count bass

Did Mrs Bass steal the Baudelaire fortune?

Oft-mentioned, seldom used, the Baudelaire fortune is the subject of immense scrutiny. Olaf wants to steal it, the Baudelaire orphans plan on inheriting it, Arthur Poe tries to manage it… And yet the reader never sees a penny of it. Sunny even calls it a “McGuffin” in the final chapter of the last book: a meaningless distraction which drives the plot forward.

But the more obscure sub-plots of “The Penultimate Peril” tell another story: that of Mrs. Bass, an unlikely bank robber, and of Mr. Poe, who reappears at Hotel Denouement for a mysterious and dark purpose. Did something happen to the Baudelaire fortune after all?

If you ever wondered what would happen if a character from “A Series Of Unfortunate Events” actually read “A Series Of Unfortunate Events”, you’re in for a surprise. Find out more after the cut.

Note to readers: This theory builds up on several analyses written in the past about the plot of the series. We highly advise you read them before delving into this one:

  • What was Colette’s mission? (Link)
  • Who was the “real” J.S.? (Link)
  • Did Lemony stalk the Baudelaire orphans from his taxi? (Link)

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LET ME TALK

Rated: T

Genre: Angst/Fluff

Pairing: You/Jay Park

Word Count: 1.5K

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butherlipsarenotmoving  asked:

Hi, I'm new in LS's universe (I read everything related last year) and I've found your blog really interesting, you're doing a great job. So, here's my question: What do you think the typewriter means in the triptych? For a long time I thought it was a metaphor about Lemony, that it implied that he was kind of responsible of her death. But now I've realized that if the painter was Lemony's friend, he wouldn't have ever done that, because it would cause Lemony a lot of pain. What do you think?

 Good evening to you, @butherlipsarenotmoving!

If you have walked into a museum recently- whether you did so to attend an art exhibition in to escape from the police-you may have noticed a type of painting known as a triptych. A triptych has three panels, with something different painted on each of the panels. For instance, my friend Professor Reed made a trip-tych for me, and he painted fire on one panel, a typewriter on another, and the face of a beautiful, intelligent woman on the third. The triptych is entitled What Happened to Beatrice and I cannot look upon it without weeping.
I am a writer, and not a painter, but if I were to try and paint a triptych entitled The Baudelaire Orphans’ Miserable Experiences at Prufrock Prep, I would paint Mr. Remora on one panel, Mrs. Bass on another, and a box of staples on the third, and the results would make me so sad that between the Beatrice triptych and the Baudelaire triptych I would scarcely stop weeping all day.

[The Austere Academy, Chapter Four]

The arrangement of this triptych seems deliberately arcane so we can only presume of its symbolism. Several questions to consider:

  • Is this the fire which consumed the Baudelaire mansion? Or another place?
  • Is the typewriter meant to allude to Beatrice’s 200-pages break-up letter to Lemony, as mentioned in Chapter Two of “The Miserable Mill”? Or is this Lemony’s typewriter, with which he wrote the infamous review of Olaf’s play that caused so much trouble to their relationship and later his magnum opus about her children?
  • Is the woman Beatrice, her daughter Violet, or even Beatrice Jr (Lemony’s niece)?

Traditionally, triptychs were originally supposed to be read from left to right and from right to middle (with a bigger painting in the middle), and Brett Helquist seems to have followed this convention. According to the text, the box of staples is the third and final painting:

So the most straightforward answer I could come up with is that the triptych answers the question “What happened to Beatrice?” in reverse chronological order: we start from the Baudelaire fire, then move on to Beatrice’s break-up letters and Lemony’s scathing review of Olaf’s play, and finally to the beauty which drove Lemony and Bertrand to their feet.

The signs as Overplayed Songs Of 2014-2015
  • Aries: Problem
  • Taurus: Uptown Funk
  • Gemini: Trap Queen
  • Cancer: Stay With Me
  • Leo: Blank Space
  • Virgo: Rude
  • Libra: Let Her Go
  • Scorpio: Talk Dirty
  • Sagittarius: All About That Bass
  • Capricorn: Counting Stars
  • Aquarius: Bitch Better Have My Money
  • Pisces: Truffle Butter
What was Colette’s mission?

In “The Penultimate Peril”, the three Freaks from Caligari Carnival encounter the Baudelaires orphans on three separate occasions. Each of them witness Violet, Klaus and Sunny commit an act of dubious morality. And each of them, as Olaf later points out in his confrontation with Dewey, works out a part of the (alledged) plan to bring the sugar bowl to the laundry room of Hotel Denouement. Their mission can be summarized thusly:

  • Hugo disguised himself as an attendant to cater to Carmelita’s and Esme’s needs while they looked at the sky, searching for special delivery crows from the fire-fighting side of the Schism,
  • Kevin disguised himself as a washerwoman washerperson to lurk around the basement, where the sugar bowl was expected to drop,
  • Colette disguised herself as a chemist because…

…well, that’s a good point, actually. Why a chemist? It seems a bit random, in comparison to her two colleagues who are disguised as Hotel Denouement employees and would as such monitor VFD activities more discreetly. Or maybe Colette was needed to perform actual chemistry? Let’s try to work out the secret assignement Olaf and Esme gave her after the cut.

NOTE TO READERS: This article relies on several elements of our theory regarding Justice Strauss. We recommend you read it before delving into this one.

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