Welcome to the Ending Explained for Extrapolations, the newest eco-drama coming to Apple TV+. The series takes the form of an anthology, where each episode focuses on a diverse group of characters and how those characters are beings affected by global warming. The series was created by Scott Z. Burns, who became famous thanks to his amazing script for Contagion. This movie predicted exactly how a real pandemic would affect the real world. Now, Burns takes his pen and prepares to talk about global warming.
The global warming subject is quite bleak, and each episode becomes more and more depressing. It is not easy to see the beautiful world we live in withering every single day, so it is clear that this might not be the series to watch if you want something to cheer you up. The series also boasts an impressive number of well-known actors. The small commitment of appearing in just one or two episodes seems to have been the key to gathering such an impressive cast.
The following paragraphs contain spoilers for Extrapolations, Episode 2. Read at your own risk.
Why Are Children Being Born with Health Conditions?
Episode 2 of Extrapolations mainly follows a character from the first episode, Rebecca Shearer. Rebecca is a scientist, and it has become her mission in life to preserve natural life. In the previous episode, we saw her in the middle of a wildfire along with another colleague. This would bring serious consequences for her because Rebecca was pregnant at the time. Now, nine years later, the consequences of bringing a child into the world are clear. More and more children are being born with a condition known as summer heart.
What is this summer heart condition about? Well, because the quality of oxygen in the world has worsened, the new generations haven’t had the opportunity to develop fully fleshed lungs. The result is an entire generation of kids who cannot perform physical activities like people from the past used to. They also have to monitor how they use oxygen, and they cannot really work themselves out because that would mean risking their lungs collapsing and killing them.
In this world introduced by the show, the sins of the past are being suffered by the children of the future. The world temperature is increasing more and more each year, and this generation of children is even in danger of overheating if they spend too much time being exposed to the sun. They carry a pin that monitors their body condition and changes color depending on their temperature and the oxygen in their blood. It is quite sad to see that an entire generation doesn’t know what it is to be a normal child.
The life expectancy of a child with a summer heart is 30 years old. Rebecca’s child even talks as if he has already accepted that he will only be on Earth for maybe 21 more years, and that is it. Of course, Rebecca replies by giving hope to her child that maybe in the future, someone will be able to cure the summer heart condition and give them a chance to live normally to those who suffer it.
Why Is the Episode Titled Whale Fall?
The other subject the episode tackles is quite important. We saw how global warming has affected the lives of the new generation of children, but how will it affect the animals? In the previous episode, we saw Rebecca choose to become part of a company that is collecting DNA data from animals with the intention of cloning them in the future, even if they become extinct in the present. Right now, Rebecca is working with a female humpback whale.
In the world of 2046, animals can talk with humans and vice versa. Rebecca is able to exchange messages with the whale, and she uses a mod that makes the sound of the whale sound like Rebecca’s late mother. We see them talk about life and how they have things in common even when they are from different species. Rebecca’s objective right now is to find food for the whale and males, so they can reproduce. However, it soon becomes clear that the whale Rebecca is talking to is the last of her species.
Rebecca’s employers don’t really care about preserving the animals. In reality, they are only thinking of the profit they can have in the future when they are the sole owners of the humpback whale’s DNA. In the future, life has been copyrighted, and nothing can be done about it. The company deceives the whale into thinking there is a male when there is not, only to get data from when the whale is in mating season. Rebecca reveals the truth to the whale, and they talk about how, in the future, there might be salvation for both species.
Rebecca warns the whale to leave but manages to show the whale to her son before leaving for Alaska. There, the company is doing the same work with wolves and apparently all the species that are disappearing from the face of the Earth every year.