When A Snail Falls In Love: Episode 1 – 3 “Animal Kingdom.”

I finally started to watch this drama. Funny how things worked out. From the promos, I was initially more drawn to Memory Lost but the ending themesong of Snail caught me by surprise. Such a lovely song by Joey Z. Each episode went by pretty quick and I found myself liking our chosen team members from the Animal Kingdom. Lol.

When A Snail Falls In Love Episode 1 – 3 Summary:

 photo Snail01-1.jpg photo Snail01-2.jpg
 photo Snail01-11.jpg photo Snail01-10.jpg

Episode 1 opens with our male lead, Criminal Police Officer Ji Bai (Nick Wang Kai) on a train to Myanmar. A couple of troublemakers make life hard for fellow passengers and our hero takes them down swiftly, introducing himself in English to the authority when he finishes.

The goal of his trip to Myanmar is to track down a friend’s deceased father’s tobacco pipe, hoping to give it to her as a present. After learning that Ji Bai is a Chinese Cop, the boss willingly hands over the pipe. On his way out, Ji Bai spots a few gang members bashing an older male, leaving his heroic muscles itchy for another fight. He saves the man and it turns out they might know each other. Ji Bai wants to meet the man’s big boss because he has inquires about Burma. The man makes no promises but points him to a local restaurant, at which the older man declares that his boss is not home.

The old man does give him a cryptic message: “Lang 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.”

 photo Snail01-5.jpg
 photo Snail01-6.jpg photo Snail01-7.jpg

Back in Lin City’s Investigation unit, we meet the rest of Ji Bai’s team members. First up is Team Leader Zhao Han (Yu Heng), known as Fourth Bro to those around him. He’s cajoling Ji Bai’s grandpa on the phone, joking that Ji Bai must have went to Myanmar with a beautiful girl. Before Zhao Han returns to his department, he receives a threatening call from Ji Bai, demanding him to find some fault with the psychology intern and dismiss her from their team ASAP. Ji Bai is not interested in her profiling their criminals if she failed her physical test. He’ll be home for two days at Beijing and hopes that the issue is resolved when he returns to work.

Zhao Han takes a moment to observe the two new interns – one is a bright-eyed and physically fit Yao Meng (Xu Yue), who just defeated an officer nicknamed Fox in arm-wrestling, and the other one is quiet girl sitting in a corner holding a pen and a book. She’s our female lead, Xu Xu (Wang Zi Wen). When asked what she’s writing, she clarifies that she’s drawing. It’s a cute drawing of the arm-wrestling scene just now, precisely drawing everyone as their appropriate animals. While everyone is in awe of her accurate observation, Zhao Han tries to look less impressed and challenges her to describe what happened in the photo hung on the wall at the boat festival. She again correctly answers his questions, pinpointing his boat as the first to capsize, which prompts Fox to ask for a representation drawing of their Team Leader.

 photo Snail01-8.jpg

Everyone gathers around the new artist in town, with Zhao Han pretending to not be interested at all, nope, not him! He peeks anyway when she turns around. Lol. She drew a hippo snorting water in the river! HEH.

Now that she has proven her skills, Zhao Han runs around the bushes, trying to say that she really doesn’t need to know hand-to-hand combats. Xu Xu agrees with Zhao Han but she has heard that Captain Ji is the one who makes the rules around here and if she wants to stay, convincing him is the first step. Flustered at her straightforward answer, Zhao Han swallows down his bruised pride and tells her to check out her dormitory.

Aww he’s such a softie!

Still on vacation, Ji Bai goes horse-riding with a friend. She’s also the recipient of the tobacco pipe. Meet Ye Zi Xi (Zhao Yuan Yuan). Her smile disappears the moment she sees her father’s pipe and immediately asks whether he’s found more clues about the murderer. “Is it him?” Ji Bai’s attitude suggests that this isn’t a new topic between them. She believes her uncle is the killer but Ji Bai insists that he was only involved with embezzlement and had no hands in the kidnapping.

In any case, Ji Bai wants to ask her a question and she deflects, using his police background as a reason to why she can’t reveal much. “I feel like whatever I say to you now will be used against me later in court.” Not one to shy away from the issue, he softly but firmly states his position as a cop in charge of criminal and major crimes. Financial crimes doesn’t fall under his belt and she’s clearly related to the people running the large corporation known as Ye Family Group.

 photo Snail02-2.jpg photo Snail02-3.jpg

Episode 2 introduces us to the first case of our drama! In the darkest hour of the day, a man is seen furiously digging and burying something. Next morning, cops restrict the area, having been alerted to the scene because of a granny’s complaint of sharp blades buried in the green field. The blades belong to the Ye Corporation. DUN. DUN. DUN!

They trace the blades back to the one of the 13 branches, belonging to Ye’s 3rd son-in-law. He’s the general manager and was the last person recorded to have ordered the blades. However, the said man hasn’t been seen since then, even his wife (Ye Qiao) appears unconcerned about his well-being when questioned by Zhao Han and the team. Turns out her sour attitude is also related to the dead Uncle Ye and she finds the cops ineffectual in their duty of protecting lawful citizens. Zhao Han does not back down from her sharp words, and says, “Mrs. Ye, you must remember, whether it is in the past or present, the victims must cooperate with the police.”

Quietly gathering the clues around the house, Xu Xu comes to the conclusion that General Manager has been kidnapped and his marriage with his wife is on rocky terms (evidence of her removing the wedding pictures and various frames) around the house. Later when news of the Ye’s branded blades made a bad rep of the family, Xu Xu immediately voices her next speculation: the kidnapper will be calling soon. And he does. What follows is the longest kidnapper-family conversation of the year. LOL! You stupid kidnapper! Haven’t you watched any dramas in your lifetime? Extending the phone call will get your butt’s location revealed! (Nope, not in here. Keke.)

 photo Snail03-1.jpg photo Snail03-2.jpg

Anyway, they agree to bring 2 million dollars to a crowded place. Yao Meng will play cousin, escorting Ye Qiao around a mall with a luggage filled with ching ching. Xu Xu watches from the side and when order is placed to apprehend the man who sneaked off with the luggage, Zhao Han stops Xu Xu from entering the scene. This leaves her with a great opportunity to observe the scene and a cleaning man catches her attention. He pushes the cleaning cart away with determined steps towards an empty corridor. She follows and is smart enough to call someone about WHERE she’s going. Hurray! She uses her phone ya’ll. I can’t believe I have to say what a big step that is in dramas nowadays.

The kidnapper yanks off his cleaning uniform and Xu Xu picks those up and carries them with her as she chases after him to….the elevator. Now this looks so silly, I have to pause and laugh my head off. She’s holding his uniform at the entrance with him recognizing his own criminal clothes. Lol. Her pale face tells me she knows she made a mistake, so I’m gonna let this one slide. It’s her first time involved in operations! During the long elevator ride, she sneakily texts a message to Zhao Han, telling him where they’re headed – the top floor/roof. Before she opens the door to the roof, she makes sure she grabs a wrench. Isn’t it funny that the only cop to fail the physical test is about to fail it in real life?

As expected, when she swings around hoping to smash him in the face, he easily knocks the wrench about 20 feet away. Lol. Then Xu Xu makes another rookie mistake. She calls him a criminal! Girl, you don’t call a criminal a criminal to his face! You have to say something nice or shocking. Something like, “I am your daughter.”

 photo Snail03-3.jpg photo Snail03-4.jpg

Well, well, well. Our girl is now held hostage with Zhao Han and his team pointing guns at them. The kidnapper insists on a car to get away but Xu Xu suddenly screams for him to dream on. Even if she’s scared to the bones, with tears streaming down her calm face, she starts listing off his punishments and jail time, because, you know, those are very comforting things to hear. XD

 photo Snail03-9.jpg

Just then, Captain Hook sends his hook over and it accurately grips Kidnapper’s hand and pulls it back with just enough time for Captain Hook Ji Bai to jump in and save the day.

 photo Snail03-10.jpg

 photo Snail03-11.jpg

Yep. I saw that, Ji Bai. Congratulations on being the first detective with booby-grabbing skill and not being called out on it by the female lead. LOL.

 photo Snail03-12.jpg

After shoving the kidnapper to his team mates, Ji Bai makes sure to put more ice on Xu Xu’s embarrassment. “Officer Xu, congratulations on being the first detective in the city to be held hostage by a criminal.” So mean, handsome cop!

 photo Snail03-14.jpg photo Snail03-13.jpg

Back at work, Xu Xu is a nervous wreck. She’s sure the general manager is in grave danger, having concluded that the kidnapper won’t let the hostage go – with or without the money. Ji Bai is impressed with her reasoning and lets her talk. Her speculations on the whole family’s love-and-hate business give me a run for my brain cells but ultimately, she worries for no reason because Ji Bai has arrived at the same conclusion and has saved the hostage a while ago.

While her speculations are correct, the roads to those conclusions need evidence, Ji Bai muses. While she’s able to break down the complicated relationships, she still couldn’t figure out where the hostage is hidden. This is where Ji Bai steps and claims the winning money.

 photo Snail03-17.jpg

He gives her a cup of coffee. “This is what criminal investigation is like. If you cannot adapt to it, you can leave.”

— End —

Kap: Ji Bai! Can’t you give the girl an encouragement! She figured out everything without your statistics and evidence. So grumpy. I won’t count this first case against Xu Xu because Ji Bai ultimately has the upper hand in both time and resources – he didn’t have to be on scene like the other cops and had time to investigate in the background, AND he knows the family members intimately. But why does it feel like the Ye family members will eventually be criminals down the line? Lol.

One thing I do like right now is that we have a smart male AND female lead in the battle! How rare is that? I confess that I do like our heroine more, which is uncommon. She feels grounded without the loud theatrics carried out by typical heroines in romantic comedies. While they show that Xu Xu could use more help in bringing more evidence to the table, I wish they didn’t make Ji Bai completely flawless. A great relationship is when they learn from each other and improve along the way. But maybe I’m too early in judging that aspect because we are still at episode 3.

The directing for the fighting scenes is good but sometimes the camera shakes too much and I lose my focus on those nice action moves!

Welcome to the Animal Kingdom, folks. I am your host, Xiao Gui. =D

 photo Snail02-1.jpg

  1. 16 thoughts on “When A Snail Falls In Love: Episode 1 – 3 “Animal Kingdom.”

    Great recap Kap! I feel like I put too many pics in mine now ?. I found time to watch the first episode and a bit of some other clips from later episodes and it was great. I love Wang Zi Wen as Xu Xu. Okok, I love Xu Xu in general. Can’t say much about Ji Bai though except the fact that his kungfu/fighting skills/physique is amaaazing. Totally rocking the first episode. Plus it’s Wang Kai sooo I can’t not say anything about it! Lol.

    • 16 thoughts on “When A Snail Falls In Love: Episode 1 – 3 “Animal Kingdom.”

      Every recapper has their own way of retelling the stories, tranzgeek! No one way is better than the other! A picture tells a thousand words! ^___^

      You should be armed for Princess Wei Young, instead. Lol!

  2. 16 thoughts on “When A Snail Falls In Love: Episode 1 – 3 “Animal Kingdom.”

    I actually liked that Ji Bai debunked Xu Xu’s deductive abilities as it was really far fetched and breached my crime logic threshold. 🙂 Such shows usually stretch the plausibility thin but it has been done better (ala Psych or Lie To Me) and I guess my expectations were a little higher as this was adapted from a book (did not read the book so can’t comment). How she arrived at the conclusion that the man was kidnapped was really too out there – he could have just gotten into a car accident? Or slept over at the mistress? So many possibilities so I was quite pleased (for the crime logic) that she was erroneous by merely linking the fact both women have the same necklace and were shooting daggers at each other subtly. If Zi Xi was the other woman, I doubt the wife would be so composed! Also have to say that Xu Xu would indeed be a burden to her colleagues if she can so easily be taken hostage – can see why Ji Bai is biased against her!

    Wang Zi Wen is impressing me so far in her portrayal of Xuxu but not really feeling Ji Bai (sorry wang kai fans!) just yet although he definitely looks good. It is however too early to say and will still be watching! I actually dig him and Zi Xi – they look good together and her complicated-mess offsets his white bread self.

    • 16 thoughts on “When A Snail Falls In Love: Episode 1 – 3 “Animal Kingdom.”

      LOL. The moment she said he was kidnapped, I legit went…. WAHHHHHHHHHHH? And then she explained her reasoning….then I went… WAHHHHHHH?? I couldn’t follow her half the time in the beginning of the case but near the end when she was explaining her reasoning, I was following her. They did find picture of Miss Sexy Zi Xi at Yang Yu’s hideout, so she was partially right, the kidnapper did harbor a crush on the lady. But because all her reasoning was based on observations, they couldn’t all be right, hence she said they are all possibilities. If she learns about presenting evidence + her skills = she would be one scary snail. XD

      I need more time to warm up to Ji Bai. HAH. I’m on Xu Xu’s side right now!

  3. 16 thoughts on “When A Snail Falls In Love: Episode 1 – 3 “Animal Kingdom.”

    Thanks for the recap!

    I’ve read the novel and like the changes that the drama has made – such as how Xu Xu is introduced (the drawing scene is amusing and lets us quickly get to know the squad in a creative way), plus Yao Meng’s personality (way more likable!).

    WZW is pretty close to how I pictured Xu Xu, and so different from her role in Ode to Joy!

    Don’t love the series yet but it is entertaining so far and I’m keen to follow to the end XD

  4. 16 thoughts on “When A Snail Falls In Love: Episode 1 – 3 “Animal Kingdom.”

    Thanks for the recap, Kap!

    I really enjoyed the show so far, so much more than I did Memory Lost (despite all the pretty, I actually dropped it after the third episode). I adore Xu Xu and find her inductive/deductive skills admirable. Love how she chased after the criminal despite shaking in her boots. She may be physically inept but a badass nonetheless. Best yet, I appreciate how the show makes a point that she may be a genius but she is also just a rookie without experience. She still has a lot to learn and I can’t wait for our snail to grow into her role as a profiler. As for Wang Kai, his character grew onto me in the future episodes.

    A little random anecdote: I can’t stop giggling when I heard Ji Bai’s name. His name is a homonym for a curse word (also in Mandarin) in my country. I can’t keep a straight face whenever they use his name, which is thankfully not too often. Just call him shifu, Xu Xu!

    • 16 thoughts on “When A Snail Falls In Love: Episode 1 – 3 “Animal Kingdom.”

      I’ll move on to check out Memory Lost next! The pretty!

      Xu Xu’s rookie mistakes are so funny to watch, even my snarky side softened a little, especially when she was standing in front of the elevator. Lol!

      @Curse word, is it Cibai? My uncle (who understands way more) was cracking his head up when Nick introduced himself. I knew it wasn’t something good. HAHHAHAHA.

    • 16 thoughts on “When A Snail Falls In Love: Episode 1 – 3 “Animal Kingdom.”

      It’s a good thing Xu Xu calls him San Ge in the book or else we wouldn’t be able to take this couple seriously…

  5. 16 thoughts on “When A Snail Falls In Love: Episode 1 – 3 “Animal Kingdom.”

    Thanks for the recap, Kap!

    I was a fan of Xu Xu first in the book and eventually Ji Bai won me over. It’s easy to root for Xu Xu. For a long time in dramas, most of the geniuses we saw were people who were simply too stuck-up and hard to get along with, and hardly admitted to their personality flaws. Here comes Xu Xu, a very quiet, snail-like girl who will admit to her flaws and strives to fix them so she could be a productive and helpful member of the team. Gotta love someone like her. Basically, the reasons why Ji Bai decides to give her a chance are the same reasons why I root for this girl.

    • 16 thoughts on “When A Snail Falls In Love: Episode 1 – 3 “Animal Kingdom.”

      Agreed! They made her more relatable and down to earth, unlike the obnoxious geniuses in many dramas! I love her frustrated head-hold. X)

  6. 16 thoughts on “When A Snail Falls In Love: Episode 1 – 3 “Animal Kingdom.”

    I actually fell in love with this drama. I was iffy in the first episode(didnt like the Myanmar scenes) but the next few episodes quickly turn me around. I like Xuxu and how she is good at deductions but physically so lacking. Wangkai is okay though nothing about him is endearing at the moment. And the drama is so well shot. The picture quality is movie like and the I quite like the directing and sound effects. It was smooth and there were some pretty interesting camera angles (which comes across as neat instead of too pretentious). The music brings tension to the scenes instead of being overbearing. The dialogues were quick and witty. The pacing is good and the episodes short and condensed. .so less filler and more meat. My only complain would probably be the pacing was so fast I had to rewind because there was a little discontinuity in the story that I missed…and the fact that it is only going to be 3 episodes per week. Ah…torture.

    • 16 thoughts on “When A Snail Falls In Love: Episode 1 – 3 “Animal Kingdom.”

      Yes, I also had to rewind a few times to catch all of their reasoning and fast problem-solving skills. LOL.

  7. 16 thoughts on “When A Snail Falls In Love: Episode 1 – 3 “Animal Kingdom.”

    Watched the first 6 episodes – like the movie feel of it all (seriously, the camera work is great even if it sometimes feels a little bit cheesy).
    I’m not quite feeling Wang Kai’s character – his roles in The Disguiser in NiF were more layered, meaty, and I hate absolutely flawless characters (so, he is a pro at profiling, rock climbing, tracking, horse riding, can quote the classics, martial arts etc. etc.) but I like Olivia as Xu Xu – she even feels “slow” with her body language.
    The intro and ending song are well chosen and the background Music is inobtrusive.

    The pace is just right and the cold open keep you guessing what is happening in the rest of the episode.I only wish I hadn’t watched the trailer – must remember that Chinese series spoiler too much…

    • 16 thoughts on “When A Snail Falls In Love: Episode 1 – 3 “Animal Kingdom.”

      This is why I try not to watch all the longer trailers of Cdramas. Those are very dangerous!

  8. 16 thoughts on “When A Snail Falls In Love: Episode 1 – 3 “Animal Kingdom.”

    Wang Zi Wen surprised me in this drama. I watched her in Ode To Joy and omo, in here, it’s totally different. Havent finished reading the novel yet, and not really interesting actually but then… thanks to this drama, i want to finish reading it.

    Wang Kai is really handsome here. But… his character is just an ordinary one for me. He’s smart and tall, handsome and nice, but that’s it. Uhm, well.. since we havent even reached the half of this drama, i won’t comment more. hehe

    Btw, do you know where to watch memory lost?

    Thanks for the recap and i do love your opinion 😀

    • 16 thoughts on “When A Snail Falls In Love: Episode 1 – 3 “Animal Kingdom.”

      Lol. Handsome and nice are enough for you Yui? hehe.

      Memory Lost with English Subs? Beside Viki, I don’t know where else to look.

      Thanks dear, I love reading everyone’s thoughts too. 🙂

What do you think?