Love In Contract – K-Drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

The Perfect Marriage(s)

Episode 1 of Love in Contract opens with Choi Sang-Eun happy and content with her life. She has a loving husband who is handsome and a good cook. But the best? Well, he respects your profession. So what is this job?

Well, it turns out that Sang-Eun works in the marriage industry. She’s basically like an escort who works to improve the lives of others by pretending to be married to different men who sign a contract. Her clients are all unmarried men who need her help to escort them to big business meetings or other events. This is how Single Life Helper was developed.

Sang-Eun is something of a chameleon who manages to master a range of different hobbies and styles in order to slip into the role of a perfect wife. However, it’s not just about the money for her; Sang-Eun also had clients in the past that she really wanted to help.

Sang-Eun is a 13-year-old vet in the industry and has strict rules about not having more than one husband at a time. Everything is going like clockwork, but Sang-Hun is in his thirties… is she just saying that? Does she want more out of life?

Sang-Hn actually lives with her gay best friend, Gwang-Nam, who also happens to be one of her ex-husbands and is now her roommate. He calls her Noona and they get along very well.

As for Sang-Eun, she makes her way to her Monday/Wednesday/Friday client, a guy named Jung Ji-Ho. She likes him as a customer because he pays well and respects her. They have been married for five years and in that time he has spoken about 50 words to her.

The setup is always the same whenever they meet, but to Ji-Ho his lack of discourse and quiet demeanor make him a mysterious customer and someone she can’t quite understand. They eat dinner in silence. He seems sincere, but is there more to this man than a pretty face and good food?

Well, that night, Ji-Ho searches her social media profile and… brandishes a knife? Oh man. He’s also quite gruff and while knowledgeable, he’s not very empathetic to the needs of others. Some of this could be linked to the past, especially when he walks into a restaurant (disparaging the owner and her food) and notices a woman walking by.

Ji-Ho attends a meeting to improve his social skills. With no one else to test it on, he considers taking the next step with Sang-Eun and actually talking to her.

Then we jump over and meet Kang Hae-Jin, an actor working on a soapy drama with a woman named Yu-Mi. At the end of her dialogue, she slaps him in the face, leaving a rather gnarled red mark on his cheek. He has been disinterested in women since his first love, but he is iconic and coveted by many ladies.

As for Sang-Eun, her job comes with a litany of different problems, namely meeting her former in-laws or being recognized in different places. She also has ties to a woman named Madam Yoo Mi-Ho, whom she calls Jamie.

Sang-Eun was raised by this woman and saved all her money to pay off her education debt. “Stop sending me money now,” Yoo says coldly. This woman has taken all of Sang-Eun’s money from her for the past 13 years, but now they are cutting ties. Forever, one would assume, especially since after their meeting, Madam Yoo texts one last time to tell her that she’s deleting the woman’s number.

Sang-Eun walks away, memories of her troubled past running through her mind as she heads to her next client. Once there, she is cast in the role of wife/mother, but she’s not too happy about that, especially when Sang-Eun’s arrival causes the girl to cry on stage because she wants her real mother.

It’s too much for Sang-Eun and she decides to leave, pointing out that the brazen man misinterpreted her contract. As he tries to hit her, Sang-Eun turns and nearly kicks his face, her heel inches from his face.

That night, Ji-Ho rings the bell and tries to strike up a conversation with Sang-Eun. Unfortunately, firing off these questions like a proper interview is stiff and awkward. Eventually he finds Squid Game as a topic of conversation. After he hangs up, attention turns back to Sang-Eun and her roommate Gwang-Nam, who tries to approach Kang Hae-Jin at a club, which ends in disaster

The couple makes a decision that night, and Sang-Eun must break up with “Mr Money” to pursue her dreams and travel to Canada for a new beginning. It’s just that she has trouble with it, especially given all the amazing dishes Ji-Ho keeps making for her. Unfortunately, she puts it off for the big day to come.

Funnily enough, this is the day Ji-Ho opens up and talks to her. He brings up the well-known poem about blades of grass that Gwang-Nam mentioned the night before. As a result, her fluctuating heart stops and she decides to give him the best gift… a divorce. Only he actually comes up with the idea himself and catches her unprepared.

During the epilogue, we learn that Sang-Eun actually keeps Sunday to herself so she can have some time to herself. She shows up in kindergarten and throws some stars at Min-Ju’s work, the girl who cried on stage before. She falls to her knees, hands her a small star and smiles warmly.

The Episode Recap

The first episode of Love In Contract starts off really solid with a decent premise and some intriguing characters. The soundtrack is also excellent so far, while Park Min-Young is as charming as ever. I’m not quite sure how
Kang Hae-Jin will fit in, but it’s clear that he’ll play the second lead.

So far the chemistry between Ji-Ho and Sang-Eun is pretty good and I’m much more interested in their relationships than Hae-Jin. Still, we’ll have to wait and see what this show has in store for us to move forward.

There’s a lot to like though, and the ending definitely suggests we’ll learn more about Hae-Jin in the upcoming episodes.

Next episode

Expect a full season description when this season ends! Love In Contract – K-Drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

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