When A snail Falls In Love Episodes 16-21 Recap

Oh, this drama. It had its good moments and it had its bad moments and it had those lovely in-between mediocre moments. Overall as I have finished this series, I don’t hate it. It’s one of those dramas which leave a person with that slightly dissatisfied feeling—especially since you don’t know if there will be a season two coming down the road or not. I tell you, I sympathize with Romeo right now. “Oh will thou leave me so unsatisfied?” Why? Read on to find out, but don’t read on if you don’t want the ending spoiled. Oh, and if I feel ambitious later, I might try to find some recaps of the cuter moments.

So Xu Xu, Ji Bai, Monkey, and the other two teammates get to take part in the big Myanmar mission while Zhao Han, Yao Meng, and Fang get to stay behind and man the office. Yao Meng is on paperwork duty at the moment and she feels happy that she can still be an officer even if it means sitting behind a desk (you know there isn’t a whole lot of truth there on satisfaction, but it’s a start, right?). As usual, Zhan isn’t in the thick of action, just the thick of plotting. He’s orchestrating a great movement just like the last one, only this time they will completely eradicate the Golden Shield crime syndicate and catch Lu Ge. Zhan’s edict, just like the last one, is to bring everyone back home safely. Since this is so highly stressed, you know that ain’t got a chance of happening at all, right?

The caveat on the Chinese police joining forces with the Myanmar army is that Ji Bai and team are only going their for reconnaissance and investigation. It is the Myanmar forces that are the ones allowed to act. Ji Bai agrees to this, but you know he’ll always be in the thick of action when it goes down, don’t you? On the long train ride to Myanmar, Ji Bai peeks in on Xu Xu’s room (as the sole female, she gets her own cabin while all the boys share one). He sees her drawing and is intrigued. He didn’t think she would have such a hobby. He thinks bridge or something to that effect suits her personality more. Xu Xu is quick to hide her sketchbook from him when he asks to see it. The two then notice the sun going down across the plains and they sit and watch it together. Xu Xu is very much aware just how close Ji Bai is. Our San Ge is quick to give Xu Xu his coat when she shivers. Awww. He also tries to sneak her sketchbook, but without luck. I do love the more childlike side of Ji Bai that loves to tease Zhao Han and Xu Xu.

During the night the train comes to a sudden stop as there are two armies or something like that battling it out up ahead.  Their  train should be fine, but our Chinese police are on high alert. Ji Bai sends his men off to sleep along with Xu Xu. She doesn’t have to be afraid because he’s there with her. Xu Xu asserts she is not afraid and goes back to her room where she sits against the door while Ji Bai sits on the opposite side. Isn’t it cute how he camps out in front of her door? Their main Myanmar liaison, Tista or something like that, tells Ji Bai that Xu Xu is quite cute (I think he surprised Ji Bai because he said this in Chinese before repeating it in English) and Ji Bai agrees and Xu Xu can hear this, lol. She’s happy. In the morning, she creeps out just to look at Ji Bai while he sleeps. Yep, she’s got it bad.

During the whole Myanmar investigation, Xu Xu does not stop her mothering…or rather “wifely”…ways. One soldier even comments that Ji Bai shouldn’t have a subordinate doing things a wife should be doing. I think this clicks home for him in certain ways. Of course the investigation goes very smoothly at first, but you know that can’t last. The victim’s families who agreed to testify against the criminals are all beaten and threatened and back out. Then the man that agrees to testify at long last since Ji Bai and crew saved him from the henchman is nearly blown to smithereens. Still…the investigation is going along too well to the point Xu Xu says they could lose what is most important to them.

So while this investigation is going on in Myanmar, more things are going on back home related to the Ye family. Ye Qiao’s father commits suicide and admits that he arranged the kidnapping of Zi Qi’s father to satisfy his own greed. He never imagined things to go south like they did leaving his brother dead and his sister-in-law soon to follow. Of course, this is what warped Zi Qi and allowed her to be taken advantage of by Hu who is a master planner working all for himself as he plays both the Ye family and the Golden Shield syndicate. Zhao Han breaks down upon this and Yao Meng is there to comfort him (just like he tried to comfort her by buying her expensive chocolates). She holds him while he sobs about what happened and how he couldn’t cry when his father went missing and was presumed dead.

With Ye’s death, the crew is investigating and Yao Meng discovers something odd about the properties he owned. Apparently one was bought for his brother who died and thus the deed was never transferred. But the key has mysteriously gone missing. Yao Meng leaves the comfort of her desk job to go check out the house with Fang and they find Zhang Shiyong. Surprise, surprise, he’s been murdered. The killers hung him strung out almost like he was on a cross. He was a greedy, lascivious ass, but he didn’t necessarily deserve death. And…after this we don’t see or hear from Zhao Han and Yao Meng until the very end of the drama.

Back in Myanmar, Xu Xu is left to meet the messenger delivering a casino’s blueprints to her while Ji Bai goes to get their witness. Xu Xu and the rest of the team flip when an explosion rocks the vicinity of the man’s store and off they go. Xu Xu gets to the scene and learns there was a fight with injured men being taken in the white van they had Monkey tail back to a casino days earlier. Xu Xu gets into the casino and manages to hunt around. She discovers with relief that Ji Bai and the witness were not injured, but Ji Bai kicked the gangsters’ rears. Unfortunately, she now needs to escape the casino. Just as she’s about to get caught, Ji Bai and crew arrive to save her. As the team runs out of the casino, the army arrives to stop the baddies. The casino manager complains about the Chinese ruining her business and Tista says that only law abiding citizens can complain. Xu Xu wonders how her identity was known as it doesn’t make sense for Lu Ge to stay there and Ji Bai replies that there is another who knows her identity—Hu.

The army then advances into the casino to find Hu with no luck. They discover a hidden passageway and head out, but Xu Xu stops Ji Bai from following. Something isn’t right. Hu is such a careful person that he would never fail to cover his tracks. No, Hu is still in the casino. Xu Xu recalls the blueprints and takes Ji Bai to a place where there should be a hidden room. They discover the secret entrance and Ji Bai easily cracks the passcode. They discover Hu trying to flush the drugs down the toilet. Now that Hu is caught, Zhan calls Ji Bai’s team back to China while two other teams are deployed to take out the head of Golden Shield and Lu Ge. The head honcho is indeed arrested, but Lu Ge manages to elude capture.

After all this hustling, Ji Bai’s cuts and bruises are tended to by Xu Xu. He asks if she is the snail and he the lion in her drawings. Xu Xu can’t believe he’s seen her sketchbook. Apparently when Ji Bai and the witness hurried back to the team’s hotel, Ji Bai went strait for Xu Xu’s room and saw the sketchbook and was flipping through it before he realized Xu Xu was missing and it meant something bad and he rushed off to the casino to save her arse. Xu Xu asks if he saw it all. Ji Bai says he did not because the lion’s dialogue at the end of the story was too long. He then wonders if Xu Xu wishes to hear his answer. Xu Xu stops him. They have plenty of time once they get back to China. As she stands next to him and he puts his arm around her and draws her near, Xu Xu finishes the story in her head. The time is coming for the snail to return to its planet and she desperately wishes for the lion to tell her to stay by his side. She then silently confesses that she likes Ji Bai.

The next day Xu Xu is tasked on going to General Po to sign off on the release of the criminals to be taken to China. Xu Xu goes and when she returns, she’s shaken to her core. Ji Bai is worried. What happened? Xu Xu talks about General Po (he’s the creepy guy who killed all the men to save Lu Ge, by the way) and how he flaunted his power by killing one of the Chinese prisoners right in front of her. Xu Xu did not like that. Ji Bai is sympathetic and tells her to make a detailed report to give to Zhan.

On the train home, General Po insincerely apologizes to Xu Xu who feels him out on a hunch she has…she refers to him in Chinese as a python (the deliveryman earlier talked about how Golden Shield was bad, but the Golden Python was the more venomous). This seems to surprise Po, but he shows great aplomb and says that he has never liked the nickname Burmese Python. He moves on. On of the team reports to Xu Xu that Lu Ge got away and this sends Xu Xu’s mind reeling and she finally puts the pieces of the puzzle together. She calls Zhan and reveals that General Po is Lu Ge’s main support. Zhan tells her to hold off for half an hour and he’ll get the army and border patrol to rush in and arrest Po. Signal is then lost. It’s actually funny because Monkey was boasting about how good Chinese cell phones are and throughout the last few episodes these phones are useless since they never have signal.

Hu confesses all his crimes and how he used Zi Qi, Shiyong, and Yang Yu as his puppets. He has no remorse. He does try to tell Ji Bai that he will never know the scope of what he has done if Hu goes to the figurative gallows. This doesn’t tempt Ji Bai at all. While Hu’s numbers will now cease, Ji Bai’s numbers will only go up and Hu will be just a small drop in Ji Bai’s criminal bucket. Since Ji Bai is with Hu all of this time, he doesn’t realize bad things are going on in the rest of the train.

Po takes Xu Xu to use as leverage. He’s great impressed and intrigued by her. I’m sure that isn’t good just as I’m equally sure it isn’t good that Po wants Ji Bai alive and well to fight with him man to man as he views Ji Bai as a great and worthy appointment. Yep, Po is twisted…and did I mention he has Lu Ge stashed away in his room? Before he locks Xu Xu up away from her team, she tried to tell them who Po was, but with no luck. One of the team does text Ji Bai to let him know Po took Xu Xu. The rest of the team are being held by soldiers and not allowed to move. Po also wants Xu Xu’s analysis of him. Even after Lu Ge warns him about Xu Xu’s prowess, he had to see it form himself. Xu Xu plays a game with him at first, but does accurately deliver his personality on a platter. Then he has her locked up while he makes to have the train head to Laos so he and his lover can escape. Xu Xu will be their hostage.

Ji Bai goes into attack mode and he gets a mighty blow to the head which makes our perfect cop just a bit slow on his feet (and very dizzy). He manages to get Xu Xu out of the room only to hide in another one while the rest of the team tries to get Po’s soldiers to understand he’s a traitor to their country. Thankfully this happens, but just as it does, Po splits the train, leaving behind the team and the prisoners and taking Ji Bai and Xu Xu. Ji Bai, for the third time or so, throws Xu Xu away. Each time it has been to save her and this time it is no different. He drops Xu Xu out the window to have her alert border patrol about Po and the change of direction. Xu Xu doesn’t want to, but is no match for Ji Bai. She screams and cries and runs to do as he said.

She is picked up by none other than Zhao Han’s father. I thought he was the one who was giving Zhan info on the inside of Myanmar and I was right. He explains who he is and the two take after our criminals and Ji Bai (who was shot by Lu Ge). Even in his injured state, Ji Bai is always thinking ahead. He uses Xu Xu’s sketchbook to leave breadcrumbs for her to follow. While Zhao and Xu Xu follow the trail, Po prepares to cross the river into Laos. Lu Ge was hurt by a hunter’s trap and is laying next to Ji Bai. Po says that if the policeman should live, fate will determine if they meet again. Lu Ge won’t take that chance. She goes to take the kill shot while Po crosses, but Xu Xu is there to stop her. She shoots Lu Ge in the arm before Lu Ge can kill Ji Bai. The crazy girl then runs at him. Po, hearing the shot, turns and does not like that his lover was shot by Xu Xu. He goes to shoot the girl, but Ji Bai uses the last of his strength to stop him. Our injured hero is knocked out again and as Xu Xu keeps running, the cavalry arrives. She gets to Ji Bai and screams and cries. He wakes up for a moment to tell Xu Xu she has passed the test and gets to stay with the team.

Fast forward. I don’t know how long. Zhao is back in China and has reunited with his son who is all set to marry Yao Meng…say what? Oh, I’m happy for them, but it just doesn’t suit the story since it’s such a big leap without too much to back it up. They make it seem like Ji Bai is gone (read: dead), but on the day of the wedding there he is with Fang. He gives Xu Xu back her sketchbook—he tried to put all the missing pieces back together, but couldn’t find that final piece. Does Xu Xu want to hear his answer now? He whispers it in her ear (we don’t get to hear what he says) and Xu Xu happily throws herself in his arms. He tells her to be careful since he’s still on the mend. He then asks if he heard right when he was unconscious that she was going to run a marathon. Xu Xu said she already ran it and did quite well. Ji Bai is impressed. Look at how well his little snail does without him. Xu Xu says that she can live without him. If she had to do that, she would live as if he was always by her side, but he wouldn’t actually be, so it wouldn’t really be a happy, complete life.

Ji Bai…shockingly pulls out a ring and goes to put it on Xu Xu’s finger. Wait…did he forget something? He didn’t officially ask her. Ji Bai cockily says he didn’t ask because he knows Xu Xu wouldn’t say no. LOL. These two. You really get to see a giddy, girly side to Xu Xu here. Oh, and when they are being congratulated, Ji Bai hands Yao Meng her resignation letter back and welcomes her back as a full active member of the Major Crimes division.

So, our cute couple is engaged and they visit the graves of the Ye family where they see Ye Qiao paying respects to her father and mother, (maybe her husband and cousin). Xu Xu muses about how they fought in life, but are together in death. Ji Bai responds with how what happens to the dead is decided by what brings comfort to the living. If he should leave first (remember, Ji Bai has been having dizzy spells that aren’t 100% related to giving blood and receiving head injuries—so this seems like a big hint) and he says this after blinking strangely, Xu Xu wouldn’t do what Ye Qiao is doing would she? Nope. Of course, Xu Xu plans to live a long life with her man. He then gets a call. Even though Lu Ge and Po were arrested, I wonder if it has to do with them. We just end with Ji Bai saying he understands and we watch a car driving down the road.

Sigh. 21 half hour episodes equals 10-11 full-length episodes. There was not enough time to develop this drama satisfactorily. There remains plot holes, mainly through lack of development of several plotlines. As readers of the book have stated, this does not follow the story to a T, so it is hard to say if the issues come solely from the drama adaptation or if there were also plot holes in the original novel (I obviously haven’t read the translation). I think that this drama needed a bit more time. As much as Ji Bai and Xu Xu are cute together…their feelings feel very sudden with little basis for them. Of course, people always say that you can’t predict love or when it will happen. As much as Ji Bai had softened towards Xu Xu as they worked together…I really don’t see 100% enough from him to believe he returns his lady’s affections.

A lot of times episode and story arcs felt rushed with a lot of lead up to a more disappointing handling. I really didn’t think General Po’s and Lu Ge’s story would end like it did. This drama could use another season to clarify more things. It could have also used better editing. There was no transitions between past and present and little to differentiate (like changing memories to black and white or sepia or making them hazy like you see in so many dramas and movies) to the point I was taken aback several times and trying to figure out just what was happening.

Overall, this is a decent drama. Wang Kai and Wang Zi Wen did good jobs as did the extended cast. There…was just not enough character and plot development. If a second season came, I really hope they would make it a more solid drama.

One comment

  • Thank-you for your recaps of WASFIL and congratulations on completing your 42nd series recap.

    I completely agree with you. I loved the series overall but felt disappointed by how rushed the ending was. I hope that if there is a series 2, there is a longer run time for each episode, say an hour. I also hope the producers hire a new writer who will have the decency not to marry off Ji Bai and Xu Xu off screen. It would be nice to see the two of them plan their wedding so we can see how their actual romance is progressing. Plus, could the new writer possibly write the reunion scenes between Zhan and his son? I really felt disappointed that their reunion was not shown. Also, I would recommend the producers also hire a new film editor or at least put a time stamp to show the passage of time. If I did not know any better, I could have sworn Xu Xu was dreaming of Ji Bai and her fishing on the docks. Imagine my surprise when I eventually realized it was an actual memory.

    While I enjoyed Wang Kai’s performance, the true standout was Wang Ziwen. She will be forever Xu Xu in my mind. I have read the non-completed English translation of the book (courtesy of Tiffy and Tranzgeek) and I have to admit that the drama is better at developing Xu Xu’s character. Throughout the series, you can see her continuous improvements to become a better cop and team member. I especially love her friendship with Yao Meng. Really nice when two strong, intelligent and independent females working in a male-dominated team environment are shown as allies and friends as opposed to rivals.

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