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The following article or section concerns information that is considered canonical to the Netflix series, but it is unknown as to where it stands in the books' canon. It may also contain information contradictory to the books. Be very cautious when using this information as a source, or you may end up reporting for The Daily Punctilio, or on the lam. Whichever you consider worse.

"The Penultimate Peril: Part Two"
Screen Shot 2019-01-01 at 4.28.01 PM
Adapted from: The Penultimate Peril
Main character(s): Violet, Klaus, Sunny
Baudelaire guardian: Justice Strauss
Main enemy: Count Olaf
Olaf's disguise: None
Main setting: Hotel Denouement
Key crew
Writer: Joe Tracz
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Producer: Neil Patrick Harris
Release details
Story number: 3b
Season/series: Season 3
Premiere network: Netflix
Release date: January 1, 2019
Format: 52 minutes
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A Series of Unfortunate Events
"The Penultimate Peril: Part One" "The End (episode)"
Memorable moment
A Series Of Unfortunate Events - "That's not how the story goes" (Season 3 version)

A Series Of Unfortunate Events - "That's not how the story goes" (Season 3 version)

"The Penultimate Peril: Part Two" is the twenty-fourth episode of Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events. It covered the second half of The Penultimate Peril.

Official synopsis

Big secrets are revealed when Count Olaf goes on trial in the hotel lobby. The Baudelaires are the first to take the stand, but will justice be served?


In a flashback, Lemony, Kit, Count Olaf and Esmé are watching Beatrice sing in a performance of La Forza del Destino.

In the present, Lemony Snicket offers to help the children escape, but they decide to stay and put Olaf behind bars when Justice Strauss comes into view.

The next day, Justice Strauss oversees a blindfolded trial to prove the Baudelaires innocent of killing Dewey Denouement, while also trying to convict Olaf guilty of his crimes.

During the trial, a flashback scene shows the origins of the VFD Schism and the cause of Olaf's hatred for Lemony and Beatrice Baudelaire. During the original theft of Esmé's sugar bowl, Beatrice Baudelaire accidentally killed Olaf's father, while Lemony Snicket, who had been in love with Beatrice, took the blame for both crimes and fled.

In present day, Olaf turns the trial around with the High Judges (who are literally "high" above the makeshift courtroom), who turn out to be the Man with a Beard but No Hair and the Woman with Hair but No Beard. The court orders the audience to wear blindfolds in a literal recreation of the saying "justice is blind". The blindfolded Baudelaires hear Justice Strauss gagging for help, who Olaf is kidnapping. They remove their blindfolds and the Man and Woman declare the children guilty for "contempt of court", but the Baudelaires don't care because they feel it deserves contempt.

The Baudelaires follow them to the laundry room. Olaf holds Justice Strauss hostage and forces the Baudelaires to unlock the Vernacularly Fastened Door. Unable to find the sugar bowl because the lock was a decoy and the vent did not lead to the laundry room, Olaf intends to release the Medusoid Mycelium in the hotel, intent on killing his allies and enemies alike as revenge. However, Sunny suggests setting fire to the hotel. Olaf agrees and does so, burning Odious Lusting After Fortunes in the process, unaware that the fire will signal to the other V.F.D. members that the hotel is no longer safe.

During the elevator ride to the roof, the Baudelaires stop at the floors in an attempt to warn the patrons of the growing fire. On the roof, Olaf recovers the sample of Medusoid Mycelium, which was hidden in a pool ball, and forces the children to help him escape. Strauss pleads with them to let her take them to safety, but they sadly refuse. Along with Olaf, they parachute a sailboat into the nearby sea.

As guests flee the burning hotel, a panicked Lemony arrives looking for Kit and the kids. Strauss explains what happened and gives him a photo of the Baudelaire children which he uses to start his investigation of their fate.



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 fateful night at the opera is revealed:
    • This is also where Kit mentions that tea should be bitter and sharp (in the book, she did it at the picnic). She did not slip any poison darts to anyone.
    • Beatrice is performing. (In the book, she was watching.)
    • Bertrand is not present. 
    • Olaf's father was a part of the official fire department. His mother was already dead.
  • What happens in the lobby:
    • Justice Strauss leads them back in instead of Mr. Poe. He also doesn't believe in The Daily Punctilio anymore.
    • Mrs. Morrow and Mr. Lesko are not present.
    • Instead of coming in on his own, Olaf is led back in by Frank.
    • The Baudelaires are locked in room 342 instead of 121. Count Olaf is locked in room 170 instead of room 165.
  • Esmé and Carmelita are making crow meat sausages spiked with "poison."
  • The trial:
    • Mr. Poe is escorting them and giving them the blindfolds instead of a manager. When making his way with them to the elevator, he bumps into the Indian elephant statue mistaking it as a patron.
    • The lobby has folding chairs instead of benches.
    • The unnamed Taxi Driver, the unnamed Trolleyman, Jimmy, Elder Jemma, and the Perky Volunteer are present at the trial.
    • Justice Strauss says to move to their right and not her left.
    • She also tells them to take their blindfolds off until the verdict, unlike in the book where they can't take them off at all.
    • Her colleagues are floors above everyone instead of right beside her.
    • Olaf doesn't enter immediately wearing a blindfold.
    • Justice Strauss says, "This is a courtroom, not a theater!"
    • Justice Strauss tells the Baudelaires that they are among friends and associates, classmates and co-workers, faculty members and countless neighbors, reporters, theatergoers, fashionistas, doctors, nurses, carnival guests, mountain climbers, telegraph operators, and deep-sea divers.
    • When Justice Strauss says, "We are discussing social justice, not social engagements," none of the managers speak up after Olaf and Esme argue about it.
    • She submits the large Baudelaire file and the harpoon gun. In the book, everyone in the crowd shouts out evidence at once (and Jerome submitted the book).
    • The Baudelaires go before Olaf does. The Baudelaires also change the occupations they give:
      • Violet: Volunteer > Inventor.
      • Klaus: Concierge > Researcher.
      • Sunny: Child > Chef.
      • Olaf objects in the same way, but Justice Strauss now calls him out for speaking out of turn.
    • In the book, the children don't finish the story because they recognize the Man and Woman in front of them and that Justice Strauss was tied up by Count Olaf. In the show, they do finish it and they see Olaf looking calm which alarms them. The Man and Woman declare the Baudelaires as the guilty party.
    • They call Olaf up to the stand instead of Justice Strauss doing it. In his testimony, before saying he is innocent (which he sings out anyway), he calls out all of the Baudelaires' guardians that are present or other adults that did not help them, then proceeds to paint the children in the negative light where he cut some of them off when he asked which Baudelaire committed the action in question that he rattles off.
    • Olaf calls up Esmé for the Baudelaires to question, while Carmelita passes out the sausages to the people. When people started coughing upon eating them, the Baudelaires suspect that the Medusoid Mycelium is in them only for Esmé to state that there is a lot of pepper in them. Justice Strauss advises everyone to drink water. In the book, no one else was called up and the over-peppered sausages thing was not going on.
    • In the flashback, we learn why Lemony is on the run: he chooses to say that he threw the dart instead of Beatrice.
  • Klaus stops the elevator holding Olaf and the kidnapped judge from getting away instead of Sunny. The Man and Woman point out that they have escaped to the elevator instead of the guilty parties threatening to tell everyone where the other is.
  • Olaf has the questions from boiling Larry instead of Dewey telling him (because be is dead by now).
  • Violet's reasoning for helping Count Olaf escape is to get him away from everyone (to keep them safe) instead of trying to help him (so by extention themselves) not be spotted by authorities.
  • Babs, Esmé, Carmelita, and Jerome are the only others not running around blindfolded (besides the Man and Woman who never had any at all) when the Baudelaires are warning everyone about the fire.
  • The following are shown as the Hotel Denouement fire happens where the Baudelaires warn the patrons of the fire:
    • While people are still wandering blindly around the lobby, the Man with a Beard But No Hair and the Woman with Hair But No Beard congratulate Count Olaf for starting the fire. When Count Olaf tells everyone that the fire is a fake and that the smoke is from his barbecue, the Man with a Beard But No Hair and the Woman wit Hair But No Beard express their disappointment which Count Olaf acknowledges. Before the elevator closes, Justice Strauss states that they are disgrace to the legal profession.
    • Mr. Poe and Vice-Principal Nero are last seen on the third floor. When Mr. Poe states to Klaus that he can't add false reporting to his list of crimes and Vice-Principal Nero makes a comment that they might give false information about Count Olaf still being in the building, Justice Strauss states that Count Olaf is in the building and that the building is actually on fire. Vice-Principal Nero states that he'll use his blind intuition to find a way out as Mr. Poe grabs Vice-Principal Nero's hand and then mistakes the Indian elephant statue as a patron again.
    • Jerome Squalor and Babs are last seen on the fourth floor. As they don't recall where the stairs are, they compromise and stay where they are.
    • Esmé Squalor and Carmelita Spats are on the sixth floor. Count Olaf tricks them into heading towards the burning laundry room where he claims the Sugar Bowl is.
  • Justice Strauss uses a hook to stop them from jumping off in addition to her hand. The Baudelaires do not use giant spatulas to row.
  • Violet and Klaus realize that the Last Safe Place is not safe themselves instead of Sunny having to explain it to them.
  • Fernald and Fiona are not on the Queequeg with Kit when the Great Unknown rams into it, though the reason it comes down in the book is because of the mobile home.
  • Justice Strauss is shown to have survived the Hotel Denouement with the generic patrons as she gives the Baudelaire children's photograph to Lemony Snicket.


  • The song "That's Not How the Story Goes" is playing at the end of the episode, just as it did at the end of the first season. However the part that Lemony sang about Beatrice is omitted, and the few lines after it are talked over by Lemony.
  • All of the pictures from the end sequence of this episode happened in all the previous episodes.

Behind the scenes

  • This episode reveals that, at least in the Netflix adaptation, Lemony Snicket started to research and chronicle the lives of the Baudelaires directly after the Hotel Denouement Fire.

Home video releases

DVD releases

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Blu-ray releases

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External links

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