La Brea: “1988” Highlights Its’ Greatest Story Flaw

LA BREA -- "The Next Day" Episode 201 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jack Martin as Josh Harris, Veronica St. Clair as Riley Velez -- (Photo by: Sarah Enticknap/NBC)
LA BREA -- "The Next Day" Episode 201 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jack Martin as Josh Harris, Veronica St. Clair as Riley Velez -- (Photo by: Sarah Enticknap/NBC) /

La Brea’s  “1988” is undoubtedly important. The episode is split into two basic storylines. In 10,000 B.C, Scott and Veronica are desperate to save Lucas as he comes closer to death. Meanwhile, In 1988, the Harris family, Riley, Sam, and Levi are all reunited, which is no small feat. They have achieved what they previously worried would be impossible, and the opportunity to start making things right hangs in the air.

Scott, Lucas, and Veronica’s storyline ties into Ty’s thoughts toward his mortality and his willingness to fight when Lucas only gets the cure if Ty wins a battle. It is an opportunity to gain some emotional connections to Lucas and Veronica’s growing relationship and see a more vulnerable side to both characters.

Above ground, the group has the future of Santa Monica hanging over their heads, as Caroline is the only one capable of putting an end to these sinkholes. But, for the most part, the group above ground is trying to figure out if they should stay in 1988 or return to 10,000 B.C.

Returning to 10,000 B.C means an opportunity to reunite with other family members while remaining in 1988 suggests giving up on ever getting home. But is there truly a way to return home?

When Caroline shuts down the sinkholes, it will prevent more time portals from opening, suggesting everyone will be stuck in 10,000 B.C or risk causing more death and pain to the Earth by continuing to travel through time.

It is a big question highlighting how La Brea’s storytelling may be trapped for the entire show. However, La Brea avoided making the same mistake as Manifest by revealing answers and continuing to give them far earlier in the series.

What keeps La Brea exciting is its willingness to share its secrets with the audience rather than give vague hints and suggestions without a clear answer. But, one of the overarching questions of the series asks if the survivors will ever make their way back home, and it seems that may be the plot thread that keeps the show stuck.

If the main characters return home, the show is essentially over. So, it has to be prolonged as much as possible for as long as La Brea wants to continue or as long as it is renewed. But, “1988” may have just warned the audience that these survivors may never return home.

But that may already be the case for Levi, the only member of the above-ground group to decide to stay behind and continue his life in 1988. Levi’s storyline surrounds his relationship with Eve and the uncertainty surrounding his friendship with Gavin.

Although Eve had been uncertain of how to deal with her feelings for Gavin and Levi, Eve’s choice to join Josh, Izzy, and Gavin in 10,000 B.C may have been part of her final decision, as well as how Levi determined that he needed to step away from the Harris family.

In the final moments of “1988,” Levi’s fate remains uncertain, given there is always a chance he could try and help the group from 1988 or somehow end up back in 10,000 B.C.

But, with a cliffhanger suggesting that things may be about to get worse, the second half of the season always has the opportunity to continue giving answers while suggesting there may eventually be a way to escape 10,000 B.C without causing massive damage to Earth.

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