Saturday, January 20, 2024

Echo Episode Five: Maya


Maya, our fifth and final episode of Echo does something that I did not think possible: make the case that somehow, five episodes of this series was five episodes too long. It should be remembered that Echo was planned as an eight-episode first series now reduced to a five-episode miniseries. Maya is a disaster, a total snoozefest that does not justify its existence.

With Maya (Alaqua Cox) having turned down Wilson Fisk's (Vincent D'Onofrio) offer to go with him to New York, he has decided she must be eliminated. He has a few aces up his sleeve. Once again, Fisk is holding Bonnie (Devery Jacobs) hostage, along with her grandmother Chula (Tantoo Cardinal). They will be missed at the Choctaw powwow, as it is getting ready to take place. Zane (Andrew Howard) is also there, able to bully Biscuits (Cody Lightning) into parking wherever he wants to launch an RPG into the powwow to kill Maya should she pop up.

While Maya wrestles with what to do, she has a visit from her dead mother Taloa (Katarina Ziervogel), who advises her that she is the living embodiment of all the qualities of her various strong female Choctaw ancestors. From Lowak, strategy. From Tuklo, cunning. From Chafa, ferocity. From Taloa, love. Each "echo" within her. With that, she goes to a final confrontation with Fisk and his men. 

To confront and defeat Fisk, she is able to summon the power of the ancestors (if not the ancestors themselves), even transferring their powers to Bonnie and Chula. For their part, both Biscuits and Uncle Henry (Chaske Spencer) are able to destroy Kingpin's minions. As for Maya? She uses her powers to send Kingpin back to his troubled past so that he can heal and cry. Crying and asking what she did to him, Fisk leaves. Maya is also ready to go, but not before going to a backyard barbeque with her FAMILY. 

It is a bit hard to decide which element in Maya is the worst and which is the most unintentionally funny. Is it the idea that the various ancestors would return to rally around their descendant, a one-legged deaf, mute, potentially lesbian Native American? Is it that said ancestors managed to give power to Bonnie and Chula so they can take down men stronger, taller and younger than they are? Is it how easily it is for Maya to slip into the powwow without Fisk's goons noticing?

What about Henry managing to fire his gun at Zane, causing the RPG to launch into fireworks? Maybe Biscuits managing to run over more of Fisk's goons with his truck demolition derby style?

I think it might be how Maya manages to go into Fisk's mind and bring about healing to him. It was true then, it is true now: all major criminal masterminds really want is a hug.

I freely admit that I know nothing of the comic book character; however, I think that the name "Echo" comes from her ability to mimic or "echo" her opponents' powers. Now, it is that she is an "echo" of her strong female ancestors.

It took four people to come up with that?

A system glitch caused me to watch Maya with subtitles turned off, and I was surprised that I followed the story surprisingly well without the subtitles. That is no thanks to Cox, who still cannot express any emotion to save her life. Sydney Freeland poorly directed her to be as blank as possible. Not that Freeland's direction of D'Onofrio or anyone else was any better.  

Maya has nothing of interest. I am puzzled how anyone would think Echo would be a long-running series to add into the mythos of the world's longest and most expensive soap opera.


Next: Echo: The Complete Series

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