Scott Z. Burns’ dystopian drama on Apple TV, “Extrapolations,” premiered the finale episode today, and we can say that it’s something to look forward to, at least in this world. It’s the year 2070, and Nick Bilton, the CEO of Alpha Industries, is the primary focus of the episode. We’d first seen him in the very first episode, a young man in his early 20s, full of vitality and an indomitable hunger to make billions. By Episode 8, Bilton is perpetually sweaty, his skin stretched eerily to keep it from sagging, his back hunched, and he’s having a hard time hiding his white hair. He’s old and weak, but his desire to kick the planet where he was born hasn’t abandoned him, and he still looks down on anyone who’s not him. The episode focuses on the case of ecocide—causing irreparable damage to the planet—as the International Criminal Court tries to bring down the titan Bilton. Does he escape justice like every powerful man? Here’s what happens in the “Extrapolations” finale.
Bilton Is Served
A young girl is at a concert, enjoying the music of a popular guitarist with her friends, when Nick Bilton, founder, and CEO of Alpha Industries, walks into the room and asks the girl to stop the concert. Bilton calls the girl Decima and addresses her as his daughter, then reprimands her for listening to the music of the guitarist, who’s apparently not in the good books of Alpha. After Decima shuts down the entire concert, it turns out to be a simulation, and Bilton is handed a letter by an Alpha drone, in which he’s accused of ecocide.
Inside the Alpha HQ, a hologram of Bilton announces he’ll be stepping away from his responsibilities as the CEO, and Martha Russell, whom we’d met in Episode 4, is promoted to the position of the newest head of Alpha. It’s 2070, and the carbon concentration in the air is 564 ppm—a situation we, the people of this Earth, are steadily heading towards unless we can take steps to curb our emissions and reduce our carbon footprint. By now, the entire Earth uses Alpha for their needs, and the world is buzzing with news about Bilton’s charges, and we get to know who shall be prosecuting this billionaire—Lucy Adovo.
At her home, Lucy Adovo speaks to Ty, the guitarist Decima had been listening to, and they discuss what punishment fits a maniac like Bilton. While strumming his guitar, Ty reminds Adovo how the two of them helped shut down an Alpha mine after 50,000 workers died after standing under the glaring sun. This explains why Bilton didn’t want his daughter listening to the guitarist. He adds that men like Bilton always manage to get away from the law, and men like him deserve severe physical punishments.
The Trial Begins
At The Hague, which has been protected by an artificial shelter to protect it from the direct sun rays, the International Criminal Court begins the trial of Nikolai Biltonov, or Nick Bilton, as he’s better known. After the billionaire pleads not guilty to the charges of ecocide, the bailiff introduces three virtual judges who shall preside over the trial, and these virtual judges have been created by taking moralistic ideas from all over the globe to ensure impartiality. Adovo begins her case and says how carefully Bilton has created a situation where the ecocide of the Earth has solely profited him and his company, as Decima watches the live telecast from Bilton’s mansion in Surrey. Curiously, the mansion is also covered by the same artificial umbrella as we saw in The Hague, so it’s clear Bilton is scared about the condition of the world. A lifelike robot reminds Decima that her father is a great person and a humanitarian because he rescued her and brought her home. Of the 10 witnesses who’ve agreed to testify against the bulldozer Bilton, Adovo calls Rebecca Shearer her first witness. The last time we saw Rebecca was in Episode 2. She is a marine biologist working for Menagerie 2100 and the mother of Ezra Haddad.
Strong-arming The Weak
Shearer explains how Bilton gathered prototypes of megafauna from Menagerie 2100, which led to an increased release of carbon particles, and since Bilton wanted to profit from the scarcity of the megafauna, a business model was established. Bilton’s lawyer, Turner, then proceeds to go personal with Shearer, bringing up her medicinal usage and how her son Ezra has wiped her from his memories. In NYC, after her court appearance, Shearer falls to her death from a tall building, although it’s unclear if there are underhanded means involved or not. While Bilton denies being responsible for Shearer’s death, Martha assures the shareholders that the former CEO will be exonerated soon, and as a way to keep them happy, she announces a new product that will directly address the 564 ppm of carbon in the air but doesn’t elaborate.
Martha thinks back to a time, seven years earlier, when Bilton invited her to his Surrey mansion after LifePause became popular and asked her what motivated her to come up with the technology. He then inquired about what else Alpha could bring to mankind, and Martha suggested a breathable atmosphere on Mars, but Bilton responded that it might be possible on Earth itself. He says he’ll be able to get Newcomen to work and wants Martha to head the operation.
On the second day of the trial, a hologram of Jonathan Chopin from Episode 4 is called to the stand, and he explains Newcomen was supposed to be Alpha’s Holy Grail, which would be able to vacuum out carbon from the air in a scalable and affordable way. Although the program didn’t work and Chopin was fired, the plan continued because Bilton wanted to customize Newcomen and make a fortune selling it to the highest bidder. Bilton attacks Chopin, making him angrier, and then Turner brings up the actions of Johnathan’s son, Rowan, and the calcium carbonate explosion Gita and Rowan executed in an attempt to cool the Earth. Turner moves to remove Chopin and ban his testimony, and the virtual judges agree. Irritated at the fire Bilton is getting, Decima wishes to testify, and when Turner brings a chip with her testimony, the billionaire forbids him to mention the name again and crushes the chip.
Who Was Montefele Kabuya?
While enjoying a simulation of a forest, Martha thinks of a dinner she had with Bilton where they had venison and wine, none of it artificial, and he took pride in mentioning everything he eats or drinks is real. The megalomaniac blasts Martha after she calls Bilton out on enjoying the finer things in life while others struggle and then makes excuses for how people ignore the costs of having good things. Her meditation is interrupted by a letter from the ICC stating that there are irregularities in Shearer’s medications, and Turner advises her to do nothing about them.
Odovo talks to more Alpha employees, but nobody wants to move against the titan, and one of them says that irrespective of Bilton not coming up with Newcomen, he made it into a business, and it’s impossible to win against him. Odovo asks her associate to find every IP acquisition since Chopin’s firing in an attempt to unearth something big. On the third day, a new witness named Montefele Kabuya appears, and when her picture is broadcast, Decima asks about her, only for the Alpha robot to repeat the same lines it has been fed. The witness adds that Kabuya, a resident of the Marshall Islands, shifted to the US, where she wanted to create a product that could be the first to artificially remove carbon from the air. The product could bring the carbon dioxide level down to a mutually agreed-upon level among scientists, aka businessmen profiting from the product. As Decima begins to seek her mother’s name, she finds no details about her, and neither does Alpha have any data on Montefele Kabuya. Bilton begins a rant about how Kabuya’s plan failed until Turner makes him sit down. The witness explains that Alpha has a 49% share of Decima, the product she’d named after her daughter. Back in Surrey, the girl is convinced of who Nick Bilton truly is.
Time To Save The World
Realizing time is running out, Bilton decides it’s “time to save the world,” and Martha announces Newcomen and its purposes to the shareholders but is briefly silenced upon noting Bilton has stolen the motivation she’d had for LifePause. She remembers being blindfolded and taken into a room in Bilton’s mansion where many men were arguing over a number until they arrived at 470, the agreed-upon number for the reduced level of carbon ppm. When Martha argues that it’s higher than the necessary number, Bilton asks her to stay loyal instead of questioning. With the newest announcement, people begin cheering for Alpha as Odovo realizes this is just a ploy by the businessmen to make more money.
On the fourth day of the trial, when Odovo says this is a convenient time to release Newcomen and it’s far too little an effort, Bilton stands up to deliver a speech where he basically defends his actions, blames the ones who came before him, and adds he just took advantage of the situation. The “judges” exonerate Bilton by a 2 out of 3 majority as Decima enters her room and unearths a chip. Years back, Decima had come downstairs to find Martha in the hall and told her that she had no friends, so Martha gave her a chip and said Decima could contact her anytime she wished. She connects the chip and calls the woman she’d met only once.
Odovo sits in her office, defeated when Bilton arrives, and provides a peace offering—information on the person who had her lover, Ty, killed. She plays the recording of Martha in her office, asking to get rid of the one man with a mic that was rallying the miners and creating a problem for Alpha; thus, Martha was responsible for Ty’s death. Upon returning home, Odovo asks for the best course of action, knowing a person can help the future despite having committed crimes in the past. Ty asks Odovo to look at the future because the past is history, and she asks Alpha to stop the simulation. She then visits Martha while she is enjoying a simulation of sitting in the middle of a forest and announces Bilton has given her up because she believes Martha has something to offer that’ll make life difficult for him. While Martha hands her a chip, Bilton walks into his mansion and begins ordering Alpha around for his manifold demands, but there’s no response. After not being answered by any of his robots, Bilton walks into the room to find a recording of himself being played where he and the shareholders had agreed upon the number of carbon ppm, and despite his many barking commands to shut the recording down, it doesn’t budge. Instead, a video call arrives from Decima, who’s in the International Criminal Court, and she says he could’ve fixed the earth years ago, but he didn’t, and 470 is a number that’ll only make his billionaire friends wealthier. Bilton tries barking at Decima, as he has at everyone until now, until she shouts back, saying she’s not his daughter but just another IP, as Odovo moves to reopen the case and try Bilton for ecocide. One judge votes for the motion, the other votes against it, and everyone waits with bated breath for the third decision.
‘Extrapolations’ Episode 8: Ending Explained – What Happens To Nick Bilton?
It’s been 3 months since the trial, and for the first time in a long time, we see blue skies with white clouds floating in the sky, as waves crash upon a clean beach of golden sands, and as Decima and Odovo walk on the beach. The two women discuss the fate of Nick Bilton, who’ll be almost 90 by the time he’s released. The man in question finds himself in a shuttle that floats in space as Bilton looks down on the Earth that he’d planned to maul and gnash just to make more money. The space shuttle will be his prison for 25 years as Earth devises new punishment techniques in 2070 because it’s impossible to put people in jail with a population of 9.96 billion (another very likely reality unless people take immediate steps). Thus, Bilton is punished for watching the Earth from above, while Newcomen’s newest mark of carbon ppm has cleaned the Earth. The smog is gone, the blistering heat is no longer existent, and the Earth—without Nick Bilton’s evil—has healed.