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La Brea (The Pitch) is a NBC drama series that premiered September 28th, 2021.

When a massive sinkhole mysteriously opens in Los Angeles, it separates mother and son Eve (Natalie Zea) and Josh Harris (Jack Martin) from father and daughter Gavin (Eoin Macken) and Izzy Harris (Zyra Gorecki).

Finding themselves in an unexplainable primeval world alongside a disparate group of strangers, Eve and Josh must work to survive and uncover the mystery of where they are and if there is a way back home.

La Brea has been renewed for another season.

Watch the first five minutes of the season premiere.


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Tropes:

  • Artistic License – Chemistry: Radiocarbon dating simply does not work on nonbiological items, as in the ring Eve drops. Gold and diamond (and any other elements/metals used in the ring) are not biological in origin, so they cannot be carbon dated. Diamonds are indeed made of carbon, but the process of creating a diamond takes far longer than the 60,000 year limit on carbon dating. It's a bit egregious, because there are ways to date artifacts. They're not an exact science, but they would have done the trick. Eve was wearing it on a chain around her neck, so it is unlikely she left any organic material on the ring to be dated, either.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology:
    • In the fourth episode, a giant snake— one as large as an anaconda—attacks Riley. No snake that big is known from the La Brea ecosystem. In fact, snakes that big don't live in non-tropical areas, period.
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    • The ground sloth is too large for any known species from La Brea and walks on its palms rather than the sides of its feet.
    • The dire wolves have anatomy that is jarringly not very close to any canid living or extinct.
    • The first episode of Season 2 introduces a woolly rhino, a species which never lived in North America.
  • Badass Grandpa: Silas. He's a well trusted member of a village in 10,000 BC and is a knife expert as well. He's also a Papa Wolf regarding his grandson Isaiah.
  • Beneath the Earth: Eve, Josh, and dozens of other people fall into the sinkhole and land themselves in a primeval world.
  • Bears Are Bad News: A bear appears in the third episode "The Hunt", chasing Eve and Ty into a cave. It ends up collapsing the cave entrance trying to claw at them.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Harming his grandson Isaiah is this for Silas. Rebecca is knifed in the abdomen for kidnapping Isaiah.
    • Seperating him from Silas also counts, as he was fully prepared to kill Levi and Josh to get him back despite knowing he'd be safe up on the surface.
  • Cassandra Truth: In the pilot, Gavin realizes his hallucinations have actually been visions, and no one believes him.
  • Cats Are Mean: A pair of sabertooth cats attack Ty, Sam and Eve in the end of the first episode and the start of the second one. Another attacks Isaiah in episode 9.
  • Chased by Angry Natives: Basically the entire 10,000 BC part of Episode 6 has a village full of survivors of previous sinkholes pursuing a half-dozen intruders (Eve, Josh, Levi, Riley, Lucas, and Scott) around their village, simply for having intruded upon them.
  • Chandler's Law: Several times on the show guns are brandished when there actually is time for a reasonable conversation and compromise about a matter. This is particularly notable in episode 6, "The Way Home", when Eve and Marybeth arrive to convince Levi and Diana not to take off in the airplane. Rather than discussing the merits of each side, or even just letting people go who are willing to take the risk, Marybeth pulls a gun and then Diana does and things go south quickly.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Eve's wedding ring is shown to be lost near a rock with a red marking. Gavin digs up the ring from right at that same rock, proving that the survivors are still alive in that hole...somehow.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The young native boy, Isaiah. Turns out, he's actually a young Gavin.
  • The Chief's Daughter: Or Grandson, in this case. Silas's grandson Isaiah helps Eve and Levi escape the village.
  • Classified Information: When Gavin arrives to tell Dr. Sophia Nathan that Levi survived the trip through the anomaly, he finds her office empty as she is out. Of course she left a clearly classified file on her desk in an unlocked office. Could be she left it out for him to find as she was Stepping Out for a Quick Cup of Coffee, but her reaction seeing Gavin later in the episode says otherwise.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • Scott happens to arrive at the tar pits at the right time to stop the camels which were part of a dig that he studied.
    • Scott also digs for heroin and happens to find a chest of Civil War gold instead.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Sam does this on Veronica in episode 8 of season 1, It's just a few pumps and brings her fully back.
  • Disappeared Dad: The Castillo sisters lose their dad to a wolf in the pilot.
  • Experienced Protagonist:
    • Sam is a former Navy Seal who became a doctor. His survival skills and medical knowledge are invaluable.
    • Eve grew up in rural Montana and has experience surviving in the wilderness. She knows how to act when encountering wild animals and how to recognize edible plants.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Right before the sinkhole opens up, a dog starts barking.
  • Fatal Family Photo: Sophia Nathan mentions that her fiancee had fallen through a sinkhole, and presents Gavin and Levi with a photo of her. Said fiancee is accidentally shot and killed during Eve's attempt to stop Levi from powering up the plane.
  • Freaky Funeral Forms: The Natives are fond of open-air graves, with the body in the palm of a hand made of stones. Veronica objects and begins digging her father a 'proper' grave when she finds him in one.
  • Geographic Flexibility: Within the space of the first episode, the group of things and people coming from modern-day Los Angeles goes from within a reasonable distance of each other, to an hours-long potentially overnight journey from each other.
  • Ghost Extras: Despite the background characters in the same predicament as the main cast, there's little direct interaction in the pilot. They're simply seen milling around while the main cast does stuff.
  • Going Native: Survivors of previous sinkholes seem to have culturally regressed into cavemen, intermingling with proto-Native Americans.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Izzy tries to save her mother but Eve tells her to go and save herself, prying her daughter's hand from her wrist and falling into the sinkhole.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • Eve and Scott discover they've fallen through time independently of each other, and then share their observations with others.
    • Episode 4 has most of the group learning Lilly can talk.
    • A native known only as The Watcher is seen at the end of the pilot episode. the survivors learn of his tribe when Lily mentions him in Episode 4.
  • Lost World: The primeval world the Harrises and other Angelinos end up in after falling through the sinkhole. Ultimately subverted at the end of the first episode, which reveals that they didn't fall into a lost world, they went back in time.
  • Made of Iron:
    • Sam falls over a cliff and is unattended for a day, must be carried back to the camp and requires draining to keep the use of his legs. Despite this he's up on his feet with a cane in no time.
    • Riley is in the coils of a giant anaconda for a bit yet suffers no broken bones or compression damage.
  • Misplaced Vegetation: Some of the vegetables served at the village feast wouldn't exist, or at least not in their modern forms, for many thousands of years. Justifiable if the ship that previously brought "sky people" to 10,000 B.C. had been carrying viable seeds also.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Possibly. There has been no discovered fossil evidence of snakes the size of the one the attacks Riley found in 10,000 BC North America.
  • Monumental Damage: Both the Petersen Automotive Museum and the elephant statues in the La Brea tar pits are seen getting swallowed up by the sinkhole. Both monuments appear, damaged, amongst the rubble seen in the primeval world.
  • More Predators Than Prey: Someone gets attacked by a large predator — or multiple predators — in multiple episodes, but the area is very low on the large herbivores that would be necessary to support them.
  • Mysterious Watcher: An old man in fur clothes is shown observing the survivors from a distance near the end of the pilot.
  • Nazi Gold: The Confederate Gold variant shows up when Scott and Lucas dig up a box of it while Levi and Eve were arguing.
  • Not Quite Dead: Episode 3 ends with Levi's plane seemingly crushed going through the portal. Episode 4 opens with him alive and well while in the prehistoric times with everyone else.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: Gavin sends a message back warning that Levi's plane will crash, but that he'll be coming in another before the portal closes, which Eve takes seriously. Levi, however, insists on finding out what went wrong and correcting it rather than risk Gavin not making it through for whatever reason. Though Levi seemingly succeeds in fixing the problem, Eve and Marybeth try to stop him, which ends up damaging the plane beyond repair. It can't fly and Gavin is stopped from going through, meaning they're trapped for the foreseeable future.
  • Not-So-Final Confession: When they're trapped under a slowly collapsing rubble pile, Marybeth tells Lucas that his father had been about to cut a deal to let Lucas go to jail in exchange for his own freedom for their drug-running operation. When Lucas doubts her, Marybeth responds "look where we are. Why would I lie?" They end up rescued a few moments later with Lucas shaken by what he learned.
  • Nuclear Candle: Marybeth and her son are trapped under rubble, but her lighter casts an insane amount of light - and never seems to run low on fuel, either.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • A massive sinkhole opening up in Los Angeles tends to have this effect.
    • The survivors when the Dire Wolves show up.
    • Eve, Ty, Marybeth, and Sam when confronted by a Smilodon.
    • Scott explains to Riley how he saved a bunch of camels, and then realizes they're in the Los Angeles Area in 10,000 BC.
    • Eve and Ty when confronted by a Short-Faced Bear.
    • Lily and Veronica when they find their father's body in an open-air grave.
    • Lily and Veronica when they witness a survivor murdered by the Watcher. And other survivors when they hear there are natives about.
    • Eve, Levi, Josh, Riley, Lucas, and Scott when they find a village. and again when said villagers object to being intruded upon quite strongly.
    • Eve and Levi, and Lucas and Scott, when they discover the villagers speaking English.
    • Eve and Levi when the Watcher and a half-dozen archers have them at arrowpoint. Fortunately for them, a woman convinces them to stand down.
    • Everyone who notices when the portal begins to close.
    • Eve, Levi, and Marybeth when their argument results in Diana being fatally shot.
    • Eve and Ty when Levi goes behind both theirs and the natives' backs to accuse Silas of murder. Silas retorts that the guy was already dead, and declares them to have overstayed their welcome.
    • Both the survivors and the natives when they immediately realize there's a murderer on the loose in 10,000 BC.
    • Veronica has a panic attack when Sam has her chained to the wheel of a car. she passes out and Sam has to administer CPR.
    • Silas when his grandson Isaiah gets kidnapped. Again when he discovers Rebecca is the kidnapper.
    • Eve, Ty, and Levi when they find Silas's reaction to Rebecca kidnapping Isaiah.
  • Papa Wolf: SILAS. Do not get between him and his grandson, as Rebecca finds out the hard way.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • Eve doesn't mention to Riley that her father Sam is injured until after she treats her son.
    • Levi asks Silas about a dead body. Silas's alibi is that the guy was already dead when he found him (not to mention that Silas's weapon of choice is a knife, not an overcharged taser like the murder weapon). The natives are angry that Levi went behind their back to play detective, and then realize there's a murderer on the loose in 10,000 BC.
  • Red Shirt:
    • Lilly and Veronica's dad from the pilot, who accompanies the leads for a while then gets eaten by dire wolves.
    • Also Eddie, who helped Ty hunt rabbits and is then found dead not long after.
  • The Reveal:
    • There have been numerous sinkholes opening up across the world for the last few years, La Brea was just the biggest and most public.
    • Veronica isn't Lilly's sister. She and Aaron, the man who was claimed to be their "father", kidnapped Lilly from a family picnic a while back.
    • Gavin's visions are memories of being a child in that world.
    • The girl Gavin and co had been tracking throughout the previous two episodes and was sent up with Gavin is Lily.
  • Ripple Effect Indicator:
    • Eve's wedding ring acts as this. There's a rock with a strange red marking on it, both in the real world and the world where the sinkhole leads. Gavin finds it there, as mentioned in Chekhov's Gun. However, it is also this trope because, unknown to the people left in LA, the survivors are still in LA, but the far-flung past. The ring is there because it was left for the significant amount of time that had passed between then and the present.
    • More broadly, as long as there remains a means for communication between the two eras, the past can be changed and history automatically updates. This is how they discover that Levi's attempt to fly back will fail, as the wreckage of his plane suddenly materializes in a section of the dig site that had already been excavated.
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Zigzagged depending on the situation.
    • Changes in the past carry forward without affecting the memory of those in the present. This is shown when Levi's crashed plane is found at the dig site recently in a section that had already been searched, even though it had been there for thousands of years and should have always been.
    • It's also averted when it comes to certain people. Gavin lived in the ancient past under the name Isaiah, but his memories of that time are completely absent. His memories only start coming back as his younger self goes through his life, up until he goes through the portal to 1988, where he appears to fully remember everything. It's implied that Ella, whose name was Lily, is going through the same thing.
  • Ring on a Necklace: Eve and Sophia each have one.
  • Rule of Drama: Gavin has gone to authorities twice with information, and been turned away as crazy. When the authorities decide they finally agree with and want to talk to him, the Department of Homeland Security arrives in a black SUV, picking him up on the street outside of his house as if he were a fugitive in danger of running - instead of simply giving him a phone call or knocking on his door.
  • Savage Wolves: Dire wolves show up in the first episode and attack the survivors, killing Lilly and Veronica's Dad, and severely injuring Josh in the process.
  • Shout-Out: Scott immediately compares their situation to Lost.
  • The Slow Path: Eve's ring takes this, being dug up by Gavin in the present.
  • Stalker Shot: In the first episode a man wearing a fur coat with a red handprint on the back was watching Marybeth firing a flare into the sky.
  • Stock Dinosaurs: Stock Cenozoic Megafauna- a pack of Dire Wolves appear in the pilot episode, a short-faced bear and giant ground sloth in the third episode, and Smilodon in multiple episodes.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Veronica. After a couple episodes of looking like her "father's" willing accomplice, Veronica is exposed as having this when she's handcuffed to the wheel of a car and has a panic attack so bad she passes out and needs CPR.
  • Swiss-Cheese Security: The protagonists direct people to pile up resources for the group, then set up no one to watch the pile until after someone tries taking food from it.
  • Time Travel: The sinkhole somehow sent those who fell in back in time.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • The man later revealed to be the Castillo sisters' father attacks a dire wolf with a branch. Predictably, he gets dragged off to be eaten.
    • Scott buries the stash of heroin he discovered in the woods without considering that its owner might come looking for it, assuming that they either died or remained in the 21st century. Unfortunately for him, neither turns out to be the case.
    • Mostly averted, however. From the moment they fall into the sinkhole, the main characters immediately get to work trying to ensure some stability and gathering up supplies for everyone, including food and some shelter.
  • Trapped in the Past: It turns out Eve, Josh, and the others are trapped in the prehistoric era.
  • Trauma Button:
    • Sam's is pushed by the situation with the Castillo sisters. He is also depicted taking anti-anxiety meds until he runs out in episode 8.
    • Sam accidentally mashes Veronica's by handcuffing her to the wheel of a car. She has a panic attack and passes out, and needs CPR to be revived, revealing she was not entirely a willing accomplice of their 'father'.
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: We're treated to seeing Izzy dropping Eve two times, a few minutes apart.
  • Wham Line:
    • After three episodes made her out to be mute, Lilly speaks in a clear and concise voice with her sister.
    • when the 'native' survivors start speaking English.
    • Isaiah's grandfather finds him being taken by Rebecca...and addresses her by her name.
    • A twofer in Episode 8: In the past, Isaiah notes how Rebecca said "my name is Gavin." In the present, as he has a flash to that moment, Gavin states "I don't think the things I've been seeing are visions. They're memories. I think I'm from that world."
    • In the present, Ella remembers her past and remembers she was once named Lily
  • Wham Shot:
    • While looking at a Hollywood ambulance that ended up in the sinkhole, Eve notices something and compares the mountains on the ambulance's sign to the ones in the distance. What does she find? They're exactly the same.
    • The Stalker Shot of a man with a red handprint on the back of his fur coat watching the camp of people who fell through the sinkhole.
    • The shot of the glowing crevice from the previous sinkhole in the Mojave was an In-Universe example for the government investigators.
    • When Scott and Lucas go searching for his buried drugs, they find something else: a box of gold bars from the American Civil War.
    • In the past, Isaiah's grandfather tends to a wound on his hand. In the present, Gavin has a flash of that moment...and how he has the exact same scar.
    • Ella remembers her past, and remembers Veronica talking to Lily from the latter's perspective.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Veronica steps in a bear trap and tells Lily to go on without her fairly early into the season 1 finale, then is never mentioned again in the rest of the episode by anyone stranded in 10,000 BC. However, grown-up Lily aka Ella joins Gavin and Izzy in the present day as they enter the Seattle portal specifically to try to find her.

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