The first season of Netflix's adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events took eight episodes to bring the first four books to life, and the second season will tackle four more. But before you tune into Season 2, you may find yourself needing a recap of A Series of Unfortunate Events Season 1 to make sure you didn't forget anything important. Knowing what the characters have been through so far will prepare you for the next step in their journey.
The show began by introducing siblings Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire, a trio of tenacious kids who find themselves in one terrible situation after another. They spent Season 1 being shuffled from home to home after a tragedy left them without caretakers, chased all the while by their nefarious legal guardian Count Olaf. Everything was narrated by Lemony Snicket, the purported author of the book series (and pseudonym of real author Daniel Handler) and someone who may have information about the Baudelaires' past.
The first season left Violet, Klaus, and Sunny on the precipice of a new adventure, with many questions left unanswered about the lives their deceased parents led before their untimely demise. Season 2 might answer some of those inquiries, but leave the audience curious about even more. Here are some of the key things you need to keep in mind before pressing play on the new season.
The Bad Beginning
The Baudelaire children had taken a trip to a dreary beach when they learned from their family's banker Mr. Poe that their parents had perished in a house fire. They were abruptly sent off to live with a distant relative named Count Olaf, who turned the kids into his servants. No one believed them about Olaf's abuse, and they were forced to flee after Olaf tried to marry Violet to gain the Baudelaire family fortune. But Olaf's attempts wouldn't stop there.
The Many Disguises Of Count Olaf
Count Olaf was an actor, and he used that love of character and disguise to stalk the children from home to home. Every time they found themselves in a new place, he would show up with a new look and a new name. None of the adults ever believed Violet and Klaus about Olaf's multiple identities, something that will surely continue in Season 2.
Throughout Season 1, there were hints about a mysterious secret society who utilized a distinct symbol shaped like an eye. The eye was tattooed on Olaf's ankle, and also showed up in several other situations (for example, it was also found on a strange spyglass the kids discovered). It seemed like the group might be connected to the death of the Baudelaire parents, as well as the couple played by Will Arnett and Cobie Smulders who recurred over the course of the eight episodes. Mr. Poe's secretary Jacquelyn played a part in the secret society as well, though she seemed to be on the opposite side from Olaf. Book fans may know what it all means, but show fans are still in the dark.
Guardian After Guardian
After escaping Count Olaf's clutches, the Baudelaire children lived with a series of guardians. First was the kind-hearted but oblivious herpetologist Monty Montgomery, who could have helped the kids if he wasn't murdered by Olaf. After that, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny made their way to the fearful Aunt Josephine in her seaside home. When she was also fooled by Olaf, the children once again had to leave, following a clue about their parents to Lucky Smells Lumber Mill. They began to work for the mill's owner, Sir, as they tried to find out more about the past. But Olaf — and some life-threatening hypnosis — didn't make it easy.
In the final episode, "The Miserable Mill: Part Two," Mr. Poe reemerged to remove the Baudelaires from Lucky Smells. He deposited them at a boarding school called Prufrock Preparatory School, where they came into contact with the Quagmire siblings (the children of Smulders' and Arnett's characters). The episode ended with a musical number called "That's Not How the Story Goes," and left the fate of the children uncertain until Season 2.
Now you can finally find out where it all goes from there and see if the Baudelaires are ever able to find some semblance of happiness. Given the title of the series, however, I wouldn't get my hopes up.