October 18, 2022
This show is dumb and bad and I can’t believe I am still recapping it.
We begin the episode with Izzy and Gavin waking up after their first full night at Camp A Plot. Izzy is pleased to see her parents being nice to each other, and is like, “I LOVE BEING HERE, THIS IS GREAT!” Her parents remind her that 10,000 B.C. is a dangerous place to be, but this dingdong is all, “I’M FINE AND CAN TAKE CARE OF MYSELF WITH MY ONE REAL LEG AND BROKEN PLASTIC ONE.”
She literally cannot.
Anyway, the plan, again, is to somehow bring their other kid back to 10,000 B.C. from the safety of 1988 and then all return to the 21st century together.
This is a very dumb plan.
But it’s the only plan they’ve got, and to that end, Gavin intends to find Aldridge and bully her into helping him.
Gavin finds Dr. Sam making a lookout point to keep an eye out for Paara’s people after Angry Son went and stole food from them. Gavin is all, “Cool, but I’m going to go find Aldridge because: Stupid Plan.” Dr. Sam warns him that a fog is rolling in and that it is going to become too dangerous to be out wandering around in the haunted wooly mammoth woods.
Scott emerges from the woods, raising Angry Son’s — whose name is actually Lucas, which we will call him from here on out now that Angry Mom is dead, R.I.P. — and Veronica’s suspicions on account of his “twisted ankle.” Never mind the fact that, again, VERONICA’S ANKLE WAS CAUGHT IN AN IRON BEAR TRAP 48 HOURS AGO AND NO ONE IS LOOKING AT HER WALKING-AROUND-ALL-NORMAL ASS TWICE. Scott claims he found a giant field of pot — which is a very specific story that someone like Lucas is going to make a point to confirm, so he better hope it’s true — and then he hurries off to find Gavin.
Scott tells Gavin that Aldridge is in the woods, and wants to talk to him alone. Gavin is like, “Cool, I’m just going to go get Eve and bring her along.” Scott refuses, but SURPRISE! Eve was right there listening in all along. She insists on going with Gavin, but Gavin convinces her to stay behind with Izzy and allow him to talk to Aldridge alone. Because when has Gavin doing something alone ever gone wrong?
Scott and Gavin head into the woods, and along the way, Scott explains that according to Aldridge there is supposedly a time travel portal in that mythical 21st-century high-rise building. Gavin is like “WHAT? THEY CAN CONTROL TIME TRAVEL?” as if his fool self isn’t standing in the middle of 10,000 B.C. right at that very moment.
Aldridge emerges from the fog:
Aldridge then explains her plan to Gavin, such as it is: the time portal uses that black rock that they were mining for the Exiles for power. There’s a big shipment that is going into the tower soon, so they’ll go back to the mine cave, and hide in the shipment to get into the building.
Gavin wonders why she’s being so secretive and weird and Aldridge claims the mission is too dangerous to involve everyone. Gavin is like, “Oh, so it’s cool to put me in danger?” But Aldridge explains that he has a role to play, one that only he can do. Gavin demands to know if this has something to do with his parents, and Aldridge admits that it does: they are still alive, and they, along with Aldridge and Grandpa, created this whole Lazarus time travel project.
But before she can answer whether or not his parents are currently in 10,000 B.C., they are interrupted by Paara. She’s on her way to stop a faction of her people from attacking Camp A Plot for stealing the food, and Gavin has a choice: he can go with Aldridge to the time portal and try to retrieve Josh from a very safe, non-cave-bear-having 1988, or he can save the rest of his family from Paara’s savages.
Gavin chooses the latter, and he, Scott, Aldridge, Paara, and some of her people head over to Camp A Plot to save them from Paara’s other people. There, they find that the Camp A Plotters found out about the raid and have decided to spend the 5 minutes they have before the Fort People arrive making a series of elaborate straw dummies with their extra clothes and place them around a giant bonfire because crafting is fun, I guess.
Anyway. Izzy makes a pointy stick because SHE CAN HELP TOO, MOM, EVEN IF SHE DOES ONLY HAVE ONE LEG AND SHE’S THE WHOLE REASON EVE AND GAVIN SPLIT UP.
Before Eve can be like, “Wait, no, you’ve got this backward: I’M the reason YOU lost your leg because I couldn’t keep it IN MY PANTS,” an alarm is sounded: the fort people, they are here.
And can we pause here for a moment of appreciation for this guy who is going to fight with a crutch?
But they haven’t even started fighting before everyone — Camp A Plotters and The Fort Savages — are suddenly attacked by a pack of dire wolves. And this being NBC, they are terribly rendered CGI dire wolves.
Right, so everyone runs for shelter, with Dr. Sam and Izzy, Scott, Veronica, and various Red Shirts making it onto the bus. Eve saves the main Fort Savage who led the mission to raid Camp A Plot and she and Levi manage to shove him into a truck.
Eve — who apparently is an expert shot with a bow and arrow now, because, SURE WHY NOT — takes one to try to make her way to the bus where Izzy is, explaining to Levi that she needs to have a big important talk with her daughter about the state of her marriage. Levi’s like, “I mean, sure, but I think that can probably wait until after the 150-pound prehistoric wolves are trying to tear us limb from limb.”
Over in the bus, Izzy announces she is going out into the dire-wolf-filled fog to help her parents, because she is the idiot daughter of her idiot mother and idiot father. Dr. Sam convinces her to stay. Meanwhile, Veronica begins having a panic attack, which Lilly/Ella is able to talk her through. Finally, Veronica confesses to Lilly/Ella that she was the one who pointed her out to their abductor and Lilly/Ella is like, “Yo, no big deal.”
Probably not helping Veronica’s panic attack: the dire wolves on the roof of the bus have somehow managed to figure out how to work out the bolts because they’ve suddenly turned into the velociraptors from Jurassic Park.
This show is so insultingly stupid.
Outside, after saving Gavin from a dire wolf, Aldridge gets her boob chomped for her troubles while Scott and Gavin stand around with their thumbs up their bums.
Gavin tries to help her but she’s like, “Don’t worry about me and my fatal wound: go save your family.” And Gavin is like, “Sounds good to me,” and abandons her.
Gavin and Scott meet up with Levi and Eve, and Gavin announces that has A Plan: because he always has A Plan. This plan involves putting some of the black rocks which Levi serendipitously happened to take with him from the cave mine, put them into the bonfire, and have Eve fire one of those arrows that she just happens to be an expert at shooting and which Gavin had no idea she had on her person at those black rocks in the bonfire causing an explosion.
The explosion goes off without a hitch, the dire wolves flee, day: saved.
And with that, Paara and her people have made nice with Camp A Plot again.
Meanwhile, Eve decides that this is the perfect time to confess to Izzy that she and Levi had an affair, and she’s still in love with him. Izzy is like, “FOR FUCK’S SAKE, DOES DAD KNOW?” And Eve confesses she hasn’t had a chance to tell him yet, so just A++++ parenting, Eve. Well done dumping this very adult secret on your daughter’s teenage shoulders.
While all of this is happening, Ty has wandered out into the woods where he hallucinates an entire conversation with a former patient. Paara finds him talking to no one and her response is, “ZOMG I LOVE YOU COME LIVE WITH ME AND MY PEOPLE BECAUSE I WANT TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR A LUNATIC WHO IS SEEING THINGS IN THIS ALREADY VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION WE ARE ALL IN.”
Oh, and Aldridge, she dies, but not before telling Gavin that his mother is named Caroline and she is in 1988 and that she’s “coming back to set things right.”
Speaking of 1988, Josh and Riley have this random geologist they’ve befriended attempt to charge their 2021 smartphones because yes, absolutely, all scientists can do all science things. Once the phone is charged — because of course it’s charged, why wouldn’t a geologist be able to figure out how to charge a device that no one has invented yet? — Josh shows the geologist photos on his phone of animals in 10,000 B.C. and Geologist is like, “Cool. Good enough for me! I have zero questions about this entire situation!”
Geologist tells Josh and Riley that they need to show these photos to the head of his department, Dr. Clarke. The only problem is that Dr. Clarke already thinks he’s a nut with his whole sinkhole theory, so maybe Riley could approach her and show her the pictures and explain to this total stranger that she has time-traveled to 10,000 B.C. and back via sinkhole?
Say what you will about La Brea, the writing is ~chef’s kiss~
So Riley goes to Cal Tech and approaches this Dr. Clarke and is like, “Sinkholes, tidal wave, 10,000 B.C., time travel, SABER TOOTH TIGERS!” And for some inexplicable reason, this Dr. Clarke is like, “ohmygod get this crazy person away from me.”
But! Dr. Clarke’s assistant tells Riley that she believes her and wants to show her something. Josh joins along and Assistant leads them to Dr. Clarke’s office where she’s waiting for them. There, she demands to know if they are working with someone named “James” who is determined to stop her work: why else would they travel from 10,000 B.C. to 1988? Josh is like, “We have no idea what you’re talking about, lady. We accidentally came to 1988 while helping this little boy named Isiah get through a time portal safely. And it’s going to sound completely crazy, but this Isiah kid is my dad.” To which this woman, Dr. Caroline Clarke is all, “OH MY GOD, ISIAH IS MY SON!” To which Josh is all, “WHICH MEANS YOU ARE MY GRANDMA!”
Alright, so there aren’t many Lost parallels in this episode that I can think of off the top of my head. There is one very Lost visual storytelling shorthand that they use in this episode. The episode ends with a little musical interlude as the survivors sit around a bonfire together, sharing “meaningful” looks:
Lost ended multiple episodes exactly this same way.
The only other thing I would point out is the time travel thing which La Brea has been doing from the beginning, in which characters meet their own relatives at weird ages: Josh and Eve meeting Gavin as a child, for instance, and in this episode, Josh meeting his grandmother as a young woman.
And of course on Lost, Daniel Faraday meets his mother Eloise Hawking on the island before he is born. Their meeting involved a lot more gunplay and tragedy.
That’s all I’ve got, I’m afraid. It’s a dumb show and it makes me dumber to think about it too much.
La Brea airs on NBC on Tuesdays and can be streamed on Peacock.