Was this one going to be set entirely in an elevator?
No, but Neil Patrick Harris sang a song, and that’s always fun.
OK, so, another two-parter, and another new guardian for the Baudelaires. Once again, generally useless Mr. Poe drops the kids off some weird place, this time a skyscraper in town. The new guardian is an old friend of the Baudelaires’ parents. He didn’t stick around long because he married the 6th most wealthy financial planner in the city, and that woman is all about being “in” and not “out”. Fortunately for the Baudelaires, orphans are in. So is darkness, which doesn’t help with the citywide manhunt for Count Olaf.
What also doesn’t help? The fact Count Olaf is already in the penthouse. He’s disguised as a foreigner named Gunther, and Esme Squalor is all about having that guy around. She’s the financial planner. Her husband Jerome (hey, it’s Tony Hale!) seems nice enough, but Violet and Klaus soon realize Count Olaf might want to knock Mr. Squalor off to get his money by remarrying Esme and then being the orphans’ guardian…again.
But the Baudelaires seem to think the Quagmires must also be hidden somewhere in the penthouse, so they go looking for them as best they can when Gunther suggests going out to lunch at a restaurant run by Olaf’s crew. It’s fish-themed, because of course it is, but it isn’t “in” so they go to a different one across the street.
While this is going on, Jacques Snicket shows up with Olivia Caliban the librarian from Prufrock Prep to search the penthouse for the Quagmires or other evidence. That involves scaling the building.
The Baudelaires manage to get back and realize where the Quagmires must be: hidden inside the elevator shaft for the building, which is “out”. Not “out of order”. Just “out”.
The episode ends with Olaf finishing his song in the restaurant. Jacques and Olivia make it to the penthouse. And the Baudelaires find the Quagmires.
You know, the episode opened with Lemony Snicket explaining the difference between being nervous and being anxious. There’s plenty of reasons for these orphans to feel both.