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A Series of Unfortunate Events Season 2's Cliffhanger, Explained

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the second season of A Series of Unfortunate Events, streaming now on Netflix.

The second season of A Series of Unfortunate Events ends, quite literally, on a cliffhanger, as the caravan carrying Violet and Klaus Baudelaire is sent careening off a mountainside, by Count Olaf's order, naturally. That cliffhanger doesn't require any explanation -- besides, c'mon, the orphans will survive -- but the events immediately preceding it certainly do.

While hiding at the horrific Heimlich Hospital, the Baudelaires finding a film reel containing a debriefing of Jacques Snicket (Nathan Fillion), the V.F.D. operative murdered by Olaf during their unpleasant visit to the Village of Fowl Devotees. In it, the taxi-driving Volunteer reveals there was a survivor of "the fire," although the children don't have the time to watch further. Olaf makes the same discovery and arrives at the same conclusion as Violet and Klaus: that either Beatrice or Betrand Baudelaire somehow survived the blaze that, in effect, began this series of unfortunate events.

At the Caligari Carnival, revealed as an information-gathering front for the V.F.D., Madame Lulu (aka the Librarian, aka Olivia Caliban, played by Sara Rue) provides the Baudelaires with a map to the secret society's secret headquarters in the Mortmain Mountains. "If one of your parents really is alive, this is where they'd be," she says, promising to take the children there. However, neither the carnival nor Olivia survives a visit from Olaf, which is how the orphans ("disguised" as Elliot and Beverly, the Two-Headed Freak) find themselves in a travel wagon trailing his car through a perilous mountain pass.

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That Violet, Klaus and Sunny might be headed to a happy reunion is reinforced by the ubiquitous Larry the Waiter, who radios to an unseen ally, "I've just learned the survivor of the fire is headed to headquarters!"

However, we can safely presume this is another red herring in a series chock-full of them. As a reminder, we need only look back as far as Season 1, to the elaborate ruse in which the audience is led to believe that Beatrice and Betrand Baudelaire are making their way across the globe to rescue their children. However, it's ultimately revealed the two, played by Cobie Smulders and Will Arnett, are actually the Quagmires ... who then die in a mysterious fire.

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