La Brea ended its fourth episode last week with a cliffhanger that was very enticing. That’s partly due to the show hinting at other humans roaming about the survivors, but also because the show seems to be honing its focus on more identifiable goals. In the fifth episode, appropriately titled “The Fort,” our heroes inspect what looks like an ancient village and bite off way more than they can chew. Plus, baseball!
Much of the first half of this episode is focused on Levi (Nicholas Gonzalez), Scott (Rohan Mirchandaney), Eve (Natalie Zea), Lucas (Josh McKenzie), and Josh (Jack Martin) exploring a deserted village. Early on it’s mentioned, there are very high walls around this village which would suggest these humans aren’t peaceful — which ignores the fact that this group has been attacked by wild animals a few times–but it’s a signal that a fight is coming. The characters roam about and split up which allows for the various relationships to explore feelings, anger, and frustrations between each other.
Meanwhile, Gavin (Eoin Macken) and his daughter Izzy (Zyra Gorecki) are trying to wrap their head around a secret second time-travel plane they’re hoping to use to save their family members Eve and Josh. The show has felt rushed from the start and you can really see it in these scenes.
Gavin and Izzy are literally side-eyeing each other in shock as they’re told the plane must go back in time right away among other revelations from these government workers. Given these characters literally arrived minutes earlier it’s hard to swallow the plan was to fly this ASAP and Gavin would be in it, but here we are. Aldridge (Ming-Zhu Hii) is also an expert at giving them new information as the plot needs to keep viewers guessing. That’s infinitely obvious with the final scene, which really didn’t require the characters to travel to Los Angeles to get a snippet of info, but it makes for good drama.
The second half of the episode revolves around small problems getting resolved centered around the mysterious human villagers. Two characters use music from their cellphone to get back inside the village, another two use a young boy from the village to guide them, and another two must escape the ropes they’re tied with. Thankfully the villagers are really bad at aiming their arrows and there’s plenty of empty spaces with zero villagers allowing the survivors to roam about. Heck, there are even secret passages.
A certain amount of suspension of disbelief is necessary to watch a show like this, but when characters stop to argue about stashed away heroin, or some secret that has nothing to do with surviving it’s hard to care. Given how easily the characters make it out by the end of the episode viewers may feel a bit cheated. The threat level was high, but things resolve themselves by the end essentially putting the characters back to square one.
La Brea “The Fort” offers up plenty of melodrama and danger, but ultimately falls flat as the resolutions come way too easy. It’s also fairly obvious the show is table setting so as to set up the second half of the ten-episode series, which is exciting since the show can only ramp up from here.
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