DISCLAIMER: This recap of Fallout Season 1 Episode 7, “The Radio,” contains spoilers. Proceed at your peril. 

It’s penultimate episode time on Fallout‘s “The Radio.” Sh*t has effectively hit the fan. This outing is a delightful blend of biting humor, narrative revelations and tense moments with a heaping helping of heart. Lucy and Maximus are officially a couple. Admittedly, I’m not usually one to ship, but I love these two together. It helps that Ella Purnell and Aaron Moten boast excellent onscreen chemistry. Additionally, “The Radio” deftly explores class warfare, capitalism, bigotry and patriarchy. Science fiction is the best genre to delve into these themes. 

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Episode 7 — The Radio 

We open with a father and son, two lead farmers, utilizing metal detectors and shovels to find metal items. They return to their modest home to find The Ghoul (Walton Goggins) sitting at their kitchen table. The father calls out for his youngest child, his daughter, Sandra. He believes The Ghoul feasts on his daughter for a split second until Sandra (Alexandra Albert) appears. 

The Ghoul walks through the Wasteland at sunset while wearing a Stetson and a matching duster coat on Fallout Season 1 Episode 7, "The Radio."

FALLOUT Season 1 Episode 7, “The Radio.” Photo courtesy of Prime Video.

The Ghoul knows this man has an older son, Rufus, who left to live with Moldaver two years ago. Also, the middle son, Tommy (Charlie Besso), has been in contact with Rufus. He sent a letter to Moldaver asking for asylum for an Enclave defector. Unfortunately, The Ghoul intercepted that letter via Rufus—more like through Rufus. In case it’s unclear, Rufus is dead. 

Next, The Ghoul claims he’ll leave the family unharmed if they can tell him Moldaver’s location. The father begs Tommy to do so with haste. Tommy sighs, telling The Ghoul that Moldaver’s headquarters are at the Observatory. I love Griffith Observatory. It would be a prime place to live during the apocalypse. 

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The Ghoul wonders if Tommy will let him depart without trying to kill him. The father reassures The Ghoul that they won’t retaliate for him killing Rufus. Unfortunately, Tommy doesn’t uphold that promise. Before he can draw his gun, though, The Ghoul kills Tommy. 

The Truth 

In another flashback, Cooper Howard (Goggins) sits in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery with Charles Whiteknife (Dallas Goldtooth). Moldaver (Sarita Choudhury) delivers a speech. However, her disparaging of the military is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. He turns to leave. After a brief back-and-forth in front of the group, Cooper walks out. Moldaver follows him.

We learn that Moldaver is behind the fusion core, which provides infinite energy. She reveals the government has been in a resource battle for a decade. They have the power to end this war. But capitalism, baby, and war fills the pockets of those who run the world. Moldaver hands Cooper a listening device. She urges him to learn precisely what Vault-Tec is up to via his wife. Of course, Cooper doesn’t love the idea of spying on Barb. 

Side note: Moldaver corrects Cooper when he calls her a Communist. She says that’s the term the Powers That Be use for folks who aren’t crazy (I’m paraphrasing). It reminds me of the far right’s knee-jerk reaction to call everything “woke.” 

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Vault 4

Later, in the present, Lucy (Purnell) sits in the interrogation room in Vault 4. She sports handcuffs. Birdie (Cherien Dabis) and Overseer Benjamin (Chris Parnell) chat with her about what she saw on Level 12. Lucy can’t believe they would experiment on those poor women in the capsules. Benjamin and Birdie show Lucy video footage featuring the couple from the commercial Cooper filmed.

Lucy wears her blue and yellow vault dweller suit while standing inside Vault 33. She looks over her shoulder on Fallout Season 1 Episode 7, "The Radio."

FALLOUT Season 1 Episode 7, “The Radio.” Photo credit: JoJo Whilden/Prime Video.

Lloyd and Cassandra Hawthorne (Eric Berryman and Angel Desai) record their last words from their laboratory in Vault 4. Lloyd explains that their experiments have failed, as has their scientist-run society. We learn they attempted to hybridize humans and radioactive animals. Of course, it did not go well. The creatures fought back. Suddenly, Lloyd and Cassandra disappear as a Gulper lunges toward the camera. 

Birdie and Benjamin explain that these scientists from the early days of the apocalypse tested on their ancestors. Benjamin’s poor uncle was one of the unfortunate test subjects. Lucy apologizes, claiming she didn’t know about Vault 4’s dark history. Benjamin asks her about Vault 33’s experiments. Lucy responds that her vault never conducted such tests. So, what’s on Level 12 is what’s left over from those experiments from 200-ish years ago. 

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Despite Lucy’s understandable ignorance, Birdie and Benjamin declare that she must be punished. We see them drag her to a new location. She pleads loudly as the guards take her past Maximus’s (Moten) new home. He looks through the window at her, glances down at his popcorn bowl, considers his next move for a second and then acts. I love this moment — it cracks me up. Moten’s specific acting choices and the subtleties he adds to his character are brilliant. He has excellent comedic timing. 

Red Rocket 

Meanwhile, Thaddeus (Johnny Pemberton) limps toward a Red Rocket gas station. He lugs his bag and Dr. Wilzig’s dessicated head. CX404 accompanies him. Thaddeus removes the sock on his injured foot. You know, the one Maximus smashed while wearing the power armor. His foot looks gnarly as hell. Thaddeus complains about CX404 and how she acts like, wait for it, a dog. He puts her inside an empty Nuka-Cola freezer and leaves. I have no time for animal abusers. 

Next, Lucy is cuffed in front of the Vault 4 denizens. Birdie and Benjamin announce she’s about to receive her punishment. Benjamin brandishes a weapon and declares her sentence. When it seems he might kill her, he proceeds to remove her restraints. He’s sentencing her to a life on the surface. In short, they’re kicking her out. Not to worry, though; they’re sending her off with supplies. Benjamin turned into Jerry Smith here. 

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Lucy asks Birdie and Benjamin if Maximus can stay in Vault 4. He’s a good man. Suddenly, Maximus arrives on the scene in his power armor after stealing the fusion core. He orders the group to release Lucy before knocking some Vault 4 residents aside. Lucy reassures him that they are letting her go. After Maximus apologizes to the group, he and Lucy head to the surface. Lucy persuades him to return the fusion core to Vault 4. Without it, they’ll only have a few days’ worth of power. Thankfully, Maximus returns said fusion core. 

Maximus wears Brotherhood of Steel knight power armor while walking through the Wasteland during the day on Fallout Season 1 Episode 7, "The Radio."

FALLOUT Season 1 Episode 7, “The Radio.” Photo courtesy of Prime Video.

The Next Step 

Next, Lucy asks Maximus to move in with her to Vault 33—well, after all the Moldaver stuff and saving her dad. Maximus confesses that his name isn’t Knight Titus. That was the name of his knight. He watched Knight Titus die and stole the latter’s power armor after KT insulted him. Lucy understands, though. She’s done things she’s not proud of since venturing onto the surface world. She still wants Maximus to make a home in Vault 33. He accepts the offer. Aw. These two crazy lovebirds. 

Meanwhile, Thaddeus encounters the Snake Oil Salesman (Jon Daly), who takes him to the medical center to examine his foot. SOS reveals there are plenty of serums he could give Thaddeus. Thaddeus gives him the okay to administer what he feels is best. Naturally, SOS gives Thaddeus the serum that turns one into a ghoul. However, it heals Thaddeus’s busted foot. Thaddeus pays SOS in bottle caps before departing and learns that there’s a nearby radio tower. He can contact the Brotherhood of Steel now. 

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Then, Norm (Moisés Arias) gives the imprisoned Raiders their food. We see a brief montage of him doing this. However, one day, he finds their room door wide open. Overseer Betty (Leslie Uggams) and Woody (Zach Cherry) are on the scene. The Raiders are all dead. We learn they were given rat poison. Betty sends assignments to Vault 33, letting them know who’s going to Vault 32 and who’s staying put.

Vault Assignments 

Norm isn’t going anywhere, while Steph (Annabel O’Hagan), her baby and Chet (Dave Register) are heading to Vault 32. Norm visits Chet and learns of his next move. Steph remarks how tragic it is that those Raiders were poisoned. Hmm. I wonder if she did the deed. Norm can’t believe Chet can simply move on from what they saw in Vault 32. He calls him a coward. Chet reminds Norm that they’re vault dwellers—they’re all cowards. 

Later, The Ghoul arrives at the Red Rocket gas station. He tastes a reddish substance on the ground, probably Thaddeus’s blood. He hears CX404 whining inside the Nuka-Cola freezer and frees her. 

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We flashback to a day when Cooper sits on the couch with Roosevelt. He sees Barb’s Pip-Boy prototype on the counter. He connects it to the listening device Moldaver gave him. Coop places said device in his ear as Barb (Frances Turner) emerges with hot chocolate for him, Janey (Teagan Meredith) and herself.

However, once Barb is on the patio, Coop rethinks his actions. He tosses the listening device into the trash can. That evening, though, Coop retrieves the device from the bin. He’s changed his mind. We return to the present day, wherein The Ghoul sits with CX404 near a fire. The Ghoul states that CX404 isn’t Roosevelt. Ugh, may we never see what happened to that poor pup. 

No Requests 

Next, Thaddeus meets the radio tower operator (Fred Armisen), who also plays songs for the Wasteland on the radio. He doesn’t accept any requests. Thaddeus has already contacted the Brotherhood. Now, he awaits transport. Thaddeus admires the radioman’s various traps, which he’s erected around the tower. Suddenly, Lucy and Maximus appear. Thaddeus starts firing at them. However, he fails to hit them without a scope. 

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Then, one of the radioman’s traps blows back on Thaddeus. An arrow pierces his neck. But guess what? He doesn’t die. Thaddeus removes said arrow as the holes in his neck close. Maximus believes Thaddeus is a ghoul. Thaddeus panics, realizing the Brotherhood will kill him. Maximus offers to turn over Dr. Wilzig’s head to the Brotherhood and take the fall for Knight Titus’s death so Thaddeus can go on the run. 

After Thaddeus flees, Maximus grabs another head from one of the trespassers the radioman killed. He dirties it up to make it unrecognizable, using that one to hand to the Brotherhood. He gives Lucy Dr. Wilzig’s head.

Ah, Love 

Then, he encourages Lucy to head to Moldaver’s alone while he returns to the Brotherhood. Lucy urges him to find her at Vault 33. The pair share their first kiss. It’s so sweet. Even the two heads they’re holding are smooching. ¡Qué romántico! After that, the couple parts ways as a Brotherhood Vertibird hovers above. 

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Later, Overseer Betty speaks to the masses as the newly dubbed Vault 32 residents move into their new homes. Betty announces Steph as the new interim Overseer for Vault 32. Then, Steph, her baby, Chet, Woody and the others head into the dark vault ahead of them. It looks ominous as hell.

Steph wears a traditional blue and yellow vault dweller jumpsuit with a dark blue eye patch over her right eye. She smiles while standing in Vault 33.

FALLOUT Season 1 Episode 7, “The Radio.” Photo courtesy of Prime Video.

Norm sneaks into Betty’s office to use her computer. He hacks it and starts chatting with the Vault 31 Overseer. Overseer 31 asks if Betty has been compromised. Norm answers as Betty, claiming the mission hasn’t gone as planned. So, 31 urges Betty to come to Vault 31 immediately. 

Ah, Vault 31 

Next, Norm obliges. He wanders into Vault 31 and hears the whirring of a robot. He sees what looks like a moving robot in front of him. However, his expression changes once the camera focuses on him, indicating there’s more to this than what we’re seeing. 

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What do you think Norm saw? Will Maximus be warmly received by the Brotherhood even though he doesn’t have Wilzig’s head? What will Lucy find when she reunites with Moldaver? Only time (and one more episode) will tell. 

Fallout Season 1 is now streaming on Prime Video

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