I was really tempted to cover the modern Quantum Leap, but there’s a really good reason I didn’t. Not because it was a bad premiere, but because covering one time travel show is a lot. Covering two is insanity. So I decided to play it safe, and instead chose to cover a show I was already watching last season, La Brea. Season 2 starts off pretty strong with The Next Day, managing to keep the mystery going while moving the story forward.
Here’s the Cliff’s Notes recap if you’re feeling rusty. A sinkhole opened up in the present, drawing Eve and son Josh to 10,000 BC. Eve’s estranged husband Gavin had visions of them in the past, which is because he’s actually a grown up cave boy that used to be called Isaiah. There’s also a mysterious woman named Rebecca Aldridge who seems to know way more than she should, and who helped Gavin discover what was happening. There’s also Silas, Gavin / Isaiah’s grandfather who is a ruthless old bastard who tried and failed to keep his grandson in the past. Oh and Josh and Riley, along with Lily and Isaiah, traveled through an actual tear in space to 1988 just as Gavin, sister Izzy and Ella (grown up Lily) finally made it to 10,000 BC. Whew, just recapping that hurt my head, but let’s keep going.
The Next Day starts with a startling scene. A family is enjoying a park near the Hollywood sign when their daughter and dog go off to explore. Suddenly a gigantic sinkhole opens up, swallowing all the Hollywood letters between H and D, and sending the Y hurtling towards said little girl. It nearly cuts her in half, but she gets lucky, as does her doggy, Doc. Dramatic stuff, but it wasn’t yet clear when this occurred. More on that later.
Back in the Clearing, Silas is now a captive, interrogated to little effect by Sam and Levi. Despite not eating or drinking for 24 hours, Silas is refusing food or drink, spitting water at Sam when offered to him. Sam is clearly in a bad place, both because daughter Riley is in another time period and also likely because pain from his injuries is persisting. I wouldn’t say he’s a pain pill addict yet, but it’s a close thing. Exacerbating the whole situation is that Paara wants Silas back in her custody, meaning they’re working on the clock. Not to mention it’s hard to argue with the people keeping everybody fed.
As for stoner Scott and the mysterious Aldridge, they’re on a side mission that seems increasingly more important. There’s a giant steel and glass tower in 10,000 BC, and Aldridge is eager to get to it. Scott remarks it’s amazing how quickly she healed from her stab wound, but she deflects. All that matters is getting to the tower to keep everyone safe, she says. The only small problem is the people there want her dead. Oh and she also implies that Silas had a hand in creating the sinkholes, which is interesting.
Gavin, Izzy and Ella are finally in the past, and things are difficult. Gavin and Ella no longer have their visions, likely because their younger selves are no longer in 10,000 BC. Not to mention Ella isn’t interested in being a team player. Izzy quickly realizes her prosthetic leg is breaking, though she doesn’t tell anybody. That said, I enjoyed watching Gavin become a fully functioning human in the time period he previously lived in as a child. He goes off to hunt some food, and manages to spear a prehistoric boar. The only problem is he attracts the attention of bigger prey, a gigantic woolly rhino! He manages to avoid getting speared, but only barely. Thankfully he does secure some meat for his team.
As for Josh and Riley, if circumstances weren’t so dire, they’d probably be having a great time. They wake up safe in 1988, only to discover their young charges are missing. Luckily they’re just being taken in by nuns, which fits the history as Gavin remembers it. The only downside is that another sinkhole isn’t supposed to open for 30 years, but they still manage to find an unlocked home with the family on vacation. They gorge on food and Josh is ready to relax, but Riley is worried about her father and those still in 10,000 BC. So much for a sexy vacation.
Sam goes rogue and pulls a gun on Silas, demanding answers. Silas says that only Rebecca Aldridge can bring his daughter back, and that he can take them to the tower to force her to help. Though Silas is untrustworthy, Eve and Levi head out to investigate the tower claim and report back. Ty hangs back to keep tabs on Sam, and also buys time by playing on Paara’s feelings for him.
Once Eve and Levi head out, they quickly find Lucas by Marybeth’s grave. The drug dealer is a new man, and determined not to lose anybody else. Suddenly the group discovers Veronica being accosted by armed men with medieval weaponry. To everybody’s surprise, Lucas heads after her half cocked, and starts up a half decent rescue. They manage to get Veronica free, but then Levi has to deal with an assailant, just as Eve gets kidnapped herself.
The big action scene in The Next Day happens after Gavin realizes the woolly rhino he evaded earlier is hunting them. There’s a darling woolly rhino that surprises them, and they’re about to use the animals’ limited eyesight to make it past. Then Izzy’s leg breaks, and her scream attracts the attention of one of the baby’s parents. It charges them, but the rhino hunting them intercepts, and Gavin’s group manages to get away unscathed.
The Next Day ends with a few big reveals. First, as Riley and Josh are about to leave their refuge, they find a newspaper. It clearly shows that the sinkhole which opened at the beginning actually opened in 1988. Meanwhile Scott and Aldridge head closer to the tower, and Rebecca reveals a hidden subterranean entrance. Lucas and Veronica make it to the Clearing, and Levi lets himself get kidnapped to be with Eve. Finally Gavin and company discover the Clearing off in the distance, as well as discovering the missing letters from the Hollywood sign in 10,000 BC.
Overall a good start to season 2 of La Brea, and surprisingly not that hard to follow, despite being a time travel show. Be sure to tune in to The Workprint in coming weeks for our continuing coverage of the show!