The first half of La Brea Season 2 went by so fast.
After Gavin and Izzy landed in 10,000 BC in the season premiere, new missions and new mysteries were introduced for the characters.
Most of them flowed seamlessly, like meeting Gavin’s birth parents or Lucas’s redemption arc, but others dragged on too long, like the love triangle. Let’s discuss the high and low points of La Brea Season 2.
Best Episode- La Brea Season 2 Episode 6
La Brea almost made “Lazarus” feel like the midseason finale because the stakes were so high, and so many characters dealt with emotional gut punches.
It was the episode where Gavin met his birth father and learned how the time-travel portal would help him find Josh.
However, there were more questions than answers since we still don’t know what James did to make Silas despise him so much that he raised his grandson away from his parents.
Gavin had heard so many stories that he didn’t know whom to believe, and it was challenging to learn he was born in the future, but time traveled to 10,000 BC and 1988. It was enough to make his head spin and may explain those visions.
When Lucas exhibited the same burn marks that Eddie died in La Brea Season 1, Scott was desperate to save his best friend.
This episode showed how strong their friendship had evolved from the annoying frenemies they used to be. Overall, the acting shined.
Most Improved Character Arc-Lucas
In La Brea Season 1, Lucas was a loner that sold drugs, but his mom’s death changed him. He vowed to become a better person to honor her.
Initially, Lucas thought that meant rescuing other people and heroic acts. It took Scott to make Lucas realize he could be a better man by caring about his friends.
Josh McKenzie has portrayed some of his best acting as a conflicted dying man who thinks no one would miss him and then learning to let others in and let go of the past.
Most Underused Character-Ella
I’m unsure why the series upped Michelle Vergara Moore (Ella) to a series regular. We’ve seen little of her point of view other than she wanted to help Veronica.
While it was lovely to see Ella and Veronica bond more in the clearing, I would’ve liked to hear more about Lilly’s past and how she became Ella in 1988.
We learned so much about Gavin’s past and relationships with other characters that, hopefully, we’ll learn more about Ella too.
Best Emotional Arc-Sam
Only Sam’s daughter Riley knew about Sam’s PTSD, so Sam fell apart without her to anchor him. Jon Seda shined as Sam as he threatened and questioned Silas about his daughter’s whereabouts.
In an emotional showdown, Sam finally let Silas go so he could help Gavin find Eve. That was hard for him since he wanted to see his family first and foremost.
Since he didn’t have his daughter, Sam turned his army medic experience to helping Izzy. He was the only person who could reach her, and in a heartfelt scene, they realized their loved ones never lost hope.
After talking to Izzy, Sam became more like himself and could assist others again.
Best Storyline-Gavin’s Paternity Mystery
When viewers first met Gavin, many guessed that Rebecca Aldridge was his birth mother since she was interested in him being involved in this mission. Some even speculated that Silas was his father, not his grandfather.
Both those characters were invested in creating the Lazarus and knew Gavin’s parents, who were people we hadn’t met.
The series played well by having Gavin meet his birth father, James, for the first time while Josh solved part of the mystery in 1988 with his biological grandmother, Caroline. I doubt they’ll be one happy family, but they bring the drama.
Worst Storyline-The Overplayed Love Triangle
While the love triangle between Levi, Eve, and Gavin was initially interesting because all three characters were flawed and had unique point-of-views, it lost steam quickly.
It became tiring listening to Levi and Gavin declare their love for Eve every episode, thinking they were the best man for her.
To make matters worse, Levi was always lurking when the Harris family bonded. It made him look stalkerish around the newfound happy family.
Most Confusing Plot Twist-Using Time Travel
I’m a fan of time-travel TV shows and the consequences of messing with the timeline, but even I had a hard time wrapping my head around that Gavin was born in 2076.
Why would his family travel back to 10,000 BC to fix problems they caused that far in the future? It was exciting but seemed like a convoluted plot twist.
As enjoyable as it was seeing Riley interact with a teenage version of her dad, it wasn’t realistic that Sam received that new memory instantly.
Most improved relationship: Eve and Izzy
Eve has always harbored some guilt since she was with Levi on the day of Izzy’s accident, and mother-and-daughter relationships are complicated.
However, the two of them experienced an emotional reunion after being separated. Eve needed to make amends with her daughter, so Izzy stopped blaming herself for her parents’ separation.
Both women spoke some hard truths but became closer as they put the pieces of their family back together.
Best New Character: Taamet
Since La Brea Season 2 Episode 3, Taamet has been a layered character. While he now leads the Exiles, we wanted to know more about him.
There had to be a compassionate side to him. Gavin sensed it when he spoke to him and thought he knew him. Why did Paara marry him years before, and what made Taamet turn to the dark side?
While he’s a villain, he’s not a one-note villain, which kept us interested to know what motivated him in his revenge against Paara and her friends.
Stupidest Decision: Levi’s Exit Routes from the Exiles
Someone got injured every time Levi tried to get them out of the Exiles. His plans continued to fail, but everyone kept listening to him, even Virgil, who became injured in one of the escape plans.
Levi hated to listen to anyone else’s ideas, which meant he and Gavin ended up taking the brunt of the punishments.
It wasn’t until they listened to Gavin and followed Silas’s map that Eve, Gavin, and Levi escaped.
Overall Grade- B+
La Brea Season 2 excelled at moving emotional character arcs along and rebuilding relationships.
However, it lacked the creatures and chaos from the first season, and viewers often had to suspend belief when watching the time travel elements.
With that said, we still felt the series had a strong second season, and we're excited to see all the characters together in 10,000 BC when it returns.
La Brea Season 2 returns on Tuesday, January 31, 2023, at 9/8c on NBC.
Laura Nowak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on X.