Movie Reviews

What Happened To Cooper Howard’s Family In Fallout?

walton goggins as cooper howard from fallout

Prime Video’s Fallout show adds a number of new mysteries to the franchise, including one that pertains to the fates of Cooper Howard’s wife and daughter. It’s understood through most of Fallout season 1 that before becoming The Ghoul, Cooper Howard lost his family to the bombs that ravaged the surface. However, Fallout season 1’s ending creates a different impression of what happened, and perhaps leaves some room for hope that they’re still alive.

As depicted in the show’s first scene, Walton Goggin’s Fallout character tried to get his daughter, Janey, to safety when the bombs hit. What transpired after they rode away on a horse, as well as the location of Barb Cooper at the time, has been left ambiguous. While it would have been easy to assume that along with millions of other people, both died and never got to witness Fallout’s apocalypse, the events of the season finale indicate otherwise. Instead, it appears that what happened to Barb and Janey relates directly to the story of a potential Fallout season 2.

The battle at Moldaver’s hideout, juxtaposed with what Norm discovered from the brain of Bud Askins, signals that both Barb and Janey are in one of Vault-Tec’s vaults in Fallout. As for which one that could be, the most obvious candidate, of course, is Vault 31. After all, that was where Vault-Tec ultimately decided to store people from Vault-Tec. That said, Bud’s explanation to Norm suggests that Barb and Janey might be too important to be placed in Vault 31’s cryo chambers. According to Bud, Vault 31’s “Bud’s Buds” were people like Hank, “junior executives” selected for the former’s “assistant training program.”

Clearly, Barb held a great deal of power within Vault-Tec. Her presence at the meeting was proof of that, as was the amount of influence she seemed to hold with the other executives. Based on this detail, it’s unlikely that Vault-Tec is keeping Barb at Vault 31. Chances are, there’s another vault out there where the high-level Vault-Tec officials are being safely guarded. Such a place existing would be in keeping with the company’s ultimate goal, as it would provide them with an opportunity to benefit from the world they want to create. Discovering that vault could reveal Barb and Janey’s true whereabouts in Fallout’s world.

The Fallout season 1 finale raises the possibility that Cooper’s wife and daughter are in New Vegas, one of the biggest and most visible locations in the franchise. Throughoghly explored in Fallout: New Vegas, New Vegas was a cesspot for Vault-Tec activity and all sorts of other sinister schemes. The city spotted in the finale could be easily recognized as New Vegas, which hints that this is where Fallout’s main characters are headed if and when the show returns for a second season. One of the vaults in the area – though not one that was used in the game – could be where Vault-Tec hid away its most valuable officials, Barb included.

Whether the pair are in New Vegas, Vault 31, or someplace else altogether, it’s become abundantly clear that the search for Barb and Janey will drive The Ghoul’sFallout season 2 story. His question to Hank about the location of his family revealed that the desire to find Barb and Janey has been secretly motivating him for some time now. Since the finale saw him openly express his interest in tracking them down, his pursuit of this goal will surely be much more overt in season 2. Hank may not know the answer to this mystery directly, but may possess information that could prove instrumental in locating them.

It’s worth noting that The Ghoul’s team-up with Lucy to get the truth from Hank about his family may be only one of the ways in which Barb and Janey will be relevant to what comes next. In contrast to season 1, the two characters could feature in both the past and present storylines, especially since Fallout still hasn’t finished The Ghoul’s origin story yet. Most importantly, the series hasn’t explained how Cooper and Janey became separated. Exploring the circumstances of that event through another series of flashbacks could add another piece to the puzzle if it winds up tying into Fallout’s current Barb and Janey mystery.