Episode 3 of “Extrapolations” on Apple + is about man’s faith in God, and this time, it’s the recurring character of Marshall Zucker, the Rabbi we saw in Episode 1. It’s 2047, and Miami is finally flooding, despite what the builder named Junior had promised earlier. The episode makes people question just how far faith can support them and if it’s possible that there’s no one who’s going to answer their prayers. The realization that comes with the episode is that whatever is happening in the world is a result of man’s own deeds, and if anyone can save mankind from the disasters that are befalling them, it is man himself. Rabbi Marshall spends much time trying to save Temple Israel because he believes it’s how the people of Jewish faith can continue having a place of worship, but it’s in the very end, when a cyclone ravages Miami, that his false idea is shattered and he understands the only thing people need—help. Here’s all that happens in the episode and the way the Rabbi undergoes a change of character by the end.
The Sinking Planet
A year has passed since Episode 2, and Marshall Zucker, now a full-fledged rabbi, is waiting outside the Sea Level Mitigation Department to appeal to the committee so that Temple Israel Synagogue doesn’t fall into the sea. As the water levels keep rising and more and more buildings are submerged under the water, Marshall asks the committee to consider their request to protect the building that was constructed back in 1947. The 21st century has witnessed the sea level rise by more than 38 cm already, and we head to Miami, where several sections have been cordoned off as loss zones because they’re on the lower side and will be the first to sink when the water rises. In a posh and sprawling house, Harris Goldblatt (David Schwimmer) is looking for keys before he can take his wife and daughter to Temple Israel, but it’s obvious that his daughter harbors resentment towards her father because of something he’s done to her mother.
At Temple Israel, with the Passover Holiday being around the corner, Rabbi Marshall delivers a speech about how far humans have come in this century, with a cure for cancer being discovered, humans setting foot on Mars, and the US economy still standing strong, even though Texas is gone. The Rabbi informs his flock that Miami’s structure is changing on a daily basis, and the city is flooded once every 4 days, so his ask is that the Tallahassee leaders shall save Temple Israel so that they can congregate here the following year. He then re-introduces the crowd to his mother Isabel—who’s alive and well after her hematoma from Episode 1—and reminds everyone that together they’ll be hosting a seder for the ones who’ve been displaced because of climate crisis this week, for the fifth year running. While the Rabbi sings words of peace, we see that the entire floor is covered in water, with everyone wearing waterproof boots as the water levels continue rising. After talking to a few people who confirm with the Rabbi that they won’t leave the city, Marshall and his assistant Sophie meet Harris and his family—his wife Gabriela and daughter Alana. Harris wants to speak about Alana’s Bat Mitzvah, but Alana’s teenage rage makes her question every decision her dad makes. Marshall has to hurry to the internal committee to discuss the rising water level, where he meets David, Harris’s dad, and the women praise Alana until the Rabbi reminds the group that water has seeped into the sanctuary. The group keeps arguing about the best options while keeping in mind the constantly depleting funds, but no solution comes up.
The Life Of A Rabbi
As Marshall is working on the water collector in the synagogue, Alana arrives and asks him if God is angry with humans because of all the horrible things they’ve been doing and if things like floods, diseases, and fires are a result of His anger. She adds that since her father Harris started a sexual relationship with Gabriela, her mother became furious and began popping painkillers until an overdose landed her in rehab. Alana is also exposing that Harris is currently developing Little Haiti and selling the apartment on the higher grounds to the millionaires, and she is questioning if his sins shall be forgiven or not when her father arrives and takes her away. At Marshall’s house, Isabel tells her son to find someone he likes and settle down, and she suggests a girl named Emily who moved to Alberta, but Marshall refuses to follow the girl there because Miami won’t be abandoned. Alana questions the 2047 version of Alexa, made by Alpha Industries, about the numbers of refugees this year and the population of Miami when Harris knocks to say goodnight, but the daughter refuses to open the door to him.
While discussing the decisions of the committee about which buildings they want to save, Marshall is called in to speak to Dr. Shah, who says it’s best if he moves Isabel to a different city, and even his mother arrives and asks to move. When Marshall asks if he should join her in Chicago, where her sister lives, Isabel says people need him in this city, and after he leaves Israel to look after his mother, her moving out will be her way to ensure Marshall can continue his Rabbi work. As major sections of Miami remain flooded, with more and more buildings being declared uninhabitable, Alana meets with the Rabbi to change the date and portion of her Bat Mitzvah. While he’s giving her a new section, he learns that the committee’s decision is in, and unfortunately, Temple Israel won’t be saved according to the department. Annoyed at the way things are going, Marshall is praying when he meets the plumber Julia, to whom he shows the Torah on her request. He says the holy book is needed for living a fulfilling life, and Julia asks him if he’s actually living one—the Rabbi has no answer.
The Punishment For Sins
During Passover, Alana refuses to eat with the family because she can’t tolerate the fact that they’re comfortable in their massive house and swimming pool while people are having to leave their homes every day and suffering on a daily basis. Frustrated with how things are going, Marshall loses his temper during the Passover, and later, David Goldblatt tells him that to get one’s way in Miami, people have to “grease some palms” and asks him to speak to Harris. David’s son showers the Rabbi in praise and tells him that he can be called a “mensch” for all the good work he’s doing and that Harris can help the Rabbi keep Temple Israel from sinking. Alana invites a kid named Max Borenstein to her Bat Mitzvah and then speaks to Marshall about how God isn’t doing anything to stop the horrible things that are happening to the planet daily. Somewhere, the Rabbi is impacted by the questions Alana keeps raising, and his faith in God is shaken upon looking around at the situations in the world.
After Isabel leaves for Chicago, Marshall ruminates over the possible consequences of bribing an official in Florida and thinks of all the ways his faith has been questioned recently and all the reasons he has had to save Temple Israel. In a dream sequence, Marshall finds himself singing and dancing to “Singin’ in the Rain” with Alana. He wakes up to the news that the department has re-evaluated his proposal and Temple Israel shall be preserved, and as he celebrates the decision in the synagogue, Alana asks if it’s her father who did this. Just then, a homeless man storms in and curses the Rabbi for the horrible thing he has done to them, and as David Goldblatt shoos the man away, Marshall notices a nasty boil on the old man’s head from a mosquito bite. The Rabbi learns from Harris that in order to save the Temple, the builder gave away the homeless center, so all the people who’d been given refuge in the shelter have been turned away. While his emotions are being torn apart between doing good for the Temple and serving the greater good, Alana learns from Harris that her grandfather is dead. During the mourning period, FBI agents arrive and arrest Harris for bribing an official.
The Young Voice Of Reason
At her bat mitzvah, Alana has a breakdown, and she uses expletives, cursing humanity for all the horrible things that’ve been happening to all the world, and calls out her father for being the worst of them all. She reveals to the congregation that it was she who alerted the cops on Harris for bribery, and then when Marshall tries intervening, she plays a video of his from 2037 where he says people need to stand by the poor and help them. So it’s ironic that he left Israel, leaving the poor to fend for themselves, and once again, in Miami, he saved his Temple while the homeless lost their home. After being humiliated, Marshall resigns his post as the Rabbi, and with Hurricane Stanley raging in Miami, he heads to the synagogue to protect the Torah, where he meets the plumber Julia. With the entire Temple flooded with waist-high water, he rescues the Torah, but the weather is worsening every minute outside. With both his and Julia’s cars out of commission and the entire street flooded, they go upstairs, where they’re rescued by a helicopter.
At Tallahassee, Marshall is giving food to the homeless when Alana comes up to him and asks why there’s no divine help from God with so much suffering, so Marshall says it’s the same question Moses had asked Him. However, God’s answer didn’t clear anything, and Marshall responds that it’s up to humans to save themselves in the end. Alana takes up a ladle and starts serving food while both of them start humming “Singin’ in the Rain.”
‘Extrapolations’ Episode 3: Ending Explained – How Does Alana Change The Rabbi?
The last we saw of Marshall Rabbi, he was in Israel with his sister Isabel, who was confined to bed with a hematoma in 2037. A decade later, he became a rabbi in Miami, and he returned to take care of his mother, who needed him. Marshall tries his best to ensure that Temple Israel wouldn’t be destroyed by the rising sea levels, which makes him do a deal with Harris Goldblatt, a very powerful builder in Miami. Because of this deal, the homeless lose their shelter as the Temple is rescued. But this, along with all that’s happening in the world—from floods, wars, famines, droughts, and deaths—disillusions Marshall from his faith. When Marshall realizes that the things are happening in the world are because of people’s doings, he starts wondering if divine help will ever come. Goaded on by a young 13-year-old girl named Alana’s incessant questions, Marshall comes to understand that God might actually not help people when His flock may be in need, and it may be up to the people themselves to save each other.
After trying to be the spiritual counselor and giving sermons, when the synagogue floods, along with the whole of Miami, Marshall finally realizes the error of his ways, thanks to Alana. He heads to Tallahassee, where he becomes one of the people and starts serving them instead of just delivering sermons. Marshall realizes that the best way to help people is through service, which can’t be done through speaking on podiums. All this realization happened because the young girl was brave enough to show him the right path. She was the one who exposed her fraudulent father to the cops and also reminded Marshall of his duties that it was to the people first. When he became a little too religious and wanted to save a building over actual people in need of help, his decade-old video reminded the rabbi of his promises and mended his ways.