LA BREA S1 E4 ‘The New Arrival’ – More Creatures Please

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The first three episodes have continued to throw enough prehistoric creatures at us to keep things interesting. Episode 4 breaks that streak, relying on a brief glimpse of a big snake to remind us that our rift-a-ways are in the past. Instead of creatures, we get a long look at the present day machinations surrounding the sinkhole and the integration of Gavin’s pilot friend into the prehistoric part of the show. I’ve tended not to like the present day as much, mostly because Gavin has been one of the weakest characters on the show, but this episode finally gives us something to sink our teeth into.

Photo by: Sarah Enticknap/NBC

La Brea continues to position itself as an attempted Lost successor. Big mystery? Check. Tons of questions that may or may not ever be answered? Check. Large stranded cast each with their own mysterious backstories? Check. La Brea still has a ways to go before filling those big shoes however. The show’s pacing can be a bit off, often seeming to be in too much of a hurry to provide some answers, and is also plagued by some really boneheaded decisions that are manufactured to get the plot where the writers want. For example, in this episode, Gavin somehow gets into a government office alone and manages to see top secret documents just laying out on a desk. Another character awkwardly makes the kind of stupid statement that no one would make solely for the purpose of giving another character the opportunity to learn the information (which probably should have been dragged out a bit longer anyway).

Photo by: Sarah Enticknap/NBC

La Brea isn’t perfect, but for every mystery it hastily fills, it does an admirable job of presenting new questions. Most of the characters continue to be quite likable, and the performances seem to be evening out as the actors get more comfortable in their roles. While I’d love to get a little more explanation about how this time travel rift works, I’m willing to look past that because the show is settling in as a show about relationships (which is really what Lost was about). Hopefully the show returns to its roots and works in some prehistoric creatures (don’t skimp on special effects). A nifty saber-toothed tiger can overcome a lot of writing flaws.

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


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