Penultimate Peril: Part 2
- Episode aired Jan 1, 2019
Count Olaf's trial takes place in the hotel's lobby and secrets about the past are revealed to the Baudelaire children.Count Olaf's trial takes place in the hotel's lobby and secrets about the past are revealed to the Baudelaire children.Count Olaf's trial takes place in the hotel's lobby and secrets about the past are revealed to the Baudelaire children.
Found this second part to be even better, with what set the first part of "The Penultimate Peril" apart from the previous episodes and what it did so brilliantly done even better in Part 2. Like what was said for "The Penultimate Peril: Part 1", this adaptation of "The Penultimate Peril" was the only one of 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' to not have any obvious problems, no pacing problems, no characters that irritated (thankfully Mr Poe is at his least annoying and that is saying a good deal), no lack of tension and nothing felt too over the top or anything.
All the things that were done brilliantly in "The Penultimate Peril: Part 1" are present here in "The Penultimate Peril: Part 2" and even better. Known for its very detailed, atmospheric and varied settings that suited the books' and series' tone to a tee, 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' continues to look absolutely wonderful with "The Penultimate Peril: Part 2". Hotel Denouement is really beautifully realised in detail and atmosphere, with so much to see without getting overwhelming. The clever costumes and stylish photography shine too, as does the opening credits sequence. The music fits perfectly, whether quirky or haunting. Including some very effective use of Verdi's "La Forza Del Destino", an opera with some fantastic music despite its sprawling story.
"The Penultimate Peril: Part 2" contains the best writing of 'A Series of Unfortunate Events'. There are some genuinely hilarious moments, some genuine tension (Count Olaf being the most threatning since "The Hostile Hospital") and some of the most heart-wrenching moments of the series. Felt a surprisingly wide mix of emotions in the whole exchange where Count Olaf talks about honesty and desire and seeing how the rest of the characters take it. The absurdity and dark humour are still here but there is also more depth to usual, Count Olaf having the best lines which is hardly a surprise. Even more striking is how bold the writing is, even bolder than Part 1, in its poking fun at justice failures (rather than just making the adult characters look easily fooled all the time), how hotels are run (in a wonderfully absurdist fashion) and the nature of the legal system (without causing offense).
Where "The Penultimate Peril: Part 2", well the whole of the adaptation actually, similarly excels is reminding one of past events and providing crucial flashbacks in the successful aim of answering major questions long in desperate need of being resolved. Actually think, and am probably going out on a limb for this, that it did better at this than the last episode "The End" (an improvement over the book) did. There are a lot of characters, though not feeling like too many like the first part of "The Carnivorous Carnival". Some of the appearances are short, but nobody is also sidelined. Do feel that the Baudelaires have grown as characters and became increasingly resourceful.
Similarly all the performances are pitch perfect, the Baudelaires' acting has gotten more confident over time and Patrick Warburton again gives some of his best acting of the series. But it's Neil Patrick Harris' tour-de-force turn that impresses most.
Overall, wonderful penultimate adaptation, and an even better second part, of an enjoyable and laudable if uneven series. 10/10
- Dec 16, 2020