March 2, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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A Series Of Unfortunate Events “The Hostile Hospital Part 1”

Season Two, Episode Seven.

Don’t you just hate it when your archenemy reverses your public roles on you?

That’s more or less what’s happened as the Baudelaires are wanted for the murder of Count Olaf.  That means the Baudelaires need to sneak around and Count Olaf can walk around without a disguise, even if someone recognizing him would probably put an end to the whole “Count Olaf was murdered” thing.  That’s what happens when Olaf finds the orphans in a general store in the middle of nowhere.  The Baudelaires barely get away by jumping in van marked “V.F.D.”  Olaf skulks after them in his own car, momentarily forgetting he’s the driver when he orders someone to step on it.

What is this V.F.D.?  They’re Volunteers Fighting Disease, which they do by being cheerful all the time and singing the same song endlessly at the local hospital.  Plus, it seems Heimlich Hospital has a fantastic library of records because, well, people keep sending their records there whether it has something to do with the hospital or not.  That could give the Baudelaires clues into the real V.F.D. and maybe the Sugar Bowl Esme Squalor is so obsessed with.

As it is, the kids can easily get away from the singing sacks of joy and find Hal (David Alan Grier), a guy with poor eyesight who’s very nice but runs the records library following some very strict rules.  Olaf gets to the half-completed hospital himself and when he finds out you can’t just roam the halls of a hospital for no reason disguises himself as a doctor with the troupe as his nursing entourage.  That means mostly driving the HR person Babs (Kerri Kenney-Silver of The State) insane.

But all this time with Olaf actually has the Baudelaires doing something dishonest against someone (Hal) whose been nothing but nice to them, and it does pay off as they find a film from Jacques Snicket that says someone survived a fire of some kind.  That would be good information to have except Esme pops in demanding the Sugar Bowl, and she ends up chasing the kids around the records room, knocking over file cabinets like dominoes, and even as Klaus and Sunny manage to get, with the filmstrip in hand, down an escape chute, the chute is blocked by a filing cabinet and Violet is finally grabbed by Olaf after she finds a door leading out.

So, yes, bad news, but Esme learned the hard way that stiletto heals made from real stilettos aren’t very practical for running around in.