I had thought after Part One that Mr. Poe might, for once, prove useful.
I was wrong.
Yeah, about all Mr. Poe accomplishes is maybe giving Kit a job at the bank. He doesn’t even mention he had a car right away when the pair need to flee the woods. That guy is useless.
Then again, this was a rather monumental point for the series. Count Olaf is still pretty evil, but he’s got nothing on the Man and the Woman. And possibly on Esme. And Carmelita. More on that last one soon, but these are some evil people and all Olaf seems to want is approval from the Man and the Woman. Esme is really bad news. While Klaus stays behind the ruined remains of the V.F.D. headquarters and Violet and Quigley climb a frozen waterfall to attempt to rescue Sunny, things go a bit different.
See, Sunny has managed to charm the hook-handed man. And the rest of Olaf’s troop are reaching their breaking point. But Sunny, see, she doesn’t want to be rescued, even telling Violet that she intended to spy on Olaf as an inside man, and considering Olaf keeps giving the baby actual chores like preparing a hot meal for all involved, well, she may not be wrong. But the big problem comes when Esme spots some movement down in the ruins. She goes to investigate and ends up getting caught by all the orphans. That could lead to a prisoner swap of Sunny for Esme.
But Esme had a large knife, and she used it when she had the orphans drag her up the waterfall in a sled. No prisoner exchange.
And the Man and Woman further show how evil they are by demanding Olaf toss the (covered) birdcage with Sunny inside of it off the cliff. Olaf tries to tell his troop to do it.
And most of them refuse. The elderly twins points out they lost family in a situation much like the Baudelaires. The henchperson of indeterminate gender thinks Olaf has reached a metaphorical slippery slope. And the big bald guy was just there this long since he was smitten with Esme. They all quit.
Hook hands? He tosses the cage.
Don’t worry. Sunny wasn’t actually in it.
But then we learn the actual plan of the Man and the Woman. See, they think Olaf is thinking too small wanting just the Baudelaire fortune. So, when Carmelita leads the Snow Scouts up to the summit, she is her usual obnoxious self, and she plants a flag. The other scouts, despite the loud warnings from Klaus, Violet, and Quigley, step into an obvious trap, only to be taken away by eagles in a tarp. See, they all have wealthy parents, and the Man and Woman plan to make them orphans too, raise them as evil, and get all of their family fortunes.
You know, even for a show that frequently kills off people for comedic effect, that’s dark.
The Man and Woman leave, but Olaf only needs one Baudelaire alive to get their fortune, and that would be when Carmelita chimes in to say he should keep Klaus alive, but then break Klaus’ glasses and watch him stumble around and bump into things.
That is…also pretty dark coming from a kid.
And that would be when Esme decides to adopt Carmelita. And since Carmelita is The Worst among kids, she chimes in her superiority over all orphans because she now has two sets of parents.
I don’t think it works that way.
However, in all this mess, Quigley and the Baudelaires jump on the sled and ride down the waterfall just as False Spring starts to thaw the river. Quigley gets knocked off by a tree branch before the orphans get too far, leaving the Baudelaires to fly off the frozen river and out to sea.
And then because things aren’t dark enough, we see the terrified, kidnapped scouts being delivered to the Man and Woman’s penthouse HQ while fires burn throughout the city.
Lemony Snicket will tell you he doesn’t know what happened to a lot of people after that, most notably most of Olaf’s former troop, but he does offer some knowledge. The Baudelaires weren’t on that frozen body of water for long.
No, see, a submarine surfaced through the ice, directly beneath their sled. So, rescued again by another ultimately incompetent adult? We shall have to see.
Titans “Dick & Carol & Ted & Kory”
Noteworthy Issues: Avengers #1 (May, 2023)
The X-Files “Quagmire”