Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS for A Series of Unfortunate Events season 3 ahead
A Series of Unfortunate Events season 2 offers a shocking reveal that there was a survivor of the fire - though the show deliberately doesn't say which fire. Season 1 played a cruel trick on audiences by making them believe that the Baudelaire orphans weren't orphans at all, but actually had two living parents (played by Will Arnett and Cobie Smulders) who were desperate to get back to them. In the season finale, however, it was revealed that these loving parents were actually the Quagmires, and then the show threw salt in the wound by killing off the Quagmire parents in another terrible fire. So, when season 2's "The Hostile Hospital" drops a bombshell that one of the Baudelaire parents really did survive the fire, it must surely be another false lead... right?
Well, yes. That's exactly right. The show's not called A Series of Pleasant Revelations, after all. However, there is a survivor of the fire - just not the fire that consumed the Baudelaire home. The fire that Jacques Snicket (Nathan Fillion) is referring to in the film that the Baudelaires watch is actually the Quagmire fire, and the survivor in question is the third Quagmire triplet, Quigley Quagmire (Dylan Kingwell). This is good news for the other Quagmires, who team up with the Baudelaires at Prufrock Preparatory and repeatedly cross paths with them, but for Violet (Malina Weissman), Klaus (Louis Hynes) and Sunny (Presley Smith), it's just another crushing disappointment waiting for them in season 3.
The one silver lining is that this mystery won't be dragged out too much longer. In the book series, Quigley Quagmire returns in The Slippery Slope, which will be the first two-parter of season 3. That chapter will see Violet and Klaus struggling to survive the journey up the Mortmain Mountains to V.F.D. headquarters, and to reconnect with Sunny, who was kidnapped by Count Olaf and his troupe at the end of "The Carnivorous Carnival: Part Two." For details of how exactly Quigley survived the fire, read on.
As the Baudelaires discover in "The Ersatz Elevator," the homes of V.F.D. members are connected by a series of underground passages, hidden under trapdoors (or at the bottom of empty elevator shafts). When the fire broke out in the Quagmire family home, Mrs. Quagmire opened the trapdoor and put Quigley down into the secret passage, and then went back for his siblings. However, something heavy fell over onto the trapdoor, trapping Quigley and preventing his parents from escaping the fire.
Quigley was then met by Jacques Snicket and stayed with him for a while - retracing the Baudelaires' steps, and learning about V.F.D. along the way. Jacques departed for Paltryville, leaving Quigley behind in Uncle Monty's old home, but Quigley was forced to flee when someone burned down Uncle Monty's house as well. After that he set out for V.F.D. headquarters, taking him on a journey that will, in season 3, lead him to meet up with the Baudelaires.
So, the identity of the person who survived the fire is good news for the Quagmire triplets, but will be a difficult blow for the Baudelaires to deal with. At least they're used to disappointment!