Let’s Talk about Echo Episode Two
In the series premiere of Echo, Marvel did an admirable job of hiding the show’s behind-the-scenes struggles.
Can the show maintain this parlor trick for another four episodes? We’ll find out!
Let’s talk about Echo episode two, the one with the train job.
Medieval Rugby Season Begins
So, we’ve solved one mystery already as we start this week.
When I looked at the list of episode titles for the series, I made a broad assumption that requires modification.
I figured the series was using Choctaw Indian words to hint at what the individual episode stories entail.
Instead, they’re character names. Specifically, these titles reflect the individuals who followed Chafa as the chosen of that weird bird.
Okay, there’s probably something more mystical than that, but the Moana-looking symbol from the water and the bird keep appearing.
I presume they’re integral to the plot in some way we don’t understand yet.
What we do know is that Lowak was the Candace Parker of 1200 A.D.
Maybe there’s a female athlete in a team sport you prefer to use instead, but I’m a Tennessee fan. Candace Parker is my everything.
Anyway, Lowak plays some sport that seems like a combination of Australian Rules Football, soccer, and rugby.
A bunch of players fight for control of a ball that they try to pass to the finish line. Hmm, maybe I should have said lacrosse.
Lowak Channels Chafa
Lowak proves exceptional at this sport, but the king (?) has an ace up his sleeve.
He calls in the largest Indian in Alabama. Imagine Brock Lesnar’s body on Victor Wembanyama’s frame.
Yes, this ancient civilization makes its home in what we now know as Alabama. It’s unclear whether Nick Saban was the coach in 1200 A.D.
Anyway, the big dude scores a couple of times after one player conveniently indicates that you need ten points to win.
Since this game apparently matters in the Choctaw tournament for survival, it’s ten points more than Dallas will ever get.
Lowak isn’t a Cowboy, though. Instead, she’s a winner. She accidentally summons the spirit of Chafa, who helps her win.
What’s important here is that anytime someone like, say, Maya Lopez, starts glowing and seeing visions, she’s about to dominate.
Graham Greene Is a Treasure
Episode two reintroduces actor Graham Greene, who had a brief appearance at the beginning of the first episode as well.
I’ve adored him as a performer since Dances with Wolves and Maverick.
Greene portrays Skully, a pawn shop owner who isn’t above hustling tourists into buying fake Indian souvenir crap.
Biscuits, Maya’s cousin, happens to walk in during one such attempt and seals the sale for Skully.
The two of them proceed to acknowledge that Maya has returned and needs some stuff.
Skully views said stuff as worthy of a militia, a subtle way of indicating that both of Maya’s relatives know she’s up to no good.
Soon afterward, Biscuits returns home, where Maya asks that they take a drive.
Apaprently, Biscuits is driving their grandmother’s truck.
Chula doesn’t like him to do that, and she’s really not gonna like what happens next.
Speaking of Chula, another woman casually mentions that Maya has returned to town.
This news causes Chula to make a surprise appearance at the skating rink to speak with Henry Lopez, aka Black Crow.
Chula deems her granddaughter bad news and wants to know what she has in mind.
Harry defends Maya as often as not, while Chula worries that Bonnie will experience heartbreak at the news.
As of now, Maya still hasn’t contacted Bonnie and may not have done so since her father died.
Thus far, Maya seems like she’s upsetting more of her family members than she’s pleasing with her return. Hold that thought…
The Train Job
We spend the next several minutes suspending disbelief, even for a Marvel series.
Maya’s “plan” – and it’s generous to call it that – involves her jumping onto a train in the middle of night.
Biscuits drives the getaway car, which is really more of a support vehicle. He tracks Maya while she invades the train.
At several points, the one-legged woman bounces from car to car.
A lone moment of realism occurs when the car connector traps her artificial limb, but a lot of this is patently absurd.
Maya somehow does all this while wielding tools, one of which is a drill she uses to make a hole in the floor.
Then, she sticks a tiny camera into the train car to verify it’s empty. Afterward, she does…something.
We can quibble over how well this scheme follows the plan, but it ends with her diving out of a moving train into a swerving truck.
Also, there’s a dog in the backseat. I’m biting my tongue here as I just say, “They’re all fine,” and roll my eyes.
Marvel wanted some action in this episode, and nobody cared whether it was believable. It really, really wasn’t.
The conceit is that after the train traps her leg, she triggers her inner Chafa and glows.
Since Maya should have died like eight times before then, it’s too big a stretch for me.
Later, Biscuits asks what she stole…and Maya sneers. She didn’t steal anything.
Instead, Maya has made a deposit…
The scene switches to a morning train arriving at a warehouse in New York City.
A skeevy dude inspects the goods from Train D9-X. Well, he glances and then decides that everything is fine.
So, this guy grabs a buddy and conveniently goes out for a smoke.
Meanwhile, the people inside, the characters who didn’t get names and dialogue, open the train cart gift Maya left.
The building explodes. Only the two dudes outside the facility survive the blast.
Soon afterward, Henry’s phone rings. He has a work emergency. You can probably guess that Henry’s employer is Fisk Shipping.
I guess the skating rink is his side hustle. Anyway, two other people in business attire inform him that everything is fine.
Since they’re not dressed in denim like Henry, we know they’re professional enough to trust.
However, Henry is smarter. He contacts Maya immediately. Conveniently, she’s hanging out with Skully.
Apparently, he and Maya used to team up on building projects when she was — *does the math* — I dunno, eight?
Just don’t think about it. We get more Graham Greene this way.
Maya asks the kindly grandfather figure to build her a new leg.
As he happily works in the background, Henry informs Maya that Kingpin’s army knows she did the bombing.
War is coming to Oklahoma. I’m not talking about a Nebraska Cornhuskers game, either.
The Best Moment So Far
Okay, I have to hand it to the showrunners on this one.
The running joke throughout the episode is that Biscuits shouldn’t do anything to harm Chula’s truck.
During this episode, we also learn that Chula works as the local mailperson.
While she’s out delivering the mail, someone teases her about the fact that she’s not driving her truck.
Soon afterward, we hear a heinous noise made by a bumping scraping the ground as it drives.
Yup, Biscuits drives by as Chula stares in shock and horror at the state of her truck.
The dude playing Biscuits absolutely nails this scene.
He does this whole “she probably doesn’t see me” bit that sends me into a giggle loop just thinking about it.
Biscuits is driving to his day job, where he immediately launches an “everything must go” sale with his PlayStation equipment.
This dude is really having a bit of a day, as he messes up again while trying to scrape up money to repair the truck.
His cousin, Bonnie, overhears the transmission at the fire station.
When she asks what happened, Biscuits accidentally reveals that Maya is in town and hasn’t contacted her friend and cousin.
While Bonnie’s heart breaks, Henry pays Maya a visit. He warns her that she sounds like Fisk.
Maya asks whether her uncle is with her or against her. Rather than responding either way, he asks that she lay low.
The Black Crow is livid that Maya has brought this mess to Oklahoma, as he should be.
Maya ends the episode by taking out her gun and unloading a clip in a swing set – it makes sense, I swear – in fury.
In the process, the Echo accidentally unlocks memories of a different ancestor, one we’ll meet in episode three.
Overall, while I wasn’t a fan of a lot of the decisions in the train scene, I quite liked the episode.
Echo continues to surpass my (admittedly low) expectations.
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