Fallout TV series Season 1, Episode 8 review — “War never changes”

After seven episodes, we’ve finally reached the Season 1 finale. There are too many spoilers, and we want you to experience it for yourself, so we’ll be as vague as possible here. That said, this series is the epitome of Fallout. It tells a wonderful story that belongs in the wasteland, perfect in tone and crafted by people who love and respect the source material.

I was initially worried the momentum the show had built wouldn’t last into the final episode. After all, episode 7 slowed things way down. Even with a foot on the brake, Fallout made a perfect drift into a pedal-to-the-metal ending, and, I’m not sure how, but it manages to hit almost every note; tying up nearly every major thread, but giving us hints at a wider world for the future.

In the opening, we see the Brotherhood bringing Maximus to Filly with the fake package. They aren’t happy to see it not being the right one – to the point that only Dane’s (his squire friend from the initial episode) cry for mercy saves him – but there’s an intriguing dynamic once the Elder and Maximus step behind closed doors. When the Elder finds out about what happened with Knight Titus, you can immediately see the impact of the news. The Brotherhood is falling apart, which lackluster recruits who just want the armor; only to run away when things get tough. Listening to his speech puts the fragility of the Brotherhood of Steel on full display, along with the Elder’s lust for power in desiring the important relic that is in the package. In the vacuum the bombs have created, everyone is looking to be in control, even the ones that act as though they are on the side of the greater good.

The only thing about this opening is… that’s largely where Maximus’ story ends. He still has a part in how the full narrative ends, but due to certain choices he’s unavailable for a lot of the payoff. His last scenes are still engaging and leave you intrigued by where his story might go, but he takes a backseat to give the other characters center stage.

After this, we get back to Lucy and the package with Moldaver, and boy does the Radroach hit the fan. This is what we’ve been waiting on – the sewn up plot threads. I’m willing to stake my reputation on it; every storyline is wrapped up in a compelling way. We find out the truth behind the Vaults, Vault 33’s discoveries with Norm, Shady Sands, Lucy’s parents, Cooper Howard’s investigation into Vault-Tec… legitimately everything I was hoping to find out and then some. Somehow everything links together in a way that doesn’t feel forced. The way Nolan and the showrunners have managed all of these details and outdid themselves in the finale is simply masterful.

Fallout TV show - Interview w/ Kyle MacLachlan, Overseer Hank and actor from Twin Peaks and more!

I’m also impressed with how much everyone gets a part in the finale. Purnell (Lucy), Moten (Maximus), Goggins (Ghoul/Howard), Arias (Norm), and MacLachlan (Hank) are all exemplary in their roles. Lucy’s shock keeps her from being too involved for part of the episode, but it’s earned. There’s a moment where Moldaver and Hank are both shouting at her, trying to win her over to their side with their version of events, and she just stands there, paralyzed by all of the new information flooding her mind. It’s a phenomenally written and acted scene that showcases the impact of these revelations. You empathize with Lucy because you’re going through the same thing, this barrage of plot that will leave you winded.

Goggins’ Ghoul comes roaring back onto the scene in this one as a force to be reckoned with, and he’s also fantastic during his moments with Cooper Howard. He’s legitimately reeling as he learns things about Vault-Tec’s plans, and who he meets along the way will blow your mind. The fight between his Ghoul and the Brotherhood instantly reminded me of the fight scenes in Equilibrium, with the room going dark, forcing your mind to fill in the carnage as the story is told with muzzle flashes. It’s an awesome bit of storytelling that leans on the viewer’s imagination in a fun way.

This fight leads into The Ghoul’s confrontation with Hank and Lucy, and he steals the show. While I empathize with his plight and what he’s been through, he’s still not a good guy, and that’s what I was hoping for, because in the world of Fallout, what is a “good guy” anyway? We’re still in for a lot of great dialogue from Goggins yet, and where he proved his mettle in earlier episodes, he delivers in spades here.

One character who does a lot with a little is Norm. I have to be extra careful as his scenes are more or less all spoilers, but for the little he gets to say, he wears much of his acting in his expressions. His distress as he drinks in the details, turning into terror as he discovers the plight he’s gotten himself into, all of it is sensational by Arias. For someone I wasn’t sure of in the opening episode, his quick growth into this role is great to see.

This is another episode riddled with callbacks, hints, and nods to the games. Even a code that comes into play is 101097 – the release date of the original Fallout game back in October of 1997. Frankly, there’s so much going on that it’s going to take several re-watches to find them all.

It’s hard to know how to encapsulate all that happened in Fallout’s first season, but it’s masterful. Frankly, there hasn’t been a video game adaptation anywhere near as good as this, not by a longshot. Every episode is a Fatman launching cluster-nukes that all land precisely where they need to be, detonating for maximum effect. The performances are masterful, thanks in large part to Nolan’s directing prowess. It’s in service of the material, and not just fan service, and with the lightest touch. Amazon has a runaway hit here, and I can’t wait to see where the world of Fallout takes us next. By the way, there’s a fantastic hint at the end I can’t wait to hear all the fans talking about.

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.

Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief | [email protected]

Ron Burke is the Editor in Chief for Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and has recently gotten into tabletop gaming.

Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a Master's rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his search to be a well-rounded fighter.

Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 28 years. They have three dogs - Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes), and an Axolotl named Dagon!



Fallout TV series

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From start to finish, Fallout is the best video game adaptation we’ve ever seen. It’s also just fantastic entertainment, even if you’ve never played the game. While pacing wobbles in one episode, the payoff for that lull is masterful. We can’t wait to set the world on fire with Season 2!

David Burdette and Ron Burke

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