Fallout: The Target
April 12, 2024 9:46 PM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

I know life can't have been easy up here.

Our Good, Bad and the Ugly trio meet in a shootout over "The Target" in the town of Filly. Big names added to the cast include Dale Dickey and Michael Emerson as Wilzig, an escaped scientist who is the title target.

Fan Service Moments:
- The Ink Spots
- Dogmeat! (Ok "CX404", but if that's not Dogmeat by the end of this series, I riot)z
- The Teddy Bears
- Supermutant(?) on a gurney
- The Turrets that can't hit anything
- Radroach
- Don't Feed the Yao Guai!
- Brahmin
- Magazines!
- Mini-Nuke!
- VATS or Jet shots? (all those ghoul slo-mo shots)
- Also I think the ghoul has the Bloody Mess perk running. .
- Ripper
posted by drewbage1847 (32 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The most confounding bit for me was going from (paraphrasing from memory) "set the helicopter down [early]; I feel like shooting something" to the scientist (and target of their multi-prong, could be anywhere, we're-sending-multiple-teams-to-multiple-regions search) stopping at a cave, to -- the terrible bit -- the people from the helicopter randomly showing up at that very same cave. I feel like that's breaking a fundamental storytelling rule, and it makes me wonder if a scene was removed because it's just so terrible!

But I thought things improved a bunch once all the main characters coalesced in (according to the subtitles) Filly (where the helicopter was was flying them anyway).

I guess the constraints they were working under were: 1) the bear attack has to happen before Filly. 2) they can't, within earshot of the helicopter pilot, see any hint that they might be on the right track vis-a-vis their search.

I think the answer would be to just not show the scientist at that cave, and then not bother having them finding any clue there (a clue which, I now realize, only makes sense to the audience if the audience assumes the tin of food is dog food, not human food, and that dogs aren't common pets anymore?) They were going to Filly anyway, so the main Brotherhood character could still go to Filly once taking over the suit, even without that coincidence/clue.

(Also not sure what to make of an audience watching without subtitles assuming this whole section must be happening near Philadelphia. Is "Filly" a place name imported from the games?)

Lastly, a side note: I can't figure out why the camera momentarily slows to a near-stop in the middle of this episode's closing credits. It happens just after what looks like an airplane wing comes into view on the right, and then during the camera pause, a box with a teddybear moves swiftly into frame from the bottom as though the camera were -- for it alone -- still pulling back. At first glance it might seem like it's just a trick of the parallax, the teddybear going faster than everything else because it's closer to camera, but in relation to everything else in the frame the camera really does ease into a near-stop. Is this just a slip-up? An artifact of some revision process? Or are my eyes tricking me and there's nothing weird going on?)
posted by nobody at 10:58 PM on April 12

I enjoyed the parallel between FO2, 3, 4 dogmeats.* Given, I hope that CX404 doesn't end up - literally - as dogmeat.

*Or should that be Fallouts dogmeat?
posted by porpoise at 11:01 PM on April 12 [2 favorites]

(Oh, I thought the opening with the scientist and dog was good, too. I guess the show swings back and forth between intriguing and kind of confounding. But I find the intriguing wins out, overall.)
posted by nobody at 11:04 PM on April 12 [2 favorites]

I love the different Title Cards for each episode.

Lots of little details from the various games. Don't know what to call them though - nostalgia chunks? Hey I know what you're referring to! (Isn't there a Captain America meme/ macro about that?)
posted by porpoise at 11:06 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]

I'm enjoying the series, even if I'm sometimes confounded by things showing up in the "wrong" place (one of the Abominations in the next episode feels distinctly out-of-place geographically). Perhaps the show is a little more inspired by the Bethesda world than the Interplay/Black Isle era, though, and they've never been too uptight about continuity.

They are a little scattershot on applying in-game rules, though. Why is Wilzig's prosthetic foot necessary in a world with Hydra and Doctor's Bags, especially since we've seen Stimpacks in use?

The Brotherhood of Steel as religious zealots and inept bullies who depend on their technology for strength while denying it to others does amuse me.

I like that the Ghoul is smart, as well as mean. It's a nice contrast to the Brotherhood, and helps us understand how he's survived so long. Ruthlessness isn't enough, at some point you have to be more clever than your enemies, not just luckier.

I would like to see a little more of the silliness that's all over the Fallout universe. I think drewbage1847 is right about Bloody Mess. :-)
posted by wintermind at 6:57 AM on April 13 [5 favorites]

It also just occurred to me that we haven't yet seen any robots...
posted by wintermind at 7:29 AM on April 13

Trying to think. We saw a pre-war Mr Handy in the birthday scene and we saw an assaultron “corpse” in Lucy’s Santa Monica wanderings
posted by drewbage1847 at 11:32 AM on April 13 [3 favorites]

Don't know what to call them though - nostalgia chunks?

Easter eggs?

I’ve never played the game but am enjoying this so far!
posted by ellieBOA at 1:08 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]

I've only played the iOS game Fallout Shelter (and see a bit of resonance... radroaches, stimpacks... but not nearly as much as players of the 'big' games are getting). I tried Fallout... 15 years ago?... and wound up playing Wasteland in an emulator instead. No memories that stuck. Downloading '76 now because a Steam sale makes it cheap to check out.

I'm enjoying the series okay, but have been confused from the get-go about proximity. I assume that Vaults 31-33 are directly connected... are there another 30 vaults to the other side of 31 and X to the far side of 33? Or is it unusual that vaults tie together?

Were the scientists of Vaults 31-33 just wrong by decades about how long the surface would be deadly?

Filly isn't... Philly? That seems like a kind of dumb thing to name a city in a post-apocalyptic series of games not set near Philly.

Until everyone literally started running into each other, I assumed that the Michael Emerson story, the Power Armour Guy story, and the Vault Gal story were all happening far away; I actually kind of thought the parallel stories were time jumps! But they're all close neighbours, which... okay.

Maybe all of this will be explained in the series, but I'm having a hard time reconciling the very radioactive raiders and the super chill "everything seems fine" zones where the military and the scientists are hanging out.
posted by Shepherd at 1:48 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]

I'm enjoying the series okay, but have been confused from the get-go about proximity. I assume that Vaults 31-33 are directly connected... are there another 30 vaults to the other side of 31 and X to the far side of 33? Or is it unusual that vaults tie together?

The Vaults are all over the US- 31, 32, and 33 being connected is actually super-rare, and most of them are single vaults some distance from the others.

Maybe all of this will be explained in the series, but I'm having a hard time reconciling the very radioactive raiders and the super chill "everything seems fine" zones where the military and the scientists are hanging out.

The surface isn't uniformly radioactive- places the bombs hit and nearby tend to be much more radioactive, while places away from the cities especially tend to be a lot better.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:03 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]

So the Fallout lore - spread across many different writers, companies, games is very dodgy. But the general number of publicly known vaults is 122 scattered across the country. The first FO game had 3 vaults, I think (12,13,15). FO2 add Vault 8. FO3 added 6 more vaults around DC NV added 7. FO4 added another 7 around Boston (plus one in Far Harbor) and 76 added another 6 around Appalachia

As for the radiation - one of the things in the FO universe is that the major powers stepped back from massive weapons like what we have today to smaller nukes on the order of 750 kt. Lots of bombs, but smaller pockets.
posted by drewbage1847 at 2:09 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]

As for the radiation - one of the things in the FO universe is that the major powers stepped back from massive weapons like what we have today to smaller nukes on the order of 750 kt. Lots of bombs, but smaller pockets.

That's actually what we do, too. Tzar Bomba and Ivy Mike and shit like that was mostly strategic/political action (aka dick swinging). Energy of the explosion isn't directly related to area of destruction, so at some point big boys like that are only making the bits of rubble that much smaller or that bounce that much higher.

Current US arsenal caps out at a little over 1MT and uses MIRVs to distribute lots of small warheads independently targeted over a region.
posted by absalom at 3:04 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]

This really made me want to play Fallout again.
posted by corb at 7:15 PM on April 13 [3 favorites]

I assume that Vaults 31-33 are directly connected... are there another 30 vaults to the other side of 31 and X to the far side of 33? Or is it unusual that vaults tie together?

If it helps, the vaults aren’t numbered geographically — nothing firm in canon, but most people theorize that the vaults are numbered in order of construction with a few numbers reserved for marketing purposes, like 21 for the Vegas Strip.
posted by nathan_teske at 8:06 PM on April 13 [4 favorites]

I assume that the Shelter iOS game is less canon than the FPS games are canon, but those vaults start you randomized in a vault between 001 and 999 (it's a three-digit spinner). You can even set your vault starting number! So it definitely can't be canon, now that I think about it...
posted by Shepherd at 1:20 PM on April 14

Episode 3 Thread Up

As for Shelter - the official word is "unless/until something is contradicted by one of the mainline games, things in Shelter may be considered canon". FO:Tactics, FO:BoS and the board games are pretty much non-canon.
posted by drewbage1847 at 7:37 PM on April 14

So far I'm enjoying this quite a bit, and more than I expected. I'm not generally very sensitive to whether a remake of something captures my memory of it, but I do feel like they nail the tone of Fallout really well. In particular I feel like the later games (which I mostly didn't end up playing much) shed the dark comic absurdity of Fallout 1 and 2, whereas, among other scenes, the buffoonery of the fight between Titus and the bear had me laughing pretty hard.

As far as the geographic coincidences of this episode are concerned... the other media I'm slowly consuming at the moment includes Star Trek: Discovery and Horizon: Forbidden West, so I think I'm just completely inured. Things that could be anywhere are nowhere to be found until you need them, in which case a couple minutes of thought allows you to deduce its precise location. In the entire galaxy. This show is relatively plausible, in comparison.
posted by Alex404 at 12:46 AM on April 15 [1 favorite]

There was a Mini-Nuke in the hardware store in addition to the Bobblehead. You can tell Lucy is still learning the ropes, she's not looting everything in sight yet. (Also the "Fuck you, Vault Dweller" conversation was great.)
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 1:10 PM on April 15 [3 favorites]

I approve that they're going with the Fallout/Fallout 2 versions of the Brotherhood of Steel, because they are not the saviors of the wasteland they were in Fallout 3. Titus was such a dick.

(Also the design team's decision to have the squires cart around an oversize golf bag full of weapons was a delightful choice. Overburdened? That's the squire's problem.)
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 1:24 PM on April 15 [4 favorites]

I continue having a hard time watching this and I wish I understood why. It's very well made. It's faithful to the game I love (maybe too faithful!). It's entertaining. But I can't watch more than 20 or 30 minutes before I get antsy. My best guess is it's just relentless in tone, just too much drama packed in to every scene. There's no room to breathe.
posted by Nelson at 7:49 AM on April 16

I've not played Fallout at all, but I have watched gameplay of it enough to appreciate the moment during this episode where the vault dweller character walks up to the guy outside of his property and talks to him for a while and then is like all "okay, this is over, bye!". I mean, that's how a giant amount of games like Fallout work. You wander up to someone, talk to them for a while, and then wander onward.
posted by hippybear at 5:47 PM on April 16 [4 favorites]

And by gum, it looks like they actually built that Filly downtown set, and didn't just film it in a Volume. I appreciate the production values of this series.
posted by hippybear at 5:58 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]

Also appreciating how the flying mech actually looks like a flying mech and not a cartoon of a flying mech.
posted by hippybear at 6:05 PM on April 16

The most video-gamey thing about the whole show so far is the that the world is compressed so everything is right next to each other so all the characters just randomly cross paths multiple times. In Fallout 3, the actual population of the greater Washington DC area is like 300 people.

It seemed stupid at first that all the characters were just running into each other for no reason, but when it kept happening, it started to seem intentional and I found it amusing.
posted by straight at 1:41 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]

I like that they got all the players close enough to each other early on. It does seem pretty lucky that it works out that way but it also means we don't need to go through travel/tracking scenes that are really just filler to throw in some world building.

I expected that Filly was a short form of Philadelphia, which is weird because I figured the Ferris Wheel on the pier was Santa Monica which is a long way from Philadelphia.

I played the first 2 games back in the day but none of the newer ones. The world seems pretty familiar to me even if I'm slightly hazy on the details of everything now. Any chance we get a super mutant voiced by Michael Dorn?

I'm second guessing whether Maximus had anything to do with the other cadet's shoes being sabotaged in the last episode. Letting Titus die came a bit too easily to him.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:41 AM on April 17

oversize golf bag full of weapons

It was big, but it didn't read on screen like it had much weight.
posted by Paul Slade at 9:02 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]

I expected that Filly was a short form of Philadelphia

It looked more like a short form for landfill.
posted by cardboard at 12:35 PM on April 18 [7 favorites]

Pretty sure Maximus spiked his "friend's" boot, his behavior on ep1 was too shady. So far he is the weak link for me in the show: a whiny unlikeable dweeby major character who also isn't very compelling. The stakes for Lucy & the Ghoul are much clearer (find my dad/love of the game after 281 yrs of ruthlessness) but why we should care about Maximus' petty power fantasy is far less apparent.
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:41 AM on April 20

If you want someone to portray an abrasive, loudmouthed asshole, Michael Rapaport is yer boy. Also "Knight Titus" is a player character.

This is boring, I want to go shoot something.

"Oh fuck. Fuck! Ohfuckohfuckfuckfuckfuck!" as he was backing furiously away from something he wasn't ready for.

Yelling at Maximum for being such a shitty helper. Thinking back, the *ideal* scenario would have been Titus getting killed because Maximus kept getting in the way.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:05 AM on April 21 [4 favorites]

Huh. Can confirm the box with the teddy bear, and the airplane wing, feels a bit odd. It's at about 1 hour, 30 seconds in, here.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:31 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]

frowning realizing at this point lucy has already run into a tin man with a heart, a fearless mutant lion, a super-brainy straw man, and a large vicious dog; she's from (fake) nebraska and she's off to see the witch.
posted by fleacircus at 7:00 AM on May 2 [4 favorites]

There haven’t been any vehicles yet, so we can’t yet rule out NPC’s wearing enormous hats. It’s also totally canon that cut scenes are videos mapped to the inside of a helmet worn by the player.
posted by autopilot at 6:24 AM on May 10

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