Secrets get exposed, and things best left hidden are forced to come out in the open in the fourth episode of Amazon Prime’s “The Rig.” The last we saw of the hapless crew aboard the Kinloch Bravo oil rig, two crewmates, Baz and Garrow, had gone over to the other side, literally. They had secured themselves inside the Production Module and approaching them would be too dangerous. Geologist Rose had deduced that the particles that were found in the ash were similar to spores found in the area that date back 300 million years, to the Permian Period. With Fulmer smarting from his act of bravado and getting his back almost burnt off, “The Rig” Episode 4 kicks off with Heather discovering multiple unmarked containers that have been placed within the rig, but neither Dunlin nor Magnus has been made aware of these massive and mysterious boxes.
The Fog Heads Towards Land
While discussing Magnus, Dunlin mentions that Magnus lost his eight-year-old son, Thomas, in a car accident because Magnus stayed back on the rig. Even to this day, the ghost of his son haunts him as he feels yet more helpless. Elsewhere, Baz and Garrow mess around with the Well Injection in order to undo its connection to the seafloor. Fulmer wakes up to find Rose sitting near him, and although he’s badly burned, he’ll live. Outside, Cat, Heather, and Rose discuss the parasites in the ash and come to the conclusion that it might be some bacteria that has managed to stay alive for millions of years, and it might be the ancestor of all life. Suddenly, Cat blurts out that she’s pregnant, and it’s like a bombshell to the other two women there. Inside the laboratory, Rose notes that the spores might be using a method called quorum sensing, the same method used during the expression of bacterial genes, to communicate with Baz. Fulmer seems intent on drawing circular patterns, which are later revealed to be the same weird circles that Baz had been drawing on the windowpanes in “The Rig” Episode 2. Is the change starting inside Fulmer too?
But the audience has no time to ponder on that as Magnus calls Dunlin and Rose to the control room, with Fulmer and Heather in their wake. As the pressure in the rig spirals out of control, the only option is to send the Bullseye ROV to shut down the rig manually. After some intense deliberation, Easter is called in to operate the ROV to the bottom of the sea when something on the seabed freaks them out. Concentric rings seem to have appeared around the pipe burrowed into the seafloor, and they seem strangely similar to the drawings that Fulmer and Baz have made. Even Fulmer stares intently into the circles. Is it some sign from the bottom of the ocean for the land-dwelling creatures—us? Inside the module, Baz and Garrow are at their wit’s end, seeing the complexity of the Well Injector, and decide to call Fulmer.
Probably due to the fog clearing, the signal returns, and Rose starts looking up the samples of the bacteria when something called Project Cirein comes up. Cat contacts her wife, Casey, who informs her that the fog has flown in, and before she can warn her not to go outside, the signal drops again. Trying to access the files is a fruitless endeavor as Rose’s security clearance proves insufficient for this new finding. If her highest level of security isn’t enough to access these files, there might be something very abnormal happening, and that doesn’t include supernatural events. While looking up passwords that can be possible matches, Rose finds the drawings by Fulmer, and she chooses to stay quiet instead of alerting everyone. Meanwhile, despite being asked to establish contact with the beach, Fulmer starts looking up the ways circles can be used to communicate when he hears Baz speak to him.
Later, Rose walks in on Fulmer, observing his wounds, which have already started healing. His burn scar on the wrist has already healed completely, so it’s clear that the spores have seeped into his body. Fulmer mentions that he has started hearing and seeing Baz, and it’s obvious that he’s terrified. In the briefing room, multiple arguments break out as everyone wants to go back home. News that the fog has reached land sends everyone into panic mode, and the safety of their loved ones topples their need to stay together. Hutton picks a fight with Cat, and they almost come to blows when Heather screams to let go of her because she’s pregnant. Magnus tries explaining that the safety of his crew matters the most to him, and that was the reason he didn’t go home all those years back, and he trails off before being able to mention that’s how his son died. Dunlin and Rose attend to him and send him off to get some much-needed rest, and Rose takes charge. She announces that she’s with the crew and not Pictor any longer. It seems the deaths of crewmates, an unknown bacterium attacking people, and being stranded in the middle of nowhere have helped Rose have a change of heart. She goes back to Fulmer’s room but finds no trace of him, save a note where he expresses his concern for her safety, which is why he had to leave.
The Spores Are Dangerous…Or Are They?
With her world crumbling around her, Cat stands on the rails only to find Fulmer heading toward the production module. Cat and Rose run after him and enter the module to find greenery covering everything and strange spores flying around. However, despite being considered harmful, the spores gather near Cat’s stomach and approach her very gently. Rose takes Cat outside, and both women are shaken up but unharmed. There’s excitement on the deck as the crew spots light far away and get hopeful about a rescue mission coming for them. The old seafarer Murchison isn’t very sure about it yet. The crew gets into their lifejackets as they prepare to be taken away from the rig and all its problems.
A Change Of Heart
As the hidden secrets come out into the open, the crew starts to understand more about each other. Although Magnus blurts out about Cat’s irresponsibility in boarding the rig while pregnant, it’s obvious that it’s in the heat of the moment, and if situations were better, they’d probably throw Cat a baby shower. On the other hand, Rose’s change of heart and decision to side with the people is visible on more than one occasion. Although she had been partial towards Fulmer from the start because of their relationship, by “The Rig” Episode 4, she’s seen consoling the pregnant Cat, the nervous Heather, and Magnus, who seems on the verge of his breaking point. She finally lets go of the mantra of praising Pictor and the need to keep producing when bigger issues pop up. However, it’s rather weird how Rose and Cat walk into the production module without any protective gear, despite being aware of the organisms there that are turning their crewmates away. It’s fortunate that the spores aren’t harmful and are especially gentle towards Cat’s baby, but if it was something malicious and sinister, who knows if the two women would have been able to come out of there alive?
Baz seems to be the most loyal worker of this ancient being and starts using the newfound abilities that come with this position. His ability to communicate with Fulmer through the spores is something completely new and is mistaken for hallucinations by Rose. Fulmer’s departure and the letter he leaves behind, in which he shows his love for Rose, suggest that his actions aren’t performed from a selfish perspective. Not wanting to infect any more of his crewmates, he leaves to be with Baz and Garrow, though only the following episodes will reveal if the communications head will also be as loyal an employee for the ancient being as his colleague, Baz. Moreover, the lights that can be seen in the episode: do they belong to a rescue ship arriving to take the stranded crew of Kinloch Bravo home or is it something more antagonistic?