‘La Brea’: The one where they steal the mysterious signal idea

La Brea
“The New Arrival”
October 19, 2021


We begin this terrible show with Josh and Scott admiring the night sky. Scott points out that the planet Mars has not yet been named “Mars” because the concept of Mars doesn’t even exist yet, here in 10,000 B.C. WHOA. DEEP. Scott then suggests that they name it themselves, and call it “Planet Josh.” I think someone has a crush.

Riley joins them, claiming that someone is hurt and she needs more heroin! But haha, it’s just a joke. Cool joke. Very cool sense of humor.

This prompts Scott to confess to Josh — but for some reason (plot), not Riley — that he buried the heroin stash out in the woods. He’s not worried, though, because no one has come looking for it, suggesting that whoever heroin belongs to either didn’t survive the fall or didn’t fall into the sinkhole at all.

Except, of course, the owner of the heroin did survive the fall, and when he looks in the trunk of the car and finds it missing, he’s SUPER PISSED. Angry Son confronts Lady Cop about the missing drugs and essentially threatens to kill her. Maybe family therapy is in order?

Dr. Sam hobbles his way out of the hospital bus to talk to Eve about their families, revealing that he’s happily married, in part so as to shut down any romantic possibility between them, but mostly just to remind us, again, that Eve and Gavin are separated.

The conversation is interrupted by a loud rumbling sound and a plane crashing through the glowing light above. Huh! the survivors say. Would you look at that! they say.

The next morning the survivors decide to send a group of five out to find the plane: Eve, Josh, Scott for some reason, Angry Son, and Riley. When Angry Son grabs his gun from out of the heroin car, Scott sees him and is like, “OH NO HE’S HEROIN GUY.”

The group wanders into the woods and comes across the empty parachute. A tiger roars nearby, shots are fired, and soon Levi is wandering out of the woods to Eve and Josh’s shock and surprise. The rest of the group are like, “Wait, you know this guy?” and Eve and Josh have to explain that he’s “Uncle Levi” who Mom used to bone. Levi offers up his own exposition: he’s there to rescue them, hooray! He just needs to find his plane and as long as it can fly they’ll be Back to the Future, babies! 

I mean, it’s episode four, so probably not. But also, what’s the plan here, exactly? The plane is small — it can probably only fit maybe four other people inside, if that? Is Levi going to be running a shuttle service back and forth until all of the survivors are rescued? That seems not just inefficient but also fraught with conflict over who will be on the first flights out of there …

But these aren’t questions the group is wrangling with at the moment. Instead, the survivors ask about what is happening back at home and Levi informs them that everyone thinks they’re dead and the government is keeping things quiet until they can get them all home. But first: find the plane, which will be harder now that his plane finder thingamajig isn’t working.

Walking through the forest, walking through the forest, walking through the forest. At one point, Eve notices that Levi is looking pretty weak, and he reveals he has some fake blood smeared on his arm he’s been cut on the arm. Eve orders Josh to go fetch Levi some water from a nearby brook, though to what end? To pour on the wound and get it infected with ancient parasites or for him to drink and ingest a bunch of ancient parasites? The answer, it turns out, is to drink it, while Riley bandages up the wound.

Scott joins Josh as he’s getting the water, and informs him that Angry Son is Heroin Guy and fun additional fact: he can’t remember where he buried the drugs. But they have a foolproof plan: as long as they don’t tell Angry Son that Scott buried the drugs, Angry Son will never find out!

Yep, because that’s definitely how plot works.

And that’s when Levi’s thingamajig starts pinging, suggesting that the plane is only a mile away. Well, a mile away and on the other side of a river filled with giant CGI river snakes. Eve uses a walking stick to measure how deep the river is, and discovering that it is only a couple feet deep, Eve decides 1. it’s safe to cross and 2. that she should throw away her walking stick instead of using it to feel around for unseen prehistoric dangers lurking in the water.

Reader, you have no idea how many times I write “THIS DUMB SHOW” in my notes.

Anyway, a giant CGI river snake obviously grabs Riley and obviously drags her underwater, and Levi has to obviously save her by shooting the giant CGI river snake. I hate this show.

They find the plane and very long stupid story short, it’s not functional. But, Levi does have MREs so that’s something. Rileys suggests that he use the radio to call back to the present time, and he’s like “Yeah, I tried that, but it didn’t work. There was never any guarantee that I would be able to communicate once I got here.” Scott asks why he took the mission under such circumstances, and Levi and Eve share a long meaningful look because this show is the goddamned worst. KEEP IT IN YOUR PANTS, LEVI. HER SON IS STANDING. RIGHT. THERE. LEVI.

As they prepare to return to camp, Levi runs back into the plane to grab Eve’s wedding ring, and while he’s in there, the plane’s radar picks up a signal coming from about 5 miles away. He and Eve decide that they should camp there that night and follow the mysterious signal first thing in the morning.

Around the campfire, Angry Son is all, “Hey, tell us the story of performing spinal surgery on your dad, Riley!” and she is like, “Yeah, it was cool: Scott gave him some heroin and knocked him out and then I did the thing.” And that’s how Angry Son finds out Scott is the one who took his drugs: because Scott and Josh were too stupid to let Riley in on the fact that Angry Son was Heroin Guy.


Also that evening, Levi tells Eve that he was more nervous to see her than flying into a wormhole that was going to deliver him 12,000 years into the prehistoric past. Then we get into this dumb conversation about how he didn’t reach out to Eve because he didn’t think she wanted to hear from him after what happened to Izzy, and she informs him that she left Gavin. Levi is like, “Boy, do I have some news for you about Gavin: his visions are real, that’s why I’m here, and he found your wedding ring which you lost here in the past.”


The next morning, as they make their way to the mysterious signal, Angry Son assures Scott that he’s not going to kill him — he’s the only one who knows where his drugs are. Now, if they get back to camp and Scott doesn’t return the drugs that he can do nothing with here in 10,000 B.C., well, that’s a different story.

Oh, and Levi tells Eve, “By the way, Gavin totally knows we boned,” and Eve is like, “WAIT, WHAT?”

But there’s no time to discuss because Riley spies some sort of mysterious village ahead of them, and Levi confirms that it’s where the mysterious signal is, so they just go marching through the gate (which is marked with that mysterious red claw symbol). They’re all like, “No Biggie, just a prehistoric village filled with people who I am sure will respond to time travelers from the future calmly and reasonably. What could go wrong?”

I’m sure it will be No Biggie.

While all this is happening, over in the camp, one guy is determined to get one of the cars working. I’m sure that will be relevant at some point, but for now, it’s just a boring recurring subplot that we keep returning to.

As guy tinkers, Ty and some redshirt named Eddie, whom we are meeting for the first time, emerge from the woods, carrying several rabbit carcasses. Everyone’s all, “Wow, thanks Eddie, whose name we definitely know!”

Eddie retreats to his little shelter near the woods. But he’s not there for long when he hears a noise in the woods and goes to explore. Redshirts should never go explore the woods.

Meanwhile, the two weird sisters, Veronica and Lily, get into an argument when Veronica notices Lily isn’t reading her Bible. Instead, wonders why she can’t become friends with the nice gay couple. Veronica reminds her that it’s strictly against Dad’s rules, but Lily correctly points out that Dad’s been eaten by a prehistoric CGI wolf, so who cares? Veronica slaps Lily, Lily runs into the woods, Lily trips over Eddie’s very dead body, and then Lily sees someone in the woods and screams.

Veronica and some other people rush towards Lily’s screams and find the dead body. Lady Cop is all eager to treat it like a crime scene because when you’re a hammer everything looks like a nail, while Dr. Sam examines the body to try to figure out what killed him.

Dr. Sam notes that “Obviously I couldn’t perform a full autopsy,” — LOL, OH NO? WHY NOT? Just top-notch writing, guys. Give them all the Emmys. But also, is Dr. Sam a pathologist? Does he perform autopsies regularly? Is this something he would even know how to do if he were able to? — but he concludes that based on the weird-ass burn patterns, Eddie’s been electrocuted.

Of course, there hasn’t been any lightning in the area, so …

Lady Cop decides Lily might know what happened and suggests to Ty that he try using his Psychiatrist Super Powers to talk to her to find out what she saw.

As the group prepares to bed down for the night, Ty urges the sisters to move closer to everyone else for safety purposes, but Veronica is all, “NO THANK YOU PLEASE OUR MYSTERIOUS PAST WILL NOT ALLOW IT.” Ty then suggests that he talk to Lily in the morning to see if she has any insight into what happened to Eddie: he understands Lily doesn’t speak, but there are other ways to communicate. Veronica is all, “ABSOLUTELY NOT LEST SHE REVEALS OUR DARK SECRET.” But then Ty is like, “Don’t care, I’m going to talk to her whether you like it or not, good night.”

The next morning, while Veronica glares nearby, Ty asks Lily some yes and no questions about what she saw:

Did she see what hurt Eddie?


Was it a person?


Does she remember what they looked like?

Lily scrunches up her face because that’s the only direction these actors are given, and Veronica is like, “OK, QUESTION TIME IS OVER.”

But as Ty and Lady Cop are about to walk away, Lily calls out to them that it was an old man.

Everyone is all, “WHAAAAAATTTTT? YOU TALK?” as if they didn’t see this episode of Lost with Sun. But Lily continues, explaining that the old man was coming towards her but then he just left. And he had something on his back: a handprint. Oh, and guys? He’s like right there, in the trees, watching all of this go down.

Back up in MichaelBayLand, there’s an earthquake and then the news reports that the epicenter was the sinkhole. Gavin decides that he needs to go talk to Dr. Nathan about this immediately, though I am not sure what, exactly, he has to offer on the subject.

So he goes to the Air Force base and after having a quick vision of Levi and Eve hugging back in 10,000 B.C., Gavin just waltzes into Dr. Nathan’s office unsupervised which definitely is a thing that a civilian could do on a military base. He spies his file on her desk and starts poking around in it, discovering out a photo of Dr. Nathan with some other woman, a “Patricia Aldridge.”

That Agent Markman guy interrupts Gavin and informs him that Dr. Nathan is taking a personal day. Oh, and also: the rescue mission is over and done with. The seismic activity has everyone freaked out and they can’t risk another earthquake. With that, Agent Markman walks Gavin out of the office, but not before Gavin swipes his file and very conspicuously hides it inside his jacket.

Back in their $7 million home, Gavin shows Izzy and Aunt Ione Skye the file and the photo with Dr. Nathan and this Aldridge woman, which, on the back, not so subtly is captioned “Fourth known event, October 26, 2018.”  Gavin explains that the rescue mission is being shut down, and he needs to speak to Dr. Nathan, but he can’t get a hold of her. Izzy grabs her phone and immediately finds an address for this Rebecca Aldridge woman*: she owns a horse ranch in San Luis Obispo. And so Gavin and Izzy just … get into his truck and drive there? They don’t try … calling first?

That night, Gavin and Izzy make what they describe as a “five-hour drive” to San Luis Obispo. (It’s not — I’ve actually driven from Los Angeles to San Luis Obispo, and it is a three-and-a-half-hour drive.) As they drive down the one-lane road (!!!), they reminisce about their last family vacation and have a sad. WELL, MAYBE THAT’S WHY IT’S TAKING Y’ALL FIVE HOURS. JUST TAKE 101, GUYS. IT IS A STRAIGHT SHOT.



Anyway, the next morning, as they arrive at the horse ranch, this Aldridge woman and Dr. Nathan come outside and greet Gavin and Izzy. Gavin informs Dr. Nathan that Levi is alive and that he’s here for answers about these other sinkholes: might they be another way to get to the survivors? Aldridge explains that the other sinkholes have closed up: La Brea is the only way into the wormhole or whatever. Gavin is like, “well, Agent Markman says they aren’t going to let anyone else down there.” But Aldridge is all coy: “Who says we need Markman?” 

She then leads them out to a barn with a fancy handprint lock on it. Inside is another wormhole plane, but according to Aldridge, this one has “modifications” that will prevent it from crashing the way Levi’s did. And Gavin, obviously, is the guy who’s going to fly it and save everyone.

This very dumb show.

*But also, this woman has a sooper-secret piece of military equipment on her property and Izzy is able to just Google her location in 20 seconds?

Alright, keeping this brief for my sanity, but there are two plotlines stolen from Lost in this episode:

A group of survivors discovers a mysterious signal coming from somewhere in this strange place, and in the process of investigating it, discover that there might be someone else in this place with them.


In the process of rewatching that Lost scene from “Pilot, Part 2,” I just noticed for the first time that there’s a plot hole: Sayid is on the mission to try to send a radio broadcast out in “Pilot, Part 2” when they hear Danielle’s message which is in French, but Shannon is the only one who can translate it. However, we learn in “Enter 77” in Season 3 that Sayid spent a few months in Paris working as a cook. WHAT’S UP, SAYID?)

Alright, back on this stupid road. And then there’s the plotline where after a violent attack on their own, the survivors realize that not only are they not alone, they are in serious danger from some unknown stranger in their midst.

Again, and I can not say it enough, I hate this show.

La Brea airs on NBC on Tuesdays at 8/9 p.m.


2 thoughts on “‘La Brea’: The one where they steal the mysterious signal idea

  1. First I read your recaps, then go back to watch the taped show. So I don’t have to pay attention, just get to crack up. Thanks!

  2. Every time I see the claw symbol I mentally cue up the Peaky Blinders theme, “Red Right Hand” – which, for what it’s worth, was also featured in the film Dumb and Dumber.

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