Based on the webtoon ‘Moral Sense’ by Gyeoul, Netflix’s South Korean film ‘Love and Leashes’ revolves around the Dominant/submissive relationship of Ji-woo and Ji-hoo, who are colleagues at the PR department of a company. Starring Seohyun and Lee Jun-young, the romantic film progresses through the change of dynamics that happens in Ji-woo and Ji-hoo’s complex relationship and the unforeseen events that turn their lives around. Since the film ends with heartening developments regarding the future of the two colleagues, we have taken a detailed look at the same. If you are interested in the nuances of the ending, let us dive into it! SPOILERS AHEAD.
Love and Leashes Plot Synopsis
‘Love and Leashes’ begins with Jung Ji-hoo’s transfer to the PR team from the business team of his company. He gets acquainted with Jung Ji-woo, a reserved co-worker. Due to a mishap, Ji-woo receives a courier delivered to Ji-hoo. She opens the box and finds a neck collar Ji-hoo ordered for himself. Even though Ji-hoo tries his best to trick Ji-woo by saying it is for his dog, the latter realizes that her colleague is submissive and into BDSM. Due to uneasiness, Ji-hoo starts to act awkward in front of Ji-woo, who says to him that his submissiveness is perfectly fine and none of her business.
Ji-hoo, due to the misunderstanding that Ji-woo is into BDSM, asks the latter to be his master. Even though Ji-woo hesitates at first, she starts to read and learn about the same and finally accepts. They both sign a contract that explains the terms and conditions of their new Dominant/submissive relationship. They experiment with several BDSM practices that range from whipping to wax play in a non-sexual way. When Ji-hoo and Ji-woo get closer through their D/s relationship, the former opens up about how his ex-girlfriend broke up with him when he revealed that he is a sub.
Ji-hoo and Ji-woo’s closeness creates sparks of feelings in Ji-woo. She starts to seriously consider dating her submissive partner to move their relationship into the next stage. During an outing, Ji-woo expresses her interest in dating him to Ji-hoo, only for him to reply no.
Love and Leashes Ending: Why Does Ji-hoo Reject Ji-Woo? Why Does He Terminate the Contract?
When Ji-woo accepts Ji-hoo’s request to be his master, he starts to feel understood. He rejoices that his emotions are getting accepted by a master who respects him and his submissive nature. Ji-woo opens a new world where he can be himself in his truest nature. The bond they share and the closeness they nurture are built upon mutual respect and acceptance. However, Ji-hoo is forced to limit such companionship as a non-romantic relationship due to the traumatic break-up he had to endure with his ex-girlfriend Hana.
When Ji-hoo revealed that he is submissive and interested in BDSM, Hana took it very terribly. She asked him to consult a therapist and failed to understand that it is absolutely normal for someone to be submissive. Hana misunderstood Ji-hoo’s interest in a D/s relationship as a mental illness and hurt him severely by breaking up with him. Such a reaction from Hana left a scar in Ji-hoo and created fear of commitment with another woman. When Ji-woo proposes dating, the trauma inflicted by Hana returns to him and he says no to Ji-woo’s interest in a relationship.
Ji-hoo panics and notifies Ji-woo that he wants to terminate their contract to put an end to their existing dom-sub relationship. He fears that Ji-woo would fail to accept him and his true self if romance comes in between them. The fear of hurt and rejection leads him to say no to Ji-woo.
Do Ji-hoo and Ji-woo End Up Together?
Yes, Ji-hoo and Ji-woo do end up together. Ji-hoo enters into the life of Ji-woo when she is not at all understood by her friends and colleagues. Her reserved nature, toughness, and directness are considered unfriendly in her workspace. However, Ji-hoo succeeds in understanding her completely. When he expresses how she is perfect for him as a master, she finally feels welcomed in someone else’s life. The closeness and mutual understanding that develop between the two motivates her to consider Ji-hoo as a romantic partner. But she gets startled when Ji-hoo rejects her.
Ji-hoo, on the other hand, finds it difficult to process Ji-woo’s interest in him. When Hana comes to see him, she triggers his trauma and leaves him in hurt. Ji-hoo and Ji-woo’s final encounter before the termination of the contract doesn’t go well due to Ji-hoo’s hurt and Ji-woo’s mixed feelings upon the rejection. But a conversation with Hyemi leads Ji-hoo to confront his fears. He realizes that he cannot succumb to the fear of hurt just because Hana hurt him. Ji-hoo understands that Ji-woo has nothing but respect towards him and she is the best person to lead a romantic life with. He gives himself a chance to overcome the hurt and trauma his ex-girlfriend inflicted and decides to date Ji-woo.
At the disciplinary committee session, conducted to investigate Ji-hoo and Ji-woo’s workspace relationship, Ji-hoo finally reveals his feelings towards Ji-woo. Ji-hoo’s revelation stuns Ji-woo, who rejoices to know that her feelings are reciprocated. They decide to renew their contract but this time as romantic partners.
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