I'm not sure why Esme would want the Baudelaires to know about this secret passageway(a fairly important hint in the whole VFD matter), and they probably wouldn't have wanted the Baudelaires to find the Quagmires down there, as they ended up doing(even if they couldn't free them). Fernald's hint-dropping, now that I think of it, could be the first sign of his moral ambiguity and doubts about villainy, although perhaps Handler originally intended it just to make him seem careless, like the villains generally are sometimes.
Esmé and Fernald clearly had some communication failure over the instructions he received, as she has to change them later; it seems she expected Fernald to know when Olaf had left the building so that he wouldn't let the Baudelaires up at a time when they might see Olaf and Esmé together, but on the other hand she couldn't have failed to know that Olaf was using the ersatz elevator. I think perhaps they had a backup plan that they would try and trap the Baudelaires in the elevator shaft if the children found out about it; hence the net added after, and only after, the Baudelaires meet the Quagmires. How Olaf would have known, and how he might have communicated this to Esmé, I don't know, but the plot of TEE, in many ways, doesn't make much sense. Great mystery, though. (These same comments might well be applied to the series as a whole.)
Post by SnicketFires on Jul 11, 2006 14:02:23 GMT -5
I'm not sure why Esme would want the Baudelaires to know about this secret passageway(a fairly important hint in the whole VFD matter), and they probably wouldn't have wanted the Baudelaires to find the Quagmires down there, as they ended up doing(even if they couldn't free them).
Yes, Esmé seems to want the Baudelaires not to know about the elevator shaft, when Klaus asks how Gunther left:
TEE, page 87: "Did he take an elevator when he left?" Klaus said. "Esmé's eyes widened, and she opened and shut her mouth several times without saying anything, as if she were experiencing the element of surprise. "No," she said finally. "The elevator's been shut down. You know that."
I think the Baudelaires suspected that Olaf did it. In fact, yes - on page 190, Violet assumes that Olaf did it, and talks about how he would have done it. Esmé also mentions, on page 187, Olaf convincing her to throw the Baudelaires down the elevator shaft.
Post by euro bateman on Dec 1, 2007 17:05:03 GMT -5
I do not think Esmé wanted them to know about the shaft. I think that Fernald had no idea about the elevator shaft and when he said the solution could be right under one's nose, he was just pretending to be helpful. I really doubt that he made the connection between what he said and where his nose was and if he did, he didn't think the Baudelaires would catch on.
True. Olaf doesn't have as much book-learning as the Baudelaires, but the many, many secrets he's learned over the years are one piece of knowledge he can lord over the Baudelaires, to make them feel powerless.
Post by hieitouyaicedemon on Jan 15, 2009 12:57:50 GMT -5
This is actually an interesting point. Fernald seems to be trying to lead the Baudelaires in the right direction, doesn't he? The way Esme acts is clearly surprised. However... doesn't she seem oddly calm when they tell her about the Quagmires? Maybe Olaf had a spy down there to tell him when the Baudelaires found the Quagmires, knowing they'd go back. Then he'd string the net so Esme could push them down. If the Baudelaires had not been able to find a way out (and by all logic, they shouldn't have,) they would have stayed there, even more trapped than the Quagmires.
It really could go both ways. Either:
1. Olaf planned to have them find out and tell Esme, thus knowing they'd be trapped once they tried to go back. OR 2. It was all an accident, and Olaf strung a net up because he was planning to push them in whether they knew or not.
Personally, I lean more toward number 2. There's no reason for them to know - why would Olaf complicate things any further?
Of course, its also possible Fernald was acting on his own, trying to hint to the Baudelaires, feeling guilty for kidnapping the Quagmires (I doubt this very much.) It seems more like he was cracking inside jokes to himself, laughing at their expense without realizing he was giving it away.
Post by korovamilkbar14 on Aug 2, 2010 19:24:58 GMT -5
Agreed. I highly doubt Olaf ever wanted them to find out, and consequently, decided to have them fall.
How Olaf (or his accomplices) managed to get up and down the elevator shaft has always bugged me. I came up with an explanation. Because of the additional floor above the penthouse, it may have been possible to hide some sort of pulley system (with a platform for the accomplice?) that the Baudelaires would never have noticed. Unfortunately, this doesn't explain how the accomplice would have set up the net so quickly, and managed to escape. This entire scenario probably just requires a suspension of disbelief, like the Bauds escape from jail in TVV.
I personally have suspected for some time that there was once a real elevator system in the ersatz elevator shaft. Olaf could perhaps have hooked up some kind of rope or rope ladder to that, or even be using the elevator itself, perhaps hidden on the floor above the penthouse the rest of the time.
Post by violetsunnyklaus on Aug 21, 2010 2:16:03 GMT -5
yes I agree I think Olaf could have come through the secret passage and had a rope ladder going up to the top so that he could go out and Esme could remove the ladder.... Possible, but my theory's are Cr*p ;D