Fallout TV Show Season 1 Ending Explained

hank and lucy prime video fallout
Credit: Prime Video

hank and lucy prime video fallout
Credit: Prime Video

Finally released on April 10 after two years of production, Prime Video’s Fallout is an eight-episode wild ride into a post-apocalyptic Wasteland set in California in 2296.

Episode 8 represents the most important part of the season, as this is where all the threads woven from the pilot episode are strung together to a definitive conclusion.

Let's examine the events in the finale and consider what they might mean for the upcoming second season.

There are spoilers ahead, so tread carefully.

Maximus and the Brotherhood of Steel

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Credit: Prime Video

The episode picks up immediately after Lucy and Maximus part ways with their respective heads at the end of episode 7. The Brotherhood initiate is taken before the Cleric, who figured out the deception with the head, and would’ve been put to death if not for Dane’s intervention.

The Cleric pulls Maximus aside and airs his frustration at what he feels is a Brotherhood that has lost its way. He then suggests to Maximus that they take power together and reform the Brotherhood.

The entire Brotherhood of Steel unit in the area then prepares to attack Lee Moldaver’s New California Republic outpost.

Lucy and the New California Republic

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Credit: Prime Video

After parting with Maximus, Lucy makes it through to the Griffith Observatory, where Moldaver and her NCR troops are headquartered. Our protagonist immediately approaches the leader and finally sees her father, whom Moldaver has caged. She also sees a female Ghoul chained to a chair beside the NCR leader, and Lucy notices the necklace that the Ghoul is wearing.

Moldaver reveals what she claims is the truth about why her mother, Rose MacLean, had left the Vault and seemingly died. Rose had discovered who Hank was and what the Vault 33 experiments were and fled with her and Norm to Shady Sands, but the Vault Overseer caught up with her in the settlement.

Hank then “burned Shady Sands to the ground,” presumably through a nuclear bomb, as Lucy found out in the classroom in Vault 4. Rose was presumed dead but was just irradiated and turned into a Ghoul.

Moldaver activates the Cold Fusion reactor from Wilzig’s head before the Brotherhood of Steel arrives for battle.

Cooper Howard (Flashbacks)

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Credit: Prime Video

2077 Cooper Howard continues to spy on his wife Barb as she meets with Vault-Tec executives and related companies to discuss Vault sales amidst the ongoing peace negotiations. He listens to the different executives suggest varying ideas for experiments after the Holocaust occurs.

Eventually, one of them asks Barb: “How can you guarantee results?”

Howard hears the chilling reply: “By dropping the bomb ourselves.” Before he can react, he is distracted by the arrival of a young Hank, who wants to ask him for an autograph.

Before the meeting, Howard also encounters Bud Adkins, who explains the concept of “Bud’s Buds.” To ensure Vault-Tec's survival beyond the nuclear attack, many of its executives will be put to cryosleep in Vault 31 and awakened at different points in the future to lead Vaults 32 and 33.

They're also meant to breed with the original Vault Dwellers’ descendants to create “super managers.”

Vault 31

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Credit: Prime Video

Norm continues his intrusion into Vault 31, where he encounters a talking brain encased in a robot body. The talking brain warns him not to activate the systems, but he does so anyway and discovers the cryosleep pods of the other Vault-Tec executives.

Norm learns that the brain is Bud Askins, who transplanted his consciousness into the robot body using his brain. Askins explains that this way, he can watch his fellow executives and explain his plan to Norm.

Crossroads at the Observatory

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Credit: Prime Video

Maximus and the Brotherhood of Steel finally arrive and engage the NCR troops in battle. Although they fight bravely, the Brotherhood’s Power Armor and air support overwhelm them, and even Moldaver is wounded in the fight outside the Observatory.

Undeterred, the BoS troops enter the Observatory but encounter The Ghoul waiting for them. The Ghoul cuts through the Brotherhood’s strength in arms and numbers, although Maximus manages to escape and reach the top of the Observatory.

Maximus sees Lucy and Hank, who convinces him to open the cage. After freeing Hank, Maximus talks to Lucy and helps her overcome her shock at learning the truth about Shady Hands.

Hank steals the Power Armor and knocks Maximus out, but he is interrupted by the arrival of The Ghoul. The Ghoul shoots Hank in the face, demanding to know the location of his family, but Hank is still able to fly away.

Lucy finally recovers and attempts to wake up Maximus. However, The Ghoul convinces her to leave Maximus and follow him to where Hank will most likely go. After one last look at Maximus, Lucy gets up and goes with The Ghoul, but not before killing the female Ghoul.

Maximus wakes up just in time to witness Moldaver activate the Cold Fusion reactor, which brings power and light to the settlement around the Observatory. The remaining Brotherhood of Steel arrives to cheer Maximus as a knight.

We see Hank walking on the desert sand until he stops. The camera pans up beyond Hank’s back and reveals what seems like a nuked-out New Vegas from Fallout: New Vegas.

What Does This Mean For Season 2?

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The Season 1 finale revealed that Vault-Tec had designed all of the Vaults to become experiments for all the other companies in the defense industry after the bombs fell. Vaults 31, 32, and 33 became Vault-Tec experiments themselves, with the top executives of 2077 set to sleep and be awakened to lead and breed with the Vault Dwellers occasionally.

We’ll likely see more of this thread unravel in the second season as The Ghoul and Lucy pursue Hank deeper into the Wasteland to seek answers. As The Ghoul thinks Hank is looking for “whoever is behind the wheel,” it is implied that season 2 could lead to his family as Barb appears to have led the experiment and may have been instrumental in nuking the United States.

Maximus will have more power over his destiny as a presumptive Brotherhood of Steel knight. The BoS will also be the de facto power in that region of the Wasteland and will probably finally come to blows with the Enclave in the next season.

It also appears that Norm may become complicit in Vault-Tec and the Bud’s Buds program after discovering the truth behind them in Vault 31. There may be a time jump when he rises to become an Overseer in the next season.

We’ve yet to hear officially from Amazon regarding a second season. The closest we got to an update was a report from the California Film Commission granting $25 million in tax cuts to Amazon to film the next season there.

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