SPOILER ALERT: Do not proceed if you do not want to know what has happened so far!
Yay! The bad guy is finally locked up after way too many episodes of him ruining literally everything. Good riddance. Now we can get back to hotel gardens, cultural centers, concierges flirting, and, oh wait…is there a new Big Bad emerging? Is this the real puppet master who’s pulling the strings around here?
Jae-wan and Mo-ne just found out that Manager Baek is Roman’s mom, and supposedly Chairman Ah knew about their relationship. Jae-wan is immediately suspicious, of course. Paranoid suspicion is now his default state. Manager Baek takes Mo-ne and Jae-wan to the bank, where she has stored Chairman Ah’s journals that he’s kept for 20 years. Chairman Ah was apparently really into journaling because that guy legit wrote down everything, and their reappearance is making Jae-wan sweat. After Manager Baek’s show-and-tell with the journals, she says she’ll only give them over to Mo-ne when she officially becomes the Chairwoman of Ciel. Resisting the urge to grab the journals and run, Jae-wan semi-casually points out that Chairman Ah had 12 of them, but Manager Baek insists she only has 11. Suspicious squints all around!
Jae-wan begrudgingly goes to the police station to visit Joong-goo, aka his dad. While Joong-goo’s ranting about how he’s been wronged by everyone, Jae-wan shuts him up by throwing down the paternity test that confirms their father-son relationship. Jae-wan accuses Joong-goo, not Chairman Ah, of raping and impregnating his mother, driving her to her death. Joong-goo frantically defends himself, saying how much he loved Jae-wan’s mother and how she insisted that the baby wasn’t his. FLASHBACK! Young Chairman Ah and Joong-goo were BFFLs back in the day, but Chairman Ah’s grandmother hated Joong-goo because she thinks he only befriended her grandson because he coveted the things he had. Yeah, you keep pelting him with rice until he leaves, grandma!
With things sort of back to normal, Mo-ne tries to resurrect her relationship with Jae-wan, except there’s that whole “you-murdered-my-dad” business standing between them. She insists that Jae-wan was being threatened by Joong-goo, and had no choice but to obey his orders. Jae-wan, to his credit, doesn’t take the easy out that she’s giving him, and refuses the excuses she makes for him. But still blind from love, Mo-ne asks Jae-wan to continue staying by her side because she needs him at Ciel. Strictly professional, right? Yeah, probably not.
The latest crisis at the hotel is famous singer, Yoo Joo-min, cancelled his concert at Ciel because of the bad press from Joong-goo’s arrest. Using Chae-kyung’s connections with Yoo’s father, Mo-ne and Manager Baek is able to meet with Yoo to plead with him to resume the concert. Manager Baek quickly sends Mo-ne away, and then threatens Yoo to have the concert or she’s gunna reveal how he staged a car accident, in which he saved a “fan,” who was really his lover. This lady just knows everyone’s secrets, huh. Anyways, it works and the concert is back on! Crisis averted.
Mo-ne receives a note and phone call from Joong-goo to come see him because he has info on Jae-wan. At the police station, Joong-goo immediately drops the bombshell that Jae-wan is his son, and even shows her the paternity test to prove it. Then, he pulls out the USB that contains the secret recording that Chairman Ah hid in the boat in Ciel’s pond. The recording details the relationship between Jae-wan and Joong-goo, and would incriminate Jae-wan for any crime that Joong-goo is guilty of. Either Mo-ne bails him out of jail within 24 hours or he’s going to release the recording. Not really sure how Joong-goo was able to keep so many personal belongings with him in jail…but okay.
Mo-ne leaves the police station, shell-shocked. Her beloved Jae-wan is the son of Joong-goo. In her mind, this information confirms that Jae-wan was not being manipulated, but was actually in on the whole murder plot. And then adding insult to injury, he made her fall in love with him but never reciprocated her feelings. Mo-ne swears to never forgive Jae-wan, and will never forgive herself if she ever wavers in her resolve. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
As the hotel is prepping for the big concert, an employee brings to Jae-wan a recording device he found hidden away in a light fixture. Concerned, Jae-wan then searches all the Ciel administrative offices, and lo and behold, there are recording devices hidden everywhere. Jae-wan recalls a conversation he had with Manager Baek back when secret recordings started popping up on desks everywhere. He told her that he thinks someone at Ciel is listening in and recording private conversations at the hotel, and her response was akin to a shrug and, “Meh, that sucks.” Coupled with his ongoing suspicions about Roman, Jae-wan’s pretty sure that something’s up with Manager Baek.
He calls Chae-kyung and tells her that he wants to meet up at her restaurant, Haemil, to discuss his plan for getting rid of Roman. Of course, Manager Baek is listening in and immediately goes to Haemil, playing right into Jae-wan’s plan of luring her out as the hotel eavesdropper. When she shows up, Jae-wan drops the act and tells her that he’s onto her. This tension-filled scene finally throws Manager Baek into the spotlight as a foe more formidable than the manipulative Joong-goo. She ain’t operating in the shadows no more.
Maybe she still loves Jae-wan and can’t help but protect him, but Mo-ne bails Joong-goo out of jail to stop him from releasing the recording. Roman picks up Joong-goo and drives him to his mother, Manager Baek. Now knowing that Manager Baek is Roman’s mother, Joong-goo immediately tries to appeal to her and begs for her help. He probably wouldn’t be so quick to join Team Baek if he knew that she’s really Baek Mi-yeon, the girl he framed for his embezzling more than 30 years ago.
Always one to gloat, Joong-goo calls Jae-wan and lets him know that Mo-ne bailed him out of jail. Jae-wan understandably goes berserk hearing this, and demands Mo-ne to tell him why she would willingly free her enemy. Remembering her now sworn hatred for him, she reveals that she knows he’s Joong-goo son. Stunned and shamed by this, Jae-wan weakly argues that it’s not what she thinks, but to no avail. Mo-ne knows that Jae-wan and Joong-goo are forever linked, and her only option is to remove Jae-wan from her life. She fires him from Ciel, and in effect, closes the door on her relationship with him.
Everyone at Ciel now knows that Woo-hyun is the son of Woojin Ranch’s owner. Mo-ne is pissed off when she’s the last to find out, and only after overhearing employees talking about it. Woo-hyun is very apologetic about it, and she forgives him after giving him a nice kick in the shin for being a bad friend.
During a conversation between Manager Baek and Roman, she mentions something about how, “after he came to her…” he has always been an obedient son. Does this mean that Roman is adopted? Is he the younger boy that young Jae-wan called his “brother,” when they were on the streets begging in episode 1?