‘Love To Hate You’ Ending, Explained: Do Kang Oh And Mi Ran Get Back Together?


It is no secret that Korean dramas have perfected romance in a way nobody else can. “Love to Hate You” is another example of that. It was the perfect coming together of the “enemies to lovers” trope with the “fake dating” trope and its supporting cast had us as hooked as the main cast. So why not just stick to that? Why try to bring in half-researched feminist theories and nuances of sexism when they were not even going to bother framing them the right way? To be exact, “Love to Hate You” plays out like a male feminist fantasy, with all women being the “gold-digger” type who pit themselves against each other. But there is one shining exception, and she is Yeo Mi Ran, and for the reason that “she is not like other girls,” she gets the love of the hero and everybody else around her. Just to make sure that feminists don’t get too angry, they have acknowledged, through a sentence here and there, that men can be just as deceitful. 

“Love to Hate You” really plays on the elementary school of feminism while the world has progressed far beyond that. All we are saying is that even without taking that angle, this could have been a good series. It was highly engaging and binge-worthy in a way we haven’t encountered in recent times. It would have been perfect if it had not attempted such half-baked feminism, which honestly ended up being more offensive than right. Before we get into the narrative, we would like to say that we will refrain from commenting more on the number of instances it has gone wrong because we have realized that the makers did not care about that. 

Additionally, if we started doing that, the article would be less of a summary and more of a feminist critique, which we would rather save for now. Without further ado, let us see everything that happens through the ten episodes of “Love to Hate You”—the parts that annoyed us and the parts that had us swooning.

Spoilers Ahead

How Did Mi Ran And Kang Ho Come Into Each Other’s Lives?

Mi Ran is a headstrong attorney, leading a carefree life on her own terms. In fact, she recently broke up with her boyfriend because they both caught each other cheating in a hotel, though Mi Ran has no regrets about it. At home, she doesn’t get along with her father, who is extremely sexist and insists on belittling her and her mother constantly. Mi Ran is moving into a new apartment with her best friend, and she is forced to quit her job after she discovers that her boss is two-timing his girlfriend with Na Eun. Now, with bills piling up, she is forced to look for a new job, which she finds at the Gilmo Law Firm because their top client, Choi Soo Jin, wants a female lawyer to handle her divorce proceedings.

Gilmo is an all-male law firm where Mi Ran’s ex-boyfriend also works, but that just serves as comic relief more than anything else. At a company outing, Mi Ran finds herself with Kang Oh. She had previously witnessed him speak unfavorably about women, and hence, as a form of petty revenge, she tripped him when he was walking past her. Kang Oh was convinced that his being tripped was not an accident, and he suspected her from the get-go. When he confronts her about it, to save her job, she tells him that she did that to get his attention as she was his fan. Kang Ho is intrigued but says nothing about it. When Mi Ran is going home, she finds that her colleagues have left and gets into the only van that is there, thinking it must be from her office, and falls asleep.

When she wakes up a few minutes later, she finds, to her horror, that it belongs to Kang Oh. To save herself from another embarrassing situation, she keeps quiet, and when they reach his house, she sneakily gets off, but not before she sees a young girl to whom Kang Oh gives money. Mi-Ran’s overactive imagination makes her think that he must be an abuser. As she is thinking about how to deal with that, she is asked to go to his place to deal with some of the fan clubs that have gathered outside. Though it is after her work hours, Mi Ran agrees because she wants to investigate him. She deals with the clubs with a mixture of her martial arts and characteristic sass, which seems to further interest Kang Oh. Mi Ran asks to see him because she wants to be on more of his cases, and Kang Oh seemingly agrees when he sees her skills. He is also rather interested in her, though he hasn’t acknowledged it yet.

Kang Oh has signed on for an action film, and he needs to learn some street-fighting style, which is contrary to what he can do right now. For that, he enlists Mi Ran’s help, having witnessed her skills. While she is surprised, she agrees, as this would give her a chance to investigate him further, which she gets soon enough when Kang Oh gets knocked out after a particularly grueling session. She snoops through his phone and discovers his chats with a girl named “Princess.” However, she discovers soon enough, like in literally minutes, that she is his niece, and he was just being an indulgent uncle and not a predator. Consumed by guilt, she lets him get the best of her, but he catches on to what she is doing and suggests pushing their session to another date. But when she takes a call from her ex, he discovers that it is her birthday. He is consumed by fascination, as this is literally the first woman on earth who doesn’t post pastel-tinted pictures of herself on her birthday. Therefore, to reward her, he takes her out for dinner and drinks, where he gets to know more about her, and his fascination keeps growing as he cannot believe that a woman like her exists.

Right before they leave, he offers to hug her as a gift because she is his fan. But lo and behold, he finds that since she is an exceptional woman like no other, he is not anxious to be around her. To test his theory further, he does the only logical thing there is. He kisses her, and our girl Mi Ran also gives in to the moment. It is obvious that Kang Oh really has not been around a lot of women. Otherwise, he would have known not to brush it off as a birthday gift to her. But Mi Ran responds as she should by telling him the truth that she is not his fan and does not even like him since she heard his comments all those days ago. Kang Oh is miffed, but since he is a grown man who has been wronged by women before, he does the only rational thing there is: he asks her not to work on his cases anymore. That would have been the end of it, except that Kang Oh has a rumor going on about him that he is gay, and this has potentially damaging consequences for him. His ex-girlfriend, aka his first love, aka the second woman to wrong him, agrees to reveal their dating history so that his name is cleared, as she wants to get back together with him. But Kang Oh rejects her. It is at that time that Won Jun, his manager, comes across the pictures of Kang Oh and Mi Ran kissing. A little pushing from his side, and he discovers the complete details of their relationship. He comes up with a plan for the rumor to go away while also bringing the two of them closer—a fake dating contract.

Kang Oh And Mi Ran Are Fake Daters.

Kang Oh agrees to the fake dating contract for obvious reasons, whereas Mi Ran agrees not just for the money but also to put Kang Oh in his place, as she thinks of him as an obnoxious man. As they start going out to maintain appearances, they are also playing their own games with each other, which, surprisingly, are working. The biggest kicker, however, is that Na Eun is aware that this is a contract. She meets Won Jun to discuss that they should not take this forward but ends up falling for him as he is exceptionally handsome. To be honest, we see her point, not to mention that he is also a one-of-a-kind smooth talker who manages to convince her that the contract is the right thing to do.

Meanwhile, on the set of Kang Oh’s film, they need a new female stunt double, as the one they have has gotten pregnant. Kang Oh asks Mi Ran, and she enthusiastically agrees. On the set, Kang Oh is getting more and more enamored by her as she stands in stark contrast to Se Na, whose modus operandi is to act weak and scared all the time. Mi Ran catches on to Se Na’s feelings, but just then, she rushes to protect Kang Oh from a stunt going wrong and ends up injuring herself. This sparks a sort of revolution on the set. The director is motivated to change Se Na’s character arc from a helpless woman to someone who would fight for herself and her man, which ends up meaning more work for Mi Ran. Even the fans of Kang Oh, who previously disliked her, now welcome her presence. But before all this, when Kang Oh is taking care of her, he asks her why she did such a thing, being a woman, and Mi Ran replies that if somebody saves your life, you shouldn’t be questioning them about their gender roles.

Honestly, our girl Mi Ran has very few faults, and this was actually a great answer. Thinking that she is sleeping, Kang Oh confesses his feelings for her. The next day, Mi Ran accidentally lets it slip that she heard him. They have a direct conversation about it later, where Mi Ran admits that she can’t date him because of her general distrust of men. But this changes when, during a congratulatory dinner for Mi Ran’s mother, Kang Oh shows up upon the insistence of a clueless Soo Jin, who is later shocked to hear about their fake dating. Either way, Kang Oh proclaims that he really respects Mi Ran, and this shifts something within her. In fact, it also ends up moving Mi Ran’s mother, who admits that had her husband said something like this to her, she wouldn’t have written the book. It is the bare minimum, but it is rare enough that it ends up meaning something. That day, Mi Ran tells Kang Oh that she wants to try dating a man she actually likes. They spend the night together, with Kang Oh telling her that he loves her and that he will wait for her to say it. Honestly, if the writers had once again avoided the “not like other girls” speech here, the moment would have been more than perfect.

It is a paradise for the two of them now that they are dating for real. But Na Eun is not feeling as optimistic as she should, as her crush on Won Jun has only grown stronger, and she wants to avoid him at all costs. Therefore, she refuses to go to Kang Oh’s party so that she doesn’t run into him.

‘Love To Hate You’ Ending Explained: Do Kang Oh And Mi Ran Get Back Together?

At the party, Choi Soo Jin finds herself a bit ostracized when everyone avoids her due to the rumor about her being unfaithful in her marriage. Won Jun, Kang Oh, and Mi Ran stand by her and try to inculcate her into the party, but things take a sharp turn when a video about Mi Ran is leaked that essentially vilifies her for her dating history. Mi Ran is unfazed by it, as is Kang Oh, but for the night, they go to the former’s place. Won Jun and Na Eun flirt a little while the couple spends time together. The next day, Mi Ran faces the wrath of the fans and is at risk of losing her job due to the scandal. As for Kang Oh, he is on the verge of losing his brand deals due to Mi Ran’s past. Mi Ran decides that they should break up to avoid further trouble, but Kang Oh suggests that they continue dating in secret. However, when even that is revealed, there is no end to the trouble for either of them. To put an end to it once and for all, Kang Oh organizes a press conference where he publicly asks Mi Ran to marry him. But she arrives just in time and breaks up with him, saying that, though she is not ashamed of her past, she doesn’t want to cause trouble for him.

As the couple starts to rebuild their lives after the breakup, public opinion starts turning in their favor. It is not shown in “Love to Hate You,” but we are guessing that there must have been a lot of calling out of the double standards for men and women, as well as a discussion on how much fans can expect from the people they like. What is shown, however, is that Mi Ran’s ex goes to a gossip talk show where he reveals that Mi Ran was a sort of “vengeful dater.” She would date guys who had a bad reputation so that she could put them in their place. We hate the idea of justifying with laughable virtuosity, something as natural as a woman dating when she wants to, but that proves to be the solution to the couple’s separation. They get back together immediately, and that was actually a scene that brought a smile to our faces after the abhorrent misogyny of the interview.

At the end of “Love to Hate You” Season 1, we saw that not only have Kang Oh and Mi Ran gotten back together but Won Jun and Na Eun have started dating. Choi Soo Jin has her name cleared. Everyone is moving towards a happier tomorrow, except that Kang Oh asks Mi Ran to marry him, and she refuses because she doesn’t like the “marriage system” of Korea. We would say the marriage system anywhere is a massive compromise, but Mi Ran probably knows that. It is an ending that gets as happy as it can, with the adorable couples chasing each other along with thugs who need to be punished. 

Final Thoughts: What Works For ‘Love to Hate You’ Series?

“Love to Hate You” is swoon-worthy enough right before its botched-up feminism gives us a rude shock. They shouldn’t have attempted it at all if they were going to do it this way. We did our best to ignore those parts, and to be honest, we found ourselves enjoying the rest of it. We badly want to recommend it to our friends but, of course, with the responsibility of giving the apt disclaimer. Additionally, “Love to Hate You” is one of the few series where the main couple is actually more interesting than the secondary couple, though witnessing some more bromantic fights between Won Jun and Kang Oh would have been nice. 

We don’t believe there will be a Season 2 of “Love to Hate You;” in fact, we pray that there isn’t because we really can’t see more of the writer’s half-baked thoughts on the differences between men and women. But if they write anything else avoiding this topic, we are sure it will be good, and we will check that out. For now, we give “Love to Hate You” three stars. Out of how many that is can be judged by the rest of the audience, who we know may or may not share our opinion.

“Love to Hate You” is a 2023 Drama Romance series streaming on Netflix.

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Divya Malladi
Divya Malladi
Divya spends way more time on Netflix and regrets most of what she watches. Hence she has too many opinions that she tries to put to productive spin through her writings. Her New Year resolution is to know that her opinions are validated.

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