Extrapolations is an anthological series that delves into eight interwoven stories set in the climatic endgame of the future and the life-altering choices that must be made amid apocalyptic changes.
Episode 1 recap: 2037: A Raven Story
In Extrapolations episode 1, climate protesters hold the fort relentlessly as the 2037 COP42 climate conference is held in Tel Aviv, while capitalist corporations continue to devour nature as underprivileged nations struggle with access to clean water.
One major figure who the protesters wish to tear down is Nick Bilton, the CEO of Alpha Industries, and the greedy devil who basks in the opportunities that the doom of the world brings him.
He sends Junior, a controversial investor who works with him, to the new land found in the Arctic, for the purposes of eventually building a casino and a hotel there. However, the Chinese have set up camp there as well.
While Junior tries to contend with the Chinese problem, Bilton sees the mineral-rich region that lies under that Arctic spot as the perfect next venture for him to exploit since the world needs more electric vehicles, and the minerals there can help mass produce those batteries.
He uses the Tel Aviv accords to make a speech and offer his water desalination patents to the countries that can demonstrate the need for it. In exchange, he’d be helped with the waivers on his mining project in the Arctic.
Meanwhile, Marshall Zucker, a Rabbi working at the Temple Israel, and the son of Ben Zucker, a successful business manager and father of Junior as well, denies his father’s persistent demands of going back to Miami and working there.
When his mother trips and suffers grave injuries due to the toxins in the polluted air, she falls into a coma. Seeing how his father is still obsessed with business rather than his wife, Marshall leaves him and refuses to go to Miami.
Meanwhile, just as Bilton’s decision to leave the casino and hotel project reaches Junior via phone, the investor is killed by a walrus near the waters.
The episode also follows Rebecca, a pregnant wildlife conserver and her husband Omar Haddad, the Algerian representative at the COP42 meet. He leaves the conference to go to his wife as certain complications with her pregnancy arise.
Their son is born but with certain defects, thanks again to the dire state of the climate that affects the child. The end of the episode sees Nick Bilton win as his greed gets rewarded and the countries facing droughts and other calamities are given temporary refuge from the patents being shared.
Meanwhile, the agreed ceiling for the global temperature rise is raised by 2 degrees, with 2.3 being the maximum, before Extrapolations episode 1 rolls the credits.
Episode 2 recap: 2046: Whale Fall
In Extrapolations episode 2 follows Rebecca Shearer, and her son Ezra. It’s 2046 and Becca has lost Omar to the storms of Manila and her mother, Eva, to cancer. She lives with her son who has a rather precarious condition of the heart that makes him prone to cardiac arrests at the slightest of rousing situations and sunlight.
Becca works for Menagerie2100, a company working for the future rather than the present, as they select which species gets to survive and which doesn’t, with their repositories housing millions of DNAs and genetic material to bring back the species that are not even known to many.
She works at one of the facilities that observe the last surviving humpback whale. She converses with the whale with an advanced bit of technology that translates the mammal’s frequencies to articulate English. Becca further applies a personal touch to the whale’s voice, rendering it through the Avatar of her late mother, Eva.
As she talks to her in the voice of Eva, the whale makes many breakthrough conversations with Becca, who also manages to learn that the whale is interested in procreating again, after having lost her offspring long ago. She is currently searching for a male whale that has conversed with her but she continues to fail to find him.
Becca eventually finds the reason behind that, which is that her superiors have been lying to the whale, transmitting to her a recording of a male whale that died years ago. She has an argument with her superiors and eventually breaks the truth to the whale, asking her to leave the facility and go away.
Her superiors know that Becca knowingly did that and on the basis of her actions and other protocol violations, they send her to Alaska with her son, where she’d work on the wolves. Before departing for Alaska, though, Becca takes a plunge into the ocean with her son and meets Eva the whale for the last time.
It’s also revealed when Becca asks the whale to tell her the young ones about the humans and what they did and what they do, that there are more of her species still out there, as Extrapolations episode 2 comes to its end.
Episode 3 recap: 2047: The Fifth Question
In Extrapolations episode 3, it’s 2047 and Marshall Zucker now lives in Miami, Florida, a fully ordained Rabbi who still makes unyielding efforts at protecting the Temple Israel Synagogue from getting submerged by the constantly rising sea level.
Meanwhile, most of Miami has also submerged and more and more regions keep succumbing to the rising waters. His mother lives with him now, having survived the injuries she suffered in Tel Aviv a decade earlier.
The other focus of the episode is Alana, the daughter of Harris Goldblatt. She’s resentful of her father after he cheated on his first wife and her mother with his affair with Gabby, who now lives with them as his second wife. Meanwhile, Alana’s mother OD’d on drugs and had to be sent to rehab due to all that transpired.
Meanwhile, Harris is also a capitalist who works for the millionaires, providing them with abodes even if it comes at the cost of deprivation for the poor. Alana tussles with the conflict and crisis of faith her father’s actions and the surrounding state of the world have inspired in her.
She strikes up a friendly dynamic with Rabbi Marshall and frequently asks him theological and pointed questions that pose, quite often, a moral quandary that even he has trouble answering satisfactorily.
She asks him if God is punishing them for their actions, referring to the climatic doom and her father’s greedy actions. When Marshall gets involved with Harris when the latter offers to help protect the Temple Israel Synagogue, he suffers from the conflicts that this inspires inside him.
Alana, aware that Harris used bribes to get the Synagogue protected at the cost of the homeless shelter in Miami, reports his actions to the police.
At her Bat Mitzvah speech, she pulls up the footage of Marshall from a decade ago, when he addressed many at the synagogue, expressing his firm stance against the capitalists and their greed, as well as the neutrality that only favors the wrongdoing. She also reveals that she got her father arrested.
Marshall resigns from his position and is a rabbi no more. At the end of the episode, he realizes the errors of his ways and instead of safeguarding the institution of faith, he opts to help people on the ground, and reunites with Alana at the shelter, as Extrapolations episode 3 concludes.
- Extrapolations marks its beginning with three solid episodes that are all rife with themes and messages exclusively addressing the very resonant global issue of climate change.
- The sci-fi aspect serves as a backdrop for what’s essentially a critique of capitalism, even if it’s not nearly as damning a piece of it as it oughta be.
- The anthological installments are all interwoven and the show seems to have a prime antagonist in the CEO of Alpha Industries, Nick Bilton, but it’s only a matter of time to see whether his role is one that persists throughout the entirety of Extrapolations or not.
Scott Z. Burns, Gregory Jacobs
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