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La Brea - Day Two - Review

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La Brea's second episode establishes a steady tone for the show. It doesn't feel rushed or slow, the adventures in the sinkhole are well balanced with the drama happening in the city and with so many characters on the stage, there's always something happening even if the show is probably juggling too many character arcs. Lost had a great way of handling arcs by giving characters central episodes where they would have flashbacks that would reveal a little more about the story. La Brea is mostly interested in unravelling the secrets of its characters in the present time, possibly with the exception of Gavin but only because he is the most central to the mystery. 

In this episode, we're introduced to three new characters. The first two, Veronica and Lilly, are the daughters of the man who was killed in the first episode. The eldest, Veronica, is understandably obsessed with finding and burying their father and is very religious. Her sister, Lilly, meanwhile, hasn't spoken in years. At least, that's what we're led to believe. Towards the end of the episode, Veronica catches Lilly with technology and we see a side to Veronica we hadn't really seen all episode. I felt physically uncomfortable when her chilling attitude towards Lilly was juxtaposed with the repeated line, "I'm not mad". Lilly reveals she is still a-okay with talking when she reassures Veronica she didn't say anything to anyone which makes me wonder why Veronica told everyone she's mute. 

My gut instinct is they're in some kind of cult or something. Whatever it is, I hope the storyline ends up having some significance to the overall plot of the show. Will religion be woven into the story somehow? Maybe with the survivors who have been living in the sinkhole for years? I'm worried it's going to be this big storyline that has pretty much nothing to do with anything but we'll see. 

The third character is Lucas. We hear about him throughout the episode as the person the cop, Marybeth, is looking for and by the end of the episode we discover that he's her son. He is the one behind the drugs in the car and it turns out Marybeth followed him to LA to try and stop him from making a big mistake. 

This show is really piling up the parent-child relationships. We've got Gavin and Izzy, Eve and Josh, Sam and Riley and now Marybeth and Lucas. It fits with the theme of family that this show seems to be trying to go for. I'm getting the impression it's going to be about fixing rifts and how the need to survive brings people together. I'm cautiously optimistic about where Marybeth and Lucas' relationship will go from here. The conflict means there's something to resolve and that kind of rich storyline potential just isn't there between Eve and Josh for me so far and they're one half of the primary family. 

Eve spends most of this episode debating with herself as well as Ty and Sam about whether she should leave them behind and go to save Josh. Of course, she initially makes up her mind to stay with them, apparently just for the convenience of the show getting Ty and Sam to a location that isn't so remote from the rest of the action so they're not stuck in the wilderness for ages. On a side note, I'm not that impressed with the effect of Sam falling off the cliff. It was a very jarring cut. They did it with the sabre tooth tiger falling into the trap as well. We didn't actually get to see it. Did they blow all their budget on the first sabre tooth tiger that Ty shot?

We get another tease about Ty's backstory as well. He passes off his coughing as just being tired but Sam thinks there's a deeper underlying cause. A terminal diagnosis would certainly explain his suicidal moment in the pilot. I like the way they're handling Ty's story so far. It's the most understated and personal one in the whole cast. A lot of the other storylines and character arcs are big and bold, so having a quieter one is a good balance. 

Up in the city, Gavin correctly theorises the survivors are in the past and this is proven later on when Eve's ring is carbon-dated to 10,000 BC which is a conclusion Scott, one of the survivors, also reaches after an anecdote about dead camels. He has officially changed the timeline albeit in a small, probably fairly inconsequential way. I sure hope that's not foreshadowing for someone changing history more drastically. 

After Gavin gets picked up by Homeland Security, we get some more clues about the mystery surrounding him and the sinkholes. It turns out that the day his visions started and he crashed his plane was the day the Mojave sinkhole opened. It doesn't really add anything to the mystery we couldn't already guess on our own but it does feel like we're getting closer to something important and I'm looking forward to learning why and how the sinkholes opened in the first place. Rips in time aren't a regular occurrence, you know. 

I'm wondering if it has something to do with the people already living in the sinkhole. I think it's pretty certain at least some of them are from the Mojave and the Homeland Security lady's obsession with the sinkholes could be linked to the fact that she lost someone that day and is searching for a way to get them back. We get a few more tantalising hints towards this established civilisation in the sinkhole, including the hunting trap and the eerie handprint made of stones that Scott and Veronica find. I wonder why these other survivors would go to all the trouble of stealing a dead body and putting it in the middle of nowhere in the centre of the handprint. I'm with Scott. I don't think Veronica should have disturbed the body in any way. 

The episode ends with Homeland Security bringing Gavin in on their mission to fly an aircraft down into the light which should bring a whole new set of complications to the city storyline. Is everyone going to end up in the sinkhole by the end of the season? That would be kind of ironic seeing as the goal is to try and get everyone out of the sinkhole. 

What were your thoughts on the episode? Any theories on the meaning of the handprint? Do you think someone's going to end up changing time a lot more than just saving 8 camels from dying? Sound off in the comments below!

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