La Brea’s “Sierra” gets the final season started

It's the final countdown! One down, five to go!

Welcome back to one of the more entertaining high concept series in the last couple of years. For those of you worried you’re a bad fan, fear not! It’s been almost a year since the season two finale aired way back in February of 2023, so forgive yourself a little forgetfulness and let’s bone up a bit on what’s been going down before we fall right back into this insane ride!

First season finds our main characters all living their best lives in LA (respectively) when a giant sinkhole opens up and ruins their day. From there the goal two-fold. The folks trapped in 10,000 B.C. need to survive and figure out a way home. The folks in 2021 want to sort out what happened before attempting to rescue the sinkhole victims. This involves both the government and private institutions.

A lot of crazy shit goes down but here’s what matters. Gavin Harris (Eoin Macken), his wife Eve (Natalie Zea), son Josh (Jack Martin), and daughter Izzy (Zyra Gorecki) are the main family unit. Along the way we’re introduced to Scott (a brilliant pothead played by Rohan Mirchandaney), Lucas (a villain to hero type played by Josh McKenzie), MaryBeth (Karina Logue as Lucas’s mom), Veronica (Lily Santiago as a former kidnapee with trust issues), Lilly (Veronica’s “sister” played by Chloe De Los Santos), Sam (Jon Seda playing the doctor/ navy seal), Riley (Veronica St. Clair playing Sam’s daughter), Ty (a suicidal shrink with terminal cancer played by Chiké Okonkwo), Levi (Gavin’s bestie and Eve’s cardinal sin, thanks Nicholas Gonzalez), Isaiah (Diesel La Torraca), Silas (Mark Lee), and Paara (Tonantzin Carmelo) – ppl living in 10k B.C. already. Not to mention a bunch of other randos who serve a brief purpose and then either die or sink once more into the background.

LA BREA — “Sierra” Episode 301 — Pictured: (l-r) Zyra Gorecki as Izzy, Chiké Okonkwo as Ty — (Photo by: Mark Taylor/NBC)

Over the course of the season it’s revealed that Gavin is actually Isaiah, Mary Beth killed Lucas’s dick of a dad (she later dies), Lilly becomes a woman named Ella (played by Michelle Vergara Moore; she and Gavin were found as kids in 1988), and time travel is real! Breathe… ok.

Season two picks up with Josh and Riley in 1988 (they had to take Isaiah to a portal to ensure Josh and Izzy’s existence), Gavin and Izzy in 10K B.C., and the story, once again, centered largely on Gavin’s past. Long story short Gavin’s dad James (Jonno Roberts) and his wife Caroline (Melissa Neal) invented time travel, but Caroline realized it was causing sinkholes and wanted to stop it. James was convinced he could fix the issue then became obsessed with fixing his family and from there it goes downhill. Along the way Ty’s cancer is cured (he and Paara get married), Levi destroys the Lazarus building (where James was working on the time travel stuff, ultimately stranding everyone in 10K B.C.), Veronica and Lucas get together, Ella dies saving Veronic from bees, Josh and Riley make it back to 10K B.C., Gavin kills his dad, and Eve gets sucked into a portal to…somewhere.

Season three starts with Gavin determined to find Eve. Izzy doesn’t want false hope, and Josh is, well… distracted. His relationship with Riley finally got official so wouldn’t you know it she’s mauled by a raptor. Other problems include Lucas ignoring a head injury, Levi trying to make amends for fucking up everyone’s ticket home, and dinosaurs taking over the clearing. That’s right, dinosaurs – did I forget to mention last season ended with a bunch of portals (aka auroras) opening up and dropping all kinds of crazy shit into 10k B.C.? Huh…in my defense there’s A LOT going on in this show.

LA BREA — “Sierra” Episode 301 — Pictured: (l-r) Lily Santiago as Veronica, Josh McKenzie as Lucas — (Photo by: Mark Taylor/NBC)

Lucas did attempt to build a border protection but the dinos just busted right through and now everyone’s gotta move. The problems don’t stop there though, Riley’s injuries are BAD, and she might not make it, meanwhile, Gavin – who salvaged a laptop connected to the portal Eve was sucked into – gets it up and running thanks to high school science, potatoes, and Scott, but any celebration is short lived. See, the laptop immediately formed a connection with someone, but who that someone is, isn’t clear. Scott manages to track down the signal, but while searching for the source Petra (Asmara Feik) and Levi get kidnapped. However, before the gang can go looking for the abducted Ty directs their attention a more pressing matter: a dual aurora. Gavin’s mom told him dual auroras go to two different places, here one side is red the other is blue (hmm The Matrix anyone?). Josh takes Riley through one side in hopes of getting her more advanced medical care, while the other side sucks up Ty!

Considering this season is only six episodes and the last, we should brace for a lot of crazy shit to go down. As a rule, final seasons can be tricky. There’s the pressure to give the fans a satisfying ending while maintaining the integrity of each character’s journey so far, the tying up of any loose ends, and the overall need to make it all make sense. Not easy to do even when a show knows it’s ending, but to do it in six episodes!? With this high of a concept!?!?

LA BREA — “Sierra” Episode 301 — Pictured: Veronica St. Clair as Riley — (Photo by: NBC)

Still, La Brea looks like it’s taking off running with the premiere. Picking up after last season’s cliffhanger is a good sign, not to mention some new twists and turns to make the next five episodes extra juicy, but I am curious exactly how this all pans out. So far there’s been no further mention of Gavin’s mysterious sister, no sign of Eve (the actress might not be seen till later on in the season), we just let go of that civil war gold from season one completely…Eh, I’m ok with that. The kicker with high concept shows is that the higher your concept and the longer your show runs the more likely you are to run into dead storylines and dropped or warped mythologies. That being said, I like the new questions this episode raised. Who is on the other side of that laptop connection? How do they relate to Petra and her mom Maya (aka SIERRA played by Claudia Ware)? Will Riley survive her injuries? We know that Ty got sent to September of 2021 BEFORE the initial sinkhole, so did Josh go to the future? He better hope so for Riley’s sake! Finally, what does the dual aurora mean? Is there still hope for the 10K B.C. gang to return to modern times???

Solid season premiere! I’m hoping they keep up the pace.

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An action packed, drama filled season opener that starts off La Brea's final season with all new questions, twists, and risks!La Brea's "Sierra" gets the final season started