Fallout season 1, episode 1 recap "The End"

Ella Purnell (Lucy) in “Fallout”
Ella Purnell (Lucy) in “Fallout” /

Fallout, the television show based on the popular video game series of the same name, has arrived on Amazon Prime. Season 1 consists of 8 episodes, beginning with how the world comes to an end in a horrific way.

As episode 1 slowly introduces audiences to several key and important characters, we can't help but wonder how their stories will intersect. Let's not waste another moment and dive into the recap!

Meet Lucy

Ella Purnell (Lucy) in Fallout. /

The season premiere opens innocently enough at a child's birthday party, where a famous cowboy actor and his son entertain the guests. Amid this birthday, the reports on television tell a very different story about rising tensions and, you guessed it, threats of nuclear war.

Ignoring the negative realities of life, the party continues even though the cowboy seems to be the butt of several jokes, including his refusal to give a Thumbs Up for a photo. As the party winds down, the cowboy's son asks about it and learns that his father used to be a Marine, where the Thumbs Up was used to figure how dangerous and close a dropped nuclear bomb would be.

As the party guests enjoy cake inside, a flicker of bright light catches the little boy's attention, and he immediately uses his thumb to deduce the power of the nuclear bomb in the distance. His father, who just returned with a piece of birthday cake, sees the nuclear bomb and all hell breaks lose.

This prologue ends with the cowboy and his son attempting to flee on horseback while multiple other nuclear bombs are dropped on the city.

200 years later we meet Lucy, a citizen of Vault 33 living below the remains of a destroyed Los Angeles, California. She is spry, smart, and full of positivity with a go-getter attitude.

She is ready to take the plunge and get married so she can begin reproducing the next generation. After her meeting with the council receives approval, she prepares to wed a man she has never met from Vault 32.

As per the custom, and to avoid marrying direct family members (sorry cousin Chet), Lucy will wed a man pre-picked for her. She, her father Hank, brother Norm and the rest of the Vault 33 members wear matching uniforms, use tech such as the wrist gadget called a Pip-Boy in the video game, and live fairly happy and functional lives.

However, things go awry on the day of Lucy's wedding. As her pregnant friend Steph gives her some reassurance and advice, they prepare Lucy in a wedding dress that has been worn by several women before her and open the entrance to Vault 32.

There they meet those Vault dwellers who all appear rather dirty, unhappy, and simply untrustworthy. The wedding of Lucy and Monty commences, the reception is full of good food and laughter and the newlyweds consummate their marriage in what will be their shared home.

Not long after their lovemaking concludes, Norm wanders to Vault 32 and makes a horrific discovery but...it is too late. The Vault 32 dwellers are actually Raiders who killed the actual Vault 32 survivors.

The madness that ensues reveals Lucy's refusal to give up, even when stabbed and her bravery to fight back, whilst a majority of her friends are massacred by the Raiders. In the end, Hank saves his daughter from Monty but comes face to face with the Raider leader herself.

He must choose between protecting his daughter or allowing the remaining survivors to die in an explosion. He chooses Lucy and protects her by locking her in a room.

Hank then gets tranquilized and kidnapped by the Raiders before the bomb explodes. Thankfully the surviving Vault 33 dwellers are unharmed but all at what cost?

Left to pick up the pieces, they must decide what to do next. Lucy wants to rescue her father however the survivors refuse to help.

Fortunately, Chet and Norm do. Lucy leaves the Vault for the first time, seeing the ocean and the remnants of a collapsed world.

Maximus and The Brotherhood

Aaron Moten (Maximus) in Fallout. Credit: Prime Video © 2024 Amazon Content Services LLC /

Meanwhile, Maximus is having issues of his own. He alongside several others are training to become squires for the knights of The Brotherhood of Steel.

These knights wear powerful armor (like personalized mech suits) and go about retrieving the remains of the world. Max has dreamed of becoming a knight since he was rescued by one as a child.

The problem is that he can't quite seem to make the cut, failing his teachers and getting bullied by fellow trainees. The final nail in the coffin of his frustrations is when his best friend, Dane, gets promoted to be a squire for a knight.

But Max's luck might be changing because the following morning a horrific event causes Dane to be hospitalized. Max is automatically accused of plotting against his friend.

Although he is questioned by both a teacher and a knight, he maintains his innocence and reminds them that he is willing to give up his life for the Brotherhood. Max is then promoted to be a squire for the knight Titus, taking the spot that was reserved for Dane.

He, along with several other squires and knights, are tasked with finding a man and dog who had escaped from the enclave. Max is overjoyed to be free from the training camp, taking one more step towards achieving his dreams.

The Ghoul

Walton Goggins (The Ghoul) in Fallout. Credit: Prime Video © 2024 Amazon Content Services LLC /

The episode concludes on the return of the Ghoul. Three men dressed as though they stepped out of a Western, arrive to a graveyard in the dead of night to find the Ghoul.

Upon awakening the Ghoul they propose that he helps them in retrieving the same man and dog The Brotherhood of Steel are searching for. However the Ghoul has other plans.

He kills two of the cowboys and sends the third in his place back into the coffin.

Fallout season 1 episode 1 review

This was easily one of the best season openers I've ever watched for a television show. Just enough information is revealed to set the stage for the rest of the season, without giving everything away at the same time.

From the trailer, we already predicted that Lucy, Maximus, and the Ghoul were going to be the main characters and that through some means, their lives would intersect. The catalyst for their meeting seems to be the man and dog who escaped the enclave.

Although I am very unfamiliar with the Fallout video game series, there are some key universal themes, objects, and imagery everyone will recognize like Vault Boy, Nuka Cola, the environment of the apocalypse, and the design of the Vaults themselves. Although Lucy's story seems to be the strongest of the three and is probably supposed to be, I find myself mostly curious about the Ghoul.

I do believe this is intentional as well, as both he and his pre-apocalyptic self, the cowboy actor from the opening, have the least amount of character development thus far. I look forward to seeing the post-apocalyptic world and characters who survive it.

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What did you think of Fallout season 1, episode 1? Let us know in the comments below!

Watch Fallout season 1 on Amazon Prime Video.