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"The Grim Grotto: Part One"
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Adapted from: The Grim Grotto
Main character(s): Violet, Klaus, Sunny
Baudelaire guardian: Fiona
Main enemy: Count Olaf
Olaf's disguise: Dad
Main setting: Under the sea
Library: Queequeg library
Key crew
Writer: Joshua Conkel
Director: Liza Johnson
Producer: Neil Patrick Harris
Release details
Story number: 2a
Season/series: Season 3
Premiere network: Netflix
Release date: January 1, 2019
Format: 45 minutes
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A Series of Unfortunate Events
"The Slippery Slope: Part Two" "The Grim Grotto: Part Two"

"The Grim Grotto: Part One" is the twenty-first episode of Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events. It covered the first half of The Grim Grotto.

Official synopsis

A young submarine captain with ties to the V.F.D. reveals she's looking for the sugar bowl. But so is Esmé Squalor, who's on a mission to find it first.


For Beatrice –
     Dead women tell no tales.
     Sad men write them down.


The story picks up with Violet, Klaus, and Sunny on top of the submarine (the Queequeg) where it emerged from the ice in the previous episode. They are asking to get in, but they need a password. Violet says "Volunteer Fire Department" and Klaus says "The world is quiet here", but neither of these elicits a response. Finally, Sunny says "Baudelaire", and the hatch to the submarine opens up to them. The Baudelaires are welcomed on board by Fiona, who has been the captain of the submarine, ever since her stepfather, Captain Widdershins, left to answer a distress call from a manatee. She reveals that she's trying to find the sugar bowl for V.F.D.

Meanwhile, Count Olaf, Esmé Squalor, Carmelita Spats, and the Hook-Handed Man are on Briny Beach, wearing the Normal Happy Family disguise and trying to rent a submarine. The person behind the counter tells them that the Man With a Beard But No Hair and the Woman With Hair But No Beard prepaid for their most terrifying submarine, and told them that Esmé was the captain.

Back on the Queequeg, the Baudelaires find Phil, who escaped from Lucky Smells Lumbermill to take up the job of the cook on the understaffed submarine. Quigley Quagmire has gone to Mr. Poe's office to try to find the Baudelaires, but Mr. Poe refuses to help him, and Quigley meets up with Kit Snicket. The Baudelaires and Fiona begin to chart a path to find the sugar bowl, over a dinner cooked by Sunny and Phil, while Olaf and his associates are having dinner on their submarine. Fiona reveals that the Medusoid Mycelium is under the Gorgonian Grotto, but is interrupted by the sonar detector's beep, telling them that The Great Unknown is headed straight for them. After a brief encounter, the octopus submarine shows up on the Queequeg's sonar detector, and the former captures the latter.

Olaf and Esmé board the Queequeg and realizing that the Baudelaires were going to find the sugar bowl, send them into the grotto to retrieve it. The Hook-handed Man discovers Fiona aboard the submarine after Fiona sends a Volunteer Factual Dispatch asking for help, received by Kit. After an encounter with Quigley and the Medusoid Mycelium in the grotto (he was at Anwhistle Aquatics located above the grotto), the Baudelaires return to the submarine and realize Sunny is infected with the deadly fungus.



Guest starring




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Story notes

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Filming locations

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Production errors

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Deviations from the novel

  • The Baudelaires did a lot more begging to try and get inside the submarine, instead of secret debating.
  • In the book, the password was "The world is quiet here", and Violet figured it out, leading to the people inside knowing who they were. In the series, it's not correct when Klaus says it, so Sunny is the one to get them access when she identifies all three of them by last name.
  • Fiona is the captain instead of Captain Widdershins himself. She is also the one to say "Shiver me timbers!" before Sunny does.
  • The Widdershins family is sort of rewritten, as is the crew on the Queequeg:
    • Captain Widdershins was the one to go through the manatee incident instead of Mrs. Widdershins (although she was devoured and he went to go answer a distress call), as opposed to following a mysterious woman by the end, so he doesn't physically appear.
    • Fiona was also told that her brother died in a manatee accident.
    • The picture she has doesn't picture her mother, and her brother's part was folded over. In the book, everyone is present, and it was hanging in the main hall.
    • Phil does come back, and Fiona calls him Cookie because of the aforementioned.
  • Fiona seems a bit snippier in the series, probably because she is on her own (proven true when she yells at Violet for not following orders and is immediately regretful). Violet doesn't ask to be taken back to shore in the book, nor does she like the way she is ordered around (therefore Violet's bad feeling about Fiona is introduced earlier). Klaus must play peacemaker.
  • Olaf, Esmé, Fernald, and Carmelita have to get in disguise to obtain a submarine. But the Man and Woman paid ahead of time and Esmé is in charge instead of Olaf because of the previous events.
  • Phil doesn't limp because he was bitten by a shark, he has a peg leg because the shark ate it.
  • Violet is not given anything to do because Fiona can handle her own in mechanical expertise, even though in the book, she can't do it as well.
  • "Or she" was not added to the philosophy, and it comes to Violet when the uniforms are on. Everyone also says "Aye-aye!" instead of just "Aye!" all the time.
  • They have separate uniforms from the diving suits.
  • Violet is more worried about the Last Safe Place mission. In the book, they were focused on helping to find the Sugar Bowl.
  • For obvious reasons, Sunny has a full suit instead of curling up in a helmet.
  • Quigley made his way to Mr. Poe's office. If he did this in the book, it's not clear. He also runs into Kit, which he apparently does in the last book.
  • Carmelita's new outfit is introduced earlier, while Olaf is moping around and Esmé is annoyed with him.
  • Olaf actually hurts Fernald for failing him in the previous episode. (In the book, it doesn't happen because Olaf is the one who was about to throw Sunny off the mountain.)
  • Sunny still peels the potatoes, but she didn't clean her teeth on screen.
  • Fiona knows more about the Anwhistle Aquatics story in the series then the Captain was willing to tell in the book. 
  • Phil and Sunny deliver food in the middle of Fiona and Violet's argument instead of when Klaus thinks he knows where the Sugar Bowl is.
  • Sunny calls out Klaus and Fiona on their flirting because Captain Widdershins is not here to do it.
  • The Great Unknown finds the Queequeg before Olaf's submarine does on the first discovery. It also finds Olaf and the others when the Baudelaires aren't there, unlike in the book.
  • Phil is the one to reveal that there is a surprise behind dessert instead of Sunny.
  • Because Fiona already knew what "G.G." stood for, she didn't have to get the mycological book until later.
  • The whole encounter with Olaf is different:
    • Olaf finds the Baudelaires before they even have time to get to the Grotto in the series, so Sunny is well and Phil is still here. In the book, they had already come back from the travel when Sunny was poisoned and Phil and the Captain were gone.
      • They also didn't exactly try to get away because it had been too late to move.
    • In the book, they already immediately end up in the Carmelita because they were inside it. In the series, the tentacles have it snared, and Olaf and Esmé board the Queequeg. The latter changes into her octopus suit then (in the book she did not follow him, she was whipping the Snow Scouts), and Phil gives himself and then the hiding children away.
      • Esmé doesn't seem to remember the Baudelaires anymore.
    • Olaf breaks parts of the Queequeg instead of breaking the glass.
    • Even though Esmé says she was expecting to pry the sugar bowl from their dead fingers and toes as she does in the book, Violet and Klaus didn't play that card to get their sister back in the last episode. 
    • All three of them tried to run and Fiona is hiding out in the sub somewhere, trying to call for help.
    • Due to all the circumstances above, Esmé forces the Baudelaires to go find the sugar bowl in the Grotto and Fiona doesn't accompany them. Violet didn't carry a flashlight in the book either, they traveled blindly in the dark.
  • Kit is trying to send a telegram in Mr. Poe's office and gets Fiona's message.
  • Fernald breaks the telegram machine and finds his sister there instead of in the brig (though the cuts make it seem suspenseful that she was not found).
  • The Grotto is different as well:
    • There were no stairs in the Grotto in the book, since they were worried about having to climb up it physically. Also, there was no sugar bowl indention in the sand to tell the Baudelaires it was there at one point; they guessed it for themselves.
    • Quigley was in the ruins of the Aquatics at the top of the stairs and the Baudelaires see him, and it's revealed he is the one who has the bowl now.
    • The Medusoid Mycelium stops them from getting up there in the series (it also nearly engulfs the Grotto). In the book, Quigley sends a telegram from an unknown place and the Mycelium is on the ground near them (which doesn’t spread very far).
      • The fungus traps them in the Grotto until the next day in the book because of placement. So in the series, they head back right away. It also means that Sunny didn't prepare any food for them and there was no wasabi in the Grotto (or if there was, they didn't take it).
  • Lemony mentions the element of surprise now instead of back in book 6.
  • In the book, neither Violet or Klaus could identify the Mycelium until Fiona whispered it to them. In the series, they already know what it is when it spreads over Sunny’s helmet (and Fiona is not here to see).


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Behind the scenes

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Home video releases

DVD releases

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Blu-ray releases

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External links