What's In Vault 31 In Fallout TV Show? Secret Experiment Revealed

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Fallout, Vault 31, Ella Purnell

Many fans are probably looking for an explanation of what special experiment was taking place in Vault 31 in Amazon Prime Video's latest series, Fallout.

Based on the highly popular Bethesda game series, the show follows Ella Purnell's Lucy (one of three unique perspectives of the narrative), a woman who has lived a sheltered life within an underground vault post-apocalypse. 

While she leaves early in the series to venture into the wasteland, her brother, Moises Arias' Norm, sticks around and eventually uncovers the vault's dark secrets.

[ Fallout TV Show Cast, Characters & Actors (Photos) ]

What Was the Experiment in Vault 31?

The final episode of Fallout's first season has many answers about the true events in Vaults 31, 32, and 33 and the special experiment being conducted.

Before the bombs dropped, it was revealed that Vault-Tec (the company that created them in the first place) divvied up the many available vaults among various corporations. The intent was to allow these companies to attempt to restart humanity in their own ways.

While that information started coming to light thanks to a flashback from Cooper Howard's past (now known as the Ghoul), more was revealed when Moses Arias' Norm got nosey.

Fallout, Amazon Studios
Amazon Prime Video

Norm's journey eventually leads him to Vault 31, where he stumbles into a massive secret: many Vault-Tec employees are cryogenically frozen in stasis. The Vault 33 dweller also runs into a Brain-on-a-Roomba, which turns out to be former Vault-Tec Senior Junior Vice President, Bud Askins.

Fallout, Amazon Studios
Amazon Prime Video

This talking brain revealed the idea was to use these handpicked "highly supervised junior executives" to recolonize the world above:

Brain-on-a-Roomba: “These are Bud’s Buds. My Buds. America outsourced the survival of this country to the private sector. But it would have been insane to keep a failed nation alive. So, we kept Vault-Tec alive instead. A well-trained staff of highly supervised junior executives from my own assistant training program. Because the future of humanity comes down to one word: management."

Fallout, Amazon Studios
Amazon Prime Video

The conversation then revealed the purpose of Vaults 32 and 33: a perfect gene pool for the members of Vault 31 to breed with.

As Bud's brain says, it's "the ultimate expression of HR R&D:"

Norm: “So, what’s Vault 32 and 33? Just people to be controlled?”

Brain-on-a-Roomba: “What? No! When you put it like that, it sounds downright morally questionable. They’re our breeding pool, the ultimate expression of HR R&D. Genetically selected to breed with my Buds to create a class of super managers. People with positivity, people who make lemonade. People who will inherit the Earth after we’ve wiped the surface clean.”

All the overseers in the past (such as Hank Maclean) were one of those formerly frozen Vault 31 dwellers, and the big marriage ceremonies were shams; each provided a breeding opportunity for those special Vault-Tec members.

Fallout, Amazon Studios
Amazon Prime Video

What Happened to Vault 32?

The fall of Vault 32 is revealed in the first episode of the Amazon Prime Video series, but as the show progresses, it becomes clear something else happened.

While initially it looks like raiders invaded the vault and killed everyone inside, the destruction of its inhabitants happened much earlier than that—two years, to be precise. So, if Moldaver and her crew didn't slaughter everyone, what exactly did?

Well, the people living in Vault 32 discovered the truth about what Vault-Tec was doing with the three interconnected vaults. In response, they rebelled, leading to the carnage that Norm and Dave Register's Chet saw.

However, before they could bring it to anyone's attention, Lesli Uggams' Betty Pearson cleaned it all up. It's her hope to split the remaining residents of Vault 31 into 32 to save the program.

[ Who Is Dave Register? 4 Things to Know About Fallout Actor ]

What's Next for the Los Angeles Vaults?

Surprisingly, Fallout has not been renewed for a second season yet, but it is clear the writers have plans for where the story will go next.

Norm, being trapped in Vault 31, is in a real pickle. But he’ll undoubtedly get out at some point; perhaps someone else will also come snooping.

One would have to assume all the sleeping Vault-Tec employees will play a bigger role moving forward. In fact, there’s a chance one of those frozen people is the Ghoul’s wife—maybe even his daughter.

Then there’s Hank, Lucy’s father, who was supposedly making his way back to some important people in New Vegas. That storyline will likely connect back to whatever Vault-Tec was hoping to achieve with its three interconnected vaults.

Fallout is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Catch up on more Fallout news on The Direct:

Matt Berry's Multiple Fallout Show Characters Revealed

Fallout Show: Is Ghoul a Villain? Answered

Fallout Season 2 Gets Hopeful Update from Producers (Exclusive)

- In This Article: Fallout
Release Date
April 10, 2024
Ella Purnell
Walton Goggins
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.