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Echo Chamber: Chekhov's Gun and Forgotten Birthday

First of all, I would like to thank the Echo Chamber crew for acknowledging my last review of Echo Chamber. Despite them sharing it late at night, I received a burst of views the following day, launching the post up to one of the most popular on this blog. Hopefully, this boost will last for a few more weeks.


Since it would be silly to not continue...

As a Sunday bonus, I'll jump from one nerdy production to another. Let's recap last week's two episodes: Chekhov's Gun and Forgotten Birthday.



Chekhov's Gun



The most standalone of all the episodes so far--considering it was a spec script from the Writer's Block forum! Congrats to Connor Sites-Bowen.

Despite having virtually nothing to do with the season arc that was set up in the last episodes, Chekhov's Gun provides a nice detour that stays within the boundaries of this zany universe. Considering Zack carries his trusting camera to an extreme frequency, it provides plenty of wiggle room for suspension of disbelief, and therefore lets an incident like this happens.

It's why you don't let Zack act. He thinking that Chekhov Guns could happen in real life results in him panicking and causes some discharges. With real guns. Don't think too much about how Zack got the guns.

What made the episode were the little stuff: "All of the lines"! The various Chekhov's Guns. Plantboot as Herself.

Funny enough, this episode actually borrows more from Season One (with a Gunman near the "climax"). Oh, and The Stinger at the end is amusing, calling back to The Stinger of The Ace. How will this minor subplot unfold?

And what about the gun in the fridge?

Forgotten Birthday



Again, mostly standalone, although the ending ties into some romantic ties. Hint: Real-Life Zack's Twitter handle.

Dana reappears as a main role in this installment--and gets screwed over by Tom in a different way. What I liked about this episode is that we get a longer glimpse at the crew filming the "in-universe" Echo Chamber. Of course, it reeks of Stylistic Sucks (or at least a just average version of explaining a trope), but that's Echo Chamber to you.

What's more funny about this is that they're talking about how unlikely this trope would happen in "real-life", yet...it's Echo Chamber! You have an episode about the trope, and then you end up self-demonstrating it.

It's hard to not feel a little sorry about Dana, considering that dramatic irony works behind-the-scenes. Oh, and regardless of the ending's nature, it's heartwarming in a cringy way.

Overall

"Forgotten Birthday" got me thinking from a writer's perspective about who is the protagonist.  As in, who is carrying the character development arc for Season Two.

"Forgotten Birthday" definitely cements Tom as more of a jerk than ever, and he's more set-up for an epiphany than anything. Zack's busy being oblivious to the Love Triangle he got forced into.

Which leaves Dana, which I think is the real protagonist. At least, at the moment. The fate of Echo Chamber is possibly at her hands, with her working for [citation needed]. In order for this arc to play out, Dana will have to realize that it's important to stick with "her" crew.

And in order for that to be a realistic choice, Tom and Zack will have to earn it. Which they can.

However, I have one major criticism for both episodes. While there's a barrage of giggle and chuckle moments, there's never one "laugh-out-loud" moment that defines both episodes as a true comedy.
It's difficult to have such a moment in only five minutes and in a Shaky Cam medium, so the little stuff and the plot lines are what make Echo Chamber. But whether this is good enough on an emotional level is up for debate.

Oh, and the meta-ness. And guessing to what extent it will shoot up to. Who knows how the season finale will unfold.

YOUR TURN: What are your thoughts on both episodes last week?

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PS: White highlighting will be the death of me. Blogger has no easy way of removing it besides editing the HTML, and I screwed some of the code over in the process. Sorry if an upcoming post has white highlighting.