Scott Z. Burns’ dystopian drama series “Extrapolations,” about Earth suffering because of the evils of mankind, released its fourth episode this week, and once again, it focuses on a particular aspect of climate change. This week’s episode focuses on the uncontrolled rise in global temperature and the efforts of one brilliant entrepreneur to save the Earth from the earthlings. As is true with the pattern of the series, we witness another time jump in the fourth episode, from 2047 to 2059. The last we saw of the world, the whole of Miami drowned in flood, and the city had to be evacuated, proving people’s plans to stave off the blowback from nature’s wrath would never work. This week, one woman tried helping the earth by undertaking rather drastic measures. Here’s what happened in this week’s episode:
The Impact Of Global Warming
In the year 2059, US President Burdick says that she will sign the Climate Intervention Treaty, apart from prohibiting any kind of geoengineering that attempts to artificially impact the climate. As a room full of people, including Jonathan (Edward Norton), celebrate, his son Rowan is very upset that, thanks to his father’s advice, the president’s decision shall ruin everyone, while Jonathan Chopin says that it was to protect Rowan’s future. By this time, more than a million deaths are recorded annually because of the severe heat, as the temperature has gone up by 2.2 degrees.
Six months later, on his yacht, Jonathan’s wife asks if his son Rowan picked up, but he says he didn’t, even though it’s Father’s Day the next day. While he continues to call his son in his yacht, as more land has submerged under the water, Rowan is in Djibouti with a woman whose face is on every digitized billboard around the US. Jonathan tells his third wife that he knew his son wouldn’t agree with his stance on geoengineering, but Rowan hasn’t focused on anything else for half a year now. The conversation is interrupted as Jon gets a call from London, and Martha, the woman there, confirms that Rowan is in Djibouti, but she can’t answer when he asks if “she” is in there with Rowan. Martha asks the US government official Jon to check in with the CIA because Alpha can’t be caught spying on people, but Jon says this is the only option he has because his son won’t even pick up his call. He chooses not to inform his third wife about his son’s location and also avoids mentioning the fact that Rowan might be with his ex-wife in Djibouti at the moment.
Gita Mishra’s Brainchild
The ex-wife in question is Gita Mishra (Indira Varma), who came from humble origins in India and has now become the founder and CEO of New Sky Initiatives, and she’s invited to be present as the first-ever carbon-neutral, unmanned cargo plane takes flight. The plane, which has the capacity to stay in the air forever, is called “The Rowan.” Gita tells the audience that the plane is named after her colleague and stepson, Rowan Chopin, and adds that it was his computer genius that helped make the unmanned plane control possible. Gita continues that to prove just how sure she is of the planes and to demonstrate her gratitude to the investors, she shall be personally present in the planes, each of which has been filled with the maximum bearable load of 250 tons. This shall be the testament that makes the investors believe that they can trust their prized cargo with The Rowan. Meanwhile, Jonathan wakes up to a call from Martha in the UK, who sends him a video of Gita launching the carbon-free plane in a very private event where no media was allowed. She also informs him that she got the video off an illegal phone at the event and that Gita has named the plane “The Rowan.” The whole thing makes zero sense to Jon, who asks Martha for her input, but she says she’ll be wiping the whole record to avoid being implicated. She adds that the owner of Alpha Industries, Nick Bilton, might order some of the planes because Gita is using Alpha batteries.
Rowan is concerned that his father will find out about what he and Gita have been doing, so she asks him to feign ignorance, but Rowan refuses to lie. She then asks him to remind her ex-husband of their honeymoon in Bali and how the genius Jonathan couldn’t fix a 20th-century toilet, and she had to help. She also tells her stepson that he can leave any time he wishes, but Rowan wants to be there for the launch the next day. When the planes take off with Gita in one of them, Rowan changes the passcodes to avoid the risk of hacking and then informs her of the latitude and longitude she’s setting her course for. Gita is heading to her hometown of Badlapur, India, to inspire the next generation based on her success. Jonathan is listening to Gita’s speech, where she mentions the weight each plane shall be carrying and why she’s piloting an unmanned aircraft when his wife walks in. He’s very concerned about the whole situation and explains to his wife that in the fifth grade, Rowan’s science project was about how billions of particles of ash released from the volcanic eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991 spread across the stratosphere and helped reflect the sun’s rays. The young Rowan continues to say that this system of ash helped the earth cool down by 0.5 degrees and that scientists have tried recreating this phenomenon artificially, something that his stepmother Gita was working on. This makes Jon theorize that this is what the stepmother and son have been planning to execute.
The Real Plan
Gita’s associate Hiram is concerned that her plane has ascended to an altitude of 48,000 feet, but she says she wants to show the world what The Rowan is capable of. She asks to elevate the other planes to the same height as well, and Hiram says the military will take note of this immediately. Jon searches for the stock prices of chemical compounds by every major chemical company, and Alpha shows 16% growth, so he calls Martha privately and asks her to check if the company sold a few substances to NSI. Since those chemicals are controlled substances, as per CIT, he’s within his rights to investigate because those compounds can be used to cause global terrorism. Concerned, Martha says she’ll speak to her superiors and expresses regret that Nick Bilton fired Jon from Alpha but sternly advises him never to contact her ever again. Meanwhile, Gita asks Rowan on a private line to leave because, by now, every major organization will figure out what she’s planning to do, and the authorities will soon be visiting Rowan’s father. The teenage son is seen leaving the premises after shaking hands with the dignitaries at the event, while Special Agent Sanchez from the FBI’s Counterterrorism Unit shows up at Jonathan’s doorstep. While President Burdick is addressing several situations, like congratulating a group for planting the millionth tree and asking Congress to pass a bill to reduce emissions, she’s made aware of a situation where a fleet of demonstration planes is creating an issue. The hologram of a major informs the president that a fleet of NSI planes has changed course mid-flight and is rising in altitude, and Burdick wants the major to keep her informed of any changes in the situation. The secretary tells Burdick that Jonathan Chopin informed the Counterterrorism Unit about a pretty crazy theory and that it’d be best if the US government moved away from him. While Jon continues trying to explain to Agent Sanchez that his son might’ve become a part of something massively illegal, bordering on global terrorism, Rowan smashes his phone and leaves. Jon continues that, once upon a time, his ex-wife researched geoengineering and how to put it to use, but they failed because they were unable to replicate the results, and as a result, geoengineering proved to be gambling and not science. He requests the FBI take him to Washington, DC because he thinks Gita Mishra and his son might be a part of something sinister that’ll put the whole earth at risk.
By then, President Burdick has received a communication from Gita, who says she’s over the Indian Ocean now, and if attempts are made to stop her violently, she shall release calcium carbonate into the air for the whole world. She threatens that the only way to solve the rising temperature of the earth is by geoengineering and agrees to land her planes if the US president agrees to her terms. While a SEAL team arrives at the launch site and begins searching for Rowan, Gita continues trying to make contact with her stepson. After reaching a safe area, he establishes contact with her, and she shows him Mumbai and tells him that one would never understand from that altitude how horribly they’ve ruined the planet. At DC, Jon sits down with Burdick and the other important advisors and tells her that if Gita’s plan works, the whole earth will be faced with a horrifying scenario, and it’s possible that she’ll actually carry out her threats. What’s more, the whole blame is falling on the USA because NSI is based in Delaware, and every other country is taking a stand against CIT and considering it an act of aggression. A video meeting is organized with Gita, who doesn’t show any signs of slowing down or coming back to talk with the president unless her demands are met, no matter what Burdick offers. The advisors argue about the children who’ll die of additional pollution because of the excess calcium carbonate in the air, but Gita considers that a minimal sacrifice in the face of the millions who die annually. Jon breaks the silence and tries reasoning with Gita, but she predicts everything her ex-husband might’ve told the president. While trying to reason with Gita, Jon is dumbfounded when he hears his son’s voice, and he can’t think straight anymore until the signal is suddenly lost. The advisors say their signal needs to be jammed and then push Jon out of the room because his allegiances are compromised.
The Ensuing Trouble
The advisors tell President Burdick that it’s a severe problem because such a massive payload of calcium carbonate will reduce the temperature in theory, but it’ll invite several added problems like floods, snowstorms, cyclones, and other calamities because the whole world climate system will be destabilized. While the advisors suggest taking action against Gita, Burdick considers a possibility where her gamble ends up helping the world when an official asks everyone to vacate the room for a call for the president. The SEAL team breaks into the room where Rowan is working, and they try detaining him only to realize it is a hologram, whereas the real Rowan is in a cybercafé somewhere in Djibouti. When Gita says there’s a jet plane that’s indicating for her to land, Rowan implores his stepmother to put an end to their plans and be done with it because she has proven what a resourceful person can do, but Gita decides to call the US’s bluff. After a talk with Nick Bilton, Burdick feels trapped as her options continue to shrink, and she’s torn between wanting to allow what’s happening and taking action. Jon discovers something significant while making a calculation, while Gita squeals in excitement that the jet planes are receding, and just as Rowan is celebrating as well the signal breaks. Near the Mumbai beach, Gita’s plane is seen to have blown up as an Indian man watches the explosion with gaping eyes. Rowan watches the plane explode on camera as the US presidential room can’t make sense of what just happened and why Gita’s plane blew up.
The Global Explosion
Jon arrives with the news that each plane is supposedly carrying 250 tons of calcium carbonate, but Gita had mentioned 2 million tons, so that means she has a lot more of the chemical. He wishes to speak to her but is told that her plane was blown up. As the other nine planes release their payload, Jon is panicked about his son and wants to know what happened to Rowan. When he speaks to his father, he says it’s too late for Rowan to come home. Rowan disconnects and inputs a code, and moments later, the entire world map lights up as thousands of Alpha drones explode to release calcium carbonate all over the world. Jon arrives home and tells his wife that nobody has any idea what will happen now that 2 million tonnes of calcium carbonate have been released into the air all over the world.
‘Extrapolations’ Episode 4: Ending Explained – What Was Gita Mishra’s Plan?
In the fourth episode, NSI founder and CEO Gita Mishra took ten planes on a demonstration flight but loaded each of them with 250 tons of calcium carbonate. She threatened to release the compound over India because a volcanic eruption in 1991 at Mt. Pinatubo had released ash that created a layer over the earth and reduced the earth’s temperature. For years, this had been a project that Gita and her stepson Rowan Chopin worked on, and when Gita’s carbon-neutral unmanned planes finally took flight, she used the planes as a betting chip to force the US president’s hand to re-start geoengineering. This had been her plan, or at least that’s what the authorities knew; however, when her plane blew up mysteriously, the second part of Gita and Rowan’s plan came into the open.
After Gita’s plane exploded, Rowan unleashed a chain of explosions across the globe using the Alpha delivery services that exploded 2 million metric tons of calcium carbonate, with the ultimate goal of bringing down the earth’s temperature. This had been the fullest extent of their plan, but it can be argued that they had kept this plan as a last resort in case something extreme needed to be done. Gita’s death counted as the step that pushed Rowan to take the extreme measure, but now nobody knows what shall become of the earth with such an enormous payload of the chemical spreading in the air, and we’ll have to wait for episode 5 to find out.