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The Mountain Lion Messenger

The Mountain Lion Messenger


An other worldly satire

The only thing worse than a world plagued by criminals, killer mutants, and nuclear warfare is that of a bad video game adaptation, of which Hollywood has a plethora. Whether it’s the live-action Super Mario Bros of 1993, the cringe-inducing CGI of 1997’s Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, or the modern masterpiece of 2021’s Resident Evil: Raccoon City (which sits at an impressive 30% on Rotten Tomatoes), Hollywood seemingly can not crack the code on video game adaptations.

But hope is not all lost. Fallout, one of the most renowned video game series of all time known for games like Fallout 4, Fallout 76, and Fallout: New Vegas, is a post-apocalyptic role-playing game that just received its own show via Amazon, and it is a retro-futuristic blast! The show (and games) take place in a world where nuclear warfare has destroyed the entirety of civilization. Now, for generations, communities survived underground in nuclear fallout shelters called “vaults,” hiding and holding onto their old way of life as best as they can.

This creates an extremely poignant socio-economic dynamic within the show. While the majority of humans on earth were forced to endure nuclear wipeout and disfigurement on the surface, wealthy privileged families of the American elite were able to hide away in advanced vault systems underground, saving themselves from suffering. Because of this, the surface dwellers have developed deep hatred and prejudice for vault dwellers who are seen as spoon-fed aristocrats. On the contrary, the vault dwellers have been raised uniquely naive, having a deep sense of American nuclear family culture of the 1950s with no recollection of who or what is going on on the surface.

The main storyline branches into three different paths, each following one of the three major characters: The Ghoul, a cynical and scarred bounty hunter; Maximus, the insecure but brave soldier; and Lucy, a go-lucky vault dweller. Each of the main protagonists is after cold fusion, an eternal energy source that could change the trajectory of the surface forever. The show is incredibly written, mixing the gore and action of a show like Amazon’s The Boys with the satirical black comedy of American consumerism, which is at the center of the show. Without direct jabs towards any political party, Fallout is more so interested in the evils of corporate America and the pervasive ways in which capitalism has been ingrained in the ethos of American society.

But it is not all as simple as it may seem. While capitalism at a surface level works as an easy scapegoat, Fallout goes much deeper than that. In the end, Fallout represents the uncomfortable truth that war never changes something the games mention countless times- as the show equally expresses whether it’s communism or capitalism, humans will find ways to be humans, and that’s simply something we have no correction for. Take the vaults, for example, which are the closest possible example of communistic living and yet are tainted with corruption and unsustainable life showing that the real evil at the core of Fallout is human nature.

Fallout is a show that shines in a time of dull and uninspired TV, proving that even the most unexpected source material can make for an incredible time. Season two has already been confirmed to be in development by creators Graham Wagner and Geneva Robertson and will take place in our very own Las Vegas, Nevada. For now, go stream all eight episodes of Amazon’s Fallout, out now!


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About the Contributor
Caiden Beasley
Caiden Beasley, Entertainment Editor
Caiden Beasley, a senior at Sierra Vista High School, is in his third year of journalism. He has a strong passion for writing and analyzing the art of film. Currently, Caiden holds the position of section leader for entertainment at the SVHS newspaper. Hailing from Michigan, he also has a keen interest in history, politics, working out, and watching movies.

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