Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Ending Of The Rig Season 1 Explained

Thriller, sci-fi, and supernatural mystery are all epic TV genres in their own right, and "The Rig" from Amazon Prime Video expertly fuses them all together. Set on a remote Scottish coastline, the show follows a crew of rig workers as they get cut off from the mainland thanks to a mysterious (and harmful) fog. Starring Martin Compston, Emily Hampshire, and Iain Glen, the dynamics between the crew descend into life-or-death trauma by the season finale. What's more, the microbial lifeform known as the Ancestor is wreaking havoc on the Kinloch Bravo, throwing their future into jeopardy.

The program's ability to uniquely straddle different genres while providing edge-of-your-seat action has quickly won favor with its audience. The cast not only offers up effortless representation but pulls out all the stops for the show-stopping season finale — going as far as literally bursting into flames in one instance. The final episode of Season 1 offers up a lot of questions, with plenty to mull over while fans wait for news on Season 2. Before the fog gets to us, here's exactly what happens at the end of Season 1 of "The Rig."

Spoilers ahead.

Will the rig bounce back from the tsunami?

In the parting moments of "The Rig" Season 1, we watch a killer tsunami imperil the crew of the Kinloch Bravo platform alongside the rig itself. Set somewhere off of the remote Scottish coastline, both the rig and the crew are always isolated and exposed to the elements, and that's before we even factor in the Ancestor. The aftermath of this natural disaster is the biggest question viewers are left with as the finale wraps up, particularly given the whereabouts of most of the crew. Instead of drifting back toward the mainland, those that try to flee (namely everyone except Baz) are ferociously flung in a mysterious direction. Only David Coake knows for sure what's on that horizon, and he's not exactly in a position to tell us much.

As for the rig itself, it's anyone's guess what might happen next. While the fate of the crew hangs in the balance, the physical structure has almost definitely been smashed to smithereens. Depending on the direction of a second season, the rig could be rebuilt to once again try and master or communicate with the Ancestor. However, given the perilous possibilities this season finale presents, fans can't rule out a perspective on the "Great Dying" from a completely different setting.

Baz makes the ultimate sacrifice

Who doesn't love a hero that's willing to risk it all? As the rest of the crew try to escape from the inevitable tsunami heading their way, Baz takes selflessness to an entirely new level. After Rose, Fulmer, and Heather successfully convince Magnus to help Baz in the basement, the team realizes it's too late to make any positive progress. Knowing the Ancestor needs proof that humanity is willing to make drastic sacrifices, Baz trades his own life for the rest of the crew's safety. Even though the image of him ready to accept his fate with open arms feels very final, that might not necessarily be the whole story.

When it comes to the sci-fi nature and overall weirdness of "The Rig," it's safe to say that nothing can be completely ruled out. Considering that we don't see Baz actually die, it's not totally implausible that he could return in a future installment. By some "Titanic"-style miracle, Baz could be found fighting for his life on a piece of driftwood or could become a part of the Ancestor's ecosystem itself. It would be a shame to lose a character who's so kindhearted and receptive to the idea of change, so we hope for a happier ending.

We don't know who else is dead

While Baz's fate feels pretty certain, the rest of the Kinloch crew are nowhere to be seen. Plunged into an unknown location, the fates of Rose, Fulmer, Magnus, Harish, Heather, and others all hang in the balance. Taking common sense into consideration, the outlook is fairly bleak. Their odds of surviving the sheer force of the tsunami against the rig — or even open water — are highly unlikely, meaning at least one casualty is to be expected. As Magnus is last seen convincing Baz to leave with them, he could be the most likely target of the Ancestor's wrath.

If the team behind "The Rig" want more airtime, it's unlikely that they'd kill off the entire crew of the Kinloch. While the perspective could completely change to focus on those on the mainland, the thread of the Kinloch needs to follow through to make any potential storylines convincing. Given the heavy supernatural and sci-fi feel of the show, there's nothing that says "The Rig" can't take a leaf out of the "Doctor Who" playbook and have the crew regenerate into Kinloch 2.0. Stranger things have happened.

It's all over for David Coake

Good things come to those who wait; bad things come to those who, metaphorically, have blood on their hands. By the final moments of "The Rig" Season 1, most of the crew are aware of just how much David Coake has been deceiving them. Coake is revealed to be a part of Project Cirein — a mission dedicated to destroying the natural force that has been causing a problem for the oilfields owned by the massive energy company Pictor. Not only is he behind the explosion on the Kinloch Charlie, but he almost replicated the same fatal attack on the Bravo. It's safe to assume that David is a nasty piece of work, and perhaps the Ancestor destroying a few things along the way isn't such a bad thing.

With the revelation that Pictor has known about the Ancestor's existence for a long time, there's no telling how much more backstory there is left to explore. Coake's statement of, "I told you, if you wanted to go home, you should have listened to me" feels particularly chilling in hindsight — even more so considering how he's blatantly willing to leave everyone else in the dust while he searches for an escape helicopter. Whether he fully gets his just desserts remains unknown, but something tells us the Ancestor isn't done teaching him a lesson.

The fog might say more than we think it does

From the moment "The Rig" begins, the weather conditions play a vital part in its narrative. The catalyst that puts the supernatural chain of events in motion, the mysterious fog conditions have been a thorn in the side of the crew for the majority of the season's run. To start with, this manifests in the form of deadly spores, which Rose figures out can attach themselves to people and cause a ridiculously gruesome death. While this situation sounds fitting for a reboot of the "Alien" franchise, it also lends to the show's wider themes of global warming. Speaking to the Financial Times, creator David Macpherson confirmed the fog's links. "I wanted to tell that global story [of climate change], but one of the things that gets missed is the impact on everyday people in these facilities."

If the team behind "The Rig" wanted their show to tackle both personal and environmental themes through the fog, they've achieved their goal. By the end of the season finale, the fog seems to hold even more mystery, with a distinct shadow heading toward Cat's wife back on the mainland. The fog clearly isn't done unloading its mysteries onto the humans.

Will the Sixth Extinction ever happen?

In the season finale of "The Rig," priorities shift from theorizing about what's called the "Sixth Extinction" — basically a term for global climate catastrophe coined by scientist Elizabeth Kolbert – to stopping David Coake and escaping the wrath of the tsunami. Even so, the significance of this unknown can't be forgotten. By the start of the episode, it's clear that the Sixth Extinction feels imminent, given the many warnings given by the Ancestor that have subsequently been ignored. We know that the Sixth Extinction prompts a series of undersea landslides in real life, and the closing moments of the season finale confirm that this phenomenon could well and truly have begun.

A potential Season 2 of "The Rig" could go one of two ways when exploring the Sixth Extinction further. They could drag the tsunami aftermath out, staging a complete series over a matter of days — or even moments — giving total focus to the inevitable nasty ending that landslides will bring. On the other hand, the focus could shift to the wider threat of the "Great Dying," setting our surviving crew members up for a bumpy and watery ride.

Indecision stops Project Cirein from succeeding

Thanks to the continued revelations from David Coake, the intentions behind Pictor and Project Cirein make themselves known. Throughout the season finale of "The Rig," we come to learn that Coake is one of the key members involved in the attempt to eliminate the natural entity posing a giant threat to the Pictor oilfields. Though Coake's plan to destroy Kinloch Charlie worked, the physical destruction of the Kinloch Bravo is thwarted at the last second by a shrewd Harish. Even so, the reveal certainly sends the crew into a fit of mental gymnastics.

Not only is Baz's decision to sacrifice himself helpful in placating the Ancestor, but it adds to the reasons why Project Cirein is able to be stopped in the first place. With so much will-they-won't-they debate surrounding the crew successfully fleeing the rig, their indecision to immediately act is mostly the reason why the pre-set time for the Kinloch Bravo attack runs out. With Rose, Fulmer, Heather, and Magnus each trying to play their part in Baz's safety, they ultimately achieve more by failing to convince him to vacate the area. If anything, we've learned it's not always best to stay calm in a crisis.

The Ancestor looks likely to get its proof

As we come to learn more about the nature of the mysterious fog, the impending environmental disasters only increase its presence. It's all at the hands of something called the Ancestor — the makeshift name for the microbial lifeform that's been lying dormant beneath the sea. As well as being able to communicate with the Ancestor, the crew of the Kinloch involuntarily absorbs particle microbes that have the potential to "purify" the body but can also lead to a grisly death. It's a life-or-death risk that most of the crew can't avoid, but don't know much about.

All they do know is that by the season finale, the Ancestor is intent on getting proof that humankind is willing to make big sacrifices in order to save the Earth. If Baz's selflessness is anything to go by — and it looks like it works — we're likely to see a lot more sacrifices in future installments. With the wrath of the tsunami looking to threaten everyone the crew knows and loves, it surely serves as a devastating wake-up call that things need to change fast. Nature always wins in the end ... but how far will things go before that happens?

The mainland's future hangs in the balance

The heartbreaking environmental drama doesn't stop with the rig itself. Up until the season finale, not much has been said about the mainland. We know that Cat's wife waits for the crew to return safely, as the fog separates the Kinloch gang from their loved ones. As far as the mainland is concerned, things are only just starting to get ugly. In the closing moments of "The Rig" Season 1, we see Cat looking out of the window as a mysterious shadowy figure begins to approach her. What this means remains to be seen, but one thing is clear — an entirely new chain reaction is about to start.

In a best-case scenario, some of the Kinloch crew could have found their way back home shrouded in clouds of fog. While this is a nice, romantic theory, we're likely to see something far more dangerous unfold. The particles within the fog could have materialized into a new supernatural form that's intent on wreaking havoc, or the Ancestor itself could be trying to make contact in a humanized form. Who knows? Perhaps Pictor is trying to scare people off from telling the truth.

Organisms vs. humanity

At its core, "The Rig" is a David vs. Goliath battle. Unlike the Book of Samuel, it feels increasingly unlikely that David will win out on the Scottish shores. Considering its explicit overarching story about humankind directly attacking the Earth, there's no sugarcoating exactly what the show is trying to say. During an interview with Radio Times, star Iain Glen even said, "I don't think it wants to be far-fetched. What it tries to do is set a story that is horribly plausible." Horribly plausible as it may be, the supernatural, thriller, and sci-fi undertones of "The Rig" mean that anything is possible when it comes to the theme of humanity vs. all the other organisms.

What is yet to be seen is whether the human characters in "The Rig" have learned their lesson. If real life is anything to go by, the answer will be a hard no. While the world's biggest oil firms soar to profits of £150 billion, the grip of Pictor and David Coake is likely to keep a firm hand on future plotlines. Hope could be on the horizon, though, with Scottish ministers announcing a ban on new oil fields, meaning reconstruction of the Kinloch would be quickly halted in real life.

More global warming effects feel certain

In between the thrills, drama, and supernatural visuals, "The Rig" is a direct critique of how we have handled the climate crises. Something that the season finale does really effectively is normalize how quickly a natural disaster can take hold, even if it is being controlled by an ancestral force. The Ancestor doesn't really want to hurt people; instead, it focuses on sending warnings, and by the season finale, those warnings are taking a dangerous hold. While the tsunami is still at the height of its power when "The Rig" ends, it's like to set a gateway for more natural disasters to come.

Even if the Ancestor can be appeased and communicated with, the intentions behind the show mean extreme weather will still hold a lot of danger. The most likely natural disaster to take place in a second season would be flooding of the mainland, following the tsunami as it reaches the shoreline. As U.K. weather is so gloomy, we're likely to see floods, landslides, and thunderstorms rather than earthquakes and extreme heat. Given "The Rig" takes place in Scotland, it's not too far-fetched to think the Ancestor could send a harrowing blizzard the way of the surviving Kinloch crew.

What can we expect from Season 2?

While no concrete decision has currently been made on whether "The Rig" will return for a second season, assuming early developments are being made this year, in theory, the earliest viewers can hope to see what "The Rig" has in store would be late 2024 or early 2025. So even if Amazon Prime does renew the series, we've got a little bit of a wait on our hands. 

In terms of narrative, Season 2 is likely to kick off in the aftermath of the tsunami. There are immediate questions about the crew's status and safety, alongside what might be happening back on the mainland. There are still a lot of dubious problems surrounding Pictor and David Coake, including how much he will be held to public account for the blood on his hands. Despite whatever direction the show might take, it all comes back to the Ancestor, whose reach and power could extend well beyond the seabed and mysterious fog.