Ella Purnell Breaks Down Fallout’s Big Season Finale Twists

Like the video games before it, Fallout is a hit. The Prime Video series is getting a second season, which means we’ll get to see what’s next for Ella Purnell’s Lucy. After leaving the artificial confines of Vault 33, she got a crash course in surface-dwelling life in the post-apocalyptic world—as well as the sinister truth about its history.

Speaking to GQ, Purnell admitted she felt a lot of pressure, knowing that Fallout already had a devoted fan base and Prime Video’s huge platform meant the show would be seen by even more eyeballs. “I am just Fallout-centric right now. I just eat, breathe, live, shit Fallout, all the time,” she joked. But the interview—which does, yes, include a discussion of that gruesome finger scene with Walton Goggins; Purnell said it was “so fun” to film—also digs into how Lucy’s feeling at the end of the season.

She’s just learned her father, former Vault-Tec executive Hank (Kyle MacLachlan), who she’s been desperately trying to rescue, is complicit in the nuclear-fueled destruction that derailed civilization hundreds of years prior. Even worse, he had a direct hand in more recent bombings that Vault-Tec ordered to monkey-wrench humanity’s irritatingly persistent instinct for survival. Even worse, her mother, who’s been MIA for years, is no longer human, but an irradiated Ghoul—and Lucy ends up shooting her, to end what’s clearly a miserable existence.

“I thought, What’s the opposite of Lucy?” Purnell recalled of calibrating her performance in the season finale. “What’s the opposite of the woman we’ve grown to learn and love? She’s relentlessly optimistic … so the opposite of that is seeing the light drain out of this beacon of hope; seeing the light drain out of her eyes. And seeing her catatonic. Seeing her numb. And there’s no more fight left in her.”

Purnell continued. “I think there is a part of her that is like, ‘I just don’t know where to dig from.’ The center of her is dropping out of her body. That light that exists in her solar plexus, that truly believes in the Golden Rule, her cold fusion, is just gone. It’s just dissipating … I want the audience at the end of the show to wonder if their hero is still a good person. I don’t know who she’s gonna be in season two, [but] this is what happens when you break the unbreakable. I don’t know who she’s about to become.”

As for that “Okey-dokey” line delivery at the end, Purnell said she channeled the feeling of “just knowing that everything is completely out of your control … I think that’s how Lucy feels about her hope. She recognizes that something is irreversibly lost, or broken, inside her. Maybe she still does maintain it in season two, but it will never be the same. It can’t.”

Read the full interview at GQ, and watch Fallout’s first season on Prime Video.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

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