Fallout season 1, episode 3 recap "The Head"

Ella Purnell (Lucy) in Fallout. Credit: JoJo Whilden/Prime Video © 2024 Amazon Content Services LLC
Ella Purnell (Lucy) in Fallout. Credit: JoJo Whilden/Prime Video © 2024 Amazon Content Services LLC /

In Fallout season 1 episode 3, Lucy makes the difficult decision to cut off Wilzig's head but both the Ghoul and Maximus are hot on her trail to retrieve the scientist. While Lucy's troubles are just beginning, back home everyone is on edge with the fate of Vault 32 hanging in the balance.

Will Lucy be successful in bringing Wilzig's head to Moldaver? Or will the Ghoul have other plans for our heroine?

Lucy and the Ghoul

Walton Goggins as The Ghoul in Fallout /

Lucy ultimately cuts off Wilzig's head and carries it around rather casually. She has the brilliant idea to place a tracker inside the head that will both help and cause more problems for her.

She manages to make her way towards a lake where she spots a fawn before it is captured by a monster that resides in the water. In the process Lucy almost dies and the monster takes the bag with Wilzig's head inside.

Not one to give up, Lucy attempts to get it back when the Ghoul spots her. He and Wilzig's dog found the scientist's decapitated body and sure enough, they were able to catch up.

This scene proves informative as we see for the first time the Ghoul drinking the same liquid that was in IV bags at his grave in episode 1. Holding Lucy at gunpoint, the Ghoul ties her up to use as bait to get the head.

Unfortunately for him, his supply of vials are destroyed in the fight. Angered, he kidnaps Lucy, abandoning 4, even though the dog knows his master's head is still in the water with the monster.

The head

Fallout - First Look
Ella Purnell (Lucy) in “Fallout” /

After Maximus' defeat by the Ghoul, he attempts to fix his suit just outside of Filly. In the process he receives a call from within the suit from the Brotherhood back home, asking why he hadn't checked in.

Disguising his voice Max reports that his squire died. Therefore, the Brotherhood wants to send another.

Even though Max argues against it, destroying the radio, a new squire is on the way. Max discovers one part in the suit needs to be fixed and seeks help in Filly.

Naturally, the repair costs 5 caps and Max is short one. After going to sell a tooth he returns with all 5 caps.

The part is fixed but his suit is now surrounded by raiders. The group beats Max to a near pulp but the young man refuses to give up.

After being bullied and beaten for so long he finally stands up and defeats the raiders, killing one brutally with the suit. A new squire arrives, giving Max just enough time to hide in the suit.

His new squire, Thaddeus, arrives, who happens to be one of Max's bullies. In the beginning, Max bullies Thaddeus as well, but he quickly learns why he was tormented.

To avoid the bullies from attacking him, Thaddeus was able to get everyone to bully Max instead. This changes Max's perspective on Thaddeus, which comes in handy as they arrive to the lake following the Ghoul's trail.

They are able to successfully retrieve the head and kill the monster. Not to mention Max saves Thaddeus' life.

Nice teamwork! Max does recognize Lucy's boot in the regurgitated mess from the dead monster but fear not Max, she is alive.

Just barely. As Lucy and the Ghoul travel through the vast desert, she notices a Vault-Tec billboard.

She smiles, seeing something familiar and positive in her otherwise bleak world. But the Ghoul shoots the billboard, revealing he too has some anger towards the company.

Meanwhile in Vault 32

Moisés Arias (Norm) in Fallout. Credit: JoJo Whilden/Prime Video © 2024 Amazon Content Services LLC /

For the first time since the first episode, audiences get not only an important flashback but a look at what has been going on at Vault 32. The flashback reveals that the actor from the opening episode is a man named Cooper Howard, who is unsure about the direction of his cowboy character in a Western film.

As he debates whether his character should kill the bad guy or let him go, he meets his wife and daughter at the film studio where another opportunity awaits. Wearing the Vault-Tec blue and yellow uniform, Cooper is about to advertise Vault-Tec's vaults as per his wife's idea.

Although Cooper is skeptical that the blue and yellow suit can protect people from the nuclear bomb radiation, he does his job taking photos, including one where he gives the Thumbs Up. This now becomes another reason or perhaps the true reason why he wouldn't do that pose for the photo at the birthday party.

Vault 32 has been in disarray since the attack, as the surviving raiders are placed in a prison cell. Chet is immediately demoted for aiding in Lucy's escape.

When Norm awaits his punishment, the council realizes they can't truly punish him as he has hated every job he ever had. He becomes tasked with delivering food to the raiders, who act like wild and untamed beasts.

When the council calls for a meeting with all the Vault 32 survivors, it appears that only Norm and Steph want the raiders killed for their act. We can't really blame Steph as they murdered her husband Bert.

The rest of the survivors want to try to rehabilitate the captured raiders instead. This may cost the survivors more than they bargained for as their water supply could run out sooner than expected.

Although Norm and Steph seem to be on their own with their opinions, Steph seems dead set on getting revenge.

Fallout season 1 episode 3 review

Oh boy, Lucy cannot seem to catch a break. And the Ghoul's true distaste for Vault-Tec is very telling.

It seems while the Ghoul, once Cooper Howard, values his morals over a paycheck, his wife doesn't. She appears determined to make money, even if it means her husband agrees to vouch for something as untrue and dangerous as believing the Vault-Tec suit can protect against radiation.

What's telling is how vastly different Cooper is from the Ghoul. It seems all matter of being human, especially ones as kind and honest as he, has long since died in the apocalypse.

Although Max completes the mission, what happens when he returns, having taken the identity of Knight Titus? Or will some other misfortune fall upon him and Thaddeus?

Perhaps, most importantly, what happens to 4?! This episode did spectacularly well in the show's continued efforts to develop our three main characters.

Each action or inaction explains so much about them, giving each character a sense of realism. Who can honestly blame Steph for wanting revenge?

She's about to give birth and her baby will never know their father. How will this play out longterm for Vault 32?

Will Lucy be able to save her father? Will the Ghoul find a supply of vials and what happens if he doesn't?

Will Max come out on top and remain a knight? Thankfully we still have several more episodes left to find out.

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Watch Fallout season 1 on Amazon Prime Video.