The Third and Final of Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events Is It’s Best Yet
All good things must come to an end and Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events third and final season sees the story through to the very end. The third season of the series, which based on the popular book series, is its best yet, with a strong pace that never falters, taking every moment to add a bit of fun wordplay, and its continued ability to set up brief moments of joy only for them to come crashing down for the Baudelaires’.
Season 3 adapts books 10-13 (The Slippery Slope, The Grim Grotto, The Penultimate Peril, and The End) and picks up from the literal cliffhanger of season 2 which sees Violet and Klaus hurtling off the side of a cliff in a runaway cart. The pace never lets up and even though we don’t get an emotional and narrative pay until the last few episodes, the four episodes that bring Slope and Grotto to life are satisfying in their own way and integrate perfectly with the overall story.
Slope helps the season get off to a strong start and introduces new characters which help make for an interesting final season. Allison Williams was teased in the season 2 finale, and now she comes full force as Kit Snicket and aids the Baudelaires in their quest to uncover their past. Williams gives the role such intrigue and warmth and is a delight to watch her bring Kit to life. On the other side, you have ‘The Man With Beard But No Hair’ (Richard E. Grant) and the ‘Woman with Hair But No Beard’ (Beth Grant) as former mentors of the villainous Count Olaf, and their introductions give Neil Patrick Harries a chance to add more layers to the series Big Bad. Harris’ performance has been fantastic throughout the series, and the third season gives Harris more varied materials to go on and only enhances the more villainous side of the show.
And of course, we can’t forget about the Baudelaires who continue to warm and break my heart in Season 3. Violet (Malina Weissman) and Klaus (Louis Hynes) are constantly driven to the edge, and it is amazing to see them hold on to the last bit of hope in their lives while also being frustrated at the world. And Sunny (Presley Smith) finally comes into her own and gets a sweet subplot with the Hook-Handed Man (Usman Ally) while also continuing to be more of pain in the butt for Olaf than any baby should.
The series has been known to introduce characters who quickly become favorites, only to make it that much more heartbreaking when something terrible happens to them. The is still the case in the final season, especially with New Girl’s Max Greenfield. Greenfield plays the managers of the Hotel Denouement in “The Penultimate Peril” with a duo role that put a smile on my face but also with the knowledge that in a few minutes of screentime I would be in tears.
Greenfield’s performances are just one of the many intricate pieces that make the two episodes which adapt Peril so powerful in its storytelling. The first episode sees the children deep in a mystery in which they must discover who can be trusted in the hotel, and why everyone who we have met so far has come into their lives. With so much going on, the episode flies by leading to a shocking ending. The next episode acts as a hotel-turned-courtroom drama, with everything being laid out to determine who is ultimately guilty in the story of the Baudelaire children. It’s a fantastic take on the nature of truth and how facts can be twisted to suit both sides of the story, leading to the conclusion that life isn’t always fair, even when everything seems perfect.
These two powerful episodes revisit so much of the show’s past, leading into “The End,” a satisfying conclusion to a story with so much mystery and semi-revealed answers. Much of the answers you’d hoped to find about the Baudelaires and VFD, and some that come at a surprise, are all laid out on the table in an emotionally satisfying ending.
Anchoring everything is Patrick Warburton’s performance as Lemony Snicket. It’s so much fun to watch him envoke so much depth into Snicket’s telling of this story as it comes to an end. This season has given us a glimpse into Snicket’s past, which shows us why he is so interested in the tale of the Baudelaire children. You can hear a sincere desire to hope for a brighter future in his delivery, and also the sound of defeat that there is little that can be done. The Baudelaires may have been the heart of the series, but its really Snicket’s involvement that has been one of my favorite elements of the show, and it’s a fitting narrative way to bring everything together.
Overall, A Series of Unfortunate Events brings its best and most exciting season yet in its final episodes. By bringing more layers to its characters, the main cast has plenty to work with and gives emotionally believable performances. The third and final season of the series beautifully captures the happy/sad tone the show has had since its premiere.
Critic Rating: 4.5/5 stars
What did you think of this final tale? Let us know in the comments.