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The 'La Brea' Season Finale Plays Musical Chairs with Time

By Dustin Rowles | TV | December 1, 2021 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | December 1, 2021 |


Earlier this season, I incorrectly identified a giant sloth as a woolly mammoth. For that, I am deeply ashamed. But also, look! An actual woolly mammoth!

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This week’s season finale of La Brea, alas, largely played out the storyline it has been setting up for the last few weeks, namely the effort to get Isaiah — who is actually Gavin in the present — into a time portal that would take him to 1988 and save the lives of Isaiah’s future children, Josh and Izzy. Mission accomplished. I will spare you most of the details, except to say that it involved a lot of running, a few skirmishes with Silas and his henchmen and that Josh and Izzy did, indeed, experience mystery pains when it appeared that Isiaih might not make it to the time portal to 1988. Those pains involved a lot of heavy emoting. “Dad! It hurts!”

There was, however, one casualty along the way. Cop lady Marybeth (i.e., Heroin Guy’s mom) was shot by one of Silas’ men during a skirmish and died before Heroin Guy could get her back to a hospital in 1988. Heroin Guy, who came into the season hating his mother, is devastated, and he vowed to his mother to make something of his life. So long, Karina Logue (unless someone manages to find a time portal that opens up a few days earlier, allowing them to warn Marybeth of her impending demise). RIP Cop lady.

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It should be noted, too, that not only did Isaiah make it to the 1988 portal, but so did Lily, as she did in the original timeline. There was, however, one extra person who (presumably) did not get sucked into 1988 in the original timeline: Josh. So, yes: 18-year-old Josh is now in 1988 with his 12-year-old father, Isaiah. Gallifrey would disapprove. I have a sneaking suspicion that future Josh is still in 10,000 BC and possibly even Silas, posing as Isaiah’s grandfather when in fact he’s Isaiah’s son. Isaiah, Josh, and Lily are the only three who made it into the 1988 time portal.

That is ironic because Lily — who is Elle in the present — is now back in 10,000 BC but as an adult. Gavin (Isaiah), Lily, and Izzy managed to find another time portal in a forest outside of Seattle, which took the three of them back to 10,000 BC Seattle which is to say: This whole episode was something akin to a game of switcheroo. Isaiah (future Gavin), Riley, and Elle (past Lily) all managed to find their way to 10,000 BC, while Gavin (past Isaiah), Josh (Riley’s brother), and Lily (future Elle) are all in 1988 now. That means that Elle fell into the La Brea sinkhole as a 10-year-old, lived briefly in 10,000 BC, returned to 1988, lived for another 33 years, and is now back in 10,000 BC as a 43-year-old. It’s all starting to feel like the confusing final season of Dark, where characters traveled into the past, had sex with their grandparents and gave birth to themselves. Or something like that.

Alas, most of the episode merely moved chess pieces around from one time period to another. There was, however, one new revelation: Dr. Rebecca Aldridge confessed to everyone that she and some other scientists were inadvertently responsible for all the time portals. She did not explain how. She did ask Stoner Guy to take her to a place a few miles away, at which point she would answer all of his questions. When she arrived, she showed Stoner Guy a place that she had somehow managed to build in 10,000 BC, but the season ends before she can answer any of Stoner Guy’s questions.

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Additional Notes

— I should note that when Gavin, Elle, and Izzy traveled back to 10,000 BC, they were in Seattle, so in order to find Eve and the others, they’re going to need to walk 1200 miles unless they can find a car lying around in 10,000 BC. Or, wait! Maybe they’ll ride the woolly mammoth! Yes, this show is that dumb.

— Clearly, Rebecca Aldridge has been to 10,000 BC before. In fact, she may have bounced around to a number of different time periods. Maybe Rebecca Aldridge is Veronica, Lily’s faux-sister? Also, how is she responsible for all of these sinkholes, and how are there no remnants of that huge-ass tower in the present?

— Ty, the guy with brain cancer, specifically chose not to return to 1988, opting to stay behind because he’s smitten with a local now. He’s terminal, so he reasons there was no point in going back, not when he has someone he cares about in 10,000 BC.

— Lily’s faux sister, Veronica, got stuck in a bear trap on her way to the time portal and sent Lily ahead without her. It’s why Elle (future Lily) decides to jump back to 10,000 BC: She wants to save Veronica (who may be Rebecca, which might mean that Rebecca will meet and work together with her young self in 10,000 BC).

— Before he went to 1988, Josh had a thing going with Riley. My guess is that Riley will have a baby, who will probably grow up to be a different character we’ve already met, possibly even Lily/Elle. God.

— I mentioned it above, but the show is starting to share a lot of similarities with Netflix’s Dark, only it’s nowhere near as good. If you like La Brea, but would like to see it better executed and without all the wooden acting, watch Dark. It’s a trip.

Header Image Source: NBC