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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Fallout |1x03 "The Head"

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Ah, The Golden Rule. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Our characters are a product of their environment - a system - and seem to be moving beyond their societal expectations, for better or worse. Feo, Fuerte, y Formal, indeed.
🎬A word of advice: tip us on Ko-fi or, for as little as $1 /month, join a membership tier on either Ko-fi or Patreon to receive the unedited episode recordings in advance of these premieres. We had the raw and unfiltered version of this episode available for your streaming pleasure a while ago, but unforeseen personal matters have taken precedence and we're behind on our episode releases. It will most likely continue that way for the next few recordings. As we also mentioned near the end of this episode, we could really use your support from here on in, so if you enjoy what we're doing and want to see what we're made of, be a part of something big and show your support!

David Cameo:
Rachael Burt:
Sherrandy Swift:
Bridget Mason-Gray:

SPECIAL GUEST

Carinae Davey:

  • Check out Carinae's art!

  • The ratings for Amazon Prime's Fallout are pretty high! Whether this season comes to somewhat of a close seems uncertain.
  • As we mentioned in the first episode, recently-minted Squire Thaddeus is played by Superstore's Johnny Pemberton. His character in Superstore, Bo Derek Thompson, actually predicts Johnny's role in Fallout.
    @riversquatch #fallout #johnnypemberton #cloud9 ♬ original sound - RiverSquatch
  • The episode dives into pre-war events, providing a unique perspective on the Fallout universe in the present (in contrast to The Walking Dead, which intentionally denied the viewer flashbacks and origin stories).
  • The character development of Cooper Howard is intriguing: there are hints at his past and how both it (and existing for 219 years) has shaped him.
  • The use of 50s songs, adds to the overall atmosphere and nostalgia. Of note, Johnny Cash's So Doggone Lonesome is reprised in Maximus' fight with the scavengers: this song first played when we were introduced to him while being brutally beaten by his fellow aspirants (including Thaddeus). This demonstrates how Maximus' past not only shapes his present, but the tragedy of it becomes a gift that he uses to overcome adversity.
  • Speaking of great music from the 50s while enjoying both this series and the games, it reminds Dave how much he enjoyed playing Grand Theft Auto while listening to Lazlow Jones on the radio. Carinae's favorite station to listen to was the original Three Dog, who [Editor's note] was voiced by none other than Chocolate Rain himself, Tay Zonday.
  • Rachael regales us with childhood memories of her uncle conducting the music of Glenn Miller Band's In the Mood, while we muse over how automobile conveniences and safety equipment - especially infant/toddler/child car seats - has changed dramatically in the last 50 years!
    @daisyorpeach Car seat safety 101 *Strap it in* πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚ #raisinghope #tvseries #pilot #baby #carseat #humour #funny #comedy #fyp #viral ♬ Hedwig's Theme - John Williams
  • In extreme conditions, ethical decisions may require different approaches than in normal circumstances. Norman MacLean's dilemma of how to deal with the imprisoned Raiders - in light of the broken water chip - raises questions about punishment, rehabilitation, and the value of life. Oh, and the actor who portrays him, MoisΓ©s Arias, not only played Rico in Hannah Montana, he also portrayed Sue's first boyfriend on The Middle.

  • The Golden Rule, do unto others as you would have done unto yourself, may need to be reevaluated in extreme situations. But you don't have to break The Golden Rule: explore being the change you want to see in the world. Either way, the version of it we see in this episode, again, is finding that your broken is a gift in the present. Oh and here is the story of Hillel the Elder explaining the essence of the Torah while his listener stood on one foot: a modified version of The Golden Rule, That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the entire Torah, and the rest is commentary. Now go and study..
  • Maximus behavior, and whether we like him or not, sparks a debate about whether he is a hero or a villain, further highlighting the complexity of morality in the Fallout universe. The different moral frameworks of The Vault Dwellers, The Brotherhood of Steel, and even The Enclave showcase the diverse perspectives within the game, which adds depth to the storytelling and each character's choices. We're even seeing, now, that Cooper Howard was trapped in a McCarthyist system until the nukes dropped, which has definitely informed his ghoulish present. Cue Maximus crushing the head of one of the scavengers:
  • For a comedic actor, Pemberton plays Thaddeus fairly straight, which allows Aaron Clifton Moten, who plays Maximus, to look and sound a lot more ridiculous. The comically huge (caddy?) bag squires drag around for their knights is a joke about the sheer amount of items players can typically carry in the games.
    I need a mod that makes all companions carry those big ass bags
    byu/ETkach infnv
  • As we talk about perks and drugs in the games, we relate it to the behavior The Ghoul starts to exhibit when his drugs are crushed: it's possible that he's merely reacting to the minuses of all the drugs he's taking.
  • We then speculate on Cooper Howard's overall motivation and the possibility of his daughter being alive in a vault that he simply hasn't found in 200+ years. Speaking of, he's a lot like those who play the game, Thou shalt get side tracked by bullshit every time. Knowing about his past and what we have yet to see that further shapes it, along with the song We'll Meet Again by The Ink Spots - which was about soldiers leaving for war (but largely regarded for those who never returned) - maybe he persists to see a better world than the one he left behind before the bombs dropped?
  • On the subject of how Cooper Howard might've become a Ghoul in relation to what happened to the citizen's of Vault 12, Vault-Tec has a dark side and the vaults in the game often don't function as advertised.
  • Dave draws a line between Norm and Doctor Siggi Wilzig as, at the very least, very similar characters, but also going as far to say that future Norm went back in time and assumed the rather interesting moniker to be of service to Lucy MacLean somehow.
  • There is a lot of unsaid subtext in Cooper Howards Vault-Tec photoshoot, with his wife possibly having a bigger role at Vault-Tec than both he and the audience is even aware. Also, lavender taffy sounds gross to the majority of hosts.
  • We discuss the gulper and its stomach contents, which include not only Wilzig's head and Lucy's boot, but yet another toaster (there's a toaster in every episode) and a pink flamingo. There's a small complaint over how the doe Lucy feeds should've had two heads (like most animals in the universe), but we fall on the side of it being a narrative choice to symbolize where Lucy is at, as a character in the universe.
  • A little color science (psychology/narrative/technology) was discussed while discussing the orange heads-up display (HUD) in the power armor and why we didn't feel as claustrophobic as the scenes where Dwight, Sherry, and even Morgan Jones were in gas masks in Fear The Walking Dead's Seventh Season. Speaking of FearTWD, CX-404 licking Wilzig's head reminded us of Season 6's premiere, The End is the Beginning, when Rufus, Emile LaRoux's dog, was licking Walter's decapitated head.

  • The conversation touches on the inbreeding in the vaults; however a cluster of 3 vaults (31, 32, and 33) really reduces the possibility. Most-likely, they also have a child limit in place to avoid overpopulation.

  • Everyone weighs in on a potential relationship between Norm and Stephanie Harper, with some finding it romantic and most seeing them as having more of a buddy-cop dynamic.

  • Feo, Fuerte, y Formal and John Wayne's legacy.

  • Sherrandy spots a caricature of Cooper Howard's character (in the movie he was working on). She also notes that famed singer/dancer Leslie Uggams plays interim Co-Overseer Betty Pearson, not to be confused for Nichel Nichols. Because of this chaotic conversation over mistaken identities, we joke about terrible song covers, particularly most of William Shatner's (just listen to his rendition of Mr. Tambourine Man); however, his album Has Been, produced by Ben Folds, is actually highly underrated and is a must-listen.


  • The appearance of Cooper Howard's character is progressively becoming more ghoulish, which probably has the opposite effect on (Walton Goggins) thirst-traps than intended. We're just glad to see him be more of a lead in a series. The design of The Ghoul in the show, though influenced by the games, is soft enough to show his humanity (and not scare us off). And, un/fortuantely, HotOrNot.com is no longer a thing, though RotOrNot.com happens to be a movie ranking website.

  • There are Easter eggs and visual references to the game, such as the appearance of Sunset Sarsaparilla and Maximus "respawning" after being brutally knocked down by the scavengers looking to grab his power armor.

  • The young woman repairing the power armor part may be a synth refugee of The Institute (in Cambridge, Massachusetts). Though Ghouls and Synths find little acceptance most places (ghouls more than synths), an example of the places where they are in the Fallout series of games is Nick Valentine, a synth who happens to be a detective in Fallout 4's Diamond City.

  • It's possible that real, extracted teeth (Maximus has an extraction of his own to pay for the part) is used as ammunition in a Junk Jet, but is a nod to the historical practice of using ivory or cadaver teeth as replacement/missing teeth (which might be what's happening here, with all the teeth lost as a result of radiation sickness).
  • The set design in Fallout is highly detailed and incorporates repurposed signs and mashed-together elements from a bygone era.
  • Players often get sidetracked by side quests in open-world games like Fallout, prioritizing exploration and immersion in the game world. We, too, become sidetracked as we spot, yet again, Mr. Handy wandering around California Crest Studios (pre-apocalypse) as well as promoted on a billboard in the end credits.

  • The chip in Wilzig's neck, which shocks Lucy when she touches it, most likely plays a significant role in the story to come. We muse over the Vault-Tec billboard promoting the vaults that The Ghoul shoots with his hand cannon. It actually references the Doomsday Clock which was created during the cold war after countries all over the world started building nuclear weapons. We're always 90 seconds to midnight.

  • Speaking of chips, Carinae mistakenly revealed the broken water chip referenced in this episode in our discussion of the first episode (also the basis of the original Fallout game). Could they have just replaced it with the one in Vault 32? Why can't they repair it? What will they do about The Raiders in light of their water problem?
  • Oh, and lest we forget, on the heels of our last episode, we see actors in Roman costumes wandering about California Crest studios. Might we see Caesar's Legion in future episodes?

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Friday, May 17, 2024

Fallout |1x02 "The Target"

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It seems as though all of our main characters are exhibiting aberrant behavior, stacked against the mission of their respective collectives. And Doctor Siggi Wilzig seems to know an awful lot about Lucy MacLean, doesn't he?
🎬A word of advice: tip us on Ko-fi or, for as little as $1 /month, join a membership tier on either Ko-fi or Patreon to receive the unedited episode recordings in advance of these premieres. We had the raw and unfiltered version of this episode available for your streaming pleasure weeks ago, but unforeseen personal matters have taken precedence and we're behind on our episode releases. It will most likely continue that way for the next few recordings. As we also mentioned near the end of this episode, we could really use your support from here on in, so if you enjoy what we're doing and want to see what we're made of, be a part of something big and show your support!

David Cameo:
Rachael Burt:
Sherrandy Swift:

SPECIAL GUEST

Carinae Davey:

  • The second episode of Amazon Prime's Fallout series moves the story forward as our protagonists actually engage one another (while introducing us to more characters).
  • This episode has game-like elements and pays attention to detail in set design.
  • The music and performances in the episode are praised by the hosts.
  • Filly is representative of the kinds of towns you see in the Fallout games. The "not so bright" dirt farmer played by Fear The Walking Dead alum, Michael Abbott Jr. (who played Isaac in FearTWD 6x01, The End is the Beginning), whom we meet outside of Filly is typical of the kind of wastelander you will meet in your travels.
  • Maximus's actions clearly prioritize his personal goals over the ideals of the Brotherhood.
  • His experience with the power armor, and Knight Titus' with the yaoguai, teaches him the limitations of his invincibility.
  • Ma June is played by Dale Dickey who you may have recognized from her roles as Patty Weezmer, the daytime hooker from My Name is Earl, and Spooge's lady, Skank, from Breaking Bad. The Chicken Molester is played by comedian John Daly. And, of course, Titus is played by - just above that guy status Michael Rapaport.
  • The interaction with the ghoul highlights the gray areas of morality, in opposition to Lucy MacLean's and Maximus' black and white (more or less) version of it.
  • The conversation explores themes of heroism, personal goals, and shades of morality... because chicken molestation in a comically violent world is the least of everyone's problems.
  • The violence and gore, specifically when Ma June attaches Wilzig's prosthesis, is over the top and comical, which is reminiscent of The Boys.
  • Stimpaks in the game can heal an insane amount of injuries (Lucy's and CX-404's stab wounds), but they cannot heal radiation damage.
  • The concept of eating unconventional food - like radroaches, dog meat, sting wing meat, bloatfly steaks, iguana, and lizard tails - is explored within the context of survival.

  • The show touches on ethical questions regarding the killing of animals and the genetic engineering of dogs.
  • Dr. Siggi Wilzig's blackboard hints at his experiments with genetic engineering and behavior modification. Every dog is perfect in its own way, but perfection is subjective.

  • Behavioral Engineering and Maxwell's Laws may be two different approaches to understanding and manipulating the world... or something else entirely, like the device Wilzig injected in his neck.

  • The desire for companionship and human connection is a fundamental aspect of being human, which might be another reason why The Ghoul / Cooper Howard takes in CX-404 (outside tracking Wilzig).
  • The concept of the norm is subjective and can vary depending on societal expectations. Lucy & Maximus may seem more or less normal to us, but not within their own society.
  • In a post-apocalyptic world, individuals must choose to adapt or die. It's evident by the presence of both stimpaks (the ability to heal from anything) and Plan-D (the most humane product Vault-Tec ever invented: essentially Euthanasia by way of banana-flavored cyanide).
  • Morality and decision-making can vary greatly depending on personal values and circumstances, such as Lucy choosing her syringer over the deadly weapons in Ma June's Sundries to engage The Ghoul.
    Lee Moldaver's name, whom everyone knows, in Ma June's ledger

  • Fallout has visual callbacks to the games, like comic books and lunchboxes, that fans will appreciate and immerses newcomers into the universe.


  • The turret robot's purpose and its Dr. Wilzig's cartoony close call with it.
  • Speculation on the power source of the Pip-Boy and the Enclave's possible knowledge of the vaults.

  • The possibility that the vault dwellers are being monitored and used as science experiments.
  • The significance of the songs in the episode and their cultural impact.
  • The character development of Maximus and the exploration of his choices and identity is something many fans have a hard time enjoying because he's basically you: deluding yourself into thinking you're the hero of your own story. It reminds us of the very opening scene of Dispatches from Elsewhere.
  • Reflections on the lingering fear of nuclear warfare and the cultural impact of the Cold War.

  • The TV series includes various references and details from the Fallout games, such as the appearance of a super mutant and the use of laser rifles by guards.
  • The destroyed/deactivated Assaultron robot on the beach could've been a problem for Lucy.

  • The power armor's resistance to fall damage could've been featured in the show, which could've been true to the game's mechanics, had Maximus leveraged it in his fight with The Ghoul.
  • The remnants of a crashed Russian Chinese satellite hints at the scale of destruction and tragic origins of the Fallout universe.

  • The show balances a fun and cartoonish tone with the serious and intense nature of post-apocalyptic storytelling.
  • The hosts compare the show to other post-apocalyptic series like The Last of Us and The Walking Dead, noting the different approaches to violence and tone. Video games like Fallout and The Last of Us succeed by staying true to their genre and providing a mix of seriousness and levity. Adapting video games into other mediums, such as TV series, can be challenging due to the unique interactive nature of games.

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