ECHO Review; "Alaqua Cox Is A Triumph [In A Show Which] Ushers In A New Era Of MCU Storytelling"

ECHO Review; "Alaqua Cox Is A Triumph [In A Show Which] Ushers In A New Era Of MCU Storytelling"

All five episodes of Echo are now streaming on Disney+, but does Marvel Studios' first TV-MA series put the MCU back on the right track after a difficult 2023? You can read our spoiler-free verdict here...

Review Opinion
By JoshWilding - Jan 10, 2024 05:01 AM EST
Filed Under: Echo

Echo has finally arrived on Disney+ and, in something of an unprecedented move for Marvel Studios, all five episodes have been released on the same day. The series lends itself to being binged in a single sitting (just like Daredevil before it), but to make that possible - or perhaps just to make the show work - it's apparent an awful lot of content has been left on the cutting room floor. 

The series begins by revisiting Maya Lopez's childhood before a massive exposition dump which essentially recaps the events of Hawkeye. For casual viewers, that's necessary, but for everyone else...well, it's a bit of a drag to sit through. Later returning to Tomaha as an adult, Maya is reunited with a cousin, Biscuits, who must have once been in those flashbacks and now simply shows up in the present in a way which leaves you questioning whether you missed him at some point. The same can be said for Maya's eventual reunion with her grandfather; they haven't seen each other for years, and we'd be gobsmacked if there's not a far more emotional scene of them meeting again that hasn't made the cut. Neither scene clicks and both feel out of place. 

Fortunately, these issues largely only plague the first couple of episodes, though the flashbacks exploring Maya's Choctaw ancestors also prove hit-and-miss. It's impossible not to appreciate the level of care and detail which has gone into them, not to mention what seeing that sort of representation on screen will mean to people. In that sense, they can't be faulted. The problem is how and where they're placed within Echo. It feels like the plan was for an entire episode to be devoted to these characters, only for the decision to be made to chop that up and scatter their scenes throughout the rest of the series. If that wasn't the plan, then the show has done them a disservice because they feel like distractions from the wider story being told and don't fully become relevant to what's happening until the finale (by which point, they might have tested your patience).

Speaking of which, when we do reach that final instalment, Marvel Studios once again heads down a familiar path by finally having a show's lead embrace their powers and costume for a rushed conclusion which, while satisfying, is frustratingly open-ended and choppily paced and edited in places. This has happened too many times now: WandaVision, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel...the list goes on and on. 

By now, you might think Echo is some godforsaken mess. While there are undeniably issues in terms of pacing and editing, they don't break the series and there are plenty of reasons to watch. Chief among them are the action scenes. They're among the MCU's best, and the show features a phenomenal sequence on a moving train and an edge-of-your-seat brawl in a skating rink which, thanks to the TV-MA rating, feel that little more brutal than normal and should please fans of Marvel Television's Netflix offerings. While Marvel Studios does fall into some familiar trappings in the finale, the "final battle" largely subverts expectations and we only wish we could see more of what Maya's new status quo means for her as a character before racing to the finish line. Fingers crossed she returns. 

As for Echo's plot, as a follow-up to Hawkeye, it works brilliantly. Maya returning home as she deals with the fallout from what she learned in New York makes for rich and compelling viewing, as does her initial quest to become "Queenpin." At this point, violence is all she knows and to watch Maya move on from that feels significant. Only three episodes were sent out to critics in advance, but we waited to watch the last two as it would have been hard to judge the show based on those alone. It's a good job too because even though the fourth and fifth instalments dial back the action, there's some terrific character work and hard-hitting scenes which elevate some of those early issues and bring everything together in a way which makes Echo easy to recommend. It's not quite a "return to form" or "best Marvel series yet," but it's deserving of your time. 

Alaqua Cox puts herself on the map here as a talent to watch and may be Marvel Studios' best find. She's phenomenal in every scene and has all the makings of your new favourite superhero. Or anti-hero. We'll leave you to decide. Vincent D'Onofrio, meanwhile, is as superb as ever playing Wilson Fisk and shines in both those moments of unbridled fury and when we see the damaged little boy beneath the facade who is deeply hurt by Maya's "betrayal." The supporting cast is also flawless from top to bottom, with Chaske Spencer, Tantoo Cardinal, and Devery Jacobs among those who steal the spotlight in a way which leaves us wanting more of their respective characters. 

Echo ultimately achieves what it sets out to do and, while not a massive departure for Marvel Studios, it boasts a slightly more mature style of storytelling which bodes well for future Marvel Spotlight shows that are free from the baggage which comes with the Multiverse and Earth's Mightiest Heroes. The sound design is terrific and brings us into Maya's world in a way which fully immerses the viewer. Echo deserves credit for never shying away from showing us American Sign Language (Maya very quickly ditches a contact lens gifted to her by Fisk that would allow her to understand what people are saying who can't sign) or from delving into the title character's Native American routes. Even when superpowers come into play, they never overshadow that and make it clear just how important her Choctaw history is to the person she becomes as this story unfolds. Those of you who have been craving an MCU TV show in the same vein as Daredevil will be overjoyed, while anyone who asked "Does Echo really need her own show?" when it was originally announced will surely now be happy to respond with a resounding "Yes."

Alaqua Cox is a triumph in Echo, a series which may have taken a beating in the editing room, but still manages to deliver a ferocious, culturally significant story which puts Maya Lopez on the map and ushers in a new era of MCU storytelling on TV.  [⭐⭐⭐.5 / 5]

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Origame
Origame - 1/10/2024, 6:04 AM
Paid...disney...shill
vectorsigma
vectorsigma - 1/10/2024, 6:07 AM
@Origame - earning a living is hard. People need to swallow their pride and all that is good in this world to eat. Lol
Origame
Origame - 1/10/2024, 6:13 AM
@vectorsigma - ain't no rest for the wicked. Money don't grow on trees. 🤣
The1st
The1st - 1/10/2024, 7:16 AM
@Origame - I got lists for days, aliases, ain't nothin in this world for free...
marvel72
marvel72 - 1/10/2024, 7:34 AM
@Origame -

Origame
Origame - 1/10/2024, 7:38 AM
@The1st - I thought it was "I got bills to pay, I got mouths to feed, ain't nothing in this world for free"
WhateverItTakes
WhateverItTakes - 1/10/2024, 8:22 AM
@Origame - the sad thing is he probably genuinely liked it
EZBeast
EZBeast - 1/10/2024, 8:23 AM
@vectorsigma - Josh has no pride and swallows everything disney gives him.
DarthAlgar
DarthAlgar - 1/10/2024, 9:06 AM
@EZBeast - Amongst other things.
The1st
The1st - 1/10/2024, 11:07 AM
@Origame - lol, I may have taken a few liberties there
danielqm
danielqm - 1/13/2024, 3:13 AM
@Origame - @MadThanos - I discovered something, I made this account to respond, I came to this article through rotten tomatoes, I was struck by the positive reviews that make echo have 65%, when it should have much less, so I clicked on the critics who gave it fresh and this is the critic who they consider appropriate to help the series, I have read hundreds of articles with bad reviews and they choose this one, the strange thing is that I also clicked on another review that gave it 9/10 and I came to a YouTube channel with few followers and its review of Echo has only 188 views and that same YouTuber who gives Echo a 9/10 in another video reviews Rebel Moon as a masterpiece. This is definitely prepared, this is like corruption.
vectorsigma
vectorsigma - 1/10/2024, 6:05 AM
You are hopeless. If god is real, you will burn to hell for selling your soul to disney. Have some decency.
lazlodaytona
lazlodaytona - 1/10/2024, 6:06 AM
yeah. Not for me. I hope others enjoy it.
UniqNo
UniqNo - 1/10/2024, 6:08 AM
Just got done with the 1st one. Wasn't bad. Would be dissapointed if Daredevil doesn't pop back up, but it's not his show.
Alaqua is awsome though.

I enjoyed it for what it is. Let see about the rest.
McMurdo
McMurdo - 1/10/2024, 10:59 AM
@UniqNo - he doesn't pop back up
MadThanos
MadThanos - 1/10/2024, 6:10 AM
This kind of "review" is desperately asking to get quoted on Disney's next ad.
JoshWilding
JoshWilding - 1/10/2024, 6:13 AM
@MadThanos - Yes, they're well known for highlighting 3.5/5 reviews.

danielqm
danielqm - 1/13/2024, 3:12 AM
@MadThanos - I discovered something, I made this account to respond, I came to this article through rotten tomatoes, I was struck by the positive reviews that make echo have 65%, when it should have much less, so I clicked on the critics who gave it fresh and this is the critic who they consider appropriate to help the series, I have read hundreds of articles with bad reviews and they choose this one, the strange thing is that I also clicked on another review that gave it 9/10 and I came to a YouTube channel with few followers and its review of Echo has only 188 views and that same YouTuber who gives Echo a 9/10 in another video reviews Rebel Moon as a masterpiece. This is definitely prepared, this is like corruption.
BaneoftheBat
BaneoftheBat - 1/10/2024, 6:41 AM
Josh Wilding on a Marvel show:

"By now, you might think Echo is some godforsaken mess. While there are undeniably issues in terms of pacing and editing, they don't break the series and there are plenty of reasons to watch."

Josh Wilding on DC or any other studio that isn't Marvel:

"IT'S A GODFORSAKEN MESS AND ABSOLUTELY ZERO REASONS TO WATCH! ONLY THE MCU MATTERS! DISNEY, PLEASE PAY ME!"
WhatIfRickJames
WhatIfRickJames - 1/10/2024, 7:37 AM
@BaneoftheBat - plenty of reasons to watch.

Name them
bobevanz
bobevanz - 1/10/2024, 9:53 AM
@WhatIfRickJames - ask Josh to
mountainman
mountainman - 1/10/2024, 6:43 AM
Is the word “Queenpin” ever uttered during this show? This is the most important information that I need to know.
bobevanz
bobevanz - 1/10/2024, 9:54 AM
@mountainman - yes, he wants to make Echo his Queenpin HAHA I'm serious
mountainman
mountainman - 1/10/2024, 10:01 AM
@bobevanz - As in this term is used in the show? This isn’t just some clever use of a pun in the article?
Batmangina
Batmangina - 1/10/2024, 7:29 AM
That fake foot thumbnail was doing spider research with my mom in the Amazon before she was killed.
WhatIfRickJames
WhatIfRickJames - 1/10/2024, 7:36 AM
To echo (lol) his Marvels review, Echo is quite possibly the most fun you'll have in your living room all year

Just kidding
Shivermetimbers
Shivermetimbers - 1/10/2024, 10:33 AM
@WhatIfRickJames - Seriously though, I think he just copies and pastes his headlines at least. I have definitely read "ushers in a new era of storytelling" before.
GeneralZod
GeneralZod - 1/10/2024, 7:37 AM
Shameful. At least try to make your countless 5-star MCU reviews sound different from one another.
marvel72
marvel72 - 1/10/2024, 7:41 AM
I don't know if I am going to bother even starting the first episode.
clintthahamster
clintthahamster - 1/10/2024, 7:49 AM
Surely y'all don't actually come here for the reviews, right? But sources I trust are also reviewing the show well. Looking forward to watching!
https://www.avclub.com/echo-review-tv-disney-plus-hulu-marvel-alaqua-cox-1851143923
TheFinestSmack
TheFinestSmack - 1/10/2024, 8:19 AM
How can the action be praised when that fight with Daredevil is one of the worst fights put to film? Some of those punches miss by two feet.
Radders
Radders - 1/10/2024, 8:37 AM
The phrase "Alaqua Cox is a triumph" seems to be the latest download, if it's true she must have had acting lessons and a massive infusion of charisma from somewhere
Elle79
Elle79 - 1/10/2024, 9:57 AM
@Radders - She's not any better than she was in Hawkeye, sadly. Very mediocre. Of course, anyone who says that or admits it is going to called names by the woke cult.
Radders
Radders - 1/12/2024, 8:44 AM
@Elle79 - I binged it the other day and you're right, had one expression through most of it and you can see her acting
Gabimaru
Gabimaru - 1/10/2024, 9:30 AM
This makes me less interested on watching the show now.
bobevanz
bobevanz - 1/10/2024, 9:53 AM
There's a reason why most reviews have three episodes, because the finale are always to short and not enough episodes. If they reviewed every episode then you'd see negative reviews. [frick] this show
Elle79
Elle79 - 1/10/2024, 9:55 AM
It's not very good. And this whole "Alaqua is a triumph" refrain is your typical nonsense because she's a minority female who absolutely MUST be praised, and you see the male simps on this board doing just that.

The Native American stuff is your typical surface-level woke garbage intended to score points with the "progressive" crowd, and not surprisingly they are swallowing it up.

D'Onofrio is the only thing that makes the show even bearable.
Gabimaru
Gabimaru - 1/10/2024, 10:16 AM
@Elle79 - All these journalist are just woke ass b#7%*!$. never trusted them never will.
danielqm
danielqm - 1/13/2024, 3:10 AM
@Elle79 - I discovered something, I made this account to respond, I came to this article through rotten tomatoes, I was struck by the positive reviews that make echo have 65%, when it should have much less, so I clicked on the critics who gave it fresh and this is the critic who they consider appropriate to help the series, I have read hundreds of articles with bad reviews and they choose this one, the strange thing is that I also clicked on another review that gave it 9/10 and I came to a YouTube channel with few followers and its review of Echo has only 188 views and that same YouTuber who gives Echo a 9/10 in another video reviews Rebel Moon as a masterpiece. This is definitely prepared, this is like corruption.
McMurdo
McMurdo - 1/10/2024, 11:00 AM
It's nothing like DD Netflix. It's really bad actually.
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