‘La Brea’: The one where they steal the blowing up the hatch idea (and blatantly say so)

La Brea
“The Storm”
November 9, 2021

It’s night, and Eve is busy in the CGI saber-tooth tiger and dire wolves woods, by herself, digging a grave for Diana, because she has the guiltys. And because, like everyone on this show, she’s irredeemably stupid. Lady Cop finds her there, and is like, “Stop beating yourself up: if we hadn’t done what we did, our sons would be dead.” Eve huffs that that’s not how everyone else sees it, but Lady Cop shrugs that once someone decides you’re the bad guy, there’s not a lot you can do to change their minds. GET IT? SHE’S TALKING ABOUT HER OWN RELATIONSHIP WITH HER SHITTY SON BECAUSE THIS SHOW IS AS SUBTLE AS A HAMMER TO THE SIDE OF YOUR HEAD.

Also wandering around the very dangerous woods in the middle of the night for no good goddamned reason are Josh, Riley, and Scott. Scott is showing them the Confederate gold that he and Angry Son found in the previous episode. Why this couldn’t wait until morning is unclear.

Josh and Riley are unsure why this is the good news that Scott is suggesting and he explains that the gold probably came from a sinkhole in the 1800s … meaning, there might be more sinkholes from which they can leave at a later date. And yeah, good point, but also, there was a sinkhole as recently as three years ago that Diana came through: wouldn’t that serve as a better example? One that would suggest they wouldn’t have to wait another 150 years for another sinkhole to materialize? Anyway, Josh brattilty brats something bratty.

Josh emerges from the Danger Woods and runs into his mother who tries to talk to him about the whole blowing up their one ride home thing, and he’s all, “YOU ARE TRIGGERING MY DADDY ISSUES” or something.

The next day, they hold a funeral for Diana, and everyone glares REAL HARD at Eve and Lady Cop.

After the funeral, Dr. Sam speaks as the representative of the survivors and tells Eve and Lady Cop that the group would be more comfortable if Lady Cop handed over her gun. Lady Cop is all, “FORGET ABOUT IT,” so Angry Son is like, “OK, instead let’s banish the both of them!” The group takes a vote, and even Josh elects to kick his mother out because he’s one of the most unlikeable characters on this show which is truly saying something.

While Eve gathers some supplies, Levi tries to talk her out of leaving and then announces that he’s coming with her. She’s all, “no thank you please.”

And then it’s snowing? It’s snowing. Scott comes running up to Dr. Sam, Riley, and Josh and exposits that they are in the middle of an Ice Age: there will be sudden, violent winter storms with hurricane-force winds that come out of nowhere. Dr. Sam tuts that they don’t need to worry, which is when a flock of giant prehistoric CGI birds flies screaming overhead.

Hey, do y’all remember the Hurley Bird? Just wondering.

So … there’s this big pile of concrete rubble? That I don’t remember being in the camp before? And Angry Son might be living in it or something? Which seems stupid even for this show filled with stupid people doing stupid things? Anyway, he’s sitting in this cave of rubble arguing with his mom when a telephone pole that is just dangling precariously over the rubble crashes down onto it. Lady Cop tries to pull Angry Son out, but instead, the two find themselves trapped inside together.

And that’s how what started off being a storm episode turns into the ol’ “trapped in a stuck elevator” episode instead.

The rest of the camp tries to pull the rubble away with their bare hands, but when that doesn’t work, Tony the Jeep Guy tells the crowd that he saw an 18-wheeler a couple of miles from there: maybe it has some tools inside that could help them.

Now, in a logical universe, what would happen here would be that Tony the Jeep Guy and maybe a couple of other people would drive the Jeep to the truck to search for supplies since he’s a grown-ass man and he’s the one who knows where the truck is. But this isn’t a logical universe, this is a shit-ass NBC sci-fi series. So, instead of Tony the Jeep Guy Who Knows Where the Truck Is returning to the truck, he hands the keys over to Josh and Riley, who, as far as I can tell, have no idea where the truck is aside from “a couple of miles over in that general direction.”

AND LISTEN, I understand why Josh and Riley are the ones to go search the truck: it’s for plot purposes. BUT THIS IS EASY TO FIX: Instead of Tony the Jeep Guy having seen the truck, Riley saw the truck or Josh saw the truck or both Josh and Riley saw the truck. But don’t just drag Tony the Jeep Guy into it because you feel like you have to give the gay BIPOC character a single line per episode.

This show is bad and stupid and I hate it.

While these two go wandering off aimlessly in a dangerous winter storm, Eve and Levi attempt to dig a tunnel to get Angry Son and Lady Cop out which honestly, is not a great plan.

Inside the rubble, Angry Son begins having a panic attack because he’s claustrophobic SO IT JUST MAKES GOOD SENSE THAT HE WOULD TAKE SHELTER IN AN UNSTABLE PILE OF RUBBLE, SURE. Also, it was like four weeks ago this guy was going spelunking with his mother and you’re telling me that he has had a lifelong fear of small places?

BUT I DIGRESS. Lady Cop talks him through some breathing exercises to help him calm down.

Meanwhile, outside, all the digging has predictable results and the rocks begin caving in further. With death closing in on them, Lady Cop insists on telling Angry Son what really happened with his dad. Long story short: Dad was also a cop, but a bad cop who was in the drug business and he brought Angry Son into it. And that was bad! But what was really bad was that Bad Cop Dad got caught doing bad drug things and struck a deal in which he’d turn Angry Son in for his own freedom. … And so Lady Cop … murdered him?

This goddamned dumb show, I swear to God.

While Angry Son and Lady Cop have this come to Jesus moment, outside the pile, Scott has an idea. And I quote: “Remember how they opened the hatch on Lost? They used old dynamite they found on the island. Then ‘Bam!’ Blew right open.”

Me:

This, of course, gives Dr. Sam an idea because all of this show’s ideas come from Lost, as I’ve documented, and he decides to construct an IED, using a defibrillator and some gunpowder. Because adding explosives to an unstable pile of concrete is a terrific idea. But it works because of course it works, they’re not going to kill off these characters right after they have this completely artificial catharsis.

Meanwhile, the 18-wheeler Tony the Jeep Guy saw happens to be a wardrobe truck for some sort of film or TV production and somehow still has light and heat. Riley and Josh decide to ride out the storm in it, and she gives Josh grief for being a shitty son. They also talk about why she dropped out of premed, and come very close to kissing when Riley suddenly notices the storm has passed.

Josh and Riley return to the camp with a Jeep full of coats for everyone, Lady Cop volunteers to give up her gun, and the camp votes to allow Lady Cop and Eve to stay, including Josh.

Oh, hey, remember Ty? Because no one else on this show seems to.

Last we saw Ty, he had been conked on the head by that kidnapper/kidnapee Veronica who apparently left him tied up in that giant bear claw rock garden. He’s discovered by the prehistoric lady who called off the other prehistoric goons when the protagonists were nearly filled with arrows in the fort. This lady takes pity on Ty, killing a giant prehistoric CGI rattlesnake that was about to bite him before also freeing him from the ropes that Veronica tied him up with and …

STOP. WAIT. WHAT? Where did Veronica get rope? WHERE DID SHE GET ROPE?

Ty tries to get up, but he collapses because of the whole concussion thing.

But Prehistoric Lady takes pity on him, and he wakes up inside a cave? And she’s stitched up the wound on the back of his head? HOW DID SHE GET HIM INTO THE CAVE? WHY DOES THIS SHOW DO THIS? TO WHOM DO I WRITE TO COMPLAIN?

So. He wakes up in the cave, and he thanks her for helping him and tells her his name. He notes that his friends told him about a village not far from there, and asks if that’s her home. She answers that they entered it uninvited and he’s like, “yeah, they know and they’re really sorry, they were just looking for ‘answers.'” He insists they didn’t mean any harm, and she’s like “the Sky People say that a lot, but it is seldom true.”

Ty, using deductive reasoning, realizes there have been other people who have come through the light, though the first clue should have been THE WOMAN IN THE YEAR 12,000 B.C. SPEAKING PERFECT ENGLISH. He asks how long people have been coming there and she answers as long as they can remember. After telling him that she’s not sure if there’s a way back, she’s like, “Alright, I’m out. Catch you later.”

Except, she takes one peek out of the cave, sees the storm, and is like, “well, shit.”

Since they have more time together, Ty asks some more questions: how long have her people been there? Forever. Who taught them English? He should lie down and rest.

Ty notes that he doesn’t blame her for being wary of outsiders: things don’t work out for her people or his own in a few thousand years. “So I’ve heard,” she replies.

OoooOOOOooOoOOh HOW DOES SHE KNOW THAT??????1!?

But also, does a woman in 12,000 B.C. have any way to be able to contextualize the African slave trade? Does she have any way to be able to contextualize AFRICA?

Ty tells her that someone in his group was murdered and that a young girl saw an old man from her group in the woods when it happened. “Silas? Nah. He wouldn’t do that,” she replies.

Ty goes back to asking her about the light in the sky, and she’s like, “yeah, we don’t know why it comes and goes.” She then asks him if he has family where he’s from, and he replies that he has a wife but that they’re divorced. He begged her to take him back the morning he came here, but she didn’t agree.

Stop. Wait. HOW DOES A WOMAN FROM 12,000 B.C. KNOW WHAT DIVORCE IS?

OH MY GOD, WHATEVER.

Ty explains that he thought he had nothing left to live for until he came here: being forced to survive made him start living again. Prehistoric Lady is all, “It’s nice to finally meet someone from your world who can see beyond my home’s dangers.” And instead of being like, “Yeah, that’s not at all what I meant,” Ty just smiles at her.

The storm finally ends, and he’s about to head back to camp when Prehistoric Lady introduces herself: Paara. And then she offers to lead him back to his camp because if you don’t know where you’re going, it’s easy to get lost out there. BUT SURE, GIVE THE TEENAGERS THE KEYS TO THE JEEP AND JUST SEND THEM OUT ON THEIR OWN. MAKES GOOD SENSE.

While all this is going on, in the present day, Gavin finds himself handcuffed in an interrogation room. Agent Markman presents him an NDA to sign to make all this nastiness go away, and he’s like, “sure, why not.” Because I’m certain it would be that easy after this dipshit violated restricted airspace and F-15s were scrambled.

When he gets home — or to Aunt Ione Skye’s house? but if it is Aunt Ione Skye’s house, where is Aunt Ione Skye? — he tells Izzy about the NDA and she seems very concerned. She goes to bed and then Dr. Nathan is suddenly at his door, wanting to know what happened to Aldridge. He explains that she jumped out of the plane but not before telling him to go back to the beginning: November 16, 1988. Gavin reveals that this was around the same time he was adopted (which, let’s just put a pin in that) and he needs to find out how his past is tied to the sinkhole and how they can bring people home. Gavin explains that he was dropped off anonymously at CPS, maybe they can find the records and see who left him there? Dr. Nathan is like, “Yep, through my Department of Homeland Security connections, I will dig into this state agency and get some answers because that is definitely how everything works.”

The next morning, Izzy has a brat about going to school but does so anyway.

Gavin then goes to Dr. Nathan’s house where she reveals she got his CPS file and that the people who turned him over to CPS were the clergy of some church in Topanga. During their conversation, he notices a picture of Dr. Nathan and Diana and has a flash of something happening to Diana in the past, but he’s not sure what, exactly.

They go to the church and the nice lady pastor remembers him immediately: she and her group were coming home from the food bank when they saw him and a girl of about 12-years-old on the side of the road. They checked with a nearby house, but they didn’t know them, so they took them to CPS. As for who the 12-year-old girl was? Who knows!

But wait: is November 16, 1988, the day he was adopted or the day he was found? Because they can’t be the same thing …

Dr. Nathan starts calling around to try to find a name for this mysterious girl, and when she lowers her phone, he sees another picture of Diana, which triggers another flash, which confirms that she’s dead. Gavin breaks the bad news and Dr. Nathan is SAD FACE.

As they drive around, Dr. Nathan explains that her contacts gave her a name for the 12-year-old-girl: Ella Jones. She has a gallery in Silver Lake. They make their way to said gallery, only to find it closed. But! There’s a note advertising the sculpture gallery in the back, where they find a giant … BEAR CLAW SCULPTURE! “She must be connected to that place!” Gavin says, stating the fucking obvious.

Obviously, the Lost thing. They’re doing the thing where they are saying out loud, “Yes, we know we are blatantly stealing this from Lost, but as long as we winkingly do so, you can’t be mad at us!”

It’s just all so lazy! The disparate group of people who must band together to survive this mysterious place, the stash of heroin, the skeleton in the cave, the constant threat from giant predators, the girl who apparently couldn’t speak but really could, the others who were living in this place there before him and who are spying on them, the woman also trapped there who has gone crazy, the time travel, the Confederate gold (which is just another Black Rock, an item from the nineteenth century that got stuck in this same place) and now the blowing up the hatch idea?

And honestly, the blowing up the hatch idea might be the most egregious example because it’s least thematically connected to Lost and yet this is the moment — THIS is the thing — they sheepishly admit they are stealing from the show? Not all of the ALL OF IT? To be completely honest with you, I might not have even pieced it together that they had stolen it from Lost UNTIL THEY POINTED IT OUT.

As for the show itself, it’s going to be that Gavin and this 12-year-old girl are from the past, isn’t it? That they are actually part of the tribe of Bear Claw or whatever? And that the bearded guy, Silas, is really Gavin’s father? And I’m going to go a step further and guess that the kids were transported into the future through some sort of electrical anomaly and that’s why our redshirt Eddie and that scientist guy in the temple were electrocuted: that Silas and the tribe are trying to recreate the circumstances that the children went missing so that they can be reunited? Or something. I don’t know and I don’t care.

In conclusion, I hate this dumb show and I will hold a grudge against all of you forever for making me have to endure it.

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

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