A Series Of Unfortunate Events Season 1 almost pulled the wool over the audience's eyes, a phrase which here means "deliberately mislead using editing and vague family-related dialogue," by positing that the Baudelaire parents were alive. In fact, Cobie Smulders and Will Arnett played the Quagmire parents, whose mansion burned down shortly after they returned home to their three children. The latest season of the Netflix series has provided a similar glimmer of hope, but fans should remain wary. There are spoilers for A Series of Unfortunate Events Season 2 and the book series ahead, turn back unless you want to know every depressing detail. Who survived the fire on A Series Of Unfortunate Events? Jacques' information has shaken Olaf and the orphans to their core, but there may be more to his revelation than meets the eye — get it?
In The Hostile Hospital and The Carnivorous Carnival episodes of the Netflix adaptation, the characters learn that Jacques Snicket (Nathan Fillion) has discovered that an unnamed survivor is out there. It seems clear that the show wants us to believe that one of the Baudelaire parents is still alive, and hiding in the Mortmain Mountains. That's what most of the characters assume.
However, notice that Jacques' video debriefing simply says that there was a survivor of "the" fire. It's Olaf, Olivia, and the others who jump to the conclusion that he means the Baudelaire fire. What if the survivor was from one of the other terrible fires plaguing the city? If the Netflix series is following the A Series Of Unfortunate Events books, then keen fans already know that the survivor of the fire is Quigley Quagmire. Yes, A Series Of Unfortunate Events already played the "it's not a Baudelaire, it's a Quagmire" trick once, but it could be a running bit. Olaf couldn't tell the families apart either, remember?
In The Slippery Slope novel, Quigley tells Violet and Klaus what he has been up to, always seemingly a few steps behind them. When the terrible fire broke out at the Quagmire home, Quigley's mother hides him in a trap door that lead to an underground tunnel — which fans of the Netflix series are all too familiar with — and tells him to wait for her and the others. After several hours and no news, he follows the trapdoor to Dr. Montgomery Montgomery's house, but the Baudelaires have already left and Monty is already dead. Keeping up with his siblings' whereabouts by reading The Daily Punctillio, Quigley intends to follow them to Prufrock Preporatory School but is intercepted by Jacques Snicket and recruited into the fire-fighting side of V.F.D.
Quigley and Jacques live in the Montgomery Mansion for a small amount of time, gathering information. Unfortunately the two are separated when Jacques leaves for Paltryville (the town where The Miserable Mill takes place) to find the Baudelaire orphans, and Dr. Monty's house was set ablaze by an unknown assailant. Quigley goes to Paltryville, again arriving well after our the Baudelaires had left, and decided that the best course of action was to seek help at V.F.D. headquarters in the Mortmain Mountains. Jacques, who is murdered by Count Olaf in the Village Of Fowl Devotees, never sees him again.
"I've just learned that the survivor of the fire is headed to headquarters" — that's what Larry Your Waiter says in Season 2, Episode 10 with snow (or ash) falling in the background. Sounds like it could be Quigley, right? It also seems significant, from a logistical perspective, that actor Dylan Kingwell plays both Duncan and Quigley Quagmire. There's no risk of the third sibling growing up and becoming unrecognizable between Season 1 and Season 3, because we see the actor in a different role during Season 2.
Of course, it is possible that the Netflix series is mixing it up. Not every detail of the show has followed the source material. The survivor of the fire could be Allison Williams' mysterious character, or someone else unexpected. It could be one of the Baudelaire parents; however, while A Series Of Unfortunate Events has lots of ridiculous and surreal turns of events, it sticks rather seriously to the premise that Violet, Klaus, and Sunny's parents are dead and never coming back. We may hope for the best, but there aren't deus ex machinas in life. Just like the receptacle that smuggled two of the Quagmire triplets out of the city, the survivor of the fire is likely another red herring, and not who our heroes and villains hope or suspect.