Love in Contract: Episodes 3-4
After the mysteries of our premiere week, we learn more about our characters in this week’s episodes. And while our professional wife stares down the road that spans her illustrious career, she’s left to wonder if the retirement she sees in the distance is real and not just a mirage.
EPISODES 3-4 WEECAP
We waste no time in getting down to the business of who Ji-ho is, and my first guess last week was right – he’s a judge! A family court judge, in fact, and he even presided over six of Sang-eun’s divorce suits! It’s a bit surprising that throughout their marriage, Sang-eun didn’t recognize the guy who dissolved half of her other marriages. But at least she and Hae-jin now know Ji-ho is not a serial killer when he’s forced to tell them what he does following the whole “Honey, I’m hungry,” bit.
Mr. and Mrs. Honey – who surprisingly happen to be each other’s ideal types – have their longest conversation to date over their last dinner together. And it’s quite the achievement for Ji-ho, who was mandated by his boss (Park Chul-min) to attend the Timid People Anonymous sessions, because a number of his staff have quit due to his lack of social skills. Heh. But while Ji-ho has been demystified to a certain extent, Hae-jin remains suspicious of him.
Considering Hae-jin deals with stalkers as a celebrity, has a mum that creeps up on him at home to go through his things looking for signs of drug use, and a cat prefers his neighbor to him — I get why he has trust issues. What I don’t get is why Sang-eun doesn’t have trust issues after dealing with some clients who can’t differentiate between fake and real. Ji-ho has the same opinion when Sang-eun is almost attacked in the rain by a man in a helmet outside his apartment building.
But in typical Ji-ho behavior, he does sound like he’s reading out of a Criminal Minds text, and Sang-eun is put off. I mean, all she wanted to do was deliver their divorce paperwork to him in person. Nevermind that there’s the option of sending it via dispatch, or even leaving it at the courthouse – where he works – for him to pick up. So how can he think it’s her fault that she got attacked because of her line of work?
Speaking of the attack, Hae-jin was the one who scared Helmet Man away. He also provided a change of clothes for a drenched Sang-eun at his place, and boy does she look good rocking his oversized shirt! They end up getting outed to each other as children of their respective chaebol families, but before Hae-jin the curious cat can further ask about her arrangement with Ji-ho, Sang-eun’s allergy to Jamie the cat cuts short her visit.
Persistent Hae-jin soon learns that Sang-eun is a professional wife, and to get in touch with her, he calls the contact number she left with him. It’s Gwang-nam’s, and I think there’s a potential love triangle to be explored here. Heh. Anyway, Sang-eun drops by to return Hae-jin’s shirt, and Ji-ho also comes with surprising news. He has been looking into Sang-eun’s attack, and discovered that Helmet Man is actually a Hae-jin stalker who presumably attacks the women around him.
Hae-jin is really going through a lot at the hands of his stalkers, and rather than sue the ones they’ve caught so far, his agency settled the cases because they were worried his image would take a hit. But as the victim, why should he be the one to worry about his reputation? There’s also the womanizing rumors about him – which according to subsequent rumors, he himself started to cover up his sexuality. And now his manager Jung-hwan is worried that the gay rumors will affect him too since he’s always around Hae-jin. Lol.
The rumor eventually gets to Hae-jin’s family, and he’s ordered to move back home and get chaebol-married, since that’s the only thing children of such families are good for (tsk!). Well, that and throwing people under the bus like his elder brother, Sun-jin, does to Mi-ho after contracting her to facilitate a shady deal with a foreign client. The deal goes south, and Sun-jin weasels himself out of it leaving Mi-ho to take the fall. A move she saw coming anyway.
Sang-eun learns about Mi-ho’s arrest from the news, and from her body language, Ji-ho can tell she knows Mi-ho. It’s really sweet how he uses his connections as a judge to get more information about the case when Sang-eun tells him that she was raised by Mi-ho – one of the many things Ji-ho realizes that he doesn’t know about his wife. We also learn that Sang-eun was adopted by the Eena group (shocking!) and raised to be the perfect wife. But since that didn’t happen, Sang-eun calls herself the biggest failure in Mi-ho’s life.
There are so many mixed feelings between both women – hate, anger, pity, affection… what else would drive Sang-eun to bail Mi-ho out with a whooping 7.5 million professional–wife–dollars!? Okay, this wife for hire thing has to be one of the most lucrative gigs I have ever seen. Unfortunately, after using all her assets for this purpose, destination Canada is over for Sang-eun and Gwang-nam, who chooses to remain in Korea with his bestie.
Cancelling his own travel plans just shows how strong Gwang-nam and Sang-eun’s friendship is, because while he initially had cold feet about leaving his family, he became determined to go after clashing with his sisters. And to be honest, I think some family members are just meant to be loved from afar. His sisters neither respect his sexuality, nor his desire to stay single. And it’s not like they want him to get married for his own happiness — they just want a sister-in-law to help out with memorial services. Pfft.
But a happy marriage — according to Ji-ho, anyway — involves giving your wife the VIP concert tickets your boss gave you to bond with your staff, because you don’t want to have to bond with them anyway. Ji-ho even swaps tickets with another concert goer, just so he can sit separately from Sang-eun. But it ends up being a totally unnecessary endeavor, because he spends the entire concert focused on her, rather than on the performance.
Ji-ho’s boss is almost not surprised (but still very frustrated) that Ji-ho came alone. It’s such a waste of the expensive tickets, and the boss starts to wonder if Ji-ho is a sociopath. But that’s when Sang-eun obliviously walks up to them and gets caught up in the situation. In quick reflex, Ji-ho introduces her as his wife, and the boss is visibly SHOCKED. Ji-ho has a wife at home and nobody mentioned it? How did the most antisocial judge (possibly in all of Korea) even achieve such a feat?
Sang-eun is only too happy to go along with being Mrs. Ji-ho. “We kept the wedding low-key because I was pregnant.” “The baby?” *Sad face* An unfortunate story. “Of course, my husband talks about his co-workers all the time. He even wants to invite them over for dinner, but he’s just so shy!” What?! This is the most hilarious scene of the week, and I’m sure if Ji-ho could will the ground to open, he’d willingly jump inside. He actually looks like he wants to disappear, but to where? Dude is stuck in his lies, just as he’s stuck with hosting a future dinner with his wife for Mr. and Mrs. Boss. Hehe.
At work, his boss also takes the liberty of inviting the staff to Ji-ho’s house for a very belated welcome party. Not wanting to inconvenience his wife, Ji-ho choses to dine out with the team. But his thoughts remain on Sang-eun, who asks to have dinner alone in his house. He doesn’t have to think about her for long, because his eyes soon wander to the breaking news on TV, where Hae-jin declares that he’s not gay, and he’s actually getting married to the woman standing beside him. The woman is masked by sunglasses and a scarf, but Ji-ho definitely recognizes the ring on her finger — his ring! Muahahaha!!!
I guess quelling the rumor about his sexuality is a good reason for a Hallyu star (Hae-jin) — whose selling point is being single — to want to “get married.” And since Sang-eun is back to square one — seriously, from driving a luxury car to taking public transportation (damn you, Mi-ho!) — I see why she’s willing to make a U-turn on her retirement plans. She and Ji-ho have already agreed to ride out the rest of their marriage contract as originally planned, and it’s going to be so much fun watching her add Hae-jin to the schedule.
The good news is, both guys live in the same building, and it won’t be suspicious to anyone when Sang-eun starts to show up everyday. I mean, you’re going to have to follow her inside to know she’s seeing two different guys. But the bad news is, both guys live in the same building, and having all that jealous testosterone energy in close proximity cannot be healthy for any of the involved parties. Not with Ji-ho’s overactive imagination when it comes to Sang-eun’s interactions with Hae-jin. Lol!
Optics wise though, Ji-ho is in the lead. He has a longer history with Sang-eun, and they’re still legally married. Jamie the prickly cat also likes him more, and Hae-jin will have to work super hard to match (or even beat) these statistics. I know there’s still the whole backstory element and family issues on the horizon, but as the race for Sang-eun’s time – and heart – begins, can we have more of the cute and less of the makjang?
- Premiere Watch: May It Please the Court, Love in Contract, Seasons of Blossom
- New pretty pictures from tvN’s upcoming rom-com Love in Contract
- Jealousy heats up in new Love in Contract teaser
- It’s a groom face-off in new posters for tvN’s Love in Contract
- Park Min-young tries to avoid Love in Contract with Go Kyung-pyo and Kim Jae-young
- Park Min-young gets into multiple contract marriages in Love in Contract
- [Beanie Recs] Contract romances on the brain