The Swarm (2023–…): Season 1, Episode 2 - Episode #1.2 - full transcript

Whales are attacking tourists in Canada and lobsters are suddenly deadly in France. The Swedish scientist Dr. Johanson discovers aggressive ice worms on the seabed that are multiplying at breakneck speed.

Something strange is happening.

- What do you do?
- Monitoring tidal fluctuation.

And other possible
stressors on the ecosystem.

What do you think is going on?

- They've been late before.
- Not this late.

What the hell is that?

It's methane hydrate. Fire ice.

Looks like a hell of a lot.

- Send me the data.
- Of course.

- Whales are back.
- I know!

Lizzie, no!

Advertise your product or brand here
contact today

I'm telling you. Look
at this morning's catch.

Here we go. It's nearly time.

Put it there.

The lobsters go there.

- Hello.
- Hello.

Plenty of choice today.

Yeah, not bad.

This could work.
Maybe a little light.

It will do for ravioli
or a salad, no?

So now it's you
planning my menu?

Well, what do I know. I can't
afford your prices anyway.

Soon I won't be able to
afford yours, either.

Okay, this one is fine.

Put this on ice, please.

It's fine.


Get rid of the lobster
and clean up this mess!

Of course.

Get rid of it.

Gilberto, finish this.

I'm going to get some air.

I'd like to get out of
here before midnight.

He's a sous chef. He works
in the kitchen at Le Sinquet.

- Where we went for your birthday?
- Yeah.

He came in this morning, his
clothes soiled with black vomit.

High fever, acute diarrhea.

I had to induce a coma.

- The chef also collapsed outside.
- When?

Last night.

His clothes were covered
in the same vomit.

He died before we
could get to him.

We're waiting for permission
from his family to do an autopsy.


Let me know when you get the
results. Thank you, Sophia.

- What happened?
- Dad left for Antwerp.

- He had a meeting.
- But what about Tanya?

- She's in Portugal.
- He doesn't know.

- What?
- That we left.

Mom, there's
nothing to do there.

We don't know anybody.
He's never home.

- You should have called me anyway.
- I know how to get on a train.

- We almost got on the wrong train.
- Shut up.

You can't leave like that. What
if something happened to you?

- What do you expect to happen?
- That's not the point, Isabelle.

We just have to know
where you are. That's it.

Okay, we'll talk
about this later.

Don't touch anything,
I'll be back.

- Why did you even say that?
- Shut up.

You're such an idiot.

Three weeks and you
couldn't find the time...

- Something came up.
- Something always comes up.

I have to work, Cécile.
You have to work.

We all... I'll be back
in Brussels tomorrow.

- I'll take them to...
- They are here, Michael.

- What?
- They came home.

- By themselves?
- Yes, by themselves!

I'll drive down at the
weekend, I'll bring them back.

Do you really think I'm
going to let them go back?

Cécile, come on.

They shouldn't have left.
I've told them as much.

But they were alone, and I
hear it's not the first time.

And you never leave them alone?

Of course I do.
But not overnight,

without someone coming to stay.

And not on their holidays when I've
promised we'll spend time together.

Do you just expect them to
sit around and wait for you?

Yes, actually. They're children!

Yes, children. In a
city they don't know.

Without their father.

I have to go.

Call them. In a few days.



Nothing to eat?

If you wanted something,
you should have told me.

I thought you'd surprise me.

Looks like I did.

- What do you want?
- No, no, I'll get it.

My turn to surprise you.

She thinks being on holiday

means six meals a day.

You're giving a
talk. On whale song.

There's a flyer in our hotel.

I was.

Got cancelled, with
everything that's happened.

Must have been terrible.

You're a cetologist?


You look out there,

I look up there.

- Astronomer?
- Astrophysicist.

They say we know more about
space than the oceans.

Not sure who "they" is.

My parents once asked me why
I wanted to spend my life

searching for something
no one even knew existed.

- What did you say?
- Hope.

Sounded good at the time.

Deep down, though,

the idea of not
being alone is...

strangely comforting.

I should get going.


We're staying a few
more nights at the Inn.

If you feel like talking...

send me a message.

AA137 has just landed.

Professor, welcome aboard.


- You're older, Sigur.
- By six years.

You haven't aged at
all, though, Jasper.

Maybe just no aging left to do.

Surprised you're still
doing the northern tour.

Never one for the heat.

Or land, for that matter.

Hello, Sigur.


Shall we head below?

Eighty meters.

One hundred meters.

Steer zero-one-four.

They should come into
view right about...


Sirsoe methanicola.

What's that?

Ice worms.

How long have they been here?

We came across them
a few days ago.

I thought you said they
covered fifty square meters.

They did when we
first discovered them.

- Are you sure we're in the same spot?
- Let me double-check.

Same spot.

Can you get closer?

What are they doing?

They are feeding.

- On what?
- You see those brown patches?

That's the bacterial mat
which the worms feed on.

The white spots are
patches of frozen methane.

Do you have the footage
from the original dive?

- We do.
- I'd like to see that.

I'll have someone
set it up for you.

Could you turn that up?

What was that?

Sometimes we get some
sort of interference

from kinks in the tether.

There, picture.


Thank you.



- Could you upload these?
- All of them, professor?


Will you do the honors?

You did not get
this in the canteen.

Thought it might make
the meal go down easier.

So, you had
something to show me.

Right, there are species of
ice worm living this far north,

but none of them have teeth,
let alone jaws like this.

And that's not all.

Ice worms are
broadcast spawners.

It means they spew billions of
sperm, eggs, into the water,

very few of which
are fertilized.

And those that are? Well,
they take weeks to hatch.

There is no known species
that can reproduce fast enough

to cover an area this
big in just a few days.

And also, they're bigger.

Almost double the size of the ones
you spotted a few days ago, so I...

I mean, I know this isn't what
you wanted to hear, but...

I think it's a pretty good guess
that we're looking at a new species.

And if we are,

then I'll name it after you.

You can think of it as a
parting gift from an old friend.

I'll send you some names
of the experts in the field

so you can follow up.

- I'd rather stick with you.
- Tina.

It won't be like the last time.

- It won't.
- It will. 'Cause it's the only way...

No, I wouldn't have called
you if that were true.

You called me
because you need me.

Hovedstad Energy needs me.

We do. But that
doesn't mean that...

The government is opening up fifty
new fields in the Norwegian Sea.

For the exploration
of oil, gas hydrates,

minerals which no one
will be allowed to develop

unless you get a clean bill of
health from the environmental groups

breathing down Hovedstad's neck.

Which is why you'd
like to add my name

to the list of other
experts you've consulted.

- We're doing it right this time.
- You say that.

No, I'm not just
saying that. I mean it.

If the worms, or anything we discover,
proves to be environmentally sensitive,

it will be in my report.

Nothing will be deleted or
buried in the footnotes.

And if it kills Hovedstad's
plan to develop the site?

It will still be in my report.

Okay, but this time, when
you write your report,

before you submit it, I sign it.

Every page. Top, bottom.


How long did you run the test?

A little over twenty-four hours.

As you can see, the worms ate
right through the bacterial mat.

And then carried
on into the ice.

Which explains their
teeth and oversized jaws.

But it doesn't explain why
they ate through the bacterium.

There's nothing in the
ice for them to feed on.

Whatever the reason, they kept
going until they suffocated.

Why would they do that?

Some species display
self-destructive behavior.

Sometimes it's population control,
you know, sacrifice for the group.

- But that doesn't seem to be the case.
- It doesn't.

We checked the rate of reproduction
of the bacterium as well.

It's faster than any
other known bacterium.

It looks like you've stumbled
on a new species of ice worms,

and also a new
strain of bacterium.

Smack in the middle of Hovedstad's
fields in the Norwegian Sea.

We'll write up our findings
and send the report to...

To me.

Copied to Sigur.

I'll circulate it to the people
who need to know at Hovedstad.

- Is there somewhere I can make a call?
- You can use my office.

So, what do you
think they'll say?

What, Hovedstad?

Not much they can say.
It's a new species.

It's fact, it's
not up for debate.

Sure, the information is fact,

but what they decide to do about
it, that's another question.

Yeah, you're right, it's true.

Unfortunately, it's
not my decision.

So that's it?

You deliver your report,

collect your check
and... move on?

- That's enough, Rahim.
- No, no, it's fine.

Listen, you, why don't you

fight your battles your way?

And I'll fight them mine.

Katharina, thank you.

And just be sure to copy
me, with the report.

- Sure.
- Yeah.

You are entitled to
your own opinion,

whether I agree with it or not.

But what you are not entitled
to do is to insult someone

with whom this
Institute has dealings.

You want to challenge
Dr. Johanson?

Go to Trondheim, sit
in one of his lectures.

And when he asks for
questions, ask him.

Until then, you pay him the
respect that he deserves.

So what should we do about them?

Do about them?

Your worms. What do
we do about them?

You proceed,

under Norway's rules
for ecological impact

on seabed oil and
gas operations.

What we're asking, Dr. Johanson,

is if there is anything we can
do to expedite the process?

Well, assuming that you want
to do this by the book...

Which I assured
Dr. Johanson we do.

Whether or not you
need to cease operating

depends on how widespread
the species is.

If it's distributed
over a much larger area

than the area disturbed
by the operation,

then I see no major risk
for biodiversity loss.

And so you proceed.
It's not a problem.

However, if it isn't,

then you have to stop.

Which is why we need to go
back and have another look.

See how far they've spread,
take some more sediment samples.

It seems like your worms are
doing far more harm to themselves

than anything we
could do to them.

Aaren, I'm not
trying to stop you.

I'm trying to do the
job you hired me to do.

Which is to make
sure we do things

in the most environmentally
responsible way possible.

I spoke to Captain Alban.

We can charter the Thorvaldson for
another week, two, if we need it.

The sooner we get
back out there,

the sooner we'll know the
extent of the problem.

Fine. And Aaren, I want
you to go with them.

Happy to.

I'm sure you can use
an extra pair of hands.


Yeah, well, I'm just looking forward
to the pleasure of your company.

- Aaren is exactly how I remember him.
- I would argue worse.

- Yeah.
- And Erika?

- Well, she's better.
- At what?

Saying something without
actually saying anything.

So, do you need a ride?

I have one, thanks.

Yeah, okay. So...

I'll just see you
out there, then.

- Yeah.
- Yeah.

- See you back out there.
- Sure.

- Did it go well?
- Yes.

Did anyone else
not show up today?

- One of the apprentices.
- Did you hear from them?

Do you have the address?
I will go check on them.

- Yes. In my office.
- Okay.

Can you also make me a copy

of your reservation list
from last night, please?

So I can check if
anybody else got sick.

- Must have been the lobster.
- The lobster?

Yeah, the chef, Monsieur Bouquillon,
he was preparing it and it...


It just burst.

What happened to the lobster?

Gilberto, he started
to clean up the mess.

And then the apprentice,
Alaina, she threw it away.


Down the waste disposal.

Gilberto, is he...

He's in good hands. I promise.

Oxygen, adrenaline, now!

Hold him down! Hold him down!


Anybody there?

- Yes?
- Cécile, where are you?

The apprentice's flat.

We just lost Miguel Gilberto.


Cécile, are you there?

Leon Anawak. Vancouver
Island Marine Institute.

Here to see Clive Roberts.

Let him through.

Eighteen days ago,
everything in order.

Entered Canadian
waters yesterday.

Nothing unusual.

Then, I can't control.

No response when I try to steer.

You lost power?

No, no, we have power.

Rudder not working.


Tugboats came, attached cables.

I saw a shadow underwater,

coming fast toward
us and the tugboats.

The shadow got closer.

And then it went down.


And... then it came up.

Out of the water.

A humpback whale

landed onto the tugboat.

And a second humpback
landed onto another tugboat.

You seen any other whales?
Any calves, any small ones?

No, no.

Just two big ones.

Why did you ask
about the calves?

Whales have been known to attack
ships to protect their young.

Or when they're mating.

But they don't mate
in these waters.

We've been hearing
reports of other incidents

up the coast and
in the States, too.

It's causing hell for all of us.

Ships backed up,
waiting to dock.

We're trying to get the go-ahead

to reroute some freighters
to Prince Rupert.

No wonder the rudder was jammed.
Never seen this many mussels.

Captain Nakamura told me the hull was
clean when they sailed from Tokyo.

Mind if I...

We've got plenty to spare.

Okay, let it down.


Little more.

- Hi.
- Hey.

Seven-one-four meters.

They're bigger.

They're much bigger.

And there's more of them.

Ready to deploy, captain.

What? What's wrong?

Corer's broken through.

Oh my God!

What happened?

I'll be on the bridge.

When the corer punched
through the seabed,

it released the methane
trapped beneath.

You see that from time
to time on oil rigs:

an uncontrolled release of crude oil
after pressure control systems fail.

If you would've been on a smaller
ship, you might have gone down.

Professor Lehmann. I've
got it up on screen.

We looked at the section
of sediment you brought us

to see if we could figure out

why the corer punched
through the seabed.

But this time, we let
the test run longer.

And we discovered that the holes
on the ice kept getting deeper

even after the worms had died.

If it isn't the worms, is something
else eating through the ice?

It is.

- The bacteria.
- Yes.

And if nothing stops them,
how deep can they go?

All the way to the
bottom, I'd imagine.

The amount of methane
released would be minimal.

It would never make
it to the atmosphere.

So there's no need to be concerned
about the greenhouse effect.

But given how fast the
worms are reproducing,

it's probably
worth a look to see

if anyone else out there
has found the same worms.

- Here.
- Thank you.


You okay?


I just didn't realize what
a close call we all had.

Yeah, neither did I.

There's a conference
in Geneva tomorrow

hosted by the International
Energy Council.

I wasn't planning to go, but after
I heard what Katharina said...

It might be a good
opportunity to find out

if anyone else has
found the same worms.

Yeah. So you should go.

I was hoping you
would come with me.

I have a pretty heavy
class load next semester.

And I've just been away
more than I should.

We could go and
get back in a day.

- Two at the most.
- Tina.

Look, I work for Hovedstad.

People won't be as
comfortable talking to me.

You heard what Katharina said.

If it had been a smaller
ship, we would've gone down.

There's someone I know
who can find out for us...

what, if anything,
anyone has discovered.

One day.

I'll set something up.

Thank you.

Okay. Enough.

I need air, and
food, and a drink.

Starting with a drink.

Are you coming?

- Five minutes.
- Okay.

See you up top.


- There you go.
- You're the best.

- And for you.
- Thanks.

Bit heavy for a Friday
night, isn't it?

What can I say? My idea of fun.

You're welcome to join me,

but I have a very demanding
professor waiting for this data.

As tempting as that sounds,
I think I'll leave you to it.

But if you want, you
know, conversation,

a normal drink at the pub?

We're over there.

- Five minutes.
- I'll take it.

- Cheers.
- Cheers.

Happy birthday!

Charlie. Thanks for the message.


How... how did that happen?

Wish you were here
to soften the blow.

We could relive some
of last year's madness.

Maybe not. Considering.

Anyway, hope the reason
you're not answering

is because you're with
that hot guy from the boat.

Miss you.