- Title: Echo
- Also Known As: 回响, Hui Xiang
- Director: Feng Xiao Gang
- Casts: Song Jia, Wang Yang
- Genres: Mystery, Romance, Suspense
- Country: China
- Type: Drama
- Episodes: 13
- Year: 2023
- Original Network: iQiyi
- Where to watch: iQiyi
- Adapted from the novel Hui Xiang by Dong Xi.
Hello readers! The weekend was here and I’m about to give you a review of a short drama that was worth watching. When I say short, it was real, dear readers… This Chinese mystery drama only had 13 episodes, and we put it on one of our Popular Chinese Dramas Premiering in 2023 list. So you would have some spare time to hit the hiking track, swimming pool, or any other place that your mother tells you to go. And this drama would not keep you away from your beauty sleep.
By the way, I also wrote about Echo ending explained, you can read it just in case you missed something about this drama ending.
So, are you ready? Let’s go!
Ran Dong Dong was a detective who worked for the police corps. She had keen eyes and a good intuition. Her career went smoothly and her private life was equally good. She married a humanity professor, Mu Da Fu, and gave birth to a very cheerful and sensible daughter, Mu Huan Yu.
One day she had to face a hard-to-crack murder case. Xia Bing Qing was a pretty young girl who went to Beijing to earn more money to pay her parent’s debt. But instead of working as a nurse, Xia Bing Qing ended up as a mistress of her wealthy boss, Xu Shan Chuan. Xia Bing Qing became a loner who did not dare to make friends. She was afraid people might learn about her private life. So when her body was found floating in a river, only a few people cried about her death.
Ran Dong Dong and her team handled the case. She hoped that she would find justice for the young lady who died too soon and her grieving parents. But life did not give her an easy task. While she had to rack her brain to solve the case, she also had to face that her marriage with Mu Da Fu was crumbling.
Ran Dong Dong started questioning her husband’s fidelity when she saw him at the last place where Xia Bing Qing was seen. She also found out that her husband secretly booked a hotel room at the hotel twice. However, Mu Da Fu refused to disclose his secrets and Ran Dong Dong could not believe everything he said.
Ran Dong Dong did not want to lose both the case and her marriage. But could she keep them? Or should she let the universe choose for her?
Echo Drama Review
The first time I saw this drama, my brain has been screaming to choose it. And the reason was that Echo only has 13 episodes. In a flash, I abandoned Warm in A Cold Night for Echo. And I binge watched it for only a day and I even got to have a nap. What a treat!
Echo was an original drama of iQiyi and I doubted you could find it anywhere else. It only had two major plots. For me, Echo was a good drama although the rating on the internet was so-so.
The director of this drama was Feng Xiao Gang. He was a veteran movie director with impressive filmography. This drama was a work of art. He paid attention to details and I was impressed by the result.
A good drama also needs a good actor and actress who could convey the character’s feelings and thoughts. And Song Jia was impressive. She gave off an aura of Trinity from the Matrix trilogy. Her calmness and cold aura would freeze the vicinity and you would beg for her mercy. Sound too much, eh? But that’s what I feel when I saw her character.
Another thing to be praised for was her perfect complexion. Song Jia was in her 40s and some say that she did not wear any makeup when she shoots this drama. Well, it makes sense since Rang Dong Dong was a workaholic police officer. She did not have the time to put on some makeup or to choose her lipstick color. But, look at her skin… It was something to be envious of.
I’ve seen several Wang Yang’s dramas such as The Joy of Life and Lost in Kunlun Mountain. And his acting in Echo was as superb as he always did. You could feel how desperate and frustrated he was when it came to his marriage. The micro expression that showed how much he enjoyed being with others other than his wife was displayed clearly on Mu Da Fu’s face. Kudos to him.
I could see several familiar faces in this drama. Chuai Ni who played the rich wife of Xu Shan Chuan also played a rich neurosurgeon in Have a Crush on You. I see Dong Jie, who played Empress Fuca in Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace. And also Zhao Yuan Yuan played Qin Zao, a girl who falls in love with Jerry Yan’s character in Forbidden Flower.
Feng Xiao Gang usually directs movies and rarely do dramas. But Echo was a good sample of his success. I like the cinematography of this drama. The set, lighting, shooting angles, and acting were a perfect mix that was enjoyable.
Suspense, mystery, or thriller drama always had this gloomy atmosphere floating all over the episode, except at the end of the last episode. It seemed like there was a grey curtain that was lifted when every problem was finally solved. And Echo was like those dramas. There was nothing special about the gloomy atmosphere, but it helped with the story’s mood.
From the beginning of the drama, you could feel the heavy atmosphere when Ran Dong Dong must shoot the criminal who held a young girl hostage. The lighting becomes darker when Ran Dong Dong quarrels with Mu Da Fu because he criticized her action when she shot the criminal.
The shooting angles were also good. Many close-up shoots showed the character’s emotions. The director uses many flashback scenes to explain the suspect’s statement. That flashback was way too long for me. But I guess they were needed anyway…😁
The drama started with a hostage situation where Ran Dong Dong had to shoot a criminal to death because it was the only way to free the hostage. I found it a bit off because there was a scene when Ran Dong Dong’s boss, Director Wang, warned her that shooting a person was not the same as shooting a target. Ran Dong Dong was a capable captain who led a team of policemen. She had worked as a police officer for years.
Was it possible that she never pull the trigger toward a criminal? Or did she never chase a criminal before? This scene wanted to emphasize that Ran Dong Dong had the ability as the best shooter in the corps, but unexpectedly it exposed a hole in the story…🤨
Another scene that made me raise my eyebrows was the scene when Ran Dong Dong find Xia Bing Qing’s missing hand. It was buried under the soil and when she found it, the hand has turned into bones. Yet, as a professional police officer, Ran Dong Dong lifted the bones with her hand. Isn’t she supposed to let the forensic team deal with the evidence? 🤷♀️
If we break down the story, Echo’s main plot was about the Big Pit case and Ran Dong Dong and Mu Da Fu’s relationship. There was no other case so it was quite simple and short (remember, Echo was only a 13 episodes drama. 😁).
But fret not, the mystery was quite complicated. To find the murderer of Xia Bing Qing was an arduous job because everybody kept the truth from the police. Even Xia Bing Qing’s parents lied to Ran Dong Dong. Mr. Xia kept the fact that he knew that his daughter lived as a mistress of a married man. He also kept the first clue to crack the case: Xia Bing Qing’s letter that mentioned Xu Shan Chuan.
Like it did not make any sense to me at all. Mr. Xia hid it because he was ashamed that his daughter was a mistress. But, your daughter was killed, Sir. Didn’t you want to catch the killer? Ran Dong Dong was angry with them because of this reason, and I felt the same way too. 🤬
The story also focused on Ran Dong Dong and Mu Da Fu’s relationship. It was a common occurrence when a couple invested too much time in many things except their relationship, the feelings started to fade. Those things could be their jobs, their social lives, or even their children. In Ran Dong Dong and Mu Da Fu’s case were the jobs and their child. Therefore, their careers were good and Mu Huan Yu grew up as a happy child who did not lack her parent’s love. But the relationship itself was slowly crumbling down.
Ran Dong Dong’s suspicious nature and good intuition were key abilities that every good detective had. But Ran Dong Dong could not separate her work from her private life. She lost her trust in her husband and started to question him as she did a suspect. Meanwhile, Mu Da Fu was a sensitive man with a brilliant mind and a poetic way to express his feelings.
Yet, those abilities invited the opposite sex to admire and eventually fall in love with him. And that was not a good thing for a married couple. Well… many people said that we could not control others’ feelings. But nobody ever said that if your spouse had too many fans it would not annoy you. It could be said that both Ran Dong Dong and Mu Da Fu contributed to the destruction of their relationship.
Back to the Big Pit mystery. If you were the kind of person who enjoy CSI, NCIS, or my husband’s favorite: Dexter. Please be prepared to be disappointed. Echo did not provide any forensic or crime scene investigation. It was mainly about Ran Dong Dong playing mind tricks in the interrogation room. I was kinda disappointed too, but then I enjoyed seeing how Ran Dong Dong tried to pry the truth from the suspect’s mouth.
There was more than one person who contributed to the death of Xia Bing Qing. Ran Dong Dong and her team must go to several places to track them down. None of the suspects were honest. And the witness could barely give enough clues to find the murderer. So the progress was quite slow. But fret not readers… in the end, the closing was quite satisfactory. Xia Bing Qing finally got the justice that she and her family deserved.
Ran Dong Dong
Ran Dong Dong (played by Song Jia) was a detective with keen eyes, good intuition, and a talent for investigation. Her forte was her calm attitude like nothing would shake her. Ran Dong’s eyes were an unfathomable abyss. You could never guess what’s on her mind. But the tired expression could be seen now and then. The detective profession was an arduous job. It would exhaust you from inside to outside. Your mental and physical health was at stake.
Ran Dong Dong often brings up her private life as bait when she did interrogation. Just like when Ran Dong Dong talked to Wu Wen Chao’s mother she was a mother too and could understand her feelings. Yet, Ran Dong Dong hoped that Wu Wen Chao’s mother would not disappoint her. Or another case was when she mentioned her daughter when she interrogated Xu Shan Chuan.
Although her tactics worked well, in the long run, it would make her hard to separate between her family and her job. And it was proven. She could not let her job go when she went home. She would treat her husband as a suspect when she found him suspicious.
The psychiatrist who seemed to know Ran Dong Dong and Mu Da Fu well revealed that Ran Dong Dong lacked trust in her husband. Ran Dong Dong retorted his words and said that if she trusted the suspects, she could never solve the case. The doctor gently reminded her, that she could not treat her husband as a suspect.
Mu Da Fu
Mu Da Fu (played by Wang Yang) was a handsome and charming professor. He was good at literature and wrote many articles. He was active in his literati community. Ran Dong Dong liked his talent and brilliance. They often use literature as a metaphor when they discussed something. It was a delight to watch when they passionately talked about literature as if they knew those characters intimately.
Mu Da Fu always told Ran Dong Dong that he loved her. But if he loved her, how could he have the idea to book a hotel room and invite a girl to come over? And Mu Da Fu did it twice with a different girl. He surely wanted Ran Dong Dong to believe him, but his behavior could not be trusted. And he thought that because nothing happened between him and those girls, it could not be categorized as cheating. What a jerk. 🤬
And the way Mu Da Fu treated Bai Zhen indeed misguided her. He was nice to her and he spoke for her. No wonder Ran Dong Dong would think that something happened between them. A wife’s intuition could not be overlooked. And if your wife was a police officer who had good intuition, you might need to start to repent yourself…😅
Mu Da Fu and Ran Dong Dong were similar when it came to jobs. He was also too immersed in his work and he got stressed by it. Mu Da Fu felt that his talents were slipping by from his palm. His writing becomes mediocre and he did not have any breakthroughs lately. This workload stress combined with his marriage stress welled up within him and he could not let go.
However, I do believe that Mu Da Fu sincerely loved Ran Dong Dong. The feeling might not be as strong as it used to be, but it was there. Mu Da Fu showed it when Ran Dong Dong went to Wuzhisan alone after Bu Zhi Lan called her. He was worried for Ran Dong Dong’s safety, therefore Mu Da Fu chased after her. When Liu Qing came into their room with a cleaver knife in his hand, Mu Da Fu did not hesitate to put himself in front of Ran Dong Dong to protect her. Although in reality, Ran Dong Dong was more capable of handling Liu Qing than him.
Xia Bing Qing
Xia Bing Qing (played by Wu You), 26 years old, was a young and pretty girl who came from a humble family. She wanted to learn finance in her college, but her parents secretly made her enter a nursing school. They wanted her to be a nurse like her mother. Xia Bing Qing’s parents were drowning in debt to the Li family. They had been bullied and trampled by them, even the Li family wanted Xia Bing Qing to marry their son to clear off the debt.
The desperate Xia Bing Qing met Xu Shan Chuan when she was applying for a job at Mike Rehabilitation and Healthy Living Centre. She did not get the job, but she became Xu Shan Chuan’s mistress after he raped her. She almost reported him to the police, but Xu Shan Chuan stopped her and offered her money. He also told Xia Bing Qing that he liked her. Xia Bing Qing accepted the offer after she heard her parent’s quarrel. Xu Shan Chuan and Xia Bing Qing were in a relationship for three years before she died.
Xia Bing Qing’s feelings for Xu Shan Chuan were complicated. She loved him but also hated him. Xu Shan Chuan has put her in an unfavorable situation. Yet, Xia Bing Qing’s life now was circling around Xu Shan Chuan. She developed dependent feelings that led to love. Living as a mistress was hard and Xia Bing Qing was tired of it. The only way she could think of was to have Xu Shan Chuan marry her, even if he divorced her soon afterward, she was content with it.
After she was involved with Xu Shan Chuan, Xia Bing Qing became introverted and rarely contacted her friends. She was afraid they might find out about her embarrassing situation: a mistress of a married man. But one day, she met a shy and simple man, who worked in the same building as her apartment, Wu Wen Chao. He became the only friend she had and trusted with.
Xu Shan Chuan
Xu Shan Chuan (played by Zhu Yu Chen) was a scumbag who took advantage of young girls. His position as a boss and his abundant wealth made those girls could not refuse him. Most of the girls were involved in a mutual relationship with him. Xu Shan Chuan had many mistresses, but he never divorced his wife.
I believed that Xu Shan Chuan loved Xia Bing Qing. That was the reason why their relationship could last for three years. And when Xia Bing Qing wanted to leave him, Xu Shan Chuan was brokenhearted. When she saw Xu Shan Chuan, Xia Bing Qing canceled her plan to leave him.
Shen Xiao Ying was Xu Shan Chuan’s wife. She was a pretty lady with an indifferent attitude and a psychology background. Shen Xiao Ying knew that her husband had many mistresses, but she chose not to be involved in it. And because she never meddled in his business, Xu Shan Chuan never wanted to divorce her. He even used Shen Xiao Ying as an excuse whenever Xia Bing Qing or any other mistress asked him to marry them.
Wu Wen Chao
Wu Wen Chao (played by Bao Bei Er) was the owner of a small advertising company. His office was in the same building where Xia Bing Qing lived. Wu Wen Chao was an honest man, he never showed any affection to Xia Bing Qing. He was the only friend she had. Xia Bing Qing never trusted a man after she was raped and involved with Xu Shan Chuan. Wu Wen Chao was the only person she trusted.
Wu Wen Chao’s childhood was bitter because he was not an athletic type of person. He rarely engaged in physical activity and only loved to play games on his mobile phone. Meanwhile, his father was an athlete who possessed a tall body and wanted his son to share his genes. He was disappointed because Wu Wen Chao was nothing like him. He wanted to have a second son, but the Chinese one-child policy forbade him from doing that.
He planned to announce Wu Wen Chao as a disabled person, so the government would give him a chance to have another child. But Wu Wen Chao’s mother refused the wicked idea. Wu Wen Chao’s father was still not convinced and secretly took a DNA test to find out whether Wu Wen Chao was his biological son or not. His action angered Wu Wen Chao’s mother because she felt offended.
When his parents were quarreling, Wu Wen Chao was standing outside the door and listening to them. Since then, he never showed any affection for his parents anymore. The situation was getting worse even after his parents divorced. Both of them were remarried and had kids. Yet, whenever Wu Wen Chao’s father visited him in his mother’s house, they quarreled again.
This time, Wu Wen Chao’s parents would compare each other’s children, completely disregarding Wu Wen Chao’s presence. Wu Wen Chao left his parents and never visited them for years. But deep down inside, he still missed his mother.
Echo was a good drama that quite caught my eye. The story was elaborate and the cinematography was satisfactory. Although there was some plot hole in the story, it did not make me resent it. The mystery was quite complicated. Ran Dong Dong must pried the truth from everybody involved in the case because everybody told lies. The only honest person was the murderer. If you want to know the ending of this drama, I have written it in a separate article of Echo Ending Explained.
If you asked me whether I would want to rewatch this drama, the answer was definitely yes. I was interested in the mystery and this drama offered a different approach to a police officer character. A police’s job was to protect the citizen of the county. They would deal with the most inhumane side of humanity. The constant interaction with bad people would wear them out just like Ran Dong Dong.
You would not need a long vacation to watch this drama. But I remind you again, that this drama would also tire you out. I’ve said before that it was interesting to watch Ran Dong Dong talked about literature with Mu Da Fu. But it was also exhausting to see Ran Dong Dong and Mu Da Fu’s angst.
So if you decide to watch this drama, do not forget to choose another sweet drama to lighten up your day afterward. You might want to click our Drama Review section to help you with it. And I would recommend Zhao Lu Si’s dramas such as Who Rule The World or Love Like a Galaxy. Her cute character would make your day brighter. 😍