La Brea fans, you have something to celebrate.
NBC has given an early season 3 renewal to the prehistoric sci-fi series. The network gave the green light right just before season 2 kicked off on Jan. 31, returning from hiatus with two back-to-back episodes. (Read our review!)
Per TVLine, La Brea will get six episodes in the third season with the possibility of scoring more down the line. And if no additional episodes are green-lit, six feels like a solid number that would be enough to provide a solid conclusion for dedicated fans.
The series averaged about 5.4 total weekly viewers, including DVR audiences, in its first season run, however, its midseason return fared rather poorly with 2.1 million and 2 million for both episodes, respectively. All of that could change once playback numbers are factored in proving that the drama was worth saving after all.
The series, which premiered in September 2021—and fills the sci-fi gap left behind by shows like Timeless and Debris—follows a group of people who fall through a mysterious sinkhole in Los Angeles and find themselves transported to 10,000 B.C.
La Brea Season Finale Review – The Journey
Gavin, Eve, and co. found a portal—and then lost it—all within the span of a two-hour season finale of La Brea.
The series had an intriguing premise at the beginning, but it’s becoming so far-fetched now that it’s starting to become a little too difficult to keep up with time periods, character motivations, and shady organizations.
La Brea Season 2 Episode 13 picked up shortly after the Lazarus building explosion, and while most everyone was under the impression that it ruined any shot of finally getting back home, it turns out, Lazarus wasn’t all that important anyway. Everyone knows that if you’re going to dabble in time travel in the prehistoric ages, you need a few backups or so.
Moore’s diary, which was a key find thanks to shady Aaron, was the key to finding a second portal—one that he built in a secret location to protect it from those with more nefarious intentions… like Kira and James. Both of them somehow survived the explosion and were just waiting for the perfect moment to strike.
However, Gavin and the rest of the key members from the clearing were able to use the coordinates that Veronica figured out to get to the portal first. Naturally, their journey involved plenty of hiccups along the way, which was to be expected.
Upon reaching the “X marks the spot,” they found several dead bodies that were mangled by some kind of animal—we later learn that it was likely a giant lizard. They find a girl named Petra lurking around the area, but she’s not much help since she doesn’t speak English. That is until Scott realizes that she’s just pretending not to understand the language, but when he asks her to give him some insight into who his mother was, she promises to tell him everything she knows if he’ll help her find her.
She also shows him a picture of military barracks in 10,000 B.C., which is strange. The locket belonging to her mother features a symbol that Scott recognizes as he was on his way to interview with the company the day that the sinkhole changed his life. He laments that it cannot be a coincidence—and he’s right—and we later see that Levi has the same symbol tattooed on his arm, which leads me to believe that he has something to do with this new situation unfolding. I don’t think that Petra is his daughter, but I do believe her “mother” is Levi’s wife, and she’s out there somewhere. I think he also knows that’s the case, which is why he wasn’t all that torn up about blowing up Lazarus aside from the fact that it threatened Ty’s cancer treatment.
The strangest part about this show is how many shady organizations might have a hand in what’s going on. There was Aaron, James and Kira, who may not even be on the same page anymore, and now there’s whatever is happening with Levi and these new people they’ve uncovered—it’s hard to keep up, and it takes away the sort of innocence of the series.
James is the true definition of a villain. He pretended to want to be a better person when it mattered, but after Lazarus was destroyed, his true colors came to light. He didn’t care that Gavin was dying, and when he was better, he didn’t hesitate to knock him over the head to get what he wanted. Family meant nothing to him, which is frustrating because all this time we were told that family was the only thing that mattered to James.
Gavin fought back, pulling the trigger as he knew he had no other choice, and in his last moments, James revealed Gavin has a sister, who was not going to be happy with his decision. Honestly, why is everyone so cryptic on this series? Would it have killed anyone to mention this little tidbit ahead of time? I doubt the sister is Kira, so I’m guessing that it’s Levi’s wife/Petra’s “mother” who has been running some kind of military operation down here.
James’ ego has caused a world of problems, but when he ambushed Gavin and tried to use the portal for selfish reasons—completely disregarding everyone else around him—he actually destroyed it in the process. The malfunctioning system opened up several auras from different time periods, which is going to be so hard to keep track of, but it also sucked Eve into some unknown era. Where did she go? And how will everyone find their way back to each other now that the whole thing has been blown? And why is everyone so careless around these portals that should be so rare?
James destroyed everyone’s shot at getting back home once again, and now they have to share the land with new creatures including a T-Rex. Was that scene totally ridiculous? Yes. Have I been waiting for this moment? Absolutely. La Brea meets Jurassic Park sounds thrilling.
There was also a side mission to rescue Gavin after he was impaled fighting off a lizard while protecting Eve. He knew that his vision of her death was about to come true, so he risked his own life to save hers, however, Eve found a loophole, using the newfound portal to go back in time to leave him a warning so that he would survive the ordeal. It’s a bit of a cheat, yes, but can we blame her? She couldn’t just let her husband die. On the other hand, if they all just chose to go initially, they may have thwarted so many other problems.
- Riley and Josh finally made up—it’s about time! There’s too much to lose to waste time fighting and holding grudges.
- Riley found out that her parents were on the verge of divorcing before the sinkhole. It’s a random storyline that doesn’t really track since Sam has been so eager to go home to his wife but whatever.
- Veronica is pregnant with Lucas’ baby. He was adamant about staying in this era because he’s clearly thriving here, but his fears of going down the same dark path back home are just that—fears. He’s not the same person anymore. 10,000 B.C. changed him for the better.
- Sam also got Katherine’s number, and I have to question her addition. Is she Petra’s mother? I know there are probably a lot of people trapped down there but why did she join the expedition all of a sudden?
- I can’t even comprehend how they got all those materials down there to build not one but two portals.
- Ty finally got his cancer-curing meds and that’s honestly the only thing that matters.
What did you think of the season 2 finale of La Brea?
La Brea Review – The Wedding and The Swarm (211 & 212)
La Brea Season 2 Episodes 11 and 12 was a blood bath, with two significant characters meeting their demise and a question mark lingering for many of the main characters inside the Lazarus building when it exploded to smithereens.
Since La Brea is likely ending with a shortened third season, the creative forces behind the show might feel a little more comfortable killing off some of the bigger characters, especially as death on a time-travel show is never really final.
By the end of the episode, the two casualties, that we know of, so far, include Gavin’s mother, Caroline, and Veronica’s sister, Ella/Lilly. And both of the deaths are genuinely surprising as it feels like neither of the characters lived up to their fullest potential. Caroline had so much promise, and so much went unsaid as the focus was on her tireless work to stop her husband’s master plan and right her wrongs when it came to her son. It was a heartbreaking loss for Gavin as he just met his mother only to lose her once again without getting any closure or many of his lingering questions answered. They never had time to get to know each other because Project Lazarus was top of mind. For a show about time, it really hones in on what a precious resource it is.
As for Lilly/Ella, well, she was one of the original people in 10K B.C. alongside Gavin. She knew him when they were children, she traveled to 1988 with him, and then she came back to the prehistoric era to save Veronica, and for what? She should’ve played a much larger role in the grand scheme of things, but unfortunately, she was reduced to a minor character whose only useful purpose was to prop up Veronica. And don’t get me wrong, I love Veronica’s character growth, but it truly shouldn’t have come at the expense of her sister. Ella/Lilly just feels so underutilized, it’s aggravating.
The thing I did like about her death is that it was caused by the elements, which we don’t see often. 10,000 B.C. is a dangerous and rocky time period, so it’s unbelievable that so many people who were just dropped down there not only survived but thrived. The fact that there was only one epi-pen was just cruel—and that’s all I’ll say on the matter.
Veronica has been through so much trauma, much of which she’s still working through, and now she has to add losing her sister to the list. At least she has Lucas, who really came through with an adorable date at nature’s hot springs along with wine and pop tarts. I have no clue how anyone has managed to hold onto pop-tarts that long when food was scarce, but I’m not going to raise unnecessary questions.
Veronica and Lucas also found Silas, bleeding out after getting shot over the notes Caroline found in Moore’s cave, which seems to be a blueprint for how to get home. I don’t know if they mean anything now that the Lazarus building is no more, but we’ll have to wait and see.
We didn’t have to wait long to find out who shot Silas because it was the same person who killed his daughter, Kira, the woman that seemingly undermined James and took over Project Lazarus to do “right” by it. She claims to see the big picture of saving the world whereas she thinks James is too caught up with fixing his mistakes and traveling back in time to get a redo with Gavin.
The problem is that can’t trust either of these people or what they claim. For all we know, James and Kira could be in cahoots with this plan. James said he needed Gavin’s handprint to unlock the system, so maybe there was some kind of failsafe implemented to prevent James from launching Project Blue Moon. And that means Gavin just walked right into his trap.
Things get even fuzzier because Levi was on a mission to destroy the Lazarus building at all costs—and he was willing to fight anyone who tried to stop him. Poor Sam was knocked unconscious when he tried to talk some sense into Levi. Gavin also couldn’t get through to his best friend because the trust between them was broken when Gavin learned that Levi attempted to enlist Eve to go behind his back and kill his father.
I get where Levi is coming from since he believes James is the source of all of his pain. We learned that not only did Levi lose his wife, Marisa, because of the sinkholes, but his daughter didn’t survive either. Levi wants revenge, which is understandable but upsetting. He was always the level-headed one, and to be quite frank, I was hoping he’d come from 1998 with new insight about Project Lazarus and James. I didn’t want Levi to be working from only a place of deep hurt, I wanted him to have a valid reason for attempting to blow everything up, with concrete evidence that James directly caused the deaths of his loved ones.
The only person that got through to Levi was Izzy, who felt as though she owed it to be there for him during his time of great pain. He was her light and support during the darkness following her accident, and thus, she fought like hell to bring him back from the brink. It was sweet considering that she previously felt as though Levi ruined her family. It almost feels like 10 years also passed for Izzy because she’s so much more observant and proactive despite being told to stay in her lane. I was kind of surprised by how passive Eve was about the whole situation. She’s clearly sticking by her decision to give things another try with Gavin, but considering how much Levi meant to her just a few days ago, she should’ve been as adamant about helping him as her daughter.
Unfortunately, once Levi set everything into motion, it was too late to undo it, and when he tried, all he did was speed up the timer on the explosives.
Fans didn’t get to see much of the action inside of the building once the clock started racing, instead only seeing the whole thing go up in flames, which begs the question—did anyone get out alive and survive?
Levi, Izzy, Gavin, and Ty all made a break for it, but Eve and James were in another room entirely. I don’t think Gavin would leave his wife behind after going to such great lengths to prevent his vision from coming to fruition, but James did knock her out right before so it’s unclear what state she was in. That poor woman has suffered so many concussions at this point.
In blowing up the building, Levi destroyed Ty’s chances at curing his cancer, which is honestly, inexcusable because Ty is an angel, right alongside any shot of getting back home. Prioritizing the greater good is necessary, but these poor people whose hopes of seeing a timeline with electricity were just dashed. Levi figured he had nothing left to live for, but what about everyone else? I doubt all hope is lost—where there’s a will, there’s a way, so maybe there’s still a chance, but without a proper portal, it’s going to be a lot more difficult.
That being said, at least James can’t go back to a past timeline and effectively erase Eve’s family from existence, so that’s a win.
You would think, as previously mentioned, that the elements of 10K B.C., and the dangers lurking within and beneath, would be the most threatening, but it turns out, a group of desperate people is more volatile than anything, no matter what time period.
Other Prehistoric Thoughts
- Does anyone else think Kira is Levi’s daughter in the future or something? I can’t shake the feeling that there’s a deeper connection here, and I’m not exactly convinced that his family died. He said a sinkhole caught them by surprise and his family didn’t survive, but did he see the bodies? For all we know, both his wife and daughter are roaming the nearby villages as we speak. Maybe they’re even at one of the villages that Paraa was rounding up to help search for Ty.
- Ty and Paraa’s wedding was beautiful, and you have to give it to them for finding a path forward amidst a pretty bleak situation. Who else can say they’ve experienced a wedding in 10,000 B.C.? Unfortunately, it ended on a rather devastating note—neither of them deserved it.
- Everyone changed out of their usual outfits for a brief moment! Yay wardrobe truck. I’m still thrown by how put-together and clean they still look without plumbing, electricity, and more, but good for them.
- We got more clarity about Aaron’s connection to 10K, and according to Silas, he was a computer engineer at Lazarus who stole the journal and traveled to the present day, which is where he kidnapped Veronica and Lilly. Lilly was already connected to this timeline, so I’m guessing Veronica will also play a larger role. I wonder where the coordinates she deciphered will lead to. Perhaps another portal?
- Gavin chose to trust James, despite everyone’s reservations, but in the end, James proved to be an unchanged man with selfish intentions. And the absolute disrespect that he had for Eve was sickening.
- Why do I suddenly want to taste alcohol made from fermented corn?
- Sam’s serious convo with Josh was cute. I know Josh felt betrayed that Riley kept the Moore finding a secret, but I do think he overreacted because of how secrets ruined his family. He didn’t even give Riley a chance to explain her side, nor did he consider the impossible position she was put in. Life is too short to fight over these kinds of things!
- Those yellowjacket wasps were absolutely terrifying.
- Scott taking charge once again was one of the best moments! He came out, guns a-blazin’, to get rid of the wasps! Ten points for creativity. What would they do without him and his knowledge?
What did you think of the episode? How will it all pan out?
La Brea Review – [SPOILER] Returns (210)
La Brea Season 2 Episode 10 brings back a major player into the fold—with a twist, of course.
The episode, aptly titled “The Return,” kicks off with an unidentified person making his way through a portal, and while the show tried to keep the identity under wraps as best as possible, the return isn’t that much of a surprise if you’ve been paying attention—the boots were a dead giveaway.
Levi, played by Nicholas Gonzalez, is a fan-favorite character, so honestly, it was almost a given that he’d find his way back to 10K B.C. at some point despite choosing to stay behind and make a life for himself in 1988. And that’s fine because everything else surrounding his return is an absolute game-changer.
When Gavin crosses paths with Levi, he’s shocked to see that his former best friend doesn’t exactly look the same as when they left him in 1988—his hair is grayer and he’s aged a bit. And that’s when Levi drops the bombshell that while it has been a few days for Eve, Gavin, and the rest of the people trapped in 10K B.C., it’s been over a decade for Levi who came from 1998.
I had to take a moment to process that.
Levi remains rather cryptic about what brought him back to this time period, simply explaining that during his time away, he joined the DOD and hasn’t stopped trying to find a way to bring everyone home. He knows more than he’s letting on, but when Gavin presses, he simply says that he’s trying to finish what he and his wife started in an attempt to honor her memory, which includes bringing his friends, and the people he considers family, back home.
Yeah, I said wife! It’s just bombshell after bombshell. And these new developments are total game-changers that I did not see coming. There’s not much I can predict when it comes to La Brea, but this may have been the twistiest twist of all. Since ten years have passed since he last saw them, Levi assures Gavin that he didn’t come back for Eve—that relationship, for him at least, is way in the past. But while Levi had time to come to terms with their split, grieve the loss, and move on and start anew, Eve hasn’t had that luxury; it’s all still fresh for her. She may have chosen her family, but feelings don’t just fizzle out like that, so this is going to put their now-platonic relationship in a really interesting place. It’s almost as though one person moved on while the other is holding on. Will feelings bubble up? Will she feel betrayed that he moved on? Will they work better as friends fighting toward a common goal?
Things only get more complicated when Levi visits Eve, who is still battling a concussion from her fall in the cave, and informs her that he lied to Gavin about the real reason he came back—Levi’s mission is to kill James! And he needs Eve’s help.
This puts Eve in yet another very tricky spot because Levi is a man that’s asking her to choose him over his husband.. again. But he’s not doing so selfishly—he’s doing it because he has to know that it’s the key to solving this mess and saving thousands of people. Levi’s decade spent working with the DOD and gathering intel and information means that he’s probably the most informed person in 10K B.C. And from the looks of it, he may even be an expert on James as he seems pretty sure that eliminating him is the key to all of their problems.
Eve is also a good person who wants to do the right thing, so her gut will likely tell her to trust Levi, but lying and keeping secrets won’t bode well for her relationship–whatever it may be now–with Gavin. Gavin isn’t overly trusting of James, but James claims to have what he wants—the key to Eve’s survival. Gavin will do anything to keep his wife alive, so if trusting James is that thing, he won’t let anyone stand in his way. As for Eve, killing James potentially means signing her death sentence.
Therefore, Levi’s question is a loaded ask—and one that Eve has to consider very carefully.
I do hope that by putting a target on James’ back, we finally get to know more about the man that we’re dealing with. Who is he? I feel like he has to be someone we already know and met. Maybe it’s someone from the Clearing? Or possibly, someone that Levi rubbed elbows with back in 1998? I know James is technically from the future, but Levi seemed to give off the vibe that he knew James on a closer, more personal level. How do you think James fits in? He has to be more than just Gavin’s dad.
While I know Eve and Gavin’s kids, especially Izzy, don’t really feel the love for Levi these days, I have a feeling that Izzy is going to be the one that lends a hand as she doesn’t seem too keen on trusting James either. It’s strange considering she’s the one who let it slip about Gavin’s vision in front of her grandfather in the first place, but she’s also giving off the vibe that she’d do anything to distance the family away from this man, so I think she might be Levi’s unsuspecting ally.
Hopefully, Levi will shed a lot more insight into the situation at hand now that he’s back because again, he has to have a considerable amount of insight into what’s going on having a decade of research under his belt.
I love that this return allows Levi to stand on his own as a character rather than just the man who was Eve’s love interest. He’s an integral part of figuring out this vast mystery now.
The hatred for James seems to run deep, even within his own glass tower. Kira, James’ right-hand woman, left Ty a cryptic note on his legal pad, urging him not to trust James and to find out about Project Blue Moon. At first, I was skeptical and thought maybe it was a test as Kira always seemed so dedicated and loyal to James, however, after her and Ty’s chat outside of the building, it seems that her concerns are genuine, especially after they pieced together that Blue Moon was Gavin/Isaiah’s childhood book.
James has seemingly hinted at wanting another chance at being a father to Isaiah, so it’s possible that he convinced Gavin not to destroy the portal because he hopes that he’ll be able to go back in time to when he was a little boy and do right by him. And obviously, that’s problematic for everyone, including Gavin himself. If James gets away with it, it would not only erase Gavin’s family but everyone’s existence and eventually, Ty’s path toward becoming cancer free. The fact that Kira underscored this to Ty, however, makes me skeptical once again.
The problem with time travel is that if it falls into the wrong hands, it can do a lot of damage.
If/once Gavin gets wind of this, I would assume he’d want nothing more than to help Levi stop his father. At least, that’s my hope.
It does seem like everyone has their own agenda in 10K B.C., including Caroline, who has disappeared with the pages she found with Riley in the cave. It’s unclear if Caroline knows all about James’ plans, if she wants to help him realize them, or if she’s hellbent on stopping him regardless of what Gavin says. But it turns out that they don’t even need the pages Caroline found because the confrontation with the Exiles—thanks a lot, Virgil (I know, I know, he was just trying to save his wife)—unearthed Aaron’s journal, which completed the equation that James was seeking all along.
Now, I have a lot of questions about this, and I never thought that a seemingly inconsequential character in the first episode was going to be so deeply connected to the mystery. Obviously, like Veronica and Ella, I want to know how Aaron got his hands on them or how he knew what he was trying to solve. It’s clear that he’s been in this timeline before or is somehow connected to it considering the pink flowers (the same ones from Gavin’s vision). Is he from the future? Did he have visions like Gavin? Ella and Veronica both recall Aaron specifically going to La Brea that day and almost wanting them to be there when the sinkhole opens up, which would mean their involvement isn’t random. Was he in cahoots with someone—possibly Kira?—to fall into the sinkhole so that they would have the equation/the key to getting home? How else would she know about the journal?
Maybe this is all just a huge science experiment? At this point, anything really is possible.
There are plenty of questions that we still need to address, but the plotline also allowed us to see Lucas step up to the plate as a leader (he’s a natural) and do what was best for his people, while Veronica got closure on her toxic relationship with Aaron, which allowed her to finally take the next step in her romance with Lucas—moving in into his car. I love that despite the situation and circumstances, healthy relationships are still able to flourish. From the darkness, something beautiful is born!
Having everyone dealing with hardships at The Clearing has made for some incredible character growth, particularly when it comes to the aforementioned Lucas and Veronica, along with Scott. When we first him, he couldn’t get anything done without his weed pen, but now, he’s throwing insults at the Exiles as they hold a spear pointed at his heart.
And not only that, but Scott actually killed Tamet in self-defense of his best friend Lucas. I know it’s going to take a toll on him, but the point is, Scott did that! He had it in him to defend himself and his loved ones when they were under attack, and that’s just beautiful.
It’s also revealed that Kira sent the Exiles, not James, which once again puts her whole character into question. Is she on the right side of history? Is she a sleeper agent planted here by the DOD? Can we trust her? Or does she want Aaron’s book because she has nefarious intentions of her own? As I mentioned before, when time travel is involved, no one can be trusted.
- I’m glad Virgil wasn’t a traitor for the sake of it. His wife’s life was at stake, so he did what he had to do. I can respect that, even if it did put everyone in the Clearing in danger. If he was just upfront with Lucas, it would’ve fared so much better than allowing the Exiles to ambush them.
- Izzy’s morse code mirror idea is genuinely so smart. And Josh’s realization that the Girls Scouts are badass was so cute.
- Riley couldn’t keep Caroline’s secret from her dad, and it was not going to end well.
- Gavin leads with his heart, so when he realized his family was in danger, he was willing to risk it all to go and help them. It’s a good thing Levi is back and is a little more practical. He knew Izzy had it handled, and their best chance of success was getting the Exiles while they were trying to grab the journal.
What did you think about the episode? Do you feel the action starting to ramp up as we barrel toward the end of the season?
And how do you think this will all pan out? Do you have any promising theories? Share them in the comments!
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