safe harbour

Who cut the rope?!

Hulu’s new original series sets up a thrilling mystery revolving around this question, leaving viewers wanting more.

On Aug. 24, Hulu brought the hit Australian series “Safe Harbour” to the U.S. streaming list. The four-episode series follows the lives of five Australians after they are suddenly reconnected with refugees they met a few years prior.

Secrets are revealed as to what truly happened during that time and what led to the wedge between the two groups. The history between them started years earlier in the middle of the ocean.

Ryan Gallagher (Ewen Leslie) and his friends were enjoying a boating excursion when they saw a boat in the distance. Once they arrived next to the boat, the Australian friends were met with a large group of refugees trying to make it to new land.

One of the refugees, Ismail Al-Bayati, explained that their boat was damaged but they needed to make it to Australia to get medical attention and to start new lives. In the first episode, we see Ryan ready to help despite opposition from his friends, and they start to tow the boat along with them.

As a storm begins to head near them, Ryan makes a detour toward Indonesia, but is met with resistance from the refugees who have their minds set on an Australian destination. Mysteriously, the next day the rope is cut and the boat of refugees is gone.

Someone cut the rope tow between the two boats in the middle of the night, and due to the separation of the boats, the refugees found themselves in the middle of a huge rainstorm without any power or ability to escape. Their boat broke and they were strewn into the ocean. During that time, Ismail’s daughter drowned, but his wife and son survived. Six other people also died as a result of the rope cutting.

The repercussions of the rope cutting and investigations into who carried out this senseless crime are explored throughout the remainder of the series.

From that moment forward, Ismail is driven by anger and frustration and wants answers as to why the rope was cut and who cut it. One of the classic mystery elements in the show is a whodunit and the idea that the person who cut the rope could be an Australian or a refugee who wanted nothing to do with the group.

As we move into the present day, we see that the meeting between Ismail and Ryan is no accident. He’s been looking them up for the past few months. Ismail explains that someone needs to pay for what was done, and throughout the series several of his actions lead to reactions from Ryan and his friends and family that unravel the truth.

This compelling miniseries may only be four episodes long, but each hour of of content tells a compelling and riveting story. Every episode it seems like there is a new culprit that made the decision to cut the rope, but the truth isn’t revealed until the very last minute.

The series is critically acclaimed in Australia, and the large wave of positive reception is what made Hulu want to bring this story to the U.S.The series is a quick watch, and fans are wondering if there is any chance that it could come back for a second season. Because the show wraps up very well, however, it is unlikely it will return. Additionally, “Safe Harbour's” original broadcaster, Australian network SBS, hasn’t indicated any intentions of extending the series.

Although it may be a miniseries, I think every episode of this show is highly compelling for anyone who enjoys a high-stakes dramatic series.