Another day, another emergency and another big reveal in an episode 4 of season 2 of La Brea. The intriguingly simple sci-fi show that got a surprising second-season revival settled into a predictable pattern. Sadly, I’m not convinced it’s one that serves the overall mythos of the series as well. Instead of breadcrumbs and layered dynamics, we get a wash, rinse, and repeat style puzzle box that may have lost some of its mystery.
There are still plenty of parts to love about NBC’s series. Characters like Josh McKenzie’s Lucas defy convention. He’s not a reformed bad boy. He is always irrational and emotional. Lucas goes on a mindless rampage more times than not and constantly makes decisions that put others at risk. He wasn’t bound by some of the rigid character structures that others like Izzy, Levi, and Eve are. Scott (Rohan Mirchandaney) and Gavin (Eoin Macken) are intriguing because the former has charm for days, and the latter is the source of much of the mystery. Veronica St. Clair’s Riley and Tonantzin Carmelo’s Paara each bring something interesting to the table. Courageous, determined and wise, the two women steal the show despite their supporting roles.
It’s not Natalie Zea’s (Eve) fault. She’s a gifted actress, but Eve is always put in ridiculous situations. After escaping the exile, she willingly springs into action when she overhears Gavin, Scott, and Rebecca talking. As eager as she is to save Josh, shouldn’t she also care about Izzy? As soon as she decides to leave with them, Gavin dissuades her from leaving. There’s an artificiality to their interactions which I understand is necessary for the plot to progress, but why do these people keep doing nonsensical things and then spinning a dime? This makes her appear weak, which contradicts her constant heroic action. Does anyone believe she should have been the one who shot the arrow?
Going forward, La Brea is to introduce character-driven episodes. Lost, the pinnacle of the puzzle box series, worked so well because we were invested in each character. We all sobbed when Charlie died, and Michael Emerson’s Ben was the guy we all loved to hate. Sadly, there’s little of that in La Brea Season 2 Episode 4. To be honest, I kind of encouraged the wolves. We need people we need to root for and people we want to hit. For this to happen, we must relate to their decisions. Obviously, we were never sucked into a sinkhole in the Ice Age, but we are all humans with fears and flaws.
Izzy’s guilt for her parents’ breakup isn’t as true as Veronica’s for her role in Lily’s kidnapping because we don’t believe her. Izzy is too old to be so clueless and petulant. Even after a massive wolf attack that leaves many injured or dead, Izzy still has time to be mad at her mother for cheating. On the other hand, Veronica is desperately trying to atone, or at least punish herself. Everything from her pain to her panic feels lived in and natural. More moments with her are needed for La Brea to find her emotional core.
When the fog arrives and the wolves attack in La Brea Season 2 Episode 4, the group forgets about their food feud and regroups. A well-aimed arrow, a frightened lupine, and lots of forgiveness later, and the two groups are friendly again. Ty even chose to return with Paara to be with her for whatever time she has left. However, his hallucinations are a concern that could make him a danger to any group.
The progression of Ty’s illness, however, could provide that emotional spark that La Brea needs. He and Paara are a delightfully grounded couple who look doomed. He’s terminally ill unless someone or something in the Tower can save him. With time travel readily available on the table, it wouldn’t be shocking if he was thrown back in time to finally be healed to return to Paara after an entire season of failure. But, at least for now, Paara, Joseph and the compensation group have made friends. Stolen food is set aside for larger concerns like prehistoric beasts and warring tribes.
The Lazarus Project
We finally know what’s in the Tower. Rebecca kept a big secret. The building scientists, potentially including Gavin’s parents, have a time travel portal powered by black rock from the Exiled Mine. We still don’t understand why they’re working together, nor do we know why Rebecca was so concerned about sorting things out. Conveniently dying after being nibbled by a wolf, she only had time to tell Gavin her mother’s name.
Silas’ keycard opened the door to the portal room. More important than that, however, is the name of the project. Lazare is a curious choice. I can think of several more suitable names than Lazarus. Hourglass, Lookingglass, Pandora or Chronos, for example. Why Lazarus? The biblical story of a man who was resurrected seems like an odd choice for a time travel project. Was the project first founded as a way to reverse a planet-killing event? Like in Devs, was it something personal like reversing time to save a loved one? Judging by Rebecca’s preoccupation with putting everyone back together, I predict this project has created a mess that scientists are desperately trying to cover up or fix. The name of the project is essential moving forward, however, given that Ty is dying. would he be saved ?
Josh and Riley in 1988 meet Dr. Clark, who knows all about the project. She also seems worried about the others we haven’t met yet, and I wonder if Professor Marsh isn’t the ally Riley and Josh think he is. He could be one of the scientists currently controlling the Tower. He could also be someone who inadvertently set off a series of disastrous events without realizing it. If La Brea follows its established structure, we should have a heist riddled with minor hazards and injuries followed by a late episode reveal. My bet is that Marsh is bad news.
At the end of La Brea Season 2 Episode 4, Sam finally has something to do. John Seda (Sam) has been sidelined for too long. Sam also lost a child in 1988, and most would say she is more worth saving than Josh. Seda’s work on Chicago PD shows he can be sensitive and strong. He could make a good foil for the crazy love triangle no one wanted. Everyone loves a good heist, and if Sam goes for it, he should tone down the sticky mess that is Gavin, Eve, and Levi.
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Tracy Palm Tree
As the editor of Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre entertainment. I grew up with old school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. My work can be found here and Travel Weird, where I am the editor.
The post La Brea Season 2 Episode 4 The Fog Recap And Review – Dire Wolves, Confessions, And Lazarus Theories appeared first on Signal Horizon.