Following La Brea's Dino-Sized Cliffhanger, The Showrunner Breaks Down Eve's Fate And That Big Reveal About Gavin

Josh, Gavin, and Eve in La Brea Season 2 finale
(Image credit: NBC)

Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS ahead for the two-part Season 2 finale of La Brea, called "The Journey, Part 1" and "The Journey, Part 2."

Another season of La Brea has come to an end, and it's safe to say that the NBC series dropped enough game-changers that fans will have even more questions than they did after the Season 1 finale with Gavin's leap of faith back in 2021. Showrunner David Appelbaum previewed "incredibly high stakes" for the episode that would answer some questions while also raising new ones, and now he has broken down the biggest twists to CinemaBlend. 

Fortunately, La Brea has already been renewed for a third season, so the dino-sized cliffhanger will have its resolution, and Eve being ripped apart from her family to a mystery time as well as the reveal about Gavin having a sister can be explored down the line. For now, let's dig into what the showrunner had to say about the Season 2 finale!

La Brea survivors in Season 2 finale

(Image credit: NBC)

The Cretaceous Cliffhanger For The Survivors

The reveal that a second portal was available in 10,000 BC after Levi destroyed Lazarus seemed like a miracle for the survivors, but there's a lot of time for even the best-laid plans to go wrong in a two-hour finale. Surprisingly, Gavin being attacked by a lizard and impaled on a rock turned out to be the least of their problems, after they found a way to save him with some time travel. James' interference meant that the portal room was seriously damaged, leading to countless auroras opening to bring some new dangers to 10,000 BC. 

And as Gavin, Izzy, and Josh discovered in the cliffhanger, one of those dangers is quite literally dino-sized! They had to flee from a dinosaur that left a massive footprint, towered above them, and let out a Jurassic Park-worthy snarl. Josh had just enough time to ask "Is that a T-rex?" before they had to run for their lives. The debut of La Brea dinosaurs meant a pretty thrilling ending to Season 2, and showrunner David Appelbaum shared how long the Cretaceous cliffhanger has been in the works:

For a while. One of the cool conceits of the show is that these auroras can bring anything to 10,000 BC, from any time period. Dinosaurs are some of the most fascinating creatures that I can think of, so I think bringing those into this world has always been something that we've wanted to do and just seemed like a very exciting idea to end the season with, and have a lot of promise for what's to come in Season 3. The idea of dinosaurs and the threat of them is definitely going to inform what is in store for Season 3. It's definitely gonna complicate things in a whole new way, having not just the animals that we've seen from the Ice Age, but now the animals from the Cretaceous period.

Not many shows could find a way to organically bring dinosaurs millions of years ahead in time to cause problems for humans, but La Brea is one that clearly can! According to Appelbaum, the dino development wasn't just for the sake of an exciting final scene of the season, but Cretaceous animals are going to cause some complications in Season 3. Hopefully none of humans try to survive based on knowledge from any of the Jurassic movies!

Natalie Zea as Eve in La Brea Season 2 finale

(Image credit: NBC)

Eve Survived, But What's Next?

Perhaps the biggest question of Season 2 heading into the finale was whether or not the Harris family could change the future so that Gavin's vision of Eve's death wouldn't come true. The discovery of red flowers on the trek to the second portal suggested that maybe they were walking into a self-fulfilling prophecy, with Eve dying in 10,000 BC as part of the fight to escape. Instead, it was Gavin who died near some fallen red flowers. Even though his death didn't stick thanks to Eve and Izzy going back in time, Eve herself survived! David Appelbaum addressed the character surviving despite Gavin's vision of her death:

I think it's gonna be an exciting twist on that to see that actually Gavin was the one who falls victim to the lizard and that the red flowers are falling down on him instead, that he was able to change fate. It will be an interesting twist on what the audience was expecting. I'm excited for that, and I was really happy with the way that that came out.

While Eve's Season 2 story didn't end as tragically as Gavin foresaw in his vision, it also didn't end well for her! Just when it was starting to seem that the Harris family might stand a chance of being all together at the end of the season, the equipment in the portal room went haywire after sustaining some damage, and Gavin and the kids were locked on the safe side of the door while Eve was pulled into the portal. It was a twist that fans couldn't have seen coming, but according to the showrunner, La Brea was building to the twist as a setup for Season 3 for a long time. Appelbaum said:

From the beginning, we've always planned certain tent-poles and big markers that we know we wanted to hit, but as we got towards planning the end of Season 2, that's when you start setting up where you want to go in Season 3. As we're doing the end of Season 2, what are the stories we want to start setting up for the beginning of Season 3? These are definitely discussions that we were having and knowing where Eve was going and all the other stories. These are definitely discussions that we've been having for some time.

Based on what happened in the finale, there's no way for fans to know exactly what David Appelbaum and the writers have planned for Season 3. With the appearance of all the auroras, Eve could have ended up just about anywhere... and anytime. Here's hoping that she's not back in the Cretaceous where all the dinosaurs came from! The silver lining is that she managed to get Dr. Moore's journal to her family before being pulled into an aurora, so there's still the chance of fixing the machine. 

Jonno Roberts as James in La Brea Season 2 finale

(Image credit: NBC)

Gavin's Family Got More Complicated

Gavin's family background was already complex enough ahead of the Season 2 finale that it might have seemed like nothing could happen to complicate it more. Well, that ultimately was not the case! He and James ended up brawling in a fight that damaged the portal room, and Gavin shot his father after running out of any other options to stop him. James did have enough life left in him for some final words to Gavin: "Tell your sister I'm sorry I failed... Believe me, when she comes for you, you'll know why [I didn't tell you about her]."

James' reveal that Gavin has a sister seemingly came out of nowhere, right as he was on the verge of death, so that I was left wondering at first if any part of James was actually just manipulating his son in his final moments. David Appelbaum weighed in, saying:

That's interesting. I think with James, he is a manipulative character, a Machiavellian character, and you're not quite sure what is truth and what isn't. And I think that's one of the things we're going to leave the audience to wonder as they're going to Season 3. I don't want to give away any spoilers yet on what that will mean, but it is definitely one of the things that we're gonna be talking about as we get into Season 3.

The showrunner didn't drop spoilers about what's ahead for Gavin in related to James' deathbed claim that he has a sister. Gavin clearly believed his father, but it seems like there's more to the story than what James managed to say in the Season 2 finale. His comments about the sister coming for Gavin are a bit foreboding, but how much of that is the truth and how much is James taunting his son with his dying breaths? David Appelbaum went on to explain how the La Brea team came up with this twist for Eoin Macken's character:

For Gavin, from the very beginning of the show, we knew that this story of time travel and the history of it revolves around Gavin and his family, and wanted to extend beyond the Lazarus project. Its roots go deep. We've always been looking for ways to extend that. These are the kind of things that we've been talking about since the very beginning, these basic questions of the show. Who Gavin is and what his role in all this is are fundamental questions that we've been kicking around for a long time.

These basic and fundamental questions remain unanswered, but La Brea fans don't have to worry that the mysteries will all go unsolved. The show was renewed for a third season ahead of its midseason premiere, with many of NBC's other shows still awaiting renewal/cancellation news. We can worry about Eve's fate, what the auroras brought to 10,000 BC, and all the other survivors now that they lost their shot at getting home, but we don't have to worry about a Season 3!

For now, you can revisit past episodes of La Brea streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription. If you're in the market to try some new show while waiting for La Brea to return, you can find some options on our 2023 TV premiere schedule!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).