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Fallout Season Finale Review: Gogginss Gunslinger Shines in Battle Against Corporate Dystopia | Arts

Fallout Season Finale Review: Gogginss Gunslinger Shines in Battle Against Corporate Dystopia |  Arts


Warning: this article contains spoilers for the first season of Fallout.

What do a suave 1950s movie star, an old western cowboy, and a post-apocalyptic bounty hunter have in common? Well, on a normal day, probably not much, but in Amazon Prime Videos' recently released Fallout series, Walton Goggins does all the work by merging all three into one very compelling character.

Fallout, based on the video game series first released in 1997, is set in a dystopian future ravaged by nuclear war. It should be noted that Goggins' character, Cooper Howard, is not actually a 1950s movie star. Rather, the series imagines a retrofuturistic reality in which the cultural and political features of the early Cold War never occurred. dissipated and, as a result, Cooper really feels like one from the 1950s. Although the series is actually set around the year 2100, Cooper's world is infused with 1950s music and palpable nuclear tensions that evoke the atomic age, imbuing the setting with an intriguing if somewhat off-putting combination of technological progress and societal stagnation.

That said, the main events of Fallout take place 200 years later, in a world where the Earth's surface has become a wasteland characterized by crime and nuclear radiation. As a result, part of the population lives in underground vaults created by the mega-corporation. Vault-Tec. Cooper, who is still alive in this distant future thanks to a combination of radiation exposure and regular medical treatments, now has a markedly different physical form and is known as The Ghoul, roaming the surface as gunslinging anti-hero. Meanwhile, Vault dweller Lucy MacLean (Ella Purnell) returns to the surface in search of her father, Hank (Kyle MacLachlan), who was kidnapped during a raid by the evil Moldaver (Sarita Choudhury ). Elsewhere, soldier Maximus (Aaron Moten) struggles to survive his harsh daily life within the Brotherhood of Steel, a technocratic military organization. The stories of these three main characters are united by their search for a MacGuffin that the season finale reveals to be a crucial energy source.

Largely thanks to Walton Goggins' stellar performance throughout the season, the most exciting aspect of the finale is the climax of the Ghouls story. While some final questions are answered in flashbacks to the time period circa 2100, the nature of the Ghouls' quest for revenge in the main story becomes clear, and his action-packed exploits and gentle conversation are a joy to watch . The finale wisely stays consistent with the season's affinity for combining explosive, bloody battles with the gentle lure of mid-20th century romantic music, a unique mashup that brings a wonderfully dissonant feeling to the ongoing action. One final satisfying quality of the season finale is the inclusion of multiple twists and turns that have interesting implications for Lucy and The Ghoul, setting them both up for continued escapades through the Wasteland in next season's shows.

The episode particularly excels when The Ghoul is at the heart of the action. In a scene where he confronts several Brotherhood soldiers, The Ghoul questions a flaw he knows was once common to their heavily armored suits, which otherwise, depending on the season, would be dominant in combat settings. Even with their weapons trained on him, the soldiers are obviously paralyzed by a combination of fear and anticipation, as The Ghoul monologues with effortless charm. In an instant, he cocks his pistol and demonstrates his precise shooting prowess, hitting a soldier in the exact spot he considered a weak point in his armor, becoming the champion of this Western-style standoff. In the exhilarating sequence that follows, The Ghoul eliminates the soldiers one by one in the darkness, while the flashes of his bullets only briefly illuminate his silhouette and the sound of blood splatter chillingly conveys the plight of the soldiers. soldiers.

Another striking bit of action is a full-blown battle between the forces of the Brotherhood and the Moldovans, set to Nat King Cole's 1964 song I Dont Want to See Tomorrow. This juxtaposition of languorous, rich music with slow-motion bloody combat comes amid a revelation that Hank is actually a Vault-Tec loyalist who was preserved in cryogenic sleep before nuclear war broke out and which facilitated further bombardments of the surface when Lucy was a child. to ensure the continued success of the safes. The contrast between the rich music and the horrifying visuals thus becomes brilliantly representative of Lucy's new moral struggle, as she must face the reality that her near-perfect life in the vault, often associated with the music of the Mid-20th century America was built on foundations. this resulted in the now barbaric conditions on the surface.

Another key twist in the finale brings The Ghouls story full circle and sets up an interesting plot thread for season two. In flashback sequences throughout the season, we learn that Cooper's wife, Barb, works for Vault-Tec and that she seems more prepared than Cooper to embrace a nuclear future in which humanity must survive in safes. In the finale, as Cooper secretly eavesdrops on a conversation between Barb and other executives about how best to ensure Vault-Tec's profits, Barb makes the horrific suggestion that the company drop the atomic bomb itself. This moment serves as a great payoff for the season's gradual teases of Vault-Tec's ulterior motives, indicating that the real crux of this dystopian future is not political disarray, but corporate greed and inhumanity. The reveal becomes more nuanced when The Ghoul comes face to face with Hank, whom we learn he first met 200 years before; The Ghoul emerges from the shadows, shoots Hanks in the cheek and asks: Where the fuck is my family? He thus implies that Barb and her daughter, Janey, may have been preserved in cryogenic sleep like Hank, and that his desire for revenge boils down to the hope of still being able to find his family after all this time.

Overall, Fallout's season finale features gripping action, intriguing payoffs, and a standout final performance from Walton Goggins, positioning the series well for its recently confirmed second season. In one of the episode's final scenes, to the tune of The Ink Spots We Three, Lucy embraces her uncertain future and follows The Ghoul into the dark night, as he trudges toward the Hollywood sign. After a moment, another panel lights up just below; we can cheekily read: Sponsored by Nuka Cola. Ultimately, in this deserted world, Fallout's first season indicates that corporate control may be more of a poison than the nuclear threat itself.

Staff writer Kieran J. Farrell can be reached at [email protected].




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