5 High-Stakes Moments In Episodes 3-4 Of “Love In Contract” That Changed The Characters’ Lives

Love in Contract” is shaping up to be quite the interesting mid-week show! We’ve got birth secrets, stalkers, emotionally-constipated men, and a pretty pushy second lead, but it all somehow works! With so much of the premiere episodes focusing on setting up our characters, this week, we finally get to see them in action. Here are our favorite high-tension moments from this week that had us worried for Choi Sang Eun (Park Min Young) and her crew!

Warning: spoilers for episodes 3-4 below.

1. The attack on Sang Eun

Sang Eun is heading to Jung Ji Ho’s (Go Kyung Pyo’s) place to hand him the agreed-upon divorce papers when she’s accosted by a man sporting a motorbike helmet. The depiction of this scene is eerily similar to several real life incidents from the almost innocuous way he walks over to the horrifying threat of the knife he unveils. The man takes her to a back alley of sorts and makes all sorts of derogatory comments before attempting to stab Sang Eun. Despite her martial arts training, she’s unable to stop him and fears for her life when Kang Hae Jin (Kim Jae Young) shows up to rescue her.

Shaken, she wonders who could hold a grudge enough to go after her this way. But as it turns out, it isn’t her that the attacker was truly trying to harm but Hae Jin. Is it because of his status as an actor? Envy? Jealousy of Sang Eun? Or does it have something to do with the secret truth that he’s the youngest son of Gang Jin Group? The latter seems especially likely, especially given that his family’s hijinks are about to make the news for the worst of reasons.

2. Yoo Mi Ho’s arrest

For a moment during those premiere episodes, it seemed as though Yoo Mi Ho (Jin Kyung) was about to take her own life. But when we see her next, she’s alive and well and is welcoming an old friend John (John D. Michaels), an architect from the States. The reason? She has agreed to work for Hae Jin’s older brother Kang Seon Jin (Oh Ryoong) to bring John in to develop a portion of grassland in Korea. The trouble is that the grassland is presently part of the Greenbelt, an ecologically necessary portion of land that is protected for being forest, farmland, wetlands, or watershed. Seon Jin wishes to develop the land, uncaring of the consequences to both nature and to the future people living on the land if nature decides to reclaim what belongs to it.

John is reluctant to contract with Gang Jin Group, especially for land that hasn’t been legally severed from the Greenbelt, but he finally gives in. Only, he lets leak to an executive from another conglomerate that Gang Jin plans on messing with the Greenbelt, and the fall out is swift. News outlets everywhere pick up on the story and run with it. To save his hide, Seon Jin tosses Mi Ho to the wolves, saying that this was entirely her scheme. He has her thrown in jail for “theft” of the 7.5 million dollar deposit on the contract.

And there is no one this hurts more than Sang Eun. We see pieces of Sang Eun’s childhood, indicating that she seems to have been picked out of a line-up at an orphanage by Mi Ho and then raised by her. Mi Ho was a cold mother figure, her teacher, her disciplinarian, and her greatest hurt who taught Sang Eun all the right lessons to survive in the chaebol world but all the wrong lessons to be happy. It was from her that Mi Ho learned that emotion was bad, manipulation was good, and the only acceptable form of stress release was tossing money at frivolous objects.

Yet blood isn’t easy to ignore. Sang Eun tries to lord it over Mi Ho over the other women being in jail, but Mi Ho astutely points out that Sang Eun paid her for so many years just to appease her own guilt, not out of any affection for Mi Ho. It’s sad because both women seem to truly care deep, deep down about each other. But they’ve warped each other into turning that love into a contest of wills. And Sang Eun decides to win it and walk away once and for all by paying the 7.5 million dollars and getting Mi Ho out of jail. She’s left with nothing. No money to go to Canada, no hope, and no one by her side but Woo Gwang Nam (Kang Hyung Suk) who is also not having a good day.

3. Gwang Nam’s family memorial

Gwang Nam has spent his entire life trying to live up to the filial expectations his parents have had for him as their only son. Not only has his parents’ thinking resulted in his sisters believing themselves less relevant for being women, but it has also made them complicit in his parents’ pressure. When visiting his family’s yearly memorial for those passed away, he plans to tell them of his upcoming departure to Canada, but as always, his sisters make derogatory comments, asking why he can’t just get married and provide heirs like a regular guy when he was able to do it once. He blows up, tells them that he’ll be getting out of their sight and leaving the country, and exits.

He’s so sick and tired of a world that shames his very existence. From people like Hae Jin who threaten to sue everyone in sight for spreading rumors that he’s gay to his sisters, the world genuinely says every day that being gay is so undesirable that it’s better to sue those who dare allege it than understand that love is love, and it’s none of their business. Like Sang Eun, he had to suppress himself for so long in public, so it makes sense that the two of them are such good friends. But both their plans are about to come crashing down. And it’s all because of Hae Jin and Gang Jin Group.

4. Hae Jin’s “woes”

Some dramas try to make the second male lead a viable contender for the heroine’s affections but not “Love in Contract.” Hae Jin is without a doubt a spoilt, privileged man-child who believes himself in love with Sang Eun after only having met her for maybe half an hour 15 years ago. It’s frankly incredibly domineering of him to assume that he knows her or is entitled to her, but that’s exactly what he does. Sang Eun is brokenhearted after having used up all her life savings and crushing her dreams to bail Mi Ho out of jail. She wants nothing more than to go to Ji Ho’s home and eat by herself – which he freely gives her permission to do. But despite Hae Jin’s family being behind Sang Eun’s present pain, he doesn’t give her the luxury of going to her safe space. Nope.

Instead, because he has been embroiled in dating rumors after paparazzi caught pictures of him helping Sang Eun after the attack, he forces her into the spotlight. Without even doing her the courtesy of telling her what he’s doing, he announces her as his girlfriend. All without her consent. For someone who tries to disassociate himself with his family, he’s the spitting image of them, walking over everyone to get what he wants no matter the cost. He doesn’t even think about the assailant who targeted Sang Eun because of him and ignores it when he sees someone who looked exactly like the attacker. Why? Because he can. Yikes.

It seems that Hae Jin is going to force his way into a contract with Sang Eun given her lack of money, and that makes him all the more unlikeable. Thankfully, our wonderful male lead more than makes up for Hae Jin’s ickiness.

5. Ji Ho and Sang Eun’s “not-dates”

These two love each other’s company. So much so that they tried to drag out that last meal just to spend more time together and keep circling back to each other whenever they can. The contract might be over, but these two have just begun, and Ji Ho is the best person for Sang Eun. He doesn’t push or pressure her in any way. Though we haven’t seen the divorce documents he’s planning on filing, I strongly suspect that they list him as being the issue instead of Sang Eun always saying that she’s the issue. Just another reason to love him! And there is the awesome fact that he isn’t a killer but a judge! Not that Hae Jin even bothers to apologize.

It’s clear that he was pretty badly hurt during his previous divorce and has trouble opening up to people, let alone speaking, hence why he was so quiet during his dinners with Sang Eun for five years. It was all because he thought she would run at the first sign of how he really was. And while Sang Eun doesn’t entirely understand him at first when he starts speaking to her, all it takes is an incredibly hilarious run-in with Ji Ho’s boss for her to put it together in the most amazing analogy. The door is broken, she says, but the room is fine. His co-workers and even his boss consider him a sociopath because the door, his mouth, doesn’t fully convey what he wants in the way he means it. But that’s resulted in them being unable to see the perfectly good room within. Basically, it’s the others missing out.

He looks so adorably confused at hearing that, and she’s delighted to finally see this side of him. But that’s not all that’s awesome about Ji Ho. He’s just super, super respectful. He’ll give her concert tickets but refuse to pressure her into going. His co-workers invite themselves to his home to meet his wife, but he doesn’t tell her and instead takes his co-workers to a restaurant so he won’t burden Sang Eun with playing hostess. He even works up the courage to tell his co-workers that he’s letting her go abroad to fulfill her dreams because that’s the right thing to do. This man is amazing and couldn’t be more different from Hae Jin.

During this speech, it feels like Ji Ho will stay in his lonely shell forever, being considerate of Sang Eun without knowing that she’s just as interested in him. But something changes when he sees Hae Jin pawing at Sang Eun like he has every right to and announcing her as his girlfriend, especially with Ji Ho’s ring on her handSomething tells me we’re about to get a shake-up as Ji Ho tries to fight for Sang Eun. And against someone as disrespectful as Hae Jin, he’ll need to bolden up fast!

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What did you think of this week’s episodes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Shalini_A is a long time Asian-drama addict. When not watching dramas, she works as a lawyer, fangirls over Ji Sung, and attempts to write the greatest fantasy romance of all time. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, and feel free to ask her anything!

Currently Watching: Love in Contract,” “If You Wish Upon Me,” “Blind,” “One Dollar Lawyer,” “May It Please The Court,” and “Little Women.”
Looking Forward to: “Island,” “Queen of the Scene,” “Black Knight,” and, of course, Ji Sung’s next drama.

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