‘The Rig’ Character: David Coake, Explained: What Was Coake’s Mission? Why Did He Come On, Kinloch Bravo?


Directed by John Strickland and Alex Holmes, “The Rig” takes us on a thrilling ride and, in the process, makes us privy to the products of a capitalistic society, who are determined to destroy everything but are not ready to mend their ways at any cost. The series makes us meet a man named David Coake, who was the ringleader of that oppressive and exploitative system. He was sent to Kinloch Bravo with a mission, and he was determined to accomplish it. So, let’s try to understand the nitty gritty of the mission at hand and if Coake was able to successfully complete it. 

Spoilers Ahead

Who Was David Coake?

In the fifth episode of “The Rig,” we saw that the onboard crew of Kinloch Bravo got excited as they thought that an SBV (standby vessel) was coming to rescue them. But once the vessel came close, they were disappointed to find out that it wasn’t an SBV but a small boat containing the survivors from the adjacent platform called Kinloch Charlie. Rose, Heather, and others couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw the survivors, as they felt like the explosion would have killed everybody on the rig. Rose and Cat started making preparations to bring the survivors on board, and that’s when Hutton came and asked them in disbelief why they were taking that risk. Hutton’s skepticism was coming from the fact that the survivors could be infected by the ash particles in a similar manner as Baz had been. Baz had gone rogue, and people had seen that he was not in control of himself. Hutton was scared that if they got infected by the survivors, they wouldn’t have anywhere to go. His fears were not unfounded, as the infection had proved to be fatal for Lewk and Alwyn, where one died of infection, and the other was killed by an infected. But Rose didn’t have an option at that point in time, and she wasn’t barbaric enough to tell the survivors to take their boat and go elsewhere. She knew that if they weren’t taken on board, they wouldn’t survive in the waters.

Hutton, since the very beginning, had a very condescending attitude, and Rose knew that there was no point arguing with him as he would never understand somebody else’s point of view. Cat set up a screening process where she checked those 20 or so survivors for the infection. There was a man who, as soon as he came out of the boat, started asking where the control room was. He seemed to be in a bit of a hurry, and Rose told him that he couldn’t go anywhere without the preliminary screening. The man was David Coake, who was leading the research and expansion wings of Pictor. Rose wasn’t notified about the involvement of the research and expansion sector, and that is why she was a bit curious about what they were doing there. One more weird thing that Heather came across was that there was no record of anybody named David Coake in the offline database. David understood the sensitivity of his mission, which is why he had covered his tracks quite efficiently.

What Was David Coake’s Mission? Why Did He Come On, Kinloch Bravo?

The first thing that Coake asked was why the wells of the rig had been shut down, and that’s when Dunlin told him that they had to close the S valve as they had lost the remote link to the production module. Dunlin told Coake that they had to restrict access as Baz, Fulmer, and Garrow had taken charge of the entire production module, and people on board were scared of getting infected if they came in contact with them. Rose was asking Coake all sorts of questions so that she could understand what she was up against. He retaliated by telling Dunlin that Rose was supposed to lead the decommissioning task force and that she had hidden that fact from everybody on board. So basically, she knew Kinloch Bravo was going to be decommissioned, and that really hurt Dunlin, as he felt like he was betrayed by one of his own.

The crew on Kinloch Charlie was told that new equipment was being installed to facilitate carbon capture, but it was not so. Harish, one of the crew members of Kinloch Charlie rig, told Heather that instead of extracting oil, they were sending something down through the injectors. According to Harish’s testimony, Coake had been in a similar situation before, so he knew what he was dealing with. While the people on the crew got infected and died, Coake stood there calmly and stayed focused on his mission. Dunlin, Hutton, and Murchison committed the mistake of trusting Coake because they were in a desperate situation and were ready to do anything if it guaranteed them a safe return. Coake was a shrewd man, and he knew how to take advantage of people. He told them that if the tests that he was conducting were successful, it would extend the life of Kinloch Bravo. He said that he had already installed the system in the production module, and all they had to do was find a way to access it.

Coake made all three of them believe that there was a way through which they could remove Baz, Fulmer, and Garrow from the basement without hurting them. He told them that there was a shipment of carbon dioxide cylinders on board, and all they had to do was put the gas in the fire suspension system. He said with a lot of certainty that it would make Baz, Fulmer, and Garrow unconscious and allow them to gain control of the production module. Dunlin was skeptical about the plan, but Hutton convinced him to trust Coake and take the leap of faith as they were already out of options. It was when they pumped the gas in the suspension system that they realized that Coake’s plan was never to restore but to exterminate, without even knowing the pros and cons of it. The cylinder didn’t just have carbon dioxide in it, and the deadly gas that came out killed Dunlin and Garrow. Baz and Fulmer survived, as Rose had intervened at the right moment and turned off the suspension system.

Coake knew from the very beginning that the crew was risking their lives by coming on the rig, but he withheld that information and let them die. He had tried exterminating the ancient life form on Charlie too but had miserably failed in his mission. He was ordered to keep hopping from one rig to another until he killed the Ancestor and covered the tracks of Pictor Energies. The management didn’t want the world to know what was happening in the ocean and wanted to completely evade any liability. Rose and Fulmer had reasons to believe that they could establish a bond with the ancient life form and make it trust their intentions. Coake, on the other hand, believed that killing it was the only way forward. When Magnus, Rose, and Fulmer went to the basement, Coake went to Harish and tried to incite a fear of death within him. Coake told Harish that everybody had a survival instinct, and there was nothing wrong with accepting the fact that they wanted to fend for their own interests before looking out for others. There was a chopper that was coming to rescue Coake and he knew that he could leverage it to his advantage. He made a pretty simple offer: he told Harish that all he had to do was to help him activate the injectors, and in return he would ensure that Harish reached back home safely. Harish, for a moment, was tempted by the offer, but then he let his conscience prevail. He managed to switch on the telecom so that others could get to know Coake’s wickedness.

Coake was not able to kill the Ancestor, and even Magnus and Rose were not able to establish a bond. Kinloch Bravo was hit by a tsunami, and Coake, Magnus, and other surviving members probably flew to another rig to face similar threats once again. The ancient life form had taken over the entire North Sea, and the desperation that was evidently visible on Caoke’s face made it clear that he was well aware that he could go back home only when he had exterminated the threat. Ancestor was just trying to alter the damage that had been done by human beings on earth, and only if people at Pictor showed any will to find an amicable solution would things not have gone out of hand. If there is season 2 of “The Rig,” we will get to know if the survivors are able to save the planet or if nature takes its course.

See More: ‘The Rig’ Ending, Explained: Did Magnus And Rose Stop The “Ancestor”? Will There Be A Season 2?

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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