I’ll admit, I’m pleasantly surprised by La Brea.
What started off as a rather silly concept is blossoming into an intriguing story mainly because of the quick-paced plot and solid character development.
The series is already ahead of other sci-fi dramas that have been cut from NBC’s lineup after one season in terms of answering questions.
We know they’re stuck in 10,000 B.C. based on everyone’s assessment and the prehistoric animals. Also, the government confirmed it.
Gavin is being taken seriously instead of being brushed off as a kook, and though we don’t know much about him, I love that redemption story-arc for him.
It was even better because he got to face his old best friend and pilot, Levi, who tried to “bring him down to reality” back in the day.
It’s safe to say, Levi was shooketh to find out that Gavin was trying to warn them all along.
In his guilt, Levi admitted that he took off to Germany because he was in love with Eve. Gasp!
Levi, things are not looking good for you, buddy.
While the revelation took Gavin by surprise, there was also a part of me that he kind of knew it all along. Either way, his biggest concern was getting his family back safe and sound. And for that, they needed Levi.
*Somehow* the government already had an experimental prototype ready to fly into the light, so it’s clear that they were aware of the whole time-traveling thing for longer than the sinkhole has been wide-open in the middle of L.A.
However, you knew it wasn’t going to end well for Levi. We’ve seen what that rip of light does to technology. RIP drone.
Well, the same thing essentially happened to the prototype plane flown by Levi.
It was touch-and-go for a minute, but in the end, it was revealed that Levi successfully ejected himself out of the burning plane and crash-landed in the past.
I can’t wait to see Eve’s face when she finds her lover emerging from the forest.
He came there to save everyone, sure, but mainly her.
Their fling is crucial to the storyline for many reasons, but mainly because she blames the romance for what happened to Izzy.
Eve informs Ty that she lied about working late the night of the accident that cost Izzy her leg. Instead, she was spending time with Levi, which is why she harbors so much guilt.
Thankfully, Ty is able to use this vulnerable moment to remind her that the fling didn’t cause the accident. She was doing no one any favors by holding onto that guilt.
She needs to accept it and move on, not only for herself but for her children as well.
Overcompensating isn’t doing anyone favors.
It also explains why Levi was so concerned about Izzy’s recovery.
Levi’s arrival in the past doesn’t bode well for Gavin and Eve’s reconciliation in the future as she’s now going to have all this time to explore her feelings. I mean, aside from hunting and gathering, what else is there to do in the past?
It’s not like they’re going to successfully find a way out without government intervention.
The government needs to start looking into building a time machine to send down there. However, I also think that Gavin is the clue to breaching the time-space from the rift.
Since he has the visions, my guess is that he’s been in the past before, and successfully returned. He might be the only one who can save the day.
And what woman doesn’t love a hero? Levi has competition.
If Eve ever makes it out of this, she might want to apply for Survivor because she’s got great instinct.
If it wasn’t for her upbringing in rural Montana, no one would have found known that those mushrooms were “chicken of the wood.”
Mushrooms are murky because the wrong ones are poisonous, so it’s a good thing she had that wealth of knowledge at her disposal.
I personally wouldn’t survive a day out there because I am such a picky eater. There’s no way I would eat a wild rabbit that I caught with my bare hands.
Survival of the fittest is a real thing!
With the threat of starvation looming — how long till they turn to cannibalism? Scott’s a realist, and I love it — there were also some new animals to look out for!
Sabertooth tiger, giant ground sloth (that ate all their remaining rationed food… savage), and bear…. oh MY! I love that he also used his wealth of knowledge to identify the animals, while also showing genuine interest in seeing them up close and personal regardless of how scary it is.
Running away from the bear allowed Eve, Ty, Marybeth, and Lucas to bond. Being trapped in a cave will do that to you.
The mom-and-son duo have quite the strained relationship that goes deeper than his drug dealing. We learn that Lucas hates his mother because she shot her dad, which she claims wasn’t a choice she had. My guess is that he too was a drug dealer and she was working the case. I can’t say I’m overly invested in this storyline simply because Marybeth seems strange and Lucas doesn’t seem like a terrible guy.
We also find out that Ty has a terminal brain tumor, though, he’s adamant about surviving this ordeal because he doesn’t want to die like the man in the cave.
Clearly, they aren’t the only people to travel to this time period.
In addition to the skeleton that they find in the cave, Lucas also shows his mother a trap that he found set earlier in the day, which further confirms the existence of yet another person.
Where are they hiding? And why are they hiding? If you were stuck in the past, wouldn’t you be thrilled to see people?
Unless food is so sparse that any newbies threaten your existence. Then, I guess it turns into a hunt or be hunted situation.
Either way, Lucas is looking for them so that he can get some answers about where they are. He’s not entirely crazy for wanting more information before just accepting that they time traveled.
And if deadly animals and starving to death weren’t bad enough, Dr. Sam had to walk his daughter, Riley, who quit med school, through a draining procedure to relieve the fluid pressing on his spine and causing his paralysis.
It was definitely a terrifying experience, especially when he passed out due to the heroine and could no longer walk her through the steps.
Thankfully, Josh stayed calm, cool, and collected, which helped her get through it.
Now, that’s a romance waiting to happen.
Overall, there’s a lot of potential with this series. In addition to compelling and likable characters, you’re drawn by the desire to find out how these poor souls will make it out.
Can they even be saved? Will Gavin play a role? And what does the government really know?
What did you think of the episode? Are you into La Brea?
La Brea Review – The New Arrival (1×04)
Just when you think you’ve figured La Brea out, it introduces a compelling plot twist that changes everything.
We’re only four episodes in, but the series has really found its groove and figured out the pacing. The episodes don’t beat around the bush. No time is wasted; when you finish an episode, you’ve gained a lot more information than you had prior to watching.
We’re experiencing all the new findings at the same time as the survivors that are stuck in 10,000 B.C.
And despite not being having any working technology or the ability to connect with the present day, they pretty much know exactly what’s going on back at home. These communication skills are impressive.
While it’s harder for them to connect with the people back at home, they also have an advantage with Gavin, whose visions are helping lead the way.
Once he was able to confirm that Levi was alive and reconnected with the rest of the survivors, he spent most of the episode tracking down Dr. Nathan in hopes of setting up another rescue mission.
Of course, the government was against it because Levi’s venture down under caused a seismic reaction that shook Los Angeles to its core.
It’s understandable that they would want to be a bit more cautious considering the very real effects the sinkhole has on the current reality, however, giving up seems like a wasted opportunity.
When it’s revealed that this is the fourth sinkhole of its kind, the fact that they have a prototype plane ready to go makes a lot more sense, but it also makes you wonder why they’re giving up so quickly.
Surely, there should be a plan B if plan A fails considering these time-traveling sinkholes aren’t quite the anomaly we were led to believe.
Gavin is determined to secure another rescue mission for his family at all costs. After all, with saber tooths, bears, and other extinct animals running around, and the threat of starvation looming large, they don’t have too much time on their hands.
While things seemed bleak for a bit when Gavin couldn’t get ahold of Dr. Nathan, thankfully, he was able to track down Dr. Rebecca Aldridge, who was featured in a photo that was conveniently left behind in the open on Dr. Nathan’s desk.
I’ll let that one go, honestly.
Dr. Aldridge explained that she was part of an exploratory crew that was sent down through a sinkhole in the Mojave. Unfortunately, the sinkhole closed up before they were able to come back. She was a scapegoat for the botched job and has since spent the remainder of her time secluded on a farm preparing yet another prototype in the event another sinkhole opens up.
Rebecca’s existence raises a series of questions.
For starters, why were Gavin and Izzy able to find her information and address so easily if she’s trying to say off the grid?
Secondly, why didn’t Nathan attempt to persuade the government to use Rebecca’s prototype instead/this time? If Rebecca is certain that her creation will be able to withstand the effect of time travel, shouldn’t they at least give it a whirl?
And thirdly, where did she get all the money for this? I’m sure she took a hefty payout to keep quiet about what happened on the mission, but even then, this is some next-level technology!
It’s likely none of those questions will be answers and we just have to suspend disbelief in order to embrace the series.
Rebecca informs Gavin that his arrival was a “stroke of fate” because she needs a pilot to go through the light and save them all.
“Stroke of fate” is a stretch considering Dr. Nathan could’ve just given Gavin a ring. We know he’s 100% down to pilot his way into the green light to save his family.
And if he does, successfully, he’ll be the savior that they always wanted him to be.
It’s obvious that Gavin was always meant to be the hero. After all, his visions cannot be for naught.
Levi definitely seemed more heroic to Eve when she realized he risked everything — without knowing if he would be able to come back — to save her.
Her perspective changed, however, when Levi informed her that Gavin was the reason he was down there — Gavin was the reason the whole rescue mission was happening because he proved that his visions were real.
At this point, you could see Eve just tense up and feel guilty and shameful for assuming her husband was never there for the family.
He was literally planning for this very moment all to be told that he wasn’t doing enough for his loved ones.
Of course, you can’t blame Eve for thinking Gavin was losing it. It’s not every day that a man’s visions of the past are actually legit.
Again, it’s messy since both men have good intentions.
Even was definitely taken aback by Levi’s arrival, but it was obviously comforting to see a familiar face.
The survivors saw the plane come crashing through the force field, so a group of them decided to make their way to the wreckage to see if there was anyone that might be able to save them.
While he wasn’t able to whisk them all home, he did come prepared with provisions, information, and a vessel that allowed them to detect a nearby signal.
Signal? Here? How?
Those are all valid questions and the same questions the survivors have.
At this point, they have nothing to lose. If they walk into the lion’s den, they might end up dead. If they don’t, they might also end up dead.
It’s unclear how a signal deep within the woods is possible, but it eventually led them to an area populated by huts that indicates that there are others in the area.
Could this man-made neighborhood be Rebecca’s crew? If so, this means they might know a lot more about what’s going on down here than anyone else.
Though, the man that tried to warn Lilly when she stumbled upon Eddie’s lifeless body doesn’t strike me as a government crew member.
The man ooked like a native. He had a handprint on his back that matched the handprint seen at the entrance of the village.
The whole storyline with Lily and her sister Veronica is really strange. Veronica doesn’t want Lily to speak, she’s possessive over her, she’s violent, and she keeps insisting that they aren’t here to “help these people.”
It’s almost as if she believes they’re a different breed.
There’s definitely some resentment about their father. Veronica seems to have a lot of respect for him, while Lily doesn’t seem to be all that fond of him.
What’s the deal here?
And will Veronica retaliate against Lily for rebelling?
Elsewhere, Sam and Riley parted ways. She almost lost her life to a giant anaconda in the river, while he was championed the remaining survivors to take turns watching the grounds for whoever (or whatever) killed Eddie.
There was also a subplot with Scott and Lucas after the latter found out that the former found his drugs and dumped them. I know Scott was just getting rid of the heroine as a protective measure, but since it came in handy as a pain medication once, why wouldn’t they hold onto it in the event that someone else got injured?
Also, who is Lucas trying to sell all this heroine to in the past? It’s not like there are hoards of buyers lining up!
While Scott and Lucas don’t seem like main characters, they’re definitely stealing the show away from Josh and Izzy.
Why are the children of the man with the visions and the leader of the pack the dullest?
What did you think of the episode? Share your thoughts in the comments below now!
La Brea Review – Day Two (1×02)
With mixed reviews following the pilot episode of La Brea, the second episode was significantly better in terms of acting and believability.
Maybe it’s because we’ve already gotten over the initial hump of “this is absolutely impossible,” and now we’re more familiar with the world down under, so to speak.
And so are the folks that fell through the massive sinkhole, who have officially established that they have been transported to a timeline around 10,000 B.C.
Eve makes the connection when she sees what she believes to be the Hollywood Hills, and her theory is confirmed when they are attacked by a saber tooth tiger. You don’t really see those around these days.
Scott, who should probably take calculated hits from his weed pen so that he doesn’t run out anytime soon (who knows how long they’ll be trapped here), pieced it together by stopping a group of camels from falling into the tar pits. He recalled learning about this moment recently when camel bones were exhumed, which allowed him to pinpoint the timeline.
While he didn’t seem like a major character at first, it’ll be very beneficial to have a budding archeologist on the team to navigate this new, albeit very, very old, reality.
I’m more intrigued about the aspect of possibly changing the present-day reality via their actions more than I am with any rescue mission.
It sounds mean, but it’s true.
Did Scott change the course of history by saving the camels?
There were several crucial revelations throughout the episode, many of which zoned in on how astute the people that fell through the sinkhole really are.
If I were to be stuck with a group of random people in the past, I would want it to be the kind of people who pick up on the fact that there was a trap laid out for the saber tooth tigers indicating they aren’t here alone.
Odds are that whoever laid this trap has been here for much longer than anyone else, as they’ve barely gotten their bearings let alone know how to trap an extinct animal.
In the pilot, we saw a man hiding in the woods when Mary Beth sent up a flare, so it’s only a matter of time before they bump paths with him. How much does he know? How long has he been here? Does he know Gavin?
Scott also deduced that they weren’t alone when he assisted Veronica in finding her father and saw the grave someone set up for him.
There was definitely something off about Veronica from the getgo. I understand the religious aspect of giving your loved one a burial, but when it can literally put your life in more danger, most people would just shrug it off and figure that it isn’t worth it.
There were other oddities about her that I just chalked up to the religious aspect (ie. “drugs are a sin), that is until she saw her sister, Lily, with a phone and got visibly angry.
Even though she told her she wasn’t mad, Veronica became hostile before warning Lily that they can’t trust these people because they wouldn’t understand them.
She also made everyone think Lily didn’t speak when she, in fact, does.
What’s the situation here? Are Lily and Veronica from the past or something? Have they time traveled in this way before? Could they be involved with the sinkhole that opened up in the Mojave Dessert that Dr. Nathan mentioned to Gavin?
And more importantly, what secret are they hiding?
Eve, Ty, and Sam barely made the trek back to camp with the medication because, well, see: saber-tooth tiger attack.
It’s honestly unbelievable that Sam and Josh both survived their life-threatening ordeals, but they are crucial characters in the grand scheme, so they can’t die just yet.
It did get pretty hairy there for a minute. Eve definitely is on Riley’s hate list for leaving behind Sam when she spent day and night by Josh’s side to make sure he was okay.
Though, to be fair, these are such unprecedented situations that it’s difficult to get mad at anyone.
Ty really pulled through for Scott, but it was tough on him. He seems to be in denial about his illness, and while they didn’t specify what he had, my guess is that it’s cancer solely based on the symptoms. It would be a shame to have him survive a whole ordeal with a prehistoric animal only to succumb to the most human of deaths, but then again, that’s life, right? He can’t exactly get medical treatment in a place that hasn’t yet been set up with the technology.
I’ll be interested to learn his backstory just like I’m interested in learning about Mary Beth and her son, the owner of the car with all the drugs.
They made it seem like she was hunting down a dangerous criminal, and while he might not make the best personal choices, he came through to save Scott, so that has to say something about his character and morals.
I’m more concerned about Mary Beth because there’s something so off about her, I just can’t put my finger on it.
One of the more intense developments was happening in the present-day as the National Department of Homeland Security was looking further into the sinkhole.
Dr. Nathan promised to get proof to the NDHS, so she had someone follow Gavin and steal his wife’s ring, which carbon-dated back to 10k B.C thus proving that beyond the thin shred of light is a way to travel back in time.
Gavin’s vision, which was once deemed a mental health hazard when no one could benefit from them, now became the most crucial development in the investigation of the sinkhole.
Through him, they are able to confirm that there are survivors thus securing a rescue mission that he’s obviously going to pilot. He’s their only connection at this point, which guarantees his survival.
Who would have thought that NBC would deliver a story in which the government can be trusted to do the right thing? Well, at least for now.
Dr. Nathan even explained her theory that while Gavin was piloting a flight in 2018, he flew by a sinkhole opening up in the Mojave, which gave him the ability to have visions of a prehistoric era.
If that’s not all, Nathan pulled out all the stops by showing him the striker prototype, which the government plans on using to fly down into the sinkhole.
Hopefully, they accounted for the fact that no modern-day technology can work down there.
All of this must be a relief to Gavin — not only is his wife alive, but he’s not crazy after all!
There was also a flashback right after his accident where he told Eve all about his visions, so I don’t understand why she hasn’t put two and two together just yet.
Only time will reveal whether the rescue mission goes smoothly and what’s in store for the accidental time travelers who now have to deal with Ice Age conditions.
But La Brea, with its quirky and sensational premise, may turn out to be the biggest surprise of the fall lineup with its intriguing mystery!
Is the show growing on you? Are you giving it a chance or are you scared to get invested because you think it will get cancelled? Sound off in the comments below!
La Brea Series Premiere Review – It’s the Tarpits (1×01)
A natural disaster bubbling up from underneath the La Brea tarpits isn’t exactly new (see: 1997 film Volcano), but the idea of a series that strands a handful of people in a primitive world definitely is.
And thus, there’s no arguing that La Brea is a fun and fresh concept for NBC.
The Jurassic Park meets Lost meets Debris meets Hunger Games vibe immediately draws you in and makes you want to find out just what happened to the poor souls that were swallowed up by the massive sinkhole in the heart of Los Angeles.
It’s a mystery that has all the best elements — time travel, a government conspiracy, and the basic instinct of survival.
And, if you decided that none of those things are impressive, at the very least, it has Jon Seda. A girl will follow Antonio Dawson anywhere. Only Only on La Brea, he stars as Dr. Sam Velez, a vet-turned-surgeon that brings an air of badassery to the core group of characters trapped in the prehistoric timeline.
Let me also preface this by acknowledging your skepticism. I understand wholeheartedly if you’re wary about getting sucked into yet another show just for it to get canceled.
NBC has an abysmal track record when it comes to serialized dramas hinged on a supernatural element (see: Debris, Manifest, Emergence… okay, that may have been ABC, but the skepticism stands regardless).
If we’re basing the show’s success based on history, the show will likely get canceled a few episodes in leaving fans hanging with more questions than they know what to do with.
Then, one of two things will happen… either Netflix (or some other streaming service) will swoop in to save the day and give fans some semblance of closure, or you’ll wonder what the show’s endgame was going to be for the rest of time. The latter is more likely.
The even happened with Steven Lilien and Bryan Windbrandt’s God Friended Me, though, even that premature cancellation provided a finale that was up to one’s interpretation.
But,,, if you’ve gone through all these likely scenarios and potential risks and you’re still deciding to give this series a try, well, welcome.
So, where do we begin?
The pilot wastes no time jumping into the action.
The first scene finds Eve, a woman estranged from her husband, Gavin, driving her teens, Josh and Izzy, to school.
It’s a mundane, routine morning when suddenly, the ground beneath starts concaving in. It swallows up the crossing-guard, and you know something insanely terrible is about to go down.
This sets off a CGI-tastic sequence of events where Eve somehow reverses half a block in a perfect line without hitting anyone to outrun the literal plunge to her death.
As the buildings around crumble and fall into the widening hole beneath, Eve and her children keep pushing forward, even Izzy, who has an amputated leg. It’s equal parts incredible, questionable, and impressive.
Josh’s humanity gets the best of him when he stops to save a young girl who tripped, and he falls in.
Eve then tries to save her son, and when she realizes Izzy won’t let go of her, she forces her to and also falls leaving behind her daughter as the only survivor.
Izzy’s father, Gavin, is smack-dab in the middle of trying to get a job with the army again. We find out he’s a pilot who was in an accident and discharged due to mental issues.
He claims those issues have subsided, but considering he just had some kind of strange vision of a dessert right before entering the building and blocked it by taking a swig from his flask, things aren’t as great as he’s making them out to be.
And while Gavin doesn’t necessarily make a compelling case for himself, he’s also not entirely as crazy as everyone believes.
It quickly becomes apparent that he’s knows exactly where the people who fell through the sinkhole ended up because he’s been there.
Not only that, but he’s getting visions of it, which means he can likely somehow communicate with his estranged wife and son.
But where are they exactly?
If we’re following the breadcrumb clues laid out in the episode, the group has ended up traveling back in time somehow. Based on the extinct animals mentioned — – ie. the teratornis and the saber tooth tiger — they went back millions of years ago to a time before human activity was recorded.
How is that possible? Well, that seems to be the question the series will aim to answer, in an overly complex way, I’m sure, throughout the first season.
We know some things offhand. For starters, the glowing green light in the sky (there’s always a glowing light) is a tear in the fabric.
Izzy and her aunt also refuse to believe Gavin until he proves that he’s not insane, high, or drunk by finding Eve’s wedding ring next to the rock in his vision. Again, it’s unclear how the ring was lost in the prehistoric timeline but appeared in the present day, but it does seem as though anything that existed in Los Angeles in the prehistoric days and still remains today is the only connection these worlds will have to each other. After all, cell signal ceases to exist once in the “past.”
And finally, the government is totally aware that something shady is happening and is keeping it from the public. Shocker.
Since Gavin made them aware that he knows about their drone, they’re likely going to tap him in to get some clarity.
As Gavin aims to find out what happened to his family, Eve isn’t completely useless. By the end of the hour, she’s figured out that they are still in Los Angeles, albeit a different one than they’re used to, so that’s a start.
This group of strangers will have to count on each other and their survival skills to somehow get out of this mess, and that begins with fixing up Josh’s leg.
Thankfully, he has Dr. Sam — who is definitely going to become Eve’s love interest — at his disposal. But let’s hope no one else becomes wolf bait because they only have one ambulance to pull supplies from.
There are definitely a handful of characters in the primitive timeline.
Josh, Riley (Sam’s daughter), and Scott (the poor guy who was high when he took the plunge) are bound to have a love triangle.
MaryBeth said she’s a cop, but there’s something off about her.
While she clearly understands the idea of “every human for himself” and anticipates things getting ugly when supplies start running out, it was also kind of messed up of her to hide the protein bars for a “rainy day.” She definitely can’t be trusted.
And then there’s Ty, who I can’t really figure out. He’s a psychologist, so I guess that’ll come in handy when everyone starts losing it, although, it isn’t super helpful that he was already on the verge of committing suicide.
For some reason, I got the vibe that he had been there longer than everyone else, but I think I may have made that up.
But there’s a huge chance they aren’t alone, alone as we see a brief glimpse of a man watching them after they sent up the flare.
He looked as though he was there for quite some time and was distrustful of humans. Considering Gavin has been there before, maybe he was the other man on the plane that crashed?
The final few moments of the episode find the group rejoicing as they get the medication to help Josh only for them to get ambushed by a saber tooth tiger.
Will they get killed? Likely not, but it’s a considerable obstacle for them to get over when they’re already limited on supplies and without a connection to their own reality.
What do you think opened up the sinkhole? Did the Tar Pits have anything to do with it? What’s up with Gavin’s visions? What caused the rift in the sky? What are the odds they’ll come across a dinosaur? That may or may not be the only reason I’m watching.
Let us know your thoughts about the episode in the comments below!
Will you continue to watch week-to-week?
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