The Swarm (2023–…): Season 1, Episode 7 - Episode #1.7 - full transcript

In recent weeks we have all seen things
that should not be.

And yet are.

Something that has "weaponized"
the seas against us.

That what's happening in the sea
is in some way

is a reaction
to what we have done to it.

This could be a very dangerous road
to be going down.

We don't have time for caution.

This new intelligence,
could I ask what you are calling it?

For the time being
I have taken to calling them: the yrr.

We picked up the same signal.
In the Artic Ocean.

I can't guarantee,
we will make it back alive, so...

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The sounds we picked up
were concentrated in the Arctic

and the Antarctic.

Logic dictates that a person, or animal,

is more likely to send messages
from the places they frequent the most.

And I think we can
assume the same for the Yrr.

Are you suggesting that the Yrr
have some sort of home?

I don't think we have enough information
to make that assumption.

We can assume that the Yrr,

just like any highly evolved marine
species, have a breeding ground.

And if they do,
it's probably not a single site.

It's probably several,
to ensure their survival.

Which you believe would also be
in the Arctic or Antarctic?

We do.

If there is a breeding ground,

we expect it would require
high ambient pressure

that would be essential
to their reproductive biology.

My guess,

from what we've seen here to date,

is that it would be a minimum of five
to five-point-five kilometers down.

Okay, Charlie. You're up.

Given the decline in sea ice,
several areas in the Arctic have become

more accessible from the world above.

One of these areas is the Molloy Deep,

which is just over
five-point-five kilometers in depth,

and is one of the areas
where Sam picked up the most signals.

The Yrr could have been
living at these ocean depths

for tens, even hundreds
of millions of years.

Undisturbed and unknown.

You think we should plot a course
to the Molloy Deep?

We do.

The ice tends to scatter
and absorb sound.

We need to run a test to see
if our equipment is strong enough

to broadcast through it.

We should start seeing some ice
when we enter the Arctic Ocean.

We can run the tests then.

We can take the HOV out
for a test run at the same time.

Before we meet this thing,
we better be ready for it.

In addition to the interviews
with all on board,

you will be keeping
written logs as well?


And I'll upload all the interviews
at the end of the day to your server.

Along with the next-of-kin, emergency
contact details of all onboard.

I'm sure their families
will appreciate it.

I'll upload the written logs
at the same time.

I hope I will never need them,
but in the event you don't return...

The record of Dr. Johanson's mission

and all who joined it must be preserved.

For the information it contains,
and the history we create.

We have cameras on the main deck,
engine room, hangar,

anywhere on the ship there's activity,

so we can keep an eye on
what's going on during deployments,

catch any problems before they happen.

If you wanna take a look at the footage,

if you wanna use it in your reports,
you clear it with me.

I will.


If you want to film the crew,
you ask me.

You want to film in a cabin, the galley,

elsewhere on the ship, you ask me.

Yes, sir.

We're charting the course...

Life on a ship's a fishbowl,

even without cameras
poking into everyone's business.


Mr. Kofi, seventy-nine degrees,
eight-point-one two minutes north,

zero two degrees
forty-nine-point-zero east.

-Roger that, Captain.
-One question.

When am I getting an interview with you?

-As soon as I find a moment.
-And when exactly will that be?

-Maybe tomorrow I'll find some time.
-I'll hold you to that.

-And it's "Yes, Captain," not "sir."
-Yes, Captain.

We established that
the signal we picked up

is likely to have come
from an "intelligence."

The challenge now

is to let them know we can hear them.

And, if they respond,

to create the building blocks
by which we can communicate.

But, given the increasing severity
of the attacks,

there's a pretty good chance
we'll die before we get to do that.

-Can you try and be a bit less...

-Why sugarcoat it?

Maybe say something like:
"The mission isn't without its dangers

and we're working incredibly hard
to ensure..."

Why don't you write the lines,
and we'll say them for you?

It's supposed to be natural.

I was being natural.

We know that the Yrr are
somehow altering the morphology

and behavior of the species they enter.

We think it must be something
to do with the nervous system.

First thing we need to do is
run an analysis of the nervous tissue

of the mussels, the whale, the lobsters
and crabs infected by the Yrr.

And if you're right,
that the Yrr are altering

the species they enter
to make them attack?

Then we figure out a way
to reverse the process.

I did my underwater vehicle training
two years ago, on an old rescue sub.

Fundamentals are the same, this one
just has a few more bells and whistles,

courtesy of Mifune Enterprises.

-So why you?
-Why me what?

Why do you get to make the movie?

I volunteered.

So you know,
I look better from the left.

I'll keep that in mind.

Can we get back to this?

See if there's any leftovers
in the galley.

Sure, I'll head down below.

-I'll take a look.

What's that?

Engineering, what's with the PS?

Generator output shows okay.
Supplies all look fine.

Is Riku coming?

He's a little under the weather.

Cécile's given him
something to calm his stomach.

You get used to the rolling sensation.
Takes time though.

-You're okay?

I'm fine. Iron stomach.

When I was in high school,
I worked in a Japanese theme park.

The money was not great,
but the rides were free.

And I learned
if I wanted to have any fun,

I'd have to get over
the motion sickness.

I also learned to get over
the terrible theme-park food.

To be honest,
when I first saw your ICPO presentation,

I thought you were all mad.

An intelligent life force,
living in the ocean all this time?

So why'd you come?

Mr. Mifune.

He convinced me.

And I've learned
not to doubt his instincts.

-How long have you worked for him?
-Fourteen years.

I heard a talk he gave at my university

about how renewables
would power the world of tomorrow.

His companies were already pivoting,

well ahead of the other energy giants,
well ahead of everyone.

I introduced myself to him and I said,
"When I graduate, I'll work for you."

That I wanted to be at the forefront,

not the rearguard,
of any profession I chose.

So if it turns out he's right,
that you are right...

I want to be here for it.

I think we need
a better name for the Yrr.

If we find them, and tell the world
what we've discovered,

it's got to be something
people can remember.

Something they can pronounce.

I think we've got
more important things to worry about.

The world's just changed.

Tell me,
what's more important than that?

Now that we've isolated
the cross-section

of the messages we picked up,

the next step is to broadcast
those messages back to the Yrr.

Then we add a spike of our own:

the cry of a human baby.

A small but distinct
change in the signal,

so they know we're not just
playing their signal back.

Now, if we get anything back,
and it includes our spike,

we'll know that they heard us.

-You see the area which is glowing?

It indicates
an abnormally high level of glutamate,

which suggests the Yrr are going after
the NMDA receptors on the nerve cells.


NMDA receptors regulate behavior.

Think of them as satellite dishes
which communicate with every corner

of the nervous system,
informing the body on how to react.

Excuse me.

That's an NMDA receptor stimulant.

Which, if we're right,
the Yrr are somehow

injecting into the species
to take control of them,

like a puppeteer
pulling the strings of its puppets.

Or an army, marching to its orders.

-I heard you're going out on a dive.
-While Sam is running her comms test.

Captain wants to make sure
this thing actually floats.

-Is that fresh?
-I just made it.

We need to make sure
it can dive to the depth

where you think
this thing might be living.

Is anyone going with you?

At the moment, I'm going alone.

-Didn't you say you just made this?

-I didn't say it was good.
-Aren't you a scientist?

-You measure things...
-That's chemistry. I'm a biologist.

There are a lot of people on board
who can make coffee.

Last I checked, I was the only other
person here with any training in an HOV.

You told me
you trained on a busted-up rescue sub.


All the more reason to come with you.
I can learn something new.


But when we get back...


-You can teach me how to make coffee.

Dead slow ahead, Mr. Kofi,
then stop engines.

Comms, start broadcast.
I repeat, start broadcast.

Here we go.


All systems go, ready for descent.

Watch your head.

Requesting connection, HOV to bridge.

-Roger that.
-All set.

Go with engine one, two, three, five.

Eighty percent.

Releasing into the pool.

-Venting air from tank.
-Opening lower doors.

-Mind if I watch?
-Fine with me.

-Watch, yes. Film, no.

You're going to have to
talk to me sometime.



Leveling off at fifteen hundred meters.

What's that?

I have no idea.

-Can you see anything?

-We've picked up something on the sonar.

-A mass of some kind.
-We'll take a look.

We got something.

The others should hear this.

our CO2 scrubber fans have failed.

We're running out of fresh air.

Switching to backup.

Bridge, do you copy?

Bridge, do you copy that?

Luther, do you see anything?


-Luther, do you copy?
-What's going on?

Sam and Leon picked up a signal
coming in at the same time

we picked up something on the sonar.

They have any idea what it is?

No, but whatever it is,
it's getting closer.

-We need to abort.
-Not yet.

I think there's something out there.
Kill the lights.

HOV, do you have a visual?

-Do you copy?

Call them back.


Luther, return to ship.

I repeat, return to ship.


-Luther, do you copy?
-Captain, we've lost contact.

Tell Sam and Leon to stop broadcasting.

Comms, cease broadcast.

I repeat, cease broadcast.

We cut the broadcast,

but the signal's still coming in.

Sorry, fuck this.
We're getting out of here.

...on final approach.

Okay, copy that.

-Open the lower doors.
-Open lower doors.

-HOV coming back on board.
-Close the lower doors.

Closing lower doors.

HOV is back on board.

Is the signal you received
the same as you sent out?

It's been modulated and compressed,
but yes, it's the same.

Except for the baby's cry.

-Which has been changed.

To show us that whoever,
or whatever, sent the message

understands what we did,
and is replying in kind.

-We have contact?
-We do.

-Thank you, Sara.
-What are you working on?

I was thinking about what you said

about an army
marching to the orders of the Yrr.

If we are right
that the Yrr are using glutamate

to stimulate the nervous system
of the animals they take over,

I was wondering if we can find something
to depress it, you know?

-Are these your children?
-Yes. That was last summer.

-They're beautiful.
-Thank you.

Do you have children?


I... I've thought about it.

But to be honest,

even if we survive this,

I think I'd really need to consider
whether I'd want to bring a child...

into whatever kind of world
this will be.

I couldn't imagine myself as a mother.
It was my ex-husband that wanted them.

But then, they come along,

and you can't believe
how much you love them.

I remember, when Isabelle was little,

standing underneath the climbing frame
as she went higher and higher,

terrified she'd fall,
getting ready to catch her.

What nobody tells you,

what no one even thinks to mention,

is the fear.

You're afraid for them in a way
that you could never be for yourself.

And that you would do anything
to protect them.

We heard from the captain
right before we lost communication.

You didn't see anything?

-Charlie said she did.
-Did she say what it was?

Just that there was something out there.

This far north, the water,
the ice, plays tricks with the light.

-You want my opinion?

If you want to see something,
you see something.

Particularly if you have imagination.

Like Charlie, the lot of you,
must have in spades,

to dream up something like the Yrr.

-So why did you come along?
-To see if you were right.

Does this mean
I'm good for the rest of the trip?

I promise nothing.

Each line represents the wavelengths
of the messages we received.

Now, I can stretch

or shrink each line

to create an image which I can send out
once the captain gives us the go-ahead.

And I'm betting
the Yrr will be able to understand.


Put her on the table.

What is this?

Cerebrospinal fluid.

It means there could be a tear or hole

in the membranes
surrounding the brain or spinal cord.

She must have fallen, hit her head.

We need to slow her heart rate,

reduce her blood pressure,
stop any cranial swelling.

In the cabinet there are some sedatives:
Pentobarbital, Thiopental.

Can you get me some ice
and cooling blankets?

Can you prepare a drip
while I administer?



When the power surged,
there was a blast of sound.

below the lower limit of audibility,

so you wouldn't have heard it.

Was it the same as the blast of sound
that came in before?

-Yes, but it was much stronger.
-And do we know what produced it?

No, but I'm pretty sure
it emanated from inside the ship.

-Inside the ship?
-This time, yes.

Can you send what you have on it?

So we'll run a check
and see if we can locate the source.


How's Alicia?

-She is stable.
-Is she going to pull through?

It's just too early to tell.

I need to know if anything we're doing
could be producing an acoustic signal.

-Nothing from Engineering.
-Picked up anything?

Nothing, Captain.

-No gear faults?
-No faults, Captain.

-Are the ballast tanks trimmed?
-They are.

-What's that on her arm?
-I don't know, it just appeared.

On her arms, legs.

I thought they might be blood clots, but
there is no discoloration of the skin.

It could be a sign of some internal
trauma to her nervous system.

Trauma to the nervous system
doesn't manifest in that way, does it?

It doesn't. But I don't think
we can rule anything out.

I think we should do a lumbar puncture

so we can examine
the fluid in her spinal column.

You can do that on board?

It's pretty straight-forward.

But I need you to hold her steady
during the procedure.

Fine with me.




It's okay.


-I never thought I'd get to see this.
-The Arctic?

The Arctic, or anywhere
a hundred miles away from home.

I dreamt about it.

Imagined myself on a ship like this,
looking at an ocean I had never seen.

Being afraid, someone getting hurt...

wasn't part of the dream.

I spent a lot of time
on research vessels when I was a child.

With my parents.


Mostly south of the Equator.

New Zealand, Mauritius, Cape Verde.

This your first trip this far north?

This far north, yes.

In the Arctic, no.

They woke me up one night.

A storm.

My... My mother told me
everything was going to be okay.

Put me on a lifeboat with some others,
told me to wait for them there, but...

They never came.

Everybody thinks
I should hate the ocean,

be afraid to go anywhere near it.

But it makes me feel closer to them.

Makes me feel like they're there,

keeping me safe.

The slide on the right
is an image of Alicia's nerve cells,

taken from her spinal fluid.

The cells are normal. Healthy.

The nerve cells on the left are from the
same sample, and are badly damaged.

Do you know what caused it?

You see the white threads?

It's the same substance we found
inside the animals infected by the Yrr.

We think the substance
tried to fuse with some of her cells,

the same way it did with them.

The Yrr is inside of her?

The Yrr, or the substance it produces

to take over the nervous system
of the species it enters.

Which means she must have
come into contact with them.

It does, yes.

When we were coming back in the HOV,
I thought I saw something.

-What did you see?
-I don't know.

But whatever it was that was out there,
I think it followed us back inside.

If it did,
it could still be on the ship.

We need to secure the hangar.

We need to run some tests,

make sure we don't put
anyone else's life in danger

until we can figure out
what this thing is.

Everybody on board
signed on for this mission

knowing they might not return.


When I was in the Navy, every sailor
had his list of superstitions.

Always step onto the boat
with your right foot.

Never start a voyage on a Friday,
or change a boat's name.

Never say goodbye when departing.

You know, we all think
we can see the world clearly as it is.

But we don't.

We see the world as we need to see it
to make our lives livable.

Never say goodbye,
and there will be no goodbye.

That's what gets us through.

How is she?

She is in stable condition.

However, treatment here on board
has its limitations.

Does she have a family?

Her mother is listed as her next of kin.

If we can get her
to a hospital in Ravenna...

Crabs are coming ashore
all over the Adriatic region.

Ravenna is also affected.

We will tell her mother
there has been an accident,

but her daughter
is receiving medical care

and will return to Italy as soon
as it is safe for her to travel.

We will allow this one exception.

The communication black-out
remains in effect.

When we broadcast messages
out into space,

we include images of ourselves.

So I thought, why not
send out something about us and the Yrr.

How the sea gave birth to us both.


As I prefer to call it: A common past.

Okay, let's do it.


Need a break?

-Couldn't sleep?


Let me know if you hear anything.


I'll be right outside.