Extrapolations (Season 1), Episode 5: Until now, Scott Z. Burns’ ‘Extrapolations’ largely focused on how capitalist greed is ruining the earth. It explored different characters that were conflicted with moral dilemmas. While the world temperature rose rapidly, some of its characters grappled with the thoughts of individual gain vs. collective gain. On the other hand, others refused to be benevolent toward anyone but themselves.
The previous episode explored Jonathan and Gita’s characters in relation to their views on geoengineering. It discussed the possibility and effects of changing the course of the climate by human interference. Besides the logical aspects, it also explored the ethics of taking such an action.
Now, Episode 5, streaming on Apple TV+, occurs entirely on the Indian land where Gaurav has been assigned with a high-stakes mission. It is directed by International Emmy-winning director of Delhi Crime – Richie Mehta.
Extrapolations (Season 1), Episode 5 Recap:
Episode 5: 2059 Part II: Nightbirds
The episode begins in Svalbard, Norway, where a woman steals some food grains. She runs away and saves herself by jumping into the water. Then the narrative shifts to Mumbai, India, where we meet a small-time criminal named Gaurav (Adarsh Gourav). Along with other citizens, he waits for the sun to set so that it is safe to go out to their daily duties. He takes a few breaths of fresh air from an oxygen mask. Then, a friend drives him away, and they make a stop at a seashore. This is when he sees a blast of Gita’s (Indira Varma) cargo from the previous episode.
While Gaurav is curious about this sudden explosion, his friend isn’t. He rather takes him away to meet Neel (Gaz Choudhary). Neel invites Gaurav to eat some biryani made of synthetic rice. He insists that they speak in English due to the orders given by some higher-ups. While Gaurav is still hung up about the explosion, Neel does not take it seriously. He rather wants to share the details about the travel. They will first have to travel to Varanasi and then to another part of Northern India.
Gaurav refuses to do double shifts. But after hearing the lofty payment of 10000 Euros, he agrees. While he isn’t okay with Neel tagging along during this road trip, he accepts it since it is Madam’s demand. On the road, Neel tries to make small talk, but Gaurav refuses to indulge in it. He takes in some fresh air from the oxygen mask. Neel suggests he use Nav-Bots instead. But Gaurav does not want it to track his location while not entirely aware of how the corporations find one way or the other to track their activities.
Neel says that he served in the war in Amritsar but dismisses Gaurav’s theory that Pakistan used chemical weapons. Apparently, Gaurav is one of the ignorant Islamophobics who blindly believe in conspiracy theories. At the time of the war, he was under exemption after his entire family in Bihar committed suicide since the crops couldn’t grow. Neel calls him an agro-exempt. The birds traveling at night bump into their truck’s windshield since people started working at night due to global warming, which came in between their general way of living.
Gaurav believes that everyone is going to get cancer due to the toxic air. Neel, however, chooses to believe that things will change for the better. In the morning, they halt at a motel and get themselves inside in their cocoon-shaped oxygenated mattresses. Neel speaks about the recent geoengineering attempt and how beneficial it will be to resist global warming. Gaurav isn’t optimistic about it.
Later, when the sun sets down, the two get back on the door for their mission. Meanwhile, Olivia Drew (Keri Russell), an employee from Alpha, lands in Mumbai to work as per Bilton’s orders. She sends out a few Alpha drones to help get a package delivered to her. Soon after, their truck gets pulled over since there has been a rumor of someone smuggling contraband. The cops drag them out and start harassing them. They look through the truck’s storage and get hold of a barrel lying in the front.
While the cops take out a lunchbox, Gaurav tries to slide Neel’s wheelchair toward him. A cop notices it and pulls a gun to his head. By then, Neel gets back in the wheelchair, approaches the officers, and shoots them. Since the authorities will be able to track them with the truck, Neel chooses to abandon it. Gaurav is curious about the contents of the lunchbox since the police are onto them. Neel says that it is fingerprint-coded and needs to be taken back to their Madam.
Gaurav does want to hitchhike on a bus as per Neel’s suggestion. However, Neel makes him realize the importance of their mission and move along. He also reveals being a bodyguard for Gaurav due to the contraband’s importance. By that time, Gaurav also realizes that Neel is a Muslim. The two eventually reach Varanasi and enter a clothes store to meet Madam. While she is not confident about Gaurav’s participation, Neel boasts about his courage.
She takes them to a van with an incorrect French phrase written on it so that they can pose as relief workers. She shares a few instructions to survive the heat during the day. The two will be joined by a Punjabi genetic scientist, Harbaksh Mann, who has gone blind due to a hypothermic shock while collecting information during the daytime. Still, he is their hope to make the right use of the lunchbox’s contents.
On their way, the three strike up a conversation about the recent geoengineering experiment (by Ronan and Gita). Like Neel, Mann believes that it will be helpful for the planet’s climate. Neel opens the lunchbox to find rice seeds inside and wonders what is so special about them. He looks at them through his microscope app, and Gaurav notices no watermark of a company name. Only artificially generated crops are used for agriculture by companies like Alpha. So, it must be an old strain of rice, which won’t sustain in the current course of climate since it has not rained in ages.
By then, Olivia reaches Madam’s clothes store and shares information on a call that their targets have escaped. Meanwhile, while driving, Gaurav sees a few kids blocking his road despite the heat. He shoots a mango at their windshield and then suddenly suffers a stroke due to the extreme heat. Neel feels bad for him and runs out to save the kid himself. While he puts the kid in an oxygenated mattress, Gaurav puts on a safety tent in their car. However, Neel suffers due to the heat, and Gaurav goes out to save them both. He brings them both to his car and drives him to a nearby dwelling.
By then, Neel’s mouth gets covered by froth. But he still points at an Alpha drone hovering over them. Since they will need ice to cool Neel’s body, Gaurav goes out to bring it from the next village. However, Mann gets shot by a needle right afterward, and then Olivia approaches Gaurav. She tries to get hold of the seeds, but Neels shoots her. They engage in a shootout for these seeds, which ends with Olivia putting Neel at gunpoint. While Gaurav creates a distraction, the earlier kid’s mother stabs Olivia with a piece of glass.
Extrapolations (Season 1), Episode 5 Ending Explained:
Does Gaurav manage to get the seeds to Amritsar?
Since Neel loses his life in this scuffle, Gaurav gets angry and shoots at all the drones. Then he drives Mann back to Amritsar. Luckily this time, they do not get pulled over by the cops due to their diplomatic plates. They finally reach Amritsar when Mann shares a tale in their land similar to Hack and the Beanstalk. While Mann gets back to Amritsar, Gaurav decides to travel back.
On his bus ride back to the earlier village, he hears a man abusing someone due to their Islamic identity. Since Neel went to lengths to save him and others, Gaurav seems to have become a changed man. So he calls out that man’s prejudice. He finally reaches the village in the morning and, still shaken by Neel’s death, gets into his wheelchair and tries driving it. Suddenly rain starts pouring down, which is not harmful to health. He hands over the ‘magic beans’ to the kid from before.
It is evidently the result of Ronan and Gita’s experiment, which does cleanse the problem of rising heat for the time being. However, the later news report reveals that the heavy rainfall has caused flooding. As a result, the narrative keeps showing that geoengineering experiments can have both positive and negative effects.