DISCLAIMER: This recap of Fallout Season 1 Episode 8, “The Beginning,” contains spoilers. Proceed at your peril. 

The season finale is finally here. Fallout‘s “The Beginning” undoubtedly marks the start of a new chapter for the Wasteland. It’s a high-octane, jam-packed outing that delivers a few twists and sets up plenty of narrative threads to explore in Season 2. Lucy’s world completely shattered in “The Beginning.” While it’s nothing innovative to employ the “role reversal” trope, i.e., Moldaver was actually the hero and Hank the villain; it’s done well here. We get quite a bit of backstory for Lucy and Norm’s parents, who weren’t what they seemed to be. 

All in all, Season 1 is a ton of fun. It gleefully dances on the knife’s edge of pulpy ultraviolence and dark, biting comedy. The writers aren’t afraid to immerse us in this world, and the story doesn’t move too quickly, which is wonderful. We get to enjoy this larger-than-life, wholly unique universe. Plus, the performances are top-notch, especially the three leads. 

Best of all, it delves into critical, relevant societal themes and dissects how humans react when subjected to high-stakes situations (like the apocalypse). True morality goes out the window when the world ends. 

RELATED: Read our recap of the previous Fallout episode, “The Radio”

Episode 8 — The Beginning

We open with Maximus (Aaron Moten) sitting in a Vertibird as he prepares to meet his fate. Elder Cleric Quintus (Michael Cristofer) notices he’s wearing a suit for knights. Maximus reveals what happened to Knight Titus before giving Quintus the head he stole from the radioman’s property. Quintus examines it, determining that it’s not Dr. Wilzig’s head. He doesn’t believe Maximus’s claim that Knight Titus is dead. 

Maximus wears a black flight suit while standing in formation in the Brotherhood of Steel headquarters on Fallout Season 1 Episode 8, "The Beginning."

FALLOUT Season 1 Episode 8, “The Beginning.” Photo courtesy of Prime Video.

Thus, he orders his knights to put Maximus to death in front of everyone. Thankfully, Dane (Xelia Mendes-Jones) steps in and admits they put the blade in their boot. They sabotaged themself. Quintus admires their loyalty to Maximus, so he calls off the execution. Quintus pulls Maximus aside. Maximus reassures Quintus that he can find the real head. He knows where it is.

Quintus laments the current state of the Brotherhood of Steel. It’s not what it used to be. He wants to remake the Brotherhood, with Maximus as his right-hand man. Of course, that kinda throws a wrench in Maximus’s plan to live with Lucy in Vault 33. Meanwhile, Lucy (Ella Purnell) carries Dr. Wilzig’s head into Moldaver’s headquarters at the Griffith Observatory. It’s also the headquarters of the New California Republic. She sees one of the ghouls she freed from Super Duper Mart among the Observatory’s residents. 

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Elsewhere, The Ghoul (Walton Goggins) makes a beeline for Moldaver. We flashback to Cooper Howard (Goggins) dropping Barb (Frances Turner) off at the Vault-Tec headquarters. Bud (Michael Esper), Coop’s new favorite person, parks beside him. Bud and Barb are heading into an important meeting with what he calls “Bud’s Buds.” After he leaves, Coop sticks the listening device in his ear. Noticing that the further Barb gets away from him, the more difficult it is to hear her, he decides to go inside the building. 

In the present, Lucy barges onto the top floor of the Observatory. She sees her father, Hank (Kyle MacLachlan), in a cage. Moldaver (Sarita Choudhury) sits with a ghoul at a table full of food. Moldaver offers Lucy some food. However, Lucy wants to get this over with. She hands Moldaver Wilzig’s head. Moldaver extracts the serum he injected behind his ear. Sure enough, that was the tech of “profound potential.” Moldaver begins to tell Lucy how she knows her dad. 

Norm wears his blue and yellow vault dweller jumpsuit while standing in Vault 33 and looking suspicious on Fallout Season 1 Episode 8, "The Beginning."

FALLOUT Season 1 Episode 8, “The Beginning.” Photo credit: JoJo Whilden/Prime Video.

Roomba Brain 

At the same time, Norm (Moisés Arias) encounters a strange creature in Vault 31. It’s a robot—well, more like a Roomba with a brain—trapped by some cleaning implements. This is Overseer 31. He doesn’t recognize Norm, so Norm tells him he’s Overseer Hank’s son. After that, Overseer 31 initiates “Protocol 53” and brandishes a syringe in Norm’s direction. 

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Of course, he’s a lil Roomba, so Norm can evade him. He wanders toward the room Overseer 31 expressly forbids him from entering. In the flashback to 2077, Cooper chats with young Betty (Princess Bey), who admits she doesn’t know when Barb will be free that day. Betty asks him if he’ll meet Henry, a superfan of his. Coop obliges. Oh, I knew something was fishy about Betty.

Next, Coop inserts the listening device in his ear. He sits outside Barb’s meeting with “Bud’s Buds.” Barb and Bud represent Vault-Tec, while Leon Von Felden (James Yaegashi) reps West-Tek, Frederick Sinclair (Michael Mulheren) reps Big MT and Julia Masters (Rebecca Watson) reps REPCONN. Bud reveals he wants all these companies to collaborate on “some of the vaults.” 

Preserve the Assets 

Then, Bud states he plans to beat the game of capitalism by outliving his competitors. Essentially, they need to extend the human lifespan. Barb offers her two cents after everyone starts talking over each other. At the same time, we return to Vault 31, wherein Nor discovers countless giant capsules like the ones in Vault 4. These are to preserve Vault-Tec’s assets, including none other than Hank MacLean and Betty Pearson, current Overseer of Vault 33. Norm is shocked. Oh, and Overseer 31 is actually Bud (Esper). He definitely outlived them all. 

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Since Vault 31 exists to preserve the best and brightest from the pre-apocalypse world, what does that mean for 32 and 33? Bud tells Norm that the humans in those vaults are merely for breeding. It’s about keeping humanity thriving. The genetically fit ones will breed with Bud’s Buds to create a superhuman of sorts. Meanwhile, in the past, Barb and Bud’s meeting takes a terrifying turn.

While the representatives of these companies all agree that war makes them money, they’re unsure how to double or triple those profits. Barb yields an ominous suggestion: They drop the bomb. According to her, it’s the only way to keep the money flowing and put all this apocalyptic stuff into action. Cooper, who’s eavesdropping with his listening device, looks gobsmacked. How can his wife suggest such a thing?

Henry “Hank” MacLean

Then, Betty delivers the superfan as promised. We see it’s a young Hank who shakes hands with Coop. He’s still reeling from his wife’s proposal that they start a nuclear war. In the present, Moldaver tells Lucy that Hank has withheld many secrets from her. Does she wonder why Moldaver took him? Well, for starters, Hank has been around since before the war — he’s well over 200 years old, like Moldaver. 

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Maximus thanks Dane for saving his life as the Brotherhood prepares to storm the Griffith Observatory. He tells them he met someone and hopes to reunite with her at Moldaver’s headquarters. Maximus also shares his plan to live with Lucy in Vault 33. Dane appreciates Maximus’s enthusiasm, but nobody leaves the Brotherhood of Steel. Then, the Brotherhood sets out in their Vertibirds to steal The Target. 

Maximus wears Brotherhood of Steel knight power armor while walking through the Wasteland during the day on Fallout Season 1 Episode 8, "The Beginning."

FALLOUT Season 1 Episode 8, “The Beginning.” Photo courtesy of Prime Video.

Meanwhile, Moldaver explains that Lucy’s mom, Rose, was able to figure out that civilization had returned to the surface in the form of Shady Sands. When Hank told Rose her idea was foolish, she realized he was hiding things from her. So, she took Lucy and Norm and fled to the surface. Unfortunately, Hank tracked them down, took Lucy and Norm and burned Shady Sands to the ground. Lucy recalls a memory of her with her mother in Shady Sands. She met a younger Moldaver there. So, it was a real sun she felt then. 

Cold Fusion 

Moldaver tells Lucy that she brought the former cold fusion. If you recall, the Moldaver from 200-some years ago told Cooper that she invented cold fusion tech but Vault-Tec bought it. Moldaver states that having an infinite energy source will change lives. It could restore humanity to what it was. Hank vehemently urges Lucy not to believe Moldaver. 

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Now, when Vault-Tec bought Moldaver’s cold fusion tech, they made it proprietary. Only a trusted Vault-Tec employee can activate the cold fusion. She needs Hank’s code. Lucy asks what happened to her mother before it dawns on her. She looks at the ghoul sitting at the table. Lucy recognizes the necklace around its neck. That’s Rose MacLean. Oh, that’s heartbreaking. Side note: Rose and Moldaver were definitely lovers. I can dig it. 

Lucy tearfully urges her dad to give Moldaver the code. After a few pleas, Hank waves the white flag. He punches in the code. Suddenly, the activation process kicks in. Meanwhile, Norm is taken aback by what he learned about his dad. He sees a list of “reactivated” assistants, which includes Hank and Betty. He tries to leave, but Bud prevents him from doing so. Norm can’t go home with what he knows. He must be put to sleep. Bud will wake him up when it’s time to repopulate the Earth again, which could be hundreds of years from now. Uh-oh. Sorry, Normie. 


Then, Hank says his piece to Lucy. He stands by what he did, claiming it was in the name of preserving humanity. Rose simply impeded that. We see the cold fusion is 100 percent ready. Just as Moldaver is about to test it, though, the Brotherhood arrives. 

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Maximus, Dane and the others descend upon the New California Republic headquarters while Moldaver joins her soldiers on the ground. It’s an immensely bloody affair as the Brotherhood knights take out Moldaver’s foot soldiers. Lucy stands in abject shock after her father finishes defending his actions. He blew up a whole civilization and condemned her mom to the life of a ghoul. That’s not cool. 

While Maximus makes his way to Lucy, he and a few other Brotherhood members run into The Ghoul. The Ghoul reveals he used to wear the power armor as a soldier in the military before the nuclear war. It had a design flaw. The Ghoul shoots at one knight to see if the flaw remains. Sure enough, it is. The knight dies. 

The Ghoul walks through the Wasteland at sunset while wearing a Stetson and a matching duster coat.

FALLOUT Season 1 Episode 8, “The Beginning.” Photo courtesy of Prime Video.

Shady Sands Destroyer 

Hank continues persuading Lucy to open the doors to his cage. A knight trudges into the space before keeling over. Maximus enters behind the fallen soldier. He reunites with Lucy. Hank introduces himself as her father, asking Maximus if he can unlock the cage. Maximus does so without thinking. Lucy explains to Maximus that Hank is responsible for Shady Sands’ eruption. He’s the reason Maximus doesn’t have a home. 

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While they’re talking, Hank hijacks the fallen knight’s power armor. He tells Lucy she’s coming with him. Enraged, Maximus lunges at Hank. Unfortunately, Hank utilizes the power armor to punch Maximus so hard that he falls unconscious instantly. Lucy tries to wake him but is unsuccessful. Lucy whips out a gun and trains it on her dad. He doesn’t believe she’ll hurt him until she fires on him. A bullet grazes his cheek. 

The Ghoul emerges from the shadows, calling out to Hank. He recalls meeting a much younger Hank back in the day when the latter was his superfan. Of course, Hank is shocked to see the Cooper Howard as a ghoul. The Ghoul points his weapon at Hank, demanding to know where his family is. Hank doesn’t answer. Instead of pulling the trigger, The Ghoul lets Hank escape. 

Join The Ghoul 

Lucy tries in vain to wake up Maximus while The Ghoul monologues about how there’s always someone pulling the strings, even when the world plunged into abject chaos. He reveals that Lucy’s whole existence was decided by big suits in a boardroom over 200 years ago (his wife included). Hank is heading toward the one in charge. The Ghoul will let Lucy tag along if she wants to so they can do the same. 

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Lucy kisses Maximus and promises to return to him. Then, she shoots her ghoul mother in the head before leaving the Observatory with her former captor. Later, Maximus wakes up. He calls out for Lucy. Moldaver stumbles into the space, clutching her side. She’s wounded. Moldaver activates the cold fusion. We see lights spring up all over the city of LA. Even though Ghoul Rose is dead, Moldaver sits beside her and holds her hand. “We did it, Rose,” she whispers. Moldaver watches the lights before passing away peacefully. 

Next, Dane and the other Brotherhood soldiers find Maximus. Dane assumes Maximus killed Moldaver, aka Public Enemy No. 1. Dane and the others let out cheers for “Maximus the Knight.” Maximus tries to explain that he didn’t murder Moldaver, but it’s no use. 

Lucy wears her blue and yellow vault dweller jumpsuit and backpack while standing in an abandoned house.

FALLOUT Season 1 Episode 8, “The Beginning.” Photo credit: JoJo Whilden/Prime Video.

Where We Go Next 

Meanwhile, Lucy, The Ghoul and CX404 make their way toward the one at the top for some much-needed answers. Perhaps Ole Ghoulie will reunite with his family. Maybe Lucy will get what she needs, too. At the same time, Hank arrives at what looks like New Vegas. 

It’s the beginning of the end. 

RELATED: Read all of our Fallout recaps here!

Where is The Ghoul’s family? Will Lucy discover that Norm is in stasis in Vault 31? What awaits Steph, Chet and the other new residents of Vault 32? Can we assume the fallen denizens of 32 died because they knew of the lab experiments or something even more sinister? What’s Hank’s plan? How will the cold fusion benefit the Wasteland? Will Lucy and Maximus reunite sooner rather than later? 

Here’s hoping Season 2 comes quickly. 

Fallout Season 1 is now streaming on Prime Video

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