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Review: "Echo," First Episode

 


Today I watched the first episode of Echo, and only one, because I’m not sure if the boys are going to want to watch this one. and I’m always hunting for something all three of us will watch. If not, I’ll watch more tomorrow. If so, I'll always be happy to watch any MCU project again. I'm imagining that RBear will want to watch the third Doctor Who special tonight, and I've waited too long for something new from Marvel to wait!

 

Let me say that right off, what an exciting entry Echo is the MCU Universe! Both Darnell Besaw (Young Maya) and Alaqua Cox are wonderful as Maya Lopez, and the first episode begins with not only the Choctaw version of the creation of humans, but a combination of new and old material (from the series Hawkeye) beautifully and seamlessly woven together to start bringing us up to date for this new series, streaming now on Disney+.

 

Know that I don't believe in giving away spoilers, but some people might consider even what I've already said as a spoiler, so proceed with caution from this point forward. I will put SPOILERS in all caps when they come. Since the series begins before the events of Hawkeye, we find out how Maya is involved with the Kingman, once again perfectly portrayed by Vincent D'Onofrio—in fact this is the best, in my opinion, that we’ve seen him.


We also see at least one surprise co-star that I wasn't expecting in the least and my heart thrilled at this character's appearance. I will say no more about that. But it was perfect! Very exciting stuff!


The first episode also focuses on how Echo became the villain as she was originally presented to be in the comic books and the series Hawkeye, and why.

 

It then leaps to five months after those events and her confrontation finale with Kingpin, a man that she had considered family until she discovered his part in the death of her father.


The Maya we meet is filled with pain and rage. She has also been badly injured and finds that her life journey has taken her home to her Choctaw people after 20 years.


The first person she meets there is an old friend who goes by the nickname "Biscuits," an adorable bearish guy who refers to her as "cousin." She tells him she's in town for business, in and out quick, and doesn't want anyone, including her cousin (who she thinks of as a sister) or her grandmother to know.

 

She's on a mission, and it's to deal with the repercussions of Kingpin. He had his run, she tells Henry, an old friend who owns the town skating rink. Now there needs to be a queen.

 

How very much is crammed into this opening episode, and yet out little we know by its end, for me, is totally first notch. It’s very exciting to even begin to guess what Marvel has in store for us. Alaqua Cox has a lot more chance to bite into the role of Maya Lopez, and in just this little bit I was impressed what a good actress she is. That wasn’t obvious, because she was only one of many characters in that series. In this, we see that this actress has a future!

 

I really can't wait to see what happens next and it was difficult not to continue watching the second episode.

 

But I want to wait. A lot of people love to binge watch these things, but I have to wait so long between one MCU presentation and the next that I want it to last. I'm surprised, that unlike the last couple of shows, Disney decided to dump all five episodes at once. Especially since it was giving Disney the reputation of bringing back that hour each week that the whole family sat together to see what happens next. I wonder why they went this way?


I read that the people who made this series made a few changes in the character of Echo. "In the comics, Maya is from the Blackfeet tribe,” said director Sydney Freeland. But she felt that accompanying visuals [in the comic book] amounted to a 'hodgepodge' of imagery that made for a 'muddied' and ultimately inauthentic backstory for the character." Freeland said she and the creative team—including head writer Marion Dayre—have re-imagined the character’s Indigeneity, making her a member of the Choctaw tribe from Oklahoma.... ...The director also insisted on meeting with the Choctaw Nation to get their input and develop a partnership."  And the Choctaw are pretty proud about this five-part series. I’ll take that over “woke” any day or night. From the beginning, “Choctaw representation, has been placed squarely at the forefront of creative development…” with “experts in Choctaw history, culture, and language … included in conversations about how Choctaw people would be portrayed.” *

 

I'm intrigued, or is it amused, that Marvel has made something else that the right wing is claiming is "woke." Well, that automatically means I want to watch it.

 

I also read that in the comics, the fact that Maya was Blackfoot seemed totally unimportant and might as well not have even been mention. Sydney Freeland, who is Navajo herself, wanted it to be far more than simply some kind of lip-service to Native American peoples.

 

That’s some powerful stuff there!

 

For whatever reason, I really enjoyed how this series is beginning. I have totally avoided reviews except for seeing those “woke” comments.” I mean, “Woke?” Really? But since I don’t want to head in a political direction and want to keep this about a review of Echo, I’ll let you decide.

 

I myself cannot wait to see the next episode of Echo. (I am happy to see that audience scores at Rotten Tomatoes already has it at 73%, after only a day)

 

You decide! That is what it comes down to. And hey, I would love to know what you think!

 

As always…

Namasté,

BG “Gentle Ben” Thomas


Written by:

Marion Dayre and Josh Feldman & Steven P. Judd and Ken Kristensen

Directed by:

Sydney Freeland

Starring:

Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez / Echo

Zahn McClarnon as William Lopez

Chaske Spencer as Henry "Black Crow" Lopez

Tantoo Cardinal as Chula

Cody Lightning as Biscuits

Victor "Vickie" Tyson as Thomas E. Sullivan

Vincent D'Onofrio as Wilson Fisk / Kingpin

Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton / Hawkeye


SPOILER ALERT: Henry acts as one of Maya's father figures when she returns home. Henry doesn’t react well to her announcement and what she wants from him as he is worried that Maya's actions in seeking revenge against Fisk could put the town in danger. He refuses to help her. In fact, he says as far as she is concerned, he never saw her. The problem is that Victor "Vickie" Tyson (played by Thomas E. Sullivan), Henry's employee, doesn’t feel the same way and we see him text someone (Kingpin's people) with the, “I might have information on the King killer. If that bounty is still on the table.”

 

This is certainly going to lead to some exciting events. Including the fact that—hey, come on, who didn’t know this already—that Kingpin isn’t dead!

 

 

**: Disney Debuts Deaf Native Superhero As 'Woke' Debate Swirls: https://www.barrons.com/news/disney-debuts-deaf-native-superhero-as-woke-debate-swirls-cdbcdc23


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