Love in Contract, Episodes Summary (1-16), Plot Twist, Romantic Scenes, Ending Explained, Review

Love in Contract - Korean Drama
Love in Contract - Korean Drama

The Drama aired from September 21 to November 10, 2022. It was written by Ha Goo-dam, and directed by Nam Seong-woo.

Love in Contract Cast Introduction

  • Park Min-young played the role of Choi Sang-eun: The female protagonist of the drama. She is depicted as extremely beautiful, charming, and talented. Choi Sang-eun offers her services as a sort of assistance to single individuals in need of a wife or partner for events like weddings or social gatherings. This service, provided under a contract, is a one-day affair through which she earns her livelihood. Despite being adopted by a very wealthy family, she was exploited for their benefit. As she matures, she eventually breaks free from their control and establishes herself independently
  • Go Kyung-pyo played the role of Jung Ji-ho: He is the male protagonist of the drama. He is portrayed as a man who is extremely serious and rather boring to many, struggling with his emotions, which has deprived him of happiness. He loves his work and excels in his professional life, often being labelled as a workaholic.
  • Jae-young Kim played the role of Kang Hae-jin: He is a trendy actor in the play and is also one of Choi Sang-eun’s clients. It started as a work affair; however, he started developing feelings towards Choi Sang-eun. With time, he entangles himself in a love triangle.
  • Jin Kyung played the role of Yoo Mi-Ho:  She raised Choi Sang-eun, portraying the role of a mother figure, although she did not provide any maternal love to her. She is depicted as a character of great talent and high class; however, she loves to spend her money recklessly and lavishly.
  • Kang Hyung-seok played the role of Woo Kwang-nam: He is also another important figure in the drama, another client of Choi Sang-eun who seeks her help because he wants to hide the fact that he is gay from his parents. He stays in the same flat as Choi Sang-eun, and over time, they develop a sibling-like bond.

Love in Contract: Story Summary from Episode 1 to 16 in Order

Episode 1

Episode 1 -  An Introduction scene of Choi Sang Eun and her contract marriage services
Love in Contract – Episode 1 Introduction scene of Choi Sang Eun and her contract marriage services

In episode 1,
we are introduced to a beautiful, perfect couple of sorts; however, they’re not just any ordinary couple but a couple under a contract. After we are introduced to varied scenes of the protagonist, Choi Sang-eun’s job, which is as a marriage contractor as she offers services to singles in need of a partner, of course under a huge sum of pay.

Love in Contract Episode 1 - Choi Sang Eun with Client
Episode 1 – Choi Sang Eun with Client

The scene transitions to the male protagonist, and the scene shows how smart he is, although one with no emotions and only seriousness. We also see a short clip of Choi Sang-Eun’s past with a lady; however, who that lady is remains unknown. The plan to retire from her job is already shown in the first episode.

A short clip of Choi Sang-eun’s past in her youth is revealed when she was part of a rich family with much pressure. The male protagonist, Jung Ji-ho, attends a therapy class for emotions. As he tries his best to regulates his emotions with the help of Choi Sang-eun, she ends their marriage.

Episode 2

In episode 2,
We see the side lead Kang Hae-Jin, in an interview who gets baffled by the interviewers, and the story unfolds of how he comes from a big, well-known family which has one of the biggest companies in South Korea.

Love in Contract Episode 2 Tv Interview Scene
Tv Interview Scene

Choi Sang Eun tries to settle her life and ends the day by drinking with her roommate, who is also her client, and embarrasses herself by getting drunk as she prides herself.

Choi Sang Eun ends up in an elevator with both Jung Ji Ho and Kang Hae-jin. Kang Hae Jin starts his first suspicion when he meets them at first she has a ring on, though after their second meeting on the same day, she has no ring. Soon, later on, Kang Hae-jin sees a man below the stairs with a knife and some very murderous pictures of blood, which scares him.

Episode 2 Scene - Choi Sang Eun in an elevator with Jung Ji Ho and Kang Hae-jin
Episode 2 Scene – Choi Sang Eun in an elevator with Jung Ji Ho and Kang Hae-jin

Then we come to a scene where Choi Sang Eun and Jung Ji Ho still meet despite the decision made, making it a farewell meet-up for the last time at his place.

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Episode 3

In episode 3, A glimpse of Jung Ji Ho’s divorce from his ex-wife is shown, worsening his already unravelling emotional state. He has been dealing with divorcing partners as a lawyer for as long as he can remember. However, when he comes across the divorce of Choi Sang Eun, it catches his attention.

Unlike most spouses who fight against each other, she takes responsibility for the divorce, even though it was a marriage under contract. Kang Hae-jin begins to grow suspicious of Jung Ji Ho and starts warning Sang Eun. However, Jung Ji Ho’s behaviour only complicates the situation further.

The scene unfolds with his work life, showing how seriously he takes his job, with no fun or enjoyment with his colleagues. It then transitions to Kang Hae-jin’s trauma, where he suffers from sleepless nights.

Episode 3: Choi Sang Eun is attacked
Episode 3: Choi Sang Eun got attacked

One late night, Choi Sang Eun is attacked on her way back home, and Kang Hae-jin comes to her rescue. Eventually, Choi Sang Eun and Jung Ji Ho exchange divorce papers, both heartbroken about ending their relationship despite it being under contract.

Episode 4

In Episode 4, Choi Sang Eun, Kang Hae-jin, and Jung Ji Ho come together to find the person who tries to attack Choi Sang Eun. Jung Ji Ho is given tickets for a concert by his boss and thereafter has no one to give the ticket to but Choi Sang Eun. They attend the concert together and meet his boss at the event.

Episode 4 Choi Sang Eun Concert Scene
Episode 4 Choi Sang Eun Concert Scene

Unable to escape the situation, they have to go along with the role-playing of being married and end up having dinner with the boss and his wife. As the scene unfolds, the boss relentlessly invites himself to Jung Ji Ho’s place, which scares Jung Ji Ho because he isn’t sociable. Thereafter, she attends a funeral and aids in the funeral service.

Woo Kwang Nam, roommate of Choi Sang Eun, goes to a family dinner but is hesitant to enter because of the pressure he feels within himself not being able to open up about being gay. A short clip of Choi Sang Eun’s childhood, where she was adopted, is shown.

Episode 4: Choi Sang Eun's Childhood Scene of Adoption
Episode 4: Choi Sang Eun’s Childhood Scene of Adoption

The scene transitions to Kang Hae-jin with his brother and father, both of whom are against his career as a celebrity rather than taking up a role in their company. In the end, we see Kang Hae-jin bringing Choi Sang Eun into the spotlight with many reporters. Choi Sang Eun stays covered with a scarf to hide her identity, however.

Episode 5

In this episode, we see Woo Kwang Nam and Choi Sang Eun having a conversation about the hardships that Woo Kwang Nam is currently going through. Jung Ji Ho stays near them but goes unnoticed. As Kang Hae-jin and Choi Sang Eun catch the news, Jung Ji Ho sees it on television, with only him knowing the woman’s real identity.

Yoo Mi-Ho stays in a small, congested apartment with loads of her clothes, not paying the rent. As the story unfolds, Yoo Mi-Ho ends up in Choi Sang Eun’s apartment.

Episode 5 Choi Sang Eun and Jung Ji fight sequence
Episode 5 Choi Sang Eun and Jung Ji fight sequence

We also come to a rather awkward fighting scene between Choi Sang Eun and Jung Ji Ho because Choi Sang Eun wore a helmet, which made Jung Ji Ho extremely alert, especially after the man who attacked Choi Sang Eun. A contract was signed between Choi Sang Eun and Kang Hae-jin.

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Episode 6

In this episode, we see that Choi Sang Eun missed her dinner with Jung Ji Ho the previous night and therefore when she was about to head out for trekking alone, he tagged along. Yoo Mi-Ho continues to stick with Choi Sang Eun. Jung Ji Ho and Kang Hae-jin fight for the cat named Jamie.

Jung Ji Ho admits to Choi Sang Eun that he was the one who judged her divorce case. He asks the help of Choi Sang Eun for the upcoming housewarming party at his place and therefore, Choi Sang Eun prepares him for the questions that were expected to be asked on a ride back home.

Episode 6 - Choi Sang Eun helps Jung Ji prepare questions for an upcoming housewarming party
Episode 6 – Choi Sang Eun helps Jung Ji prepare questions for an upcoming housewarming party

Yoo Mi-Ho and Woo Kwang Nam never end up on the same page despite living in the same apartment for the time being. The housewarming party begins and Choi Sang Eun transforms Jung Ji Ho’s place into a well-maintained place as she arranges it with flowers and other decor to bring light and warmth. She falls asleep on a date with Kang Hae-jin because she drank too much the previous night during the housewarming party the previous night and is brought to Jung Ji Ho’s apartment by Kang Hae-jin.

Episode 7

In this episode, we see how Choi Sang Eun was brought in after much training by Yoo Mi-Ho as a kid. We witness a horse riding date between Choi Sang Eun and Kang Hae-jin. With Choi Sang Eun’s words, Jung Ji Ho reminds himself of it, trying to make a change to his behaviour.

Episode 7 - Choi Sang Eun and Kang Hae Jin on Horse Riding Date
Episode 7 – Choi Sang Eun and Kang Hae Jin on Horse Riding Date

Another date between Choi Sang Eun and Kang Hae-jin takes place again, where they get to know each other better as they share their thoughts on life. The transition of scenes takes place, and the relationship between Choi Sang Eun and Jung Ji Ho develops as they try to prove their relationship to people. Soon after, they find themselves opening up more than ever. The evening ends with them drinking and talking.

Episode 8

In this episode, we see a short clip of Jung Ji Ho opening up like never before while he is drunk. Kang Hae-jin tries to make a deal with Woo Kwang Nam. They hang out with Jung Ji Ho’s boss and other colleagues, along with Choi Sang Eun, on a golf play day, where a comedic scene takes place.

Episode 8 - Choi Sang Eun and Jung Ji Ho Comic Golf Playing Scene
Episode 8 – Choi Sang Eun and Jung Ji Ho Golf Playing Scene

We also see how the Ina group, the company from where she was raised, wants her to leave the country, which brings a lot of anger to Choi Sang Ho. Choi Sang Eun is on another date with Kang Hae-jin where they open up more about their families.

Then, as the scene unfolds nearing the end, the tension grows wider as we see Jung Ji Ho and Choi Sang Eun entering the building where Kang Hae-jin is with another lady who is Jung Ji Ho’s ex-wife.

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Episode 9

The awkward meeting of the four takes place in this episode. Choi Sang Eun and Jung Ji Ho’s bonds get closer. There is a change in Jung Ji Ho’s behaviour as he tries to have more meet-ups with people. Choi Sang Eun and Kang Hae-jin meet in a park.

They both opened up more about families and problems as they were linked in one way or the other. During this time, Jung Ji Ho gets drunk and attacks Kang Hae-jin.

Episode 9: Amid Heated Argument, Jung Ji Kisses Choi Sang Eun
Episode 9: Amid Heated Argument, Jung Ji Kisses Choi Sang Eun

The person from the Ina group tries to convince Yoo Mi-Ho to send Choi Sang Eun abroad as well. Nearing the end of the episode Choi Sang Eun and Jung Ji Ho get into a heated argument but amid the argument, Jung Ji Ho kisses Choi Sang Eun.

Episode 10

Woo Kang Nam joins Kang Hae-jin’s team working under him. A meet-up between Choi Sang Eun and Kang Hae-jin takes place which turns out to be a memory of when Kang Hae-jin kisses Choi Sang Eun, Choi Sang Eun remembers but does not mention anything of it but rather Kang Hae-jin begins the conversation with direct questions making Choi Sang Eun speechless.

The relationship between the two, Choi Sang Eun and Jung Ji Ho blossoms and lightens the mood. Then as the scene rolls we see Choi Sang Ho realising how Yoo Mi-Ho changed all the plates and the arrangement in the apartment.

Episode 10 - The Tension Between Jun Ji Ho & His Ex-Wife Heats Up
Episode 10 – The Tension Between Jun Ji Ho & His Ex-Wife Heats Up

The tension between Jung Ji Ho and his ex-wife heats up. The reveal of Choi Sang Eun in the media takes place which brings greater tension to the life of both Choi Sang Eun and Kang Hae-jin.

Episode 11

The past of how Choi Sang Eun and Kang Hae-jin are linked is revealed. Jung Ji Ho’s wife asks for a start over Jung Ji Ho but is denied. The home of Kang Hae-jin is a mess after the reveal of Choi Sang Eun’s face. The relationship between Woo Kwang Nam and Yoo Mi-Ho progresses on the good side, blending better than any other. 

A meet-up between Kang Hae-jin’s parents and Kang Hae-jin and Choi Sang Eun takes place, where the other siblings of Kang Hae-jin also join which creates a huge tension as to how the next step would go about.

Episode 11 - Kang Hae Jin finds this culprit who attacked Choi Sang Eun
Episode 11 – Kang Hae Jin finds this culprit who attacked Choi Sang Eun

Kang Hae-jin finds the person who tried to hurt Choi Sang Eun. Choi Sang Eun and Jung Ji Ho’s feelings began to grow stronger for one another. The person who tried to hurt Choi Sang Eun was one of the clients.

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Episode 12

Woo Kwang Nam meets Jung Ji Ho to express how Yoo Mi-Ho is ruining Choi Sang Eun’s life. We see how deeply and genuinely he cares for Choi Sang Eun. Choi Sang Eun and Yoo Mi-Ho get into a heated argument, which ends up revealing their true relationship as mother and daughter.

Episode 12 - Choi Sang Eun and Yoo Mi Ho Heated Argument and revelation as Mother & Daughter
Episode 12 – Choi Sang Eun and Yoo Mi Ho Heated Argument and revelation as Mother & Daughter

It also reveals to the viewers that Choi Sang Eun knew it all along, despite Yoo Mi-Ho hiding it. The drama intensifies, and we witness Choi Sang Eun crying and breaking down for the first time in the presence of Jung Ji Ho. Kang Hae-jin falls even more in love with Choi Sang Eun. Choi Sang Eun shares a meal with Kang Hae-jin.

We also see Choi Sang Eun joining Jung Ji Ho for his team dinner, where she apologises for deceiving them. Everyone treats her with warmth and a welcoming heart, starting anew. An accident occurs, but Jung Ji Ho jumps to save Choi Sang Eun’s life.

Episode 13

In this episode, we see Choi Sang Eun taking care of Jung Ji Ho. He gets discharged from the hospital and stays with Choi Sang Eun, along with Yoo Mi-Ho and Woo Kwang Nam, which becomes a very awkward situation, especially for Jung Ji Ho.

We also see Woo Kwang Nam enjoying his work. This episode is filled with awkwardness, especially with Jung Ji Ho in Choi Sang Eun’s apartment, along with the mother who lives in the same building.

Episode 13 Jung Ji Jo in Choi Sang Eun's apartment with her mother
Episode 13 – Jung Ji Jo in Choi Sang Eun’s apartment with her mother

It’s an episode filled with very awkward and funny moments between Choi Sang Eun and Jung Ji Ho, who want to be together but are not allowed by the mother. Therefore, the mother, Yoo Mi-Ho, stays in the kitchen hallway guarding.

The evil of Kang Hae-jin’s older brother is shown more and more as the drama nears its end. We also see Kang Hae-jin deciding to put an end to his career, which becomes very emotional for the people who worked by his side.

Episode 14

We see a scene of lunch together with Jung Ji Ho and his team after his discharge from their workplace, although he is not fully recovered. A final meeting is also held as the scene unfolds, led by Kang Hae-jin and his team, where he declares that the management team has to come to an end.

We also witness Jung Ji Ho and Choi Sang Eun discussing how they can punish Yoo Mi-Ho for what she had done to Choi Sang Eun in the past, turning her into a product.

However, despite her hatred towards Yoo Mi-Ho, Choi Sang Eun admits she can’t stand anything bad happening to her because she was the one who raised her. Jung Ji Ho is completely healed, as evidenced in a meeting between him and Choi Sang Eun, where the extent of her certification studies shocks him.

We also witness a different side of Kang Hae-jin as he enters into a family business, revealing himself to be a more serious man than he portrays. A planned date between Jung Ji Ho and Choi Sang Eun is arranged; however, Jung Ji Ho fails to show up, and instead, Yoo Mi-Ho arrives.

This allows them to talk and bond better. We also see Jung Ji Ho meeting his ex-wife as friends. His ex-wife notices the change in Jung Ji Ho and is happy for him. Later, Jung Ji Ho and Choi Sang Eun meet, but he is drunk. Choi Sang Eun becomes jealous when he admits to meeting his ex-wife. The next day, he tries to make it up to Choi Sang Eun and explains why he did not show up to the previous dinner and met his ex-wife.

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Episode 15

The relationship between the two gets even better in this episode. Everything seems to be more relaxed and fun. They went on dates as they played various games. Kang Hae-jin finds out that a guy has been loitering around Choi Sang Eun’s place and follows him, and they both end up in her apartment.

He fights off the guy, and thankfully, Choi Sang Eun isn’t present, but Yoo Mi-Ho is there. We also see plans for Woo Kang Nam to leave, but he does not have the heart to do so because of how people are always on the lookout to kill Choi Sang Eun. Kang Hae-jin knows that it is his older brother’s plan all along to kill and hurt Choi Sang Eun and pleads with him to leave her alone.

Yoo Mi-Ho and Jung Ji Ho also do what they can in their way to put an end to this and protect Choi Sang Eun. Jung Ji Ho is also risking his job to save Choi Sang Eun, which he feels is more important.

The last fight starts taking place here as everyone does their part to give the spotlight to Kang Hae-jin’s older brother to showcase the evils that have been done by him in a meeting held by their company alongside all their important board members. In doing so, not only does she get her freedom but also helps Kang Hae-jin receive more love from everyone.

Episode 16

In the final episode, we witness a distant and rather brief breakup between Jung Ji Ho and Choi Sang Eun. She feels he deserves so much better and is too embarrassed by her life to face and be with him. In response, Jung Ji Ho reverts to his old self, becoming cold towards everyone. Despite being advised by everyone to give Choi Sang Eun time, she eventually returns to him and they meet in his apartment to talk, where she admits everything.

They plan for a wedding and go through a lot of decision-making, but in the process, they both realize they don’t want a wedding. As the scene transitions, we also see Kang Hae-jin returning to acting, doing what he loves. A family meeting with Woo Kwang Nam is held, where he admits that he is gay and won’t get married again, shocking everyone.

Jung Ji Ho invites his coworkers to his place for dinner, but he feels pressured about whether or not to propose to her. At a dinner in a restaurant, Choi Sang Eun proposes to Jung Ji Ho, and he accepts. They have a small gathering, inviting those dearest to them, and the drama ends happily with a photoshoot of everyone who attended the gathering.

Romantic scenes in Love in Contract?

From the start, there are romantic scenes; however, none of those romantic scenes are real and are rather under contract. The female protagonist is one character who does not believe in love after what she has gone through, but after meeting the male protagonist, she slowly begins to develop care and love for him. Vice versa with the male protagonist, who struggles with his emotions. This couple has been together since the start, but only the true romantic scene begins later towards the end of the episodes as they try to fight their own battles. They both try to separate, but life challenges bring them closer.

Is there any plot twist in Love in Contract?

Yes, there are. Instead of being curtailed by the evil twist involving Kang Hae-jin’s brother, Choi Sang Eun possesses a recording from the past where he admits to his plan to take over the company. This action ultimately saves both Kang Hae-jin and Choi Sang Eun. Kang Hae-jin is viewed in a new light by everyone, and Choi Sang Eun terminates her relationship with the Ina Group. There is no wedding held for the two protagonists because they both did not want to have a wedding but misunderstood each other the whole time, each thinking the other wanted to have a wedding and planning accordingly. Then, at the end of the movie, instead of Jung Ji Ho proposing, it is Choi Sang Eun who proposes.

Love in Contract Ending Explained

In the final episode, we witness the end of her career as a love contractor with much thought. Through all that she goes through, we see a very different side of Choi Sang-eun, wiser and having moved on from the past, leaving all grudges behind and repairing relationships, especially with her mother. Her roommate, who is also a client of hers, gathers all the courage to face his family and admits that he is gay, with no intention of marrying any woman just to please his family. We also see Hae Jin finally gaining his freedom, not only in terms of personal liberty but also receiving love and care from his mother, who cares about what he wants to do in life, which is acting. Most importantly, we see the two protagonists coming back together happily. Her presence helps him to open up and regulate his emotions, and he, in turn, helps her to see her self-worth.

Is Love in Contract a Happy Ending?

Yes, it is a happy ending. She stops her work as a person who provides services to single people. Choi Sang-eun and Jung Ji-ho get back together. Everything that seemed to fall out of place falls back into perfect place. Mi-ho and Sang-eun begin to establish a proper relationship as mother and daughter.

Love in Contract Review

Cinematography:  A drama filled with the realities of today. We also see how the lights in the scene change from light to dark to express the light-hearted events and the dramatic and intense events.  The way the scenes change in the drama feels very natural and real. Also, the camera zooming in and out helps viewers feel the strong emotions in the story.

Acting & Script: The actors chosen for this specific drama seemed rather perfect. No actor could have portrayed the story better than the ones selected. Choi Sang-eun, as always, has been extremely natural and realistic, especially in her efforts to stay strong despite everything. Furthermore, the relationship between Sang-eun and her mother was very moving; a scene that evoked a lot of emotions in the viewers regarding their relationship. There was a lot of tension, stress, and a well-blended mix of comedy, warmth, love, and awkwardness as well. “Regarding Jung Ji-ho and Kang Hae-jin, their acting was transparent and blended extremely well with today’s world. The mental pressure experienced by more than half of the people is depicted and captured well by both.

How many Episodes are there in Love in Contract?

16 Episodes

Where can I watch Love in Contract?

HiTv, Viki

Will there be a Season 2 of this drama?

There is currently no news regarding a second season for this highly successful drama.