‘La Brea’: In which they steal the whole Jughead thing

La Brea
“The Swarm”
February 21, 2023

Yes, I know, it’s been a minute. What can I tell you, this is a terrible show and I didn’t want to watch it. It’s just that simple. But then I felt all guilty because there are only three episodes left of this season and it really isn’t so much to ask to finish it and just do it already.

And so I watched this episode.

Y’ALL. THIS EPISODE. I didn’t think it was possible to outstupid themselves, but you guys: they did it. They went for it and they did it.

THE BREIFEST OF WHERE WE LEFT OFFS: That Kira Lady rudely interrupted Ty and Paara’s wedding to kidnap him, kill Mommy Caroline (maybe) and take the secret time travel plans; Gavin and Daddy James have a come to Jesus moment after Mommy Caroline is killed by That Kira Lady (maybe), and Daddy James is like “I promise to be a good guy now and not travel back in time to destroy your entire family just because I lost my custody case 30 years ago or whatever;” and Levi’s lost his damn mind.

We begin this incredibly dumb episode moments after Gavin, Eve, and Daddy James have buried Mommy Caroline, and Daddy James is like, “Right. Time to go take my building back and send your family home.”

The group swings by the hut where Dr. Sam is treating Grandpa mostly so they can exposit to the idiot children that they are going back to the Lazarus building and they are not to follow. Obviously at least one of them is going to follow. Izzy is all, “WHAT ABOUT LEVI?” and instead of being like, “… what about Levi? You do remember that he slept with your mom and tried to split up our family and is largely responsible for you losing your leg, right?” Gavin is all, “Whatevs,” before taking off with Eve.

Back at the tower, That Kira Lady and her team of goons are tying up all of Daddy James’ goons, and then after explaining to the audience Ty that she intends to get back to the business of saving the world using the time travel portals or whatever, she lets Ty go, just because.

Meanwhile, out in some field, Dr. Sam is collecting herbs to treat Grandpa, when he sees Levi with a bunch of explosives (which I assume he brought with him back to 10,000 B.C. instead of food and medicine and other supplies). “Hey!” Dr. Sam says, “Are those a bunch of explosives?” 

So Levi bonks him over the head and runs away.

Elsewhere, Daddy James leads Gavin and Eve to the least discrete secret entrance ever:

There, he explains that he has a guy who will help them, and he exits stage left so that Gavin and Eve can talk about how Daddy James is definitely no longer in his villain era and definitely will not double-cross them, and also that Levi is a menace.

Daddy James and Head Goon return, and as Head Goon swipes them into the Obvious Door, he warns that there are a bunch of dangerous animals running loose in the tower because reasons. Oh, and Ty joins them instead of going back to the village because letting your new bride know that your kidnappers haven’t killed you is super boring.

So into the Obvious Door they go, which is when Levi sneaks up behind Head Goon, bonks him over the head, and follows them into the building.

Inside, Daddy James has Gavin use his handprint to access the security protocols, and then sends Ty and Gavin to go close corridor doors to keep That Kiera Lady and her goons from stopping him with whatever very good and not evil thing he’s doing on the computer.

Back outside, Josh and Izzy find Dr. Sam who explains that Levi bonked him over the head and was headed to the tower with a bunch of explosives. Izzy insists that she has to help Levi and begins telling this treacly story about how when she was in physical therapy, Levi showed up at her hospital room and told her he was there to “kick her ass.” He then explained that he was going down to the hospital cafeteria to get a cup of coffee, and he wasn’t going to leave until she got out of bed, walked to the cafeteria, and had a cup of coffee with him. He waited there for two days without sleep before she made it down, which is why she needs to be there for him now.

Back in the building, Ty and Gavin are closing doors or whatever, and Gavin urges Ty to go to the infirmary and grab his cancer meds. Gavin then wanders into some glass box room where he can see Levi placing the explosives, but can’t get to him. Gavin begs Levi to stop but Levi reveals that it’s not just his wife who died because of the sinkholes, their daughter died too. Anyway, Gavin should get out of the building because he’s definitely going to blow this shit up. BYEEEEEE.

Gavin is then menaced by a Poorly Rendered CGI Saber-Toothed Tiger. He’s saved by Ty who attacks the Poorly Rendered CGI Saber-Toothed Tiger with an ax. But by doing so, Ty misses his opportunity to get to the infirmary and collect his medications. O NO.

While all this nonsense is happening, Eve discovers that despite saying he was done with it, Daddy James is actually using the computer to launch Project Blue Moon, his plan to go back in time to prevent Gavin from being taken from him as a child, and thus preventing her children from ever being born. HE’S STILL EVIL O NO WHO COULD HAVE POSSIBLY PREDICTED THIS. Fight fight tussle fight, until Daddy James breaks a bottle over her head and makes his escape.

Elsewhere, Levi finds That Kiera Lady, and takes her at gunpoint: he needs her help with something. They go to the portal where he demands that she shift all auxiliary power there so as to blow up the building … which … I mean … isn’t that what the explosives are for? BUT I’M NOT AN EXPLOSION SCIENTIST SO WHAT DO I KNOW. She resists at first but then pushes some buttons or whatever. That’s when Gavin and Ty arrive to try to stop Levi, and That Kiera Lady manages to sneak away with that journal that everyone was so bunched up about.

Levi sets the explosives timer for 15 minutes when Izzy arrives. How did Izzy get into the building guarded by dozens of goons? DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT. The point is, she tells Levi that she is not leaving the building until he meets her in the “cafeteria” and begins walking away. Levi is like, “DAMMIT,” and tries to stop the timers, but O NO they start speeding up instead. Everybody runs away and the building, it ‘splodes.


Hoo boy.

The camp folks have decided to build a water tower, and in the process of building said water tower, some red shirt drops a wrench or whatever, and in response, there is a low rumble from beneath their feet. Scott seems alarmed.

Cut to: Riley and Veronica who are out in the woods looking for — and I could not make this up if I had been given one million guesses — a sextant. While they are out there, Riley attempts to have some girl talk with Veronica about boys and shit.

When they return to Camp, they find it completely deserted and are like, “The fuck?” They spot one dead dude lying on the ground when Scott comes running out urging them to BE QUIET and rushes them into a truck cab just as the Poorly Rendered CGI Giant Yellowjackets attack.

Scott explains that they are Poorly Rendered CGI Giant Underground Yellowjackets who become REALLY PISSED OFF at the slightest sound and are profoundly toxic. As for why they woke up now after someone dropped a hammer instead of when, say, an entire herd of Poorly Rendered CGI Giant Buffalo stampeded over them, or when an ENTIRE LOS ANGELES CITY BLOCK dropped on them bad writing who even knows. “It was their time.” In terms of how to get rid of them, they could hose them down with soapy water which will clog their spiracles and kill them.

And that’s when they spot the only other camper who remained from the initial attack: Ella, who appears to be dead. But she’s not! But she might as well be because there’s a giant wasp crack in the ground right in front of her and getting to her will not be easy.

But hey, GREAT NEWS, they do happen to have one (1) EpiPen in the hospital bus, and they manage to somehow retrieve it without pissing off the Poorly Rendered CGI Giant Underground Yellowjackets. They then take an industrial-sized jug of soap, dump it into the fortuitously built water tower, and from the water tower, shove a hose down into the Poorly Rendered CGI Giant Underground Yellowjackets’s ground crack.


It seems to work, so Veronica very carefully tiptoes along the Poorly Rendered CGI Giant Underground Yellowjackets’s ground cracks to get to her sister and quick question: instead of going over the Poorly Rendered CGI Giant Underground Yellowjackets ground cracks, why didn’t she just go around the truck where her sister is? It just seems like it would be a much less dangerous route. And sure enough, as she nears Ella, the Poorly Rendered CGI Giant Underground Yellowjackets that haven’t been drowned by hand soap wake up and come pouring out of the cracks.

Veronica is able to drag Ella into the safety of the truck but O NO she’s dropped the EpiPen outside and now Poorly Rendered CGI Giant Underground Yellowjackets are crawling all over it.

Fortunately, Riley and Scott see this and formulate a plan. And y’all … this plan. So Scott is going to wrap himself in duct tape, put on a motorcycle helmet, fill a water gun with the bus’ antifreeze, ignite the antifreeze (which, yes, is improbably flammable), and turn the plastic water gun into a flame thrower to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood the Poorly Rendered CGI Giant Underground Yellowjackets.


Also, is a plastic water gun the best thing to turn into a flame thrower? We happen to own a flame thrower here at Foolish Watcher HQ (don’t ask) and I can assure you it is not made of colorful plastic.

But whatever, it works, and Scott drives the Poorly Rendered CGI Giant Underground Yellowjackets away, allowing him and Riley to bring the EpiPen to the sisters inside the truck.

But O NO Veronica was stung, too, and there is only one EpiPen.

As Scott and Riley excuse themselves back into the possibly Poorly Rendered CGI Giant Underground Yellowjackets-filled outside, the sisters argue over which of them will use the EpiPen. Eventually, Ella pops the EpiPen open, stabs it into Veronica’s leg, and politely dies.

Later, Veronica is sitting by a fire in the camp … and one more quick question: where the hell is everyone else? Did they all run into the woods? Did anyone else die from the Poorly Rendered CGI Giant Underground Yellowjackets’ toxic stings? Did Scott inadvertently drive all the Poorly Rendered CGI Giant Underground Yellowjackets into the woods to attack the other survivors who were hiding nearby? Alright, so that’s more than one question, but seriously: where is everyone?

The point is, Veronica is having a sad by the campfire when Riley comes up to her and is like, “We’re BFFs now!” The end.

Y’all — and I’m serious here: do you think La Brea is being written by A.I.? Is it at all possible that NBC is just feeding Chat GPT the prompt: Make it Lost but with prehistoric animals and a third-grade reading level?

As for the similarities to Lost, admittedly there’s not much in this episode. Charlie is attacked by bees in an early episode (“House of the Rising Sun”) but that is a stretch.

The only other connection is also pretty thin, but do you remember Jughead? Jughead was a nuclear bomb the Army brought to the island in the 1950s. The Others take control of it, but the casing cracks, and Daniel Farraday convinces them to bury it to prevent the nuclear material from contaminating everyone. In 1977, Jack gets it in his head that if they detonate the core, it will prevent the future — namely the plane crash — from happening, though others disagree with him. They do detonate the core, but instead of preventing the past, it blasts them back into the present, because whatever happened happened, and you can’t change the past, something that this show would be wise to remember.

The point is, there are shades of Lost here: you have two sets of “good guys” conflicted over the best way to handle the situation: either to maintain the status quo or to literally blow the whole thing up and the result is Unintended Consequences O NO.

I hate this show. It is bad. And you are bad people for making me watch it.

La Brea streams on Peacock. It is expected to return for one final season next year.

One thought on “‘La Brea’: In which they steal the whole Jughead thing

Leave a Reply