The Biggest Questions We Have After FALLOUT’s First Season


Prime Video’s Fallout has provided definitive answers to longtime franchise mysteries both big and small. We now know who dropped the nuclear bombs that began The Great War. The series even showed how Vault Boy got his signature thumbs up pose. But Fallout also raised plenty of new questions that season two (and hopefully beyond) will need to address.

From secret Vault-Tec plans and ghoul medicine, to powerful energy sources and family drama, these are the biggest questions we have after Fallout‘s first season.

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Spoiler Alert

Who Is Pulling the Strings for Vault-Tec in Fallout? And Why Are They Living in New Vegas?

Budd Askins of Vault-Tec
Prime Video

Fallout saved its biggest unanswered question for the very end—after we’d learned exactly how evil Vault-Tec has always been. The conglomerate that owned “half of everything” destroyed the world, so its executives could one day rule/manage society as they saw fit. Its vaults are not civilization-saving bunkers; they’re a way to control mankind.

The Ghoul already knew, from his past as the actor and Vault-Tec spokesperson Cooper Howard, just how evil the company has always been. But he also knows someone is “pulling the strings” for everything that has happened for more than 200 years. To stop Vault-Tec, he needs to stop them. Of course, Fallout‘s finale sets up the major question: Just who is in charge of Vault-Tec’s post-apocalyptic activities?

The Ghoul—whose unique past and insight makes him as well-prepared to fight Vault-Tec as anyone— has a plan to find the mastermind. He shot a tracker into Lucy’s dad, Hank MacLane, rather than killing the Vault 33 overseer in Fallout‘s final episode. The Ghoul let the Vault-Tec executive flee in a Brotherhood power armor suit because Coop knew Hank would go straight to his boss.

Golden sky over New Vegas and the desert in Fallout
Prime Video

The world’s puppet master is not just anywhere, though, they’re in New Vegas. That’s the site of the Fallout New Vegas video game and where a major war for control of the Hoover Dam took place. The presence of Fallout‘s New Vegas opens up a whole new can of questions. For instance, when and why did the company choose that site as its base of operations? How might the company’s plans connect to the game? And, most importantly, as mentioned, who actually is the person pulling the strings that have kept society under Vault-Tec’s thumb?

The answer might be connected to another major question from season one of Fallout.

Where is The Ghoul’s Family?

Cooper Howard's wife Barb suggesting Vault-Tec drop the first nuclear bombs of the great war
Prime Video

Coop was with his daughter when the bombs went off, but we had no idea what happened to her until The Ghoul demanded information from Hank about his family’s whereabouts. Little Janey is not dead. Coop seems to know that, somehow, both his ex-wife and child survived the Great War and are alive somewhere.

This knowledge given to viewers by Fallout‘s finale yields the following follow-up questions for us about the Ghoul’s family. Are Janey and Barb Howard both in stasis like other Vault-Tex executives? If so, is each woman waiting to take their place as a Vault overseer? Are they instead both ghouls like Howard? Or is one (or both) of them the person pulling the strings in New Vegas?

Cooper in his sheriff outfit with his child
Prime Video

Coop’s wife was at the forefront of Vault-Tec’s evil plan. She didn’t just take charge during the meeting when Vault-Tec execs decided to kill the world, Barb Howard was the one who said the company would drop the bombs themselves. It certainly makes us question whether she is indeed the great evil in Fallout‘s world.

Will Chet or Anyone Else Rescue Norm From Vault 31?

While Hank’s daughter is now heading to New Vegas to hunt down her dad and his boss, Hank’s other child is trapped in Vault 31. No human is living there. It’s merely a holding station for Vault-Tec executives in stasis. Since poor, astute Norm now knows everything about Vault-Tec and the people who come from 31, the brain of Bud Askin’s won’t let Norm leave. And with no food or water Norm seemingly has no choice but to use his dad’s former pod to survive until someone lets him out.

A scared Norm in his blue Vault-Tec suit
Prime Video

Who could that be? The only other Vault dweller who has any inkling of malfeasance in Vault 31 is the “coward” Chet, de facto husband of a Vault 31/Vault-Tec executive wife. If Chet, a former gatekeeper capable of breaking into 31, can’t find the courage to help his friend, is there anyone else who could? We’ll have to wait and see if season two of Fallout answers that question.

How Will Vault Dwellers React to the Truth About the Overseers and Vault-Tec?

Three Vault dweller leaders at a table on Fallout
Prime Video

Genuine Vault dwellers, like the people born and raised in 33, are passive individuals not equipped for conflict. It’s why they always, without realizing it, vote people from 31 in the role of overseer.

So how will they react to finding out the terrible truth that their entire existence is a lie told by monsters who want to reshape the world in their image? Will Fallout‘s Vault dwellers fight back when everything is revealed eventually? Will they fight for their home or flee for the harsh surface? Or will they give in to the evil Vault-Tec willingly rather than stand up for themselves and civilization?

What Will the Brotherhood Do With Unlimited Power? How Can Maximus Stop The Brotherhood?

The start of a blue cold fusion reaction on Fallout
Prime Video

The Brotherhood of Steel might think of itself as noble Knights, but the militaristic group is no better than the other evil organizations that want to rule the world with an iron fist. Unlike other entities, though, the Brotherhood now contains the greatest power the world has ever known: unlimited energy. In Fallout‘s season one finale, Moldaver unlocked cold fusion power, which in theory should mean an end to humanity fighting over limited resources. (Dwindling resources helped push the world to annihilation centuries ago.)

Unfortunately, that planet-changing tech fell into Brotherhood’s hands in the season one finale, and there’s no reason to think the organization will do anything with it but oppress and control society.

Free cold fusion might mean the Brotherhood is now unstoppable, but if anyone can prevent its dominance its own members. A dying Moldaver told Maximus, now the Brotherhood’s greatest hero, that he might be the only one who can stop them. Even if he ultimately can’t, she said he has to try, but what exactly does trying even mean? What can he do? Who, if anyone, can he even trust to help him? Unlimited energy means unlimited power. And so we have to question, what is a single Knight, even Fallout’s Maximus, to do against that?

What Would Unlimited Free Energy Actually Mean for the World?

Two people from a destroyed building look out at lights coming on in the city on fallout
Prime Video

If Maximus can stop the Brotherhood in Fallout and give the world the unlimited free energy Moldaver created, it begs the question, what will actually happen to the world? Will it heal itself and end war forever? Will it lead to the utopia so many have dreamed of, only without terrible people in charge? Or will cold fusion be yet another disappointment in mankind’s story as people find new, different reasons to fight one another?

Why Did the Enclave Have Secret Vault-Tec Technology?

A woman takes something out of a dad man's head with a big needle on Fallout
Prime Video

The Enclave was one of the least explored groups on Fallout and so we have many questions about them. But the agency founded by former government officials has long been a major antagonist of the video game franchise. As the Prime Video series hinted, surface dwellers despise the heinous group with good reason. The genocidal, racist organization wants a world of only “pure” humans.

Like every other organization in Fallout, The Enclave also wants to rule over society. That would seemingly put it in direct conflict with Vault-Tec, and in Fallout video games, that has seemingly been the case. The Enclave, which began with a deep state within the government, has spied on Vault-Tec and its underground Vaults from the surface for centuries. That’s how Wilzig knew everything about Lucy MacLane.

But none of that explains exactly how The Enclave ended up with arguably Vault-Tec’s most valuable technology in Fallout. Did The Enclave steal Vault-Tec’s unfinished cold fusion tech? If so, why didn’t it use it? The Enclave was sitting on the possibility of unlimited power, but instead kept it locked away?

Vault Boy on a green screen next to blue liquid on Fallout
Prime Video

It’s possible that The Enclave simply did not have the code to access the technology. But alternatively, Fallout invites us to question whether The Enclave did not use its greatest asset because it’s not actually competing with Vault-Tec and never has. Were the government officials always conspiring with Vault-Tex executives? The company basically ran/owned the United States before The Great War. Was it controlling the deep state that became the Enclave, which is actually just another branch of Vault-Tec? Or are the two groups part of one larger secret entity run by the mastermind in New Vegas?

Wilzig’s efforts and sacrifice to steal back Moldaver’s cold fusion technology (which still bore the name of Vault-Tec on it) raises the possibility The Enclave was hiding it on behalf of the people who were most desperate to keep it locked away. We need to know exactly why The Enclave did that and what it means for its relationship with Vault-Tec.

Is The Enclave Hiding Mutants?

Scientists wheel a body with a green hand coming out from the sheet on fallout
Prime Video

The Enclave might be hiding another big secret in Fallout‘s universe. The group’s aim is to kill all “non-pure” humans, yet scientists at the organization’s highly guarded laboratory were seen wheeling out the dead body of a mutant. Mutants are a group of green, super-powered, transformed humans well-known from the Fallout games. Mutants are created by something known as the Forced Evolutionary Virus.

While the Enclave has employed super mutants before, seeing one wheeled through its halls is something entirely different. What kind of experiments are they doing in the Enclave? Are its residents keeping mutants? Turning people into mutants? Trying to build an even stronger race of them to use as soldiers in a coming war?

That shot of a green hand hanging out of a hospital sheet was a “blink and you’ll miss it moment,” yet it raised some tantalizing questions about the sinister Fallout organization that could have big payoffs as a new war looms on the wasteland’s horizon.

Does the Existence of Ghoul Medicine Also Mean There’s a Cure for Ghouls?

Walton Goggins Ghoul on Fallout
Prime Video

Prime Video’s series introduced an all-new, very important item to the Fallout franchise. The Ghoul takes a valuable medicine that keeps him from going feral, the fate that ultimately awaits himself and his fellow ghouls without it. So long as he doesn’t get shot in the brain, that medicine assures Cooper Howard can continue roaming the wasteland as a noseless gunslinger forever.

But the show also revealed there’s a medicine (possibly the same one) that heals terrible injuries by turning people into ghouls instantly. Though we have many questions, we don’t know what these Fallout ghoul medicines are, where they came from, or who made them just yet. However, we do know from Fallout video games that there were pre-Great War ghouls created via radiation experiments. People wanted to unlock immortality and keep themselves safe from radiation poisoning so they could survive nuclear war.

Thaddeus reaches for medicine on Fallout
Prime Video

Squire Thaddeus’s transformation into a ghoul isn’t an entirely new concept to the franchise, only the medicines used to create those mutants and keep them from going feral are. But the better question raised by his Fallout transformation and Coop’s anti-feral inhalers has nothing to do with those medicines, their creators, or their own origin. It’s that their very existence raises the possibility that a ghoul cure might also exist in Fallout‘s world.

If you can make something that turns someone into a ghoul and keeps them from going feral, you might also be able to create a medicine that reverses the process entirely. The Enclave and/or Vault-Tec was sitting on one world-changing technology. Why couldn’t they also be sitting on another one?

How Was Moldaver Still Around, and Who Helped Her?

Moldaver sits back in her chair at a table in a ruined Observatory in Fallout
Prime Video

Ghouls can outlive humans for a long time in the wasteland, which is how Cooper Howard is still alive centuries after he should have died. We also know longterm stasis is how Vault-Tec executives are still in charge of their Vaults centuries later. But season one of Fallout didn’t actually explain how Moldaver was around more than 200 years after she first met Coop inside a mausoleum, leaving us with a big question mark around her existence.

Was Moldaver the healthiest ghoul in the world? That seems unlikely since a bullet to the abdomen killed her. Multiple gunshot wounds did nothing to Coop since ghouls have super-healing abilities. So, who put her into stasis long ago, and who woke her up in the present? Who was aiding Moldaver in her continued quest to stop Vault-Tec? Was it someone within the organization itself? If so, could that mean Barb Howard isn’t the puppet master in New Vegas but someone trying to atone for her monstrous past? Or could her daughter have been the one who woke up Moldaver?

Civilization’s greatest champion might be dead, but Moldaver’s story still has a big role to play in Fallout’s future—a future full of questions we need answers to.

Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist strangely intrigued by Fallout’s ghoul medicine. You can follow him on Twitter and  Bluesky at @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.


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