Oh, those teases…
That was clever.
So, the big reveal in this, the next-to-the-last episode of the first season is that Will Arnett and Colby Smulders, always listed in the closing credits as “Father” and “Mother” respectively, always desperately trying to get back to their children after a fire and capture by forces unknown, highly capable individuals who should remind the viewers of the Baudelaires…are not the Baudelaires’ parents. They have three other children.
That’s really clever.
Anyway, what happened after the hurricane separated everyone from the pathetic Mr. Poe? Well, the Baudelaires caught a ride to Paltryville, a town seen in that group shot photo the Baudelaires have of their parents. However, the town has since burned down aside from the Lucky Smells Mill, and everyone in town believes the Baudelaires’ parents did the burning. Signs outside explain that trespassers will be put to work. Violet figures they wouldn’t do that to children. Klaus (correctly and prophetically) points out that the two things are not mutually exclusive.
Inside, they meet Charles, an affable fellow who of course wouldn’t put them to work. Charles says his partner runs the mill. That would be one Sir played by Don Johnson. Except, Sir absolutely would put children to work in the mill because those two things are not mutually exclusive. Why doesn’t Charles stop his partner Sir? Well, he isn’t that kind of partner…
Count Olaf, meanwhile, has hitched a ride into town, tipped the driver with an empty candy bar wrapper, and gone to see the town’s optometrist. Her name is Georgina Orwell, and she’s played by Catherine O’Hara. She and Olaf used to date. He sweet talks his way back inside where we learn both are engaged in evil schemes. What’s hers?
Well, it seems working in the mill is terrible, but the workers don’t seem to mind. They get free gum during a five minute lunch and are paid in coupons. And while Sunny can chew off the bark of a giant tree, the work is still long and grueling for everyone involved. Klaus thinks the new masked foreman is Count Olaf, but his glasses are broken during his investigations, and he gets sent to the optometrist despite the fact that his father trusted neither optometrists or optimists. And while Lemony Snicket observes those are two different things, they aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.
What’s Georgina up to? Well, she hypnotizes Klaus and makes him the perfect worker at the Mill. He just isn’t himself. Violet really needs his help at this point since she found the only book in the Mill library, aside from a dictionary with her father’s handwriting in it, is a history of the town as written by Sir, but all but one copy has the true arsonist’s name blacked out. The one exception is found by Sir, who rips it from the book and tosses it into the fire because of some awful secret he’s involved in. Charles manages to save it, but…
And then the Baudelaires are sent to meet some special visitors. Is it their parents? No. I told you up there that their parents appear to still be dead. No, it’s Orwell with Klaus’ new glasses and Count Olaf dressed as a woman with what looks like the hair style my grandma had on her wedding day (seriously!).
See, this is a series of increasingly unfortunate events. Nothing is really supposed to work out for the Baudelaires, at least not any time soon.