Orphan Black: Echoes Season 1 Episode 1 Review: A Beautiful Bird in a Cage

Spoilers

As usual, Krysten Ritter delivers another intense, action-packed series that balances human experience with that special spark that defines what makes life worth living in Orphan Black: Echoes Season 1 Episode 1.

The first episode of the series opens the world up to the audience in the same way it does Ritter’s character, Lucy.

We’re brought in slow and softly to help ease the information given to us, and like Lucy, audiences could feel the tension build as questions quickly piled up about what is going on, putting viewers practically in the POV.

Ritter has come a long way since her days starring in goofy, comedic shows like Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23.

She has successfully transitioned into stronger roles like Jessica Jones and now as Lucy, a woman with no knowledge of who she is or where she comes from.

Most sci-fi shows use the same tropes that you see in just about every movie or series, including futuristic cities, robots that do menial labor, and advancements in medicine that toe the ethical line.

However, a genuinely excellent sci-fi show can balance the technology of the future with a solid human experience, which is usually the point of science fiction to contrast the real with what’s possible.

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Orphan Black: Echoes manages to create perfect symmetry of these ideals.

It does it by taking its main character from where she started to what she was able to accomplish on her own by jumping two years later, showing the simple life she has been able to create.

Right away, viewers can tell Lucy is a strong individual who wants to spread her wings and enjoy the symbolic sky of freedom, but for whatever reason, she is treated like property.

Lucy: What is this?
Kira: This isn’t how I wanted you–.
Lucy: What is this?!
Kira: You were created — you were printed from a high-resolution scan using a very complex process.

Like anyone on the run trying to avoid detection, Lucy heads to the countryside, where the only technology she has to worry about are the robots that help grow crops where she works.

She’s built a beautiful little life for herself in just two years, having already developed a romantic relationship with Jack, played by Avan Jogia, who audiences might remember from the series Twisted or, more recently, Zombieland: Double Tap.

Jack: Why was it so hard for you in the city? What happened there?
Lucy: It’s just not even really worth talking about.
Jack: So you’ve said.
Lucy: It was just a rough year. I was just lost till I came here. Till I met you.
Jack: My mystery woman.

Lucy lives on his property and has already formed a motherly love for his deaf daughter, Charlie.

The first half of the episode takes viewers on an emotional rollercoaster, and the scene of Lucy comforting Charlie is terrific, mainly due to the acting and heart-wrenching dialogue.

You can really feel how much Lucy cares about Charlie and Jack in such a short amount of screen time, and it’s so well done that you can’t help but believe every aspect of the situation.

Related: Orphan Black Review: The Clones Are Back

Lucy honestly thought she was safe and didn’t have to worry about being found, but this would be a very different show if that were the case.

There’s a definitive shift in her attitude, as now she has something to fight for other than her freedom.

Seeing her go straight to proactive keeps the pace of the episode moving in a way that feels organic.

There were a few flashback moments that were to be expected for a number of reasons.

The show jumped two years, so there’s even more back story to explore, but also because of the issues from her “printing.”

Lucy: Before I met you, I had a very different life, and it is so fucking complicated, but it has come back for me.
Jack: Did you do something?
Lucy: No, no, no. The people that are looking for me are dangerous. They were after me for a year. They got close a few times, but I thought I was off their radar. I thought I was safe. I thought we were safe.

The series does a great job of setting Lucy apart from the original Orphan Black series by focusing solely on her struggle.

Still, of course, there was always going to be a connection, and the episode waited until the very end to reveal it.

Kira is the daughter of Sarah, the protagonist from the previous series.

Now that Kira is all grown up, audiences have even more questions about how everything ties together.

Lucy: You know, this is probably a weird question.
Dr. Palmer: That’s fine.
Lucy: If I wanted to know if I had had a baby, is that something you could tell from these tests?
Dr. Palmer: Not with any certainty, no. Is that something you are unsure of?

I was certainly taken by surprise when Lucy held that young teenage girl, possibly a clone made from the same source as her, at gunpoint with the business end pointed directly at the girl’s temple.

However, it’s sure to help steer the character clear of being branded the dreaded “Mary Sue” trope, and though there was a moment of questioning, viewers knew in their hearts that she wasn’t going to hurt that girl.

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Not after all those heartwarming moments with Charlie.

It’s clear that the character’s journey will involve lots of gunfire, car chases, and suspicious allies.

Thankfully, Krysten Ritter’s performance grounds the character with such emotional presence that the people after her feel less human than she might be.

This series is going to raise many questions about what makes a person a person and whether a life is worth living if it belongs to someone else.

Whatever the case, the show already has us at the edge of our seats, rooting for Lucy and chomping at the bit for some answers.

Who was Lucy printed from, and why was it so important that she was cloned?

Feels like we’ve been through this before though, doesn’t it? You living on the street high as a kite. Couldn’t remember your own name as I recall. Only thing you wanted to do was find out who you were. All that did was get you in trouble.

Craig

Why is there another younger version of Lucy walking around free and clear?

I had no past. I was trying to fill the void. But I have finally built something for myself. I have a life. I have people who care about me. I’m not going to let them take that.

Lucy

The series has the bonus of feeling like an episode from Black Mirror, which only makes us want to see more and more!

What did you think of the first episode of Orphan Black Echoes?

Are you as excited to see what’s in store for Lucy as she uncovers the truth?

Drop a comment below to let us know, and join us again when we review the next episode!

Joshua Pleming is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. You can follow him on X.

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