‘La Brea’: The one where they steal the idea of a present-day adult character interacting with the other characters as his child self in the past

La Brea
November 16, 2021

We begin this shitty episode of this shitty show in the aftermath of the ice storm as the survivors realize their store of mushrooms have been ruined by the melted snow (I don’t think that’s how mushrooms work? I think mushrooms can get wet and still be edible? Just dry out the mushrooms?) and Scott’s half-assed plan to build a greenhouse is unsuccessful. How will they feed themselves now?

Such worries are interrupted when Lily begins screaming, again, convinced that she saw someone in the woods. Maybe it was Ty? Possibly her not-sister but definite-abductor, Veronica? Actually, she is wrong on both counts: it’s that little blond village kid who helped Eve and the others escape the fort, and his hand is cut.

The survivors bandage him up in the urgent care bus, and Eve suggests that The Kid might just be the exact leverage they need to make friends with the locals and maybe learn a few things about how to survive in this Godforsaken place.

But before we get to all that, we’re going to stay here in Camp C-Plot for a second where Dr. Sam has just run out of his anxiety meds and is being a real asshole to his daughter. He’s also a real asshole to Veronica who shows back up only to be grabbed by Dr. Sam and handcuffed to a car steering wheel.

Everyone urges Dr. Sam to let her go, but Dr. Sam is all, “I AM KEEPING EVERYONE SAFE GET OFF MY BACK.” Veronica begins hyperventilating until she goes into anxiety-induced anaphylaxis — which, from what I can find is at the very least extremely rare and possibly not even a real thing at all? — and stops breathing. Dr. Sam has to administer CPR and manages to save her. But boy howdy, does Dr. Sam have some soul searching to do. Or something.

Oh, and also, Riley and Josh kiss.

So Eve, Ty, and Levi load the kid up into the Jeep, and drive him back to his village. On the drive, Eve gets the kid to reveal his name: Isaiah, and he admits to having been spying on them since they arrived. He just wanted to make sure they were OK, and that’s why he wasn’t scared of them when they arrived at the fort: he already knew they weren’t dangerous, despite what his grandfather said about the “Sky People.”

At this, Levi is ready to turn the Jeep around and head back to camp, but TOO LATE, because a bunch of warriors jump out from the bushes and stop them. The warriors take them back to the fort, where Ty and Paara are like, “OH HEY, IT’S YOU.”


Eve and Ty explain that they found Isaiah outside their camp, bandaged him up, and were just trying to bring him home. Paara is like, “Ok, cool, thanks, bye.” But Ty pleads with her that they need help — they barely survived the ice storm, and they are dumb dummies from the future who need some tips on how to do things like “build shelters” and “feed themselves.” So Paara is like “Ugh, fine, let me take care of your stupid ass. AGAIN.”

Paara shows them their gardens and tells them that she’ll show them how to make their own, how to build structures, and how to trade with other villages. Levi is all, “What’s the catch?” And Paara explains that they would rather have them as friends than enemies. She then goes on, for no good reason, to tell them that 60 years earlier, a passenger ship fell through a sinkhole in the ocean (I have questions) and that the passengers who came ashore didn’t want to make peace. After years of war, the survivors found common ground. Ever since, they’ve all lived together, sharing languages, cultures, and traditions. (I have more questions.)

They then invite them to share lunch — HAPPY THANKSGIVING — so it’s just a matter of time before 70% of the natives begin dying of COVID-19 and chickenpox.

Over lunch, Paara promises to send them back to their camp with food and supplies and Isaiah asks to show Eve a nearby lake. Meanwhile, Levi is still suspicious of The Old Guy and plans to search the village for “clues.”

At the lake, Isaiah reveals a whole bunch of stuff: his parents died when he was little so it’s just him and his grandfather (The Old Guy) and that he and his grandfather arrived here a few years ago. Meaning, his grandfather didn’t come from this ship that dropped from the sinkhole 60 years ago. As for where they’re from, he’s not allowed to talk about that.

Levi interrupts this interesting line of questioning to show Eve that he found Red Shirt’s wallet in The Old Guy’s hut. If He DiDn’T kIlL hIm WhY dOeS hE hAvE iT? Just solid logic right here.

So they go marching back into the village to demand answers from Paara when The Old Guy arrives and admits that yeah, he took the wallet, but he didn’t kill Red Shirt, he was just trying to figure out who he was. Paara is like, “And I believe him, because I also found a body in the woods, and we brought it back here for a proper burial. We tried to be nice to you assholes, but I GUESS THAT DIDN’T WORK OUT. GOODBYE.”

Ty tries to plead with her, but she’s like, “NAH. And to think I was going to send you home with some corn and peas.”

But before they can leave, an emergency horn is sounded and some girl comes running out of the woods to tell them that Isaiah has been taken by some woman. Eve and the others offer to help, and Paara is like, “UGH FINE SURE.”

The Old Guy gets to Isaiah and the woman first, and the woman is … Aldridge. And The Old Guy, he knows her by her first name! The Old Guy demands that Aldridge let the kid go, that he belongs there with him and she’s like, “Dude, I know how much you love him, but you also know how important he is.”


Eve and Levi follow Isaiah’s screams to find Aldridge, stabbed and bleeding. She urges Eve to find The Old Guy, that he’s “not who [she] thinks he is.” Levi recognizes the woman as Aldridge, and as she continues to insist they go after The Old Guy, Levi is all, “I’m on it.”

So he goes running after The Old Guy while the rest of them take Aldridge back to the fort. There, Eve goes to Aldridge’s bedside where Aldridge explains that the boy is special and needs to do something but that The Old Guy is trying to stop him. After some blah blah blah, Aldridge reveals that Isaiah is … LITTLE GAVIN. And he needs Eve’s help.


In the present, Gavin and Dr. Nathan meet this mysterious Ella woman’s assistant who explains that Ella has been keeping a low profile lately and probably won’t agree to talk to them. As they leave, they spot a car watching them, and when Gavin recognizes the driver as Ella, she speeds away. (Reminder: Ella is the girl who was found with Gavin when they were children, in case that wasn’t clear or you forgot/don’t care.)

Meanwhile, at school, Izzy is invited by Dr. Sam’s son to a vigil for the people that lost loved ones in the sinkhole. Pretty cool that they happen to go to the same school despite being in the second-largest school district in the country!

While Dr. Nathan calls in the plates of the car, Gavin has a vision of Eve and Levi at the Thanksgiving lunch. He decides to tell Dr. Nathan about his WIFE being a CHEATING WHORE, right before he receives a call from Izzy’s school saying that she’s cut class. Fortunately, he knows where she is: on some Australian bay that is supposed to be filling in for Southern California and miserably failing.

You know what Southern California looks like? Not this. (NBC)

There, Izzy confronts him about “giving up” on Eve and Josh, and he’s like, “Fine, you got me. Dr. Nathan and I are still trying to save them, but I didn’t want to get your hopes up.” They then promise to be honest with each other before swinging by the vigil.

At the vigil, which is just mainly a fence with people’s pictures and names pinned to it, a la the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Izzy tells Dr. Sam’s son to not give up hope. Great scene! Very insightful!

Gavin receives a call from Dr. Nathan informing him that this Ella woman has a home in Topanga Canyon near where the two of them were found as children. He and Izzy meet Dr. Nathan there and snoop around not being suspicious at all, and Gavin declares that the location feels familiar.

Then, at the same time, Gavin discovers a giant pit in the backyard that Dr. Nathan says “looks like a sinkhole” (I mean, kinda), he has a vision of The Old Guy looking up. At the same time, he hears the boy says, “Grandpa, she said my name wasn’t Isaiah, she said my real name was Gavin.”

And that’s when Gavin realizes: HE’S NOT HAVING VISIONS, THEY’RE MEMORIES!

Alright, so I can admit we are finally moving out of the “ripping everything off from Lost” territory with this bad show and firmly moving into the “ripping everything off from Back to Future” arena. Little Gavin must literally return to the future or his future children will begin fading from existence one hand at a time!

Hey, at least they’re still not being original!

Now, I’m sure there’s going to be more to it: I wouldn’t be surprised if Little Gavin and The Old Dude are actually originally from 1988 — the future/past — and that’s how The Old Guy knows Rebecca Aldridge or something. But I also truly don’t care.

All that said, don’t worry: they are still stealing from Lost, though this is a bit more circuitous. There are going to be a lot of Lost spoilers here, so you’ve been warned if you’ve not watched, some 11 years later.

In the fifth season of Lost, the characters who are left on the island are moved around through time when Ben Linus turns the Donkey Wheel (seriously, don’t ask, we don’t have the time to get into it) and eventually they find themselves in 1974, where they join the Dharma Initiative.

Meanwhile, the characters who were able to safely leave the island decide they need to return, and through plot mechanisms (again, don’t worry about it) they do return — to 1977, where they meet up with their friends who have now lived among the Dharma Initiative for the past three years.

The point of all of this: the main characters who are from 2007 end up interacting with their present-day adversary, Ben Linus, when he is a child in 1977.

In fact, one of the main characters tries to kill young Ben Linus, believing that he can prevent the future from happening in a whole “Kill Baby Hitler” scenario. But, of course, it does not work that way because “whatever happened happened.” It’s through 2007 Ben Linus’ actions that they are in 1977 — therefore they can’t kill 1977 Ben Linus and prevent him from becoming 2007 Ben Linus who will send them back to 1977 (or 1974, but who’s counting).

ANYWAY. MY POINT IS: I’ve seen this story about characters from the present interacting unexpectedly with a character from their present-future as his child self and honestly, someone needs to take the La Brea writers’ Hulu subscription away and force them to come up with their own ideas.


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


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