The Final Alarm
Episode 6 of Love Alarm Season 2 begins in the past at school, as we see Jojo doing laps while Duk-Goo works out the algorithm to Love Alarm on the floor in chalk. As the familiar love alarm cloud formation shows in the sky, we cut back to the present.
Sun-O’s audition has gone pretty well, in fact he’s actually been invited to show up the following day too. At the same time, both Jojo and Hye-Yeong find themselves depressed after their apparent break-up last episode. However, the latter is snapped out of his mood as police rush to the scene and start collecting up stuff from the tables.
Jojo finds herself crying at the bus stop. However, that creepy guy from episode 1 appears and asks how she feels. He holds her wrist but she pulls away. As the truth is revealed, it turns out this is the Love Alarm killer and he’s done all this on the back of being inspired by The Ringing World graphic novels.
He heads out into the road and is immediately grabbed by police officers. They arrest him but this entire scene is really poorly edited. Lackluster elevator music fills the background, accompanied by slow motion edits and some shaky camera work. Eventually this culminates in the police taking him away and the murder subplot finishing.
In the wake of this, Jojo looks over her work for The Ringing World and gives her statement at the police station. She tells them her drawings weren’t an instruction manual and is shocked that someone would use them in that way. On the back of the suicides that occurred last season, Jojo blames herself for continuing to post art.
She eventually writes online why she drew what she did. It turns out she was the sole survivor of a mass suicide back when she was a child and her artwork was an outlet to express her thoughts surrounding this.
With her truths revealed, Jojo messages Sun-O and asks to meet. Here, they gain some closure as Jojo apologizes and says goodbye to Sun-O properly. She’s going to run her marathon and use it as an outlet to clear up everything that’s been bothering her all this time.
She messages Hye-Yeong next, promising to come back when she’s finished. With no preparation and no prior training, Jojo obviously struggles but uses this marathon as a chance to face her past. She then comes to terms with the fact that what happened wasn’t her fault.
Jojo miraculously makes it to the finish line though, where Hye-Yeong happens to be there waiting. Well, I say the finish line. She actually doesn’t finish the race before they start hugging. That’s definitely going to mess up her time!
Meanwhile, Brian Chon leaves the police station to a barrage of reporters around him. It turns out he was questioned by the police all evening regarding the security of Love Alarm. This eventually sees him return to the office where Duk-Goo is situation, still alive but seemingly kept to the shadows for now. He tells his brother to stick to being a developer and give up on releasing 2.0 for now.
We then jump forward in time by a month. Gul-Mi is part of the elite club and meets Duk-Goo. He rings her love alarm and confirms that he’s actually the founding developer she’s wanted to meet all this time.
Five years have passed but now that Duk-Goo is successful, she starts to change her mind about him. In fact, he’s even developing another app that channels whether someone tells the truth or not. Eventually she walks away, heading home where she notices that her online shop has been promoted online.
Sun-o and Hye-Yeong eventually meet up again and reconcile their differences. Sun-o admits that he’s looking after himself a lot more now and gained a lot by moving on. In fact, that includes starring in a brand new movie too.
Yuk-Jo sees this announcement online while she’s out and thinks twice about skipping town. As she arrives back at her apartment and plays the recorded messages from her door, she notices Sun-O. In fact, he repeatedly rang her doorbell ofer time, hoping to see her again.
Realizing that he does care about her, Yuk-Jo heads out into the hallway just in time for her to come face to face with Sun-o. He promises to come back every day to try and ring her alarm.
Hye-Yeong meets Duk-Goo and they talk about Love Alarm and its inception. Duk-Goo admits he doesn’t regret anything that’s happened and hands over something to help her find closure in her life. It’s a mixtape; a collection of all the times Jojo rang Hye-Yeong’s alarm. Only, the tape player doesn’t work so Jojo and Hye-Yeong chuckle, deciding to abandon it and head out for food instead.
While they walk away, hand in hand, the tape player actually starts as we receive a really touching montage of all the moments this pair rang each other’s love alarm. This goes all the way back to the opening episode of season 2 as well, where we see Jojo ringing his love alarm while they were at Hye-Yeong’s apartment.
The Episode Review
Love Alarm’s finale bows out with a pretty tepid conclusion, finishing up all our big plot points but doing so in an obvious and ham-fisted way. Hye-Yeong and Jojo being together has been painfully clear since the first 10 minutes of the opening episode and it’s disappointing to see the show take such a cookie cutter approach to their romance.
In fact, this season has had every cliché in the book, including the obvious longing stares, the “betrayal”, the sidewalk glances across the road and the ensuing montage at the end.
Now, to be fair the montage is actually quite good although it would have been nice to see this go all the way back to season 1 and for both Hye-Yeong and Sun-O too.
Speaking of which, Sun-O has a pretty underwhelming arc here, with his story pushed aside and thrown into this contrived love triangle with only one solution.
It’s quite reminiscent of Start-Up in some ways, where we all knew Dal-Mi and Do-San would get together but narratively it feels like the wrong choice. Well, the same is true here although Sun-o does eventually end up with Yuk-Jo.
Still, one can’t help but feel these two could have benefited from having extra screen-time to develop their relationship a bit more. As it stands, it’s pretty clear that Sun-o doesn’t really love her and would drop Yuk-Jo at the first sign of interest from Jojo. Still, it’s at least something to tape over that wound which I guess is better than nothing!
Elsewhere, Duk-Goo makes an appearance and the only surprise here is that it’s not actually Brian. In fact, Duk-Goo has been alive all this time, kept in solitude and then eventually showing up 5 years later like nothing’s happened. Still, it’s good to see he didn’t actually die last season and the show does a good job giving him some important exposition to deliver on to the audience.
Overall though, Love Alarm season 2 is a pretty lackluster follow up. It’s a season that had one question to answer – Hye-Yeong or Sun-O? and does so in the most obvious and cookie cutter way possible.
It’s not a bad season per-se but it’s certainly not as intriguing as season 1. Instead, what we’re left with then are 6 episodes of formulaic romantic drama, ending with a really nice montage to a really average season.