Lisa Packard


Outstanding, Primary, Intermediate, Young Adult, Neil Patrick Harris, Patrick Warburton, Malina Weissman, Orphans, Spyglass, Family, Grammar, Secrets, Anxiety

Document Type

TV Show Review


Violet, Klaus, and Sunny arrive at Lake Lachrymose to live with their fierce and formidable Aunt Josephine, but discover that she is now frightened of everything. Aunt Josephine is also very grammatically correct about everything from door knobs and ovens to realtors and fire. As the children try to figure out the secrets Aunt Josephine and everyone refuse to tell them, they take matters into their own hands by breaking into their aunt’s safe at an opportune moment. They discover very little by the time Aunt Josephine comes back with Captain Sham, who is really Count Olaf. Josephine and Sham leave to go on a date, even though Violet, Klaus, and Sunny say that Sham is Count Olaf. The children wake up in the night to the crash of glass, discovering a suicide note from their aunt in front of the broken window she supposedly jumped out of. The setting for this episode is breathtaking and amazing. The children are near a lake, practically living on top of it, and the town around reflects a more tourist-heavy location: small shops where everyone knows everyone. The lake looks dark and dangerous, and Aunt Josephine’s tale of the Lachrymose Leeches eating her husband only foreshadow creepy events to come. Aunt Josephine’s character is a pleasant sort of odd, and her charm and fear is quite funny. For example, everyone says Josephine is strong, fierce, and won't back down from anything (Count Olaf wouldn't stand a chance against her!), but the children soon learn that she is also very afraid. Viewers will also learn a little bit about grammar and the proper use of it; how to speak “correctly,” or what small errors in writing could pass by unseen. The children also show that thinking around a problem may take some time, but it can be done. The episode is also very exciting as the children try and decode the safe to learn more about the spyglass and its secrets. This is a wonderful episode with an eccentric new character. *Contains mild violence.