‘La Brea’: The one where they steal the mysteriously stamped animal idea

La Brea
“Father and Son”
November 23, 2021

Let’s begin with Scott and the cow. Scott finds a cow. Scott returns to the group and is like, “YOU GUYS, I FOUND A COW! COME HELP ME CATCH THE COW!” But everyone is like, “LOL WHATEVER, STONER,” because I guess they think pot causes hallucinations?

Anyway, the only person who agrees to help Scott is Veronica who is looking for a way to redeem herself. Scott is reluctant to accept her help but relents when she explains that she grew up in rural Texas and knows from cows.

While looking for the cow, Veronica opens up about her past: mom was never around, a stepfather she didn’t get along with, she runs away. Dude who kidnaps her found her living on the streets of Los Angeles and promises her a better life. It was just the two of them for a couple of years but then they took Lilly, because Kidnapping Dude explained that “God had a plan for all of them.” They then find the cow and using ropes that they definitely did not bring with them, they manage to lead her back to camp.

But can we go back to the “God had a plan for them” thing? Did Kidnapping Daddy know about the sinkholes?

Actually, you know what? I don’t care.

Oh, and Scott finds a barcode on the back of the cow’s ear. Because PLAGIARISM! MYSTERY!

Also happening in Camp B-Plot: Levi drives back to collect Dr. Sam, Josh, and Riley to bring them to the village to help treat Aldridge. Because here in 10,000 BCE we just have endless gas to drive people all over Southern California, I guess.

Back in the village, Aldridge is explaining to Eve that she needs to find Isaiah and get him to Topanga immediately. Aldridge then passes out to give time for Eve to explain to Paara what is going on. Paara has information of her own: The Old Guy and Isiah joined their village a few years ago, after falling through a sinkhole. The Old Guy said Isiah’s parents had died, and she had no reason to not believe him.

Levi returns with Dr. Sam, Riley, and Josh and while Dr. Sam treats Aldridge, Eve has the unenviable job of telling Josh that the little blond-haired boy is actually his dad. Josh refuses, again, to believe this, despite standing there inside a prehistoric fort and having been attacked by a CGI prehistoric dire wolf just a few days earlier. As for Eve, she is coming around to the idea, insisting that the kid has Gavin’s eyes and smile.

Narrator: He does not. Not even close.

In the five minutes it takes to have this conversation, Dr. Sam manages to drain the blood that was in Aldridge’s lungs and she’s fine now!

Eve and Josh enter the hut where Aldridge provides them more information about 10,000 BCE Gavin: he was born in this world, and came into the present day through a sinkhole in 1988. The portal is on top of a mountain in Topanga which is open right now but will close soon. They need to get Isiah through that portal or Gavin and Eve will never meet, and Josh and Izzy will never be born. When the light begins closing tomorrow, Josh and Izzy will begin to get sick and eventually die.

OK BUT WHY? Why would they get sick and die? Why wouldn’t they just Back to the Future and disappear? OH WAIT, I KNOW WHY: BECAUSE THESE WRITERS ARE HACKS.

Everyone agrees to go search for The Old Guy and Isaiah and they split up to do so, with Paara and Ty going in one direction so as to make out — because THERE IS DEFINITELY TIME FOR THAT, YOU GUYS — and Levi, Eve, Josh and the Jeep going in another. The latter group finds a cave that Isaiah and The Old Guy had just been in, and near it, a set of tracks they decide to follow, with Josh taking the Jeep to the other side of a large rocky field.

Except, on his way, Josh sees Isaiah, who has been separated from The Old Guy (don’t worry about it), being predated by a poorly rendered CGI saber-toothed tiger. Josh drives the Jeep directly into the terrible animation, saving his dad, but destroying the Jeep in the process.


Levi and Eve follow the sound of the crash and are like, “welp, I guess we’re walking the 10 miles to Topanga now.” Isaiah protests that he wants to go home, but they’re like, “Yeah, that’s not going to happen.” Meanwhile, The Old Guy watches them from the nearby bushes.

On their walk, Levi mistakes Levi for Josh’s dad (even though HE’S Josh’s dad) and when Josh corrects him, Isaiah is like, “Oh, I just assumed they were married because I saw them holding hands.” And now Josh is all mad about something new because we can’t get through 40 minutes of any episode without him being a little bitch.

Eve then tells Isaiah that they’re going to shove him through a portal by himself, and he’s like, “wait what?” But they don’t really have time to get into all that because The Old Guy and his goons have found them. RUN!

And Isaiah just .. agreeably goes along with these strangers who are threatening to throw him into a magical portal by himself, separating him from the only life and people he’s ever known? Instead of screaming for his grandfather so that he can save him?


The group gets to a giant ravine and they’re all, “UH-OH!” and they hear The Old Guy and his goons behind them. Isaiah reveals there is a bridge nearby — and by “nearby” he means, “on the other side of that bush right there.” Sure enough, there’s a rope bridge that they should have been able to see by just looking down the ravine, but WHATEVER, and Isaiah and Eve make it across.

But before Levi and Josh can follow, The Old Guy and the Goons arrive and grab them, threatening to kill them if Eve doesn’t bring Isaiah back. But! Levi manages to cut the rope bridge, so that’s no longer an option. Instead, The Old Guy demands, Eve needs to bring Isaiah to the other end of the ravine, or they’ll kill them.

Eve leads Isaiah through the woods until they run into Ty and Paara who decide the only way they’re going to get Isaiah through the portal and save Levi and Josh is if …. Ty and Paara go back to their camp and get help? And so they abandon Eve and Isaiah at the tree.

That night, Eve gets antsy, hands Isaiah a water bottle and tells him to wait there for Ty and Paara. But if they don’t return soon, he needs to get himself up that mountain by himself, because she’s going to go save her son. PEACE OUT.

So … let me get this straight: Eve, Ty, and Paara could have walked the kid up the mountain together and shoved him through the portal, guaranteeing that Josh and Izzy would live (at least long enough for The Old Guy to kill Josh) but instead, they 1. split up and then 2. Eve abandons a 10-year-old — in the woods — filled with CGI dire wolves and saber-toothed tigers — at night — to find a mysterious portal on his own.

Meanwhile, while they’re walking to their death, Josh confronts Levi for hooking up with his mom and Levi is like, “Now? Really?” before telling him to drop it until they can get themselves out of this mess.

Over in the village, Aldridge is suddenly up and about, and rummaging through a hut, where she finds a journal — 10,000 years before paper is invented — and shoves it into her jacket. She then tells Dr. Sam that they need to return to his camp; she can’t stay there for reasons.

Dr. Sam and Aldridge arrive at the camp where she’s like, “Alright, listen up: I came down here during the second rescue attempt, and it didn’t go as planned. But! There’s another portal that is open right now. But! It leads to 1988. So if you want to get back to TV and coffee and can live without wifi for 20 years, that’s one way to do it.”

The survivors debate whether or not to take this opportunity, with Veronica, for one, seeing it as a fresh start. Scott, however, wants to hang out in prehistoric times a while longer, because he hasn’t had enough close calls with poorly rendered CGI beasts who want to eat him.

Meanwhile, Aldridge approaches Lilly and hands her a page from the journal, explaining that she has something VERY IMPORTANT for her to do. After their conversation, Lilly marches up to Veronica and announces that she needs to go to Topanga, and they need to leave NOW.

In the present timeline, this “Ella” woman finds Gavin, Izzy, and Dr. Nathan wandering around her property and is like, “Excuse me, the fuck is going on here?” Gavin tries to explain that she came through a time wormhole with him back in 1988, and this other woman, Rebecca Aldridge, told him that she was his way back to his family who is trapped in 10,000 BCE.

Ella admits that she’s also been having weird flashes since the sinkhole opened, before being like, “Alright, time for y’all to GTFO.”

They leave, but Gavin has an idea: maybe if he can find an item that proves she was in the past with him, she’ll believe them. To that end, these three drive to the archeological dig site and he just walks into the main tent AS THOUGH IT IS NOT BEING GUARDED BY HOMELAND SECURITY. Inside the relic tent, Gavin finds a stone with a dragonfly fossil which he recognized from Ella’s art, and after some very mild shenanigans, he manages to steal it.

This is a very bad show and I hate it.

They return to Ella’s house just as Gavin has a vision in which Eve is talking about her kids becoming sick and dying. He has a worried. He then knocks on the door and shows Ella the dragonfly rock and she’s like, “THE FUCK?” He explains that he stole it from an archeological dig site from 10,000 BCE, and she painted it in her art because she was there with him.

“I remember now,” she says with a faraway look in her eye. “You were right, and someone was calling me by a different name: Lilly.”

Ella then pulls out the clothes she was wearing when she and Gavin were found as children — which she just has laying around, apparently — and inside a pocket is the page that Aldridge gave her: it’s a map of sinkholes and ZOMG!1111!!!!!!!! a sinkhole is going to open up in Seattle TOMORROW.

Ok, but based on the time it takes to travel in this universe as the Los Angeles – San Luis Obispo route would indicate, will it take them 36 hours to get to Seattle or 30 minutes? Also … so, wormholes are just opening up every 6 or 7 days? 1. WHY AREN’T PEOPLE MORE CONCERNED? 2. Getting into this particular portal no longer feels particularly urgent, right? If they’re just opening up all the time, all over the place, why not bide your time and go in prepared? This is a stupid show, that’s why.

Before I go on to show you all the things they stole from Lost this week, let’s talk about Lilly/Ella, because I’m seeing a lot of confusion out there with people unsure how she can exist as two different people in the same time. It’s not that complicated, y’all, and for once the writers haven’t done fucked something up regarding time travel.

So follow: If Lilly is roughly 12 in 2021, she was born in 2009. In 2021, she falls through the sinkhole landing in 10,000 BCE. A few days later, she goes through another portal that delivers her 12-year-old self to 1988. She remains on that timeline, growing up as “Ella” with no memory of anything that happened to her before. So, yes, beginning in 2009 when Lilly is born, there are two versions of Lilly in the timeline from that moment on, Baby Lilly and Grown Ella — that is until Baby Lilly falls through the sinkhole in 2021, at which time there is only one Ella moving forward. Time is a circle, and everything that happened, happened — which means (without having seen the next episode) Lilly and Isaiah have to make it to 1988 because they already have. This isn’t hard.

It all comes back around.

As for those Lost references, I’ll admit, there were very few last week. This week? Hoo boy.

First of all, we’ve got “others” who might not be who they appear to be, demanding that the protagonists hand over a child to them:

Then — and this is less specific, I will concede — but the rickety rope bridge idea is … familiar.

And I will remind you, Lost‘s rope bridge is also a loss by the end of the scene.

But I think the most obvious thing that they stole from Lost in this episode is the cow.

UPDATE: Now, granted, there were no cows on the Island. There were at least three cows on the island (thanks to Stan C. for the reminder!).  However, Kate does unexpectedly come across a different farm animal, a black horse in “What Kate Did.”

And then, of course, there is the bar code behind the cow’s ear:

I bet you know where I’m going with this: the Dharma shark.

I simply can not with this dumb lazy show. COME. UP. WITH. YOUR. OWN. IDEAS. GOD. DAMMIT.

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


3 thoughts on “‘La Brea’: The one where they steal the mysteriously stamped animal idea

  1. Wait, I was thinking there were cattle, including at least one black-and-white, at the Flame station, which Locke blowed up. (Maybe they were steers or bulls, rather than cows?)

    1. STAN! You’re right! There was a red cow that led Sayid to the Flame station, as well as a black and white cow, and a white one. Thanks for reminding me!


  2. Goddam it I love your reviews!!!! I love how you talk and write. Best reviews ever. How can I follow your writing and find out what other shows you have so eloquently reviewed?!?!?!

    Dobby will follow master everywhere! ( ok that actually sounded far sleazier than it’s meant to, soz)

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