La Brea Season 3: Preview on Episode 6 – WATCH

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La Brea Confirmed to End With Season 3 — Get Final Episode Count

On February 13th, Episode 6 of NBC’s La Brea Season 3, entitled The Road Home Part 2, is airing on NBC. Let’s take a first exclusive look!

SYNOPSIS

Gavin leads the survivors in trying to find Eve, Josh and Riley in a final attempt to reunite his family and find a way back to the lives they once knew.

Any final teases for the La Brea series finale?
During our pre-season interview, Nicholas Gonzales (who plays played Levi) told me, “There’s gonna be a bit of sadness [for fans], saying goodbye to this world and these characters we’ve spent the past three years creating. But I also feel like there will be a lot of satisfaction. We don’t hold back on the excitement — literally, so much happens — and some meaningful arcs come around in very satisfying ways. Very satisfied, the audience will be, in Yoda-speak.”

DEADLINE: Six episodes isn’t a very long runway to land this plane. When you knew that was the episode order, how did you start to formulate a plan for the end?

DAVID APPELBAUM: Well, it was always the plan from the very beginning to end the series with the Harris family being reunited. The show begins with them being separated. They’re separated emotionally, because the mother and father of the family are separated in their marriage, but they’re also separated by a sinkhole. So the journey of the show, I always had it in my mind that it would be leading towards this moment when they’re reunited. So that was always a landmark that we wanted to reach. But with everything else, we were told at the very beginning of the season before we started writing, that it would be six episodes, and that it would be the last season. We didn’t know that before the season began. So the first task was like, where do we want to end all the characters? And then backfilling them all from there. It’s really a case by case thing with each of the character stories and with the larger mythological stories as well. So it was a great to be able to know that. This way, while we’re certainly upset that it was the end of the show, it’s useful to know you’re writing towards an ending. And that way we can craft the finale with the biggest impact both emotionally and have the plot coalesce in the most exciting way.

DEADLINE: Besides the Harris family, which you said you knew their ending from the beginning, did any of the other characters have alternate endings that what we see in the finale?

APPELBAUM: The other ones were more of an evolution as we went along. For Ty’s character, we had talked about the idea that he might die, because he starts the show with cancer…but then moved away from that, and especially once he found love with Parra. We wanted to give him a happy ending with her. We didn’t know all of them from the very beginning. A lot of them, we kind of found, but it was definitely the Harris family that’s always been the emotional anchor of the show. So having that guiding light was really important. These shows go through a lot of iterations. We’re not doing it in a vacuum. We’ve lots of feedback from network executives and senior executives and producers and actors. You take it all into account as you’re crafting the story. So things shift and change a lot as you go.

DEADLINE: Did the actors have any strong opinions on where their characters ended up?

APPELBAUM: Not really. I mean, the actors were great. They read the scripts, and we’ll have conversations before the season begins about our ideas about where they’d like to go. And they’ll definitely give ideas, like, ‘I’d like to do this this season.’ Or, ‘I feel like my character wants to be a little bit more humorous in certain moments.’ We’ll take that into account. But they’re not in the writers room. So they’re not involved in the story breaking process.

DEADLINE: I enjoyed the addition of the dinosaurs this season, and the scene of the crew flying up into the light and narrowly missing the T-Rex is really cool. How did you add in the dinos without making them too much of a distraction?

APPELBAUM: I think part of it is that one of the conceits of the show is that the sinkholes can open in any time period, and everything leads to 10,000 BC. So we always had in our mind that like, well, anything could come down here at any point. But it’s the balancing act of, when do you bring certain things in? one of the inspirations for the show was definitely Jurassic Park and Steven Spielberg. I always thought that I would like to bring dinosaurs into the world at some point. Particularly once we knew this was going to be the end of the show, it seemed like, well, it was kind of now or never, and to go big while we had the chance. But I think part of the fun of the show is there is a bombastic quality to some of these set pieces. We’ve got giant ground sloths and sabertooth tigers and woolly mammoths and things like that. And so, dinosaurs fit into the that world of crazy animals that you might encounter.

DEADLINE: Tell me what it looks like in the writers room when you’re plotting out the show. Do you have timelines laid out to track where everyone is?

APPELBAUM: Lots of whiteboards. We had whiteboards for all the characters and mapping out what they were doing in each episode. And also another whiteboard mapping out all the serialized plot moves in each episode. And then another whiteboard for the whatever episode we’re working on at the time and the beats of that. So you’re definitely balancing a lot. It’s a lot to keep track of. We have 13 series regulars, all of whom have their own stories that you want to keep going and have their own arcs that you want the audience to be invested in.

DEADLINE: There were many foiled plans to get home throughout the series. When you sit down to figure out how to actually get them home, and what that quest will look like, how do you ensure it’s not repetitive?

APPELBAUM: That’s a tricky one, because one of the things that’s at the heart of the show is that it’s a journey to get home. And characters are never losing sight of that, but you want to have different iterations of that and not feel like they’re the same — and also not feel like, ‘Oh, here goes another thing that they’re going to fail at.’ In Season 2 we had the building, and then we had Moore’s portal at the end. So we wanted to do something very different in Season 3 and not have the show be as focused on finding a time travel portal. So a lot of the ideas were based around, how do we make that difference? So it’s very much in our minds, trying to give it some variation, but at the same time, it is in the DNA of the show about people trying to get home. You want to try to be creative, but also try to hold true to what the show is. It’s a much different type of show, but Succession, for instance, like every season has the same [basic plot]. Someone’s trying to take over the business, and they’re trying to hold on to it in a different way. So that’s what the audience is coming for. It’s just trying to find different spins on that. So it’s just being aware that’s the nature of these types of serialized television shows, in really any genre.

DEADLINE: What is one of the things about the series you’re most proud of?

APPELBAUM: The last 10 minutes of the finale is one of the things that I’m most proud of. I feel like it packs a real emotional punch. I watched it many times and got emotional almost every time I watched it. I think it is a really satisfying conclusion to these characters stories and will give the audience a chance to reflect on how far they’ve all come over the course of these three seasons. So I think that our goal…it’s a thrill ride. We want it to be fun, but we also want to make the audience feel and care. And I think that’s really most encapsulated in the final 10 minutes of the show.

DEADLINE: Have you thought about any ideas to expand the story, if given the opportunity?

APPELBAUM: I do have ideas. It’s something that I have thought about as the show was going along. So it’s always been something in my mind. But particularly as we got to the end of Season 3, I definitely put thought into where it could go if I had the opportunity. I would take some of the core cast members and a brand new cast, and put them into a new adventure in 10,000 BC. I think [with] any version of it, I’d want the show to be an adventure in 10,000 BC and have a family story at the center of it. But I would like to explore new characters and new dynamics.

Why was ending this relatively happy for everyone important to you?

David Appelbaum: I think the show at the end of the day is an optimistic show. That’s the way I conceived it. I wanted it to be a family friendly show that gives people hope, that is an escape. Certainly that’s not everything within what the show is. There is sadness, and there is death and loss. But I think the view of the show is that there’s hope in the world and that’s what I wanted to give to the audience at the end for each of these characters and show in those final moments, just a little sense of that big journey that they’ve been on and the growth that they’ve all had. Embedded in the DNA of the show is that optimism, and I think those final scenes reflect that.

Zyra Gorecki as Izzy, Natalie Zea as Eve, Jack Martin as Josh, Eoin Macken as Gavin — 'La Brea' Series Finale

NBC

Was the plan always to bring the Harris family and specifically Gavin and Eve back together? 

That was always the plan. From the very beginning of conceiving the show, I knew I wanted to end with the family reunited in 2021. The show starts with the family divided— emotionally because Gavin and Eve are separated and then physically because of the sinkhole. And I always knew I wanted the meta journey of the show to be bringing them back together. Many things change along the way, but that was one thing that I knew I had to hold onto for the finale.

How much did that play into having Levi (Nicholas Gonzalez) die before the finale? Why didn’t he fit into the story you wanted to tell in the finale and the way you want to end the series?

Also baked into the DNA of the show is that not everyone lives, and there’s the pleasure and excitement for the audience of not knowing who’s going to make it out. In Season 1, you see Marybeth [Karina Logue] die; in Season 2, several other characters pass away. And so there’s this game of, well, who’s going to make it out?

But I think for Levi specifically, this is the end of a great redemption story for him. It starts in Season 1 when we meet him and learn that he has had an affair with Eve, so he’s damaged Gavin and the family in a great way. Then in Season 2, he destroys their only hope of getting home. So he’s someone who knows he needs to redeem himself. Everything he’s doing in Season 3 is to make amends and to bring this family back together, and he makes the ultimate sacrifice. I think that’s what makes that moment so emotional with his death, is feeling everything that he went through and how far away they were, but then coming back to this bond that Gavin and Levi have at the end and realizing that despite everything, they’re still brothers.

Did you ever consider having Paara join Ty in 2021?

No, not really. I think there was something satisfying in not having everyone go back home to 2021, and Ty specifically starts the show in a place where he’s so lost and is on the verge of committing suicide when we meet him and he finds his purpose and his purpose is with this woman. So leaving this place and leaving her life just never felt right to us. And we knew from a certain point in the show that being here was his endgame. His destiny is living in 10,000 BC.

Josh McKenzie as Lucas, Rohan Mirchandaney as Scott, Chiké Okonkwo as Ty — 'La Brea' Series Finale

NBC

Did everyone just accept that all these people who fell into the sinkhole just returned? It feels like there could have been drama there, but because of the short season, was that just not possible to do?

There’s certainly that story to tell, but we wanted to focus the end of the show on their emotional wrap-ups and showing the journey that they’ve been on and giving the audience that satisfaction. There is a lot that would happen to them having come through from 10,000 BC and the story they have to tell. But I think that’s for Episode 7.

When did Eve have time to go visit the tree in 1965? Wasn’t she in the detention center the entire time?

Not the whole time. When she first got through there, she had a moment when she was able to go up to the tree, but then she was captured. I think there’s a window in the beginning in our minds, but we don’t get too deep into that idea. But it’s something we definitely thought about as well.

Did you consider having anyone else choose to stay in 10,000 BC or 1965?

Not really 1965, but we did think about keeping Lucas and Veronica in 10,000 BC because these are two characters who have found the best versions of themselves down here. They start as polar opposites of what they are now. Lucas, when we meet him, is a drug dealer, Veronica is someone who’s been complicit in a kidnapping. They’re not necessarily good people, but they change and they find each other and they make a family, and all that happened here. So there is this debate for them, should we go back? We wanted to play that tension of what was best for them, but ultimately, they choose the welfare of their unborn child and making the determination to go back home because healthcare is a lot better in 2021 than 10,000 BC.

I think Lucas’ character development was the best of the series. 

Josh McKenzie is a fantastic actor who really throws himself into the role and embraces the journey and really thinks a lot about the character and every moment and every line and how he’s going to do it. So I think it’s a great credit to him, but also it’s a credit to the story that the writers and I created where he does go on a massive journey bigger than anyone else. It’s a huge change, and it happens over a long period of time. Because it’s not a quick journey, I think it’s a satisfying one. I think in the finale you have a chance to reflect on everything that he’s done and become.

Is there anyone you almost killed off and then decided not to?

Going back to the pilot, at the end of my pitch to NBC, Sam died by the sabertooth tiger, and they asked me not to do that because they liked the character and wanted to see where he would go. That really changed everything for that character and really for the story. That’s the one that stands out the most.

What majorly changed from your original plan for how the series would end once you had to wrap it up with these six episodes?

In Season 3 as we were conceiving it, we had a much longer and more detailed storyline that would’ve happened in 2021, where we would’ve met more of our characters and tell a variety of stories in 2021, which would’ve been interesting because you get to see the contrast for who they were in 2021 versus 10,000 BC. We had a lot of more plans for what would happen in 10,000 BC—other worlds we would’ve explored, other things that are down there that we never got a chance to show.

But that’s just the nature of television. We were told at the beginning of the season it’s going to be six episodes and to wrap it up. That changed everything, and we wrote towards that. But at the same time, we’re still very grateful that we knew we could write towards a finale because a lot of shows never have that opportunity. Sometimes shows just end and the audience is like, “Wait, that doesn’t feel right. I just spent weeks of my life watching this.” I think our audience won’t feel like that because we’ve given them something emotionally satisfying.

Would you have gone to the future at any point?

We had ideas to do that. That was one of the stories we wanted to do in Season 3 as well. We wanted to visit the time when James [Jonno Roberts] was from and meet Gavin’s family in that time period.

Was anything cut from the finale?

Yeah, there were scenes that were cut, which happens in every episode. We can only do 42 minutes of runtime per episode because we’re on network television and usually the cuts will come in five or six minutes over that. But ultimately you see what you really need once you get in the edit.

Could those scenes be released?

They’re not so important. If I had the opportunity to make the cut as long as I wanted to, it would probably be a few minutes longer and might include a few of those scenes. But it’s not something that I think dramatically changes what the show is.

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