If you are a devotee of time travel...

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

La Brea 1.6: Cross-Temporal Communication

One of my favorite parts of La Brea is the cross-temporal communication between the people 12,000 years in the past and in present Los Angeles.  Last week, Eve in the past sent a message in a bottle to Gavin in the present.  This week, Gavin in the present returns the favor and sends a message in a video back to Eve in the past.

And the result in tonight's episode 1.6 is the best episode of La Brea so far, which is to say, excellent indeed, because Gavin's message to the past sets in motion a sharply drawn temporal paradox (and temporal paradoxes are the main reason I'm such a devotee of time travel narratives, as both a reader/viewer and an author).  Gavin in the present is told that the remains of a plane have suddenly appeared in the pit in the present, and everyone onboard was dead.  His urgent message to Eve 12,000 years ago is don't get on that plane, don't let anyone get on board.
Most of the people back then are not devotees of time travel, and they can't accept Eve's dire advice not to get on the plane.  So what will happen?  Since the plane with the deceased has in fact shown up in the present, doesn't that mean that Eve will not be able to stop the plane with Levi and, even worse for Eve, her son Josh from getting on that doomed flight?

In our real world, yes.  But then again, there is no time travel that we know about in our real life.  But in the fiction that is a time travel story, anything is possible.  Once it is posited that it's possible to mess around with time, nothing is foreordained.  And La Brea 1.6 does a good, taut job of playing this out.

As a bonus, a couple of different parts of the series narrative (but related, everything is related in time travel stories) are further developed before the episode ends.  My favorite is the advice to Gavin to think about what happened to him back in "the beginning ... November 16, 1988."  (Well, far better that, I guess, than what happened 12,000 years ago.)

And I'll be back here next week with a review of La Brea 1.7.

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