'Series of Unfortunate Events' Star Talks Season 4, Sugar Bowl, and Olaf
Patrick Warburton usually plays “stupid characters” (his words, not ours). That’s why he enjoyed stepping into the shoes of Lemony Snicket, the well-read narrator of A Series of Unfortunate Events. With Season 3 of the Netflix adaptation now streaming and the series presumably over — the final episode is titled “The End” — Warburton is finally free to talk about the show’s biggest mysteries (what’s in the sugar bowl?) along with the possibility of a Series of Unfortunate Events Season 4.
When it comes to the potential for more episodes, Warburton tells Inverse that he isn’t exactly optimistic, though he’s open to jumping back into the depressing world of Unfortunate Events if the opportunity presents itself.
“I haven’t heard anything,” he says, “but we were terminal to begin with. There were 13 books and we kind of wrapped it up there. There are other books, but not necessarily that series.”
He’s right, sort of. Author Daniel Handler released a handful of accompanying books, including The Beatrice Letters and Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography, that helped to fill in some of the empty spaces in the original series. However, the details in those books were largely used on the Netflix adaptation to help answer mysteries the original novels only hinted at. So it’s unlikely they’ll provide source material for a Season 4. If that happens, it would have to be something totally original.
With that out of the way (at least for the moment), Warburton is happy to discuss A Series of Unfortunate Events Season 3 and its various spoilers. The biggest, for fans of the book anyway, is a reveal 13 years in the making: What’s in the sugar bowl? (This should be fairly obvious: but spoilers past this point)
The answer? Sugar laced with a vaccine against a deadly, fictional fungus created by a secret society that the Baudelaire orphans’ parents belonged to. For anyone who obsessed over the books, that’s a huge deal, for everyone else it might feel like a bit of a letdown, but to paraphrase a popular meme, maybe the real sugar bowl was the friends we made along the way.
“I think there are those who might be a little disappointed with what’s in the sugar bowl,” Warburton says, “It really wouldn’t have mattered what was in the sugar bowl ultimately at the end anyways because I think the sugar bowl becomes more of a metaphor of something else. It was the issue of that sugar bowl and the selfishness of Esme Squalor that really started the whole schism.”
Beyond solving mysteries, Season 3 of A Series of Unfortunate Events also puts an end to one of the greatest villains in Netflix history: Count Olaf. The arsonist-murderer-thespian (played by Neil Patrick Harris) gets killed with a harpoon gun at the end of the final episode, but not before he’s locked in a bird cage and threatened with drowning. It’s a fitting end for the villain, but it may have some viewers wondering if Olaf might have some redeeming qualities.
But not Warburton.
“There are people who are just dark individuals,” he says.
Through the eyes of Lemony Snicket, he knows Olaf is pure evil, though the actor also understands why the character’s death is a bittersweet moment for the Baudelaire children he tortured and traumatized.
“At the very end it almost seems like a little bit of a loss to these children,” he says. “He’s their adversary. He’s all they really know. Maybe at a certain point it’s a chapter in their life that’s being closed as Olaf dies, but it seemed like there might actually be some sentiment there, which bothered me and Lemony I’m sure.”
As for Lemony, he might be smarter than some of the other characters Warburton is best known for (like Joe from Family Guy and Kronk in The Emperor’s New Groove), but that doesn’t mean he’s any more capable.
“He seems to me to be sort of an ineffectual guardian angel,” Warburton says. “He’s always there, but really can’t help.”
A Series of Unfortunate Events is streaming now on Netflix.