Character Arc and Arguments in Fallout Season 1 – Shitty Diary of a Wannabe Cinephile



Welcome to the third episode of Shitty Diary of a Wannabe Cinephile. Oh, what an amazing intro, thank you. Thank you to my composer who just did an amazing intro. Today we’re going to talk about the first season of the Fallout series. No, I won’t be talking episode by episode; I think it got a little bit boring after the second episode. So, I’m just going to wrap it up.

I finished watching the whole series this week, and I’m going to wrap it up and talk about something that I like to discuss when it’s well done. In this case, I think it was well done: the character arcs and the arguments behind them. So, I’m going to talk about Lucy, the cowboy Coop, and Maximus, the Brotherhood knight, whose name I mistakenly said was Titus in previous episodes.

I think there are three very important arguments that happen throughout the first season. Some of them are not resolved. The most interesting one, I think, is Coop’s argument, which is not resolved. His argument seems to be whether the end of the world can be capitalized on. This is a question because you have corporations trying to capitalize on it, while the reality is that the anarchy of the survivors can’t really be contained.

Let’s get back to that. In case you’re unfamiliar, let’s do a quick 101 on scriptwriting: what is an argument and a character arc? In a traditional hero’s journey, we’re talking about the traditional three-act structure. We’re not getting experimental here or discussing different ways of storytelling, such as the Dan Harmon circular character arcs used in his productions like Rick and Morty and Community.

In the hero’s journey, you usually have an argument. What is an argument? It’s exactly what the name suggests: a question that can be debated from both points of view. For example, in a romantic comedy (rom-com), a popular argument is whether a man and a woman can be friends. Depending on the film, you can argue both points. Typically, you have a character who starts believing that a man and a woman can be friends, but by the end, through various obstacles, the character is convinced otherwise. The character’s actions by the end of the movie showcase this transformation.

Going back to Fallout, in a series, this happens a bit differently. You have more characters and a seasonal structure. Arguments and character arcs can be resolved within a season, throughout the series, or even within smaller episodes. For example, in The Last of Us, you have bottle episodes where characters have their arguments resolved within an hour.

Now, in Fallout, we have three main arguments. Coop’s argument, which is the most interesting, is about whether the end of the world can be capitalized on. Lucy, the vault dweller, starts by believing that living in the vault is the best way of life. She wants to return to it after being violently removed, representing the idea of isolating oneself from reality. Her argument is whether it’s possible to ignore reality for a happy life. Throughout the first season, she learns that she cannot ignore reality and must find new ways of living.

Maximus’s argument is more nuanced. He believes that to survive in a bad world, one must do bad things. This internal conflict is highlighted when Lucy tells him that doing bad things doesn’t make him a bad person. He decides to give the nuclear fusion core from his armor back to the community, showcasing his transformation from a survivalist to someone who acts for the greater good.

Coop’s unresolved argument questions how much control corporations can have over society. The series reveals that Vault-Tec and other companies planned to bomb the world to reborn society under their control. However, the surviving society resists this control, presenting a strong political argument about corporate dominance versus human resilience.

The Fallout series raises interesting points about the corporate world, similar to themes explored in George Orwell’s works about government control. Fallout’s portrayal of a corporate-controlled world is both entertaining and thought-provoking, even if not groundbreaking.

I hope you enjoyed this review of the Fallout series. If you liked it, please subscribe. You can find the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and other platforms. For more information, visit Have a great day!

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