When A Snail Falls In Love Episodes 1-2 Recap
Do you want comedy, romance, suspense, action, and psychology? You’ll get all that and more in Chinese drama When A Snail Falls In Love (如果蜗牛有爱情; Ru Guo Wo Niu You Ai Qing). This is a live action adaptation of a novel by the same name written by Ding Mo. It airs 3 episodes every Monday and just started yesterday! This drama stars Wang Kai as Ji Bai (San Ge) and Wang Zi Wen as Xu Xu. Ji Bai is a detective who believes a cop should have perfect physical condition along with mental acuity. Xu Xu is a criminal profiler scouted by his department who has a sharp brain but seriously lacks physical prowess.
I think, next time, I’ll try to get all three episodes up in a single recap. The run time for each episode is like half an hour, so not bad. Plus, at least to start, I think each of the 3 episodes will probably go along a case arc with the underlying story building throughout.
Anyways, we open the drama on a train bound from Myanmar (Burma). We have an overweight gentleman whining about being bored with Europe, but also complaining about the train they are travelling on with its lower standards. He and his companion are targeted by a gang of thieves. This is all under the watch of a man in a straw cowboy hat nearby. When the woman tries to get her bag back from the criminals, he hands off his hat to the little boy sitting across from him and takes on the entire gang single handedly. I wish I was able to get some great action shots, but I suck at that. The thing I really love about this drama already is just how realistic the fight scenes are! I’ve been watching some history and fantasy dramas and while I get the whole art of wire work and the magical kung fu…I don’t like it as it just seems way too fake. Anywho, after Ji Bai has the situation well in hand, here comes security and he pulls out his badge to show he’s a Chinese police officer (who technically has no jurisdiction on that train, lol).
Once in Burma, Ji Bai gets a car and changes into a suit. The man looks good in everything, I swear. He then heads to an antique dealer to buy a pipe. The owner wants to know what the value of a 20-30 year-old pipe has and Ji Bail replies it belongs to a friend’s father and he wishes to buy it is a gift. What is Ji Bai’s occupation? Ji Bai replies he’s a cop. Is that a problem? Must not be because he’s allowed to take the pipe. On his way out, he sees a man being dragged by gangsters. He continues to his vehicle, carefully puts away his briefcase, carefully takes off his suit jacket, tie, vest, cuff links, and rolls up his sleeves. Now he’s ready to kick some more butt.
He follows after the gangsters where they are demanding to know why the man is trying to steal information. Ji Bai lies and says the man is with him and the situation must be a mistake. The gangsters go after him, but Ji Bai easily dispatches all of them and leaves with the man (the stranger has to take some parting kicks of course) who explains that he tried to steal some trade secrets, but came up short. There’s always next time. I guess Ji Bai does know who he is, because Ji Bai asks to meet “him” since he’s in Burma. It will be difficult, but Ji Bai insists since he doesn’t have much time. He’s taken to a restaurant, but he fails to meet whoever it is that he’s looking for. He does get a message, though.
The jade is no longer here. Unresolved issues of the past. The Golden Python is stirring up trouble in Burma. The Cobra is active in Lin City. The storm is coming.
Cryptic, ne? And of course we have no idea yet what this is about, but it’s sure to carry through the thread of the drama.
We then go to Shanghai where we are introduced to Ji Bai’s cohorts. Zhao Han (Si Ge) is talking with Ji’s grandfather about his leave to Myanmar. Zhao Han [Yu Heng] tells the elder not to worry and that he’s certain Ji Bai must have brought a woman along with him. He’s then interrupted by one of his men saying the 3rd team has asked for help on a case where blades were found in a park. What could they possibly need reinforcements for? That’s right. The other guy then smiles slyly and says the new recruits have arrived. Does Zhao Han want to go check them out? Zhao Han then complains that the man always gets excited over the new female recruits.
This lecture is interrupted by a call from Ji Bai who is finally making his way back home. Ji Bai asks if the new intern from the Psychology Institute has arrived. Zhao Han says she has and Ji Bai tells his friend that it’s all up to him to get the unwanted person dismissed. How can their Major Crimes unit have an intern who failed their physical? He fails to see how helpful she can be to catch criminals with her psychology and profiling if she doesn’t have the physical stamina for crime scenes. This flusters poor Zhao Han who takes on the task unwillingly since the new intern hasn’t done anything to deserve being booted out.
In the office, new recruit Yao Meng [Xu Yue] is having an arm wrestling competition with Xiao Fang [Zhang Ye] which she easily wins (well, at least Xiao Fang didn’t put her arm down, she didn’t put his down either so it was really a strength draw). Meanwhile, Xu Xu [Wang Zi Wen] is just sitting quietly in a corner observing and drawing. These two new female interns are complete opposites. Yao Meng is an exemplary female officer (at least in the physical department, don’t know yet about the mental one) who is strong and outgoing while Xu Xu is a petite girl who doesn’t say much and just keenly observes all around her (actually this is something she really has in common with Ji Bai since he’s always analyzing his surroundings as well).
After Yao Meng introduces herself to Zhao Han, he goes over to Xu Xu and asks about her failed fitness test. She admits she failed. Why didn’t she join in and play with her new team? She doesn’t like arm wrestling. So what was she writing? Xu Xu replies she wasn’t writing, but drawing. Zhao Han asks her to hand it over and he’s surprised to see cartoon animals. Seems very childish. Is this how profilers do sketches of criminals? This draws the team’s attention and they look at the drawings and realize that Xu Xu translated them all into animals. The Rhino can’t believe she knew his old college nickname and the Monkey can’t believe she also knew that was his nickname (sorry don’t know their names yet). Psychologists really are different.
To complete his mission for Ji Bai, Zhao Han decides to test Xu Xu. He has her look at a picture and determine what happened before the boat capsized. Xu Xu looks closely and determines there was a race. So who capsized first? That would be Zhao Han. She’s dead on. Zhao Han then demands she draw him as well and she quickly sketches a hippo to which the team all laugh and agree it’s right on. This upsets Zhao Han. He’s failed his mission to oust her. He then says she’s their psychological criminal expert, so physical prowess isn’t necessary. Xu Xu agrees with this, but she already knows that Ji Bai is even more adamant than the department chief who requested she join the team. She’ll have to follow Ji Bai’s rules if she wants to stay in the unit. This definitely unsettles Zhao Han even more at how astute she really is.
Now on to more complicated matters. Ji Bai has met up with childhood friend Ye Zi Xi [Zhao Yuan Yuan] for some riding. Afterward, he hands over the pipe he got in Myanmar. Does this mean he caught her father’s murderer? Ji Bai says that in all the years he’s investigated the incident, he’s never found clues or leads that say the man that was arrested (and who really did physically kill her father) is not the culprit. Zi Xi is bound and determined there is some mastermind and that she will find him. This seems to be an old argument that gets them both nowhere. There is also a hint of crime in the air. Ji Bai teases that he doesn’t handle financial (white collar) crimes, only violent ones (murders, kidnappings, etc.). Zi Xi says she’s an honest, law-abiding citizen, but the teasing leaves Ji Bai as he mentions the extraordinary growth of her company over a year or so and how it’s now facing financial difficulties. Something’s definitely there, but we’re left to wonder. Zi Xi then demands to go see his grandfather.
Episode two opens with a hooded figure stealthily burying blades somewhere. It turns out it is in a park and a poor four-year-old boy was injured on one of the hidden blades. This incident brings in the Major Crimes team and our two new female interns are called from the dorms to work on their first case. It was cute seeing the girls in the dorms. Xu Xu was doing everything quietly and calmly meanwhile Yao Meng is dragging in heavy things and getting everything set up. You can tell Xu Xu was impressed by her roommates prowess.
Zhao Han and Monkey discuss the case with Monkey again getting scolded for determining the case was nothing serious. Zhao Han lectures his two interns in the back seat of the car that they can not make any determinations until they learn more. I’m really surprised that Monkey would make light of the case when they found 208 hidden blades in three grassy fields where children were known to play. Shakes head. Anywho, the team is heading to the main store of Ye Corporation since its been determined all blades were made by that company. At the store, Zhao Han asks all the questions while Yao Meng dutifully takes notes and Xu Xu remains silent and quietly observes in the background until she kneels on the tile and the worker explains its precious jade that you won’t find anywhere else. They are told that Manager Zhang Shiyong [Jiang Bing] picked up the blades (not personally, of course, since he’s a manager and married to one of the Yes).
This sends the team investigating Zhang only to find out he’s not been seen or heard from for over 70 hours! Why didn’t his wife, Ye Qiao [Wu Xiao Yu], report him missing? Because she doesn’t trust the police after an incident that happened a few years ago (not sure if this is related to Ye Zi’s case and her father’s death). I felt bad for Zhao Han since Ye Qiao heavily implied that he was incompetent in the prior case. Of course, while this is going on, Xu Xu says nothing and just observes until they bring the team in to go through things. She then announces that Zhang will not be returning as he was kidnapped. She also tells Zhao Han not to leave yet as the criminal will be calling soon. And wouldn’t you know the phone rings and it’s the kidnapper!
People are amazed at Xu Xu’s Sherlock-like abilities. She really is a bit like a female Homes (without the more playful brashness). Holmes was always going on about keenly observing everything and this is exactly what Xu Xu (and, again, Ji Bai) do. Zhao Han asks for the basis of all her reasoning and is amazed at how Xu Xu has drawn her conclusions. It turns out Ye Qiao is a vain and proud woman who isn’t all that intelligent and who cannot handle her hubby cheating. Xu Xu also deducts that Zhang was exceptionally smart to have kept his affair secret for as long as he did. Xu Xu also believes the kidnapping and blade incident is to bring a negative light on the Ye Corporation since the kidnapper didn’t call right away with a ransom demand, but waited over 70 hours until the blade incident got media attention and the Ye Corporation was mentioned. All of this and she asked no questions. She only listened and observed. Impressive.
Since this case has gotten more complicated, Ji Bai is called in from leave early. I do believe that Ye Zi and Ye Qiao are related in some way. I don’t know if they are just sisters or cousins. I have to say I’m not really liking Ye Zi right now simply because there’s this morose and depressing aura and mystery surrounding her that I can’t make heads or tales of yet. And Ji Bai seems to be aware something is very wrong, but isn’t quite sure what exactly the problem is.
Anywho, when Ji Bai returns to work the dead end in parts of the investigation is turned around as he demands a whole list of people and information that probably was not checked out. Ji Bai really is impressive. Yep, yep.
So, when the kidnapper calls again, Ye Qiao is able to talk to her husband and she does tell him to go die (letting out her anger for his deceit) before the kidnapper comes on and demands a sum of money. Xu Xu is adamant that Ye Qiao insists she is scared and will have to bring along her cousin to the money exchange site. She also insists that Ye Qiao only agree to pay the sum of 2 million. Ye Qiao sets this all up. Yao Meng will go undercover as Ye Qiao’s cousin. Zhao Han wants Xu Xu tucked away in safety during this, but Xu Xu insists she needs to go to the scene as she may see things that are overlooked. Xu Xu definitely seems to have more to say about the kidnapping case, but it never comes out. There’s something fishy there.
At the drop site, it does look like Ye Qiao is signaling a strange man in the cake shop about the suitcase full of money, but we end right there just as things were getting more interesting.
In a way this is slow and in a way this is fast. There’s so many secrets that need to be revealed. What exactly is going on with the Ye women? What did that cryptic message in Burma mean? So much left to discover in only 21 or so episodes.
I can’t wait until Ji Bai and Xu Xu meet. The trailers made their relationship look really cute as they bicker and grow closer to one another. Plus…despite Ji Bai’s reasons for rejecting Xu Xu before even meeting her…these two characters are a lot alike. They are both silent observers whose brains really are going a mile a minute putting together the jigsaw puzzle of cases.