Fallout episodes ranking

Definitively ranking all the episodes of Fallout series one from worst to best

Kind of like picking your favourite child


It’s safe to say that the Amazon Fallout TV adaptation has been more than a little bit of a success. In eight amazing episodes, the show perfectly builds a world familiar to those who love the games and yet one that is completely accessible for newcomers who’ve never had even an inkling of an idea what a radroach might be. But which of all eight episodes is actually the best, and this is from the opinion of a writer who is a hardcore fan of both the games and now the TV show. Here’s my ranking of all the Fallout episodes from series one.

8. The Head

The Head is episode three of Fallout series one, and after the high octane opening two episodes with their huge Vault action and then the big battle at Filly, things take a less exciting pace here as we say Lucy become captured by Cooper Howard who then uses her as bait to try and get the titular head back from a Gulper. I think this is my least favourite because, frankly, it’s just miserable seeing Lucy be put through the wringer by Howard. It’s just a lot of setbacks and not much joy.

7. The Past

The Past is a bit of a filler episode that bridges between two top tier ones, but it’s still an excellent episode of television. The best bit is the tense stand off on the bridge – as a newly allied and teamed up Maximus and Lucy try and pass the Fiends. We learn a lot more lore around Shady Sands here, and Norm in the Vaults discovers that Vault 31 has always provided the Overseers of Vault 33 since day one as Betty is elected the new Overseer.

Great important expositional stuff happens in this episode, over truly big iconic moments.

6. The Radio

A lot of big setup happens in The Radio for the finale – it’s the seventh of all the Fallout episodes and as the ranking shows, the more setup episodes are the weaker ones of series one. But honestly, these are all truly special hours of TV and The Radio starts with Lucy and Maximus busting out of Vault 4 after the whole misunderstanding fiasco of the previous. We also get the reveal here of Thaddeus becoming a Ghoul and Lucy and Maximus parting ways as she goes on to find Moldaver with the head and Maximus faces the Brotherhood music.

A lot of big setup happens in The Radio for the finale – it’s the seventh of all the Fallout episodes and as the ranking shows, the more setup episodes are the weaker ones of series one. But honestly, these are all truly special hours of TV and The Radio starts with Lucy and Maximus busting out of Vault 4 after the whole misunderstanding fiasco of the previous. We also get the reveal here of Thaddeus becoming a Ghoul and Lucy and Maximus parting ways as she goes on to find Moldaver with the head and Maximus faces the Brotherhood music.

Episode two of Fallout is our first proper foray into the post apocalyptic wasteland, and as we hit the top five episodes of the ranking I’m really splitting hairs on what’s better or worse. This is a great episode which sees the three characters all tracking the same target – Wilzig. We see Dogmeat in the lab, the escape of the doctor and just start to get a wider grasp on what’s actually going on in this world. The whole Filly section is amazing for anyone who’s ever been to Megaton or Diamond City in the games and there’s so much great stuff to look at and little side quest looking characters with outstanding dialogue.

It’s the episode where you know the series is going to be something special, and it delivers on all fronts.

4. The Ghouls

Coming in fourth is the fourth episode itself – The Ghouls. This one really feels like you’ve fallen into a side quest as Cooper sells Lucy to some organ harvesters in exchange for the chems that keep him from turning into a Feral Ghoul. If you’ve played the games, Feral Ghouls are such a huge and terrifying part of it and up until this point the show hasn’t really showed them. The Ghouls unleashes them in all their zombie like terror, and it’s a blast. Also a blast is Matt Berry as the evil robot Snip Snip.

In the Vault, Norm and Chet explore Vault 32 and it’s pure harrowing – the mystery continues to intrigue. Amazing episode.

3. The Trap

Fallout episodes ranking

Fallout’s episode six is an absolute BLAST. Lucy and Maximus get captured / saved by Vault 4 – where Lucy thinks there is a huge conspiracy and gets the complete wrong end of the stick, but the way the show balances the terror and the intrigue and the weird cult practices of Vault 4 is amazing. I’m obsessed with Birdie and how she felt like a witchy Cher-esque queen in the wasteland. We also get the young Moldaver reveal in the past, and the stunning visual of Howard’s Vault-Tec advert. This one is GREAT.

2. The End

Fallout’s pilot episode should be taught in schools on how to make the perfect opener to your TV series. It is truly incredible, cinematic stuff. From the pre-war visual of the bombs dropping, as Cooper Howard sees the mushroom cloud with his terrified daughter to us meeting Lucy MacLean for the first time – a terminally delightful and optimistic Vault dweller with nothing but a song in her heart. The lead up to her wedding and the merging of Vault 32 and 33 is so tense, and the reveal its raiders and the carnage that unfolds is mesmerising. Brutal and thrilling. The Brotherhood stuff is great too. Everything is so well established I can’t see anyone being unimpressed by it.

1. The Beginning

The perfect finale. Everything is just next level great – the twist reveals that Lucy and Norm’s mum is a Ghoul, that Lucy’s father Hank is the real villain, that Lucy was born outside of the Vault – just thrilling, honestly. Everyone acts their socks off and the harrowing flashbacks revealing Howard’s wife was the mastermind behind the bomb dropping plot is insidious, as is the big messy showdown between Moldaver’s crew and the Brotherhood. The setup for series two is jaw dropping and I love that it ended with Howard and Lucy a reluctant team. A perfect episode of telly.

For all the latest gaming news, memes and updates like this ranking of Fallout episodes, like The Holy Church of Gaming on Facebook. 

Related stories recommended by this writer:

Meet Ella Purnell: The vibey Brit playing Lucy in Fallout who everyone’s obsessed with

What the TV show doesn’t tell you about the backstory of the vaults in Fallout

A rundown of easter eggs and nods to the game in the new Fallout TV show