La Brea Season 2 Midseason Premiere Review: Who Do You Trust?Laura Nowak at .
La Brea quickly grabbed our attention by setting up emotional arcs, survival storylines, and murder mysteries in their two-hour midseason premiere.
There were many lives at stake on La Brea Season 2 Episode 8 and La Brea Season 2 Episode 9. The series upped their storytelling and jumped in promptly.
The Harrises, Riley, and Sam had been gone from the clearing for so long that dynamics had shifted. New leaders arose, and the survivors set up roots there, not knowing when they would return home.
I was so relieved to see buffalo appear. The creatures have been lacking during La Brea Season 2, as we have only seen a rhino and some wolves. If they're going to live in prehistoric times, they need creatures and chaos.
Scott: Oh man, we’re screwed!
Lucas: Why? They’re miles away.
Scott: We’re in the middle of their migration path. If something startles them, they’re going run straight through us.
Ty: They destroyed that beam like a toothpick.
Scott: They’ll destroy everything we’ve built.
Since people used to ignore Scott and Lucas, seeing them knowledgeable and trying to assert their leadership is refreshing. Since the survivors have been building houses, Lucas refuses to let the buffalo take that away.
We’re not running. We’ve been doing that since we got here. Nothing’s going to take this away from us.Lucas
Since Lucas stole food for the clearing on La Brea Season 2 Episode 3, he has become a reluctant leader of the clearing. He's good at generating ideas and garnering support, but Lucas still falters with confrontation.
Taamet's cure affected Lucas, so he lost his confidence since he couldn't help build houses with his friends and felt insecure making decisions that could affect them all long-term.
While part of Lucas thrived in leadership, there was still part of him that did it because he wanted his mom and Veronica to be proud of the man he had become.
Lucas: Since my mom died, I’ve been trying to improve. I know it doesn’t happen overnight, but the way Veronica looks at me, it makes me believe that I can be the kind of guy that stands up and defends his home.
Scott: You are that person. Even though you can be a massive jerk sometimes, you’re still a jerk I want to follow. Don’t doubt yourself.
Scott really should start a podcast -- possibly with Sam or Ty. They could give inspirational talks in the clearing. I'd listen to that.
While the guys temporarily distracted the buffalo with the tar flames, the Aurora returned, signaling another sinkhole. As it rained fish, Josh was put into an impossible position and put his family's mission in danger.
While Josh knew the importance of it, Josh also considered the people in the clearing his family. A battle between the clearing and the Harrisses for deciding their fate will be coming if they survive the buffalo.
Thank goodness Scott was a science nerd, and he and Lucas saved the day again.
Lucas and Veronica struggled with similar issues as they let go of their pasts and began a new future in their new home.
I'm relieved that the series delved into Veronica and Ella's past since I mentioned in the La Brea Season 2 Midseason Report Card there had been a lack of Ella and her backstory. I'm curious how these red flowers related to Aaron and their past.
It's odd for me to see Ella as the responsible older sister looking out for Veronica, when it was the other way around during La Brea Season 1. Ella was determined to dig into their past, while Veronica wanted to forget it.
Veronica was similar to Lucas that she wanted to move on from the past and begin a fresh start. She seemed to believe that if she didn't think of it, it didn't happen -- out of sight, out of mind.
Ella: Maybe there’s a bigger reason we’re here.
Veronica: How is it that even when he’s not here, he’s still in my head when I’m happy and trying to move past him.
It was disappointing that Veronica and Ella disappeared after La Brea Season 2 Episode 8. While there is a large cast, it would have been interesting to catch up with them during a search party on La Brea Season 2 Episode 9.
Jon Seda shines when he's given these emotional scenes. I felt for Sam since Caroline and Eve kept preaching uploading the virus was for the greater good, but they had their entire family with them.
Caroline: So you decide, Sam, which city do we destroy so you can go home?
Riley: Dad, please.
Caroline: I understand what you’re going through. I sacrificed seeing my own son growing up for the sake of this mission. But this virus I created is the only way to make things right.
When all his choices were taken away from him, Sam melted down. Even if Sam couldn't warn the others or stop the virus, he wasn't going down without a fight.
I almost feared for Riley's safety while Sam waved that stick around and refused to budge. Seeing the emotions on both their faces while Riley tried to reach her dad was impressive.
She can usually break down his barriers, but being separated from the rest of his family got to him. They need a plan, just as much for Sam as they do for Eve.
Gavin's family drama will be a significant arc since he was once again in the middle and had no idea who to believe. The stakes grew higher because Izzy learned those red flowers only grew in 10,000, and she wanted to save her mom.
Izzy is totally daddy's little girl and can manipulate him into anything. It didn't matter if Gavin wasn't sure about trusting his dad; he would never deprive his daughter of her mother.
We can fix the machine and save your wife. You just need to trust me.James
There is something about James that makes me trust him more than Caroline. He's more like Gavin and would do anything to protect his family, while Caroline strives to protect the greater good versus just her family.
James wanted to work with Gavin to save Eve, while Caroline remained secretive and cagey.
Caroline was more upset that Gavin listened to James than anything else. It's almost like she didn't care about anything except she believed her ex-husband was evil.
However, we still haven't heard what James did that was so awful in her and Silas's minds. Gavin had to resort to manipulating her so they could find more research to return them home since he would do anything to rescue Eve.
I know you couldn’t be there for me as a kid, but you’re here now. I need your help.Gavin
Her hatred of James so blinded Caroline that she kept valuable research a secret. Eve shares Caroline's views of James, which puts Gavin in a terrible position. How can he save his wife if it'll upset her?
James seems to believe his ex-wife still has a good heart and will help their family and the other survivors of the clearing, but I have my doubts.
Many people are about to become casualties of this family feud, especially the kids. Josh got to know Caroline in 1988, and he'll be crushed if she doesn't help save his mom.
Izzy is so much like Gavin. She may not totally trust James, but they need him to save Eve, and then they'll work on family issues.
Will Ty become the biggest casualty? He's finally gotten engaged and was surrounded by friends, but his cancer had worsened. The poor guy wants a second chance at love and has become desperate.
What type of cure did James create in the future, and what secrets will he confide in Ty? Ty is close to the Harrises, so I'd hate to see this wreck his relationships, but I want him to live.
No one knew Wyatt well, so murdering him didn't elicit much grieving. Instead, the aftermath made survivors turn on each other and become suspicious.
Sam had always been a leader in the clearing, but many survivors held him and the Harrisses responsible for trapping them here so they wouldn't talk to him about the crime.
Lucas had developed his parents' cop instincts, but he was still too impulsive when questioning suspects. He wanted to prove he could be the leader, so he rushed to judgment without considering the facts.
I know why you’re mad. The machine isn’t working because of what we did, but I realized I didn’t want any more families torn apart like mine was. We made a tough call. If you want to be a leader, it’ll leave you with some unpopular decisions. Now let’s work together.Sam
While Wyatt was opinionated, no one in the clearing had the motive to kill him, and that symbol on the knife and the ground related to a tribe.
Poor Scott dealt with so much guilt. All he wanted was to save his best friend's life, and by making a deal with the devil, he may have cost another man his life.
Sam: You know what’s the hardest thing about being a Navy Seal? Forgiving yourself. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where there are no good options, only bad ones, so you make the best call you can at the moment and don’t look back.
Scott: But Wyatt is dead because of me.
Sam: And Lucas is alive because of you. You did fine. I should have said that earlier. It’s been a tough few days.
I appreciated that Sam related to these dilemmas since there are often no good choices in war, and you do what you can to save your brothers-in-arms and survive.
How does the murder of Dr. Moore relate to the murder of Wyatt? Are they connected? Did the Exiles want to stop his impending research on time travel, or was he in the wrong place at the wrong time?
There seems to be something significant about those caves. I'm anxious to learn why they are so important and if these murders will overlap.
I'm glad that the series added more creatures again. While La Brea thrives when it explores the complex relationships on the show, it still is a sci-fi show too.
Adding the creatures and the murder mystery will add tension and excitement to the clearing.
While some survivors have bonded, others are still strangers, and there could be a mole among them.
I was positive that Taamet murdered Wyatt for revenge on Scott, so I was pleasantly surprised by that twist.
How long do you think Virgil has been working for Taamet? Has he always been a plant?
Was Ty overly desperate, or could he trust James for a cure for his cancer? Are Gavin and Eve stuck in a continuous communication rut? Comment below.
To catch up on this sinkhole adventure, you could watch La Brea online via TV Fanatic.
La Brea airs at 9/8c on Tuesdays on NBC.
Laura Nowak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.