One of these days, we the audience are going to have to rise up and get together with whatever’s left of the Snicket family, specifically to put the screws to a certain Mr. Poe, for the way he continually treats our beloved Baudelaires!
In this instance, ‘put the screws to’ means to flat-out physically torture a person, usually with Inquisition-style thumbscrews, but in all honesty, Poe would probably cough without covering his mouth and politely inform us that we should wait for the full torture until his wife, the reporter for the Daily Punctilio, can get there!
So Mr. Poe brought our Baudelaires here to the town of V.F.D., which stands for Village of Fowl Devotees because of course it does, where crows roost in every available edifice and the town council wears taxidermy crows on their hats. The town is full of oh so many superfluous rules and laws, and the Baudelaire orphans are expected, since the entire town is taking on their guardianship, to do chores In repayment – for the entire Village. In the meanwhile, the children are sent with Hector, the town handyman and fainting coward who hides a whole bunch of fascinating secrets, including an unknown to the Council method of escape!
And escape plans should be in the offing very soon, because a brand new scarlet thigh-high-booted police chief has just strode into town, announcing herself as Officer Luciana. The nefarious real Count Olaf is languishing in the firehouse-turned-saloon while his acting cronies attempt to aide Luciana, and a certain pair of awesomely dressed like cowboys who came from a special yellow taxi are heading for confrontation with all of them!
Our Baudelaires have been dutifully fulfilling their chore duties and attempting to find their friends the Quagmires at the same time, but sometimes a red herring is exactly just that, even when it has a cute little D.Q. + V.B. left behind in it. Isadora’s poetry couplets provide clues to continue the chase to find them, but the other newcomers to the Village are making it awfully hard to concentrate on just that.
All the tea leaves reading and romantic conversation in the world isn’t going to stop Olaf and his gang of miscreants from wreaking as much havoc as they possibly can, and Olivia and Jacques find themselves stuck in the worst case of mistaken identity possible!
The Council of Elders seems determined, with the dubious help of Mr. Poe citing a strange rule on the books, to mistake Jacques Snicket for Count Olaf, especially when Olaf himself shows up as his new disguise, Detective Dupont, and he and Officer Luciana determine the best way to punish the faux Olaf is to burn him at the stake!
It has to be said, yet again before we lose him entirely, that Jacques Snicket is a handsome and charming man in the Snicket family tradition, a member of the mysterious V.F.D. and a holder of the eye-like tattoo on his own ankle, as well. His family and the Baudelaires were well acquainted, and Jacques has spent this entire time being nothing but devastatingly attractive and captivating, chasing the Baudelaire orphans and the Quagmires too, determined to help them all however he might. He brought out the finest in Olivia Caliban, what used to be a timid librarian, and turned her into a effective member of the secretive and mysterious V.F.D. And of course, most of the geeky fandom world absolutely loves Nathan Fillion.
Despite everything that’s been done – the jail-break machine Violet made, the plans Klaus has, Olivia Caliban’s determination and even Jacques Snicket’s eternal savvy – the villains are somehow outpacing everyone in this episode. Remember, the Count Olaf in the jail cell was a case of mistaken identity, so when Village folk go running by screaming, “Count Olaf has been murdered!”, we all know the very worst (so far) in ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ has come to pass.
Stay with us for a murder investigation not involving crows, in ‘Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events’ Season 2, ‘The Vile Village Part 2’, coming soon!