Episode 1 of Echoes starts with Gina trying to call her twin sister, Leni. She’s been struggling to get through to her, but she leaves a voicemail while on her way to a big marketing meeting. She’s been struggling to get through to her, but she leaves a voicemail while on her way to a big marketing meeting. Still, Gina can’t shake the feeling that something is awry with her sis. When Jack (Leni’s husband) phones back later that night, he’s flustered and admits that Leni has gone missing.
Gina immediately gets a flight over, and on the way she leaves a diary entry for herself on the computer, complete with some handy flashbacks for us so we can see the close bond between the sisters.
Gina heads up to their lavish house, complete with a white picket fence and a stable. Leni’s best friend Megan isn’t there though, much to Gina’s dismay. Young Mattie (Leni’s daughter) does have a new babysitter called Natasha though, and there’s definitely frostiness between her and Gina.
Sheriff Floss and Deputy Martinez update Gina on what’s going on, admitting that the trail has gone cold on Leni’s whereabouts. It would appear that the stable’s office has been ransacked, there was at least one intruder on the premises and the gates were cut with bolt-cutters. It would appear that Leni has gone off with her horse but they can’t be sure.
That night, Gina is reunited with her father and decides to take his place on the search party the following day. Gina’s father has health issues. Not only that, but Jack has been under a lot of stress recently as well. What sort of stress? Well, we’ll have to wait to find out!
Bad blood in the house is only exacerbated when Gina finds her old doll all torn apart upstairs. She believes it’s a message and decides to move and stay at a motel. She deduces that Natasha may be responsible but for now, she continues to talk to herself (basically to the audience, lets be honest), about how she’s staying at the Riverside Inn.
In the morning, Leni’s horse, Prince, comes back to the farm. Upon investigation, they find dried blood on the side and that immediately causes alarm bells to ring. Gina confronts Jack and wonders just what’s going on between them. This line of enquiry is interrupted though when they find another horse dead out in the woods. “What does it mean?” Gina asks. Well, I’m guessing it means there are now less horses in the stable to look after!
But I digress, because it turns out the horse has had its microchip cut out. It would almost seem like someone is covering this up. But who? And why?
The next day, Gina speaks to Jack about Leni’s ongoing 12 hour shifts. Only, it’s clear that she’s been lying about that. According to Jack, she’s barely around anymore. He hired Natasha because Jack’s been too busy with work and needed someone to look after their daughter.
Gina isn’t fully convinced by either story and decides to do some good ol’ fashioned sleuthing. She digs through Leni’s drawers, updating Charlie on what’s happened thus far.
After an exhausting day, Gina falls asleep and wakes up in the middle of the night, still with the lights on. She finds a similar doll’s hand and a photo of the twins together as kids. After a bit of inappropriate kissing with Jack by the door, Gina wanders out to the cave she visited with Leni. There, she finds the doll and some clothes, complete with a doll’s head severed next to the clothes.
Now, this ends up being a pretty important clue as we see flashes to the past. Gina and Leni used to switch places all the time, and a book – with a handwritten note taunting Gina – tells her: “You get both lives. Choose.”
Reading this seems to denote that there’s a bit of game playing going on here and she’s not actually Gina. Instead of choosing, she makes it look convincing and switches over to playing Leni’s role in all this, cutting her head open with a rock.
The Episode Review
So a big twist at the end of the episode sees us in twin territory as it turns out the pair have actually switched places and have a habit of doing this periodically. Why? To what end? Well, we’ll have to find out but it seems to explain a lot about these fractured memories.
Implications of these sort of twists aside, the first episode gets off to a rather haphazard start, with some pretty cheap dialogue, an expository-heavy narrative and a plot that feels like it wouldn’t be amiss on the Hallmark channel. In many ways, this actually feels like one of those disposable thrillers you’d pick up at the airport and read on holiday.
Either way though, this could end up being a guilty pleasure but it all rests on whether Echoes gives some competent answers to the mystery it’s building for itself. Will this get entangled in a web of confusing mediocrity? We’ll have to wait and see!