After all the painstaking preparation last week, the attempt to breach Lazarus falls apart almost immediately. In fairness, it isn’t the fault of the crew. No, it’s thanks to the tower having advanced surveillance and noticing Silas hanging around outside. The security guards Gavin bluffed his way past suddenly attack, Silas punctures a few with his bow and arrow, and the shit hits the fan. While Lucas gets tasered and Gavin gets captured, the rest of the group manages to get through mostly unscathed.
Scott and Lucas scatter, so the rest of the team decides to find Silas. After all, he’s the only one that might still be able to help them get in since he designed the building. Lucas is ready to help, but Scott worries about the mark on his arm and notes another dead man had similar markings in season 1. It might be more than a taser, so Scott convinces Lucas to return to the Clearing and get it checked out.
At the Clearing, everything is falling apart without real leadership. Into the power vacuum steps Judah, and let’s just say he’s not built for government. He mostly hands out candy bars to convince people to listen to his opinions. Veronica is being distant when she sees Lucas return, mainly because she’s upset he left without telling her.
But Lucas has more pressing issues to deal with since the mark on his arm is spreading across his body. Scott suggests a tourniquet and rushes off with Ella to find materials. Meanwhile, Veronica tends to the wounded man, who’s in a tremendous amount of pain. He totally misses that she has feelings for him, and has to pick that up from Scott of all people. Scott leaves him, saying he’ll reward Lucas with some candy if he shows he’s learned something from the exchange.
As for 1988, it turns out that Dr. Clark went to that period because it’s when the first time travel experiments occurred. She’s trying to develop some virus to shut down the Lazarus project. To that end, she’s been siphoning energy from a nearby ice rink, and all of a sudden the lights go out. Josh and Riley volunteer to fix the fuse box. It’s fixed pretty quickly, giving them time to bond while ice skating. Then they get a frantic call from Clark, saying the people that have been hunting her finally found the woman. She also cryptically tells them not to forget to eat their Wheaties.
The main group of Gavin, Eve, Izzy, Levi, and Sam hunt for Silas. They find him, but there’s one problem. He’s incredibly reluctant to work with others. He’s also terrified of the man who runs the building, named James, who also happens to be Gavin’s father. Silas reluctantly agrees to work with others and secures an alternate route into the building, but it’s guarded by a prehistoric vulture. Eve distracts it and barely gets past the super avian and into the grate. Thankfully Silas works against character and helps the woman.
The big drama in Lazarus revolves around Gavin finally meeting his erstwhile father. While he seems to genuinely care for his son, Gavin suspects he’s not entirely trustworthy. James has a lot of cult leader energy and explains how everything he did was for the sake of his son. He was trying to fix 2076 L.A. with natural resources from the past. Never mind the expanding sinkhole problem or how he broke ties with the people that helped build the project. What’s especially interesting is when Gavin angrily asks why he never found him in the village, and James admits he had no idea where his infant son had been taken.
In his supervillain monologue, it’s also revealed that the black rock mined by the Exiles contains uranium, which is used to power the portal. They also apparently took control of an aurora, which is crazy even in a show with this level of far-future fringe science. The only problem is James says Aldridge was wrong, and that their portal leads back to 2076, not 1988.
The end of the episode revolves around a really creative message in a bottle. Riley and Josh find a device in a Wheaties box after Clark gets taken. She decides to talk to her father as a teenager and have him memorize a message so that his future self will remember it. And shockingly, it works like a charm. In the utility tunnel, Sam has a new memory and shares that Riley wants to meet the group by the marina. Unfortunately, it happens right before the group is surrounded by the guards.
Gavin calls James’ bluff and says that if he truly cares about him and his family, he won’t get in the way of saving his son. When James and Gavin find the group in the tunnel, it’s revealed he was lying about when the portal led. So in an act of good faith, James lets the group travel into the past.
As for Lucas, he bonds with Veronica over their shared heartache and they split a candy bar. It’s a sweet moment, but it comes with a cost – the tourniquet didn’t work, and the ugly mark is spreading all across Lucas’ body.
Lastly, Josh and Riley finally share a kiss while waiting to see if their plan works. Then their parents find them and they reunite moments before an earthquake shakes the marina, heralding the cataclysmic sinkhole that’s coming.
Overall a solid episode of La Brea, and I’m excited we finally have a real villain in James (or so I suspect). Here’s hoping the team manages to figure out how to stop the tidal wave without Dr. Clark’s help.