Extrapolations – Season 1 Episode 8 Recap, Review & Ending Explained

2070: Ecocide

Episode 8 of Extrapolations begins with a performer singing about the state of the world. In the middle of this, Nick Bilton struts up and speaks to his daughter, Decima, and tells her to stop. It turns out all of this was a simulation. However, a drone stops by with a letter, telling Nick that he’s to relinquish his position as CEO of Alpha International. Nick has been arrested, on grounds of “ecocide”, and as a result, a new CEO is promoted.

What is Ecocide? And how does the court case begin?

Ecocide is a crime that came to be in 2050, and is described as unlawful or wanton acts committed with the knowledge that there is going to be widespread or long-term damage to the environment. Those charges are brought against Nick Bilton right now, and there are plenty of people we’ve followed across this season that want him behind bars.

Prosecutor Lucy Abodo is going to be the one tasked with bringing Bilton down in the International Criminal Court. Some people want him to be tried for crimes against the planet, and others push for him to be hung.

In court, Nick pleads not guilty, and the court case is broadcast across the world. 10 different former employees are here to testify, including several familiar faces like Dr Rebecca. Rebecca discusses about the effect of megafauna and how that’s troubled her life. As one may recall, she was horrified by the cruelty leveled against the final whale in the world.

Bilton’s lawyer counteracts though and brings  up Rebecca’s son and the issues that’s brought in. With her statement a dud, Rebecca “falls” not long after and there’s question marks over whether it’s suicide or something more sinister.

What happened with Project Newcomen?

Next up we have the situation of Project Newcomen, which is the holy grail of answers, given it promised to remove carbon from the atmosphere. Funded by Nick Bilton, the lawyer picks up the scraps and runs with it, bringing up why Mr Chopin (the one testifying) failed at this task, given Nick was actually funding the project to save, not destroy, the Earth.

Chopin’s inability to follow through with this saw him replaced by a new CEO (the same one that’s now head of Alpha), Martha Russell. Nick’s lawyer brings up Chopin’s ulterior motive, coming from his son Rowan, who was convicted of terrorism. As a result, his statement is chalked off the record.

This charade goes back and forth between different witnesses, so much so that Decima Bilton herself decides she wants to testify on Nick’s behalf, and even has a whole recording for him. This entire story would be enough to get Nick off the hook, his lawyer explains later on, but Nick refuses to use her in court.

Who is Matafele?

Martha is still in charge of Alpha but she’s faced with troubles in the form of Rebecca and her suicide. The lab reports show irregularities with her meds. While she deals with this, we cut across to court again, where the next witness on the stand brings up a woman called Matafele Kabula. She’s from the Marshall Islands but when they became uninhabitable, she moved across to the US and studied in University in Massachutus, with a degree in atmospheric chemistry.

Matafele had a product she wanted to finance, which happens to be the first viable carbon-removal device. She asked for Alpha’s help in funding this, given the promise of reducing down carbon. This Matafaela seems to be Decima’s long-lost mother, and when we find out the device was even named “decima”, it seems to solidify that line of thinking.

Nick claims that the product doesn’t work and failed, so Lucy challenges him to share the IP and to see if it really didn’t. Nick instead deflects and brings up Matafele’s lack of ability to produce something else meaningful to help humanity.

Is Nick Bilton found guilty?

During a recess, Nick seriously considers hacking the International Criminal Court to get favorable results, while others reflect back on how the climate crisis could have been prevented through the years but every time the can was just kicked further up the road.

In court, Nick steps up and speaks for himself, discussing how he’s come to an agreement with Newcomen to drop the carbon level to 470 million per parts. This is a compromise on both sides, and he’s fully in the know of what he’s doing. It could go lower but he’s valuing profits over everything else. Nick deflects all of this though, bringing up the leaders of each nation and how they’ve got away with this. He throws the blame game back on the people for electing them, and claims to be an easy scapegoat for their frustrations.

As a result of all this, Nick has been found not guilty and allowed to go. Furthermore, he could be on course to win a Nobel Peace Prize. As time passes, Lucy contemplates the court case and how it could have gone differently. She’s tired and sad, and on the cusp of giving up.

How does Extrapolations end?

Over at Bilton’s place, Decima turns on her father and programs Alpha away from his control. She decides to oust him as a crook and a liar, demanding that he drop the carbon number down to 350, which she knows he can do. When Nick refuses, the case is reopened and this time, he’s found guilty.

With Bilton in prison, we jump forward a year as Lucy discusses how we (us, the general public) did this to each other, while Decima is adamant that they’ll fix what’s happened now. As the camera pans out, we see Nick Bilton behind bars in a prison floating through space. The earth though has been damaged badly, with the polar ice caps having melted and big question marks over where we go from here.

The Episode Review

So Extrapolations come to a meandering close, with plenty of heavy-handed exposition and another preachy set of dialogue about how we should all be doing better together…despite carbon emissions being largely the fault of a handful of mega-corporations across the world.

It’s perhaps slightly ironic that this show comes from Apple, who don’t have the best track record when it comes to virtuous ecological issues, and as has been proven time and again, our contribution toward this is but a drop in an ocean compared to the vast majority of companies and their influence over this.

The show also shoots itself in the foot a bit with its solution. The products to drop carbon out the atmosphere show that technology can be used to overcome environmental issues, so in a way this is basically the deus ex machina device that’s being fought over to magically save everything. I can’t help but feel this show, in its intent on showing the devastating effect of climate change, should have gone the whole hog and just ravaged the entire planet, doing a “Day After Tomorrow” and launching the planet into another Ice Age.

In the end, the final episode attempts to bring everything together in a cohesive way but it also highlights one of AppleTV’s biggest problems – and that comes from pacing. The show has been unnecessarily dragged put for far too long to tell a story that could have been told in a much shorter frame of time.

In the end, Extrapolations extrapolates its issues, which become larger the longer the show goes on for, bowing out with a tepid and forgettable finale

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