La Brea Season 2 Episode 10 brings back a major player into the fold—with a twist, of course.
The episode, aptly titled “The Return,” kicks off with an unidentified person making his way through a portal, and while the show tried to keep the identity under wraps as best as possible, the return isn’t that much of a surprise if you’ve been paying attention—the boots were a dead giveaway.
Levi, played by Nicholas Gonzalez, is a fan-favorite character, so honestly, it was almost a given that he’d find his way back to 10K B.C. at some point despite choosing to stay behind and make a life for himself in 1988. And that’s fine because everything else surrounding his return is an absolute game-changer.
When Gavin crosses paths with Levi, he’s shocked to see that his former best friend doesn’t exactly look the same as when they left him in 1988—his hair is grayer and he’s aged a bit. And that’s when Levi drops the bombshell that while it has been a few days for Eve, Gavin, and the rest of the people trapped in 10K B.C., it’s been over a decade for Levi who came from 1998.
I had to take a moment to process that.
Levi remains rather cryptic about what brought him back to this time period, simply explaining that during his time away, he joined the DOD and hasn’t stopped trying to find a way to bring everyone home. He knows more than he’s letting on, but when Gavin presses, he simply says that he’s trying to finish what he and his wife started in an attempt to honor her memory, which includes bringing his friends, and the people he considers family, back home.
Yeah, I said wife! It’s just bombshell after bombshell. And these new developments are total game-changers that I did not see coming. There’s not much I can predict when it comes to La Brea, but this may have been the twistiest twist of all. Since ten years have passed since he last saw them, Levi assures Gavin that he didn’t come back for Eve—that relationship, for him at least, is way in the past. But while Levi had time to come to terms with their split, grieve the loss, and move on and start anew, Eve hasn’t had that luxury; it’s all still fresh for her. She may have chosen her family, but feelings don’t just fizzle out like that, so this is going to put their now-platonic relationship in a really interesting place. It’s almost as though one person moved on while the other is holding on. Will feelings bubble up? Will she feel betrayed that he moved on? Will they work better as friends fighting toward a common goal?
Things only get more complicated when Levi visits Eve, who is still battling a concussion from her fall in the cave, and informs her that he lied to Gavin about the real reason he came back—Levi’s mission is to kill James! And he needs Eve’s help.
This puts Eve in yet another very tricky spot because Levi is a man that’s asking her to choose him over his husband.. again. But he’s not doing so selfishly—he’s doing it because he has to know that it’s the key to solving this mess and saving thousands of people. Levi’s decade spent working with the DOD and gathering intel and information means that he’s probably the most informed person in 10K B.C. And from the looks of it, he may even be an expert on James as he seems pretty sure that eliminating him is the key to all of their problems.
Eve is also a good person who wants to do the right thing, so her gut will likely tell her to trust Levi, but lying and keeping secrets won’t bode well for her relationship–whatever it may be now–with Gavin. Gavin isn’t overly trusting of James, but James claims to have what he wants—the key to Eve’s survival. Gavin will do anything to keep his wife alive, so if trusting James is that thing, he won’t let anyone stand in his way. As for Eve, killing James potentially means signing her death sentence.
Therefore, Levi’s question is a loaded ask—and one that Eve has to consider very carefully.
I do hope that by putting a target on James’ back, we finally get to know more about the man that we’re dealing with. Who is he? I feel like he has to be someone we already know and met. Maybe it’s someone from the Clearing? Or possibly, someone that Levi rubbed elbows with back in 1998? I know James is technically from the future, but Levi seemed to give off the vibe that he knew James on a closer, more personal level. How do you think James fits in? He has to be more than just Gavin’s dad.
While I know Eve and Gavin’s kids, especially Izzy, don’t really feel the love for Levi these days, I have a feeling that Izzy is going to be the one that lends a hand as she doesn’t seem too keen on trusting James either. It’s strange considering she’s the one who let it slip about Gavin’s vision in front of her grandfather in the first place, but she’s also giving off the vibe that she’d do anything to distance the family away from this man, so I think she might be Levi’s unsuspecting ally.
Hopefully, Levi will shed a lot more insight into the situation at hand now that he’s back because again, he has to have a considerable amount of insight into what’s going on having a decade of research under his belt.
I love that this return allows Levi to stand on his own as a character rather than just the man who was Eve’s love interest. He’s an integral part of figuring out this vast mystery now.
The hatred for James seems to run deep, even within his own glass tower. Kira, James’ right-hand woman, left Ty a cryptic note on his legal pad, urging him not to trust James and to find out about Project Blue Moon. At first, I was skeptical and thought maybe it was a test as Kira always seemed so dedicated and loyal to James, however, after her and Ty’s chat outside of the building, it seems that her concerns are genuine, especially after they pieced together that Blue Moon was Gavin/Isaiah’s childhood book.
James has seemingly hinted at wanting another chance at being a father to Isaiah, so it’s possible that he convinced Gavin not to destroy the portal because he hopes that he’ll be able to go back in time to when he was a little boy and do right by him. And obviously, that’s problematic for everyone, including Gavin himself. If James gets away with it, it would not only erase Gavin’s family but everyone’s existence and eventually, Ty’s path toward becoming cancer free. The fact that Kira underscored this to Ty, however, makes me skeptical once again.
The problem with time travel is that if it falls into the wrong hands, it can do a lot of damage.
If/once Gavin gets wind of this, I would assume he’d want nothing more than to help Levi stop his father. At least, that’s my hope.
It does seem like everyone has their own agenda in 10K B.C., including Caroline, who has disappeared with the pages she found with Riley in the cave. It’s unclear if Caroline knows all about James’ plans, if she wants to help him realize them, or if she’s hellbent on stopping him regardless of what Gavin says. But it turns out that they don’t even need the pages Caroline found because the confrontation with the Exiles—thanks a lot, Virgil (I know, I know, he was just trying to save his wife)—unearthed Aaron’s journal, which completed the equation that James was seeking all along.
Now, I have a lot of questions about this, and I never thought that a seemingly inconsequential character in the first episode was going to be so deeply connected to the mystery. Obviously, like Veronica and Ella, I want to know how Aaron got his hands on them or how he knew what he was trying to solve. It’s clear that he’s been in this timeline before or is somehow connected to it considering the pink flowers (the same ones from Gavin’s vision). Is he from the future? Did he have visions like Gavin? Ella and Veronica both recall Aaron specifically going to La Brea that day and almost wanting them to be there when the sinkhole opens up, which would mean their involvement isn’t random. Was he in cahoots with someone—possibly Kira?—to fall into the sinkhole so that they would have the equation/the key to getting home? How else would she know about the journal?
Maybe this is all just a huge science experiment? At this point, anything really is possible.
There are plenty of questions that we still need to address, but the plotline also allowed us to see Lucas step up to the plate as a leader (he’s a natural) and do what was best for his people, while Veronica got closure on her toxic relationship with Aaron, which allowed her to finally take the next step in her romance with Lucas—moving in into his car. I love that despite the situation and circumstances, healthy relationships are still able to flourish. From the darkness, something beautiful is born!
Having everyone dealing with hardships at The Clearing has made for some incredible character growth, particularly when it comes to the aforementioned Lucas and Veronica, along with Scott. When we first him, he couldn’t get anything done without his weed pen, but now, he’s throwing insults at the Exiles as they hold a spear pointed at his heart.
And not only that, but Scott actually killed Tamet in self-defense of his best friend Lucas. I know it’s going to take a toll on him, but the point is, Scott did that! He had it in him to defend himself and his loved ones when they were under attack, and that’s just beautiful.
It’s also revealed that Kira sent the Exiles, not James, which once again puts her whole character into question. Is she on the right side of history? Is she a sleeper agent planted here by the DOD? Can we trust her? Or does she want Aaron’s book because she has nefarious intentions of her own? As I mentioned before, when time travel is involved, no one can be trusted.
- I’m glad Virgil wasn’t a traitor for the sake of it. His wife’s life was at stake, so he did what he had to do. I can respect that, even if it did put everyone in the Clearing in danger. If he was just upfront with Lucas, it would’ve fared so much better than allowing the Exiles to ambush them.
- Izzy’s morse code mirror idea is genuinely so smart. And Josh’s realization that the Girls Scouts are badass was so cute.
- Riley couldn’t keep Caroline’s secret from her dad, and it was not going to end well.
- Gavin leads with his heart, so when he realized his family was in danger, he was willing to risk it all to go and help them. It’s a good thing Levi is back and is a little more practical. He knew Izzy had it handled, and their best chance of success was getting the Exiles while they were trying to grab the journal.
What did you think about the episode? Do you feel the action starting to ramp up as we barrel toward the end of the season?
And how do you think this will all pan out? Do you have any promising theories? Share them in the comments!
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