On the Lachrymose News, the newscasters report on the Baudelaire orphans.
Poe takes the children to Damocles Dock and gives them his phone number so that they can reach him. Until then, they're to take a taxi to their Aunt Josephine's house. She said that she couldn't come to the dock, and Poe gives the children peppermints to turn things around. Poe gives them the taxi fee and leaves on the ferry, and a taxi pulls up. The driver takes them to Josephine's house and talks about how Hurricane Herman will soon arrive.
Olaf's troupe rows him to Lake Lachrymose.
The driver drops the Baudelaires off at Josephine's house on a cliff and drives off. The children go to the door and find a plaque saying, "Please go away." The doorbell doesn't work, and a nervous Josephine opens the door and tells them not to knock because they'll get splinters. She then welcomes the Baudelaires and explains that she disconnected the doorbell because of the danger of electrocution. Josephine says that they'll find all of their answers in her library, with a wide window providing a view of the lake. She couldn't meet the Baudelaires on the dock because she's too haunted by the past. Her husband Ike could whistle with crackers in her mouth, just like the children's mother, and they gathered on the shores for picnics to develop secret codes. Ike went into the lake and was eaten by Lachrymose Leeches. When they smell blood on a human, they swarm and eat their victim.
Josephine briefly breaks into tears and then explains that she has devoted her life to the study of grammar since losing Ike. She is going to teach the children everything about grammar, even though she admits that it has nothing to do with secret codes. First Josephine serves chilled cucumber soup for lunch, and she refuses to talk about the past. She figures the safest strategy is to be afraid of everything, and thinks of happier things. Klaus suggests that she move away from the lake and then she'd feel comfortable enough to discuss the past, but Josephine explains that she won't sell the house because she's afraid of real estate agents.
Larry, the owner of the Anxious Clown Restaurant, is cleaning up outside his shop when Olaf arrives. He recognizes Olaf and is surprised to see him, and explains that the restaurant is under new management. Larry says that the Baudelaires are safe and sound, and learning everything about their organization even though their training should have begun years ago. As the two men struggle over Larry's broom, Olaf vows that the children will be destroyed and he'll take the fortune. The broom breaks and Larry falls to the street. He vows that Josephine and the children will stop Olaf, and the troupe surround the man.
Josephine gives Violet a doll, Klaus a doll, and Sunny a rattle. The children thanks her and Josephine assures them that their safety is her greatest responsibility. Klaus asks about Hurricane Herman, and Josephine finally agrees to have them stay while she goes into town to get supplies. Once she leaves, the children cook hot food and they figure that Josephine means well. They go to the library where Josephine has a safe, and Klaus figures that there are books inside. The children try to work out the three-letter combination, and Sunny suggests "Ike." The numbers that correspond to the letters are the combination, and inside the safe are crackers and Ike's whistling music. There are photos of Josephine doing many fearful things, showing she wasn't scare of anything. Finally, there's a book, The Incomplete History of Secret Organizations.
Josephine returns and the children put everything back in the safe before she comes in. She found limes at the market and petting zoo, and something else. Josephine says that she was once fearless and her and the Baudelaire parents were adventurers and volunteers. She realized that she can't be terrified forever, and is ready to be fierce and formidable again, and wants to do it together. Josephine then explains that she met a man and he wants to take her out for a fried egg sandwich. However, she insists that it isn't a date--necessarily--but just two adults sharing quality time. Josephine asks the children to make small-talk with the man, Captain Julio Sham. Olaf comes in disguised as a sea captain, and the children immediately realize who he is. Josephine doesn't believe it and points out that he doesn't have a left ankle because he has a wooden peg instead.
A Few Hours Ago
Josephine makes her way through town as the troupe walk by and talk up the incredibly handsome Captain Sham. The disguised Olaf joins Josephine as she buys limes and introduces himself as Captain Sham. He explains that the Leeches took his left leg, with a helpful chorus from his troupe, and nobody understands him. Josephine says that the same thing happened to her husband, and admits that she has also been lonely. Olaf plays along with Josephine's paranoia but Josephine complains when she sees the grammatical error on his business card. He invites her on a cruise through leech-infested waters, but Josephine refuses after what happened to Ike. Olaf invites her to have fried-egg sandwiches instead.
Olaf is sure that the Baudelaires are obedient little that will eventually let him take them on a boat ride. Once Josephine goes to get her cardigan, Klaus warns Olaf that he'll never get away with it. He closes in on them and reminds them of how Monty and their parents died. Before Olaf can strike, Josephine returns and Olaf yells a warning about the lit candles. He blows them out and claims that the Baudelaires tried to burn the house down. Josephine tells the children to clean up and go to bed and leaves with Olaf.
Klaus and Violet look at the map of the town but discover that there's a half-dozen egg restaurants within driving distance. They hope the taxi driver can tell them where he took Josephine, but as they go outside the troupe pulls up in their car. They tell the children to go back inside, and then realize that no one is guarding Larry .
Larry tries to get to the phone, but the chair he's tied to falls over.
The Baudelaires go back inside and go to the wide window overlooking the lake. Violet comes up with a way to climb down, but Klaus wonders what they'll do next. He figures that there's nowhere safe for them, but Violet says that they have to protect Josephine themselves. Kraus starts going through the books while Violet works on a ladder made of fish nets.
As the taxi goes to the restaurant, Olaf sings sea chanteys. Josephine worries about the children.
In Peru, Father decodes a coded message while Mother works out a flight plan. The message warns that they may be too late, and the lane has bullet holes in the wing.
The Baudelaires are in their room when they hear the window glass shatter. They go to investigate and find a Josephine-shaped hole in the window. There's a suicide note nearby left to the children.
Sometime in the future, Lemony stands among the ruins of the house and tells the viewers that Josephine is not dead at all... not yet.
Written by Gadfly on Feb 1, 2017