Why do Leni and Gina switch places every year in Echoes?

Echoes (2022) revolves around Leni and Gina, twins who take advantage of the fact that people cannot tell them apart to switch places and live each other’s lives every year.

Leni and Gina McCready lived opposing lifestyles but every year on their birthday, they would assume each other’s guise and live out the year until it was time to switch back again. But why exactly did they do this?

A complicated childhood

Their mother was the only one who could tell Leni and Gina apart but she died when they were still very young. Gina felt that Leni had become disconnected and different after their mother’s death, but their bond remained.

Why do Leni and Gina switch places every year in Echoes? 1
Leni and Gina were always close, especially when they were children.

The first time they switched was when Leni and Gina were fighting which led to their older sister, Claudia, getting hurt very badly. Leni convinced Gina that they should switch because everyone would automatically blame Gina and Leni wanted to protect her.

They switched more often during high school and as a result, they even shared everything including Jack. Although Leni was the one in love with Jack, Gina got her chance to spend time with him as well.

Things changed with the arrival of Dylan Chambers, as Gina fell for him and was feeling like an outsider between Leni and Jack.

Leni wasn’t happy with the influence that Dylan was having, so she implicated him in the church fire and then switched with Gina and lied for her to the police.

Getting over her grief

Gina eventually moved away to Los Angeles for college after Leni and Jack got married. She had a psychotic breakdown and was referred to a therapist, which is where she met Charlie.

Charlie helped her come out of her shell and they eventually got married. Leni and Gina became pregnant at the same time, but Gina suffered a miscarriage.

Gina decided to visit home to mentally recover and spend some time with Leni and her family, and while she was there she realised that Leni was suffering from postpartum depression after she almost let her baby drown.

Gina says that she needs help and Leni suggests switching so that Gina can get to be a mother while Leni has some time away to work on her condition.

Why do Leni and Gina switch places every year in Echoes? 2
Leni suggested living as each other after Gina’s miscarriage.

They continued switching every year on their birthday but Gina slowly realized that Leni was overstepping her bounds and generally being more controlling of how Gina lived her life. She began to get frustrated until one year when she was living as Leni, Dylan Chambers returned to her life.

Dylan was the only one who made Gina feel like an individual and free from anyone’s control and after spending some time with him, she is inspired to tell him the truth about the arrangement with her sister.

She wanted to get away from everything and this was finally her chance to leave her world behind and start a new life with Dylan.

Noble motives are taken too far

Leni always claimed that she was switching with Gina out of love and to protect her, but she always took things a little too far and complicated both of their lives.

Why do Leni and Gina switch places every year in Echoes? 3
Leni always ensured that she had the most control over her sister’s life.

She made Gina take the blame even though she was the one responsible for Claudia’s fall and injury. She convinced Dylan to run away after the fire and manipulated Gina into thinking that she was better off without him.

She did all this because as a child, she witnessed their father drown their mother in the bathtub. She wanted to protect her sister from that horrible truth. When Victor was close to his final breath, he admitted to Gina that it was what he and their mother wanted because she was suffering from her sickness.

Gina tells Leni that she witnessed a situation that she couldn’t comprehend and it is what convinced her to ruin both their lives even though she was convinced she was doing it to help them.

Also Read: Echoes (2022) ending explained: What happens to Leni and Gina?