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'La Brea' stars tease the ‘80s, wishing they had Penicillin, and more in Season 2

Season 2 of La Brea is coming soon, and the stars of the prehistoric drama say to expect plenty of excitement. 

By James Grebey
La Brea First Look

Season 2 of La Brea, which debuts on Sept. 27, promises to be an exciting time — or rather, exciting times, as the sophomore season of NBC’s sci-fi drama has some of the characters thrown into a whole new time period, jumping from the present day to 10,000 BC or from the distant past to the 1980s.

Perhaps the biggest change is that Gavin and Izzy Harris, after having spent all of Season 1 in the present trying to find a way to contact or rescue Eve and Josh, have now joined their missing family members in 10,000 BC. The only problem? They jumped into a gateway to the past in Seattle, so while they may be headed to the same time period as the other half of the Harris clan, they’re almost 1,000 miles away. The other potential problem? They jumped right in without much in the way of preparation.

“We were all sitting around set that day being like ‘I feel like they should grab a backpack, or something,’” Zyra Gorecki, who plays Izzy, admits to SYFY WIRE. “Penicillin? A granola bar?”

RELATED: Fall back into the dangerous primeval world of NBC's 'La Brea' in first teaser trailer for Season 2

Although she may not have some helpful supplies, the journey to Los Angeles where she’ll hopefully reunite with her mom and brother for the first time since they were swallowed by a time-traveling sinkhole will give Izzy the opportunity to further develop her relationship with her father, Gavin, who is actually returning to the past.

“Izzy has always been a daddy’s girl and they’ve always had this really strong relationship. Then he started having these visions and it was affecting the family. There’s a real frustration with that,” Gorecki says. “I think, along this journey from Seattle to LA, this huge hike, they really have to get it all out there in the open.”

However, little do Izzy and Gavin know that there isn’t actually a full family reunion waiting for them in Los Angeles. Josh, along with Riley Velez, ended Season 1 by getting sucked into the same portal they used to send Gavin’s younger self (known as Isaiah) into the future. Jack Martin, who plays Josh, reminds SYFY WIRE that there’s a lot that Josh and Riley don’t know, too.

“You’ve got to remember that they came through a giant light in the sky. They were told that it goes to 1988, but, do they even know that they’re in that time? They first have to figure out where they are, when they are, there’s so many questions that are posed,” he explains. “And once they figure that out, there are so many other questions. Like, what do we do when we’re in this time period. What can we do? What can we change? All of the questions that have been posed by time travel come into play here.” 

No longer being in 10,000 BC is a mixed bag, of course. 

“There are certainly advantages to the ‘80s,” Martin says. “He’s no longer being chased by primeval animals or under constant threat of death, and he’s also with someone he certainly doesn’t mind spending time with, to say the least. At the same time, he loves his family and he really misses them. The concern is, is he ever going to be able to see any of them again? Did he say his last words to them and not even know they’re his last words?” 

La Brea First Look

“I feel like both Josh and Riley, through Season 1, had to pick up a lot of new skills and they had to figure out who they were in this new timeline. By the end of Season 1 and going into Season 2, they’re now separate from their families and independent with each other, and they get to put all of those skills to the test and see what they can do with that,” adds Veronica St. Clair, who plays Riley. “They’re definitely apprehensive, they’re definitely nervous about what’s going to happen next. There’s a lot of fear and I think there’s a lot of opportunity for these two characters to be heroes.” 

While Josh and Riley are enjoying some modern comforts (the ‘80s may have been several decades ago, but they’re certainly modern compared to prehistoric times), their parents are still stranded in the past and desperate to find their missing kids. It’s especially bad for Sam Velez, because he just made a breakthrough in his relationship with Riley and confessed his struggles with PTSD to her. Now, suddenly, she’s thousands of years in the future.  

“You couldn’t have asked for a worse time. It’s bad enough that they fell through a sinkhole and are in 10,000 B.C. Now, to be separated, he feels alone and he’s worried about her. He’s going to do whatever he can to reunite,” Jon Seda, who plays Sam, says.

“He didn’t talk a lot about it and kept to himself,” Seda continues. “He’s always trying to help everyone else. That’s how he stays away from his own thoughts. He finds himself needing help, and it’s hard to ask for help. His daughter is the closest thing he has with him and it’s hard to share that truth, but eventually he does and I think he’s the better for it.” 

Other truths will come to light in Season 2. Tonantzin Carmelo, who plays Paara, the Native character who has a leadership position in the Fort, teases that viewers will learn more about her — perhaps even whether or not Paara is originally from 10,000 BC or is a time-traveller herself. 

“Paara will definitely have some of her past revealed, as will many of the other characters that we’re getting to know,” Carmelo hints.

La Brea First Look

Paara’s relationship with Ty, the psychologist who serves as a voice of reason among the Sky People and the primary point of contact with the Fort, will be tested in Season 2, actor Chiké Okonkwo says.

“We were thrown into this new environment that is populated and lived-in, and so part of the conflict is working out how we, as the Sky People, how we make this our home. And Ty is sort of stuck between the two worlds,” he explains. “It’s an interesting thing for me to play, to have these new allegiances, these new friends who we’ve been through so much with, but also this love he’s really focused on, and seeing how those two things either compliment each other or, at times, are in conflict with each other, is an exciting thing in the season.” 

Another exciting thing in Season 2? The seemingly modern skyscraper that Aldridge led Scott to at the end of the Season 1 finale. The cast won’t reveal any details about what a high-tech tower is doing in 10,000 BC, but they stress that it is going to be a big factor in the upcoming season in unexpected ways.

“Think about the building,” Gorecki teases. “The building is huge.”

“I couldn’t wait to find out what that whole thing was about, and it’s pretty amazing so I can’t wait for fans to see it,” adds Seda.

La Brea Season 2 premieres on Sept. 27 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC. Season 1 is currently streaming on Peacock.