So if you’re the Baudelaire orphan trio, you really don’t particularly care about the differences between worried and anxious, very likely feeling both as the odious Mr. Poe takes you to yet another guardians house. Like the rest, #667 Dark Avenue is a very different place for Violet, Klaus, and Sunny to end up, in these unfortunate events that keep happening to them.
Enter Jerome and Esme Squalor, the cities 6th most important financial advisor, who lives in the penthouse of #667, and Esme at least is concerned with all things IN and OUT. We’re not talking inappropriate gas-passing, we’re talking light and dark, orphaned or not, pinstripe suits and cafes specializing in the repetitive use of a single ingredient in every single last dish including the water – that sort of what’s IN and what’s OUT.
Stairs are IN, apparently, so our orphans get to make the long climb to the penthouse on foot, but we’re treated to a very familiar symbol when our Baudelaires look down the stairwell to the bottom floor and see the V.F.D. eye. Orphans are now IN, thank goodness, so while our kids are genuinely welcomed by a cowed Jerome, Esme proceeds to remake them as IN as possible, in pinstripe suits and aqueous martinis. That also means subjecting the Baudelaires to the nasty attentions of the eternal Count Olaf, arriving this time as Gunther, foreign fashion consultant to the simpering Esme. But before the next grand acting scheme, Olaf informed us that he has possession of the Quagmires, very closely in fact, so nothing would do but for our beleaguered children to go looking for their friends!
Esme and Gunther have planned a high profile auction, with all the profits going to Esme herself of course, for the near future. But for right now, Esme’s going to take Klaus and Sunny on a tour of most of the seventy-one rooms of the penthouse, while Violet uses chalk marks to do some exploring of her own. Note that the sugar bowl is missing from Esme’s own tea set. Your easter egg for this episode is that all the portraits in the din
ing rooms of the Squalors’ penthouse, are of Barry Sonnenfield, Executive Director/Producer for the television show ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’.
Chases and chalk marks and charisma, oh my, and we still haven’t found the Quagmires, nor really, anything else the Baudelaires might be looking for. Esme is insistent on taking the children to the INnest restaurant around, and while Gunther may think its Herring Houdini’s, the real bestest place to go is Café Salmonella. Where everything has salmon in it, including the water. But the Café is full of familiar faces, several of which are doing their level best to stall everyone, so V.F.D. operatives can go look for the Quagmires too!
It has to be said, and will likely continue to be said, that Jacques Snicket is so damn smooth and charismatic, no wonder he’s the go-to operative Jacqueline calls in when she needs missions of the utmost importance done. The way he schmoozes Olivia Caliban, and apparently genuinely seems to love books, librarians, curiosity and the things that make life worth living, is an adult peek into the Baudelaire world that we all love.
Not even a musical number, ‘Keep Chasing Your Schemes’ as performed by Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf, can keep the bad guys from hurrying back to #667 Dark Avenue to make sure they beat the Baudelaire children and their friends to whatever treasure there is to be had. But everyone underestimates the ingeniousness of the Baudelaire orphans, and the bottom of the ersatz elevator shaft may just hold a bunch of answers!
Return to Netflix’s Season 2 of ‘Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events’ and the eternal chase of the Baudelaire children!