|“||Frank and Ernest get all the attention. They get to walk around the hotel managing everything, while I just hide in the shadows and wind the clock.||”|
— Dewey to the Baudelaires about how he does not get the limelight
Dewey Denouement was a sub-sub-librarian whom the Baudelaires met during their stay at the Hotel Denouement. He allowed the Baudelaires to come and work at the hotel. He was the eleventh (unofficial) guardian of the Baudelaires.
Like Kit Snicket and Jacques Snicket, Dewey was four years old when The Schism began. On the night his parents were hanging balloons for the triplets' fifth birthday, Dewey and his brothers were taken by V.F.D. The woman driving the car took the Denouement brothers to the mountain headquarters to begin their V.F.D. training.
Dewey reveals that the same night he and his brothers were recruited, their parents perished in a fire that destroyed the family home. It is strongly implied that Count Olaf was responsible for the fire.
In his library, located under Hotel Denouement's pond, he was building a catalog of evidence to be used against every villain. He also hid the Sugar Bowl there, so that Count Olaf could not find it. His catalog was, as he called it, his life's work and he died among all his hard work as he drowned.
In the book series, Dewey may have been in a relationship with Kit Snicket. He is theorized by fans to be the father of Beatrice Snicket (Beatrice Baudelaire II). However, Dewey was living at Hotel Denouement with his brothers instead of with Kit as she prepared for the birth of her child. Given how in the books Dewey was ready to adopt the Baudelaires and have them all live and work in the Hotel, it is inconsistent with his characterization as a capable, mature, and fatherly man for him to be the uninvolved father of Beatrice Snicket. It is therefore unlikely that Dewey is her father, despite liking Kit Snicket. The Netflix series, however, chooses to have him be the father of Beatrice.
The Penultimate Peril
Dewey is not mentioned directly by Kit to the Baudelaires, but it is possible that Dewey is the "gentleman" who volunteered to set up and clear away the picnic. If he is the one who put together the picnic, it is interesting that he included coffee, allowing Kit to drink two cups one right after the other. As pregnant women are discouraged from drinking coffee, this suggests Dewey does not feel responsible for the well-being of Kit's unborn child, which could imply that he is not the father. However, it is possible Dewey was merely unaware of this, given the series is set in a less contemporary era.
He meets the Baudelaires in the lobby, descending via a long rope, apparently eavesdropping on their conversation. He attempts to talk to them using the Sebald Code to communicate with them, however, they didn't know this code and do not respond, leaving him suspicious. When Sunny Baudelaire says, "The world is quiet here." at night in the hotel lobby, it echoes which prompts Dewey to appear from a rope in the ceiling. He offers the Baudelaires to come with him, but Violet is apprehensive and suspicious. He mentions he knew Bertrand Baudelaire, and the Baudelaires eventually follow him.
Later, Count Olaf is surprised to discover Dewey is a real person, saying he thought of him as a legendary figure, which implies Dewey's existence in the shadows is so secretive that he has become a sort of urban legend. Despite this Olaf and Dewey seem to have some history together, with Olaf possibly having played a role in the death of members of the Denouement family. Because Olaf would have been only a baby or not even born at the time of the Denouement parents' deaths, it is extremely unlikely that he was directly involved in their deaths, and likely is referring to other members of the Denouement family.
When Count Olaf confronted him, Dewey did not reveal the location of the sugar bowl. He gave three hints to the lock combinations to the laundry room as proof that the sugar bowl was not there.
Unfortunately, after police arrived, Count Olaf thrust his harpoon gun into the Baudelaires' arms, who dropped it and accidentally set it off, sending the harpoon through Dewey's stomach. Dewey reassured the Baudelaires that it was not their fault and whispered "Kit" before sinking completely into the pond concealing the real Hotel.
Netflix Series Divergent Canon
In the TV series, Dewey appears much earlier in the episode he appears in compared to the book series, and his appearances prior to his death have been significantly altered.
Dewey first appears after the Baudelaires leave Kit outside Hotel Denouement. He visits Kit before she leaves on her mission, discussing their potential future with their child on a tropical island after retiring from V.F.D. Kit feels their child is female, but regards it as a feeling, which is eventually shown to be their child's true gender. Dewey then expresses how much he would miss her, and after telling him to give her regards to his brother Frank, she leaves to her taxi, and Dewey heads into the hotel.
Dewey appears shortly later as the third sibling the Baudelaires meet at the receptionist desk, where he explains that the hotel is categorized as a library, stating it "is a library." After three bells on three different floors ring, Dewey excuse the three Baudelaires to their proper locations, but not before being questioned whether he is Frank or Ernest, to which he states, "That is an interesting question."
Dewey is seen later in Sunny's plot talking with Larry in the hotel's restaurant's kitchen, where, after seeing her eavesdrop on their conversation, escorts her through a service elevator, telling her to place a Vernacularly Fastened Door on the entrance to the laundry room. After installing the lock, Dewey states the importance of the room (but never reveals its true purpose) and asks Sunny if he can trust her, to which she replies, "if I can trust you," but gets cut off by the clock ringing, ending her plot with Dewey. This lock is later show to be a decoy meant to deceive their enemies, as the sugar bowl never appears in the room.
When the Baudelaires discover a secret basement in the hotel containing various library shelves, Dewey asks if Kit has returned, but becomes confused at the sight of the Baudelaires, stating that they aren't Kit, to which the Baudelaires reply that he is neither Frank nor Ernest. Dewey then reveals himself as the third Denouement brother, also revealing that they are triplets rather than twins. He once again states that the hotel "is a library," and the Baudelaires follow him through a V.F.D. tunnel leading outside the hotel. Upon exiting, he explains that he needs to secure and catalog their research, and that while his brothers work above in the hotel, he does his work below, only appearing as one of them by taking advantage of their identical appearance.
Dewey then reveals to the Baudelaires their hidden library, a sub-library hidden beneath the surface of the hotel's pond that contains the organizations most valuable intel and secrets. He explains that even if the location burns down, the great library would be safe and hidden away from wicked members of V.F.D. When Violent asks Dewey why he is revealing such a valuable secret, he explains what Kit and himself have discussed, that they will leave V.F.D. with their child and leave the library to them, making the three of them its potential sub-librarians if they were to succeed, and he would trust them to take care of it because of their excellent talents.
When Klaus asks Dewey about the contents of the sugar bowl, Count Olaf interrupts him as emerges behind the bushes, and after being in disbelief after seeing Dewey, who he assumed to be a myth, Dewey counters Olaf by telling him he is outnumbered by all the volunteers and that his accomplices will arrive late. Esmé Squalor and Carmelita Spats show up, with Carmelita still holding the harpoon, and the four volunteers discover from Esmé that they will use the Medusoid Mycelium to poison the entire hotel. Dewey states they wouldn't do it without the sugar bowl, but Esmé states that once the crow holding it is shot with the gun, it will drop in the same laundry room Dewey told Sunny to secure, which she then mentions as the one problem she will encounter while trying to retrieve it.
After Dewey and Esmé argue over her actions and the sugar bowl, Olaf threatens to shoot Dewey with the harpoon. The Baudelaires step in so that they would die along with Dewey if he were to fire, but they end up approaching Olaf and successfully seize his weapon before he can fire. Unfortunately, upon doing so, Mr. Poe steps outside, in shock over the scene that is occurring, and the Baudelaires, now surprised by his appearance, drop the harpoon gun on the ground, triggering it and shooting a harpoon straight into Dewey's torso, accidentally wounding him and causing him to drown in the pool after muttering Kit's name to the children. Dewey's body then sinks down to the bottom of the library, ruining their chances at succeeding, as well as the future he and Kit had planned for their daughter.
During the trial, as Justice Strauss mention the manager's death, Frank and Ernest look down in sorrow and remorse for the death of their sibling, and his death also added an extra part to the trial on whether the Baudelaires were guilty or not. On the island, when Kit asks the Baudelaires about the status of her husband, they reveal to her his death, and she sorrowfully realizes that her child would never be able to meet him. The three Denouement brothers are portrayed by Max Greenfield in the TV series.
- "Wicked people never have time for reading. It's one of the reasons for their wickedness."
- "Kit..." (as he dies)
- "You see, Hotel Denouement isn't just organized like a library. It IS a library."
- "We collect reports from every V. F. D. agent, scholar, researcher, inventor, scientist, explorer, cartographer, poet, journalist, naturalist, herpetologist, optometrist, receptionist, chef, waiter, taxi driver, sea captain, film director, ballerina, children's book author, and mountaineer. Our volunteers are everywhere, observing the world and writing it all down in books. These books then pass through a number of safe places, from hospitals to carnivals, to end up here the Last Safe Place. Ever since the schism, it's more important than ever to keep our research cataloged and secure. So while Frank and Ernest run the hotel, I do my work in the shadows."
- "Sunny, never underestimate how a good meal can change the world."
- "Kit..." (as he dies)
- Frank, Ernest, and Dewey's surname, "Denouement", is a reference to the literary term dénouement, which refers to the action that takes place between the falling action and the resolution of a plot.
- Dewey's name is a reference to the Dewey Decimal System, on which the entire hotel is organized.
- Dewey stated that his favorite section in the Dewey Decimal System was "020," which is "Library & Information Sciences".
- Dewey reveals to Kevin that, like him, he is ambidextrous. This means Frank and Ernest are likely ambidextrous as well, as they are known to be identical triplets.
- However Frank and Ernest could trained themselves to use whatever hand that was needed at moment to pass as one another 2/3 of a identical triplet pairing always has one be right handed and the other left handed leaving the last one (Dewey) ambidextrous leaving Frank and Ernest's real hand statues unknown due to them all acting identical.
- Dewey and his brothers are named alphabetically, similar to the naming system of the Snicket family. If one assumes that Dewey is the eldest of the triplets and that Frank is the youngest, then their names progress as D, E and F. However, it is uncertain whether this has any significance within the series.
- In the books, Dewey and Kit do not appear to be in a relationship, but Dewey does appear to love Kit. As Kit is preparing for the birth of her child alone without help and Dewey lives at the Hotel with his brothers and has every intent to continue living there after adopting the Baudelaires, it is unlikely that Dewey and Kit were planning on raising a child together. The TV Series, however, features Kit and Dewey as in a committed relationship and planning to leave VFD to raise their child. Both seem completely happy with the prospect of this new life together.
- Assuming Josephine Anwhistle is deceased, Dewey is Count Olaf's sixth confirmed victim in the book series (seventh in the TV series), although Dewey's death was mostly an accident caused by Olaf's harpoon gun.
- In the TV series, Dewey's death is reminiscent of Gustav Sebald's death at the end of The Bad Beginning. The buildup to both deaths include a person mentioning they are standing at the edge of a pond, and the victims both get struck by a V.F.D. weapon and drown in said pond. Both deaths are also caused by Count Olaf, either directly or indirectly. This is seen more explicitly in the TV series.
- Because we meet a sub-librarian (Qwerty) in ATWQ, as a sub-sub-librarian it's possible that Dewey at one point knew Qwerty.
- Dewey is one of the few characters who mentions Betrand more than Beatrice, suggesting the two might have been closer than he was with Beatrice.
- Had Dewey not died, he wanted to have the Baudelaires live with him, implying that he was planning on adopting them.
|Unnamed Parents †|
|Dewey Denouement †||Ernest Denouement||Frank Denouement|
|Snicket Father †||Snicket Mother †||Unnamed Parents †|
|Jacques Snicket †||Kit Snicket †||Lemony Snicket||Dewey Denouement †||Ernest Denouement||Frank Denouement|
|Beatrice Baudelaire II|