"The Penultimate Peril: Part One"
Adapted from: The Penultimate Peril
Main character(s): Violet, Klaus, Sunny
Baudelaire guardian: Dewey Denouement
Main enemy: Count Olaf
Olaf's disguise: None
Main setting: Hotel Denouement
Key crew
Producer: Neil Patrick Harris
Release details
Story number: 3a
Season/series: Season 3
Premiere network: Netflix
Release date: January 1, 2019
Format: ?
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A Series of Unfortunate Events
"The Grim Grotto: Part Two" "The Penultimate Peril: Part Two"
"The Penultimate Peril: Part One" is the twenty-third episode of Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events. It covered the first half of The Penultimate Peril.


For Beatrice –
     No one could extinguish my love,
     or your house.


Note: this plot summary follows the books and it is unknown when Part One ends.

The story starts with the Baudelaires in Kit Snicket's taxi, the situation at the end of The Grim Grotto. A distraught and pregnant Kit drives them to the Hotel Denouement, where she leaves them with concierge uniforms and tells them to give her a signal that she can see in the sky if the meeting on Thursday is canceled. She also says that Quigley Quagmire, of whom Violet is very fond, is out at sea saving his siblings. They are also to be wary of the managers of the Hotel, identical brothers Frank, a volunteer, and Ernest, a villain. The hotel is designed like a giant library, with rooms cataloged by the Dewey Decimal System. The Baudelaires are expected to serve and help the people of the Hotel, as a front so they can be flâneurs, and in particular learn whether the mysterious "J.S." is helping V.F.D. or its enemies.

When the Baudelaires enter the lobby from the entrance in the white fog that is emitted from the funnel, the see a lot of things like a line at the receptionists' desk, bellboys and bellgirls are rolling different luggage to the elevators, waiters and waitresses were bringing food and drinks to people who are sitting in the lobby, taxi drivers ushering their passengers in to join the line, dogs dragging their owners out for a walk, confused tourists looking quizzically at maps, rambunctious children were playing hide and seek amongst the potted plants, a man in a tuxedo playing tunes on the Grand Piano for anyone who cared to listen, members of the cleaning staff were polishing the green wooden floors, an enormous fountain in one corner of the room, and a woman standing in the opposite corner shouting a man's name over and over again in a crazed annoyed voice. The Baudelaires meet either Frank or Ernest who states that they are short-handed and must figure out the hotel system. He informs them that they are to answer to the summons of the hotel guests. One bellboy appears telling Frank or Ernest that a taxi driver dropped off some luggage where he said that the guests will not arrive until Thursday. Frank or Ernest left with the bellboy to take care of the situation leaving the Baudelaires near a large wooden bench.

The other manager that might be Frank or Ernest appears nearby with a bunch of newspapers where he reads the article from The Daily Punctilio about the Baudelaires being sighted in The City. After getting the opinion of the article from the disguised Baudelaires, Frank or Ernest takes a bellgirl to the Newstand in Room 168. After a discussion of them growing up, the Baudelaires are encountered by either Frank or Ernest as they ask how the hotel is organized. Frank or Ernest explains that the Hotel Denouement is organized by the Dewey decimal system similar to the way that books are organized in many libraries where he uses Room 831 where German poets are gathered as an example and even a description of the social sciences as well as the bells that ring being associated with each room.

Three bells ring simultaneously, and the three orphans are forced to separate on Frank or Ernest's suggestion, in order to carry out various errands. Frank or Ernest leave to go talk to a banker on the phone when told about it by a bellboy.

Violet goes up to the rooftop sunbathing salon, where she finds Esmé Squalor and Carmelita Spats. Carmelita is patrolling the rooftop pool in a large boat, complete with sails, which was given to her as a gift from Esmé and Olaf. Geraldine Julienne, the reporter for the The Daily Punctilio who wrote that the Baudelaires killed Count Olaf, was also present on the rooftop sunbathing salon. Geraldine was interviewing Esmé about the Baudelaires. Violet overhears about a cocktail party on Thursday. Carmelita wants her to bring a harpoon gun, which Violet gets from Frank or Ernest. He asks her if she is who he thinks she is. Violet replies that she is a concierge and brings the gun to Carmelita.

Klaus goes to a room for people in the sawmill industry, where he finds Sir and Charles (from The Miserable Mill). They have him take them to the sauna, which is just down the hall. He props the door open to listen in, and overhears them talk about a party on Thursday, and someone with the initials of J.S. However, Frank or Ernest enters and he has Klaus hang a flypaper-like roll of sticky paper called birdpaper outside the window, in order to catch and trap any falling birds. He asks the same question of Klaus as Frank or Ernest asked of Violet and he gets the same response.

Sunny goes to a room for educational people, where she sees Vice Principal NeroMrs. Bass and Mr. Remora, all from The Austere Academy. Mrs. Bass has in the room several bags of money from Mulctuary Money Management. Nero was practicing for his performance on Thursday. Both of them ask when they are going to stop for their lunch break as Nero is surprised that Esmé invited them to the party on Thursday. She takes them to an Indian restaurant in Room 954 which is run by Hal from The Hostile Hospital who is now wearing a turban. When Hal quoted "I didn't know this was a sad occasion," Mr. Remora quoted "it won't be a sad occasion if you don't feed us." When she is sent to fetch a napkin by Nero, Sunny hides in the kitchen and listens to a conversation by Hal and someone that might be Frank or Ernest, also about J.S., and then they see her. Dewey gives her a Vernacularly Fastened Door and has her put it on the lock of a laundry room. The laundry room has a vent through which something can fall and - if the lock is on the door - that something will be protected.

The Baudelaires get together after a long day and try to put together their stories, and wonder how the two managers can be in three places at once. Finally, Klaus deduces that a crow will bring the Sugar Bowl to the Hotel; it will be shot down by the harpoon gun, fall onto the flypaper, and the sugar bowl will fall into the laundry room vent. All of a sudden, they see a man descending form the ceiling of the Hotel from it's clock. They think it is Ernest or Frank, but it turns out to be their third brother Dewey Denouement, also explaining how three different identical men talked to the Baudelaires at the same time. He is helpful and tells them that there is a duplicate of the Hotel at the bottom of the pond, containing a catalogue of all the secrets of V.F.D, which he has spent his entire life collecting. Then Justice Strauss and Jerome Squalor, who both believe that they are the J.S. being contacted, arrive by taxi where they have been helping Dewey. Justice Strauss has been communicating with the High Court on helping the Baudelaires, and Jerome - who also felt bad about how he treated the orphans - has written a book on the matter. The High Court justices are coming to put Count Olaf and the other evil people of V.F.D. on trial and so - on Thursday - all of the noble people will arrive to give evidence.

Re-entering the hotel at 1:00 AM, they encounter Count Olaf who says that the Hook-Handed Man and Fiona(of whom Klaus is very fond, due to their kiss in The Grim Grotto) stole the Carmelita (a submarine from The Grim Grotto named after Carmelita Spats). Esmé, Carmelita, and Hugo (who posed as the Rooftop Sunbathing Salon attendant), Colette (who posed as a passing chemist that went passed Klaus near the sauna), and Kevin (who posed as a washerwoman in the laundry room), the three carnival freaks who joined Olaf in The Carnivorous Carnival, all arrive. While Jerome tries to get back with Esmé to no avail as she also wants the Sugar Bowl that Beatrice Baudelaire stole from her, Olaf also hints that the Baudelaire's own parents were not noble, and that they had something to do with a box of poison darts. Dewey tells Olaf of the catalogue he has made, which prompts Esmé to comment that he must already know what is inside the sugar bowl, and why it is so important. Olaf takes the harpoon gun from Carmelita and threatens Dewey. The Baudelaires shield him and approach Olaf as he counts to ten. However, he is interrupted by the coughing of Arthur Poe, who has come from his room to see what is happening. Count Olaf quickly shoves the gun into the Baudelaire's hands. The Baudelaire's accidentally drop the gun to the ground. It fires.



Guest starring




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