Extrapolations (Season 1) Episodes 1, 2 & 3: In a world filled with innumerable issues, those in power are leaning towards prejudices and profits. Whether it’s the authorities or the corporations, their focus is individual gain than collective well-being. All of this is a part of common knowledge due to the proliferation of social media. Still, humans do very little actually to save the world. One of the key factors for our survival is a keen awareness of the impacts of global warming. It is being painfully ignored for the sake of political allegiances or petty selfishness.
Be it the likes of Greta Thunberg or Leonardo DiCaprio, real-world icons are fighting for this cause. ‘Extrapolations,’ created by Scott Z. Burns (known for Contagion & An Inconvenient Truth), present a narrative filled with such heroes and villains, where the situation has reached the point where it’s already too late for many species, including humans. The show’s different characters navigate how they should tackle this conflict, and of course, some of them still focus on ‘whether’ they should tackle it or not.
Let’s head right into what happens in this Apple TV+ show’s premiere. And, of course, it means that there will be spoilers ahead.
Extrapolations (Season 1) Episodes 1 Recap:
Episode 1: 2037: A Raven Story
The series begins in 2037 when forest fires and the melting of glaciers become a part of the regular news cycle. In this world, Nicholas / Nick Bilton (Kit Harrington from Game of Thrones) is a tycoon who cares more about wealth creation than the state of the world. He invests in a new project for a casino in the Arctic circle. Carmen Jalilo (Yara Shahidi) is a teenage activist who urges people through a hologram about the devastating state of the earth, which wasn’t improved despite the scientists’ warnings at a 2015 agreement.
While the climate change meeting of the year (COP42) is being hosted in Israel, Carmen urges people to take the matter seriously. She stresses that they now need to consider the possibility of the earth’s temperature rising to 2 degrees. The impact is already devastating. So she asks what if it needs to be increased to a higher ceiling, like 2.1 or 2.2 degrees? She urges them to stand against the greedy corporations who are blatantly ignoring this matter.
Meanwhile, American Rabbi Marshal Zucker (Daveed Diggs from Hamilton) is in Tel Aviv, Israel, wrapped in yellow smoke. While almost every part of the world has become inhabitable, he decides to help the people in this foreign land. His father, Ben (Peter Reigert), disapproves of him doing so. He is rather caught up in his call with Junior (Matthew Rhys), a wealthy businessman, who is busy changing the pleasing computer-generated filters on his windows in St Petersburg since he wants to mask the yellow layer outside.
His actress girlfriend, Hannah (Heather Graham), worries about the protests against his upcoming meeting in Israel. She uses meditation to calm down her stress and guilt. Junior meets a builder and talks about their plan to build a casino. While it can be built within the coming nine months, the N79 ice sheet will start breaking apart soon, making it impossible. Junior still shamelessly wants to proceed with their plan. Even while there is a danger of sea level rise by 3 meters by 2100, he plans to retrofit the buildings accordingly and make fortunes so that they can be buried in gold coffins. Everyone else can die as far as he is concerned.
In the Adirondack Mountains, Rebecca (Sienna Miller) tries to escape the forest fires with her colleague, despite being pregnant. Her husband, Omar (Tahar Rahim, known for his role in A Prophet), is at the convention as an Algerian ambassador. The discussions about suffering from different countries are in process. Its European members say that the EU can’t take any more people under its wing at the moment. Omar agrees to accept certain proposals if their basic need for purified water is met.
It needs patents from Alpha Hydro Solutions (to desalinate and purify the seawater), currently led by Bilton, who does not wish to just hand them out. The members argue that the current stability between Israel and Palestine will come under attack if there is a drought due to the lack of water. That’s when he gets a call telling him that Rebecca is being rescued by a chopper flying over the fires to the nearest hospital. Right after, he sees a protestor barging into the building, wearing Bilton’s mask.
Bilton, who stays safe next to a swimming pool, is worried that handing out the patents will result in a loss of upwards of 2.7 billion euros. He decides to get his proposal about underwater mining approved by the UN. Ben tells Marshall to return to Miami instead of focusing on humanitarian work. Marshall refuses. Ben reminds Marshall how he helped a young rabbi in Miami. His tricks don’t manipulate Marshall, and he does not wish to indulge in selfish, uncharitable behavior like him.
Junior flies to the Arctic with his builder and Hannah. She is concerned about how her new music video will do. Later, traveling through the waters on a boat, Junior sees bits of ice floating around. Instead of danger, he sees it as a lucrative opportunity for buildings. He realizes that even China has access to it before they do. So he calls his sister to see if that can be changed. Omar is concerned about Rebecca’s safety. So he decides to fly to meet her in person. Before leaving, he allows the Palestinian ambassador to have his vote.
In Israel, Marshall gives an impassioned speech at his initiation. His mother cannot handle the smoke in this country and gets restless. Still, his father is busy with his calls with Junior, who wants him to work on his recent concern. While Ben explains that China has the right to do as per their wishes, Junior does not listen. By that time, a commotion makes Marshall aware that his mother, Isabel, has fainted and is lying in a pool of blood. He then learns from a doctor that she has a subdural hematoma, so she can’t speak or move.
Still, Ben decides to stay loyal to his business partners for over 25 years instead of showing concern toward his wife of 40 years. Marshall sees that, gets enraged, and throws away his spectacle phone. When Rebecca finally reaches a hospital, her friend sees a video of the Menagerie2100 organization planning to decide which animals they want to breed based on their purpose. She asks Rebecca why she wants to be a part of them. She counters by saying that those organisms are necessary.
Soon after, Omar arrives and tells her that their son’s heart is weak. He says that she should have protected him instead of saving the birds. But since he also left a convention to come there, they question whether they are bad people. He has also agreed to increase the temperature ceiling in exchange for purified water. They conclude that their future generation can decide it for them. Ben puts the blame for Isabel’s poor health on Marshall because of whom she came to this unsafe city.
Meanwhile, Junior learns that the shore is filled with minerals needed for batteries. The Chinese are there for mining the same. Hannah gets pissed at him for making her wear a revealing dress. She calls out Junior for his selfishness and throws away her ring. But he soon realizes that it is made of gold and jumps into the water to retrieve it. On the other hand, when Bilton arrives for a convocation to discuss climate change, a protestor sets himself on fire right in front of him and calls Bilton the reason for his death.
Extrapolations (Season 1) Episode 1 Ending Explained:
Does Bilton manage to make a deal for underwater mining?
Despite seeing this gruesome incident, Bilton isn’t the least bit concerned for others’ safety. He shares a plan to share his patent and increase the temperature ceiling. Bilton is met simultaneously with boos and applause. He eats it up with no regard for anyone but himself and his profits. Meanwhile, Junior swims up to the shore with Rebecca. When he notices a young walrus, an old one kills him. So, while the thoughts about his profits consume one wealthy individual, the other ends up with this terrible fate. Greed kills one and hails another as a savior. The selfish hypocrisy of their lapdogs becomes palpable.
Extrapolations (Season 1) Episode 2 Recap:
Episode 2: 2046: Whale Fall
The narrative shifts to 2046, where we see Rebecca working for Menagerie2100 from Colombia. While she lost Omar in tragic storms in Manila, she also lost her mother, Eve (Meryl Streep), due to a terminal disease. They had kept Eve’s deteriorating health a secret from Rebecca, who was busy with her environmental damage control works. Maybe that’s why she now lives with her son, Ezra (Joaopaulo Malheiro), to not lose another family member due to the cause she believes in. Ezra has a serious heart condition called ‘summer heart.’ By 2046, this condition will become prevalent due to the significant rise in global temperatures.
Meanwhile, despite her death, Eve remains alive for Ezra through stories. She tells Ezra about elephants with wings and clears the doubt that Rebecca did not have wings but trunks. So, we realize that elephants have become extinct. Her organization has found a way to translate what animals say to humans. So, she has been assigned a task to communicate with a whale so that the organization can drain the whale’s brain, preserve her DNA and make its clones.
However, Rebecca is against killing the whale, whom she has grown fond of over the period. They share stories of their children. The whale tells her about the loss of her son. However, there’s another reason for her infatuation. She uses her mother’s voice for this whale and also calls it Eve. Her boss (Eisa Davis) wants her to speed up her work. But sensing the failure of her word, she summons her Hendricks (Douglas Hodge) to do the deed. He decides to blackmail her with a warning since using human voices for animals goes against their protocol. While she fears losing this communication, he reveals that the male voice was used previously to lure the whale into this project.
Rebecca feels cheated and goes up to her boss to confront her about it. Later, she decides to reveal to Eve the truth about the recording. Eve questions how that is possible (a recording not being perceptible knowledge for no-humans) and calls it a lie. Rebecca feels guilty for living this life of lies and shares the environmental cause she has worked for otherwise. Yet, it does satisfy Eve. Rebecca also tells Eve to stay away from humans and also tells other whales to do the same. She says that they know how terrible humans are for the environment and have already done so. As a result, the organization loses her connection to her, which becomes a matter of concern.
Extrapolations (Season 1) Episode 2 Ending, Explained:
Does Rebecca manage to save the last whale from Menagerie2100?
Because of her words and actions, Rebecca gets reprimanded for moving to Alaska, saying that the cold weather would be good for her son. While the movers pack her and Ezra’s stuff, the news broadcast reveals that humpback whales have now become extinct. Only she knows that it isn’t true. Before leaving, she decides to take Ezra to meet Eve, the whale. Ezra questions her certainty that Eve is still present in the waters. But Rebecca is sure about it and eventually manages to build contact with her.
Before leaving, Rebecca pledges to be done with the lies she had become used to. While she decides to manage her family’s well-being with the earth’s, the episode highlights how the animals will probably be receptive to humans’ cruel, selfish intentions in the future, who try to capitalize on anything and everything they find. Their distance from humans is clearly indicative of the same.
Extrapolations (Season 1) Episode 3 Recap:
Episode 3: 2047: The Fifth Question
While the 2nd episode focused on Rebecca’s narrative, the 3rd one follows Marshall’s. He has moved back to Miami from Israel but is not certain whether he did it because of his father’s wishes. Harris Goldblatt (David Schwimmer), a wealthy man, continues to expand his business at the expense of the health of the planet even though he tries to strike a balance between faith and his cause. His father, David (Judd Hirsch), supports him in his greed, but Alana (Neska Rose), his daughter, is very critical about it. Besides, she does not believe in God and continues questioning his existence, angering him.
When Alana encounters Marshall at a prayer service she is attending with her parents, she wonders why God did not intervene to help solve the world’s obvious problems. Since David shuns her for asking, she goes to meet Marshall again. Since the city starts flooding by that year (including the church they stand in to have a word), she asks whether it is a punishment for the human’s bad behavior. She is angry that her father kept his personal benefit over anything else and kept selling flats to millionaires while the world was dying. If God wishes good for us, why does he make humans suck the way he does? She asks Marshall. It makes him question his faith in God.
Marshall lives with his mother and is being asked to relocate since even Miami is in unliveable conditions. Marshall does not want her to relocate to a place where having a gun is essential for survival, despite her doctor suggesting an alternative for better health. She plans to move there but tells him not to come along since he needs to do his religious duty. Later, the Goldbatts contact him to preserve the temple by getting a deal with the government officials of Tallahassee. He accepts it as a duty to his mother’s wishes.
However, he wasn’t aware that the Goldblatts had given away the homeless center to save the temple. He questions Harris about it, who shamelessly asks what difference it makes since these people were already homeless. Harris stresses how it is their victory, and Marshall cannot see it that way. Meanwhile, David dies tragic death due to a bite. While he called it to be from a mosquito, he realizes it was something else when it becomes too late to recover from. It seems like another metaphor about how humans are behind in taking any action & realize it only when the danger is imminent.
FBI arrests Harris due to his unlawful activities. Later, during her Bar Mitzvah, Alana confesses that she called the authorities to alert them about it. While she starts out on a conventional note of prayer, she soon veers into this topic, which troubles the audience. She continues to further question Marshall by showing a recording from his speech at Israel in 2037, where he said that being neutral in times of crisis means taking the side of the devil. With his deal with Goldblatts, he has done the same.
Marshall resigns from the board (because he wanted to not proceed with this deal) and becomes hopeless about the world. By that time, a hurricane had caused massive flooding in the city. His mother speaks with him through a hologram and tells him to be a spiritual first responder, even if he is no longer a rabbi. So, he goes back to the synagogue and tries to save the Torah. But despite his unshakable faith, the waters still keep rising. Maybe he does not have control over these situations as he wished to have.
Extrapolations (Season 1) Episode 3 Ending Explained:
Does Marshall manage to save Miami from major flooding? What are his views on faith after this tragedy?
Soon after, Marshall moves to a homeless center in Tallahassee, where he meets Alana. She asks if God loves them, why is there so much suffering? By noting an anecdote of Moses, he conveys that ‘being human’ is their solution and their last resort. Even when he narrates his story about saving Torah with homeless strangers, he notes how it is not in God’s hands but ours to decide how to use the resources he gives us to their best potential. The episode drives home a point about how we are in charge of saving the planet and any crisis and cannot rely on an imaginary force to save us from it.