Fallout Season 2 Won’t Pick Up Where the Best Fallout Game Left Off

Fallout's second season will explore a familiar location but don't expect to find things just as you left them.

Fallout New Vegas
Photo: Bethesda Softworks

This article contains spoilers for Amazon’s Fallout TV series and the Fallout video games.

In an interview with GQ, Fallout showrunners Graham Wagner and Geneva Robertson-Dworet broke down the first season of the acclaimed series and shared some of the first details about Fallout: Season 2. It’s a fascinating interview highlighted by some of the first details regarding how the show’s second season will (and will not) address the unanswered questions posed by the best Fallout game: 2010’s Fallout: New Vegas.

While Wagner and Robertson-Dworet stopped short of confirming that large parts of Fallout: Season 2 will be set in New Vegas as the ending of the show’s first season implied, they admitted that it would “be strange if we went off to New York City after that.” More importantly, they addressed some of the controversial lore changes/additions that the show’s first season made to the franchise and how such decisions should emphasize the idea that a lot has changed in the wasteland over the years and that a lot will continue to change as the series goes on.

“All we really want the audience to know is that things have happened, so that there isn’t an expectation that we pick the show up in season two, following one of the myriad canon endings that depend on your choices when you play [Fallout: New Vegas],” Wagner reveals. “With that post-credits stuff, we really wanted to imply, Guys, the world has progressed, and the idea that the wasteland stays as it is decade-to-decade is preposterous to us. It’s just a place [of] constant tragedy, events, horrors — there’s a constant churn of trauma. We’re definitely implying more has occurred.”

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That line about “your choices” in Fallout: New Vegas is especially interesting. Throughout that game, you are often forced (allowed, really) to make a series of choices that impact your character, their place in the world, which factions they align themselves with, and so much more. Ultimately, each of those choices alters how the game’s ending plays out in ways both relatively minor and potentially significant. The wealth of such choices, how you are asked to make them, and the ways they impact your adventure are big parts of the reason why New Vegas is such a highly acclaimed Fallout experience.

That’s also why Wagner’s admittedly vague statements are so intriguing. Not only can Fallout: New Vegas end in several (dozens if you count minor variations) different ways, but none of those endings are currently considered canonical. People have theories regarding which of the game’s endings are canonical (and New Vegasstellar DLC offers some potential hints), but that’s about all we have to go on. The only canonical Fallout adventures that take place after New Vegas are Fallout 4 and the Amazon TV series. Neither has addressed how, exactly, New Vegas ended as of yet.

Some are choosing to read Wagner’s statement as a kind of promise that Fallout: Season 2 won’t canonize any of the New Vegas endings, but I don’t think that’s necessarily what the showrunners are saying. Yes, they make it clear that the series will not immediately pick up where any of those endings theoretically left off, but that doesn’t mean they won’t eventually address that topic in at least a minor way born out of necessity. Let’s also not forget that the first season of Fallout shocked many by seemingly offering an answer to one of the franchise’s biggest mysteries.

That being said, Wagner noted that we shouldn’t “treat anything as definitive” quite yet, including that divisive twist. That either means that the showrunners have a master plan in mind that we simply haven’t seen yet or that they have seen the criticisms/questions some have about that twist and intend to address them in the show’s second season. In any case, we keep coming back to the same point. War may never change, but the Fallout TV series needs to be a little more flexible than that.

I’m inclined to trust the Fallout showrunners following the somewhat surprising success of the show’s debut season. Whether or not the series ultimately finds a way to address what definitively happened in the Fallout universe following the events of New Vegas, it feels like a smart move to not make that the biggest talking point right out of the gate. Honestly, if whatever the crew does with Fallout: Season 2 leads to us finally getting New Vegas 2, it may all be worthwhile.