Dear X Who Doesn’t Love Me: Episodes 4-6
As our love-addicted heroine settles into dating her current flavor of the month, her long-time bestie’s growing disapproval creates a rift in their friendship. Will they be able to patch things up, or will he move on to find love with someone else?
EPISODES 4-6 WEECAP
Now that Hee-soo is dating Joon-young, Shi-ho grows increasingly jealous and disgusted as he watches his best friend (and crush) canoodle with a man she clearly doesn’t love. While part of him wants to avoid her so he doesn’t have to witness the consequences of her poor decisions, he has a hard time staying away because he’s also concerned as her “friend.” So when he’s invited to tag along on a trip to the beach — where the handsy Joon-young clearly has some X-rated activities in mind — Shi-ho reluctantly agrees to join them.
Se-jin is invited on the trip because her parents run the vacation cabin where they’re staying, but she’s also there to even out the numbers and be Shi-ho’s pseudo date. Sadly (for her) he’d rather be the other couple’s third wheel than pay attention to Se-jin. She buzzes around him like a pesky mosquito in heat, and I can’t tell if she’s being overly confident or woefully pathetic in her one-sided pursuit. Either way, she’s annoying, and I wish she’d remained a flat secondary character that didn’t get enough screen time.
During the trip, when Shi-ho has a private moment with Hee-soo, he expresses his growing concerns about the notebook and begs her not to use it again. Already feeling apathetic about her current romance, she promises to ride out her relationship with Joon-young, and once it ends, she agrees to abstain from writing any more magical lyrics. Shi-ho is relieved, and there’s probably a part of him that hopes she will fall for him once she’s finished dating her string of losers.
Unfortunately, what he doesn’t know is that Se-jin has privately told Hee-soo that she has a crush on Shi-ho and is planning to confess her feelings. Hee-soo is noticeably uncomfortable with the topic, but if she has feelings for Shi-ho that extend beyond friendship, she’s not willing to admit it. Instead, she encourages Se-jin’s romantic pursuit, and when Hee-soo accidentally witnesses Se-jin’s love confession, she turns to Joon-young for physical and emotional comfort.
It’s obvious — even to Se-jin — that Hee-soo is unhappy with Joon-young, but Hee-soo doesn’t want to end the relationship, especially once she finds out that Shi-ho agreed to spend time with Se-jin and give her a month to try and sway his heart. The trial run doesn’t seem to be working in Se-jin’s favor, though, because Shi-ho is still at Hee-soo’s beck and call.
Rumors about Hee-soo’s promiscuity have been floating around school, and after she receives texts from a random guy who heard that she will date anyone who asks her out, she contacts Shi-ho — not Joon-young — and shows him the messages. He’s appropriately incensed on her behalf, but his mood shifts when he hears that Hee-soo is hesitant to break up with Joon-young.
See, her relationship has miraculously passed the one month mark without any sign of Joon-young wanting to break up with her, which must mean that he really fell for her, right? Even though she is miserable with Joon-young, she wants to stick it out, believing that his feelings are enough of a reason to keep dating. And then, despite her own jadedness, she wishes for Shi-ho to find happiness with Se-jin.
Well, as you can imagine, Shi-ho is annoyed with her hypocrisy, and he finally reaches his breaking point. He explains that he needs some time apart from her because, as her “friend” he can no longer stand to witness her self-destructive behavior. He can’t keep being her shoulder to cry on — not when she continuously ignores his advice and makes poor choices that lead her unhappiness.
His feelings are entirely understandable, but unfortunately he grew a backbone at the worst possible time because it turns out Joon-young is an asshole. Hee-soo is in such an awful headspace that he’s able to emotionally blackmail her into having sex with him, and if sleeping with a parasite wasn’t bad enough, she realizes the next morning that her period is also late.
Her first instinct is to call Shi-ho, but she hangs up after one ring, remembering that he asked for space. Shi-ho must still be operating on the same wavelength as Hee-soo, though, and that one ring was enough to make him suspect that Hee-soo was in trouble. Much to Se-jin’s annoyance, Shi-ho asks her to call Hee-soo, just in case she needs something. And that’s how Se-jin ends up accompanying Hee-soo to the doctor. Thankfully, Hee-soo’s late period is a false alarm.
Hee-soo returns home to find Joon-young still at her apartment, eating her snacks and being a total bum, but that’s not the worst of it. When he steps out of the room, she sees his incoming texts and realizes that he doesn’t actually love her. Instead, he’s been using her for sex, which is the real reason he didn’t break up with her after the journal’s magic wore off.
A post about Hee-soo on the school forum fuels the already buzzing rumor mill, and everywhere Hee-soo walks, people are whispering openly about her. Shi-ho cannot stand by and watch silently from the sidelines when he knows she needs him, and it’s during their period of reconciliation that we also learn more about how they met, including the fact that Hee-soo was on the verge of quitting school when she met Shi-ho.
With time, she also grew to value their friendship, but unlike Shi-ho, who wanted to take their friendship to the next level, Hee-soo’s pessimistic view of romantic relationships made her fearful that she would lose him if they dated. It appears the seeds of romance have been there all along for Hee-soo, but she’s been too afraid to let them grow.
And why does she feel this way? Well, it’s still a bit of a mystery, but there are enough clues to suggest that her mother died in childbirth. Her father never got over her death, and Hee-soo grew up hearing her grandmother blame her for her father’s unhappiness. With a childhood like that, it’s no wonder she now has a skewed perspective of love and romance — but now that her latest ex-boyfriend is behind her, Hee-soo appears to be coming out of her depression.
Not only is Shi-ho by her side again and eager to burn the journal, but Hee-soo realizes that she isn’t the only victim of sexual harassment at the school, and many of her classmates and club members stand by her side when she goes to administration report her story. Unfortunately, while Hee-soo seems to be gaining new friendships, she’s also gained a frenemy.
After Se-jin’s one-month trial relationship with Shi-ho ends, he officially cancels his dating subscription, and Se-jin’s jealousy takes root. There’d been a few not-so-subtle hints that she was a mean girl at heart, and sure enough, her recent rejection brings out her evil, manipulative side.
She gets Hee-soo drunk in hopes that the soju will loosen her lips and cause her to spill all her dating secrets, presumably so she can use them on Shi-ho. Drunk Hee-soo reveals very little of the truth, but Se-jin somehow realizes that the secret to Hee-soo’s success must be inside her lyrics journal.
At first, Se-jin is distracted by the fact that Hee-soo’s lyrics seem to be about her succession of meet-cutes, but then she notices the dates and realizes that Hee-soo supposedly wrote about Gang-wook’s confession days before it actually happened. It’s odd, but it doesn’t exactly set off alarm bells or reveal the journal’s magic.
Annoyed, Se-jin scratches through Hee-soo’s name on the journal’s title page, and that’s when the journal’s power is unveiled. Painful, bloody wounds appear on Se-jin’s forearm, and as Se-jin’s ink disappears from the journal’s pages, so do the marks on her arm.
Well, that got dark quickly, and it doesn’t bode very well for our heroine that our new antagonist has knowledge of the journal’s power. At least we can be comforted by the fact that the journal was seemingly cursed by Professor Umbridge, and Se-jin will not be able to make Shi-ho fall for her by writing in the journal.
But I can’t say that I’m happy with this week’s turn of events. Se-jin turning out to be a jealous mean girl was painfully predictable, and I miss the dark humor that peppered the first three episodes of this dramavella. Admittedly, I do think the decrease in comedic moments was an intentional choice that reflected Hee-soo’s emotional decline as her relationship with Joon-young became more toxic and the story touched on serious topics like date rape. It was a bit uncomfortable to watch, though, so I’m selfishly eager to see Hee-soo’s character overcome her emotional hurdles and find the confidence to love herself — and Shi-ho.