‘La Brea’: The one where they steal the cave skeleton idea

La Brea
“The Hunt”
October 12, 2021

ALRIGHT, FINE, LET’S DO THIS.

It’s morning, and Traffic Cop who was the first to fall into our sinkhole has placed herself in charge of passing out breakfast from their store of food to the survivors equitably. Which is a good idea! A more questionable idea is keeping said store of food on a blanket on the ground out in the sun, a choice the group soon comes to regret when a giant CGI ground sloth ambles out of the woods and eats all of their chips and Baby Ruth bars.

Everyone:

And Scott, again, is like, “That was a giant CGI ground sloth, one of the largest mammals to roam North America and we in 10,000 B.C.”

Everyone:

In any event, they have to eat, so Eve decides they need to hunt.

She and Ty head out into the woods where she builds a rabbit trap, revealing that while she’s is an office manager (who can somehow afford a $7 million Hollywood Hills home), she grew up on a farm and therefore has a bunch of handy survival skills.

A bunny is soon caught in Eve’s trap, but before she has to kill it, she and Ty are interrupted by a giant CGI cave bear. Running from the CGI cave bear, running from the CGI cave bear, running from the CGI cave bear. Eve and Ty take shelter from the CGI cave bear in a cave, which seems like a great idea until the CGI cave bear causes a cave-in, trapping Ty and Eve inside.

But they’re not alone; they are soon joined by Lady Cop and Her Angry Son who had gone out into the woods to yell at each other about what she did to his dad (OoOOoooo another MYSTERY!), and to find someone who can tell them where they are and how to get home. And, obviously, they had wandered into the exact same cave that Ty and Eve found. Obviously.

The group wanders deeper into the cave looking for another exit, but only finds a pool of water. However, as Ty points out, there are algae in the pool, which means the water has to be exposed to sunlight somewhere. Before Eve can stop him, Ty dives in. He reemerges moments later telling the group that there is a way out of the cave through the pool, but that he’s found something else: another plot point stolen from Lost.

As Ty leads them through the cave, he brings them to a small antechamber where they find a skeleton wearing a Kelso Valley College sweatshirt and a bullet hole in its head, the walls covered in hash marks denoting that he had been there for a while. And everyone is like, “WELL. THIS IS A HUGE BUMMER.”

As they emerge from the cave, Eve suggests that they keep the skeleton a secret from the rest of the group, lest they dash everyone’s hope for rescue. And then she finds some chicken of the woods mushrooms that they can take back to the group.

Once they return and pass out the dinner fungus, Lady Cop tries to talk to Angry Son about what happened with his dad: she didn’t have a choice, she didn’t want to have to pull the trigger. But Angry Son is angry and storms off again, telling her that he wants nothing to do with her.

Elsewhere, Ty explains to Eve that the reason he has a gun is that he has a brain tumor — as if that explains everything — but he surrenders the gun to her because he doesn’t want to turn out like the skeleton in the cave. Of course, the way he was wildly shooting at that CGI saber-toothed tiger in the previous episode, are there even any bullets left?

And Eve makes her own confession to Ty: the reason she feels guilty about her daughter losing a leg in the car accident is because she wasn’t working late, she was with someone who was not her husband. Ty is like, “Yeah, I mean, I get it, but what good is your guilt about that going to do you here, 12,000 years before you cheated?”

In the B subplot, Dr. Sam wakes up and tells his daughter Riley that he can’t feel his legs because excess fluid has built up on his spine. If they don’t drain the fluid soon, he will lose the ability to walk forever. But the good news is he brought back a bunch of medical equipment they can use and since she’s pre-med, she can perform the procedure.

OK, and this drove me crazy in the pilot episode but because it was one of the three-thousand things I wanted to scream about, I didn’t get to it at the time: but “pre-med” classes are not medical courses. You don’t take classes on surgical or even basic medical procedures when you’re in college: when you’re pre-med, you’re taking Organic Chemistry and Cell Biology and maybe Anatomy. WHICH IS SOMETHING DOCTOR SAM WOULD KNOW HIMSELF HAVING AT SOME POINT ALSO BEEN PRE-MED.

Riley asks Josh — who is totally fine now, by the way — and Scott to help by finding something to anesthetize her father with, and Scott returns with the heroin. They rub some on his gums, or whatever, and then Riley follows her dad’s instructions to jab a needle into his spine and remove 6 CCs of fluid.

And then? When Dr. Sam wakes up? At first it’s all, OH NO HE CAN’T MOVE HIS FEET! But then! He scrunches up his face in some REAL HARD ACTING and it’s a miracle! His feet, they move! THANK GOODNESS! I WAS SO WORRIED THERE FOR A MINUTE THAT THEY WOULD PARALYZE A MAIN CHARACTER IN THE THIRD EPISODE!

Over in the Michael Bay movie that has broken out in the present timeline, the government has made a map of Los Angeles as it would look in 10,000 B.C. based on … the assumption that’s where the survivors are … based on the visions of some fields Gavin has had? What? How do they know 12,000 years ago specifically? Why not 3,000 years ago? Or, hell, 200 years ago? Or why not 20,000 years FROM NOW?

BUT OK WHATEVER. They have Gavin point out where, exactly, he has seen the survivors which he knows based on AGAIN WHAT EXACTLY?

Gavin volunteers to pilot the mission, but Dr. Nathan is like, “LOL, no, we are saving you to fly into the sinkhole for much later this season.” So he recommends his friend, Levi Delgado, instead. And, in fact, his name is on the list that Dr. Nathan has already had drawn up, so she’s like, “done and done.”

We are then treated to a flashback to 14 months ago when Levi told Gavin that he is being transferred to Rammstein, and asks Gavin if he’s still seeing his weirdo visions: Eve is worried about him, and Gavin needs to pull himself together. A++ friending, Levi!

The friends are reunited in the hanger, and Levi is briefed on this batshit mission he’s about to undertake, like flying some 12,000 years into the past is just a normal thing that normal people do. And then Levi and Izzy visit for a minute because we have to shoehorn the daughter into the episode somehow.

Later, Gavin joins Levi in the cockpit, and is all, “Why’d you really go to Germany?” and Levi is all, “Because I am in love with your wife, duh,” and then Gavin has a pout and leaves the cockpit.

The show then brings in the heavy-duty Armageddon lens flares as Levi makes his way to the plane:

And just as he is about to climb into the cockpit, Gavin gives him Eve’s wedding ring and tells him to give it to her when he finds her. WOW, PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE MUCH?

Levi flies into the sinkhole, only to have the plane — like the drone — malfunction as it enters the green glow. Everyone back in MichaelBayland has a sad.

But! He does make it into the past and ends the episode dangling from a tree from his parachute.

HUH. WHERE HAVE I SEEN THAT BEFORE?

I swear to Christ with this dumb show.

For those of you who don’t speak fluent Lost, that screenshot above is from the third season, when a science team was sent to the island to investigate its properties. Above is a member of that team, Naomi Dorrit, who ejected from a helicopter and parachuted down to the island and got herself caught in a tree.

That isn’t the most obvious plot point stolen from Lost though. That would be this little gem:

So let me get this straight: our survivors, realizing that they are not being rescued any time soon go searching for supplies and shelter. In the process of doing so, they discover a cave and within that cave, they discover a skeleton which, besides being something of a mystery in and of itself (who’s the skeleton? how long have they been there? are they somehow connected to our own survivors’ predicament?) also serves to deflate their hopes that they will be getting out of this strange place.

And I could also argue that the B plot in which Riley performs a spinal procedure on her father is similar to Jack having to perform spinal surgery on Ben Linus in the third season. I admit that’s more of a stretch, but considering how much else they are stealing wholesale from Lost, I wouldn’t put it past them being inspired by it. 

I SINCERELY HOPE YOU GUYS ARE PAYING ROYALTIES TO LINDELOF AND CARLTON, ET AL, BECAUSE IT’S CLEAR YOU DO NOT HAVE A SINGLE ORIGINAL IDEA RATTLING AROUND THAT WRITER’S ROOM.

La Brea airs on NBC on Tuesdays at 8/9 p.m. And I hate it.

One thought on “‘La Brea’: The one where they steal the cave skeleton idea

  1. Because I’m a monster I’m enjoying your extreme discomfort with La Brea. The Germans call it “Schadenfreude.” Your watching it means I don’t have to.

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