A Series of Unfortunate Events
A Series of Unfortunate Events (ASoUE) was originally 13 books written by Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler) and published on the 30th September 1999. After watching The Wide Window from the 2017 Netflix version of ASoUE one specific character caught my eye, the taxi driver. More specifically, Ishmael played by Rob LaBelle. I knew I'd heard that name from ASoUE before, and indeed I had.
In the novels written by Lemony Snicket, Ishmael is first introduced in 'Book the Thirteenth | The End'. He is the facilitator of The Island, also know as Olaf Land. I started to wonder if Ishmael from the books and Ishmael from the Netflix original were the same person. After some research I was almost certain that the two were in fact one.
"Call me Ish"
The first piece of evidence I found was during the episode of The Wide Window. Ishmael, the taxi driver says "Does anybody need a ride somewhere for a reasonable fee" and that is when the Baudelaire children say "Thank you, sir". The cab driver responds "Call me Ishmael". Some may shake off this line saying it is a reference to the 1851 novel Moby-Dick written by Herman Melville, also referenced in Hurricane Herman. This is most likely true, but in the books written by Lemony Snicket, Ishmael, The Island's facilitator, asks the Islanders, the Baudelaire Orphans, and Count Olaf to call him 'Ish'.
The Anxious Clown, the only cafe we know about in the town of Lake Lachrymose is said to serve dreadful food, in a letter from Jacques Snicket to Lemony. My guess is that the townspeople are used to this type of food served, as Aunt Josephine serves cold, bland soup, and in the marketplace we see three stalls, a fish head stall, a lime stall and a On The Island, during Ishmael's reign, the meals distributed are reported to be bland. This is shaky ground, because there is a lot of places in the world where food is bland. Until I found that the food was not always bland on The Island. When I fount out that Beatrice and Bertrand Baudelaire, the Orphan's parents, were once facilitators I also found out that they ate "wonderful gourmet food". Why would anyone prefer bland, tasteless food over delicious, gourmet food unless they were used to having the latter?
Map of Lake Lachrymose and Surrounding Areas
The location of The Island is unknown. The island I have circled is where I believe, that if Ishmael the facilitator is a taxi driver, could be. We never hear the name of the islands in Lake Lachrymose, although we know Aunt Josephine knows the name of every one of them. Josephine, her husband and his sister we're all once members of the VFD. Another member of the VFD is Larry, the waiter at The Anxious Clown. Ishmael (the facilitator) was also a member of the VFD formerly. It makes sense for the Volunteers to have "safe places" to have meetings, discuss plans to defeat enemies and return books they have borrowed. Seeing as they were fire-fighters it would also make sense, if the treachery of the world, was ever to set alight to a "safe place", they be surrounded by fire extinguishing material, or water. If The Island was inside Lake Lachrymose it would also be a convenient place as many members of the VFD are located at or near Lake Lachrymose. As seen in the books, movie and TV series Lake Lachrymose gets hurricanes. When the Baudelaire and Count Olaf washed ashore on The Island there was a very large storm, or hurricane. We also know that Captain Widdershins patrolled Lake Lachrymose in the Queeqeg giving the VFD access to the island. Josephine and Isaac "Ike" Anwhistle's house was also "a safe place". In the 2017 Netflix Original Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events we see Ishmael, the taxi driver, drive up to Aunt Josephine's house. He seems to know exactly where to go, but how. Is he also part of the VFD, or was he a part of the VFD?
vote votesYes, he has to be!
vote votesEh, nah. I don't think this is true
vote votesTbh, I don't care, I'm just bored