— Ernest before roping Larry
Unlike his kind and friendly brothers, Ernest is a psychopath and a villainous member of V.F.D. and associate of Count Olaf.
The Penultimate Peril
Throughout The Penultimate Peril, the Baudelaires are unable to tell the difference between him and Frank. He is described as being "tall and skinny, with long arms that stuck out at odd angles, like drinking straws instead of flesh and bone."
Ernest instructs Klaus to hang the bird-paper.
When Dewey was killed, Frank or Ernest placed the Baudelaire children in Room 121 while the other one placed Count Olaf in Room 165.
During the trial of the Baudelaire children and Count Olaf, they submitted a Commonplace book as evidence. When the Hotel Denouement Fire was started, the Woman With Hair But No Beard directed them towards the elevator. When Violet Baudelaire shouts for them to call the fire department, they quote "Which one" as the elevator closes on them.
It is unknown if he survived the fire that destroyed the Hotel Denoument.
Although Ernest's appearance and character stay mostly true to the book, he makes a few extra appearances, and his prescence is mostly unchanged.
Ernest is described as treacherous and untrustworthy, and was allied with Count Olaf's side of the Schism. Despite their apparent rivalry in terms of the Schism within V.F.D, the brothers Frank and Ernest never seem to provoke each other and continue managing the hotel in a professional manner. Ernest's voice is slightly deeper than Frank's and is often shown to be less informed than his sibling, which often attributes to identifying him in the show.
Ernest and Frank are both first seen standing outside the Hotel Denouement when the Baudelaires and Kit Snicket observe them, Kit immediately recognizing and distinguishing them while the Baudelaires remain perplexed. She tells them that they can remember that the "e" in "Ernest" stands for "evil". After the children enter the hotel, a currently unidentified Dewey Denouement greets Kit passionately before Kit asks him to "Give (her) regards to Frank", falsely implying that this brother is Ernest.
After the Baudelaires recognize Count Olaf while wearing their concierge disguises, the three brothers each meet the Baudelaires and inform them of their duties, each remaining aloof in their identities. The first brother to meet the children is the most inquisitive and is later shown to be unaware of J.S.'s arrival on Thursday, a factor that all genuine volunteers would be aware of and thus implying this brother to likely be Ernest.
When Count Olaf is about to fight Larry Your-Waiter, a brother interrupts them and Larry demands Frank's assistance, only for Count Olaf to correct him and address him as Ernest. Ernest lassos Larry and helps Olaf to drown him in a large vat of curry, inadvertently covering Olaf in curry once he lets go of the rope.
Following Klaus' visit to Babs and Jerome Squalor, Frank or Ernest approaches him and request for Bird Fly Paper to be hung from a specific window above a laundry chute. Unlike the other brother who approaches Violet at the same time, this brother makes no direct reference to V.F.D and simply implies an involvement in a larger plan; evidence that this brother is Ernest.
During the trial, he is shown to be saddened by Dewey's death as he and Frank both hang their heads when the Baudelaires bring up that Olaf's actions hurt more than just them. Despite this, he seems to still be on Count Olaf's side as he says "Or maybe not" in favor of him during the trial. During the applause for the Baudelaires' speech, it is likely Frank was applauds alongside the rest of the court while Ernest simply scoffs.
By the end of the trial, Ernest blindfolds himself along with the rest of the court while Count Olaf, Justice Strauss and the Baudelaires flee to the rooftop. It is unknown if he survives the fire Count Olaf sets to the hotel during the escape.
Behind the scenes
The three Denouement brothers are portrayed by Max Greenfield in the TV series.
- The Penultimate Peril
- A Series of Unfortunate Events (TV series)