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Sunday, June 2, 2024

Fallout |1x04 "The Ghouls"

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SQUAWKing down a couple rabbit holes: we uncover more evidence that Vault-Tec's cluster of vaults - 31, 32, and 33 - are merely a science experiment. The Enclave? Merely Vault-tec rebranded. On top of an immediate Season 2 announcement, will we at least get an announcement that Bethesda will be releasing a new game based, in part, on the events of Amazon Prime's knockout season?
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David Cameo:
Rachael Burt:
Sherrandy Swift:
Bridget Mason-Gray:


Carinae Davey:

  • The Ghoul may not be a zaddy (nor Norman Reedus/Daryl Dixon), but Cooper Howard/Walton Goggins certainly is. Perhaps Father Gabriel Stokes?
  • Grab our new merch store designs: SQUAWK-Tec yellow accent on blue background or blue accent on yellow background and our SQUAWKING Fallout logo designs!

  • On The Walking Dead Universe front, The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon - The Book of Carol will have an early screening of it's season two premiere at NYC's Tribeca Film Festival on June 8th. Wild speculation on when the general public will receive the first episode of it's second season (perhaps Daddy Daryl's Day/Father's Day?).

    Editor's note: as of this blog, both Dave and Bridget
    (along with a handful of supporters) will be in attendance!

  • We speculate on the reasons why ghouls might survive a little longer by eating their own kind and why/how normal folks become ghouls after the bombs fall. It's also possible that The Ghoul's serum is Horse Tranquilizers.
  • Cooper Howard is not a traditional protagonist and his actions are shaped by the harsh realities of the wasteland and what is shaping up to be a tragic past, pre-nuclear apocalypse. Had we not received the opening scene with he and his daughter escaping the the initial nuclear explosions, we might not have seen him as a protagonist at all. Survival and loss of humanity has shaped him into what he is, today. Watching his pre-apocalypse self at the end was a lot more like the pre-apocalypse version of him judging who he is today (feo, definitely, fuerte, maybe, but formal, definitely not).

  • The Ghoul is dragging Lucy MacLean down what appears to be a star-spangled path, indicating the type of hyper-nationalistic society pre-apocalypse America used to appear. Alogn with the touch of MacCarthyism we've seen in the previous episodes, we get a bigger picture of what lead to the fall.

  • Cooper's character development and choices are complex and thought-provoking, especially in relation to the way he put down Roger before he went feral, but then subsequently made ass-jerky out of him in order to survive. Ghouls are what Walkers might be like if you didn't have to die to turn (and it took, potentially, decades to go feral). Also, what if Cooper allowed himself to be studied (while in hibernation mode) so that scientists could discover the properties of what makes ghouls live longer without having to ghoul-out?
  • Were the Pip-Boys the cause of death of the residents of Vault 32, two years prior, since they died mid-riot? The inter-vault communication system containing information on interval trade, plus the video of  the population experiment on rodents playing on loop, helps Norm MacLean & Chet get answers.
  • If basically everything is nuclear-powered in this universe (Pip-Boys? Mr. Handy/Snip-Snip?), could a(n intentionally forced) collapse infrastructure lead to the explosions seen at the start of the first episode, rather than an actual nuclear warhead? What if the first-mover was Vault-Tec?
  • The presence of Lee Moldaver's Raiders in Vault 32 raises questions about their motives and possible involvement, if any at all. According to inter-vault communications, messages were sent as late as a year ago (excluding Lucy's inter-vault marriage proposal, just recently). If these residents died 2 years prior, was it the raiders who sent those messages or was it someone else?
  • Each vault in the Fallout universe has unique features and designs, which breeds potential for interconnected vaults (like we see in this series, via vaults 31, 32, and 33). Carinae informs us, however, that just as every vault in the Fallout universe has its own quirks, they were equally built to serve a(n often nefarious) purpose. And, small side-note, Cooper seems to recall Lucy's last name, MacLean: it's possible that we may see his pre-apocalypse self bump into one of her ancestors (who may have been involved, somehow, with Vault-Tec?).

  • Video games and TV shows can inspire each other, but the execution of such projects can be challenging: Fallout does an incredible job of not only accomplishing this but further expanding the lore in the games. The bottom line: what if the television series was not only a way of adapting the games to a new medium like television, but a built-in advertisement for not only Bethesda Games Studios' existing games but a brand new game that is presently in the works? This reminds Bridget of Defiance's adaptation to a video game whose mechanics changed based on the events of the show.

  • The "death" of Rose MacLean: Lucy's mother's voice echoing the words, What are you doing out here? during a memory she has while coming out of sedation is an intriguing mystery that we'll hopefully see uncovered in some form or fashion. She supposedly dies in the plague of 2277. Is Lucy starting to remember an important interaction with her mother that she might've suppressed? Dave also happens to think Rose resembles Alexa Nisenson who played Charlie on Fear The Walking Dead.

  • The conversation also touches on the nostalgia and familiarity of certain elements in Fallout, such as the sounds feral ghouls make and visual way in which the surgical instruments are displayed in the Super Duper Mart.

  • You might've missed the reason why ghouls were refrigerated in the first place and why there were different prices listed for them: replacement organs for ghouls (organs from feral ghouls are cheaper).

  • The portrayal of Mr. Handy, voiced by Matt Berry, further highlights the humorous foundation this television series (and the games) is built upon.
  • Mods, like Macho Man Randy Savage, in the Fallout and Elder Scrolls games allow for creative and humorous additions to the gameplay experience.

  • The attention to detail and fan service in the Fallout TV series is astounding and further highlights the dark humorous thread maintained in the games, like the unnaturally huge and wackily-worded Dairy Fresh Ice Cream billboard. There's also the matter of the health posters promoting chemicals and radiation as positives and the comically gaming-like presence of the green cross outside Westside Medical Clinic.

  • June is a busy month for TV shows we may or not plan on covering, including The Boys and House of the Dragon. We can certainly use your support to expand our repertoire!

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