Created by David Macpherson, “The Rig” metamorphosizes the issues looming over the contemporary world and puts them into a narrative to create a thrilling sci-fi drama. “The Rig” makes us realize the power of nature and tells us what will happen if we keep doing what we have been doing for the past several years. It is said that nature gives as it takes, and throughout history, we have enough evidence to prove that nature has its ways and means to make up for our incapabilities. Exploitation has become such an inevitable part of our lives, and we are so used to witnessing how humans abuse and take advantage of something that we have stopped raising our voices against it with the intensity that we should. So, let’s find out what was happening on the rig and whether the crew members were able to get to the bottom of the problem.
‘The Rig’ Plot Summary: What Was Happening On Kinloch Bravo?
It was a usual day for the crew on the rig named Kinloch Bravo when they suddenly started experiencing tremors and all sorts of anomalies. The captain of the Rig, Magnus, saw that a fire had broken out on another platform named Charlie, which was visible from their deck. At that point in time, he didn’t take it very seriously but when he was told that the helicopter that was supposed to arrive and take a few people back to the beach was being diverted for some unknown reason, he realized the gravity of the matter. A thick fog started approaching the Rig, and they lost all signals. Magnus initially thought that it was probably an explosion due to a gas pocket, but he came to realize that there was something else happening that couldn’t be explained. Rose, the geology expert, was very sure that it couldn’t have been a seismic event. When Magnus proposed that they go and check the tower, she was against it, as visibility was low due to the fog, and it was quite risky to climb the ladder that led to the tower. It was decided that Baz and Fulmer would climb up and check the systems. Baz started hallucinating while climbing, and he almost lost control of himself. He fell down while coming back, and Fulmer didn’t have any clue how it happened. Hutton, as usual, got a chance to blame the leadership, and he said that it was all Magnus’ fault. To everybody’s surprise, even after falling from such a great height, Baz was on his feet after staying in the infirmary for a short while. Nobody could explain how his wounds had healed so fast, and he didn’t suffer any sort of internal injury. There was a substance falling from the sky that the crew members first perceived to be snow but then realized was ash, though they didn’t know where it was originating from. Cat, the onboard medic, and Rose had figured out that exposure to the ash caused some kind of infection, though they were not sure what it was capable of doing.
Though Baz seemed to be doing well physically, his condition was worsening, and he became more restless, not fully understanding why he had this weird feeling on the inside. He ended up killing his senior colleague Alwyn, though he claimed that it was not his doing. Baz said that he heard a voice, and it told him that a wave was coming that was going to destroy everything. Rose knew that the answers that they were seeking lay in the composition of the ash that was falling from the sky. So, she began her research in the hope that she would be able to unravel the mystery.
What Did The Rings Symbolize? What Was Baz Trying To Do?
Whenever a person got infected by the ancient form of life that was being referred to as the Ancestor, there were a few common symptoms that were experienced by them. Firstly, there were hallucinations, where the infected person got terrifying visions where they saw everything drowning inside the water. Secondly, they started making these rings, which symbolically depicted some phenomena, and thirdly, their wounds started healing at a rapid pace. Baz fell from such a height and survived, and even Fulmer’s burn wounds healed quicker than he had expected. Baz had realized, probably before anybody else, that the life form was trying to ascertain whether they could trust mankind or not. For the life form, the human race was just like another species, and it was doing something similar to quorum sensing to ascertain whether it should bring about mass extinction or work together towards creating a sustainable future. Rose was trying to figure out the significance of the ring when it struck her that it could signify the 5 mass extinctions, i.e., Ordovician, Devonian, Permian, Triassic, and Cretaceous, that had happened in earth’s history. Rose knew that they were inching towards another mass extinction, but she still didn’t know what she could do to prevent it from happening.
According to Cuvier’s theory of catastrophism, it was said that the world, after a gap of a certain period, undergoes a catastrophe that destroys every form of life on earth, and then a new life form is created from inorganic matter. Something similar was happening in The Rig, though the humans were the only ones responsible for bringing the catastrophe upon themselves. Baz wanted to change that, and that is why he was tampering with the well monitor system so that the Ancestor would know that they were not trying to eradicate its existence. Baz had a feeling that the Ancestor just wanted to be heard and that it was not the threat that Rose, Magnus, and others perceived it to be. Baz, together with Garrow, was just trying to win the trust of the ancient life form and was giving it due respect as he knew that it had been existing for millions of years and had witnessed all the mass extinctions, probably causing it too. When Fulmer went down after he realized that he was also infected, he came to know that Baz was actually making sense and that he was not the villain that the people had made him to be. They tried really hard to establish a bond with Ancestor but Coake misled Hutton and Dunlin and made them leak a deadly gas in the basement, which almost killed Baz and Fulmer. Dunlin also died while trying to save the infected people, and Coake, without any empathy, called it collateral damage.
In his final few moments, Baz told Magnus something that spoke volumes about the kind of person he was. He was ready to sacrifice his own life to protect the ancient life form. He said that all the parts of Ancestor were dependent on each other, just like the intricately woven ecosystems on earth. He said that he would stay back so that a similar catastrophe wasn’t brought upon the earth again. He wanted to show the Ancestor that humans were not so selfish after all and were capable of putting others before themselves. Baz believed that memory and sacrifice are the two facets of human life that make us who we are. Magnus asked him again if he was sure, but even before he said a word, his resolute eyes conveyed the message.
‘The Rig’ Ending Explained: Were Magnus And Rose Able To Stop The “Ancestor”? Who All Survived?
The 6th episode of the series, “The Rig,” takes us back a couple of days, and we witness what had happened on the rig named Charlie when David Coake and the other survivors were coming. David was probably heading the Mission Cirein, wherein they were trying to destroy the ancient creature which they referred to as the Ancestor. The Cirein injector was activated, and the pressure level on the rig started rising. Harish, one of the crew members on Charlie, told him that he was really pushing the limits and calling upon his own doom. But David Coake believed in ruthless pragmatism, and he was not ready to back down before he killed the organism, even if it meant risking the lives of the entire crew. The pressure was supposed to level off after a point, but contrary to expectations, it started rising at an enormous speed. It reached the shutdown threshold, and had procedures been followed, they shouldn’t have kept the system running. But Coake asked everybody to wait a few more seconds, and he let the havoc reign. There was a huge blast in the rig, and the entire experiment failed.
Harish narrated the incident to Magnus, who started getting an idea of what he was dealing with. Harish said that they had a near-escape as Coake wanted to make sure that every piece of information present about the experiment on the system was completely destroyed. Pictor was just concerned about draining every drop of oil from the ocean bed, and because the creature was coming its way, it had launched a mission to get rid of it. Nobody was worried about the long-term consequences of their actions. Coake told Magnus that the Ancestor had spread across the entire channel, and whenever it came near an oil refinery, it converted the oil into its primal form. The message that the Ancestor was trying to give was loud and clear, but people like Coake were not able to see it. We were not surprised by Pictor’s response to everything, as this is exactly what happens in the real world too. Somehow, mankind has been able to change the very concept of growth. Our industrial activities, our day-to-day habits, and our priorities have destroyed entire ecosystems and had an adverse impact on the environment. We see the results, yet there is no end to exploitation. We know that fossil energy sources are non-renewable in nature yet changing our ways and means and speaking up for conservation is the least of our concerns. The Ancestor was trying to reverse the damage caused by humans, and Pictor, just like any other autocratic or pseudo-democratic system, was trying its best to keep doing the damage. In Coake’s narrative, he was the hero, who was trying not to let the infection spread and, in turn, giving the others a chance to survive. He was proud of the fact that he was a realist who was not afraid of making hard choices, but in reality, it was the complete opposite. He was too afraid to accept his mistakes; he was afraid of standing up to the capitalistic organizations, and he also lacked courage and the spirit of sacrifice to put someone else before himself.
Magnus told Rose that if she wasn’t able to find another way to stop the microorganisms, then he would have to do what Coake was telling him to do. Coake had very confidently said that he knew how to stop the Ancestor and that destroying it was the best way to make sure that everybody stayed alive. He had given his guarantee that nothing would happen to Magnus’ crew, and that was something that had made the latter give it a second thought. Rose and Fulmer came to the conclusion that there must be some way to communicate with the Ancestor, as it had a consciousness of its own. Rose told Fulmer how bacteria use quorum sensing to decide whether they should cooperate or fight, the same way the blue particles in the basement of the rig were trying to ascertain. The way Coake and others were planning to retaliate, it was surely not sending a good message to the Ancestor. Rose knew that she had to do something to change the message and make it aware of the fact that they were on the same team. Rose, Fulmer, and Heather convinced Magnus to go into the basement and try to help Baz, who had been trying to do the same thing from the very beginning. Coake came to the scene, and he started threatening Rose about the consequences she would have to face once she went back to land. But it didn’t affect Rose because she knew that if she didn’t do what her intuition was telling her to do, then there wouldn’t be anything left in the world. Magnus, Rose, and Fulmer went to meet Baz, and Coake seized the opportunity to accomplish his mission in their absence. Coake went to Harish and gave him an alluring offer: if he helped him activate the backup system and eradicate the Ancestor, then he could accompany him on the helicopter that was on its way to rescue him. He didn’t even inform Magnus about it and started the same procedure that had led to the destruction of Charlie. He started overriding the safeties as the wellheads of the rig were already closed. Harish had switched on the intercom so that Heather, Cat, and Easter could hear what Coake was saying, and they arrived just in time. Harish and Easter stopped the injector, while Cat and Heather went after Coake, who was trying to reach the helipad and escape on his helicopter. What Coake didn’t realize was that Hutton had already been stationed there by Magnus to keep him in check. He was just about to kill him when Cat came and told him not to do so because if they took him back, there was a possibility of getting justice for everyone they had lost.
Meanwhile, in the basement, Magnus and his team were not able to establish any sort of communication or bond, and they knew that maybe they were a bit too late to reach there. They were escaping when Baz decided to stay back and give his own life in order to make the Ancestor realize that they had every intention of collaborating. He wanted others to have a chance in the future to reconcile things and stop mass extinction. Magnus, Rose, Cat, Heather, Coake, Hutton, and Fulmer escaped on the chopper and saw a tsunami blowing away the entire oil rig beneath them.
What To Expect From ‘The Rig’ Season 2?
The first season of “The Rig” leaves us on a cliffhanger, and there is still a lot left to be ascertained. The crew wasn’t able to collaborate with or destroy the Ancestor, and that means that the possibility of it reaching the land is still pretty much there. Pictor would want to cover its tracks, and as Coake said, the best-case scenario for them was that nobody came to know that anything of the sort had ever happened. But the Ancestor had started wreaking havoc on land too, and we saw Cat’s partner’s place hit by a tsunami.
Magnus, Rose, and others who were in the chopper believed that now they could go back to their home, but Coake revealed to them that they could have only gone back home if they had let him destroy the Ancestor. Though it isn’t revealed where they were headed, it could be possible that Pictor Energy was sending them to another oil rig to try to accomplish the mission there. In season 2 (if there is one), we could get to see all of them trying to handle the situation in the best way possible and mitigate the damages, though, in all probability, they wouldn’t let Coake destroy it. Maybe the next time Rose comes in contact with the ancient life form, she will be able to establish communication and convince it to collaborate. The threat of mass extinction still loomed upon them, and the fate of the entire planet lay on the shoulders of those few men and women who were in that chopper as others on land were still oblivious to the reality.
“The Rig” is a 2023 Drama Thriller series created by David Macpherson.