A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Reptile Room: Part Two   Show Only 
January 15, 2017 7:59 AM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Klaus and Violet suspect Count Olaf and his evil cohorts when a lifeless body turns up in the reptile room. Sunny sees the inside of a suitcase.

Plot developments:
*With Monty dead, Olaf attempts to abscond with the Baudelaires, but is prevented by the timely arrival of Mr. Poe's and subsequent car/topiary crash.
*The henchpersons arrive and put on a show of an investigation for Mr. Poe, but Violet reassembles the murder weapon out of the objects in 'Stephano's' suitcase to prove Olaf's guilt to Mr. Poe (and to the far more effective reptiles of the reptile room, from whom Olaf and his crew flee in terror).
*Olaf escapes down the tunnel at the heart of the labyrinth. Jacquelyn, who has been disguised as a statue at the heart of the labyrinth, pursues Olaf to his berth on the SS Prospero (after telling the Baudelaire children to find their Aunt Josephine). Jacquelyn fails to apprehend Olaf, but retrieves the mysterious spyglass which Olaf stole from Klaus's jacket pocket in the Reptile Room.
*In a bar in Peru, Mother and Father attempt to call Uncle Monty (too late) from the payphone.

Defined by Lemony Snicket this episode: meanwhile back at the ranch, hackneyed, labyrinth

Inventions this episode: double-barrel venom-injecting murder weapon


Lemony Snicket: There's no word to describe the feeling of waking up and knowing instantly that something is terribly wrong. If there were, the Baudelaires would have used that word when they rose to find that dawn had awoken them and their Uncle Monty had not. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will go to sleep, never to wake up. But that didn't change the way the Baudelaires felt that morning in the room their uncle had filled so carefully with specimens, and in which he was now a sort of specimen himself.

Mr. Poe: Goodness golly, good God, Mary and Joseph, Zeus and Hera, Nathaniel Hawthorne! ... Don't touch her! Grab her! Move closer! Run away! Kill the snake! Leave it alone! Give it some food! Don't let it bite her! [shrieks] It bit her! It's bitten her! It bited her! [slaps self] Calm down! Get moving! Call a scientist! Call my wife! This is ghastly! This is phantasmagorical! [deep breath] You are police officers! Do something!

Olaf: We need a plan.
White-Faced-Woman: Should we kill him?
Olaf: He is coughing a lot. Let's see if he dies of natural causes.

Lemony Snicket: If this were a piece of filmed entertainment for small children you would know what happens next. With the villain's identity and evil plan exposed, the police would arrive on the scene and place him in jail for the rest of his life. The plucky youngsters would go out for pizza. But I can tell you that's as likely as Dr. Montgomery returning to life. Still, while Dr. Montgomery may be dead... the reptiles in his collection... were very much alive.

Lemony Snicket: There are times when the entire world seems wrong. The way a Reptile Room without any reptiles seems wrong. The way a bookshelf without any books seems wrong. Or a loved one's house... without the loved one. The Baudelaires weren't given much time with their Uncle Monty, which seemed wrong. Still, for the first time in a long time, they'd found a place where the world seemed right, if only for a short time. If they'd found that once, who's to say they couldn't find it again?

Father: Which of you gentlemen knows where we might charter a plane?
posted by oh yeah! (2 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I keep wondering if Mr. Poe's cough will turn out to have some plot function or is just a literary quirk. (And then wondering if the actor ended up with an irritative cough after days of coughing on cue.)

And I suppose this is as good a thread as any to talk about the fact that I'm feeling kinda leery about the fact that Matty Cardarople's character is credited as "Henchperson of Indeterminate Gender". Not sure where they're going with that, and wondering if it's something that worked better on the page and left to the readers' imagination as opposed to on film where the actor's gender is not indeterminate.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:50 AM on January 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm feeling kinda leery about the fact that Matty Cardarople's character is credited as "Henchperson of Indeterminate Gender".

I was leery about that as well. I think the character in the novels is a problem, in that their hermaphrodism, or at least lack of clear gender markers, is part of what makes them menacing (although Sunny does refer to them as Orlando at one point, suggesting a deeper literary reference).

It's a little better here, in that Cardarople is pretty clearly a man, which is abundantly clear in this episode when he is so bad at pretending to be a woman, and he's more of a bumbler than a hulking, sinister figure. But the fact that Snicket's gang of evildoers includes a disabled person and aged twins, along with a person for whom gender is a bit of a joke, is never going to not be a problem, as charming as the actors are who play the roles.
posted by maxsparber at 11:18 AM on January 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

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