7 reasons why the La Brea series finale was disappointing

La Brea wrapped up its run but between a rushed story and bad character arcs, it wasn't the great finale expected!

LA BREA -- "Sierra" Episode 301 -- Pictured: (l-r) Nicholas Gonzalez as Levi, Asmara Feik as Petra, Eoin Macken as Gavin, Rohan Mirchandaney as Scott, Chiké Okonkwo as Ty -- (Photo by: Mark Taylor/NBC)
LA BREA -- "Sierra" Episode 301 -- Pictured: (l-r) Nicholas Gonzalez as Levi, Asmara Feik as Petra, Eoin Macken as Gavin, Rohan Mirchandaney as Scott, Chiké Okonkwo as Ty -- (Photo by: Mark Taylor/NBC) /

La Brea had its big series finale this week, but sadly, it wasn't what fans wanted. Here's a few reasons why it was such a huge letdown!

Caution: This article contains SPOILERS for La Brea season 3 finale 

The series finale balanced various plotlines as the gang handled attacks by dinos and the mysterious military group while Riley was found in 1965 before her dad saved her. In the end, the military guys were dead, while Gavin and his family used a stealth bomber (yes, really) to get back to 2021.

Most of the rest of the survivors used the auroras to head back to the present, except for Ty, who elected to stay in 10,000 B.C. The series ended with Gavin and his family reuniting with Eve before heading back home. 

So all's well that ends well, except it didn't end well for viewers. From the incredibly rushed storytelling to the lack of character payoffs, these are a few reasons why the La Brea series finale was such a disappointment for viewers. 

1. Way too rushed

It's not totally the producers' fault. It's obvious that they were going into season 3, assuming a typical 10 episode run, only to be told that they were only getting six. The showrunners have talked about having to cut a lot of planned plots and characters not given the spotlight they should have. For example, Ty being thrust back to 2021 was clearly meant for a longer story arc and had to be wrapped up two episodes earlier than expected. 

However, the finale just felt so rushed. It clearly tried to shove too much action, story beats and more into 45 minutes; it didn't work. The big showdown with the military group that was supposed to be a huge threat didn't last five minutes. The series failed to fully connect, and the finale raced by far too quickly, as you could feel the producers trying to meet an impossible deadline to finish it. 

2. Plot holes abound

Fitting the rushed production, there were plot holes and unanswered questions, from just what was the point of this entire strange time travel bit to how the gang can bounce from 1965 to millions of years in the past like it's a bus ride. How did Eve get from jail in 1965 to leave a message to return in 2021? How in the hell did they fit a stealth bomber through a time portal, and how is using it able to crack the time barrier? Plus, Gavin suddenly knowing how to fly one off the secret program he totally forgot was nonsensical. Those and more were huge plot holes bigger than the sinkhole that swallowed these guys in the first place to ruin the finale. 

3. Too much happened off-screen

There's an old line of "show, don't tell." Well, the finale had a lot of telling but no showing. From Josh dropping off Riley in the past to getting captured to how Eve got away with dinosaur attacks, scores of huge storytelling moments happened off-screen, with characters only explaining what happened. 

It's another sign of the rushed production but also shoddy storytelling, as it made the audience wish for the show they could have seen. Just another episode or two to showcase this would have been better than "Hey, let me tell you about this cool thing that just happened" over and over again. 

4. Tension-filled moments faltered fast

Tying once more into the crunch of production, the finale was horrible trying to provide tension-filled moments that sunk quickly. A good example is Riley's medical scare, her dad having to operate on her with 1965 equipment, a huge danger to...oh, wait, here she is back in the present and perfectly fine.

Likewise, bits from characters held at gunpoint to facing off against creatures were anti-climactic at best and fake-outs at worst. The finale was awful trying to produce tension that just didn't exist and failed to convince folks characters were in real peril.

5. Characters Given Too Much Short Shrift

It was always going to be rough making sure the characters got their just dues in only six episodes, but it's still sad how little we got to see. Natalie Zea being unable to film anything but a cameo cost viewers Eve, one of the best characters. The death of Levi, a key character, wasn't given the spotlight it should have. 

Ty's decision to stay in the past because he fell in love with a woman there didn't connect nor did Izzy's romance. Also, seeing more of the survivors returning to the present would have been fun. Plus there was Gavin's sister…does anyone even remember her name? Sure, we got happy endings for the various characters back in the present, yet it all felt lacking and not worth the journey they had been on. 

6. Bad FX

Granted, the show hasn't been known for big screen level special effects, but it was appalling how bad they were for the finale. From the auroras to the cheap-looking T-Rex, there have been more believable FX in Asylum Studios movies. The budget was clearly being held back for this last year, robbing the show of any spectacle. 

7. The show needed more seasons

At the end of the day, La Brea was an epic show that was clearly cut down from the producers' plans. This was a series intended to run five or six seasons, not just three. Even then, adding four or five more episodes to expand on the subplots, build the mythology, and better FX would have helped.

La Brea may not have been the best show, but it deserved a better ending than this. It's on NBC not giving the team the time needed to make the show work as it should have, as the incredibly rushed production and crunched episode count means the series had an intriguing premise and some good characters but a finale that failed to land like it should have. 

La Brea seasons 1-3 are streaming on Peacock.