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Season 1 of NBC's sci-fi drama La Brea literally tested all the possibilities of space and time.
The series saw a group of Los Angelinos disappear through a sink hole, only to reemerge in the year 10,000 B.C. Simultaneously, their family left behind in the present day attempt to save their lost loved ones with the help of Gavin's (Eoin Macken) apparent deluded visions, a little science, even more dangerous giant portals into the past, and a stranger's cryptic advice. The result is an intriguing time-traveling puzzle that opens the door to all sorts of questions and possibilities.
"That was always one of the driving ideas of the show, that the show is a thrill ride," creator David Appelbaum told Entertainment Weekly. "You never know what's around the next corner. So I think along with that, revealing new mysteries and surprises as much as we can gives the show a unique energy and keeps the audience on the edge of their seat. So that's always been one of the driving philosophies of the show: to push forward to surprise. We do want to find moments where characters can be reflective, but generally it's about the drive and momentum of this adventure story."
So while fans await Season 2, some pretty wild theories have popped up about what, exactly, is going on in La Brea. We've gathered the most intriguing, below.
Silas is an older Josh.
Why it works: It's initially thought that Silas (Isiah/Gavin's grandfather) is an original member of the Tongva tribe, but we soon learn he's actually a scientist from the future. And for some reason, he did not want Isiah/Gavin to return to 1988. In addition, during the finale, Josh accidentally got pulled into another time loop into a yet-to-be disclosed place in time.
With this information in mind, it's possible that Silas is an older future Josh who somehow found another time loop and traveled back to 10,000 B.C. Armed with information from the past and present, the older Josh (disguised as Silas) fought to stop his young father from returning to 1988 in order to prevent an oncoming unfortunate event.
Why it doesn't work: Stopping Isiah/Gavin from returning to 1988 would mean that Josh and his sister, Izzy, would cease to exist. Why would he want that? Also, how could an older Josh be his own father's grandfather? He's either a master at manipulation and convincing Isiah of this connection, or there are some complicated genetic workings at play.
Silas is an older Gavin.
Why it works: With one of the series' big questions being Silas' true identity, another theory is that he's actually an older Gavin. We already know that Gavin lived in 10,000 B.C. as a child before traveling through the time loop to his rightful place in 1988. But then the present day Gavin jumped through the Seattle loop. Being no stranger to time travel, what if an older Gavin from the future returned to 10,000 B.C. as Silas in order to prevent unknown oncoming events and protect his younger self?
Why it doesn't work: Preventing his young self from traveling to 1988 would mean his entire family (whom he loves) would cease to exist. Also, how could an older Gavin as Josh, and a young Gavin as Isiah, simultaneously exist together in 10,000 B.C.?
Riley and Josh adopt Isiah in 1988.
Why it works: In the finale Riley and Josh, along with Lili, accidentally get pulled into a time loop. Since the loop was located in the same place as Isiah's/Gavin's, it's possible they too went back in time to the same location in 1988. This is the same year that Isiah/Gavin gets adopted. Knowing about Gavin/Isiah's past and future, Riley and Josh could take the initiative to raise and look after him.
Why it doesn't work: Wouldn't an adult Gavin want to know why his adoptive father looks exactly like his son? Also, Appelbaum revealed to Deadline that Josh, Riley, and Lili arrive in a time that "the show hasn’t seen before," which makes us question whether or not they actually end up in 1988.
Riley and Josh are Isiah's biological parents.
Why it works: During Season 1 it's revealed that while Silas and Isiah/Gavin successfully went through the time loop from the future to 10,000 B.C., Isiah/Gavin's parents died when he was young—and viewers have no idea what they look like.
We also know that in the finale Riley and Josh travel to a year "the show hasn’t seen before." That time could possibly take place years before 1988, giving Riley and Josh enough time to settle into a new life and conceive Gavin/Josh—only for something to go terribly wrong.
Why it doesn't work: It would take some gnarly physics and genetic maneuvering to rationalize how Josh could be his father's son and also his own grandfather. Also (unless he's straight up lying) how could Silas be Isiah/Gavin's grandfather because we already know the identities of both Josh and Riley's fathers.
Silas and Rebecca Aldridge are from the distant future and created the time loops.
Why it works: This concept isn't too far-fetched to wrap our heads around. Following Season 1, we already know that Silas and Aldridge are scientists and former colleagues. They clearly know way more about the future than anyone else on the show (and are incredibly private about their knowledge), and Aldridge has time traveled at least once before.
It's possible that during some sort of experimentation, Silas and Aldridge either created the time loops or the issue that has left so many people stuck in 10,000 B.C. This would account for them knowing more about time travel than anyone else.
Why it doesn't work: How could a future Silas time travel with Gavin/Isiah (who was adopted in 1988) to 10,000 B.C. Unless Gavin/Isiah was somehow born in the future?
Aldridge is Josh and Riley's daughter.
Why it works: We know Aldridge is a scientist who mysteriously knows way more about time travel and the Skypeople than she should. She's also been through a time loop before. But that's about it. Viewers have no clear idea of her motivations or what time period she's originally from.
A fan on Reddit theorized that she could be Josh and Riley's daughter from the future who has traveled back in time to ensure her parents meet. This would also put her in the perfect position to manipulate the events of the past based on her knowledge of the future.
Why it doesn't work: Seeing how the rules of time travel work during the first season, this is the one theory we can't poke holes in. It's entirely plausible.
Part of Season 2 will be based in the 1980s.
Why it works: Since Gavin/Isiah is a prominent character who successfully made it through the time loop to 1988, it makes sense that we'd follow his journey in the second season. Appelbaum also told us we'd see a new time period, and though 1988 has been frequently referenced, we've never witnessed any actually scenes from that year.
Why it doesn't work: There isn't much reason why this wouldn't make sense. But when asked specifically if we'd be taken to the 1980s, Appelbaum had a cryptic answer for Entertainment Weekly.
"I don't want to give away exactly what we're going to see, but there would definitely be some new worlds to explore," he said.
La Brea Season 2 will return to Tuesday nights on NBC in fall 2022. You can watch the full first season now on Peacock.
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