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The Reptile Room: Part One Recap

Lemony dedicates his work to Beatrice, who did not live forever.

The Broken-Hearted Crocodile is a rare species of reptile Lemony tells the viewer about it, and advises them to look away from the story he has to tell.

Poe drives the Baudelaires to Dr. Montgomery Montgomery's estate and admits that he should have been their guardian all along. He figures that Olaf won't be able to find them way out where the estate is. They turn off at Lousy Lane and pull up to the estate. Monty greets them and offers coconut crème cake and says that they're going to go to the movies a lot. They go inside and Monty offers Sunny a raw carrot. He then assures Poe that the Baudelaires won't need anything from Poe while they're in his care, and he will dedicate himself to their safety and care. He assures them that he doesn't care about the Baudelaire fortune since he's financially well off,

Once Poe leaves, Monty admits that he's not happy with Poe since he's the reason the children were put with Olaf in the first place. Violet points out that their parents never mentioned Monty, and he's astonished at the news. Monty explains that they all grew up together, and that he is a world-famous herpetologist. He then calls for his assistant Gustav to collect the cake plates, but then remembers that Gustav left him a letter of resignation and left without saying goodbye in person.

Monty shows the Baudelaires his important scientific collection: his reptile room, filled with exotic creatures. He then shows them his most recent acquisition, which he is going to take to the Herpetological society as his newest discovery. Monty has named it the Incredibly Deadly Viper, and it lunges out of the cage at Sunny.

At his new home in country, Lemon stops his tale to contemplate a cup of tea. He assures the viewer that Sunny doesn't die, although Monty does... eventually.

The snake encoils Sunny, and Monty laughs. He assures Violet and Klaus that the Incredibly Deadly Viper is one of the friendliest and least dangerous animals in the world. He puts it back in his cage and explains that he gave his discovery the wrong name because he plans to play a joke on the Society as payback for years of ridicule. Monty does say that he has a cabinet full of deadly venom samples from snakes, and takes the Baudelaires to his scientific library. He implores them to read the books and admits that he always wanted a family but didn't have time. Monty says that there are a few dangerous reptiles but if the children get to know the reptiles, no harm will come to them in the reptile room.

Late, Monty goes into town and the children sit in the reptile room talking to the Broken-Hearted Crocodile even though it can't understand them. Klaus wonders why their parents never mentioned Monty, and wonders if there were a more sinister reason for silence and why they sent their children to the beach on the day the house burned down. Monty returns and says that he's going into town to pick up some supplies. Then tonight they'll go to see their first movie together, even though he doesn't know what they're showing. Once Monty leaves, Klaus shows Violet the original plans for Monty's landscaping. Among them is a hedge maze with an eye at the center: the same eye that Olaf had tattooed on his ankle. Klaus worries that there is something sinister going on.

Olaf arrives at the manor door, disguised, and says that he is Stephano, Monty's new assistant. The children realize who he is, but Olaf ignores that accusations. When they try to slam the door shut, Olaf blocks it with a knife and drops the pretense, and threatens to cut off one of Sunny's toes. He says that the Baudelaire parents were brave in their day but are dead now, and all that is left of them is their fortune. A clock goes off, startling Olaf, and the children run. Olaf grabs Klaus momentarily, causing him to drop the device. Klaus grabs it and the children run into the reptile room, closing the vault door just in time.

Monty pulls up outside and Olaf goes to greet him, pretending to be Stephano again. Olaf claims that the Scientific Society sent him to be Monty's new assistant, even though Monty didn't ask for an assistant. Monty accepts his story and escorts him inside, and tells him to go up to his new room. He then enters the reptile room, pretending to open all the locks while Olaf secretly watches. Monty finally turns the secret doorknob and goes in, and loudly apologizes for the Baudelaires being frightened of Olaf. The children play along and he takes them out to the truck to help get his supplies. Once they're alone, Monty apologizes for not thinking their enemies would be there so quickly. He refuses to call the authorities because Olaf would kill them before they got there, and warns that Olaf doesn't work alone. Monty says that they will invite Olaf to come to the movies with them, and keep watching him for now.

As they go inside, Olaf drops a heavy glass reading lamp on Monty's head from his upper window. He apologizes and goes inside, and Monty insists that tit was no accident. Klaus thinks that they should call the authorities, but Monty says that he minored in criminology and knows what he's doing.

As they eat takeout, Olaf says he was going to stay in and read up on poisonous venoms. Monty insists that he come, and admits that he's uncomfortable leaving his reptiles along with a stranger. Olaf agrees but says that he needs to make a phone call before they leave. He tells his troupe where they're going and when he's briefly alone with the Baudelaires, assures them that he isn't going to harm them on purpose... but accidents happen all the time.

At the theater, the group goes inside and Olaf offers to get popcorn for everyone, his treat. Once the others go into the theater, Olaf approaches the Henchman of Indeterminate Gender, working as a food attendant. Inside, Monty directs the children to the best seats and says that there's more to a movie than a movie. He makes the Baudelaires promise that if he leaves during the showing, they should act as if nothing is amiss. Olaf joins them and the movie begins. It's subtitled even though it's in English, and Monty takes out a cipher device to figure out what the subtitles mean. The lead actress and actor are Jacquelyn and Gustav, and the subtitles spell out "danger take the children on the SS Prospero!". Olaf notices and watches, and goes to get some more popcorn... deliberately blocking Monty's view of the screen.

The White Faced Women are disguised attendants at the snack bar, and Olaf tells them that they'll capture Monty at the cinema. He warns them that you-know-who is trying to send a message. Olaf goes back in and Monty excuses himself to go to the restroom. As soon as he leaves, Olaf goes after him but the children protest and he sits back down.

The White-Faced Women see Monty go past and yank down a curtain.

In the booth, the ticket seller and Monty splice in the earlier scene from the film. Olaf looks up and glares at the projector, while Monty uses the deciphering device to make out that he's supposed to go to Peru. He tells the ticket seller that he needs four tickets on the Prospero, and the seller tells Monty to meet him at the ticket booth. When Monty meets him there, he collects the tickets and goes back to the theater. However, the Women throw the curtain over him and drag him away without anyone seeing them in the dark theater.

Mother and Father escape their captivity and figure that they'll be with the children by bedtime. They open a vault door and find themselves at a waterfall in Peru.

The movie ends and the children realize that Monty never came back. They go out to call for him and Olaf follows. He leads them out and they find Monty waiting for them. Monty says that the movie will require some further explanation and has them wait in the car. He assures them that it is his job and his delight to keep them safe, and they go. Monty then tells Olaf that he's a wretched person and a bad actor, believing that he's a spy from the Herpetological Society. Olaf drops his accent and Monty orders him to leave. Olaf walks off, secretly chuckling. The Women are tied up in the back of their van, and Olaf leaves them there.

Monty drives the Baudelaires back to his manor and says that Olaf will never bother them again, and the authorities are on their way. He explains that they are going to Peru and is filled with answers. The children agree to go with him. When they arrive at the manor, Monty shows them the route that they'll take and says that they can still have the life their parents wanted for them. Monty tucks them in and goes downstairs, and notices that the Reptile Room door is open. He goes inside and someone--or something—attacks him.

Written by Gadfly on Jan 30, 2017

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