Review: A Series of Unfortunate Events Season 1 Episode 7 “The Miserable Mill: Part One”

With a less formulaic structure and an intriguing cast of players, not dominated by one exuberant guardian, this episode certainly feels fresh and engaging. With a constant focus on the wider mystery, rather than simply escaping the grasp of Count Olaf, the children are given greater interest and really come into their own. This was the first instance where I was actually wanting to spend time with these characters, something helped by the fact that the direction perfectly captured the mechanical, routined procedure of the Mill and its representation of an adult’s desire for some children. Its terror could have been taken further and like earlier episodes, there is little tension, especially as Count Olaf goes further down the zany, clichéd villain route, without every being sinister or menacing. But the spotlight on the children and their efforts, now within the show’s larger arc, meant it felt like the show was actually going somewhere. The final twist took me completely off guard, and credit should be given, but I hope this doesn’t signal that the finale will focus solely on Count Olaf trying to get the fortune (once again). 7.5/10

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