One of the things that I most enjoyed about the first season of La Brea was how you never knew what to expect. There was a ton of drama, and the ongoing mysteries kept me invested. While I’ve absolutely enjoyed season 2 so far, I can honestly say that The Great Escape is the episode that most reminded me of season 1’s energy. And that’s a very good thing.
While it’s clear Eve and Levi are a couple again, it couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Gavin quickly finds Eve in the prison camp, and she’s totally shocked to find him there. He explains that he recognizes the rock that’s being mined as a fuel source. Then he shares Silas’ map and suggests they use it to escape, but Eve and Levi think it’s too dangerous. They just don’t trust Silas (for good reason), and so they want to instead work with Virgil and a dozen other prisoners to try and overpower the Exiles when they change the guard. Though both are happy to see Gavin, they conveniently leave out the detail that they’re back in a relationship again.
Meanwhile, Scott is being extra weird in The Great Escape. He’s spinning a peculiar story about supposedly losing Aldridge in a herd of mastodons, where she just disappeared. He doesn’t mention a word about the Tower, and people start wondering if he’s telling them everything. But then everyone at the Clearing forgets about him when Paara’s people arrive, demanding Silas. Paara figures out quickly that he’s gone, and orders her people to take their food back from the lazy Sky People. Ty tries to convince her otherwise, but it’s clear their relationship is at a breaking point, and that he can’t buy any more time.
Sam and Ty start pointing fingers at each other, worried that they’ll all starve without the food. Then Lucas suggests an alternate course of action—steal the food back! After all, they know about the secret entrance to the village, so why not do what they need to survive? The biggest surprise is that the perennial pothead, Scott, votes in favor of the plan, but the majority vote against angering their powerful and well-armed neighbors.
Veronica and Lucas appear to have a relationship brewing. She thanks him for saving her, and empathizes over the loss of his mother, Marybeth. Then Scott pushes his way in, suggesting they steal the food anyhow, vote or no vote. Both are shocked by this plan of action, but they eventually agree it’s the only way they can make sure the Clearing lives to fight another day. So they all decide to pull off a heist in 10,000 BC.
Back at the Exile’s prison camp, they start a high-octane escape attempt. Using shovels and minecarts, they tackle the guards. The portcullis starts coming down, and Gavin holds it open, telling Levi to get out. He refuses at first but eventually rushes through to freedom with Eve. Then Gavin goes full action hero and rushes the falling gate, managing to barely slip through. The group grabs some makeshift weapons and things look good, until Exiles on horseback meet them, and force everyone to lose their weapons and get on their knees. It looks like everyone will be punished, so Gavin plays the martyr and says that it was all his idea. Besides, if they punish everyone, they’ll lose their workers. So he’ll take the hit and thus save his wife and friend. The Exiles gladly cart him off to get beaten.
As for the heist, it goes about as smoothly as can be expected. Scott immediately sprains his ankle and agrees to stay put while Lucas and Veronica do the hard work. Then when they’re out of sight, he slinks off, muttering directions to himself. It’s clear he was faking his injury and is up to no good. Then Lucas spots the man who killed his mother in the village and wants to kill him for it. Veronica cautions him that revenge won’t help him and that she knows about living with guilt. But he still seems ready to murder the man.
Scott finds a hut and starts rummaging through it. He eventually finds a book, and hidden inside is a metal keycard with the word Lazarus printed on it. Then Lucas finds the man but discovers he has his own wife and child. Furious though Lucas is, he refrains from inflicting harm on another child and manages to steal some food with Veronica’s help.
Gavin is tossed in a cell by the man I believe is the leader of the Exiles, or at least the one running the camp, Taamet. He mutters something to himself in Tonga, and Gavin says he grew up with Tonga people, that they’re kindhearted and good. Much as he tries to ingratiate himself to the Exile, Taamet wants nothing to do with him, and promises he’ll never see his family again.
Just when all hope seems lost, Levi overhears the guards talking about delivering the ore to the Tower, and finds an opportunity to escape. He knocks out a guard when the way out is unprotected and hurries Levi and Eve to use Silas’ map to get out. Gavin is badly hurt, but he knows this is their last chance, so they make their way out. Though they’re blocked by Taamet, he’s no match for all of them, and they escape. It’s clear Gavin wants to reconnect with Eve and start over. It’s also clear he suspects Levi and Eve are a thing again, and he may not trust his best friend. As for Eve, she just remarks her husband seems different like he used to be before his alcoholism.
Lucas’ group delivers the food to the Clearing, much to the relief of most of the survivors. Sam and Ty warn that they’ll pay a price for their actions, but Lucas says that’s a tomorrow problem. His proud veneer aside, he’s grown a lot in this episode, and I never thought I’d like the hotheaded drug dealer. Not only did he connect emotionally with Veronica, but he’s taking action as a leader for the whole group instead of just being self-centered.
It all ends with some subterfuge and an emotional moment. It’s revealed that Scott stole the keycard for Aldridge, and he meets up with her in the woods. He’s not happy about lying to his friends about what happened, and how their first attempt to break into the Tower failed miserably. Aldridge says that the card will help them get in and that then they can rescue Josh and Riley. They just needed the keycard from Silas’ hut. Now Scott just needs to wait for Gavin.
And as Gavin’s group makes their way back to the Clearing, he tells Eve that Izzy is with him. She runs the rest of the way to the camp and has a big, tear-filled hug with her daughter.
A really outstanding episode of La Brea season 2. Here’s hoping they keep the momentum going in the upcoming episodes, and manage to clarify some of the big mysteries that still persist in this fascinating time-traveling drama.