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"The Austere Academy: Part One"
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Adapted from: The Austere Academy
Main character(s): Violet, Klaus, Sunny
Baudelaire guardian: Vice Principal Nero
Main enemy: Count Olaf
Olaf's disguise: Coach Genghis
Main setting: Prufrock Preparatory School
Library: Prufrock Library
Key crew
Writer: Daniel Handler
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Producer: Neil Patrick Harris
Release details
Story number: 5a
Season/series: Season 2
Premiere network: Netflix
Release date: March 30, 2018
Format: 46 minutes
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A Series of Unfortunate Events
"The Miserable Mill: Part Two" "The Austere Academy: Part Two"

"The Austere Academy: Part One" is the ninth episode of Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events, and opened season 2. It covered the first half of The Austere Academy.

Official synopsis

The Baudelaires begin life at boarding school and meet a pair of mysterious siblings whose tragic lives sound eerily similar to their own.


For Beatrice –
     You will always be in my heart,
     in my mind,
     and in your grave.


The show starts with Mr. Poe at Mulctuary Money Management reflecting on his situation with the Baudelaires to Mr. Tamerlane on the phone. Jacquelyn hears Poe mention the Baudelaires are at Prufrock Preparatory School.

Violet, Klaus and Sunny wait at school and feel as if they've been sitting on the bench for months waiting for their appointment with Vice Principal Nero; Klaus remarks that Sunny looks less like a baby and more like a toddler and Sunny wonders "growth spurt?", a joke to canonically explain why the Baudelaires are slightly taller and why Klaus' voice is suddenly lower, as a result of the time that passed between the filming of Season 1 and Season 2.

On the back of the bench they're sitting at are a pair of siblings: Duncan and Isadora Quagmire. The Baudelaires listen to their vice principal's terrible violin playing and are then taken by a conceited and spoiled girl, Carmelita Spats, on a school tour who then takes them by the library.

Meanwhile, Jacquelyn and a man who works in the same organization, Larry the Waiter, discuss how they will get an important book, The Incomplete History of Secret Organizations, to the Baudelaires, one that will answer all of their questions. Count Olaf overhears them and tries to sabotage the Baudelaires. Olaf and his troupe steal a school bus on its way to the school and enter the school grounds.

Back at school, the Baudelaires finish their tour with Carmelita, who asks for a tip at the end. Nero explains that the Baudelaires will be forced to live in a shack due to technicalities (and also the fact that he is too lazy to do anything about them). An advanced computer system will ensure Count Olaf does not enter the school. Because Sunny is too young to attend school, she will be Nero's secretary.

Meanwhile, while hiding behind bleachers, Olaf makes a deal with Carmelita.

Klaus and Isadora connecting their spyglass halves.

After classes, the Baudelaires befriend the set of triplets, the Quagmires. They learn they have a brother called Quigley who died in a fire, but they prefer to be called triplets instead of twins. The Baudelaires and Quagmires realize that their spyglasses fit together and search for a book that will answer their questions. Coincidentally, it's the same book Larry was trying to deliver, but he dropped it when Carmelita kicked him and now they have no idea where it is. The five children go to the library, but the librarian reveals she does not have it.

Meanwhile, Nero has allowed Olaf and his troupe into the school. Olaf confronts Larry in the cafeteria and he and his white-faced women lock Larry in a freezer. Larry calls Jacquelyn for help and she sends Jacques Snicket to rescue him. 

Later, during a pep rally, Nero reveals they have a new gym teacher: Coach Genghis who is Count Olaf.



Guest starring



to be added


Carmelita threatening Larry.

  • When Mrs. Bass is speaking to her class, she mentions, "And that includes you, Daniel." This may be a reference to series writer Daniel Handler.
  • Carmelita says she knew Olivia liked To Kill a Mockingbird, so Carmelita did this literally for her.
  • When Carmelita is threatening Larry, he asks her what she wants. Carmelita replies, "Oh, I'll tell you what I want. What I really, really want." These are the lyrics to the Spice Girls song "Wannabe".
  • Count Olaf greets the Quagmires (believing them to be the Baudelaires) with three hellos in a rhythm. This is based on Jim Carrey's portrayal of Olaf in the 2004 film.
  • Isadora mentions she has read all of Ogden Nash's work. Ogden Nash was also mentioned in the book The Vile Village by Hector.
  • When Larry phones Jacquelyn, she asks if he is in the mountains, saying "we're not due there until the end of the season". This could be a reference that the second season finale ends in the Mortmain Mountains.
  • The first song Nero plays while the Baudelaires are in his office is an off-key version of the beginning of Spider Suite by Duke of Uke.

Story notes

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Filming locations

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Production errors

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Deviations from the novel

  • In the novels, the Baudelaires do not go through a sudden growth spurt because they waited so long out of boredom. This is simply added in the TV series to explain their sudden aging due to filming times.
  • The novels start much earlier, with the baudelaires walking to the school. Since they are already inside it, the story starts right into chapter 2.
  • In the novels, only the white-faced women apparently go to the school, disguised as cafeteria workers. In the TV series, all of Olaf's troupe goes, hijacking a school bus to get there.
  • In the novels, Olivia Caliban is not introduced until The Carnivorous Carnival, and Jacques Snicket is not introduced until The Vile Village.
  • Larry and Jacquelyn do not have a subplot in the book series, and The Incomplete History of Secret Organizations does not exist in the books.
  • The Orphans Shack had green and pink wallpaper in the books. Additionally, the Quagmires did not think of the noisy shoes, as they were Violet's invention in the books. 


Home video releases

DVD releases

to be added

Blu-ray releases

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External links