Fallout TV series Season 1, Episode 3 review — Intentions

Character introductions is something the Fallout TV series has had no problem with so far. This continues into Episode 3, with Walton Goggins getting a bit more depth with a beautifully woven narrative in which he flirts with his wife. He’s still an actor at this juncture, working on set in fact but soon the scene pans to his scarred face, coughs rattling from his throat as he fights the mutation that still has him alive but that also wants to turn him into something worse.

Things get busy in a hurry, with Lucy on her way to deliver a package in hopes of finding answers to her personal dilemma from the first episode, and Maximus needing to repair the T-60 armor. One of these comes to a much quicker resolution, as Maximus sells a tooth to get the caps he needs for a fix, although he unfortunately has a run-in with some locals that ends in a lot of gore. Seriously, can Maximus avoid being punched in the face for an episode?

Something really impressive about this show so far has been balancing the character’s screen time. The pace is helped by this, with a nice blend of different viewpoints and storylines. Every time I’ve felt like Maximus is rolling, we’re on to Lucy, who then runs into Goggins’ Ghoul again. It’ll be interesting to see if they can keep it going, as swapping too often can lead to a lot of choppiness, but so far it’s working for Fallout.

Easily noticed in this episode was how there weren’t a lot of resolution to plot points, but was instead more of a deep dive into the reactions of each character in a game of cat and mouse around the wasteland. Everyone wants this “package” that Lucy has, and we see multiple ways in which each character tries to get it between Lucy, The Ghoul, and Maximus. You’d almost look at this one as a middle mission quest for Lucy, one that might get you from point D to E, but with little payoff in the long scheme of things – just everyone trying to get ahead. The payoff is in the details however, with more understanding in both Maximus and The Ghoul’s motivations.

One of these payoffs is watching Maximus work with another squire, and the comradery that is birthed. There’s a breadth of tones here, heart-warming, intense, and comedic, and all work to the benefit of the characters and in their development. The fight they have with a monster is especially engaging, with both hearty chuckles and gasps to be found. This gulper/axolotl creature has some terrifying characteristics that need to be seen to believe, and given this is only the second horror we’ve witnessed in the wasteland, we can only imagine the things the cast has cooked up for later episodes. Deathclaw anyone? Maybe one of these abominations?

In the midst of all the surface world commotion, it’d be easy to forget the people underground. Vault 33 hasn’t been left behind completely, and we get another visit to show some of the fallout from earlier events. Lucy’s little brother Norm isn’t pulling any punches with the remaining leadership in addressing his role in Lucy’s exit, and while they want him to pay, he doesn’t care what they have him do. These leaders want everything to just go back to normal, but the truth of the matter is, they can’t. Some of the themes being explored of facing reality and blind belief are really well detailed in this section, and you have to be curious how Vault 33 will end up as they continue to try to manage by committee without a strong leader at the helm.

Lastly, Goggins’ Ghoul gets a lot more development (we now know his original name is Cooper Howard), just like Maximus has received in the last two episodes. We still need more – I get the feeling we’re being kept in the dark for a big reveal – but his harsh demeanor is a sharp and fantastic contrast to Lucy’s righteous indignation. Whether or not she can break through it, we don’t know, but I kind of hope he stays exactly how he’s being portrayed. He’s a representation of the dead world around him, scarred by war and the elements and unforgiving in his actions. Seeing these little moments of what led to his current predicament is nice, but it’s still a little too slow. Hopefully that picks up in the next episode, because Goggins is nailing the character.

You can read our review for Episode 4 here.

Lead Video Game Editor | [email protected]

David Burdette is a gamer/writer/content creator from TN and Lead Editor for Gaming Trend. He loves Playstation, Star Wars, Marvel, and many other fandoms. He also plays way too much Call Of Duty. You can chat with him on Twitter @SplitEnd89.



Fallout TV series

Review Guidelines

This episode may be slow for some, but it’s necessary in building our characters and their motivations. Some still need to be fully explored, but all of the cast deliver phenomenal performances that take Fallout closer to the mid-season.

David Burdette

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