Image Source: Prime Studios
Image Source: Prime Video

Fallout Season 1 Ending Explained

Lucy still has a long road ahead of her.

Amazon Prime’s new Fallout TV series emerged from the vault with countless expectations. Thanks to Todd Howard and an exemplary cast and crew, not only did it deliver the experience we all hoped for, but the dramatic season finale has given us a lot to unpack. Where will Lucy’s journey take her after learning the truth about everything, how will Maximus contend with the Brotherhood, and where did Hank wind up escaping to? Here’s our handy guide that explains everything you need to know about the Fallout Season 1 ending.

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Warning: The following article contains serious spoilers for the finale episode of Fallout Season 1. Read at your discretion.

What Happened in the Fallout Season 1 Finale?

Fallout what happens to Norm in the season 1 finale
Image Source: Prime Studios

It’s not an understatement that the Episode 8 finale of Fallout Season 1 dropped the bomb on just about every question we’ve had up to now, and each twist was jaw-dropping. Even if you know the lore behind the games themselves, this is still a brand new story that Todd Howard is telling within the universe they built, so it’s as fresh an experience for us as anyone who hasn’t played any.

Norm Discovers Vault 31

After finding nothing but dead crops and corpses in an abandoned Vault 32, Lucy’s brother Norm hacked into Overseer Betty’s computer (one of the show’s best easter eggs) to gain access to Vault 31. Inside, he hears a strange voice who turns out to be none other than Bud Askins of Vault-Tec, albeit as a brain sitting on a roomba.

Norm goes on to discover that Vault 31 has been used as a cryogenic chamber of sorts for Vault-Tec’s biggest minds, or as they were nicknamed, “Bud’s buds”. They have been used to integrate and breed with the inhabitants of Vault 33 and 32 as part of a pre-planned initiative by Vault-Tec to rebuild the nation and “manage” it in their own image.

However, discovering this revelation also has trapped Norm inside Vault 31 for the foreseeable future, as Bud will not allow him to leave. He suggests that Norm “go to sleep” alongside his other “buds”, otherwise he’ll starve to death.

Barb’s Betrayal at Vault-Tec Board Meeting

Fallout how does Barb betray Howard Cooper
Image Source: Prime Studios

Further pulling back the curtain on this is Pre-War Howard eavesdropping on Barb’s board meeting, in order to find out the truth behind Vault-Tec’s plans. This particular meeting is surreal to watch, as it brings together many of the biggest figureheads in the Fallout universe.

One is Frederick Sinclair of Big MT, who is also the brains behind the Sierra Madre Casino at New Vegas. Rebecca Watson of REPCONN, another familiar name from New Vegas. We also see Leon Von Felden of West Tek, who is the architect of the Forced Evolutionary Virus (FEV) that ends up creating Super Mutants among other monsters. He even mentions the prospect of creating “super mutant soldiers”.

Perhaps the biggest face at the table, however, is none other than Robert House himself. The founder of RobCo, he eventually becomes the enigmatic ruler of New Vegas and the main antagonist of the respective game.

Aside from the excitement of putting real faces to these iconic names, the subject matter of the meeting is absolutely devastating and reveals the biggest plot twist of the season. Proving true a long-held theory from the games, it was indeed Vault-Tec who dropped the bombs on their own country in 2077, in order to keep the Vault initiative sustainable and lucrative. As Barb herself says, “War never changes”.

Lucy Discovers Truth About Her Parents

Fallout what is the truth about Hank MacLean
Image Source: Prime Studios

After plenty of hardship and harsh truths along her journey, Lucy MacLean finally makes it to the Griffith Observatory to confront Moldaver (who also somehow survived 200 years) and rescue her father, Hank. However, Moldaver immediately gains control of the situation and drops multiple proverbial bombs on Lucy that leave her shaken to the core.

It turns out that Hank MacLean was another Vault-Tec executive (seen getting Howard’s autograph during the boardroom scene) who was hand-picked for Vault 31. After becoming Overseer, his wife, Rose MacLean, eventually learns the truth and tries to escape to Moldaver’s sanctuary at Griffith with Lucy. However, Hank travels there to force them to return to Vault 33. When Rose refuses, Hank burns down the town with her in it and takes Lucy back to the vault. All that remains of Rose is her burnt, ghoul-ravaged body, sitting at Moldaver’s table.

This reveals Hank to be as cold-hearted and calculating as anyone else from Vault-Tec. When Maximus arrives with the Brotherhood and attempts to save Lucy, Hank steals a nearby Power Armor suit. Howard Cooper also appears, making for a brief but dramatic reunion between the two of them. However, Hank uses the rocket boosters in the suit to escape somewhere unknown.

Hank Escapes to New Vegas

At the very end of the episode, we find out just where Hank has escaped to. Stepping over a nicely-placed Deathclaw skull in the sand, we see that he’s come to none other than New Vegas, one of the biggest locations in the Fallout universe. Aside from the insane hype of this city being a major setpiece in the next season, it also begs many questions.

What Can We Expect in Fallout Season 2?

Fallout why does Hank go to New Vegas
Image Source: Prime Studios

The entire first season of Prime Video’s Fallout show left us elated, devastated, and also full of questions about the road ahead.

What will become of Norm in Vault 31? Will he find the courage to use his smarts to escape rather than bend to the will of Roomba-Bud? Or will he have no choice but to sleep alongside those who caused everything and be at the mercy of whoever decides to reawaken him?

Why does Hank choose to go hide out in New Vegas? Despite the timeline conflict, will there be an appearance of Robert House? If so, do he and Hank become allies? Those who played the New Vegas game likely recall that Mr. House was not the “good karma” choice.

What will become of Maximus? The brutal consequences of his actions continue to catch up to him, as he finds himself unable to escape the vice grip of the Brotherhood he once worshipped. After a battalion takes control of Griffith Observatory, Dane finds Maximus and believes he’s the one who killed Moldaver to secure her cold fusion energy source for the faction. The battalion commends Max, but he shares no joy, only fear.

Meanwhile, Lucy, Howard, and Dogmeat (finally!) set off to find the truth behind Vault-Tec and put a stop to their post-apocalyptic agenda. Aside from New Vegas, we can only wonder where else they’ll travel to and what monsters lurk ahead. Will Howard get the penance he’s sought for 200 years? How will Lucy continue to adapt to the unforgiving wastelands and how far will she go for truth?

That concludes our guide that explains the ending of Fallout Season 1. Let us know what you thought of the finale, and what you hope to see in the second season and beyond.

Be sure to check out all of our other guides and news for Fallout, such as our list of the scariest monsters we’d love to see in the TV series.

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Stephanie Watel
Stephanie Watel is a freelance writer for Twinfinite. Stephanie has been with the site for a few months, and in the games media industry for about a year. Stephanie typically covers the latest news and a variety of gaming guides for the site, and loves gardening and being the bird lady of the neighborhood. She has a BA in Writing from Pace University in NY.