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La Brea - The Hunt - Review

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I think 'The Hunt' is definitely La Brea's strongest episode so far. We've gotten to know the characters by now and relationships and dynamics are starting to form which only serve to enhance the emotional beats of the show.

Down in the sinkhole, some of the survivors are getting antsy over the food shortage as they aren't impressed with some of the rations being handed out. Luckily, they soon have bigger things to worry about when a Giant Ground Sloth just rocks up and eats everything like some kind of funny fail in a compilation video on YouTube. I'm glad Scott's there to impart his prehistoric wisdom because if he hadn't put a name to the animal, I'd have just been calling it a giant bear beaver. Scott's knowledge is going to be useful in helping the group survive, even if half of them don't believe they're in 10,000 BC, but his quick thinking with the heroin for Sam's operation is probably going to end up landing him in hot water with Lucas. 

Eve and Ty pair up to go hunting for food and we learn some more about Eve's past to explain why she has such good survival skills. Apparently, she grew up on a farm in Montana and she was going to take Izzy there for a mother-daughter trip before Izzy had her accident and lost her leg. Eve becomes reluctant to say anymore due to her guilt over not being the one driving and tries to direct the conversation towards Ty who immediately shuts down. 

By the end of the episode though, both of them feel a little more bonded by their experiences over the course of the day and open up. Ty reveals he has a brain tumour and self-destructed after losing his sense of purpose. It's a great insight into his character, made more powerful with their encounter with the skeleton in the cave who plainly shot himself. He doesn't want to end up like him, alone and having given up so he gives the gun to Eve for safekeeping. In return, Eve reveals her affair with Levi which was the real reason she wasn't driving Izzy and is feeling so much guilt.

I've got a feeling that gun will come into play later in the story, whether it's stolen by someone else or Eve uses it herself. Maybe on one of the other survivors. We know at least some of them are survivors of the Mojave sinkhole but we don't know anything else about them. I think they're the ones leaving the hunting traps but are they the ones who left the body in that eerie handprint? Or is there another older civilisation here? I hope there's a good payoff to all these teases about the other survivors and that they don't leave it too late in the game to start fleshing out this particular part of the lore. 

On the topic of the survivors, did anyone else get the impression that Eve, Ty, Marybeth and Lucas kind of under-reacted to the discovery of the skeleton wearing the college sweatshirt? They've effectively just discovered that there are other survivors of the modern era who've been there longer than them and they seemed to take it pretty well without any fanfare. Maybe they'll start asking questions in the next episode or when they finally encounter living survivors. For now, they're keeping their discovery a secret and time will tell whether that's a smart decision. I did find it amusing when Josh asked if they found anyone else and they all just shared the shiftiest looks imaginable. 

Marybeth and Lucas also get some development on their story which is so far the story I'm most interested in. Lucas started off the episode doing some very plot-progressive stuff by trying to track down the people who made the traps and then they ended up in the cave with Eve and Ty. I'm not entirely sure how they ended up in that cave when they were following the traps and maybe I missed an explanation but after the bear chasing Eve and Ty caused a cave-in, couldn't Marybeth and Lucas just led them out the entrance they came in? Or did they all come in the same entrance but at different times? 

Lucas spends most of the episode giving Marybeth his best bratty snark and it all culminates in her trying to tell him her side of the story. So far it's all pretty cryptic because Lucas is determined to not let her get a complete sentence out. Her killing his dad though is definitely a good reason for the drama and he doesn't seem to believe that she didn't have a choice. I am very intrigued as to the circumstances surrounding his father's death. I'm guessing he was abusive in some way or maybe a criminal like Lucas which would explain why she's trying so hard to save him from making a mistake. I can't wait for him to actually give her a chance and listen.

Up in the city, they're preparing for the piloted aircraft to make its descent into the sinkhole to start saving the survivors. We're introduced to a new character, Levi Delgado, an Air Force pilot played by Nicholas Rodriguez and a close friend of the Harris family, so much so that he is referred to by Izzy as Uncle Levi. He never believed Gavin's visions either which led to Gavin lashing out and Levi took up a position in Germany. He's back after fourteen months and he shares some good scenes with Gavin, proving to be steady and likable, grounding Gavin who has been understandably stressed since the disaster of the first episode. He's finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. 

Except that light is more akin to the light of an oncoming train and Gavin is hit with a double whammy. First, he discovers Eve and Levi had an affair while Gavin was obsessing over his visions and drinking all the time. I liked his reaction to the truth. I think it would have been out of character for him to get angry. The guy is exhausted after all. He's been suffering from visions for years and he's just lost half his family; he doesn't have the capacity to be angry as well. And then immediately after this, Levi loses control of his plane and they lose all contact which sets Gavin right back to square one, with his hope leaving reality and going right back to the concept stage. Hopefully they figure out a fix soon. Maybe if he gets desperate enough, he'll just jump in the sinkhole. 

The episode ends with a great montage set to Billie Eilish and Khalid's 'Lovely' and we see a shot of Levi regaining consciousness in the forest. I have a feeling a lot of the next episode will be centered around Eve's reunion with him. I just hope they handle this cheating storyline/love triangle with maturity and brevity. It could be a great way for Eve to confront her guilt over Izzy's accident.

I also hope we have at least one flashback where we can see Josh's dynamic with Gavin. He's kind of being left by the wayside in the central arc of the family getting reunited so it would be nice to see more of what his relationship was like with his dad, outside of what's been mentioned by Izzy. Maybe he could feature in Gavin's visions as well since they're mostly centred around Eve at the moment. 

What did you think of the episode? Are you unimpressed with the incorporation of a cheating storyline? Eager to finally properly meet the Mojave survivors? Sound off in the comments below!

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