Man, that vile village really lived up to its name.
I mean, they have a lot of rules, and following the rules seems to be more important than being decent people. As such, when Count Olaf, disguised as a detective, blames the Baudelaires for killing “Count Olaf” (really Jacques Snicket), the townspeople who are so intent on burning a murderer at the stake don’t seem to mind doing so to some children.
By the by, Olaf claims Violet and Klaus were just accessories. He says Sonny is the killer. And he’ll probably sneak one of the orphans out in order to get their fortune. Never mind how his new girlfriend Esme keeps pointing out she already is super-rich.
By the by, Olaf’s disguises may not work much for the home audience, but at least he can stick to a single accent and story when in-character. Esme sure can’t.
At this point, Lemony Snicket explains what a Dues ex machina is and how much the Baudelaires need one and one is coming.
Is it Jacqueline and Larry? Nope. They ride in on a motorcycle, and even though Larry grew up there and knows the people, there’s a rule against mechanical devices. They get tied up. And Larry’s speech where he asks the village what they really want ends when the Council of Elders concludes what they really want to do is burn some children at the stake.
See? That’s a vile village.
Is it Violet figuring out how to break out of jail and locate the Quagmires inside the town’s giant crow fountain? Nope.
It’s Hector in his flying mobile home. He’s tired of all the rules.
Plus, Sunny can drive a fire engine, which allows all five orphans to flee. Hector lowers his blimp to try and pick up the kids, and he does manage to get the Quagmires, but then the townspeople show up and Esme starts shooting a harpoon gun at the blimp, blowing up some of the balloons, and there’s some concern when Violet points out it’s a mechanical device, and that’s when Olaf and Esme hit their regularly scheduled moment of Pure Apathy Leading To Evil and continue shooting.
Then Esme hits a crow.
Remember, the people of this village love crows. Hurting a crow is a violation of the number one rule, and by this point, the Quagmires have flown away with Hector. They dropped all their notes on the V.F.D., but Esme’s harpoon hit that too and Klaus and Violet only manages to snag a handful of pages before Sunny drove off in the fire engine. Olaf and Esme have to flee the angry townspeople in a car, another mechanical device but in this case also a getaway vehicle.
So, I guess the Quagmires got a happy ending, but the Baudelaires are on their own again. Useless Mr. Poe wanted to make sure the injured crow got to a vet first…