Tag Archives: Fallout from the End of School 2024

Fallout Episode 8: The Beginning


As I wrote in the plot summary, we arrive at the end of Fallout From the End of School 2024 with the Fallout episode 8, last episode of the first season. I say first season because they greenlit the second season. Now, we wait 2 or 3 years for them to write, film, edit, and release. Thankfully, you all have Fallout Final Fridays to keep you through. A lot in this episode, so let’s get started.

Plot Summary and Analysis

Click here for the plot summary.

Cooper gets blind sided. He finally hears what his wife thinks of the end of the world, the vaults, and the aftermath. They pull the old rope-a-dope with her talking initially about her children and the future of the kids before pulling out the rug and ensuring that while their future will be okay, the same can’t be said for countless others. Because, after all, what kind of world is it when the cheap suits are in charge. Hint: Take a look around you.

Lucy, too, learns that everything she knew was a lie. Her father is a monster who nuked an entire town out of existence because his wife decided that she was happier without him and his insistence to live in a sardine can. Her mother is ghoulified, but kept alive out of Moldaver’s loyalty to her and their dreams of bringing unlimited power to the poor dregs who live in the Wasteland.

Norm mirrors his sister’s journey with Bud the Brain Roomba as his guide. He learns about Bud’s dumb ass idea to save the world and then gets trapped in Vault 31 with the psychotic micro manager. Perhaps for centuries? I doubt that. Norm will find a way.

Max uses the Brotherhood to bring him back to Lucy before discovering that what Dane says might just be true. Nowhere is safe, not even the idyllic vault where he and Lucy will live happily ever after. The Ghoul comes very close to finally getting the answer he’s been waiting 200 years for before Hank gives him the slip once again.

Cold fusion fires up the lights in the Wasteland. The Brotherhood salute Max as a conquering hero. Lucy finds herself again with The Ghoul and Dogmeat. And Hank stands before the town of New Vegas. What awaits them all? We just have to wait and see.

Character Profiles

Every single character saw some part of their life upended in this episode. In many cases, everything they thought they knew was a lie. Lucy reacts with her usual kindness and forces her father to give Moldaver the code. Hank lashes out at Moldaver, calling her a liar and just as bad as him. Max still wants to spend his life with Lucy and stupidly tries to fight off armored Hank

Norm, bad ass that he is, immediately goes to tell the rest of the dwellers about Bud’s Buds. Everything he suspected was true and, yet, he’s still shocked by the sheer madness of it all. Only The Ghoul escapes unscathed, but that’s only because his reality shattered 200 years ago with the revelation that his wife and her cohorts planned the entire thing to bring their insane plans to life through the glory of capitalism.

World Building and Setting

We finally get an answer to “What happened to Shady Sands?” Actually we get the answer to the question, “Who…?” For those who haven’t played the games, they get a glimpse into the behind the scenes machinations that brought the horrors of the vaults to life. At the end of the show, numerous viewers no doubt ran to one Wiki or another to verify the location at the end of the episode.

However, the star of the episode is Moldaver’s encampment that grew out of the destruction of Shady Sands. It represents everything that I hope out of a post apocalyptic civilization. I just hope that we learn from our mistakes and work together. A pipe dream, I know, but more likely with less people in that society. Not that I advocate for the end of society. Simply that I’ve thought about it. And, I have ideas.

Themes and Social Commentary

Wow, they put it all out there in this episode. The greed of corporations vs. the benign scientists. Less heavy on the communism vs. capitalism this time. But, they laid out that argument in the last episode quite nicely. Besides, it’s not communism vs. capitalism. It’s regulated vs. unregulated. When there are no guard rails, the capitalists will drive us all off a cliff.

When there’s nobody left to fight, who will fight? The answer, everyone. You think that if the Nazis actually succeeded in wiping out the Jews, they’d stop there? No. They’d keep going, getting more and more specific until two guys left just stabbing each other because of eye color or some other nonsense. The utopia, on either side, is simply not sustainable.

Is anywhere truly safe? Yes, you can make your area safe. My house is safe for me and my family. Also, for anyone else who wants to visit and doesn’t cause a ruckus. Does that mean violence cannot happen here? Of course not. But, the violence will come from outside and it will be dealt with. I can promise you that.

What would you do with unlimited power? They wrap it in the concept of cold fusion, but it represents the power to rule and control. Moldaver handed it off to the people. Whoever gets it next won’t be so giving, I promise you that.

Narrative Structure, Pacing, and Soundtrack

They opted for much shorter scenes this time around and more rapid transitions. This allowed them to drop bomb after bomb (pun intended) and each of them hit just as hard. Consequently, the pacing felt quick but manageable. Again, since only one reveal happened each time, you can catch your breath before the next.

Allowing the story to tell itself, they leaned less on the soundtrack this time. Only two actual songs in the whole episode. One to emphasize Max’s efforts to get to Lucy. The other told the story of The Ghoul, DogMeat, and Lucy striking off to find her father again. Another understated but good choice by the production team.

The Verdict

All I have to say is, Wow. This is how you do a season finale. Everything that they built up over the season gets resolved. Not only that, but they keep just enough loose ends open that you want to come back for more. I have often said that a poor ending can otherwise derail a great effort. That isn’t the case here. They stuck this landing. Fallout episode 8 goes down as one of the best episodes in recent memory.

The First 19 Years: Fallout 3 Journal


I thought Christine was going to hang out with her old friends from Warwick. She planned to do so. However, she decided to stay home. Therefore, my plan to record the first episode of “The Poppy War” for Noob’s Book Club gets put on hold for now. So, I flipped the script and decided to write my journal for the first 19 years in Fallout 3.

What Makes Me Special?

Note: If you never played the Fallout games, they organized character stats into the acronym, SPECIAL. In the interest of time, I consulted a walkthrough for the game.

Strength: 9

Perception: 1

Endurance: 9

Charisma: 1

Intelligence: 9

Agility: 2

Luck: 9

Name: Lucy. Age: 19. Yes, I became that which I hate and use names from other pop culture related to the games. Sue me.

2258 (A Star Is Born)

I hear a voice. “Are you a boy or a girl?”

How do I remember being born? I don’t know, but the memory is so vivid. I see my father and my mother. The voice again, “Oh look, we have a daughter.” Then another voice, “A daughter. A beautiful baby girl.”

The first voice, my father, says, “You have a bright future. You look just like your daddy.” Mom’s monitor speeds up and then flatlines. Dad orders someone to get me out of the room so that he can try to save your mother.”

One Year Later (A Born Explorer)

“Come now, Sweetie. Walk to Daddy.” I toddle over to him in the pen. “Okay, I hate to leave you her alone, but you’ll be okay while I take care of some business.”

As soon as he leaves, I open the gate and start exploring the room. I see a book on the ground and pick it up. There are silly pictures in the book and they make me giggle. Dad enters as I’m flipping through the book. “Goodness me, you’re quite the explorer. Your mother would be proud. Let me show you something. It was her favorite passage from the book.” Dad reads it to me.

“Now, let’s go visit your friend Amata.”

9 Years Later (Surprise!)

Nine years later and still friends with Amata. She and my father put together a surprise birthday party for my 10th birthday. I visit with guests and receive gifts; a sweet roll, a poem, a Pip Boy 3000 (wow!) and a fight with Butch. That guys a douche, but he’s gonna get his eventually.

When I meet up with Dad again, he tells me to go meet Jonas down on the reactor level. I make my way down there. “Hey, what are you doing down here? There are no kids allowed.” I stammer, “Uh, but my dad said to meet you here.” “I’m just kidding.” He assures me. Dad joins us too and gives me a last present, a BB gun. he takes me into a shooting range and I practice by shooting three targets and a Radroach that wandered in. Time for a picture.

3 Years Later (Off on that Adventure)

Amata wakes me in a panic. “Jonas dead! Dad gone!” “What are you saying?” “It’s all gone wrong. You need to get out of here, too. Go, find your father!” “How? What?” “Get to my father’s office. There’s a tunnel to the vault door. I will try to talk some sense into him.”

On my way through the vault to the overseers office, I run into radroaches, security forces, and other vault dwellers. I take care of the security officers who either try to shoot or smack me with their batons. I save a few vault dwellers, including Butch’s mother. In spite of our differences, I couldn’t let her die.

When I make it to the admin level, I see the overseer and another officer have Amata and are interrogating her. The officer charges and I dispatch of him easily. I threaten the overseer for the key and password, but he refuses. “Fine, I’ll do it myself.”

Inside his office, I gather some last minute supplies and use the password I found written on a piece of paper in a locker (sloppy) to open the secret tunnel. It takes me right to the vault door. After opening it, Amata meets me to say good-bye. Then, two more guards break in. I knock them both out and step into the Wasteland.

The Verdict

The first 19 years in Fallout 3 are both eventful and educational. I like how they incorporated the tutorial in the story this way. Making you a baby learning to walk and then drawing out the character stats with a baby book. It all makes perfect sense and acts as a minor jab at the need for tutorials in these games.

This game is slightly more modern than the others, so I used a more modern page for the walkthrough.

Fallout Episode 7: The Radio


I already wrote in the plot summary that I watched Fallout episode 7 on Sunday. But, I also spent the better part of those days recovering from a nasty “summer cold”. I put that in quotes because my son Liam, in response to my thought that it could be Covid, said, “Who gets a cold in summer?” I don’t know how accurate that statement is, but I always grew up with the concept of a “summer cold” and many other things that I grew up with have been proven plainly incorrect.

Plot Summary and Analysis

Click here for the plot summary.

Fallout episode 7 finally starts to weave together some of the stories in anticipation of the final episode. After killing a kid in front of his father to continue his reign of terror in the Wasteland, The Ghoul flashes back a couple of times to his pre-war life. This both provides comparison and contrast to his current attitude and missions that drive him. Scroll down to the character discussion for more.

In that past, Cooper reacts initially with horror and distrust of the philosophy espoused by Miss Williams. However, to his credit, he takes the bug and then later retrieves it after throwing it in the trash. He may trust his wife, but he has deep suspicions of the rest of the Vault-Tec “family”.

Likewise, Lucy learns more about the vaults that she ever hoped to know. As a result, she and Max end up leaving Vault 4. Thaddeus locks Dogmeat in a cooler before continuing to try to find a radio tower. Max and Lucy later meet up with Thaddeus at DJ Carl’s. After a tense stand off, Max comes up with a solution that gets Lucy the head. It also allows Thaddeus to escape certain torture at the hands of The Brotherhood.

Some 33ers become 32ers. Norm follows his suspicions into Vault 31 and finds that one empty, too. I nobody or nothing as it seems in this show? Hopefully, the final answers at least some of that question.

Character Profiles

The Ghoul: Morally complex is the best way I can describe him. He kills without mercy. He also saves Dogmeat from a certain death and lets the mutt tag along with him again. Then again, maybe I just can’t see his moral compass because it’s so at odds with my own. He clearly sees these events as both indicative of his “goodness”, but we are all the heroes in our own story, right?

Cooper: His former life gives some insight into the ghoul he became, as I wrote earlier. He despises Williams and the theory that she espouses. Nevertheless, he is open to bugging his wife partly in the name of dogs everywhere who are denied access to the vaults. The thing about his reticence to listen to Williams that I wonder is, is it how he truly feels or because he’s a good old boy brainwashed by his government controlled by corporate interests. More on that later.

Lucy: Ever the optimist, she continues to believe that people are good in the face of overwhelming evidence against it. Like The Ghoul, I have a tough time analyzing Lucy, but for different reasons. She’s very much like me. I continue to hold out hope that humanity will figure it out even as they hurtle us towards our own demise. Like, yeah, the initial people of Vault 4 might have been shitty, but the current residents only banished her from the vault, with supplies for two weeks. To paraphrase Men in Black, “A person is good. People are mean, vindictive demons and you know it.”

Max: I can’t tell if Max reacted to the comfort of the vault and that’s why he acted so weird or if they kept him drugged in some way. I suspect the latter because of the overall “theme” of Vault 4, but he very quickly snapped out of it when he noticed that Lucy was in trouble. His love for this woman overcame even the manipulation of drugs (?) and a comfortable lifestyle to save her.

Thaddeus: He pissed me off by locking the dog in the cooler. Now, I know that’s not a controversial take. But, I want put it out there. He almost made up for it by apologizing to Max and letting them take the head from him. Almost. Because, ultimately, that was just a selfish decision, too.

Minor characters: DJ Carl, played by Fred Armisen, is amazing. Mr. Armisen always makes me laugh no matter what he does. Moreover, he brings a humanity to his characters that makes them feel alive. The “Snake Oil Salesman” as he’s called, finally gets his hero turn. Sort of. He saves Thaddeus, but at what cost?

World Building and Setting

They dedicate most of this Fallout episode 7 to building the lore behind the vaults and some more about Vault-Tec, the company behind them. Initially, you might think that they’re earnest in their mission and built the vaults to help people survive the blasts and fallout. Then, maybe, they just got lucky. But, as more comes out, you learn that they are behind the nuclear “incidents” and that hides even more sinister objectives. Spoiler Alert: Some of these stories are awful.

Also, finally, on some level, they start to question the supposition that living in the vault is preferable to living on the surface. When they banish Lucy from the vault, she reacts with suspicion. “Really? That’s all?” Surely, she’s thinking, I just spent two weeks on the surface. And, while it might be “safer” here in the vault, one can get along just fine up there. Me? I choose the reckless life of a Wastelander any day.

Themes and Social Commentary

They pull back the curtain and put it all out there in Fallout episode 7. Part of this story is the ages old capitalism vs. communism. I’m sure some Yankee Doodle Dipshits have plenty to say about how “woke” the show is because of that. But, I appreciate Miss Williams coming out and saying, “Communism is a dirty word they use to describe people who aren’t completely insane.” And, the more you look into it, the more it makes sense.

As I’ve always said, I have no problem with someone trying to make a buck. Hell, try to make all the bucks you want. What I have a problem with is when you try to trade my or my children’s or my grandchildren’s future to make that buck. Maybe you can make a few less bucks and we can all live together on this planet? What do you think?

Yeah, I thought that’s what you’d say.

Additionally, I wrote earlier in my introduction of the plot summary, “Can anyone in this show be trusted?” You saw some of that in my character descriptions. Any time one of them seems to be “good” or “bad”, they inevitably do something to make you question that label. I get that humans are messy and we’re all a mixture of “good” and “bad”, but rarely do you get a show that so starkly and, honestly, naturally explores that dichotomy. It’s one of the reasons I watched it twice now and will again before Season 2 releases.

Narrative Pacing, Structure, and Soundtrack

The pacing still feels good. Every episode they release just a little more of the “truth” and what that truth means for our world and our characters. They’ve used flashbacks a good amount to that end, as well. The one thing that I noticed is that as the episodes advanced, the opening sequences became longer and longer. Surely that’s intentional, but I can’t figure out the intent behind it.

The soundtrack, as always, serves to enhance the mood and story. They deftly weave the oldies into the story to both cue events and also remind us of what happened previously. I also read online that they probably used the fiddle music to troll fans of one of the games because, as gamers do, they bitched about the music. If so, bravo to you all!

The Verdict

Fallout episode 7, the penultimate episode, sets things up nicely for a potentially explosive finale. Lucy has the head, Max is going to face the Brotherhood, The Ghoul has a reliable lead on Moldaver. And, back in the past, Cooper holds the potential key to blowing it all up. Yes, that pun was fully intended.

Arroyo Village, Part 1: Fallout 2 Journal


Surprisingly, I find myself with less time now that when I was in school. Okay, that probably isn’t true. But, I feel busier now with all of the things that I’m trying to catch up on. So, this Arroyo Village Part 1 journal will be shorter than the previous entry. But, I wanted to keep the momentum going, so I’ll finish up the Village during my first Final Friday Fallout 2 session in August.

Back to the Elder

I enter the Elder’s tent. She smiles when she sees me. “Ready for your quest?” She asks. “Where you trying to get me killed in that temple?” “Nonsene, Chosen One. You needed to prove yourself worthy and those trials all showed your mettle. So, ready for the quest?” “Yes,” I sigh because I must admit that she’s right. They can’t just send anyone out into the Wasteland. They’d be killed by the sheer size of the place alone.

“Good, good. This flask comes from sacred Vault 13. If you take it to Vic in Klamath, perhaps he will have some information for you.” “Vic in Klamath. Got it. Goodbye, Elder. I will not fail.

Before that, What Else in Arroyo?

I walk north to Hakunin’s tent. He greets me with eyes distant due to his chem usage that allows him to visit other realms. In flowery language, he asks me to destroy the darkness in his garden. I accept his quest with no consideration for money and he thanks me for my effort.

Two Vineplants terrorize the garden. I kill the first without much effort. Though, the plant injured me quite severely. Without any regard for my well being, I walk to the other. It kills me quickly due to the injuries sustained in the previous fight. GAME. OVER.

Or, is it? The Afterlife

Something or someone looks out for me and I find myself back in front of the Elder’s tent. I again must accept the quest from her and then go back to Hakunin’s tent. This time, I use healing powder in between the fights to help my injuries. And, as a result, I defeat the mosters and drive back the evil. Hakunin gives me more healing powder and tells me he can make even more.

Then, I go see my cousin. His dog has gone missing. I travel to the hunting grounds to find him.

To be continued…

The Verdict

So, the old adage that anything in the Wasteland can kill you holds true in Arroyo Village part 1. I died at the hands of a plant, after all. Nevertheless, the story is starting to get good and there seem to be plenty of side quests to keep me busy for the next few months as I play through the game.

Since I’m playing a game made over 25 years ago, I’m using an old school guide.

Battle Report 2: Warhammer Age of Sigmar 5


It’s that time again. I finished building and doing preliminary paints on another model. With that model and some of the others, I played through another scenario. So, along with it, I need to write the battle report 2 for Warhammer Age of Sigmar. I just realized that I forgot to get a picture of the winning message. It just excited me so much that the “good guys” came back to win this one that it slipped my mind.


Unlike the last time, there are no rules added to the sequence. Instead, as you see, they simply clarify the processes of turns and the combat phase. As a result, I jumped right in and started playing.

Hit. Wound. Save. Repeat

I took their advice of starting with the single units during each turn. It felt like by doing so, maybe I could eliminate some of the smaller units and make subsequent turns go faster. I succeeded on some level but not nearly as much as I hoped. Instead, the Orruks overran the Praetor and joined the Killaboss to try to take out the rest of the humans.

At this point in the combat, the two forces went back and forth, eliminating several of their foes. Eventually, the teamwork and higher skill of the humans overcame the sheer violence of the orruks and defeated them with one final blow.

The Verdict

Mind you, it was a Pyrrhic victory. All but two of the humans survived and their leader died relatively early in the battle. However, they rallied and ultimately defeated their enemies. Playing through for battle report 2 went much quicker due to understanding the rules better and not having to constantly refer back to the Warscrolls during combat. Now I can’t wait for some true heroes and heroics.

Temple of Trials: Fallout 2 Journal


After watching the show, I got the idea to do a week of Fallout content. Then, as often happens, I suffered from delusions of grandeur. Why only a week? Why not a month. Nothing scheduled for June and school ends. The Fallout from the end of school! Perfect. Las week I wrote about the first couple of sections of Fallout. This week, I continue with Fallout 2 and the Temple of Trials.

What Makes Me SPECIAL?

Note: If you never played the Fallout games, they organized character stats into the acronym, SPECIAL. In the interest of time, I consulted a walkthrough for the game.

Strength: 4

Perception: 6

Endurance: 6

Charisma: 8

Intelligence: 10

Luck: 6

Name: Lucy. Age: 21. Yes, I became that which I hate and use names from other pop culture related to the games. Sue me.

The Chosen One

Sometime in 2241: A village elder calls me into her hut.

Come in, Chosen One. The village is dying. Crops, livestock, sick children. However, there is hope. The Garden of Eden Creation Kit. It brings life to the Wasteland. It will be your main quest if you show yourself worthy. Travel to the Temple of Trials to prove yourself, find the G.E.C.K. and be our salvation.

The Chosen One?

Still in 2241 (The Temple is a short walk from the village): A guard takes me to the temple and I enter. It consists of stone corridors with lit torches on the wall. At the very least, the village knows how to set the mood. What are the trials?

At least, initially, it seems like the only trial is as exterminator. I kill bug after bug, all ants and scorpions. At the end of the hall is a locked door. I could search for a key, but it’s quicker just to pick it. Easy, peasy.

Oh crap!

This next corridor is filled with pressure plates that trigger spears shooting from the wall. No time to disarm them. Instead, I just run through and hope for the best. Then, more ants and scorpions. A chest with an antidote for the poison that the scorpions injected into me. At least they thought of that.

Another door. This one steel. I see no lock to pick. Hmm, what about these explosives that I found randomly sitting in an “inconspicuous” jar in the middle of the temple just past the massive hole in the ground? Set timer, GTFO. KABOOOM! The door is gone.

More ants and scorpions. Another chest with more antidote and healing powder. Yet another door. This one opens without picking or exploding. A guard stands before what I now assume to be the exit. He says that we must engage in unarmed combat with the victor emerging as worthy. Do we really have to fight? I ask him. Yes, of course, the elders deemed that the final test. Yes, but accidents happen. What if one of us ends up accidentally dead? I give him a look that says, “We both know which one, right?” He stammers before regathering his composure. Uh, yes, of course. I wouldn’t want to accidentally kill the chosen one. Then he runs from his post, presumably to pick on some other poor soul.

I emerge victorious. My prizes are a vault suit and the Pip Boy 2000!

The Verdict

A very different feel from the introduction of the first game. You still start the game underground in the Temple of Trials. But, after that, you go back to an above ground village to begin your main quest. I like that they changed things up because the whole starting in a vault thing, while classic, sometimes gets old. Join me in a couple of days for the next installment!

Again, because I’m playing a game made over 25 years ago, I used and old school guide.

Fallout Episode 6: The Trap


We continue our Fallout from the end of the school year with the next episode of the Fallout TV show. I wrote my journal the other day to finish up, for now, my coverage of the original game. And, now, I get to talk about the fate of Shady Sands as revealed in Fallout episode 6.

Plot Summary and Analysis

Click here for the plot summary.

After an episode without The Ghoul, this one delivers more on his current adventure while adding much to his backstory. He and his wife don’t see eye to eye on the dealings of her employer, Vault-Tec. Cooper hates the extra baggage that comes with his starring roles in the ads for the vaults. He puts all of this aside because he loves and trusts his wife. In 200 years, she might be the only person he ever truly loved and trusted.

Speaking of the vaults. Through his and Barb’s conversations and Lucy’s and Max’s interactions in Vault 4, we get more information about the post apocalyptic living quarters. While on the surface, not much happens (Cooper and Barb argue and Lucy and Max spend the entire episode in the vault), the episode brings up new questions even as it starts to answer some of the old ones.

An episode that easily could have fallen into the trap of being “filler”, they avoid that trap quite nicely. Almost no action. Very few sets. An extended introduction centered around a vault ad and a Hollywood party. And, yet, probably the best episode of the show so far.

Character Profiles

The Ghoul: We see The Ghoul humbled by his captors several times. He never allows that to dampen his swagger. He simply bides his time and deals with the riff raff as he always does before turning his sights on the bigger fish.

Cooper Howard: Little of the man before remains in The Ghoul other than his memories. They serve to develop Cooper’s character as a former military man who values his freedom above all. I suppose that part also exists in The Ghoul. Even so, he’s willing to go to the Communist’s meeting when invited by Charlie. He also uses those memories to remind himself of his wife and daughter, the reasons for keeping himself alive and non-feral for over 200 years.

Lucy: She starts the episode convinced that they have nothing to fear in the vault. It’s a great place to rest and relax before setting off again to find the head and then her father. When her eyes open to the fact that not all is what it seems, she digs deeper and it ends up with her in deep trouble.

Max: On the other hand, Max starts off suspicious of the vault and its dwellers. Either because the pampering erodes away at his resolve or they drug him in some way, but he finds himself at home by the end of the episode and ready to settle down. The obvious juxtaposition between the two main characters goes a long way to adding to the unsettling realization that nothing is ever easy.

Cycloptic Overseer: As usual, Parnell plays a character that makes you laugh and makes you think with an underlying message. More on that later. I remember some people didn’t like the idea of a cyclops, especially one that looked so odd, but I love the character and what he brought to the episode.

Supporting Characters: Birdie has her hand in everything both inside and, seemingly, outside of Vault 4. Sorrel, likewise, stepped in to fill a power vacuum. However, it looks like his reign might soon be at an end either by the hand of The Ghoul or as a consequence of changing allegiance. We see Moldaver in the before times but only that she is involved in the Communist movement.

World Building and Setting

As I wrote above, the Fallout episode 6 takes place mostly in a Vault, a bit on the surface, and the rest in a bar. Even so, they show that the vaults weren’t all developed to repopulate the planet after the radiation dissipated. Long time fans of the game know this, but it may have come as a shock to those who just joined us with the TV show.

Likewise, they give us a glimpse of the politics of the surface. It isn’t all just pockets of civilization with no connecting fabric. In addition, some figures rose from the ashes to build factions that work to protect their citizens and try to gain resources for themselves and their territories. Sometimes, with tragic consequences.

Themes and Social Commentary

They continue the theme of trust in the “official story”. Cooper starts to question the wisdom of Vault-Tec even as he fights to keep his reputation as a country loving favored son. The, Lucy must again question the validity of the vaults and their reputation as places of safety and understanding.

The conversation between Charlie and Cooper brings up the question of unregulated capitalism and the need for, maybe, just a little bit of communism to keep the ghouls (those who reduce everything to a dollar sign, not the radiated one) honest. You know my feelings on this and how they only get stronger as the days tick by. People starve. The planet burns. And, all we talk about is the Dow Jones and how to properly market the end of the world. Sound familiar?

While Lucy changes her mind and becomes more suspicious, Max eases into a life of comfort. It numbs him to his own skepticism and lures him into a (perhaps false) sense of security. If they keep you fat, dumb, and happy, maybe you won’t realize just how they’re screwing you.

Narrative Pacing, Structure, and Soundtrack

They step up the quick switches between scenes by adding in Fallout episode 6 Cooper’s flash backs to his former life at important parts in the story. This allows them to compare and contrast the before times to the current Wasteland. As they say, the more things change and all that. There will always be two types of people. Will they ever learn to live together? I’m not so sure anymore.

Likewise, the outsiders and their ritual in Vault 4 transposed with Cooper’s visit to the mausoleum for the Communist’s meeting serves a dual purpose. One, it makes you think that there are parallels between the cult like behavior and the Communists. I welcome such dialogue. If your ideas don’t stand up to scrutiny, then are they worth having? The second purpose establishes Moldaver as a force to be reckoned with. Even more so than as a dad kidnapper.

The soundtrack takes a bit of a back seat, especially when compared with the previous episode. It serves more as garnish, so to speak, in this episode. You’re aware of the music as adding something to the story. But, it didn’t have those exclamation point moments like the previous episode.

The Verdict

I called Fallout episode 6 possibly the best episode yet. I stand by that. As the series has gone on, the episodes have gotten stronger and stronger. That’s exactly what you want from a television show. Some may question the choice to introduce new stories and ask new questions so late in the season, but they must have known that people would love what they made and want more. I, for one. agree.

Shady Sands Part 1: Fallout Journal


In this second and, for now, final installment of my Fallout journal, I want to tell you about my trip to Shady Sands Part 1. As you saw in my first entry, I wanted to spice this series up by writing it in journal form. I’m not sure how well I succeeded then, but I feel like this entry raises the entertainment value some. Let me know if you agree.

150 days to get the water chip.

Shady Sands Part 1

5 December 2161 (Vault 13 Entrance): Ahead, I see a natural light. For the first time in my life, I’m looking at the outside world. It looks…

Hideous. I want to go home. Something inside…and the urgent message about the water chip on my Pip Boy 2000…urges me to ignore that feeling and go on.

12 December 2161 (The Wasteland/Shady Sands): After about a week of travel through the Wasteland, I pass an outpost. An adobe wall surrounds a peaceful looking village. “Welcome to Shady Sands,” a guard says. He introduces himself as Seth. “The town,” he continues, “other than radscorpions and raiders, have no problems.” The radscorpions menace their Brahmin and attacked one of the farmers. The raiders, on the other hand, attack mostly from the southeast. I thank Seth for the information and assure him I will come back to deal with the radscorpions. He tells me to visit their leader, Aradesh.

Before moving on, I talk to the other woman at the entrance. She introduces herself as Katarina. Concerned, she asks me to put my dagger away. She assures me that my instinct that this world is dangerous is correct, but Shady Sands is peaceful. When I sheath my dagger, she is willing to talk to me. She assures me that her old home, Vault 15, had a functioning water chip the last she knew. Even though she came from Vault 15, she doesn’t remember much about the world. Ian can help me with that. After the conversations, she suggests that I visit Aradesh.

The first person that I meet besides them tells me suspiciously that the last visitor to the town screwed the village. I assure him that I’m not like that. “Just stay out of trouble.” Okie dokie.

Radscorpion Cave

During the search for Ian, I find ammo and a book. The book talka about surviving the Wasteland. I’m thankful for the knowledge. When I get to Ian’s place, he tells me that he lived in The Hub. Like Katarina, he got injured, but not as badly. Now, he works as a wandering trader for the town since he’s one of the only ones who ever left the town. I ask him two favors. 1. Directions to The Hub and Junktown. 2. Help with the radscorpions. He tells me the directions and agrees to help for some caps. We go back to Seth, who takes us to the Radscorpion cave.

Ugh. Back in a cave already.

Ian and I make quick work of the 9 radscorpions. I’m thankful for his help and willingly pay his bounty. One of them poisons me. Where to find an antidote? Perhaps these tails will come in handy.

I bid farewell to Ian and go back to Razlo. Without the poison, he can’t make an antidote to heal me. Aha! The tails. Razlo makes the antidotes. Thank you, Shady Sands. I should rest.

13 December 2161 (Shady Sands Garden): I find another book and some rope. The books talks more about surviving in the Wasteland. It’s a long book and I need to rest again.

14 December 2161 (Shady Sands Garden): I chat with one of the farmers about their crops and how they grow them in the harsh conditions of the Wasteland. Alas, my time here is done for now. Off to Vault 15.

To be continued…

The Verdict

I hope you enjoyed Shady Sands Part 1. As I said, I tried to make this one more entertaining by including more personal details. I think I still have some way to go. But, it’s definitely an improvement. So, join us for a new segment on the page, Final Friday Fallout. Every last Friday of the month, I plan to continue the games until finishing them. As for next week, I start Fallout 2.

Since I’m playing a 25 year old game, I decided to use a blast from the past for my walkthrough.

Vault 13 Part 1: Fallout Journal


After the release of the show, I wanted to celebrate the Fallout series for a week. Then, I realized that June was perfect for an entire month’s worth of Fallout. With that plan on paper, I worked to flesh it out more. As recently as two days ago, I came up with the idea to format this as a journal. Then, yesterday, I played through the introduction of the first Fallout game to tell you about Vault 13 Part 1.

War. War never changes.

What Makes Me SPECIAL?

Note: If you never played the Fallout games, they organized character stats into the acronym, SPECIAL. In the interest of time, I consulted a walkthrough for the game.

Strength: 5

Perception: 8

Endurance: 6

Charisma: 6

Intelligence: 8

Agility: 7

Luck: 7

Vault 13 Part 1

5 December 2161: The overseer came to see me today. He says that the control chip in the water purifier is faulty. We only have 4 or 5 months until we run out of clean water. He tells me that I am quite possibly the only hope for the Vault. They are sending me out to find another chip and save my fellow dwellers. He suggests Vault 15 as a first stop.

They lead me to the entrance. Only the vault door stands between me and whatever horrors await me on the surface. I check my supplies. 4 Stimpaks, a pistol, some ammunition, and a knife. Red lights flash all around me as a horn sounds. The gears of the vault door grind. It shifts backwards and then an arm attaches to pull it to the side.

I’m out.

But still in. They dug the entrance into a cave. After my eyes adjust, I see a skeleton. The poor guy left behind a knife and some more ammo. Well, he’s not going to need it anymore. Even with the extra ammo, I decide to conserve and pull out my knife in case of attack.

That attack comes quickly! And from all sides! Rats all around me bite and claw. With my trusty knife, though, I am become death. Destroyer of Rats. In a particularly harrowing battle, the little bastard darts all over the place, making it almost impossible to hit him. I finally kill him but not before he injures me quite severely. I conserved ammo, but now I need to use a Stimpak.

Into the Wasteland

After my epic battles with the rats, I figure it’s a good idea to take a rest before stumbling out into the Wasteland. I pause at the mouth of the cave, set up a make shift bed from the roo skeleton there, and lay down for a well deserved nap. Luckily, the rat families don’t come to avenge their dead. I both anticipate and dread what the Wasteland has in store for me.

To be continued….

The Verdict

I actually played through the rat cave twice because I never saved my first game and ended up getting killed by a pack of moles. Thankfully, I learned from that mistake and saved the second time around. That way, when I pick up the game again, I can start from the mouth of the cave. Stay tuned for more of my adventures in Fallout.

Since I’m playing a 25 year old game, I decided to use a blast from the past for my walkthrough.

Marvel Comics June 2024


I took the Blood Hunt tie in issues out of the pile. Not really caring all that much about the main title, that gives me no reason to read the tie ins. Without them, Marvel Comics June 2024 is only 5 other titles. And, yet, I still fell behind and released this article two days late. Oh well, better late than never.

Amazing Spider-Man #50 (Legacy 944)

Note: I’m only going to review the main story. The additional stories are a fun diversion, so maybe I’ll put them in their own article.

Writer: Zeb Wells, Artist: Ed McGuinness. Well, we made it 50 issues with Wells as writer. About a month ago, I became so disgusted with this title that I stopped reading it. Then, I picked it up again last month. The current story still feels dumb. A living (now walking) brain? Okay, fine, whatever. But, he brought back the goblin in this issue and the fight between the two old enemies makes up for the other stuff for now. Plus, we get McGuinness on the title for an issue. That’s always welcome. My verdict: Decent

Captain America 9 (Legacy 759)

Writer: J. Michael Straczynski, Artist: Jesus Saiz. JMS drops Cap and us in a Chilean desert where he encounters a lost penguin. This leads to a substory about the nature of what normal is and how we react to those that are different from us. Yeah, he gets a bit philosophical on this one. In the course of bringing the penguin back to the shore, he rescues one of his allies. An interesting issue, if not terribly unique. My verdict: Decent.

Fantastic Four 20 (Legacy 713)

Writer: Ryan North, Artist: Carlos Gomez. Johnny and Ben get fired (pun fully intended) from their job at the brewery. They take another job at a grocery store. They also get let go from that one. Too much publicity for the store. Oh, and monsters are attacking outside, so they are needed by the FF. Sounds like a boring story, but North makes it fun as usual. Not as much fun as some during his run, but that’s okay. My verdict: Good.

The Immortal Thor #11 (Legacy 772)

Writer: Al Ewing, Artist: Valentina Pinti. Ewing takes some swings with this title since taking over. Some miss, but most hit. And, honestly, the missed become hits eventually because he makes them pay off. Honestly, I’m just glad that we’re out of the Jason Aaron Thor days. I like Aaron, but I didn’t like his Thor. This issue is more standard Thor and it mostly works for what it is. Just the usual team up with his siblings to solve a problem. My verdict: Good.

Sensational She-Hulk 8 (Legacy 186)

Writer: Rainbow Rowell, Artist: Andres Genolet. I can’t say enough good things about this title. It’s got everything. Action. Humor. Love. Betrayal. Cake. I’ve said it before, but I will say it again. Rainbow Rowell gets this character on a deep level and writes the title with love and respect. If you aren’t reading She-Hulk right now, can you even call yourself a comic book fan? My verdict: Great.

The Verdict

None of the titles from Marvel Comics June 2024 outright annoy or offend me, so that’s a step in the right direction. I may come back to Blood Hunt eventually, but I seriously doubt it. Vampires aren’t my thing. Zombies are my thing. But, even I can admit that they’ve been overdone over the last decade or so. Give the vamps their day in the sun. Not literally, of course.

Head on over to the mothership for all your Marvel comic needs.