Echoes season 1, episode 2 recap – “Birthday”

August 19, 2022
Adam Lock 0
Netflix, Streaming Service, TV Recaps
3

Summary

Episode two, “Birthday,” is a real head-scratcher. A confusing narrative about identical twins switching identities descends into a headache-inducing mess. How can you care about these characters when you don’t truly know who is who?

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3

Summary

Episode two, “Birthday,” is a real head-scratcher. A confusing narrative about identical twins switching identities descends into a headache-inducing mess. How can you care about these characters when you don’t truly know who is who?

This recap of the Netflix limited series Echoes season 1, episode 2, “Birthday,” contains spoilers. 

Access the archive of recaps, reviews, and news for Echoes. 

Before starting the episode two recap I think it is worth pointing out just how tricky this series is going to be to discuss going forwards. After all, we are dealing with identical twins who take on each other’s identities, swapping back and forth on an annual basis. It is hard to fully understand which twin is which and who they are pretending to be, from one moment to the next, but I will endeavor to do my best and try to make these recaps as clear as possible. As you can see, the second instalment is tediously confusing and needlessly intricate. A headache inducing mess that spoils all that previous build up, and yet it still intrigues.

Echoes season 1, episode 2 recap

“Birthday” opens with a flashback of the adult twins in Paris, presumably naked by candle-light. They are planning their yearly switcheroo and observe one another’s bodies at close proximity. They pick up on the slightest cut and an unspoken tension between the two of them. Leni narrates how she knew something was wrong, Gina was hiding something from her.

Back in the present and Gina is practicing her Southern drawl in the mirror. She’s flown across the country to search for her missing sister and has now assumed her identity, pretending to be Leni in the flesh. From here on out I will be referring to her as Leni, as she has taken on Leni’s life. Everyone refers to her as Leni and she even narrates as Leni. Makes perfect sense, right? She now has to meet with the police and explain in person exactly what happened at the ranch and why she went missing for all that time. She tells Sheriff Floss about men in masks and an ensuing chase. Floss doesn’t buy her story for one moment and you can just sense that Jack doesn’t either. Even Mattie picks up on a mistake in her character, when she says the wrong thing. Leni is trying desperately to play the part, but slips up all too often.

Further flashbacks attempt to give a distinct identity to these two identical twins as they try to separate them slightly. The writers decide to use love interests to elicit this difference. Leni has a thing for rancher Jack and Gina falls for a man called Dylan, but we’ll come on to him shortly. It would help if there were some more obvious differences between the two sisters, other than an accent and hairstyles, but the writers aim to keep them painfully similar for their own end.

In private, Jack and Leni chat. Jack is highly suspicious of Leni and pulls apart her story. He asks if she was planning on stealing the horses and running away. Jack constantly asks if she is having an affair and Leni denies any wrongdoings. He explains how they are in financial trouble and how Leni hasn’t been around to help out. Leni brings up issues with Gina from the night before, but Jack won’t admit to kissing the sister. Leni concludes that they need to stick together and then she takes Mattie to school.

Mattie mentions a flip phone and Leni investigates this further, managing to obtain a call history from this specific phone number, which she uses to build a clearer picture of the sister’s mysterious double life. Leni calls up some of these random numbers and finds herself in the middle of a drug deal. Leni was apparently selling Ketamine, so the new Leni follows suit, hoping to find some valuable information from the exchange. The druggies mention a man in a red truck accompanying her to the deals. Leni calls him, who happens to be Dylan, Gina’s old flame. They were planning to runaway together and he wants to continue with this plan today.

Here it becomes apparent that the real Gina was with Dylan and has ran away, using the ranch incident as a diversion. The real Leni is back to being Leni again and here is pretending to be her sister to fool Dylan. Confused? Dylan kisses Leni and realizes straightaway that she is conning him, this isn’t Gina. He holds a knife to her throat. Leni goes on the defensive, saying Gina isn’t who you think she is. She had a miscarriage and a psychotic breakdown at school, she is not well. Dylan doesn’t seem bothered.

As they leave, Leni notices a passport. Gina had a secret identity. Leni grabs this passport and a wad of cash bills and leaves. Back at the hotel, Floss pays her a visit, hoping to interrogate Gina, but is met by Leni. Leni spins some ridiculous yarn about Gina being in the shower and Floss asks to meet with her down at the station when she is ready. Leni is now playing both parts, which is as absurd as it sounds.

Leni dresses like Gina and video chats with her ‘husband’ Charlie. She says Jack and Leni are having issues and she’ll have to stick around a little longer to help her out. Leni then visits Floss pretending to be Gina again down at the station. Floss asks if she was giving her sister money, which she denies.

The ending 

At the dinner table, Gina’s dad admits that he is ill, suffering from congestive heart failure. He wants all the family together and Gina agrees to stick around. That night Jack asks where Leni’s been and she lies about falling asleep at the hotel. They discuss Jack’s infidelity and he admits to kissing Gina. Leni says she has to discuss this with her sister right away and leaves.

Leni messages her sister again at the hotel, begging for Gina to return. Instead she receives photographs of a burnt down church and a corpse. Then the message: ‘You killed him. You lied to me. I know everything. Let me go.’ It would appear that Gina feels betrayed by her sister and may now be starting a new life with a new identity, leaving Leni to pick up the pieces. That brings a conclusion to one hell of a confusing episode.

What do you think of the Netflix limited series Echoes season 1, episode 2? Comment below.

You can watch this series with a subscription to Netflix. 

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