A strong second episode of La Brea on NBC last night, in which the situation of the narrative -- x number of people suddenly sucked 10,000+ years into the past, and x number of people in the present knowing something about this and trying to do something about it -- is clarified, deepened, and fleshed out with characters who are beginning to come into sharper focus.
In the present, Dr. Sophia Nathan and her DHS Associate know a lot more about the time-bending sinkhole than we realized in the pilot episode. She takes Gavin and his visions of prehistoric La Brea very seriously, and I thought there was even an implication that the sinkhole was not a natural occurrence, but caused by something the government did, or perhaps by some other deliberate act that the government knows about. Those actors could be humans from the future, extra-terrestrials, who knows, but all of this is good grist for the future of the series.
Meanwhile, back in the past, the episode begins with a saber-tooth tiger attack, and concludes with Scott saving a bunch of camels from a tarpit, which, as he says, may change the future, and that's always a nice provocative touch in a time travel story, too. There is also evidence of human habitation back then -- people were definitely here 10,000 years ago -- and I have a feeling that they may have some powers we don't yet know about. Again, all kinds of intriguing possibilities emerge. Did they -- the prehistoric humans or who knows what kind of sentient beings -- have a role in opening up the sinkhole? Are the government officials in the present, and maybe Gavin (though his visions) in touch with them? Are they the source of Gavin's visions?
All of this makes for a science fictionally promising season, which I'm looking forward to seeing and reviewing.
About the author
Paul Levinson's novels include The Silk Code & The Plot To Save Socrates; his LPs Twice Upon A Rhyme & Welcome Up. His nonfiction including Fake News in Real Context, The Soft Edge, & Digital McLuhan have been translated into 15 languages.