In the age of technology, the anthropocentric worldview has undergone a radical change. Human emotions, feelings, and relationships have come under the ambit of technological developments. At the same time, connecting with people has become easy, and the apprehension of expressing oneself has alleviated. ‘Love Alarm’ is a Korean drama series that positions itself in this juncture and explores the feeling of love.
The story revolves around Kim Jo-jo, who has a cheerful disposition despite having a painful history. She reluctantly uses the Love Alarm and finds herself in a relationship with Sun-oh. However, the app reveals that Hye-Yeong likes her. The first season explores the romantic relationships of the three titular characters. In the end, an evolved form of the Love Alarm app is launched, and the second season picks up from where its predecessor left. Let us have an informed look into the details. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Love Alarm Season 2 Recap
Love Alarm 2.0 has been launched, and with an improved algorithm, it tells one about the people who will love the user. Kim Jo-jo and Hye-Yeong are trying to strengthen their bond by taking things slowly. Hye-Yeong’s love alarm pings the app on Jo-jo’s phone, indicating his love. Because of the shield installed, Jo-jo’s app doesn’t revert. She believes that her relationship with Hye-Yeong will blossom with time.
On the other hand, Sun-oh hasn’t gotten over his breakup with Jo-jo yet and finds it tough to maintain his relationship with Yuk-jo. Sun-oh’s alarm doesn’t ping Yuk-jo’s alarm. Gul-mi wants to increase her outreach through Love Alarm and tries her best to run her online shopping business. She manages to gain an ID from the police that helps her connect with the developer of Love Alarm.
Sun-oh and Jo-jo have an inconclusive confrontation. He seeks validation from the app, and he is unable to forget Jo-jo and move on. At the same time, he has to deal with his parents going through a rough phase in their marriage. Jo-jo meets with the developer of Love Alarm, Brian Chon, in hopes of removing the shield. He reveals that the restriction can’t be undone, and Duk-gu is supposedly dead.
Hye-Yeong goes through his own tribulations as he finally meets with his father, incarcerated in prison for alleged murder. Hye-Yeong denies his father’s parole application. Jo-jo can sense the troubled situation and tries to console him. Gul-mi gets a chance to prove herself and receive an award from the developer. The mystery of the developer deepens as the narrative moves further.
Sun-oh follows Jo-jo in search of closure. His confrontation with Jo-jo in the classroom goes viral, thereby jeopardizing their current state. Meanwhile, there have been attacks on certain people, which is related to the alarm. Jo-jo is accorded the power of the spear — a new algorithm that will allow her to ring the love alarm of a person of her own choosing. Sun-oh is yet to reconcile with his past, which results in emotional turbulence.
Gul-mi tries to reach a milestone in Love Alarm and reach out to the developer. Brian Chon is under pressure from the police, and in desperation, reaches out to Jo-jo to enquire about the spear and shield. The revelations initiate a chain of events that separate the three titular characters. They are forced to reconcile with their past and choose the best partner for themselves.
Love Alarm Season 2 Ending: What Does Jo-jo’s App Log Indicate?
The shield prevents Jo-jo from validating her feelings for Hye-Yeong through Love Alarm. Because of this situation and Sun-oh’s relentless pursuit of the truth, she is unable to fixate herself on either of them. Sun-oh makes her believe that she still likes him, and after learning about the shield, he finds a reason to justify his feelings. In the process, Sun-oh’s relationship with Yuk-jo deteriorates further. In the end, Duk-gu provides Jo-jo with the log tape of her app that will outline the trajectory of her feelings.
After reconciling with Hye-Yeong, she wants to come clean with herself and decides to play the log. However, the log tape plays after they both leave the place. In a moment of poetic justice, the tape reveals that Jo-jo had feelings for Hye-Yeong all along. The beautiful montage of their tender moments juxtaposes perfectly with the denouement, which proves that Jo-jo was in love with Hye-Yeong throughout their togetherness.
How Are Jo-jo and Sun-oh Able to Reconcile With Their Past?
It is revealed that the perpetrator of the app-related crimes was influenced by the Instagram posts of Jo-jo. The Instagram page referred to as ‘The Ringing World’ is meant to be a conduit of emotion for Jo-jo. The fact that her posts influenced a person to walk a path of crime shakes her emotions. She reveals her ownership of the page to the world and ventures out to Jeju for a marathon.
Jo-jo blames herself for not being able to break free from her past that hindered her decision-making abilities. Being the lone survivor of a mass suicide triggered her anxiety, and by accepting her love for Hye-Yeong, Jo-jo lets go of the baggage that she had been carrying for so long. Sun-oh finds it difficult to cope with his relationship with Yuk-jo. Moreover, the rocky relationship of his parents takes a toll on him.
In his quest to find the truth, Sun-oh is caught in the throes of desperation. Despite knowing the truth behind the shield, he tries hard to change the way Jo-jo feels for him. Jo-jo tells Sun-oh that it is a fallacy to blame their situation on the love alarm because she chose to exit out of her own volition. She always thought about Hye-Yeong, and finally decided to act upon it.
Sun-oh learns to let go of her and focuses his attention on Yuk-jo. He cannot ping her love alarm but wants to keep trying and lets his guard down for her. Essentially, the anger and desperation subside when Sun-oh understands that latching on to the past will slowly consume him.
The Spear and the Shield
In the app’s technological universe, the shield and the spear provide Jo-jo an opportunity to exercise her volition. The shield is a protector and a cinematic depiction of the phrase, “Don’t let your guard down.” Because of the shield, Jo-jo is able to choose between Sun-oh and Hye-Yeong, a decision that is validated by her app log. She wants to reciprocate to Hye-Yeong through the app and hence wants it to be taken down. Instead, she is provided with the spear, which allows her to ping Hye-Yeong’s alarm. It is the moment that we had all been waiting for. Finally, she ascertains her feelings by deciding in her own time.
Duk-gu is the person behind these developments, as he is revealed to be the younger brother of Brian Chon. Duk-gu feels that Love Alarm 2.0 dictates the choice of people, whereas the previous version didn’t encroach the user’s agency. Duk-gu provides Jo-jo with the spear to give her freedom in the technical space of Love Alarm 2.0. Moreover, Duk-gu keeps his promise to Gul-mi and provides her with the fame and success she had been craving for. After all, she is the reason why Love Alarm exists in the first place.
Duk-gu humanizes the aspect of Love Alarm through Jo-jo but at the same time upholds its pervasiveness by elevating Gul-mi’s position. Even though the app mechanizes the feeling of love, it does provide a form of affirmation that establishes Hye-Yeong and Jo-jo’s relationship. Hye-Yeong doesn’t want to focus on Jo-jo’s love alarm and instead tries to charm her through his true feelings. Duk-gu tells him that the sword and spear provide agency to the users and exercise their will in the mechanized predictions. He has a change of heart and finally reconnects with Jo-jo.
Read More: Where Was Love Alarm Filmed?