Fallout Episode 7 Recap: From The First Hello To The Last Goodbye

Fallout Episode 7 Recap: From The First Hello To The Last Goodbye

Fallout Episode 7 is the penultimate episode of the Prime Video series. As we near the edge of the cliff, this episode flips plenty of assumptions on their head, setting the table for what’s bound to be a massive finale full of reveals. 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 1-7, 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.

We kick off in the Wasteland, well away from the chaos in Vault 4. There’s two folks in NCR ranger gear with metal detectors sifting through the sand for bottle caps (a nice Fallout: New Vegas reference). The Fallout 4 theme by Inon Zur plays again – you might remember it also played when Lucy saw the NCR flag in Vault 4 last episode too. When the two cap collectors remove their masks, we’re introduced to father and son Adam (Erik Estrada) and Tommy (Charlie Besso).

Tommy and Adam head home, but instead of finding their relative Sandra, it’s instead Coop at the dinner table chowing down. It’s a tense moment of silence, given Sandra doesn’t respond to their calls as Coop continues to eat the unidentified meat. The longer it takes for her to appear, the more Adam and Tommy begin to wonder if Coop did away with her – and so do we. Breaking the tension, we hear footsteps before Sandra (Alexandra Albert) brings Coop a drink. He’s amused to realise that the two men thought his delicious meal was in fact the little girl. This is a family of lead farmers, we learn, but Coop isn’t here for lead – he’s here for information.

Adam’s third child, Rufus, left the family to “take up with that madwoman in the hills” (Moldaver) years ago. Coop muses over there always being some new faction or another popping up, a “brand new team of believers with their own dumbass ideas about how they gonna save the world.” Much like Maximus pointed out to Lucy previously, plenty of folks in the Wasteland have their own plan for world salvation – the kicker is that everyone just refuses to agree on how exactly they plan to accomplish it.

As it happens, Rufus isn’t the only one of Adam’s kids involved with Moldaver. Coop has a letter in hand, which says Rufussent Tommy a stash of caps to organise a courier for the safe passage of an Enclave defector – Wilzig. Coop unfortunately killed Rufus in the process of retrieving said letter, destroying the part that pinpoints The Flame Mother’s location. Tommy tells Coop she’s at the Observatory, after Adam begs him to handover the information to keep the family safe. Coop isn’t satisfied that Tommy won’t come after him now he has that info, and when he reaches for a weapon, the ghoul shoots him dead and moves on. Real classic Western stuff.

We cut to a flashback of Coop at one of the “communist” meetings, the very one we learned last episode was also attended by Moldaver. It’s worth noting that Coop and Moldaver, or Williams as she was known then, appear to be the only two characters we’ve seen survive over the 200 years since the bombs dropped. While Coop’s survival makes sense as he’s a Ghoul, we don’t yet know what’s been keeping her ticking that long. It turns out Moldaver’s ’s running it. She discusses that the real enemy isn’t the soldiers America’s fighting, but the people in power. Coop’s had just about enough and goes to leave – he has his principles, after all. Moldaver asks how much Vault-Tec paid to take those principles off his hands. “There’s a lot of money in selling the end of the world,” she says. 

As it so happens, Moldaver knows Coop’s wife Barb and, apparently, a side of her he doesn’t. Her research company was acquired by Barb’s division – they were developing cold fusion technology which would create infinite energy. Cold fusion would have the potential to end the decade long resource war, and Vault-Tec bought it to shelve the project. Moldaver wants help getting it back, and hands Coop a listening device to spy on his wife, although he’s pretty strongly against using it. She tells him she’s not a communist – “that’s just a dirty word they use to describe people who aren’t insane.” Moldaver sashays away, leaving Coop with the listening device to ponder over, and our ten minute cold open comes to a close.

An experiment gone awry

Last we saw of Lucy in Vault 4, she seemed to be in some hot water.  We now return to find she’s been stuck in an interrogation room. She tells Birdie and Overseer Ben that experimenting on people is sick, and they play her yet another holotape – this time it’s not a Gulper water birth snuff film, though. The Hawthornes – the scientist family we saw in Coop’s Vault-Tec ad – are in a predicament of their own. Lloyd Hawthorne (Eric Berryman) is Overseer of Vault 4 as he and his wife – mostly just his wife – barricade themselves in a room as something sinister tries to break in.

Lloyd says that what happened in Vault 4 shouldn’t reflect badly on what happens when a society of scientists are given “unregulated control.” It turns out that their study of the impact of radiation on human DNA was a bit more extreme than they let on initially. The scientists were attempting to hybridise humans with radioactive-resistant species, and their test subjects were less than compliant. A Gulper bursts into the room and kills both scientists, before the tape ends.

Lucy doesn’t understand what she’s seeing. Birdie says the doctors of Vault 4 are trying to ease the pain of those who were subject to the original experiments. She tells Lucy that the ancestors of Vault 4 were used as lab rats, and they rebelled. Ever the comic relief in an emotional moment, Ben says the Gulper in the video was actually his great uncle Peter on his mum’s side. Lucy feels like a massive dick about it all, understandably.

Ben asks Lucy what the experiment in Vault 33 was, and she says there isn’t one. Ben and Birdie share a glance that seems to suggest otherwise – if you’re not the one conducting the experiment, then you probably are the experiment. Birdie says Lucy’s ignorance can’t be an excuse for her cruelty, and she has to pay the price. As Lucy’s led away in a black bag past Maximus’ apartment – who, by the way, is somehow still watching that damn video of a waterfall and chowing down on popcorn in his robe – the other half of our duo finally realises something is going on. After clearly grappling with whether to intervene or keep having enrichment time in his enclosure, he gets up with one final mouthful of popcorn.

Okay but what’s Thaddeus been doing?

To the track Sixteen Tons by Merle Travis, we cut back to Thaddeus struggling his way back to the Brotherhood of Steel. His journey isn’t made any easier thanks to his crushed foot, hulking bag of supplies, and CX404 trying to attack said bag to retrieve Wilzig’s head repeatedly. After taking a seat at an abandoned Red Rocket gas station to take stock of his foot, it becomes clear it’s pretty fucking bad. Thaddeus is going to have to re-evaluate what he needs if he wants to make it much further – and that involves ditching just about everything that isn’t the head, including the dog.

He drops CX404 into an old Nuka Cola fridge – if you’re quick, you’ll spot the iconic Nuka Cola pinup girl poster in the background – and continues on his way to find a radio tower a hell of a lot lighter.

Pay the price

Back in Vault 4, Lucy is chained to a podium in the communal area as a crowd forms to pass judgement on her crimes. It’s still giving off pretty culty vibes with everyone chanting in unison. Ben picks up a massive sword and gives Lucy her sentence: death…by banishment to the surface. The thing she wanted in the first place. Of course, the residents of Vault 4 aren’t savages– they’re giving her two weeks of supplies so she can be on her way, and someone will help her cart all of that Vault-Tec branded food up to the Wasteland. But after that, she’s on her own.

Lucy’s pretty stoked with how this shitshow has panned out, but she asks that Vault 4 doesn’t take her misdeeds out on Maximus. She requests they let him stay. He’s become a real homebody and doesn’t deserve to pay for her crimes by being booted out. Unfortunately, Maximus didn’t get the memo that everything had worked out pretty peachy, and he steals the Vault’s fusion core, dons his power armour, and goes to town trying to rescue her. He roughs up a few of the Vault Dwellers in the process, yeets a Nuka Cola fridge and generally fucks shit up a bit before Lucy finally stops him to explain the situation. It’s now too late to keep singing his praises in favour of him staying, and the two leave the Vault empty handed (the supply gift basket was a casualty in Maximus’ attempt to rescue Lucy).

Well, not completely empty-handed. Maximus took the fusion core with him, unbeknownst to Vault 4. Lucy thinks they should give it back, because without it the rather merciful inhabitants will be up shit creek in a few days when auxillary power runs out. Maximus really doesn’t want to hand back the fusion core, but Lucy says it’s the right thing to do. It’s what her dad would want.

Reluctantly, Maximus hands the fusion core over to Lucy and the two drop it back through that ominous trap door in the Hawthorne labs. It’s a sign that Lucy is having an impact on how he acts – for the first time in the series, he doesn’t immediately cave to his worst instincts, shows remorse, and does something for the benefit of someone else. 

Lucy says while her Vault doesn’t have the oysters he loved so much, they do have canned tuna, which she thinks he’ll like. She says he’s the best stranger she’s ever met, and asks him to come back to her Vault to live with her when all of this is over. Maximus clearly can’t stand the guilt and admits that he’s been lying about who he is – he’s not actually Titus, he’s Maximus, and he let Titus die. Lucy doesn’t seem as bothered as Thaddeus was by this revelation though, because she’s only been topside two weeks and has resorted to horrific actions. The Wasteland sucks, after all. Maximus, relieved he doesn’t have to crush any more feet over his secret, agrees to live with Lucy in Vault 33 when everything is done, and they continue on their way to find the head.

There’s clearly a budding romance building between these two, which both makes sense but is simultaneously jarring seeing as the seeds were really only sewn last episode when Maximus described his dick as a pimple. It seems the Wasteland has more in common with my experience of the queer dating scene than I thought – U-Hauling within less than a fortnight of meeting is something I’ve almost done multiple times.

Snake oil and fiddle tunes

Back to Thaddeus again, and he’s still struggling towards a radio tower. Based on his receiver, the closest is the KPSS station’s tower at the base of the former Hollywood Hills, where DJ Carl is once again running ‘fiddle week’. It would appear that the only tapes he has are, in fact, fiddle tunes. He reminds the audience that he doesn’t take visitors to the station if listeners don’t like what they hear, so postcards are the only way to reach out. Including a radio announcer is a nice nod to characters like Three Dog (host of Galaxy News Radio) in Fallout 3, and Travis Miles (Diamond City Radio) in Fallout 4.

Thaddeus continues on his way, passing the chicken-fucker we saw in Filly (Jon Daly). Beyond his proclivities for fucking livestock, he also happens to be a snake oil salesman and is delighted to have a potential customer. He ushers Thaddeus into his makeshift pharmacy to help him with the whole destroyed foot problem. He’s got all sorts of lotions and potions he says will cure what ails the squire – he’s seen this condition before (a crushed foot), and he has the solution. It’ll cost Thaddeus, though, and all he has is the fusion core from the power armour to pay with.

After making the trade, the snake oil salesman hands over an inhaler type contraption with a mysterious, foul tasting liquid inside. To the shock of everyone, myself included, it actually heals Thaddeus’ foot. Is the chicken fucker more than a quack and actually a miracle worker? Thaddeus asks for directions to the nearest radio tower, which the salesman says is near Shady Sands. Thaddeus says Shady Sands is radioactive as hell, but the salesman says he doesn’t have to worry about that anymore. Why exactly? You’ll see soon. With that, the mysterious figure goes back on his way after hastily packing up, and Thaddeus can once again walk easy.

What a difference a day made

Tracked to What A Difference A Day Makes by Dinah Washington, we head back to Norm in Vault 33. You might remember this song played in Fallout Episode 5 when the grim discovery that Vault 32 had been cleaned up was made – now, we’re getting the end of the song that instead ponders what a difference a day made in past tense. We love an alternative rendition of a repeated song as a throughline in these parts.

Norm’s still serving food to the Raider prisoners that Overseer Betty wants to rehabilitate. The intercom reminds everyone that re-assignments to repopulate Vault 32 will be going out later in the day: “remember, wherever you end up, that’s where you belong.”

When Norm goes to serve the Raiders their next meal, though, he finds bodies being carted out of the makeshift prison left, right, and center. The whole group is dead, and Betty says the medics believe it could be rat poison. She tells Norm that words have meaning, perhaps implying that his comments that the raiders should be punished led to this happening. Based on her scheming expression as she leaves and sends out those Vault assignments, one might wonder if she was actually behind the poisoning. 

As assignments go out, we learn Norm is staying put, but people like Woody, Davey, Chet, and Steph are all set to ship out to 32. Norm goes to see Chet, asking if he’s just going to forget everything they’ve seen and play happy families with Steph and the baby. He says it seems like a good moment for a fresh start. Norm calls Chet a coward, to which he replies they all are, and that’s why they’re living in a Vault. With that, the two cousins part.


Back to the Red Rocket, Coop’s now hot on the heels of Thaddeus. He finds CX404 in the fridge and brings him along for the ride to find Wilzig’s head. While having the scientist’s dog is a boon for tracking, Coop’s soft spot for dogs has clearly withstood the test of time (two centuries, to be exact). 

We cut back to a flashback, which appears to be shortly after Moldaver provided Coop with the listening device. He’s sitting at home with Roosevelt on his lap, and Barb’s Pip-Boy is markedly unguarded while his wife is out of the room. He caves and places the listening device on the Pip-Boy, before changing his mind and throwing the receiver into the trash.

It seems the whole ‘no dogs in the Vault’ thing might have finally done it for our cowboy, though, as he changes his mind later in the evening and fishes the listening piece back out of the trash alongside Roosevelt.

Back in present-day, The Ghoul is sitting with CX404 around a fire at the ruins of the Hollywood Forever cemetery. As the dog cuddles in on him, he says, “I’m sorry, Dogmeat, but you ain’t him.” It’s a moment of humanity from Coop and one of the few moments he references his old life – as well as being a nice reference to franchise good boy Dogmeat from the Fallout games.

Critics, amirite?

Lucy and Maximus are walking the same track as Thaddeus, also hot on the head’s heels. Thaddeus has meanwhile found his way to the KPSS radio station, where we learn DJ Carl is Fred Armisen (Saturday Night Live, Portlandia). Thaddeus thanks Carl for letting him radio in to the Brotherhood from the station. Carl’s keen to talk about the qualities of the repetitive fiddle music he’s so keen on playing, a conversation that feels like I overheard a random dude overexplaining music to an unenthusiastic listener at a bar. 

We pan out to see that the people who’ve come to physically make complaints about KPSS have been met with grisly ends at the hands of one of Carl’s many booby traps (placed alongside a sign that reads “NO REQUESTS.”). Clearly his listener base is very passionate about his work.

Just as the two make idle conversation about all the cooked ways Carl’s contraptions have murdered his critics, Lucy and Maximus appear. Thaddeus unloads an entire magazine of ammo at them, missing them entirely with every shot. He sucks without a scope, apparently. Me too, buddy.

Just as the duo approach to get the head, Thaddeus steps back into a booby trap that sends an arrow clean through his neck. He’s as confused as they are when he somehow survives this grievous injury, and even moreso when he  removes the arrow and heals immediately. He realises the truth: whatever that chicken-fucker gave him turned him into a ghoul. Just as he arrives at this conclusion, the Brotherhood’s choppers come closing in. Maximus tells Thaddeus to give them the head and make a break for it to escape being killed by the Brotherhood.

Maximus then takes one of the many other decapitated heads laying around and bashes it until it’s unrecognisable, before handing Lucy Wilzig’s actual head. He says she needs to take it to save her dad, and he’ll go with the fake to the Brotherhood. They share a kiss – as do both the heads – before parting, with Lucy promising she’ll wait for him in Vault 33. Maximus approaches the choppers with the fake head in tow.

Vault 31

Back in Vault 33, the residents are preparing to say goodbye to their friends and family making the move to 32. All those moving to resettle the abandoned Vault have been chosen for their positive qualities, but Woody isn’t keen to go. Security don’t seem prepared to let him have a choice, and he steps back into line. Betty announces that the interim Overseer for Vault 32 has also been chosen – to nobody’s surprise, it’s Steph, another Vault 31 resident. Norm and Chet share a glance. Another strange coincidence? I think not.

There’s tearful farewells, but Norm doesn’t have time for it. He sneaks off, making his way to the Overseer’s terminal in 33. He hacks into it (in the same way you do in-game in Fallout, as a nice Easter egg) and begins messaging the Overseer of 31. Taking a gamble and impersonating Betty, he says the mission is not going as expected and he needs to return. The mysteryOverseer tells him to report to the Vault door immediately.

Vault 31 opens to him, and he enters to find out what’s inside. We don’t see exactly what he finds, but based on his facial expressions it can’t be anything good. There’s some mechanical noises as he looks at something obscured in the distance, before we fade to black.

And that’s all for Fallout Episode 7, folks! Check back tomorrow for our final recap on the season finale. Trust me, it’ll be as spicy as they come.

Image: Prime Video

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