Tales from the Loop Episode 4, “Echo Sphere” understands the inevitable nature of impending death, in a gloomy but well-crafted chapter.
This recap of Tales from the Loop Season 1 Episode 4, “Echo Sphere” contains significant spoilers.
Tales from the Loop episode 4, “Echo Sphere” opens up with Cole outside trying to catch illuminated flies. An older Russ is updating information on his computer. When Cole wakes up, he finds coins in his jar, not the flies. Cole asks his grandfather Russ what he does underground.
And then the turning point comes early; while in his office in the Loop, Russ receives a call — it’s the doctor. The camera moves out of the room so we do not hear the conversation.
From here on in, Tales from the Loop Episode 4, “Echo Sphere” has this feeling of inevitable death which weighs throughout the episode. Russ shows Cole a large rusty sphere outside. He tells Cole to use it as an echo chamber. Cole shouts hello and it repeats in the chamber six times so Russ tells Cole he will live a long life. Cole asks Russ to do the same, and there are no echoes. Cole wonders why, so his grandad delivers him some news.
Due to the news, they have a family meeting, and Russ tells his family how long he has left. Cole leaves the room upset. Russ goes to speak to his grandson privately. Cole is insistent that his grandfather should do something so he does not die and then asks Russ what happens when you die. Russ explains that he will not exist and questions if there is an afterlife.
The next day, Russ takes Cole out for a walk. They turn on all the lights in the Loop area and they admire the view. On the way home after dropping Cole off, Russ sobs. When he gets home, he greets his wife and then goes to the bedroom and collapses.
Hearing that his grandfather is in the hospital Cole wants to enter the loop because “anything is possible down there”. He heads down and comes face to face with the Eclipse. Loretta catches him. Later that evening, Cole tells his parents that he was trying to help his grandfather. Cole asks what’s the point of the loop if they cannot save him.
Later on, Cole smashes his jar full of coins and then overhears his father say “I wish he would die already”. They go to see his grandfather and his father tells Cole to remember him how he was, not how he is now. His grandfather has lost his mind and is senile. It clearly impacts Cole.
There is then an odd scene of Russ entering the eclipse. The next morning, Cole’s father receives a call from the hospital — the bad news is delivered. Russ is dead.
Tales from the Loop Episode 4, “Echo Sphere” ends with Russ’s wife whistling at dinner in hope that Russ whistles back. Cole continues to use the echo chamber and sees illuminated flies in there.
This was a rather somber episode, but it articulated the feeling of mourning in a smart way.
- Russ’s wife asks if Loretta has called yet.
- Loretta advises that Russ takes sick leave. Russ apologises to Loretta saying he should have gone to her wedding.
- Russ tells Loretta that the Loop can be hers if she wants it. Loretta accepts the offer.
- At the wake, a girl asks Cole if he’d rather be cremated or buried.