Welcome to the Ending Explained for Extrapolations, Episode 1. The series is the new offering from AppleTV+. It presents an anthology structure, with each episode focusing on a number of different characters and storylines, all of them tied up under the thematic umbrella of global warming. The series is created by Scott Z. Burns, who jumped to fame during the pandemic thanks to having been the writer for Contagion. The Steven Soderbergh film proved to be the closest thing to an actual pandemic and became quite popular during the real COVID-19 pandemic.
Now Burns returns to the screen with the new danger of global warming on the horizon. And just like Contagion, it might sound and look like something that could be quiet in the future, but, in reality, it is closer to us than ever before. Pollution and the decisions from world leaders to not take global warming seriously might be our undoing, and this series certainly knows how to depict that we are not going to be here, on this planet, for much longer. The series boasts an impressive cast of actors from all over the world.
The following paragraphs contain spoilers for Extrapolations, Episode 1. Read t your own risk.
Why Is The Planet Warming Up?
Extrapolations doesn’t seem to be a show that is very much concentrated on characters. This first episode exemplifies this by jumping around several groups of characters but never staying with them long enough to get a sense of who they are. Instead, the series focuses on the ideologies these characters represent and, therefore, their symbolism when it comes to discussing global warming on a wide scale. Some characters have family issues; others are connected with the decision-makers, and others are despicable representations of real human beings.
The episode titled, A Raven Story takes us to the near future. The year 2037, to be more specific, introduces us to a bleak future. In this scenario, the world powers have met to discuss global warming more seriously. However, it seems that the ones running the conversations are not the actual politicians or scientists who know exactly what is happening to the planet. The ones ruling over these talk tables are the corporations, always ready to make more and more money, even if there is no higher purpose.
It is quite frustrating when corporations ask for leeway before the governments actually take action and stop them from destroying the world. We are introduced to Nicholas Bilton, a multimillionaire who is looking to make more money from the desperation of the people suffering from what is already a doomsday scenario. The series points out that these companies and capitalism as an economic system are the main reasons behind global warming, and things will not stop.
What Are the Characters Doing To Stop Global Warming?
At this point in the series, the threat of global warming is not being taken seriously. The companies are ready to keep building and making money in such a way that it makes you wonder if the people behind these deals are actual humans. We are introduced to Bilton, who talks about the planet catching fire as if he were not a member of the human race, as if he was already living on another planet. It is quite scary. We are also introduced to another character who plans on building a casino near the Arctic because it is colder.
One of the most frustrating storylines in this episode is the one of Marshall, a young rabbi living in Israel. When her mother and father go to visit him, his mother suffers a stroke from the intense heat, and she wakes up unable to move. Marshall is shaken, of course, but his father prefers to keep making deals that will keep destroying the planet in the future, completely blind to the fact that the planet is warmer because of people like him. He blames his son for leaving, but with a father like that, it would be really hard to stay and hear him talk nonsense.
The episode’s name comes from a story told to the character of Rebecca, who has been trapped inside one of the many wildfires depicted in the episode. Rebecca is pregnant, and while escaping, one of her friends tells her that ravens became black when they had to go through the fire. Maybe, this fire will be global warming for humanity, but there is still the chance that we can go through the other side and keep on living. It might be a sign that, for all its bleakness, the show could be going to a hopeful place in the end.