• Member Since 17th Dec, 2011
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  • Tuesday
    New story: The Kaiser's New Clothes

    By a twist of fate, Kaiser survives his encounter with Leviathan, at the cost of a second trigger, his dignity, and some severe head trauma.

    Now he's about to make that everybody else's problem.

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    1 comments · 43 views
  • 1 week
    The Good Life, chapter 5

    A few other raiders joined Malcolm in pointing weapons their way, but it was already too late. They were in a stand-off.

    A grin split Albert's face from ear to ear.

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    0 comments · 25 views
  • 2 weeks
    The Good Life, chapter 4

    "I'm sure you had your reasons."

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    0 comments · 34 views
  • 5 weeks
    Courier's Journal, chapters 14 & 15

    "But then, after we were done, when I stepped outside, I was mobbed by four old ladies with knives and rolling pins in the fourth violent incident of the day.

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    0 comments · 53 views
  • 7 weeks
    The Good Life, chapter 3

    "You should move along." Shitboot breathed another puff of smoke. "Get out of Trespa while you still can. Even if Tedd doesn't sell you out, someone's gonna."

    Read More

    1 comments · 57 views


Continued from part one.

Episode 5: The Past
Maximus and Thaddeus at camp:

  • Maximus and Thaddeus have made camp. Maximus still in armour, impersonating Titus. EDIT: Maximus has been out and about in his power armour for a long time now, and hasn't needed to change the fusion core even once. Show is going for lore accuracy with fusion cores, not gameplay accuracy.
  • Maximus brands Thaddeus as his squire upon his request. Significantly less pomp and circumstance than Maximus's branding.
  • Helmet faceplate opens again for Maximus to reveal himself. Still looks fucking stupid. Literally just reach up and take off the helmet. What possible purpose could this serve?
  • Maximus confesses to Thaddeus. Admits the real Titus is dead. Maximus says they need to get their story straight. Thaddeus says the Brotherhood will find out, regardless of what they do. EDIT: He is absolutely correct about this, and I don't know how Maximus ever thought otherwise.
  • Maximus immediately attempts to murder Thaddeus, the third time he has betrayed a Brotherhood comrade for his own benefit so far. Maximus is an asshole.
  • Based Thaddeus depowers the suit by stealing the fusion core. Leaves Maximus trapped in his armour. Deserves it. I am all out of sympathy for Maximus.
  • Story is shit, but still better written so far than any of Bethesda's Fallout games. EDIT: Key word: So far. It goes off an even steeper cliff this episode and never recovers.

Maximus trapped:

  • Radroaches swarm over the suit.
  • Lucy shows up, shoots the radroaches, and stomps some to death angrily. Real visible change in her character.
  • Helmet faceplate opening allows Lucy and Maximus to talk face to face, and her to recognise him from Filly. Serves a minor plot purpose. STILL looks stupid.
  • Maximus begs to be let out. Lucy now has trust issues. Don't blame her. Doesn't help that Maximus is definitely not a trustworthy person.
  • Lucy has radiation sickness. Maximus has RadAway. Bargains for his release.
  • Maximus still uses Titus's name. Why? She isn't with the Brotherhood.
  • Lucy releases Maximus and geeks out about power armour with him. EDIT: Didn't Lucy think Maximus was a knight back in Filly, despite not knowing who the Brotherhood are and what ranks they use? Assumed she meant a literal medieval knight. But if she knows about power armour in this much technical detail, why would seeing real life power armour make her think of a knight and not a US Army soldier?
  • Lucy passes out.

Ruined vault:

  • Norman wants to know how the raiders got his mom's Pip-Boy.
  • "We know what's in there."
  • Vault 32 residents were trying to get into 31.
  • Norman is really, really short.

Lucy and Maximus:

  • Lucy is taking RadAway.
  • Maximus is hiding the power armour. Smart.
  • Maximus didn't know anyone lived in the vaults still. Thought they were full of monsters. Not inaccurate.
  • Maximus says his squire stole something vital, referring to the head. EDIT: How does Maximus explain to Lucy why his squire supposedly betrayed him?
  • Lucy proposes a deal, tracking the head for Maximus in exchange for the Brotherhood's help saving her father.
  • Handshake deal.
  • "Battle Hymn of the Republic" plays.

Vault 33 elections:

  • Overseer elections.
  • Betty's vote appeal. Polling booths.
  • Talk of Reclamation Day. Sounds consistent with Fallout 76. But why is Reclamation Day so much later for Vault 33 than almost any other vault?
  • Old man explaining to Davey why he won't vote for him. Davey is inexperienced.
  • Betty has already been overseer once before. Davey votes for Betty.

Train tracks:

  • Maximus and Lucy walking along some train tracks in some vaguely autumnal environment. Again, where the fuck are they?
  • Lucy asks for an update on the last two hundred years of history.
  • Maximus believes the bombs fell when he was a kid. Really ignorant of history. Why? What's wrong with him? EDIT: Maximus was talking about the destruction of Shady Sands, so his statement is technically true, but it is also extremely obvious that Lucy was referring to the Great War, so complaint still stands.
  • Seriously wanted to hear a history lesson. Annoyed that they skirted around that. EDIT: Obvious why in retrospect, setting up the Shady Sands reveal for later. Major missed opportunity to drop references to west coast Fallout games, especially Fallout 1, but events are rendered irrelevant anyway by the NCR blowing up. Further drives home the point that it was all for nothing and that none of it mattered.
  • Lucy talks about the fake sun in the vault and how it felt real. EDIT: Foreshadowing the reveal that her mother took her to Shady Sands once.

Norman's investigation:

  • Vault 31 transfers all become overseers, including Hank.
  • Betty wins election with 98%.
  • Norman gets jelly cake thing. Does not directly question Betty.

The bridge:

  • Maximus has been explaining the Brotherhood to Lucy.
  • Maximus and Lucy confronted by two people on the other side of bridge. Both groups ask if the other's armed. Neither want to cross.
  • Maximus wants Lucy's gun. Lucy wants to negotiate. Both sides raise their hands and slowly try to walk by each other.
  • Others look weird and creepy, and try to shoot once close enough. Maximus steals her gun and kills them both, but gets shot also.
  • FIENDS. How are they here, this far west?
  • Oh wait. Not actually the Fiends gang from New Vegas. According to Maximus, "fiends" is just a word for cannibals here. Another missed opportunity.

Vault 31 questioning:

  • Old guy who spoke to Davey about voting for Betty before talks to Woody.
  • Woody ran a campaign with ten posters.
  • Old guy previously ran for overseer against Hank MacLaine. Campaign derailed by a weevil famine. Sounds like another artificial crisis.
  • Voting for Vault 31 is a slogan. Norm now questioning the status quo.
  • Steph's baby now exists.
  • Steph is from Vault 31. Norm questions her, but makes no direct accusations.
  • Norm delivers food to the raiders again.
  • Betty holding a meeting about the future of Vault 32.

Shady Sands:

  • Shady Sands billboard. NCR capital. Surprised its existence was even acknowledged. EDIT: Wait, how the fuck did they get to Shady Sands again? Weren't they just in LA? Shady Sands is nowhere near LA. They would've had to pass the Boneyard, the Hub, Necropolis, and Junktown to get here.
  • Lucy having an existential crisis. Acknowledges that the NCR's existence makes the vault's mission pointless. She is correct. EDIT: Correct in a meta sense, too. Why is Bethesda still so fucking obsessed with Vault-Tec when the world has already moved past it? Why are there still people living in vaults at all over a hundred years after the founding of the New California Republic?
  • Shady Sands is bombed to fuck. It's a crater. How? Why? EDIT: Hank destroyed it because he was mad at his wife. Still never explained how, though.
  • Flashback. Maximus survived the fall of NCR when he was rescued by the Brotherhood. Makes sense of his bomb story. But why were the Brotherhood there? EDIT: Never explained. I can only guess searching through the ruins long afterwards.
  • Literally, who did this? Why is the NCR gone? EXPLAIN THE FUCKING LORE. EDIT: They take way too long to do this.
  • Why did the NCR have to be destroyed to reduce the interesting west coast locations and factions into a generic wasteland ruled by raiders and the Brotherhood of Steel, like a carbon copy of the east coast but in a cowboy hat? EDIT: Still waiting for an answer on this. I genuinely don't know if it's spite over classic and New Vegas fans preferring the west coast games over Bethesda's slop, or if it was just a cynical corporate decision to let them set Fallout 5 on the west coast without having to deviate from the usual Bethesda mould. Either way, it shows an incredible disrespect and disregard for the west coast lore, fandom, and creators.
  • Where are the rest of the NCR in all this? It's an entire fucking nation, covering several states. What about the Hub, Junktown, Adytum, New Reno, Vault City? Were they all destroyed too? EDIT: Never explicitly stated in the show, but by their absence, we can only assume yes.
  • How did the Brotherhood survive the annihilation but not the NCR? Are the Brotherhood the ones who killed them? EDIT: That would have made more sense, but no. It is never explained why the Brotherhood were seemingly unaffected, or weren't targeted by Hank. My best guess is that maybe they were, but then received support from Arthur Maxson's eastern Brotherhood, and recovered faster. That, or they were divinely spared by the hand of Todd, because the Brotherhood are Bethesda's favourites.

Hawthorne Medical Labs:

  • Lucy and Maximus passing by Hawthorne Labs, a Vault-Tec division.
  • Maximus is still injured from being shot on the bridge.
  • They wander into the medical facility to find him help. Separated.
  • Maximus gets caught and falls down a trap door for some reason.
  • I am unable to connect with this emotionally right now, because the show just dropped this NCR bombshell and then moved on without elaboration. I no longer have the capacity to care about Maximus right now. I don't even like him anyway.

Vault 32 resettling:

  • Betty want Vault 32 resettled.
  • Vault 32 has been entirely cleaned in less than a day. Literally how? EDIT: The residents of Vault 31 are all frozen, and all the Vault 31 residents in 33 couldn't have just disappeared without anyone noticing. The only plausible explanation is cleaning robots, but we never see any robots operating in the vaults AFAIK.
  • The tri-vaults are "separated to stop spread of threads, but connected to aid one another."
  • Norman finally confronts Betty. Asks about his mother.
  • Betty claims Rose's Pip-Boy was buried with her. Norman and viewers know it's a lie, but it's a terrible lie even if we didn't know. Why would vault residents ever bury a Pip-Boy with its owner? Pip-Boys are irreplaceably valuable pre-war tech which serve vital functions in vaults. Burying one makes no sense, even as a cover story.
  • Betty says she buried his mother. Was that meant to be a threat? EDIT: I don't think it was intended to be, but it's also the only interpretation of this scene that makes sense with the obvious Pip-Boy lie.

Lucy and Maximus in Hawthorne:

  • Lucy and Maximus wake up on stretchers. How did they get there? EDIT: Found by vault residents and moved, I guess.
  • There's a vault inside Hawthorne? Which they can observe? How did four vaults within walking distance of Shady Sands go unnoticed for 220 years? EDIT: Jury's still out on the tri-vaults, but Vault 4, at least, hasn't been sealed up for as long, and was probably a known quantity to the NCR before the Fall of Shady Sands, since refugees were able to flee to it. A better question is how is this previously unheard of vault closer to Shady Sands than Vault 15, the vault which the people of Shady Sands actually came from?

Episode 6: The Trap
Vault-Tec shilling:

  • Galaxy News broadcast. Cooper advertising the vaults.
  • Cooper walking around Vault 4. Mentions a two hundred person capacity. EDIT: If that's the average number of people found in a vault, then all of Vault-Tec's shelters combined should house less than thirty thousand people. Later episodes claim Vault-Tec went as far as sabotaging peace negotiations, because they couldn't sell places in the vaults if they didn't whip up maximum fear and paranoia. Could this trillion dollar company seriously not find even thirty thousand customers, in ALL OF AMERICA, during a period of active war between global superpowers? For context, Solo: A Star Wars Story sold twenty million tickets, and was considered an abysmal failure for a Star Wars movie.
  • Volunteers already living in the vault, doing a five year trial.
  • Hawthorne family. Namesake of the Medical Labs. Hawthornes are scientists who study radiation affecting DNA. EDIT: Foreshadows Vault 4's experiment. 
  • Instinctively wrote "scientists who study radiation affecting NCR," because I'm THAT FUCKING DISTRACTED BY THE NCR THING.
  • Cooper meets Bud Askins. Vault-Tec executive. Formerly worked at West Tek.
  • Cooper wore West Tek's T-45 power armour in Alaska. Bitches to Bud about T-45's design flaws costing lives? What? What design flaws? Power armour won them the fucking war. EDIT: This is a retcon to allow Cooper to later defeat dozens of Brotherhood knights by simply shooting them in the chest with a gun, despite power armour being previously established in both game lore and this show as bulletproof. It's fucking stupid.
  • "Time is the ultimate weapon. Future of humanity comes down to management." EDIT: Setting up Bud's later rationale for his monumentally stupid plan to cause the apocalypse and "win capitalism."
  • Cooper obviously hates Bud. Intentionally designed as a dick of a character. EDIT: Way more of a dick than I could have possibly imagined. And yet still not nearly enough of a dick to believably be the man who caused the apocalypse.

Wrap party:

  • Cooper has a dog called Roosevelt.
  • Man and His Dog. A movie Cooper was in?
  • Actor called Seabass hitting on the help. Friend of Cooper's. Played a butler from a show. Bartholomew Codsworth.
  • Bonnie Lewis is an actress. Opposed working with Cooper on moral grounds. EDIT: Interesting to learn more names of pre-war celebrities. Wish they had mixed in new names with a few familiar ones from the games (e.g. Vera Keyes, Dean Domino, Gilda Broscoe, Keith McKinney, etc). 
  • Cooper lost a movie over the Vault-Tec ads. Actors refusing to come out of their trailers in protest for him selling vaults. Seabass calls it radicalism. "Hollywood Reds." EDIT: I don't get this one. We know Vault-Tec are evil, but most people don't. Did Moldaver approach and talk to all of these other actors and tell them the inside secrets? Why are all these actors mad at Cooper for advertising nuclear fallout shelters when the risk of nuclear war is at an all time high? This seems silly.
  • Charlie Whiteknife is another actor who's against Cooper and Vault-Tec.
  • Seabass is the voice of the Mr. Handys. Based on his butler character. RobCo bought the studio who owned Seabass's show, so rights weren't an issue.
  • "The end of the world is a product." EDIT: Pretty sure this is supposed to be foreshadowing of the Vault-Tec reveal and an encapsulation of the show's general "capitalism is evil" message, but it falls flat because selling people safety from a looming threat (like Vault-Tec are claiming to do) is such a normal and unobjectionable thing that I don't see how anyone could criticise it, while "selling" the actual, literal end of the world (like Vault-Tec are actually doing in secret) is such an inherently fucking stupid idea that I don't know how anyone even thought of it in the first place.

Cops arrest Cooper:

  • Cooper found unconscious and woken up by a bunch of cops. Call themselves the government, and knock him out again.
  • Organ harvesters were considered a "legitimate business," and under their protection.
  • Is this what the NCR have now become? EDIT: Obviously some form of NCR remnants, but apparently a tiny splinter group claiming government authority, not part of any large organised group who could back up such a claim.

Vault 4:

  • Maximus getting surgery. Had a tooth in his shoulder. From where? EDIT: I don't care.
  • Lucy communicating with the vault residents. They're in quarantine.
  • Surface foragers bringing back the power armour. This vault has outside contact.
  • Vault lady (Birdie) was born on the surface. Mother was a courier. Travelling with her to Filly when she was eleven. "Felt the heat from the blast."
  • Vault 4 took in Shady Sands refugees.

Test subjects:

  • Maximus and Lucy in quarantine together.
  • Maximus says Lucy smells good. Is she ovulating or something?
  • Lucy asks if he wants to have sex. Really oddly casual. What about her "husband"? No lasting trauma or psychological effects from the last man she slept with attempting to murder her? EDIT: No, apparently not.
  • Maximus does not understand how sex or ejaculation works. Brotherhood of Steel's education is really fucking weird. Dialogue in this scene is really weird and unnatural.
  • Brotherhood has religious proscriptions against knights having sex? What? How? Why? What? Most people in the Brotherhood are knights? How does their society continue, especially when the west coast Brotherhood were major isolationists until recently? How do they reproduce? There are Brotherhood families. Veronica in New Vegas was the daughter of a paladin and a scribe, and was discriminated against for being gay instead of having children of her own. What the fucking fuck? EDIT: Still no answer for this by the end.
  • Quarantined area labels them test subjects. What kind of tests? Are Maximus and Lucy being doused with pheromones or something? Is that why they're both acting so weird here? EDIT: Apparently there was no test being done. Lucy is just promiscuous, and Maximus is just autistic. I don't get the point of this scene, other than to be a red herring.

Vault 4 revelations:

  • Lucy and Maximus out of quarantine and seeing the vault. Lucy keeps trying to explain the appeal of vaults.
  • Maximus immediately calls the vault a cult. How does he know what a cult is? The Brotherhood are more cult-like than anything else seen in this show, and he's repeatedly shown to be uneducated on important subjects like this. EDIT: Never explained, but he's accidentally right on it being a cult, so...?
  • Overseer Benjamin shows up. Has one eye. Looks stupid. Is he a Shady Sands refugee? EDIT: He's an indirect result of the vault's experiment.
  • Benjamin presented in a very sinister light. Why? EDIT: Red herrings. 
  • Guy with nose on his head. Most of Vault 4 are mutants? EDIT: Only the natives. 
  • "Lots of people have one eye."
  • How far has Thaddeus gotten by now? Lucy and Maximus must have long missed their chance to catch up to him. EDIT: Nope. He's still not even contacted the Brotherhood yet by the next time we see him. 

Cooper flashbacks:

  • Cooper in a hot tub. His wife (Barb) and daughter (Janey) are around.
  • Cooper talking about getting a ranch in Bakerfield. Being a real cowboy again. EDIT: Would've been cooler if he did. Cooper and his family could've been given places in Vault 12, became ghouls when the vault door didn't shut, and then been part of the founding generation of Necropolis, before Cooper lost his wife and family to the super mutant attack when it was wiped out in Fallout 1. Major missed opportunity to tie into west coast lore and history with this character. Could've even fit in a Vault Dweller cameo this way.
  • Barb has a Pip-Boy. Tech licensed from RobCo, integrating with Vault-Tec.
  • Barb works for Vault-Tec. Probably should've picked that up already. Explains why she was always around when Cooper was working with them.
  • Barb is working to get into one of the "good" vaults. She knows. EDIT: Oh boy, does she know.

Cooper in a bar:

  • Charlie Whiteknife comes into the bar where Cooper is drinking. Cooper accuses him of going to commie meetings. Charlie doesn't deny it.
  • Charlie is a Native American who played parts in several of Cooper's movies.
  • "Vault-Tec is the Devil."
  • Charlie argues that Vault-Tec has a fiduciary responsibility to sabotage peace negotiations and risk (or cause) the end of the world to sell vaults? This is extremely fucking stupid, and not how fiduciary responsibility works. Vault-Tec's fiduciary responsibility is making money for their investors. Their investors cannot receive that money if Vault-Tec ends the fucking world and kills them all. EDIT: Of course, Charlie is right about all of this regardless, because capitalists are just evil, bro.
  • Johnny Morton. Another actor.
  • Charlie claims the US government is broke, and Vault-Tec runs everything. This is contrary to the games, where the Enclave seemed to be the ones calling the shots, and Vault-Tec worked for them.
  • "The cattle ranchers are in charge."
  • Hollywood Forever. Funeral home/cemetery. Where they meet at?

Cooper at home:

  • Cooper gets a call from Henry from Barb's work. EDIT: Set-up for later reveal.
  • Vault-Tec has a no dog policy. Cooper arguing for dogs in the vaults. Does he not understand that pets are an unnecessary drain on very limited resources?
  • "Are the blue jumpsuits mandatory?"
  • Barb is worried about the end of the world, and thinks he isn't taking it seriously.
  • Barb trying to get them into a management vault. EDIT: Vault 31? Did she succeed?

Lucy and the overseer:

  • Lucy meets with the overseer. Avoiding the subject of his eye.
  • Benjamin is surprised that Lucy is a vault dweller.
  • Benjamin is vault-born and prejudiced against "surfies." Taking in surface dwellers is a policy from before his time.
  • Level 12 is a forbidden subject. Why? EDIT: Vault experiment reasons.
  • Benjamin is obviously cracked.

Maximus planning yet another betrayal:

  • Maximus asks about power. Finds the vault's fusion core.
  • Birdie walks in.
  • Maximus given a Pip-Boy and a room and offered a hot shower.
  • Room comes with a gift basket.
  • Maximus enjoying the luxuries of vault life. Really does seem like he is entirely motivated by selfish reasons.


  • Lucy finds a memorial in a classroom.
  • "Remembering Shady Sands."
  • A timeline. PLEASE EXPLAIN. EDIT: This timeline does the opposite of explaining. 
  • 2189 - NCR created.
  • 2198 - Shady Sands becomes capital.
  • 2241 - NCR becomes largest entity in California. EDIT: They're obliquely referencing Fallout 2 here, but Fallout 1 goes unmentioned, as do the presidencies of Tandi and Aradesh, the NCR's war with the Brotherhood, or their other campaigns in Baja and the Mojave.
  • 2277 - Fall of Shady Sands?????????
  • Timeline is blatantly fucking wrong, and makes no sense with the context of New Vegas. Is it removed from canon, or is this just a really fucking dumb mistake? EDIT: Emil Pagliarulo claims New Vegas is still canon, and Vegas itself appears in the final episode, so it's just a really fucking dumb mistake. Heard some cope from Bethesda shills that the Fall of Shady Sands listed in 2277 is not wrong and stupid, because there's an arrow between the "the Fall" and the picture of the mushroom cloud, and the "Fall" could mean something other than the nuking, but it's extremely obvious what the writers meant, and besides which, the faked death of Lucy's mother was in 2277, lining up the nuking with the Fall. EDIT TO MY EDIT: Apparently Todd endorsed the "Fall is different than the nuking" theory in an IGN interview. Personally, sounds to me like he's running with a convenient fan theory to avoid admitting such an embarrassing misake. I seriously doubt that this was intentional, because doing it the way they did makes no sense, and a blind man could have seen that deliberately drawing the timeline this way was going to confuse fans and spark controversy. So no, unless we want to argue that they consciously chose to piss off New Vegas fans on purpose (admittedly not impossible), I believe that the timeline is still wrong and stupid. It's just been retroactively made correct so that Todd could save face. Don't believe the sweet little lies.
  • Lucy finds a New California Republic flag. Fallout theme starts playing.
  • Everyone going somewhere for a "surface dweller tradition."

Cooper in custody:

  • Cops take Cooper to meet Sorrel Booker, the "president." NCR remnant faction? EDIT: Apparently so. Not that it matters.
  • "Old friends." Sorrel releases Cooper. Cooper reattaches his finger and stitches it on.
  • "You're still looking for her." Who? EDIT: Probably his daughter?
  • Cooper asks about Moldaver. Sorrel calls her the Flame Mother. Why is she called the Flame Mother? EDIT: Appears to be a religious title conferred by the Vault 4 cult, but there's no direct explanation.
  • Super Duper Mart was under Sorrel's protection. Cooper takes blame for it.
  • Cooper taunts the cops about shooting up Filly.
  • Sheriff Rex and Sheriff Troy both killed.
  • Cooper finds Moldaver's picture on the wall. Has to be told it's Moldaver. Says it's not how he remembers her? EDIT: Presumably she went by a different name before the war?

Hollywood Forever:

  • Juxtaposed with surface dweller event in the present.
  • Fancy building. 4PM. EDIT: Funeral home and crematorium. Did not notice first time.
  • Cooper told there's someone he should meet.
  • Moldaver revealed. Says she's a big fan of Cooper? How has she lived so long? EDIT: Literally never explained.

Surface dweller event:

  • Juxtaposed with Cooper flashback.
  • Shady Sands memorial event. Lighting candles. Starts normal.
  • Vault dwellers begin making noises and hand motions. Lucy unsure.
  • Vault dwellers start getting naked. Sinister music kicks in. EDIT: Lucy does not join in beyond this point, though appears to briefly consider it. Reluctance is understandable for a normal person, given the creepy cult-like behaviour, but Lucy was previously established as notably promiscuous and lacking much of a sense of taboo around sex. Makes it odd that she still has a sense of taboo around nudity, sexual or otherwise. Good that she does, but wondering why this is where she draws the line.
  • Birdie comes to lead the ceremony.
  • "Flame Mother we remember. Bring back the past as we remember. Bring back Shady Sands as we remember." EDIT: Is this meant to be some kind of pre-emptive meta-commentary on fan reaction to destroying Shady Sands? Are Bethesda and Amazon trying to portray people who disagree with this decision and want it undone as literal cultists? Don't want to believe so, but considering how far out their way Bethesda has gone to destroy and replace the west coast lore, even knowing how hardcore its fanbase are, it's hard not to view this all as deliberate, and Bethesda has not done nearly enough so far to earn the benefit of the doubt.
  • Vault dwellers drink bowls of blood and cover themselves in ashes of people from Shady Sands to "bring them back." Say blood must spill to restore it. How literal are they being? Are they LARPing, or does this religion actually believe that Moldaver has the power to resurrect the dead or magically restore the city? If so, why? And whose blood do they believe they have to spill? EDIT: The exact origins and beliefs of the Vault 4 cult are never explained. At a guess, their beliefs may be an extremely distorted misinterpretation of Moldaver's promise to restore NCR with her cold fusion project, and the blood that must spill may be the managers in Vault 31, but I have no idea how the message could've gotten this lost in translation in such a short time amongst a relatively civilized society, or why Moldaver would allow or encourage this unless she just likes being worshipped as a god/prophet (which is not impossible; communism is an inherently authoritarian ideology, and naturally attracts crazy, power-tripping leaders).
  • Lucy recognises the Flame Mother they worship as Moldaver, coinciding with her reveal in Cooper's flashback.
  • Why have the NCR remnants in Vault 4 devolved into a cult? This whole thing feels perverse and wrong, like a desecration of the NCR's memory. Is all this meant to be an actual eldritch horror story? Is something genuinely supernatural going on here? Is the incorrect dating deliberate? EDIT: The incorrect dating is definitely not deliberate, and it's not a Bethesda-esque eldritch horror thing... I think.
  • WHO DESTROYED THE NCR? WAS IT MOLDAVER? WAS IT BETHESDA??? EDIT: It absolutely fucking was Bethesda. 

Weird conspiracy shit:

  • Maximus taken in by the vault and relaxing.
  • Lucy heads down to Level 12.
  • Window view of some weird fucking fish thing. I was partly joking before, but is this literally cosmic horror stuff? EDIT: No, just a gulper.
  • Level 12 is some kind of lab.
  • Recordings of a woman apparently being eaten alive by fish? EDIT: Vault experiments. Possible origin of the gulpers? 
  • Lucy finds people in tubes. Cryo-frozen? How many vaults did this? EDIT: At least three now that we know of. Cryogenics are way more common in this show than they were in the games. 
  • Scientist finds Lucy, sounds the alarm, and grabs a syringer rifle.
  • Lucy throws acid in a guy's face and fights off several other vault dwellers, but is eventually captured.


  • Emil Pagliarulo is a co-producer. No wonder this show is such garbage.
  • This show reminds me more of Fallout: Dust than New Vegas at this point. EDIT: And even moreso later on...

Episode 7: The Radio
Previously on:

  • Lots of subplots been left way too long. Thaddeus and the head haven't been since the start of episode five. Vault 33 also didn't appear last episode. WTF is going on? EDIT: Vault 33's absence in episode six was likely to avoid confusion with all the Vault 4 stuff going on. But Thaddeus going this long without an update really screws with things. Again, this show is terrible at portraying time passing or distance travelled.


  • NCR Veteran Rangers doing metal detecting in some ruins. "Lead farming."
  • Suit looks worse than some cosplays I've seen.
  • Ranger called Adam returns to homestead to find Cooper eating in his home. Seems to think Cooper ate his daughter at first. Says a lot about Cooper that it's a plausible fear, or that he as father himself would insinuate this to someone, and laugh about it.
  • Cooper knows Adam's family. Adam's elder son (Roofus) ran off with the madwoman in the hills. Moldaver? EDIT: Yes.
  • Cooper comments on new factions with their own ideas for saving the world.
  • Roofus paid Adam's other son (Tommy) to hire Ma June to escort Wilzig to Moldaver.
  • Wilzig is not an Enclave survivor, but a defector. How is it that the Enclave still exists, but not the NCR? EDIT: Bethesda created a show in which the NCR, Vegas, the Legion, and all the other west coast factions we knew are all either destroyed or rendered irrelevant, and replaced them with a wasteland where the most important factions are the Enclave, the Brotherhood of Steel, and Vault-Tec. The west coast really is just the east coast now, but with more sand. Genuinely, what was the point of this?
  • Moldaver wasn't just someone hunting Wilzig, or who offered to shelter him. Wilzig was specifically defecting from the Enclave to her. EDIT: Makes sense, given she's the head of an NCR splinter faction, and that it's her technology he's reactivating, but he and the Enclave's role in the plot here is still vague as fuck.
  • Cooper killed Roofus for information on Moldaver's location. Tommy reveals she's at the observatory.
  • Cooper murders Tommy pre-emptively to prevent a revenge attack, but leaves Adam. Why isn't he afraid of Adam? Why isn't Adam interested in avenging his two sons? Why did Cooper go out of his way to needlessly murder this man's family?

Commie meeting:

  • Moldaver disparages the American Dream. Says they have more in common with Chinese soldiers than they do with the people in power here. EDIT: Moldaver later claims to Cooper that she isn't actually a communist, but this scene feels very "workers of the world unite." It's kind of like a guy giving a speech criticizing Jews to a room full of neo-Nazis, but then claiming he's not a Nazi himself. Yeah, it's possible that's true, but realistically, do we actually believe that?
  • Cooper tries to leave, and disparages communism. Moldaver tries to debate him rather than let him leave. Someone calls Cooper a fascist for pointing out communism ends in breadlines (which it does). EDIT: Even if Moldaver isn't actually a communist herself, the company she keeps definitely are. At the very least, we can say she's sympathetic to the idea of murdering people for their money and making everyone serfs to the state. Probably why she ends up turning the NCR into a cult and raider gang.
  • Moldaver brings up Cooper's wife, and claims to know things about her. They leave to talk in private. No idea why Cooper didn't just end the conversation there.
  • "Hypocrisy is like violence in your movies. If you only let the bad guys use it, the bad guys win." - Millionaire communist.
  • Moldaver claims to have been on the verge of inventing cold fusion before Vault Tec took it over and shut it down because capitalism. If true, absolutely fucking absurd. EDIT: Indeed true, and absolutely fucking absurd. Even in the most cartoonishly evil interpretation of corporate capitalism possible, how could Vault-Tec ever gain more money and power for themselves by burying this research and deliberately destroying the world than they could by owning the means of infinite energy production (or in other words, infinite resources) in the fucking RESOURCE WARS?
  • Moldaver asks Cooper to spy on his wife. Claims not to be a communist, just sane. Still seems like communist apologia by the writers. EDIT: I genuinely don't understand why a multi-billion dollar corporation like Amazon keeps producing shows with these incompetently done anti-capitalist themes. Do the writers expect a communist revolution in the near future, and think they'll be spared if they virtue signal hard enough in their $153mil Amazon show? Is this a cry for help from people who've uncovered Jeff Bezos' real plans, trying to warn the world the only way they know how? Or are all these anti-capitalist shows being written badly on purpose as part of Amazon's 4D chess strategy to discredit any opposition to corporate tyranny by making anti-capitalists look like fucking idiots? I don't know, but whatever the reason, it's getting grating.

Back to Vault 4:

  • Lucy in cuffs, being questioned by Benjamin and Birdie.
  • Lucy asks about experiments on women. They show her a tape of Overseer Hawthorne's last moments. EDIT: Notably, Lucy never gets a chance in this scene to ask either of them what the fuck is the deal with the Flame Mother cult.
  • Vault experiment seemed to be rule by scientists. They hybridised humans with radiation resistant species. Created abominations which then killed them. Origin of the gulpers. EDIT: I haven't played Far Harbor, so I don't know if this makes sense or not. How did the gulpers get from California to Massachusetts? Are they different species which just share a name? What's going on here?
  • Vault 4's doctors on Level 12 are trying to ease the pain of test subjects experimented on by Vault 4. Overseer Benjamin is a descendant of test subjects. The gulper in the video was a great uncle of his.
  • "There is no experiment in 33." EDIT: Obviously wrong, but should be obvious even to Lucy. The tri-vaults are clearly not normal.
  • Lucy taken away to be punished. They walk her right by Maximus's room. Very stupid of them.

Thaddeus at the Red Rocket:

  • Thaddeus still hauling his oversized bag to the Brotherhood, while being hounded by Wilzig's dog. When did the dog join them again? I forget.
  • Thaddeus's foot is fucked up. I forget why, since it's been so long since we saw him. Did Maximus step on him in the power armour?
  • Thaddeus still has Maximus's fusion core.
  • Thaddeus puts the dog in a box to make it stop following him.
  • Thaddeus going to contact the Brotherhood by radio.

Lucy's trial:

  • Vault dwellers chanting again.
  • Overseer approaches Lucy with a sword and sentences her to death, and then tries to cut her out of restraints with it. She is sentenced to death by exile to the surface, and given two weeks of supplies. Comic relief scene. EDIT: Very weird that the vault considers banishing Lucy to the surface with supplies to be anything close to a death sentence. Most of them come from the surface themselves, and they regularly send teams out there, since some of them brought back Maximus's power armour.
  • Maximus steals the fusion core and repowers his suit to save Lucy. Another actual heroic and self-sacrificing act, but undercut by being a stupid misunderstanding.
  • Lucy appeals for Maximus to be allowed to stay, since he seemed happy there, but Maximus charges in at that moment, attacking vault dwellers, and guaranteeing his own unnecessary banishment.

Lucy and Maximus on the surface:

  • Maximus and Lucy are allowed to leave. Maximus still has the fusion core.
  • Lucy appeals to Maximus to give back the fusion core, because the innocent people of the vault are doomed without it. He doesn't want to, because the armour will stop working. Maximus is still a selfish asshole, but at least Lucy is able to peer pressure him into doing the right thing this time.
  • Maximus reluctantly returns the fusion core, and leaves the armour behind in the middle of the desert. Does not hide it like last time. Not smart.
  • Fusion core sent back down the chute.
  • Lucy tells Maximus about her previous relationship, calls Maximus a good person, and invites him to Vault 33. Still calling him Titus.
  • Maximus confesses he isn't Titus, and that he let the real Titus die. Lucy forgives him. Probably undeserved, but Maximus is at least a little bit better now than he was at the start of the season, I guess.
  • Offer's still on. Maximus accepts. Does this mean he'll be abandoning the Brotherhood? EDIT: Seems so.
  • So what was the point of the whole Vault 4 plot, then? EDIT: No, really, what was the point of Vault 4? The vault experiment was a giant red herring that was irrelevant to everything except explaining the origin of the gulper. The Shady Sands cult was a weird non-sequitur that explained nothing about the Fall that couldn't have been learned elsewhere. Maximus didn't keep the fusion core, so it did nothing to get the power armour back into the plot. Also, did we really need to visit yet another vault when we already have a more interesting ongoing storyline in the tri-vaults? I feel like literally everything in Vault 4 could've been cut without losing anything major.

Thaddeus on the march:

  • Thaddeus travelling while playing KPSS fiddle tunes on his radio.
  • Thaddeus runs into a travelling doctor. EDIT: Apparently this guy is the chicken-fucker from before? I didn't recognise him.
  • Thaddeus tries to rob the "pharmacist." Why? Makes no sense. EDIT: I guess the writers must have realised that Thaddeus was a little too likeable and sympathetic at this point, after Maximus tried to needlessly murder him, so they needed him to be more of a dick.
  • Thaddeus trades the fusion core for the treatment.
  • The doctor is actually legit. Fucked up foot heals instantly, if malformed. Very surprising. Is this hydra? EDIT: No, turned Thaddeus into a ghoul. Possibly the same drug Hancock used to become a ghoul in Fallout 4? Still makes no sense. Too risky to use as a treatment. What if Thaddeus hadn't had the ghoul gene, and just died of radiation poisoning?
  • Radio tower near Shady Sands.
  • Thaddeus doesn't need to worry about radiation anymore? Did the doctor make him a ghoul? EDIT: Yes.

Vault 33:

  • Norman still feeding prisoners.
  • Prisoners dying of rat poison. Steph really not broken up about the raiders. Did she kill them? EDIT: Unclear, but probably.
  • Betty sends out assignments for vaults. Chet and Steph going to Vault 32.
  • Norm calls Chet a coward. Implies Norm no longer a coward, or doesn't want to be?

Red Rocket:

  • Cooper tracking Thaddeus? Tastes his blood. Why is Cooper here now? Wasn't he going after Moldaver? EDIT: He was, and still is. I guess him being at the Red Rocket is just a massive coincidence. It's confusing, because he was previously hunting for Wilzig's head, and just barely missed the guy who now has it, but he abandoned that search ages ago to go have an adventure with the organ harvesters and NCR remnants instead.
  • Cooper finds the dog again. Rescues him again. Why? For tracking again? EDIT: The show seems to be implying that he actually cares about dogs still to some degree, and that this is a rare act of actual altruism, but he already shot this same dog once before, and then left it to get eaten by a gulper, so I have a hard time believing that.

Cooper flashback:

  • Cooper implants commie spy device in Barb's Pip-Boy. What did Moldaver say that was so convincing that he now trusts her over his own wife? EDIT: He's right to distrust Barb, since she's a lot more powerful in Vault-Tec and more involved in the shady stuff than previously thought, but Moldaver still didn't make any actual convincing arguments for this. Did she use communist mind control?
  • Regrets it and throws away listening device.
  • Cooper watches his Vault 4 commercial late at night and smokes.
  • Digs out his listening device again.
  • Back in the present, Cooper calls the dog Dogmeat. Seems to be missing Roosevelt. EDIT: This dog has not proven worthy of the Dogmeat title so far IMO.

Lucy and Maximus find Thaddeus:

  • Thaddeus waiting for Brotherhood arrive while talking with the fiddle radio guy.
  • Fiddle radio has booby traps all over.
  • Lucy and Maximus arrive. Thaddeus immediately starts shooting, but misses.
  • Thaddeus shot by an arrow trap. Immediately heals. Thaddeus is a ghoul now. EDIT: Interesting development. Not immediately capitalised on this season, but does provide an easy way to resolve the conflict over the head without needing to kill Thaddeus off.
  • Brotherhood arriving. Thaddeus gives them the head and runs, since the Brotherhood hates ghouls. EDIT: Last time he's seen. Can only assume ghoul Thaddeus will be back for season two.
  • Maximus wants to switch the heads for some reason??????????? Gives Lucy the head??? Possibly to take to Moldaver? Whhhyyyyyyyy?????? EDIT: Still don't understand this. Does Maximus not think he can talk the Brotherhood into honouring the deal he and Lucy worked out? Their agreement was for the Brotherhood to help Lucy attack Moldaver, but they do that anyway, so why piss the Brotherhood off by trying to deprive them of the cold fusion tech? Wouldn't it make more sense for Lucy and Maximus to fully put themselves on the Brotherhood's side? Or has Maximus now suddenly lost faith in them now that he's been offered a place in Lucy's vault? What the hell motivated this change of plans?
  • Lucy and Maximus kiss. EDIT: Romantic vibes were sort of there in their first meeting, and were definitely present by the Vault 4 arc, so this isn't a surprising development. Still feels kind of out of place on evaluation. It's not that the two don't have chemistry, or wouldn't realistically hook up, more just that they would probably work better as friends than love interests. If nothing else, it's hard to take Lucy's apparent romantic interest in Maximus seriously when she treats both sex and marriage so casually, because it gives the impression that there's nothing special about Maximus, and she would be equally happy hooking up with any random stranger, just like she was happy with Monty at first. I can't help but feel that if these two got together, it would feel more like a friends with benefits arrangement than a relationship, and I don't think that's what Maximus is here for. Feels like he's setting himself up to get his heart broken.

Moving day:

  • Chosen Vault 33 residents moving to Vault 32.
  • Woody doesn't want to move, but is forced by security.
  • Betty appoints Steph as interim overseer. Another Vault 31 leader. EDIT: Given the revelations about Vault 31 in the final episode, Steph is going to have to be a minor antagonist in season two, right? 
  • Vaults 33 and 32 part ways.
  • Norman sneaks into the overseer's office.
  • Terminal hacking minigame. Game accurate.
  • Message sent to Vault 31 overseer, impersonating Betty.
  • Norman goes to Vault 31. Allowed in at the doors. Do they not have cameras? EDIT: I guess not.
  • Vault deserted. Something clunking. EDIT: Bud.

Episode 8: The Beginning

  • Maximus flying back to the Brotherhood with the fake head.
  • "Locals put up a fight." Brotherhood have occupied a small settlement? EDIT: I think this is Filly? Maybe? Don't actually know.

Trial of Maximus:

  • Maximus returns in knight's red uniform. Elder Cleric accuses Maximus of killing Titus. He is correct, but Maximus doesn't immediately admit it. EDIT: Nobody asks about Thaddeus. Very strange.
  • Maximus immediately confesses that he deceived them with the head. Brotherhood are mad at him. Literally what else did he expect? EDIT: I think the game plan was for Lucy to take the head to Moldaver, thus forcing the Brotherhood to attack her to get it, rather than just trusting them to honour the deal. It works, but at the risk that Lucy becomes a target or collateral damage of the Brotherhood rather than an ally, so it's a stupid plan.
  • Dane begs for Maximus and he is spared. Maximus tells the Elder Cleric how Titus died.
  • "The Brotherhood once ruled the wasteland." No.
  • "Power is taken not given." The Elder Cleric admires Maximus's treachery? Feels out of character compared to his earlier appearances. Where did this sudden twist come from? EDIT: Brotherhood (or at least the Elder Cleric's faction) might be being set up as villains in season two. Still a very sharp turn from condemning Maximus's treachery as weakness in his first appearance to praising him for it here.
  • Elder Cleric intends to forge a "new Brotherhood" with himself as its head, and "the likes of" Maximus as its "sword." Serious Emperor Palpatine vibes. EDIT: So what's his actual plan? Is he trying to overthrow Arthur Maxson or something? In what way does he want his new Brotherhood to be different than before? His ideology is unclear. He seems to lament that the Brotherhood have fallen from grace in some unspecified way, but how? The western Brotherhood seem more powerful in this series than they've ever been, so it can't just be a matter of power and control. Is it because knights like Titus behave dishonourably? But he praises Maximus behaving dishonourably, so how are they different? Or does he think the Brotherhood have too much honour? In which case, how does having less honour help make them more powerful, when they've been fine so far? Is it the techno-religious aspect? Does he want more religious mumbo-jumbo, or less? Is his goal for the Brotherhood to rule territory in the wasteland? In which case, shouldn't he be in favour of Arthur Maxson's rule, not against it, since Arthur Maxson's Brotherhood are the ones who actually rule territory, while the western Brotherhood have traditionally just cowered in their bunkers? What does he actually WANT, specifically? I do not understand this character at all.

Cooper time:

  • Cooper walking through dust storm.
  • Flashback to dropping Barb off to work.
  • Bud says he's working on some kind of immortality project. EDIT: Cryogenics.
  • Cooper spying on his wife not going well.


  • Lucy arrives at Moldaver's compound at the observatory.
  • Lucy recognised by people there. Raiders? EDIT: NCR remnants.
  • Hank in a cage in Moldaver's office. Feral ghoul at Moldaver's table.
  • Lucy delivers Wilzig's head, which he wanted delivered to her. Bargain complete.
  • Moldaver has the blue chip. Cold fusion tech? EDIT: Yes.
  • Moldaver tells Lucy about her father. 

Pre-war fuckery:

  • Cooper listening on Vault-Tec meeting from his wife's office.
  • Meeting includes Vault-Tec (represented by Bud), Rob-Co (is that Mr. House?), West-Tek, Big Mt, and REPCONN. EDIT: Yes, it's Mr. House (unfortunately). Though the actor really doesn't look or sound like House at all.
  • Vault-Tec's sales down? Collaborating on some vaults.
  • Bud's plan is time. Outlive all competition, through the vaults. Outlive who? EDIT: This brain-dead plan to deliberately nuke the entire world is given so many different justifications throughout this series, and they're all ridiculous. Bud is talking about outlasting all their competitors to "win" capitalism, but a corporate monopoly is already effectively winning capitalism. If pre-war America is supposedly such a slave to corporate interests already, why is that not enough? And how is all their competitors (and customers) being dead rather than just under their heel better for these companies? No matter how much the writers try to twist it, there is no scenario in which a nuclear holocaust is better for the corporate elite than the status quo is.
  • Mr. House criticises the vaults. "Confined rats eat each other. Who's to say your rats will do better than those on the surface?" EDIT: This feels like an attempt to make House's presence at this meeting feel less character-destroying than it actually is, by having him be the lone voice criticising Vault-Tec's plans in any way, and by implication not fully going along with it. But he still implicitly endorses the apocalypse idea by not immediately calling out how objectively fucking stupid the whole plan is. He has still gone from the man who went out of his way to save Las Vegas from nuclear devastation, to a member of the group who caused it in the first place. And he still has been retconned from a genius who near perfectly predicted the apocalypse but tragically failed because he was off by one day, to an idiot who was directly told exactly when it would happen, but still managed to fuck up all his own plans anyway. So his character is already beyond salvaging just from being here.
  • Everyone argues. Barb refocuses the conversation. EDIT: On rewatch, Barb seems to be taking cues from a mysterious shadowy figure watching from above. Unclear who this is, but there is more than one watching. Can only assume these are Enclave representatives, because otherwise the show would be effectively absolving the American government of any blame for the apocalypse.

Norman in Vault 31:

  • Norman attacked by a robobrain Roomba. It's Bud. EDIT: Strange that everyone else are cryogenically frozen and get to live out normal lives in the hypothetical post-nuclear capitalist paradise once Vault-Tec's dumb plans come to fruition, and yet Bud has his brain stuck in a jar and has to maintain the vault. You would think this would be a job for middle management, just like the overseer positions. Is this a punishment? Did Bud piss off someone important?
  • Bud knows Hank and Betty.
  • Vault 31 is loads of frozen people. Vault-Tec elites. Bud's buds. EDIT: A corporate vault for the Vault-Tec elites is basically the premise of the Secret Vault from Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel. The Amazon show is now (poorly) lifting ideas from Brotherhood of Steel. God help us.
  • "It would've been insane to keep a failed nation alive, so we kept Vault-Tec alive instead." EDIT: Another completely separate yet equally stupid line of logic to justify the plan. According to this show, the American and Chinese governments were in peace talks, and cold fusion technology was set to make the Resource Wars obsolete, until Vault-Tec interfered. Fallout's America is now only a failed nation at all because Vault-Tec were deliberately and actively sabotaging it.
  • The other vaults are a breeding population for the managers to use.
  • Intent is to wipe the surface clean and take it back. Basically the same plan the Enclave had in Fallout 2. Is the implication that the Enclave are subservient to Vault-Tec, rather than the other way around? Was Fallout 2 actually the Enclave carrying out Vault-Tec's plan for them? Were the Fallout 2 Enclave going rogue and trying to beat Vault-Tec to it? Or is all just a huge coincidence? EDIT: More importantly, if Vault-Tec always intended to emerge from Vault 31 to rule the world, and their plans required genociding any competing factions on the surface like the NCR, then why intentionally create the possibility of more competing factions arising by having every other vault open first, and giving several of them GECKs? The NCR only even exists in the first place because of Vault 15. Why not either have all the other vaults open AFTER the tri-vaults, or have kill-switches in them to prevent the dwellers from leaving and forming new factions in the wasteland? It would save a lot of work.

The brain trust decides to nuke the world:

  • Barb asks the companies to propose ideas for vault experiments. EDIT: She proposes this in the spirit of competition between the companies. But this whole meeting so far has been about how Vault-Tec plans to literally murder all competition everywhere so they can rule unchallenged. This is a contradiction.
  • Map of vaults across America.
  • Representatives begin proposing ideas for vault experiments seen in games.
  • Big MT proposes an overcrowded vault where people have to compete to survive. Vault 27? EDIT: Been informed that the Big MT representative here is supposed to be Fredrick Sinclair from Dead Money? What the fuck? Sinclair was a skinny guy, an optimistic idealist, and a customer of Big MT, not their CEO. This guy both looks and acts nothing like Sinclair, and definitely should not be here in this context.
  • REPCONN proposes a vault governed by a robot. Vault 51? EDIT: Why are REPCONN in this meeting, besides being a recognisable name from New Vegas? REPCONN were a small, failing company that got bought out by RobCo. Why not a bigger company that would make more sense being here, like General Atomics, or Poseidon Oil? Even the Nuka-Cola Corporation would arguably make more sense, since it's a massive company comparable to Disney or PepsiCo, directly collaborated with the military, and its CEO was another seeker of immortality like Bud and House.
  • West-Tek proposes a vault developing super mutants. Vault 87.
  • Unknown voice proposes psychotropic drugs in the air supply. Vault 106.
  • Unknown voice proposes separating parents and children. Only the smartest kids reach adulthood. Vault 29?
  • Mr. House calls the experiments a "fun idea," but wants guaranteed results. EDIT: House is the overlord of New Vegas. He's all about calculating the odds and taking risks. His highest stat is Luck, not Intelligence, and in every quest he gives, he justifies his decisions in terms of probabilities and calculations. This unwillingness to take risks without guaranteed results is yet another way in which Mr. House is out of character.
  • Barb proposes dropping the bomb themselves. Cooper is disillusioned. EDIT: Barb was supposedly working to get their family into one of "the good vaults." If she's already high up enough at the company to be in on the plan to literally destroy the world, how is her family's safety not already guaranteed?
  • Barb describes the plan as a "true monopoly," contradicting her "spirit of competition" line earlier. Offers yet ANOTHER alternative justification for this stupidity, that once they've waged a super-duper war and killed everybody, the genocidal maniacs who will then rule the world will have ended war and created eternal peace because there will be nobody left to fight. Literal James Bond villain logic. EDIT: Also, if it's a bunch of competing companies working together to crush all other lesser competition and then sharing power between them like she's proposing, then it isn't monopoly; it's oligopoly. I hate this fucking show so much. 
  • Henry is Hank. Hank is one of Bud's buds. Hank quotes the cowboy movie. EDIT: Only just noticed on rewatch that Cooper is talking to Betty. The same Betty from the vault. That's pretty neat, I guess.
  • "War never changes." EDIT: This phrase is utterly meaningless in this context. It's meant to refer to the unchanging nature of humans, and how we always fight and make the same mistakes for the same fundamental reasons. I don't think you can include a corporation needlessly and deliberately blowing up the entire world for reasons that even they can't decide on as being typical of human nature. It's so insanely stupid and out of left field that I don't know how the writers expect us to take this seriously.

Brotherhood ready to attack:

  • Conversation between Dane and Maximus.
  • Dane apparently really did do it to herself. Claims she didn't expect Maximus would get the blame. Who did she expect would get blamed, then? EDIT: If Maximus really didn't do it, then he was the most guilty-looking innocent person I've ever seen in the first episode. I almost don't believe this conversation, given that sabotaging Dane would be so perfectly in-character for what we've seen of Maximus so far, and given that mutilating your own foot to avoid a promotion rather than just turning it down is even stupider than some of the shit Maximus has pulled.
  • Maximus tells Dane about going to the vault. He's excited. She's skeptical.

Return to the present:

  • Lucy asks Moldaver about her mother. Moldaver knew her. EDIT: Moldaver seems to talk about Rose in very fond terms. She and Rose are also briefly seen making googly eyes at each other in Lucy's Shady Sands flashback, and Moldaver has kept ghoul Rose around all this time, and later holds the dead ghoul's hand as she's dying. I'm pretty sure we're supposed to infer from this that they were fucking (maybe even still are; I can't rule anything out after the Vault 4 cult).
  • NCR flag behind Hank. Are Moldaver's raiders NCR remnants? EDIT: Yes.
  • Wait, why did NCR remnants wantonly butcher vault dwellers???????? EDIT: Couldn't former NCR soldiers have handled kidnapping Hank in a more professional manner? Why did they need to smoke a bunch of random innocent vault dwellers? Why did they leave a dozen or so comrades behind? Why did the prisoners in Vault 33 act like such savages if they were raised in a civilized society too? Just like Vault 4, feels weird that these NCR remnants have devolved into such a state after less than fifteen years of this. And just like Vault 4, the only plausible explanation that makes sense to me is that Moldaver is just evil and actively encourages this for the lulz.
  • Rose discovered water being siphoned away from the vault, and deduced the NCR's existence. Hank tried to cover it up, so she took Lucy and Norman to the surface. They lived in NCR but don't remember it. Contrived bullshit. EDIT: Was foreshadowed with Lucy's talk about memories of the fake sun feeling real in an earlier episode, but makes no sense. Why is her only distinct childhood memory of the surface standing in a cornfield just like the one in the vault, and not something more unique and memorable like the buildings and people of Shady Sands?
  • Hank destroyed the NCR?????? Vault Tec??????? How????????? EDIT: Where Hank physically found the nukes, or how he delivered them, is never explained. Logically, for him to be able to do this, Vault-Tec must have had their own private stockpiles of nukes somewhere, prepared for this exact purpose, which Hank must have known about and had access to. However, where Vault-Tec obtained these nukes, how they got away with it, and how they have retained control of them after all this time (when not even the Enclave still had ready access to working nukes in the games), is a mystery in and of itself. My best guess is that Vault-Tec currently has control over the self-replenishing nuclear missile silos in Appalachia (which I think it was the mission of Vault 76's residents to take control of in Fallout 76), and that Hank was able to remotely access them and use them to strike NCR. However, I have not played Fallout 76, so I don't know if this theory makes sense with 76's lore. It's just my best guess.
  • This twist is not worth what it cost. EDIT: Specifically, this show destroyed the NCR (and all the other interesting factions and locations on the west coast) just to establish that Vault-Tec is bad, and that Hank MacLean is a bad man who we should hate. We sacrificed three games' and twenty-seven years' worth of lore to establish a single human villain, and reinforce the villainy of a pre-war company that we already knew was evil.
  • Moldaver just needs the code to activate the cold fusion project, but Hank won't give it to her. Keeps reminding Lucy that Moldaver is a murderer. EDIT: Hank is an asshole, but he is correct here. The show seems to forget that Moldaver is a villain in the final episode, and shows her as right all along, but she's still the leader of both a creepy cult and a savage raider gang, still murdered a bunch of innocent people in Vault 33 for no discernable reason, still got Lucy in particular (her friend/lover's daughter) nearly raped and/or murdered by Monty, and is still a generally shady person who's been around since before the war, just like Hank, and probably survived all this time through equally underhanded means. Plus she's a commie.
  • Moldaver's ghoul is revealed to be Rose. Lucy has a moment.
  • Hank gives up the code. Cold fusion project reactivates. EDIT: Okay, but what's the point? Infinite energy doesn't mean much if you don't have the infrastructure to use it. How does this help restore NCR if all the NCR's cities and power networks are gone? And even if they were rebuilt, what does it matter when Vault-Tec is still out there, and could just bomb them again? Moldaver would've achieved far more long term good if, instead of kidnapping Hank and leaving, she and her raiders had simply forced their way into Vault 31 and started melting popsicles.
  • How did Moldaver survive to the present again? EDIT: Still never explained.

Norman's choice:

  • Norman learns the truth. Wants to leave, but is shut in by Bud.
  • Bud won't let Norman leave until Vault-Tec is ready to reclaim the surface.
  • Bud tells Norman to get into a pod and survive. EDIT: This is Norman's last scene in the season, so I guess we don't get to see his choice.

NCR vs. Brotherhood:

  • Brotherhood attacking the NCR remnants.
  • Missile turrets on observatory roof and soldiers with missile launchers on ground shoot up at the vertibirds.
  • Miniguns shooting from vertibirds at NCR forces.
  • Hank monologues, defending what he did as the war plays out.
  • Moldaver marching out into battle with the troops with a laser pistol.
  • Seems they are still NCR, not JUST raiders. Moldaver stands in front of NCR HQ sign. Soldiers still carrying NCR flags. Some armour looks vaguely like trooper fatigues from New Vegas.
  • Nat King Cole song playing over NCR vs. Brotherhood war. Feels inappropriate for the tone.
  • Hank talks about factions. Plans to end war between factions, by killing every opposing faction. Does this not seem stupidly fucking circular to anyone else?

Cooper's entrance:

  • Brotherhood mowing down NCR forces inside building. Maximus following.
  • NCR seem to be losing badly. EDIT: Well, Bethesda already blew up all the NCR's cities, destroyed them as a nation, and turned the remnants into scavengers, cultists, and raiders anyway, so why NOT also have the last group of semi-authentic NCR forces get wiped out by the Brotherhood too? In for a penny, in for a pound.
  • Cooper enters the NCR building, and confronts the Brotherhood. Is he seriously going to take on an entire squad of power armour troops after barely being able to handle Maximus earlier? EDIT: Yes, he is. I've concluded that Cooper is the ultimate Gary Stu, and that his plot armour is unbreakable.
  • Cooper mentions the flaw in the power armour he bitched about to Bud before. Overly convenient weak point. EDIT: No, I wasn't making a big enough deal about this before. This is a world-breaking plot contrivance. Power armour is supposed to be bulletproof, a game changer that won America the war in Alaska, but this show just retconned it so that it has a critical weakness that can allow a lone gunman to take it out in a single shot to the chest, all so that Cooper could win this fight. Not only that, but this is established as having been a widely known and complained about critical weakness in the T-45d, the very first model of power armour, and yet the flaw is still present even in the T-60 series, the latest and most advanced models before apocalypse. This is such utter bullshit.
  • Cooper cuts the power and takes out the Brotherhood in the dark, because I guess he's Batman now, too.

Hank's escape:

  • Hank begging Lucy for them to go home together, but Lucy is unresponsive.
  • Maximus arrives and lets Hank out. Lucy doesn't try to stop him.
  • Lucy tells Maximus it was Hank who did Shady Sands, but she is too slow and awkward to explain (and Maximus is too slow on the uptake) for either of them to stop Hank from suiting up in power armour. EDIT: This feels like a really dumb contrivance to let Hank escape. He's stuck in a cage, and should be entirely at Lucy and Maximus's mercy. The only way he ever gets out of this scenario is by the characters acting in the dumbest way possible. Probably would've been better if Hank had been found by the Brotherhood of Steel instead, and maybe Hank bamboozled the evil cleric guy into releasing him. The Brotherhood wouldn't have much reason to listen to Lucy, since she passed up her opportunity to work with them, but Hank would have plenty of leverage with the Brotherhood to bargain with them, having access to nukes, knowing about the cold fusion tech, knowing the location of three untouched vaults, and being the guy who destroyed the NCR, their greatest enemies.
  • Maximus tries to attack Hank, but Hank knocks him unconscious.
  • Lucy pulls a gun on Hank, but can't shoot her father.
  • Cooper arrives and shoots at Hank, but doesn't kill him. EDIT: Cooper later in this scene claims that he deliberately wounded rather than killed Hank, so that he could escape, and Cooper could track him.
  • Cooper calls him Henry. Quotes his movie. Cooper knows Hank by his surname, and recognised it when Lucy told him.
  • Cooper wants to know where his family is. EDIT: He specifies "family," not "daughter." This implies he wants to see his wife again too, even though she literally caused the apocalypse.
  • Hank Iron Man jets to safety. FUCKING BULLSHIT. EDIT: It looks stupid visually, but also, just the fact he managed to escape after all this is galling. 
  • Cooper says "war never changes." Brotherhood and NCR dying.
  • Cooper plans to track Hank and face down the people who started it all. Offers for Lucy to join him. Brotherhood will supposedly win and kill all of them otherwise. EDIT: Why wouldn't Hank just go back to Vault 33, fake Lucy's death like he did his wife's, reunite with his son, and return to being overseer and conspiring with the rest of the TV dinners? Why does Lucy's betrayal make him go to Vegas instead? More importantly, how does Cooper know that this is what Hank will do?
  • Cooper is still a massive cunt who has traumatised Lucy personally on several occasions. Don't know why she'd ever want to go with him, even given the situation.
  • Lucy executes her ghoul mom. Or euthanises.
  • Lucy decides to abandon Maximus and join Cooper's quest. She says she'll find him, but why can't they just take him with them, or try to wake him up and explain? He could also be badly injured, or dying. EDIT: This feels out of character for Lucy. Is this meant to indicate her character darkening, or did the writers just not understand the situation she's leaving him in?

End of battle:

  • Maximus wakes up alone, presumably with no idea WTF just happened or what to think. This was probably a bad idea on Lucy's part. EDIT: I wouldn't be surprised if Maximus took this personally and felt betrayed next season. Maybe that's the heartbreak I was predicting before?
  • Moldaver arrives to activate the cold fusion. Holds hands with the dead Rose ghoul as power turns back on in the city ruins. EDIT: How is so much of the city still linked up to a grid like this? It was literally nuked twice.
  • Who benefits from the power being on again, now that Moldaver's faction are defeated? Does the NCR even still exist, or not? EDIT: According to Word of Todd, yes, but we see no evidence of that in the show itself. As far as we know, the last remnants of the NCR just got curbstomped by the Brotherhood of Steel in this episode. A perfect metaphor for Bethesda's vision of Fallout, if nothing else.
  • Moldaver asks what the Brotherhood will do with infinite power and then fucking dies. Good riddance. BETTER DEAD THAN RED. EDIT: Was this entire Moldaver/NCR remnant plot just one big excuse to make the Brotherhood even more undeservedly powerful? I wouldn't be surprised at this point.
  • Maximus hailed by Dane for killing Moldaver. Seemingly field promoted to knight?
  • Whole scene seems to be setting up a rift between Maximus and the Brotherhood. Brotherhood may possibly be villains of season two, especially with the Elder Cleric's sudden turn earlier.

We Three:

  • "We Three" plays over ending montage.
  • Lucy and Cooper leaving a graveyard together. "Dogmeat" with them. EDIT: When did Dogmeat rejoin them?
  • Hollywood sign lighting up. LA has power. Again, what good is it?
  • Hank walking through the desert in power armour.
  • Deathclaw skull. EDIT: Remarkable restraint to not show a single actual deathclaw even once this whole season. Also, oddly, one of the few times the show is actually consistent with the original games, since deathclaws are much rarer in the Core Region compared to the Capital Wasteland, Commonwealth, and Mojave.
  • Hank arrives at New Vegas. Looks dark. No visible lights from the city. EDIT: Consistent with credits. 
  • How are you even planning to do New Vegas in season two when the NCR in this show was destroyed four years before they were conquering the Mojave????????? EDIT: According to Emil Pagliarulo, New Vegas is still meant to be canon, so I guess the Fall of Shady Sands being dated to 2277 really was just an especially dumb mistake.

Credits sequence:

  • Not done yet. Final credits shows Vegas.
  • Billboard advertising cryo-suites at the Tops. Cryogenic freezing technology is beginning to feel really oversaturated. EDIT: This may also be another hint at season two's plot. The Tops is probably where the Vault-Tec leaders are hiding, who Hank is trying to find, and who Cooper and Lucy are tracking.
  • Would complain that we saw no evidence of cryo-suites in the Tops in New Vegas. However, the Tops did have extensive backrooms and underground areas that the player couldn't access, including Benny's secret escape route, which was cut from the final game, so this is actually plausible.
  • Vegas streets in credits appear quiet, empty, and cluttered with junk, rubble, and another deathclaw skull. Implies that Vegas is ruined and abandoned. EDIT: Not literally nuked into a crater like Shady Sands, but it seems like Vegas was destroyed offscreen just as disrespectfully, and will not be a proper functioning city by the time we see it in season two. Everything the Courier did in New Vegas was made pointless in the end, just like all the adventures and struggles of the first two games were made pointless by the NCR being wiped out. None of the west coast games mattered, and nothing in the Fallout universe will ever improve for anyone. Mankind is eternally doomed to live in piles of garbage, because any attempt to rebuild will just be struck down again anyway by the invisible hand of Todd. Amazon Fallout is the ultimate expression of nihilism.
  • Crashed NCR vertibirds, barbed wire fences, and destroyed securitrons appear. Implies a war between Vegas and the NCR immediately following the events of the game, perhaps cut short by the Fall of Shady Sands. EDIT: A Vegas-NCR war implies either a House or Wild Card ending. A Wild Card one would make more sense, since a potentially unhinged Courier would be much more likely to provoke such a war than House, whose plan specifically revolved around not pissing off the NCR badly enough to lose them as customers. However, a House ending is more likely, since it would play better with the show's bizarre attempts at anti-capitalist themes, and the show's version was already cast as a fucking idiot anyway.
  • Final shot of ruined Vegas in the sunset. Eerily similar to the look and premise of Fallout: Dust. Irony is that story of the Dust mod was widely criticised being too dark, bleak, and nihilistic, but even in Dust, the NCR were doing fine, and it was just the Mojave that had fallen. The official Fallout show actually managed to give Vegas and the NCR a darker ending than Dust.
  • It's really, really hard to not look at this entire series as a deliberate act of spite towards the west coast lore and fans. They couldn't have destroyed it all any more thoroughly if they'd tried. I am officially out of goodwill for Bethesda.
  • 2/10 - Had some good visuals, and Ella Purnell is cute.

Well, that's it. I'm done. That's the Fallout show. It's bad. It's worse if you're a classic or New Vegas fan, but even taking it on its own merits, it's bad. If you watched it and liked it, good for you, but that's my take, and I hope that now at least some of you can see that there are plenty of valid reasons to dislike or criticise this show, and that it's not just blind fanboy rage. Next time you see a New Vegas fan, give them a hug; they're going through a tough time right now.

If you want to see more of me shitting on the show, but in a funny way rather than an angry one, check out this low-effort shitpost I did. Or, if you want to see me writing about the parts of Fallout that I actually enjoy, check out my Diaryverse series. My Fallout 3 and Fallout 1 stories (Wanderer's Diary and Vault Dweller's Log) are already complete, while the rest are still updating, and I've just recently started a new story called The Good Life about Old Man Vault Dweller's adventures after leaving Arroyo, which is already basically complete, and will be updating once a fortnight for the next several months or so.

And that's it for now. Hope you enjoyed, and thank you for reading.

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