Saturday, April 17

A Season with: RIG 45 (2018 – 2020)

*Estimated Read Time: 3 mins

There has been a mysterious death on an offshore oil rig in North Sea. The oil company sends someone to investigate the event for any possibility of accident or even a foul play. Encountered with discomforting silence from the crews and challenged by the news of an upcoming storm, RIG 45 invites audiences to race against the time to find an answer and proves that a murderer may have walked among them in a remotely isolated rig in the middle of nowhere.

Catherine Walker (Versailles and Netflix’s Cursed) portrays Andrea, the investigator brought by Benthos Oil who owns the oil rig. Upon arriving at the rig, she’s convinced that accidents happening in the perimeter are a result of foul plays and that there’s at least a saboteur amidst the crew. With limited to none access to the world outside the rig, she has to do all the harsh detective work even when there’s no guarantee for her own security. Her goal is simple: find the culprit and get home before Christmas. Yet, things turn sour after she discovers the crew members hide other things, aside of the murderer, including illegal transactions and unethical affairs.

A claustrophobic setting, an ensemble of multilingual international crew and a fatalistic accident that triggers all conflicts, RIG 45 has all the ingredients to make a perfect whodunit. However, instead of following Agatha Christie’s formulaic murder mystery, the series (originally plotted as a mini-series) takes a sharp turn. Instead of making everyone a suspect, the story ensures that everyone overdone their motivation—by having secret lives that lures the investigation away from the focus. Internal conflicts and sudden burst of violence then makes the sleuth job even sophisticated and frustrating. To make the whodunit even scarce in result, RIG 45 deliberately cuts connections between the rig and the mainland to favor the alleged murderer.

The ensemble of casts to star in RIG 45

While the narrative, as the plot progresses, becomes more formulaic, RIG 45 still treats the audiences craving for a suspenseful ride. The story doesn’t always give the vulnerable Andrea all the advantages to solve the mysteries; however, clues and, sometimes, red herrings are planted at the right place and in the right time for audiences to gather and assemble before coming up with conclusion. Frustratingly, the series always has additional ammunition to make audiences doubtful of the finding. Each episode saves up, at least, one major twist that will become a step point for the plot in the next episode.

One interesting point is: at times, crew members would talk in the background using their native language. This distracts Andrea from the main investigation and it makes her doubtful about their testimonies. This detail works the same for the audiences; not knowing what the crews talk behind the protagonist’s back provides a challenge and trust issues. This trait, however, is almost non-existent in the second season which predominantly uses English in the communication making the conflict rather straightforward.

With six compact 40-minute episodes per season, RIG 45 provides a binge-worthy whodunit. Suspenseful yet formulaic, this series delivers the thrill for those craving for a claustrophobic suspense.

RIG 45 is an MTG Studios’ original series streamed for the first time in Nordic OTT service, Viaplay, in 2018. After the success of the first season, a second season was green-lighted and released in 2020. Two seasons of RIG 45 are available for streaming in Mola TV under Mola Primetime Series program. Indonesian synopsis and subtitles are also available.

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