Greetings, fellow Unfortunate ones! I’m here to bring you a recap to “The Reptile Room: Part Two” of A Series of Unfortunate Events. I’m sure this episode will be extremely eventful, perhaps unfortunately eventful. I promise that’s the last “dad joke” I’ll make for this article. Spoilers are everywhere, so beware!
One thing that thoroughly tickles me each episode is the evolution of the theme song. I’m a sucker for details. Stephano makes his singing debut for part two, detailing the events we’re about to see unfold.
We open with our narrator Lemony Snicket (Patrick Warburton) divulging what happens to the Baudelaire children upon waking. I’m sure you recall how episode three ended, with that doozy of a cliffhanger. “They rose to find that dawn had awoken them. Their Uncle Monty had not,” Lemony intones with a melancholy befitting the situation. Our orphans come face to face with the reptiles from Monty’s room. Someone allowed them to escape! Violet (Malina Weissman) and Klaus (Louis Hynes) run to the Reptile Room calling for Monty. “We all know that our time in this world is limited,” Lemony continues.
Uncle Monty is found dead, sitting in his study chair with a deadly bite mark in his face. The children are distraught. “We know exactly how this happened,” Violet says. Then, right on cue, Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris) makes his episodic debut. In a menacing manner, of course. “My, my, what a terrible accident!” he exclaims. He then goes on to intone dramatically: “For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come.” Keep your evil paws off Shakespeare, Olaf!
Then, Klaus accuses Olaf of murder. Olaf claims his innocence, pointing out that Monty perished of a snake bite. The Count makes an executive decision – he will take the Baudelaires to Peru himself. “We wouldn’t go to the end of the driveway with you,” Violet spits out. We hear a cooing sound emanating from Olaf’s luggage as he turns to load the car by himself. Little Sunny (Presley Smith) is locked inside a suitcase! Violet and Klaus hurriedly follow him outside. “Please don’t hurt her!” Violet pleads. “Then get in the car!” The Count demands. The children climb into the car, albeit reluctantly. Olaf starts the car and prepares to exit. “I’ll be taking advantage of Peru’s extremely lax guardian laws,” he says. “Who’s going to stop me?” And on that note…
Olaf collides head on with another vehicle pulling in the driveway. He crashes the car into one of the large snake hedges adorning the lawn. We see that Poe (K. Todd Freeman) is the other driver. Oh, bumbling Poe. Olaf assumes the role of Stephano for Poe. “Oh, my spleen! I think you’ve ruptured him,” Stephano says while exiting the car. He tells Poe he was taking the children to the coroner since Monty was dead. However, Poe was bringing passports for the children for their trip to Peru. “He [Olaf] is taking us to Peru,” Klaus tells Poe.
Later, the children go on to claim that Stephano is really Count Olaf. Any sane person would be able to distinguish him right away. They also reveal that Olaf has a tattoo of an eye on his ankle. Poe demands Stephano show them his ankle. However, the tattoo is not there. Poe says nobody is going anywhere until the authorities arrive regarding poor Monty.
Meanwhile, back inside the mansion, Poe calls the police. First, the coroner arrives, looking awfully like one of Olaf’s henchman. Following suit is a rather large Nurse by the name of Lucafont (Matty Cardarople). “I am from the local sheriff department’s medical examiner’s office,” she says shakily. We see Stephano mouthing her “lines” to her. His henchmen have seemingly infiltrated all positions in their local government. Crazy! “I believe there’s been a terrible accident involving a snake,” Nurse Lucafont continues. “Don’t you want to examine the body?” Stephano asks when it’s clear Lucafont plans on lingering outside. Klaus has his doubts. “Are you sure you’re a qualified nurse?” He asks incredulously.
Later, Stephano says the children should wait outside while the body is examined. Poe has the wool pulled over his eyes where Olaf is concerned. “I must say you show genuine compassion for these children,” he says. Nobody can decide who should go in and examine Monty. Poe makes it clear to Stephano that he will not hand over the kids without paperwork “at least.”
While inside the Reptile Room, Lucafont determines Monty died from a snakebite. Violet counters that Monty was “one of the world’s leading herpetologists.” Stephano reveals an “incredibly deadly viper” took Monty’s life. “The Incredibly Deadly Viper is one of the most friendly animals in the animal kingdom,” Violet informs them. The gang notices said snake is missing from its home. When Lucafont’s voice changes while speaking, Violet catches it and reveals the nurse is one of Olaf’s accomplices. Stephano tells the children to pack for Peru. Poe argues he will take the children instead. It’s like they are a divorced couple fighting for custody.
Later, Stephano informs everyone that Nurse Lucafont has placed the mansion under quarantine until the viper is found. Olaf has a walkie-talkie in his sleeve, which he purposefully says the word “quarantine” into. Meanwhile, his henchmen are playing cards in a van and completely oblivious to Olaf. Stephano repeats himself, much to the bewilderment of everyone in the room. Finally, the henchmen realize they are being summoned and snap into action. They arrive on the scene dressed as crime lab workers. The Baudelaires once again claim these are members of Olaf’s theater troupe. “These are adults, and adults don’t wear costumes unless it’s for a charity ball,” Poe says, ending the discussion. We see that Hook-Handed Man (Usman Ally) is wearing clearly fake plastic hands.
Meanwhile, Poe tells the children to wait upstairs. “Please work quickly, I need to go back to the bank,” he says to the “crime lab workers.” While sequestered away upstairs, the Baudelaire orphans decide to have their own conversation on the matter of their fate. They conclude that Olaf must have set the Incredibly Deadly Viper loose. The children know that Olaf orchestrated everything. Klaus is going to attempt to break into the Reptile Room.
Later, back in the Reptile Room, Olaf tells Hook-Handed Man (now Fake Plastic Handed Man) to keep Poe distracted. Olaf ventures upstairs with his favorite object of persuasion – his trusty dagger. Now, when has violence ever solved anything? He finds the children are gone. As Olaf stalks angrily away, we see Klaus hanging out the window.
While Klaus is hanging from the window he sees the labyrinth hedge maze in Monty’s grand estate forms the same eye symbol on Olaf’s ankle. What does it mean? He contemplates this while falling.
Meanwhile, in the Reptile Room, Poe asks where Stephano went. The henchmen inform him Stephano went to make coffee. We see Klaus crawling behind furniture in the Reptile Room, hopefully remaining incognito. He grabs a book and turns it to a page about the Incredibly Deadly Viper. Hidden inside said page is the message Monty coded when they were at the theater. Klaus pockets the note. He also pulls out the telescopic device, remembering that Monty had the same one that night. Klaus drops it. All occupants in the room run to the sound. Uh oh, Klaus is doomed! But then…
The gang hears a baby yell and they run out of the Reptile Room. “Meanwhile, back at the ranch,” Lemony says, transitioning to the events unfolding from Violet’s perspective. While Klaus is in the Reptile Room, Violet and Sunny escape the mansion and make for Monty’s car. Violet ties her hair back, which usually signifies she has a plan. She sets Sunny down on the ground and open Olaf’s suitcase. She removes strange objects – syringes, random parts, etc. We hear a snake hiss. It’s the Incredibly Deadly Viper! Sunny follows it into the bushes. Violet sees her sister is missing. “Sunny?” she calls out.
“I’d say partly cloudy,” Olaf, in true villain fashion, quips. He grabs Violet. Olaf says if he cannot take them all, he’ll settle for one of them to take to Peru.
Later, back in the foyer, the gang sees the Incredibly Deadly Viper lounging about (as you do in foyers). He is wrapped around a happy Sunny. Poe, upon seeing this, has a mental breakdown. “This is phantasmagorical!” he shouts. My new favorite word that I will insert into everyday conversation. Klaus, in an attempt to quell Poe’s fears, reads an excerpt about the viper. Stephano starts spouting off about the types of snakes that can kill someone. “The Virginia Woolf snake cane bludgeon you to death with a typewriter,” he says. If that reference didn’t make you chuckle, you might not have a funny bone. Those are important to have.
“I thought you said you didn’t know anything about snakes?” Klaus asks Stephano. Stephano replies by saying he’s being modest. Violet saves the day by opening Olaf’s suitcase and dumping the contents within. “Monty had venom samples in his cabinet from every snake known to man,” Violet informs. “And woman,” Klaus adds. Aw, Klaus. Standing up for women everywhere. Violet continues by saying a venom sample is missing, and constructs a double-barreled syringe from the spare parts Olaf had in his suitcase. This syringe was used to administer the venom in Monty. Olaf took apart said syringe to hide the evidence. “He’s after the Baudelaire fortune,” Violet says. “He’s Count Olaf!” Klaus accuses.
Poe demands Stephano now show his other (left) ankle for further proof of his innocence. Poe licks his handkerchief and proceeds to scrub Olaf’s ankle. An outline of the tattoo is revealed. Knowing he can no longer keep up the charade, Olaf admits to killing Monty and drowning Gustav. Poe demands the “officers” arrest Olaf. Since they are his henchmen, they refuse to follow this order. We hear a screeching noise. Everyone is under the impression it’s the iguana clock, but it’s actually a real iguana behind Olaf. It also flies. Boo to things that fly! Said iguana makes to land on the Count but he runs away.
Meanwhile, once outside, the Hook-Handed Man asks “Where are you going boss?” “International Waters,” Olaf answers vaguely as he scampers into the hedge maze. The Baudelaire children follow him. All parties pass each other a few times once in the maze. The kids decide to split up to cover more ground. Olaf finds a trap door and disappears. The children arrive where Olaf once was. A golden statue, once adorning the center of the maze, comes to life and descends a staircase, while the hedges part. She approaches the children. “A good labyrinth is full of secrets,” she says cheekily. We see that she is Jacklyn. The kids mention the note and Peru. “Forget Peru. It’s been compromised,” she tells them. She also instructs they find Aunt Josephine. How many secret relatives do these kids have? Jacklyn vows to take care of Count Olaf and disappears down the trap door.
Later, Animal Control arrives to take the reptiles away. Once Poe and the Baudelaires are on the road, he tells them Aunt Josephine is next on the list to take them in. The children ask Poe about how Jacklyn came to work for him. “She came highly recommended by your parents,” he replies. Hmm…
Meanwhile, Jacklyn is in the sewers searching for Olaf. She notices Olaf’s disguises were cast aside while fleeing. She opens another door which leads to a ship above ground, one that happens to be heading to Peru. Jacklyn sees the silhouette of Olaf boarding the ship. While Olaf is in his room, out of costume, we hear “Telegram for Mr. Olaf,” from outside his door. Olaf complains abut her use of “Mr.,” that “Count” is his honorific. “I hope you don’t think you’re going to Peru,” Jacklyn says when he opens the door. She goes on to threaten that she will take him to jail. Olaf distracts her and literally jumps out of the ship.
Later, the Baudelaire mother calls Monty in a bar in Peru. “He’s not answering,” she says to their father. Everyone in the bar goes silent. Mom and dad arm themselves with broken pool cues in case things take a turn for the rough. “Which of you gentlemen might know where we can charter a plane?” the father asks the crowd.
Is it just me, or are these children smarter than the adults? Also, who is Aunt Josephine? Did Count Olaf survive his watery jump (probably, he’s the lead)? Why do the parents need a plane? What does that blasted eye symbol mean, and why does it appear multiple times with different people? I have too many questions. I think I’ll start episode five now.
A Series of Unfortunate Events is now streaming on Netflix.
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