When a Snail Falls in Love 如果蜗牛有爱情 - Episode 2 (Recap)

kakashi: In episode 2 we start to wonder what this drama is actually about. We meet more people from the Ye family - these ones are unhappy too - and realize that it might very well be about them. But pay attention, people, just like Xu Xu, who observes everything and everyone in her quiet, analytical way.
Eleanor: I really liked these shots of her and her perceptive observation. The Ye family seems rather like your stereotypical, really sad, rich family. Are rich families really all that unhappy? It would be nice if I could be super rich, and I could see if I could be a happy family haha XD 
JoAnne: Apply for a grant to study whether being rich and being happy are mutually exclusive!
Trotwood: I get the feeling most rich families are happy or at least as happy. Dramas just show all these unhappy people to make us feel better that we aren't rich.
Shuk: I agree with Trot, although if you look at the history of anyone who has won the really big lottery jackpots, not many of them have a happy ending. Still, I wouldn't mind spending a month as a chaebol...

Episode 2

Night, a park ... and a shady figure of a man - face hidden behind a scarf - who puts something with sharp edges into the grass. Oh! It's our blade-misdemeanant! Is he placing more blades?! It seems so!
Yikes! This is a particularly nasty sort of crime. I mean, small children go to play in parks. Not very nice at all. Those misty night-time shots are gorgeous though!
I mean...wow.  I've never even HEARD of such a thing. This is an absolute first for me.
I know there was a thing of people putting razor blades in apples to give out at Halloween when I was a kid. I remember because for years my mom made me throw out all the apples we got not matter what.
I checked with my guys, and, nope. The closest would be breaking bottles. Nothing like these scythes.
Ack, gruesome! Now it's day and the police have arrived. They're securing the evidence - the blades, painted green so that they're not immediately obvious, are bloody :( A kid got hurt. Elsewhere, Xu Xu and Yao Meng are moving into their shared dormitory. Xu Xu - she is so reserved, and might appear haughty, but I think she's just very shy, in ways introverts are - is major impressed at how strong Yao Meng is (she basically throws one of those refill water tanks around) I love that she's such a jock but not the stereotype you often get about such women. I do find it hard to believe with those arms though. I'd expect more muscle definition. Not far from them, Husband gets briefed by Monkey on the developments of the case. Those blades - ha! - are manufactured by the "Ye Corporation".
See, what did I say, little kids T__T I do quite like that we have quiet Xu Xu and then the rather more energetic and boisterous Yao Meng. It's nice not to have all the women be the same. And Kakashi-Trotwood-Jo's husband, he really is quite lovely. 
I'll admit I fully expected the two women to be at odds. I love that they are not. Are they still training to be police, though? Why is there a dorm? Is it customary in China for single employees to live in dorms in certain industries, since housing is in high demand in some areas?
I like the fact that these two are clearly going to be friends and not have some crazy rivalry going on. I'm so done with that--every female being set up to be enemies. As for the living together thing, I asked that on the Wang Kai site. Everyone seems to be curious about this. Even the Chinese interviewer didn't know.
I liked that Officer Toughie also brought in a full-length mirror! Strong with a sense of style? Yes please! As for the blades, I can't imagine how important the manufacturer is, unless it's to track down purchases. It's certainly not the company's fault if someone uses their product for nefarious purposes.
Zhao Han calls the girls and off they go to their first case! We learn that there were 208 blades put into different parks altogether. But since there hasn't been any murders, this is just them helping out their colleagues from Team 3. Monkey doesn't even think it's very serious: Some kids cut their hands, so what. Husband - who looks soooo young and innocent in his civilian clothing - lectures him that there "are no minor matters in public security". Overall, I get the impression that Zhao Han wants to impress the interns and I'm pretty sure Monkey realizes that too, because he makes mean remarks to embarrass Zhao Han.
Aw, poor little Hippo. He really doesn't look like he is almost 33 (it's his birthday on the 21st of December). I find it completely cute that he is trying to impress the interns. Aw. 
His little round earnest baby face. So cute! Let's just squish him.
Yup. He's adorably earnest. I agree that he was trying to impress, but I get the feeling that he really does believe that there "are no minor matters in public security" and wants everyone else to believe that as well.
Does XuXu tap her fingers when she thinks? The camera kept focusing on that.
They're not going to the scene of the crime though but to one of eighteen Ye Corporation stores in the city (oh, lush and posh!); the one who sold its entire stock of blades a few days ago. 208 special-model blades to be exact. The guy who bought them according to the cash book was ... the General Manager of the Ye Stores, Zhang Shiyong. While they talk to the sales assistant, Xu Xu is mainly interested in the floor. Apparently, it's a super expensive stone (from Myanmar) that only this particular store has.
Ooh! Myanmar again! So I guess that Ji Bai going there is going to matter later on in the story perhaps. I'm wondering if it's a set-up with this Zhang Shiyong person. Have we met him or heard about him before? It's sort of weird though that a general manager would buy up a bunch of blades though, right?
It's sort of weird that a fancy store like this sells blades. I mean, the blades are weapons, right? So think of it like a gun shop. Why so fancy? They kept calling it a hardware store too, I think. I guess maybe hardware store in China isn't the same thing as a hardware store here.
If the store was sold out / stoled out of these things, why are there blades on display? Not that it's germane to the plot, but it seems like a big DP mistake. Unless those blades have a lot- or serial-number, linking them as the site blades is circumstantial. And if "they" wanted to hurt people anonymously, they would have procured small amounts from different stores and not be so obvious. Hmm, I may need to tone down my po-po skills, nah?
 . . . and why would they spend that kind of money to put in those tiles? They have to be expensive--both the tiles themselves, the tariffs, the shipping, and the labor for moving and installation.
When they try to find the General Manager and ask him details about the blades, they realize Manager Zhang has not been back to work ever since some meeting the other week - he has in fact been missing for 130 hours. That makes them go see his wife next. And here's a picture of Husband.
HURRAYY! (see I held off from saying hurray earlier. Did you guys notice my restraint? I promise I won't say it anymore . . .in this post. But when I see his face, I generally think "Hurray")
Your husband is lovely. Apparently this guy didn't go to work much if he's been missing for over 130 hours and no one's reported him yet. Did his wife kill him? haha that was my immediate thought. 
Husband is thinking that this guy didn't make enough pancakes for his wife, or maybe he didn't use real maple syrup or something.
I was waiting for a pancake comment. Thanks, Jo.
[snicker] Clearly, he's a small cog if he can be missing for that length of time without an outcry.
The wife, her name is Ye Qiao (Wu Xiao Yu) - who drinks wine even though it doesn't look like we're even close to dinner - claims she has no clue about the blades and where her husband is. She and her husband are in charge of different branches of Ye Corporation and don't talk about them to each other. Sounds like a great marriage. Zhao Han is actually curious why she hasn't reported her husband as missing, but she seems to think that's pointless (hinting at the dead Ye family member she calls uncle (that would be Ye Zi's father), who was kidnapped before he was killed).
She looks worried. Something isn't right here. Not at all. Hehe. I love all the Yu Heng shots. 
Keep 'em coming, Kakashi!
Though they are making it difficult for me to type and focus.
"Paper cutters" are what those are for? I guess if you are cutting through a telephone directory with one swipe. I do see XuXu looking everywhere but the wife. What is she seeing?
She also mentions Zhao Han's father ... oh no, he "died in the line of duty" :( Zhao Han looks upset and her words all sound really barbed. He also orders a search of her mansion, for "her protection". While all this happens, Xu Xu stares at things. Like this picture (is that a butterfly?):
Hmm, is she trying to piss off the police? And that is very mean to be nasty to Zhao Han. 
All I thought about that was 'Oh, she knows him a long time, too.' And yes I think that is a butterfly.
I took it as a veiled threat. Any nasty to the Husband, I take as a threat.
[Rolls up sleeves and prepares to give Biatch Beatdown]
Or this picture: 
They're installing audio monitoring devices and Husband gives all kinds of commands to check surveillance videos etc ... when Xu Xu says: "Zhang Shiyong won't be coming back - he has been kidnapped".
Ooh! That was fast Xu Xu! Now what gave it away?
The butterfly told her.
Ah! The mantelpiece based on the pic is different. Although who would frame a photograph like that unless the LSD Talking butterfly told her to.
How does she know? Basically, given that solo picture on the coffee table and from seeing a nail in the wall, Xu Xu has guessed there used to be a wedding picture over the fireplace. Now, it looks like Ye Qiao wants this man gone from her life. About Ye Qiao, she says she's "not that smart, doesn't have much taste, yet is a narcissistic person". These kind of people cannot tolerate infidelity. Zhang Shiyong obviously cheated on her, for a long time. He moved out a week ago (and Ye Qiao doesn't want to admit it to anyone).
See, this is why I would never be a character in a drama. I'd tell everything. I'd be like. "He's gone and I don't care. I hated him. I hope he doesn't come back." The police find out anyway, and then you look even more guilty for hiding it.
About those blades: the store that the blades were taken from is a very special store, the only one still directly linked to the head of the Ye family (Ye Lanyuan). Under "normal circumstances", a 3rd son-in-law with a non-Ye surname (that's our Zhang) would not be able to buy all these special blades like this. Therefore, his name in those cash books is suspicious.
Ooh! Good work! I don't think you have to be narcissistic though Xu Xu to not tolerate infidelity. It's not exactly something anyone really tolerates. Maybe some forgive, but infidelity isn't exactly awesome for anyone. 
Okay, so if we follow her train of thought: He's not around - he could have just run away on his own, but that purchase is sketchy so you have to wonder if the two are connected. And someone went to a lot of trouble with those blades, too. See, me - if I knew those two things and that the wife was hiding something, and that it's likely he'd been having an affair? I wouldn't think kidnap. I'd think she murdered him. But why put the blades in the park? That seems an odd thing for her to do just out of the blue. Does he have an illegitimate kid who plays there? There are better ways to revenge yourself, if so. Did she want to make it look like he was a psycho? Kill him, ruin his reputation, then maybe have him turn up dead as a suicide? That's where I'd have been going with this. Not kidnap, ever.
I agree. The whole kidnapping thing doesn't seem like a legitimate option, unless there's some sort of 'suspicious death' clause in the pre-nup?
At another nice (and much more down to earth) place, Ye Zixi looks at pictures. Some of them are of Ji Bai. She touches the photo ... and sheds a tear. She is called to the table then and it looks like this is Ji Bai's grandpa's house.
Ooh! So is the one-sided love hers? I mean, I totally get being in love with Ji Bai. What happened between the two of them? She seems so interesting. I hope we get to see more of her. 
So she's just hanging out at his grandpa's house?
Creepy Alert! Creepy Alert! [klaxon bell]
They're outside in the dark later. She reminisces about coming here often and watching Ji Bai and "Uncle Zhao" do training, about riding on bikes with him. We learn that she played a prank on Ye Qiao (who is her cousin, I guess?) and was subsequently ignored by all the students at the school at Ye Qiao's order. Only Ji Bai and his friends would talk to her. 
Ye Qiao would've hated her merely because she was pretty,; she's seems the type to not want other pretty people around her.
Hmm. If only Ji Bai were talking to me, I wouldn't mind at all. Forget everyone else, can Ji Bai please look so intently at me?! Wang Kai! You get more and more handsome each time I see you, How is this possible?! Magic?!?!
Right? And I'm thinking any school where he's a student, if he's your friend, ER'BODY is your friend.
Yup. That is what I was thinking, too. I bet he was popular but didn't care so didn't (on purpose) hang out with the cool kids, which probably pissed off Ye Qiao even more.
Ye Zixi would have had a circle of people around her. Everyone that Ji Bai hung out with. So that "Poor Little Lonely Girl" is some schizophrenic image in her mind.
She adds a few words on how everything is the same here, even though it has been years. She says "Third Brother is still the old Third Brother ... sadly, I am not the old Ye Zi anymore". He smiles at her a little, fondly, but not overly warm... and she smiles one of her very sad smiles.
I kept feeling as though I was supposed to like her and feel sad for her but I still couldn't. She is holding something back even with him and it's not just her crush on him. I wouldn't be surprised if he knows about it. 
She needs to just let go of whatever clingy thoughts are in her head. Because you know they are there. She's got that Thai nang'rai villain vibe all over her. She's gonna flip, I just know it.

They continue to sit on the porch in silence for a bit. A phone call from Zhao Han needs him back to Lin City though and he promises to be back tonight.
So does he know she really likes him? Or is he oblivious? Damn though! Wang Kai. Eep. *breathless* how can she look so cute and put together sitting so close to him. I'm a lost cause, aren't I? Also, the lighting in this scene is 💕
I don't think he's oblivious. I assume that this is the reason for his distance. But I do not think her sadness is because of that, entirely.
He's not into her as a love interest, but he feels protective. Then there's grandpa's affection for her too.
At Ye Qiao's, they watch the news about the blade incident and then, Zhao Han orders some people to stay behind to protect the lady. However, Xu Xu thinks they shouldn't leave just yet - the kidnapper will call soon (how she knows that? Because she guessed correctly that part of the kidnapper's plan is to smear the Ye Company's name, which just happened on the news). And.... the phone rings. It's the kidnapper. He hangs up again when Ye Qiao is unable to talk. A while later, the phone rings again - it's Zhang Shiyong on the line, sounding pretty desperate. Ye Qiao screams at him to get lost and die. Lol.
This is what happens when a man dips his spoon into someone else's jelly jar. Just saying.
Ahahaha. I guess the kidnapper forgot to check to see if Zhang Shiyong would be missed enough. Lol.
Man, all that time and effort invested, only to find out no one wants the person back.
Makes me think of one of my favorite movies, Ruthless People (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVnQlphhuqQ). Wife he wants to kill gets kidnapped, and he's happy. Great flick of revenge.
Xu Xu talks to her in a calm voice, telling her she did well - and letting her know the kidnapper will want to talk to her next. She will have to set up a meeting in a very crowded place, for her and her cousin. She will have to bargain: 2 million only. She does all that (and screams again that her husband might as well be killed, pfft).
Something still seems really weird about all of this. Ye Qiao seems really bothered by something. It all just feels off to me. 
Maybe the whole thing is fake. They planned it together but then she found out he was sleeping with the 'kidnapper' and now she doesn't want to play but isn't sure how to get out of it.
Ooh, there's a thought. So she's trying to play off as a poor little gazelle helpless caught in a lion's den of crap.
Cut to the kidnapped husband! He is kept in some shed, on some cart, and the kidnapper (the same guy we saw position the blades at the very beginning of the episode) puts leaves on him, until he is completely hidden from view. This does not look good.
Eep! Not good at all!
Leaves, though? Leaves? Why not a tarp or something?
My backyard is bounded by a slew of maple trees. Never underestimate the blanketing power of leaves. Also, based on the camera sweep of that room, it is way too much ugly powdery blue.
After Ye Qiao has made a few phone calls to get the 2 million¥ together, Xu Xu demands from Trot's husband to be part of the whole operation. Despite her poor fitness - and because she seems to think that this is no ordinary kidnapping case. Just then, Ji Bai arrives at the police station, in Ye Zi's car. It's pretty clear at this point who has the major crush and who does not. Once inside, Ji Bai gives a string of orders to the team who's there. Oi. Efficient, our boy.
*sigh* Ji Bai, leaving a string of women swooning behind him. Eleanor, keep your head on straight now. Now is it really a good idea for Xu Xu to go along? Couldn't she just do surveillance or something? It's a recipe for disaster. 
She needs to be able to observe, but as a physically weak member of the team, having her there adds risk. Still, if they did it remotely, she could miss something important.
Remote observation wouldn't work. They have already showed us that she uses tactile observation as well. Maybe she can figure out which species the leaves come from, or something more critical.
The next day, Yao Meng gets ready to accompany Ye Qiao as her cousin. They're heading to Jiangzhou Shopping Mall for the handover. There, they have to go to a dessert store on the 2nd floor and buy a cake and then leave the suitcase with the money on a seat in a restaurant on that same floor. Sounds like a prank to me, actually! But they do as instructed - and our police team isn't far of course. When they buy drinks at the restaurant, a man starts stealing furtive glances at them ... and the suitcase.
Lol. A prank. Now that you say so, it definitely does sound like one. 
I didn't think prank, but I thought it supported a very unprofessional perpetrator, one who didn't really think through the plan very carefully.
Nowadays, the biggest money scams are gift cards where the victim rattles off the numbers over the phone, and the perps immediately cash them out and file the money. The kidnapper's way is almost laughably lo-tech.

Comments

Let me summarize what we learned in this episode! Zhao Han's father used to be a police officer, but he died in the line of duty. I'm pretty sure the uncle that trained with Ji Bai (Ye Zi mentions him) is the same man. The way Ye Zi talks makes it obvious that at least three of these people went to the same school together: Ye Qiao, Ye Zi, and Ji Bai. So they're childhood friends.
Poor Zhao Han! I wonder how old he was when his father passed. I'm guessing not too young because Ji Bai trained under him.
Yes, they seem roughly the same age. So did he join the force fairly late? Maybe after his father died? Did he know Ji Bai back then, or only later? But Ye Qiao seems to know Father-in-Law's personal details, though, since she used them to be snarky with Husband. Did they all know each other?
I got the feeling that they knew each other as well, perhaps Zhao Han met him because Ji Bai was his father's protege. I can see being inspired to be a cop if Ji Bai and dad were cops.
I'm already confused over the relationships of everybody.

It's also clear that Ye Zi is or at least was madly in love with Ji Bai, but that he has no lover's eyes for her. She seems extremely sad, almost suicidal. As if something big had happened in her life, something she is afraid to tell him because he is a cop. I feel for her. 
I feel for her too. I'm guessing that she's done something a straight arrow policeman wouldn't approve of. Ji Bai seems the sort of man that sees very little nuance with many things. Or maybe she really did do something very illegal. She does play melancholy very well though. I like it. She has almost a wistful Ophelia thing going on. 
Yes, I liked her too. I wasn't really thinking she did anything illegal, more like she threw herself at him in the past and made things awkward, and maybe she's been a bad girl since and he sort of considers her tainted goods, but still cares about her as family. Or maybe she was always a bit of a wild child and he never approved, and she's sad because she's the bad girl who really wants the good boy but can't help being the bad girl.
Sigh. I know I'm supposed to like her but I just don't. I know she has suffered a tragedy. Didn't she lose a parent, too? Isn't that what the pipe present was all about? Isn't there something shady about what happened to said parent that she thinks people have covered up? I feel bad for her because she was clearly neglected in school because of bitchy Ye Qiao. I feel bad that she knows her love for Ji Bai will go unrequited (join the club, lady), but still. Still I can't like her. there is something about her that i just don't trust.
I'm with Trot. My Spidey Sense is tingling about her, and I feel there's a sheen of fakery across her convo with Ji Bai.

I don't feel for Ye Qiao though. Sure, being cheated sucks - but her whole attitude is putting me off. She is an entitled, rich person who sees herself above and beyond everybody else. There is a vulnerability in her, too, and she probably loved her husband very much - but I can't forgive this kind of behavior. 
Well, what happens if she had just found out? Maybe it's a very recent thing and she's reeling from the shock. She definitely seems a bit on the horrid side, but judging from her very almost PTSD shock sort of behaviour, I'm wondering if it's just the recentness of it. It takes time to recover from finding out about infidelity, even if one is a saint. 
She struck me as someone with trust issues in general (because of being rich) but who is capable of loving people - her husband, for example.  I assumed her generally negative air would put him off because she can't really show her true feelings, and then she gets even worse because she's so hurt by the betrayal. She'd have been thinking he was the one person who really got her, after all.
Yes. I don't like her either (see above with her dig at Husband), but I agree with Jo. I get the feeling that she has to live not trusting anyone and not know if she has any real friends.
I'm reserving judgement on this one. I think she's more genuine than Ye Zi. But that's just degrees of bastshite crazy.

As for the case ... isn't it interesting how this started off with blades in the park but has now become a kidnapping case? Just like Xu Xu, I think this kidnapping does not "feel" right. If the perpetrator wanted to take revenge on Ye Company for something and wanted to tarnish their image, why did he have to kidnap the General Manager? Something is not like it seems, it seems.
Yes, it's all rather odd. And this Ye family seems awfully mixed up in something not right. 
The whole thing is interesting. All of it.
I'm looking forward to watching / commenting on the next one!
I decided to add another screenshot of our stern leader. No objections, right?