The Grey Areas
Episode 3 of Love Alarm begins with Sun-Oh telling Jojo he didn’t send the pictures, just as Hye-Yeong arrives at the scene. He sees first-hand Sun-Oh’s phone blink on with a notification, prompting him to rush out the room, with Sun-Oh chasing after him. Interestingly, outside Hye-Yeong comes across a group of bullies beating up a boy who happens to be attracted to them – one of the downfalls with this digital app. Hye-Yeong takes the boy under his wing, who bitterly laments his own sexuality, before Hye-Yeong tells him he can’t change who he falls in love with.
Meanwhile, Kim runs into problems of her own with best friend Jang-Go, whom she confronts over her disrespect for Il-Sik and lying about the academy. As home truths are revealed, Kim attempts to meet up with her after school to clear the air but she’s nowhere to be seen. Later that evening, Kim finishes work where a relentless Sun-oh follows her home, telling her to turn on the Love Alarm. As they sync their phones together, the notification alerts them both that they’re found love together.
From here we then see more of Hye-Yeong and Sun-Oh’s history together, along with Sun-Oh’s tumultuous upbringing. Jojo is given an ultimatum by Gul-Mi, telling her to break up with Sun-Oh as she liked him first. Adding more controversy and thought provoking themes to the fold, our characters are rocked by a death in a nearby park, linked to the Love Alarm app. This throws up some interesting questions around the moral impact of Love Alarm before returning to the teenage melodrama at hand.
Sun-Oh tells Jojo not to talk about boy bands or other boys, exhibiting some pretty toxic ideals this early in their relationship, which certainly should ring some alarm bells with Kim but instead, they grow closer together.
After falling off his bike, Hye-Yeong heads up to the bathroom at school and, in a strange twist of fate, it turns out the bully is the one in love. In love with Hye-Yeong. As he tells him he doesn’t lament his feelings and expresses that he’s okay with it, Hye-Yeong runs into problems of his own as Jojo walks past the nurse’s office and sees her love alarm go off. As Sun-Oh approaches, she receives two notifications and realizes that Sun-Oh and Hye-Yeong are both in love with her.
As more of the love triangle becomes apparent and interesting questions are brought into the fold, episode 3 of Love Alarm does well to add some dimension to our characters whilst providing enough thought provoking questions to chew over regarding the different ideas with the app. It’s certainly not all smooth sailing and the show does a great job painting all these moral grey areas that other dramas may have otherwise avoided. As we approach the halfway point, the show is left wide open for where it’s likely to go next but for now, there’s enough questions remained unanswered to keep you coming back for more.