Jacques and Olivia drive away from the Squalor building, and Olivia laments the fact that they didn't find the Quagmires. The Baudelaires find the Quagmires, Isadora gives Viola her half of the spyglass to provide light for her to find a lock pick, and the Quagmires say that they found many of the VFD's secrets in the book, as well as what happened to their parents. They also overheard Olaf say that he was going to hide them in an item at the auction and sneak them out of the city. Klaus promises that they're coming with them, and Viola uses the heat setting on the spyglass to try to burn the lock off of the cage. It doesn't work, and Viola uses a discarded newspaper and sends it floating up on a wave of heat. She tells Klaus that they need to go up to the apartment to find something to open the cage. Viola heats the giant handkerchief so that they rise up the elevator shaft,
Esma and Olaf return to the lobby dragging the unconscious Jerome, and Esma assures the doorperson she had a luxurious dinner and several musical numbers. Esma takes Jerome up past the poster of Olaf, and Olaf approaches the doorperson.
Klaus smells smoke and they realize that the giant handkerchief is burning. Viola turns off the spyglass and the gondola falls back down the shaft, and she tells Klaus that if she turns it on and off it will stabilize. She turns the spyglass back on and they rise, but then the handkerchief explodes in flames. The gondola hits the bottom of the elevator, but the Baudelaires have managed to grasp the edge of the elevator door. Esma comes up the stars and says that Jerome fell asleep in the middle of dinner. In the penthouse, Esma puts Jerome on the couch and tells the Baudelaires not to disturb him. She says that they can tell her anything.
Olaf's troupe reads about the success of their restaurant. Olaf calls and tells the Hook-Handed Man that they need a new plan and tells them to get the biggest they can find.
The Baudelaires tell Esma everything they know, and she says it's the least in thing she's ever heard of. She congratulates the Baudelaires on being brave and smart, and hands out Parsley soda because it's in. Esma says that they will have Olaf arrested and the Quagmires free, and takes the orphans to the police station. She says that they'll take the elevator, opens the door, and pushes the orphans into the empty shaft. They fall into a net that breaks their fall, and Esma yells down that they're alive but not okay. They're all going to be smuggled out of town, and Olaf arrives. She explains that Olaf is her former acting coach, and together they will get the enormous fortunes of two sets of orphans. Esma yells that she wants to steal from them the way that Beatrice stole from her, and walks away.
Olivia wonders if she should go back to the library, and Jacques tells her that he can show her why she's needed but once she does, it will be hard to turn back.
Esma and Olaf look out on the city and Esma tells Olaf that she's been alone until he reentered her life. They share a toast of parsley soda, and Olaf says that it's time for some celebratory dancing. Surprised, Esma agrees and Olaf puts on a record. The two of them dance while Jerome sleeps.
Klaus and Viola call to the Quagmires but get no answer, and Sunny climbs up the very narrow pipes. She slips but stops her fall with her teeth, and Klaus and Viola read the book.
The White Faced Women take the Quagmires out through the sewers.
Sunny emerges from the shaft and finds the Hook-Handed Man posing as a doorman. He says that the management can't let any orphans escape, and suggests that Sunny join their troupe. Sunny slips by him, barricades the door, slips past Olaf and Esma, and takes the rope from the drapes. She gnaws it loose and slips out, taking the fur blanket on Jerome as she goes. Back outside, she gives the Hook-Handed Man a bottle of parsley soda and jumps down the elevator shaft.
Vila and Klaus find an entry in the book about VFD. As they try to work out what it means, Sunny drops down onto the net and Viola ties the rope to the net. The orphans drop down the rope and discover that the Quagmires are gone. They find a hidden door leading to the sewers and follow the trail, and come to a hatch surrounded by ashes. A man with an eye tattoo walks by and Viola figures that it's Olaf.
Jacques brushes off the ash-covered eye tattoo on his ankle, as he and Olivia a look at the remains of the Baudelaire home. Olivia is surprised that it all started with a stolen sugar bowl, and agrees to help VDS. Once they leave, the Baudelaires come up through the hatch and realize that they're at their old house. They wonder why there's a tunnel from the Squalor building to the sewers to their home.
Lemony says that he has a box with a map that shows the tunnel going to the Baudelaire home.
The Baudelaires head to the auction.
Olaf starts the auction and begins with a wanted poster for home. No one is interested in bidding until Olaf throws in a pack of gun.
The Poes pull up to the Baudelaire home and almost hit the Baudelaires. Poe says that he's going to the auction house, and drives off.
Olaf is trying to auction off a giant red herring from the restaurant car.
The Poes and Baudelaires arrive, and the Bald Man refuses to let the Baudelaires in until they point out that Olaf wants them captured. The Bald Man thinks about it and the orphans slip by him.
The Henchperson of Indetermined Gender is the only bidder on the giant red herring. As the Baudelaires come in, Olaf begins the bidding on a vase. He and Esma see the Baudelaires, and Olaf gives the vase to the first bidder and opens the bidding on Lot 49. They ask Poe to bid their fortune on Lot 49, while Larry is in the back and radios to Jacquelyn, who slips past the Bald Man.
Jacques tells Olivia that their agents have infiltrated the auction.
Larry distracts the Hook-Handed Man with a parsley soda, and Jacquelyn collapses him unconscious.
Larry brings in a box with VFD written on it, having replaced the White Faced Women. Olaf has no choice but to start the bidding, and Eleanor bids against Poe. The Henchperson of Indetermined Gender bids against the Poes, and the Baudelaires take up the bidding. The Poes refuse to let the orphans outbids the Henchperson, but Jerome comes in, introduces himself, and says that the Baudelaires are noble children like their parents. He continues the bidding, and Esma continues bidding and says that she's tired of him. Everyone else joins in on the bidding, and Jacques and Olivia arrive to bid. The Volunteers and the troupe grab each other, and Olaf tries to close the bidding. Sunny bids $1,000 and Olaf closes the bidding.
Viola and Klaus rush to the box, and Esma says that they can't open it without paying first. The orphans say that the Quagmires are inside, and Olaf rips the box open to reveal that there's nothing inside but doilies. He accidentally rips open his boot, revealing the eye tattoo on his ankle. Everyone realizes who Olaf is, and Esma says that she's paid her dues to become the sixth most important financial advisor in the city. She tells everyone that Olaf is a genius back in her life as her boyfriend, while Olaf removes his disguise. Jerome is shocked, and Olaf says that they're out of the city.
Larry and Jacquelyn cut off Olaf's escape off, but a newsboy delivers a paper saying that the auction house is out. The crowd runs out, and Olaf and Esma escape via the sewer tunnels. Everyone realizes that the giant red herring is a red herring. The troupe drives off with the red herring, and Jerome tells the Baudelaires that it's not safe for them to chase after a criminal. The Baudelaires say that they have to find the truth about the secret tunnel and VFD, but Jerome tells them to let him keep them safe. They ask Jerome to help them, but he admits that he's not brave enough and Esma only married him for his underground tunnel. Jerome wishes them luck and drives off, and Poe tells the Baudelaires that Mulchuary Money Management is exploring guardian options and has found a town that is offering to care for their orphaned clientele: the town of VFD. The Baudelaires immediately agree to go there.
Jacques and Olivia park their taxi behind a billboard in the desert, and Jacques assures Olivia that the Baudelaires' story isn't over. Olaf and his troupe drive by, and Olivia drives after the red herring.
Written by Gadfly on May 13, 2018