La Brea is back, and with it comes a whole bunch of incredible new twists. Remember that sinkhole in Seattle that Gavin (Eoin Macken) jumped into with his daughter Izzy (Zyra Gorecki) and one-time adoption pal Ella (Michelle Vergara Moore)? We were led to believe that that Seattle sinkhole would land them in Mesolithic Seattle, and then they would have to make their way thousands of miles to Los Angeles. As it turns out, that sinkhole actually conveniently dumped them in LA, just a bit north of the Hollywood sign. And speaking of the Hollywood sign, it has now fallen into its own sinkhole back in 1988, which is also where/when Josh (Jack Martin) and Riley (Veronica St. Clair) have ended up after accidentally being sucked through a mysterious green light on the top of a mountain.
Meanwhile, amidst the worry about her scattered family, Eve (Natalie Zea) tried to rescue Veronica (Lily Santiago) from some mysterious steel weapon-wielding bad guys, only to get herself taken instead. So then Levi Delgado (Nicholas Gonzalez), ever the hero, got himself taken right alongside her. Taken to where? That's a question to be answered next week, hopefully along with the contents of the high rise that Aldridge (Ming-Zhu Hii) and Scott (Rohan Mirchandaney) are finally about to enter.
In the meantime, TV Guide chatted with series creator David Appelbaum about the significance of this new '80s sinkhole, which had not previously existed as far as anyone knew.
So what does this new sinkhole mean? Is it a new way out, or just a new way for everyone to reunite?
David Appelbaum: Well, what we know from Episode 1 is that it might offer a way for [Josh and Riley] to get to 10,000 BC, but going back to 10,000 BC isn't going to be so simple, because they're going to get sucked into the larger mystery of why the sinkholes are existing and who is behind them and can they stop them. So it's not going to be so easy, just jumping back in and getting down there. It's going to be a larger story that they're going to be involved in, which is going to reflect on bigger ideas for the show.
I know you're not returning to present-day Los Angeles right now, but if you did, would things have changed because of the 1988 sinkhole?
Applebaum: We are playing the time travel idea that the events of 10,000 BC are changing the future. It's something we're playing with a little bit, but not that much. It is a cool storytelling device that we could use in the future. It definitely could offer opportunities as we move forward but we don't have plans for it right now.
Would you say it's possible for a sinkhole to open up anywhere at any time?
Applebaum: Yes. The mythology of the show is that the sinkholes are opening up throughout the world and through different time periods. So when we're in 10,000 BC, we could find people or things from any other time period. We got a taste of that in Season 1 where we found that treasure box of gold from the 1800s, and we'll continue to expand that idea. I think it offers opportunities, not only in Season 2, but also in the future with other things and other people we might be able to meet as we go forward.
What will your version of the 80s be like? There's been a lot of time travel on this show, but this is the first time we actually get to see a time viewers might have actually lived through.
Applebaum: I think there's a pleasure in going to a time period we know and subverting expectations. I think there's also fun in Josh and Riley being kids who weren't born in 1988, and experiencing it [for the first time]. There's also fun time travel ideas of going back and meeting younger versions of people that we know, which we will do. It is, I think, a place that I don't think our audience might have expected for us to go, but I think that's one of the fun things about the show. We're constantly twisting the story and coming up with new surprises and keeping the audience on their toes, so I think it goes along with a larger vision for the show that we have.
Will we see Josh and Riley interacting with Isaiah in the 80s?
Applebaum: Isaiah is going to play a small but important role in the season. The story is not really going to focus around his character anymore, because where we left it is that he's gotten to 1988 and is on the journey that he needs to be on in order to grow up to become Gavin Harris. We don't want to interfere with that journey, because if we did, it might affect the fate of Josh and Riley. So his story is not the focus of the season, although we will cross with him at a certain point during the season.
We almost made it into the mystery building in the premiere. What can you tease about it?
Applebaum: We're gonna go inside of it. We're gonna meet all the people [inside]. We're going to understand how it's all connected to our larger mythology, and it's going to have surprising resonance for several of our characters. Our main characters, they're going to have unexpected connections to it. Without going into the specifics of what is actually in there, I will say that if you are intrigued by that mystery, you're going to get answers to it. It's not something we're going to give you right away, but we're also not going to make you wait forever for it. We're gonna get there, and once we do, we'll start to unfold new mysteries about this place and the characters within it.
Assuming the love triangle of Eve, Gavin and Levi eventually does meet back up, what will that dynamic be like?
Applebaum: If and when [Gavin and Izzy reunite with their family], certainly that will be fraught. What we've set up in Season 1 is a complicated love triangle, but it's been a love triangle without…we haven't really been able to play it in the way that you want because not all the characters were together. But if they do get together, then it's going to be fun. That juicy romantic stuff is something we want to dig into more in Season 2, and we are.
La Brea continues Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC. Episodes are available to watch the next day on Peacock.