LA BREA S1 E10 ‘Topanga’ review – I Love the 80s

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Ah La Brea, you are such a gorgeous entertaining mess! We have family drama (Josh figured out his mom had an affair with his Dad’s buddy), we have mysteries (kudos to the writers for calling out the ‘scientist who is obviously holding key information back’ trope), we have sacrifice (“go, save yourself” moments abound), we have Back to the Future time travel consequences (sadly, no disappearing special effects, just acting), and finally, at the very end, we get a prehistoric creature (and it’s a new one! Yay!).  There is so much going on with La Brea that I’d say it was losing its focus if it wasn’t so much fun to watch.

The strongest part of this episode was the pacing, as there is a palpable sense of urgency. The kids start getting sick, the wormhole time travel rift thingy is going to disappear, Silas the mysterious old guy (I’m accepting theories on who he is by the way. I have one I will hold off on revealing until later) is going to either get away or mess everything up, and people keep telling each other to hurry and leave them behind because time is running out (though the episode features questionable travel timelines that occasionally allow people taking the long way to catch up with those taking the shortcut), The show has spent so much time with the characters that you can’t help but feel invested in what happens to them – well, except for Isiah, who is mainly just a plot piece the characters need to move around. While Isiah doesn’t add much even I have to admit Gavin is growing on me. Now if they’d explain his hair color switch…

Photo by: Sarah Enticknap/NBC

La Brea rarely hits the heights of the show I think it most resembles (Lost), but thus far it has avoided the lows. Ten episodes in and there isn’t a filler episode to be found. The show also does a nice job with screen time for all of its leads, keeping things interesting without having to shoehorn in new characters. The writers have established a nice pace of answering questions and replacing them with new ones. As is often the case in twisty sci-fi mystery shows, the episode’s ending has a few stingers. Gavin makes a dubious choice and yet another layer of the mystery of the time rift sinkholes is teased. 


This episode of La Brea is now available on the Peacock streaming service.


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