Fallout Episode 6 Recap: Give Me The Simple Life

Fallout Episode 6 Recap: Give Me The Simple Life

Fallout Episode 6 is a real doozy. The heat continues to rise as we near the pointy end of the Prime Video series’ first season. Timelines and story threads begin to converge and there are twists and turns aplenty as our heroes make some sobering discoveries about the world around them (and themselves in the process). This episode is a longer one than the last, so strap in for this wacky rollercoaster. Below, you’ll find our full recap of the entire episode, with a few thoughts interspersed.

You can watch all eight episodes of Fallout on Prime Video. It’s already streaming in full.

Straight up, if you don’t want spoilers for Fallout Episodes 1-6, do not read anything that follows this top line of text. I mean it. I am going spoiler bonkers below. Like any episode recap, this is a yarn for people who have either seen it and want a little extra insight, or they just want a digest of what happened in the episode. If you’d prefer not to cop any spoils, please watch the episode and then wander back over. I’d love to see a proper discussion in the comments.

If you’d like to catch up on our Fallout episode recaps, you can find each one listed below.

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Image: Kotaku Australia

We kick off with a ten-minute cold open before we even hit the title screen that once again delves into Coop’s backstory. This time, he’s in a black-and-white broadcast, directly addressing the audience. We quickly learn this is another ad for Vault-Tec. But rather than donning the iconic blue and yellow Vault suit of Episode 4, this time, he’s actually in a real Vault. Vault 4, to be precise. Save that tidbit of information for later.

Coop explores Vault 4 and sings its praises – a product that can “keep out the rads, and the Reds” – a state of the art facility capable of housing hundreds in the comfort of 50s Americana. This particular Vault, we learn, is currently inhabited and governed by scientists in a five-year trial, with the family in particular specialising in the effects of radiation on human DNA. Another little morsel I’d recommend filing away for later use.

Coop encourages viewers to purchase their own residence in a Vault to “build a better tomorrow after.” The ad cuts, and we switch to full colour, where Coop meets Bud Askins from Vault-Tec. Bud used to work for West Tek, the military defence contractor that oversaw the rollout of the T-45 Power Armour (the very first iteration of the series’ well-known armour). We learn that Coop wore the T-45 during his time in the military and isn’t impressed by Bud’s work, given the casualties the armour’s design flaws racked up.

Bud says that time is the ultimate weapon when it comes to destroying competition. In keeping with his compulsion to throw out corporate buzzwords and catchy slogans befitting any TED Talk, he adds that the future of all humanity comes down to one word: Management. Given the “death to management” plastered on the walls only episodes prior, perhaps Bud’s not quite on the money here. Coop is pretty keen to hightail it out of there, but his wife Barb drops a bombshell on him: the wrap party for the shoot is that evening, and is conveniently held at their house. Coop looks less than thrilled at the prospect, but there’s no getting away from it now.

We cut to the party, where Coop is psyching himself up for an evening with the Vault-Tec suits. He’s seen plastered across a newspaper in a Vault-Tec ad with his signature thumbs-up, which claims the company is “revolutionising safety for an uncertain future.” We also meet his dog, Roosevelt, who can’t come to the party as the actor heads “into enemy territory.” In this scene, we also get a good look at his home, complete with an absolutely hulking poster for one of his movies, A Man And His Dog. We learn Coop particularly enjoyed this one because his actual dog was in it. 

Coop’s favourite person in the world, Bud, is there once again, but the actor manages to get away from his corporate jargon before he’s bored to tears. We cut to fellow actor Sebastian Leslie (Matt Berry), who is busy trying to chat up a group of waitresses who really only want to hear his impression of the robot butler he voices, Bartholomew Codsworth. We learn he sold his voice rights to RobCo, the company that makes the robots we saw in Episode 4 (and in the opening scene for the entire series). 

As it so happens, Sebastian is the only one of Coop’s friends who actually showed up to the Vault-Tec shindig. As he so astutely puts it, in wonderful Matt Berry fashion, Coop’s Hollywood actor friends aren’t so crash-hot on “being seen celebrating with the pitchman for the end of the world.” Go figure. We soon learn that Coop’s involvement with Vault-Tec isn’t just impacting his social life, with the star losing a starring role over these ads. The actors on that project refused to come out of their trailers to work with him on “moral grounds.”

According to Sebastian, “radicalism” is sweeping through Hollywood, with more and more actors branded as Reds. Even Coop’s friend, Charlie Whiteknife (who served with him), has apparently turned to the other side. The two commiserate their circumstances and the way the world’s going. In one of the best lines of the episode, Sebastian delivers a rather poignant perspective on it all: “The future is products. You’re a product, I’m a product. The end of the world is a product.” Given the aggressive Vault-Tec branding, which endures well beyond the first bombs dropping, down to the Vault-Boy branded food packaging seen in the Vaults, Sebastian’s argument morbidly stands the test of time.

The two toast the future, and we cut to the ‘present’ of 2296 with a very much Ghoulified Coop on the floor of the Super Duper Mart that Lucy so spectacularly destroyed. He awakens to his old friend’s voice coming from a very broken Snip-Snip as a group dressed as sheriffs enter the store. They say destroying a “legitimate business” is very illegal in these parts, and Coop wonders aloud who made that rule. According to one of the sheriffs, that would be according to “the governmint.”

And finally, roll the title screen.

Maximus needs to attend one (1) single high school health class

We cut to a shot of the outside of Vault 4 amongst the arid ruins before it becomes clear that the Vault Lucy and Maximus found themselves in at the end of Fallout Episode 5 was, in fact, the very vault Coop filmed the advertisement in. Told you to save that info for later.

Some of the inhabitants are tending to Maximus’ shoulder, which we learn was shot not by a bullet, but by a rotting human tooth. Another Vault Dweller, Birdie (Cherien Dabis) from Vault 4 tells Lucy from the far side of a glass window that Maximus needs a few days to recover before it’s safe to travel again. Maximus does not seem so keen on the prospect, but Lucy says they should listen to the good people in Vault 4. They also found his armour and are bringing it to them – strange, given Maximus left his power armour quite some ways away from where the duo ended up.

Lucy is happy to be back in a Vault, all things considered. She tells Birdie that the surface is “not good,” to which Birdie replies that she herself was born on the surface. She’s also a Shady Sands survivor, as are many of the other inhabitants. She tells Lucy the two will need to stay in quarantine for a few hours longer to avoid tracking in contamination.

While Lucy and Maximus wait to be let out of their veritable enclosure, we get the strangest display of flirting that’s perhaps ever graced the screens. Maximus tells Lucy she smells good, to which she upfront asks if he wants to have sex with her. It’s not fooling around with a cousin, after all. Maximus seems to think this is called “[using] his cock.” While not the vocabulary Lucy would use, she seems okay with that. He’s not so sure, in case “that weird thing” happens.

Cue Maximus describing orgasming as akin to getting “all big and hard like a big pimple, and then it pops.” I have possibly never cringed harder, and may never burn that mental image from my mind. Is this how any person described busting a nut pre-internet? Maximus is obviously quick to clarify that it only happened to some guys – absolutely not him. Lucy tells him that’s actually very common – ideally, that actually occurs every time someone has sex.

The two don’t end up having sex, which is both because Maximus says that as a Knight that’s sort of not their jam, but possibly also because Lucy became immediately drier than the Wasteland outside Vault 4 the moment he likened his penis to a zit. Honestly, very fair. 

As we pan out from the duo’s ‘quarantine’ chamber, it’s revealed that this section is meant to be for test subjects. A little ominous, paired with the music in the background. 

Lucy and Maximus are finally let out and eat in the idyllic Vault 4 communal space. Everyone’s smiling Pleasantville style as they share a meal, and it’s very offputting. Lucy looks a bit cleaner than she did prior, although Maximus remains kinda grimy and seems keen to leave ASAP. He’s concerned it’s a trap, but Lucy is paying that absolutely no mind. He says it’s like a cult, but she says this is par for the course in a Vault because it’s a perfect community where everyone relies on each other.

Lucy’s joy at being back in a Vault is rather short-lived, though. Birdie introduces her to Vault 4’s Overseer Benjamin (Chris Parnell, Archer, Rick & Morty), who only has one eye right in the centre of his face. She’s clearly very confused and stares silently at him the whole time he gives them the run of the place. Don’t go to Level 12 (obviously), there’s only one foosball table, and ask how to use the bathroom as opposed to shitting your absolute guts out the wrong way (apparently a common occurrence).

Lucy suddenly realises, amongst all the talk about foosball and pencils, that a whole bunch of Vault 4’s inhabitants seem to be sporting strange mutations. One has a nose on their forehead, another has glowing eyes. That’s not something you see every day. She mentions Benjamin’s eye to Maximus, who says plenty of people have one eye – she agrees, but generally not in the middle, or a little to the left, depending who you ask.

The sheriffs and the cattle ranchers

We cut back to Coop being led by the sheriffs through the Wasteland before his memories take us back in time again. Coop and Barb are in the hot tub, soaking up a life of luxury. Coop wants to know if his wife has ever thought about working somewhere else, and she says she used to. However, now he’s doing ads for Vault-Tec, it may as well be the family business. Maybe even their daughter Janey can get a job there when she’s fifteen.

Coop says he’s considering quitting showbiz and buying a ranch in Bakersfield to be a “real cowboy” again. Barb doesn’t seem so keen on the idea of looking pretty and raising chickens on a ranch, though. Coop, on the other hand, isn’t so keen on the city life, or her new Pip-Boy licensed by RobCo (by none other than Bud Askins). He asks her whether she really wants to work with the corporate idiots at Vault-Tec, but she’s adamant she needs the job to secure their family a spot in the Vaults. Coop tells her they’ve got money to buy their way into a Vault if need be. Barb clarifies she means “one of the good Vaults.” When he asks her what she means by that, she looks as if she’s just let slip something she shouldn’t. Oh gee, I wonder what she could mean? She asks her husband to trust her, and he drops the topic.

Coop heads to a bar to catch up with Charlie Whiteknife (Dallas Goldtooth), the aforementioned actor who’s become a “communist.” Clearly his concerns about Vault-Tec are a bit bigger than he’s been letting on. He questions Charlie’s motivations after fighting together for “The American Dream”, but his friend isn’t having it. He calls Vault-Tec the devil, and explains his issue with the company. The whole survival of the human race has been outsourced by the government to Vault-Tec, which is hellbent on making money for its investors. However, they can’t sell Vaults and make money if peace negotiations go through successfully. Coop doesn’t really see how a private company could possibly impact a war. 

Charlie tries to come at it from another angle, perfectly explaining exactly why he, and clearly a decent chunk of Hollywood, aren’t buying what Vault-Tec is doing. He likens it to a movie they both worked on, asking Coop what happens when the cattle ranchers have more power than the sheriff in town. “The whole town burns down,” he says. Much like the cattle ranchers, Vault-Tec is a trillion-dollar company that owns an excessive amount of businesses across most industries, and the cost of the sustained war effort has left the U.S. government flat-broke. “The cattle ranchers are in charge, Coop,” Charlie says. He says the people have to do something before a system ready to set the world on fire does. He invites him to a meeting at the Hollywood Forever cemetery to find out more about Vault-Tec for his wife’s sake before leaving. 

Back at Coop’s home, he and Barb sit down for dinner. Janey’s reading a book to Roosevelt, and Barb comments about how it’s gonna be hard on her because dogs aren’t allowed in the Vaults. This seems to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for Coop. “Says who?” he asked. It’s just policy, Barb says. He takes issue with the new rule that someone decided and didn’t share with anyone. He asked about whether they have to wear the jumpsuits, too, and what other freedoms they won’t be afforded in the Vaults after he fought so hard to win freedom for Americans.

Barb pushes back on this, given getting into a Vault at all is the only way she sees her family not being part of the billions who would die if a nuclear bomb dropped. She says she’s worked very hard to get them into a special vault for management, where they will oversee all of the other Vaults. Barb is clearly doing everything she can to make sure herself, Coop, and Janey end up in the right place at the end of the world. It just so happens that Coop doesn’t quite understand why any particular Vault would be the right place. It’s a very emotional scene between the two, with plenty clearly left unsaid on Barb’s behalf. 

Simple pleasures

Skipping forward and going back underground to Vault 4, Lucy is chatting with Overseer Benjamin again. He’s explaining how toilet flushes work, something Lucy is well aware of. She tells him she’s actually from a Vault, and he checks her file only to realise she’s put down as Goosey. Cue Benjamin reading her file with standard issue glasses which have two lenses, neither of which come anywhere near his centred eye. He tells Lucy he’s a fifth-generation Vault Dweller, and that Vault 4 has a policy of taking in surface dwellers.

Benjamin launches into a rant about “surfies” that would fit in on any ultra-conservative’s Twitter feed – “they come in with their smelly food, and weird ideas.” Benjamin says he’s gotten into hot water before for a poor taste joke told one, maybe ten times (clearly bomb related) to Shady Sands survivors. Lucy asks Benjamin what the deal with Level 12 is, and he gets visibly angry, kicking “Goosey” out of his office. The veneer of contentedness and civility continues to slip.

Meanwhile, Maximus is pretty jazzed to have his power armour back. He asks one of the residents how they power Vault 4, and finds a fusion core. He seems poised to steal it before Birdie approaches, clearly very suss about his actions. She asks how he’s adjusting to life down below, and Maximus says it doesn’t particularly matter because he’s leaving soon. Birdie implores him to take in some comfort with a hot shower, even if he doesn’t actually know what that means.

Tracked by Give Me The Simple Life by June Christie, we’re treated to Maximus learning what it is to be a Vault Dweller (at least, in one of the good ones). He takes a hot shower after trying to eat some soap, puts on his robe and slippers, watches some TV and chows down on the Vault-Boy emblazoned caviar. It’s a hilarious scene to watch someone used to living in absolute filth suddenly discover regular things like running water, food on demand, and mindless television – even if the show he gets sucked into is just a video of a waterfall seemingly running on repeat.

While Maximus is busy being a material girl, Lucy takes in more of Vault 4. She finds their classroom and clearly egged on by nostalgia, heads in to take a closer look. The whole room is emblazoned in facts about the New California Republic and Shady Sands. There’s even an NCR flag hanging in the classroom as opposed to an American one. It’s worth noting that the date of the fall of Shady Sands is listed as 2277 – the same year Lucy’s mother was said to have died during the plague of ‘77 in her Vault, mentioned in Episode 4.

Lucy doesn’t get too much time to be lost in reverie over what she’s taking in, though. All of Vault 4 – minus one inhabitant who says the events about to go down are a bit too rambunctious for his liking – are heading to take part in a surface dweller tradition. She decides to join in.

The Governmint

Back with present-day Coop, he’s been taken into a building where Sorrel Booker (Glenn Fleshler) is enjoying a meal. The meal just so happens to require a spit bowl for the cysts in whatever the fuck he’s eating. Delicious. Sorrel and Coop know one another, it seems, and chat about what’s been going on. All the while, Coop re-attaches his finger (the one Lucy bit off) after being let free from his ropes to do so. Sorrel asks if Coop is still looking for “her” after all these years but doesn’t elaborate on who that is.

Coop says Sorrel needs a better publicist because this man is apparently president of the “govermint,” but it’s the first he’s hearing of this. What he has been hearing, though, is a lot of chatter about Moldaver. Sorrel says they call her The Flame Mother, and she’s dangerous as all hell. 

Sorrel tells Coop the organ dealership Super Duper Mart Lucy destroyed in Fallout Episode 4 was under his protection, hence why he’s been arrested. Coop pretty quickly dispatches the law enforcement before they can take him away, shooting one guy square in the dick before heading to the wanted board. He grabs a poster and asks why Sorrel has a picture of Moldaver on his wall. When the president tells him who it is, he says that’s not how he remembers her – clearly, the two have crossed paths before somewhere along the line.

The Flame Mother

It’s at this point we cut back to pre-war Coop heading to the Hollywood Forever cemetery for that meeting after all, intercut with Lucy in Vault 4. Lucy heads to join the other vault dwellers in their ‘tradition’. Everyone’s taking off their Pip-Boys and gathering around a table filled with candles, and the lights are switched off. Coop’s slowly making his way towards the meeting simultaneously, as the “shhhh” noises from the quite-culty ritual take place back in the Vault. 

Just as Lucy’s getting into whatever these folks are doing, people start unzipping their suits to reveal themselves naked from the waist up as the day they were born. Tits are out, everyone’s vibing, although Lucy decides to modestly just unzip her suit a little bit. Birdie enters in a rather Midsommar-looking getup and begins to call out to The Flame Mother (again, that’s Moldaver) to bring back Shady Sands as everyone repeats her calls. A bowl is passed around and Lucy puts some of its contents on her face, just as Birdie explains it’s actually the ashes from those nuked at Shady Sands. She looks, understandably, pretty horrified.

According to Birdie, to bring back Shady Sands, “blood must spill.” One person drinks from a bowl that appears to be filled with blood as others unfurl a propaganda poster-worthy image of Moldaver, to Lucy’s horror. At the same time, Coop runs into Charlie, who is quickly followed by another attendee of the meeting, who says she’s a big fan. Lo and behold, it’s Moldaver! It’s all coming together.

Lucy hightails it out of there to go tell Maximus things aren’t adding up. He’s still in his comfy robe, smiling creepily. and has made a sizable dent in his snack package. He’s eaten some oysters and says they made him feel so good. So good of an aphrodisiac, in fact, he asks if Lucy wants to “make [his] cock explode now.” She doesn’t.

Lucy tells Maximus they need to leave because the people of Vault 4 are insane. Maximus is clearly keen to just stay, and Lucy understands why he would want to stay somewhere safe, but says this isn’t it. He’s still not convinced, so she says she’ll find what the Vault dwellers are hiding to prove to him that everything isn’t what it seems. He’s gonna hang back and have some more snacks.

Expressly breaking Overseer Benjamin’s rule, Lucy makes her way to Level 12. There’s an abandoned-looking laboratory filled with jars of organs, skin, and other messed-up shit. There’s a dead gulper floating in a tank. But to top it all off, there’s a video of a woman in the water tank who happens to sit in the centre of the room going into labour – only, not to a human baby, but a whole gaggle of tiny gulpers which then immediately devour her piranha style. It’s about as fucked up as you’d imagine, bringing with it the kind of medical horror you’d expect from American Horror Story as opposed to Fallout. It wouldn’t be a Vault without something not quite right going on behind the scenes, after all.

Lucy continues on, finding a bunch of people in tanks that appear to be cryogenically frozen and very naked. At least one of them seems to be pregnant with god knows what other abominations the Vault 4 dwellers have been cooking up. It’s at that point that some of the residents come to check in on the tanks, in case one of them had broken out – however instead, they find Lucy skulking around. Lucy fights through a batch of the Vault 4 residents but is ultimately captured as she screams at Birdie, calling their “entire culture…insane.”

Birdie isn’t fazed. “I’m sure if we came to your home, we’d say the same thing,” she says. Lucy is in quite a predicament here, and Maximus is none the wiser. In the chilling final moments, Maximus is right at home in his new apartment (and robe) eating popcorn and watching that damn waterfall. How is Lucy gonna get out of this one?

And with that, we come to a close on Fallout Episode 6.

If you’re keen to check out more about the Fallout TV series, we’ve got you covered here. We’ve also got recaps of episodes 1-5, with more recaps going live each day.

Image: Prime Video

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