Spoilers for all of A Series of Unfortunate Events Season 3 follow. A secret organization is bound to have a few, well, secrets. And the biggest mystery surrounding the V.F.D. in A Series of Unfortunate Events has been: what's in the Sugar Bowl? Even readers of Daniel Handler's books didn't know for sure what this dishware contained, which has led to plenty of theories about the Sugar Bowl over the years. But the Netflix series answered this mystery in the series finale, "The End," so fans can now know for sure if their theories were right.
The answer to what's in the Sugar Bowl in A Series of Unfortunate Events is rather obvious since the Sugar Bowl really does contain (what else?) sugar. But before you feel too let down by this simple explanation, Kit Snicket further reveals to the Baudelaires that the sugar contains a vaccine to the deadly medusoid mycelium. The sugar comes "from a botanical hybrid V.F.D. developed to defend us from the mycelium," Kit says. "Horseradish cures you, the hybrid immunizes you."
The Baudelaires attempt to get their hands on the Sugar Bowl throughout Season 3, but they fail. They also learn that Esme Squalor's obsession with a matching tea set led to the V.F.D. schism since Beatrice and Lemony stole the bowl so that the hybrid could be used to save others. Although the Baudelaires were unsuccessful in obtaining the Sugar Bowl , they thankfully are able to save themselves from medusoid mycelium since their parents had "recreated the botanical hybrid in the tuberous canopy" on the island. So, like in the books, these horseradish-apple hybrids save them.
In multiple interviews, including one with the Observer, Handler had said that there was an answer to what was in the Sugar Bowl. And he finally revealed the answer through the A Series of Unfortunate Events Netflix show. But now that the story of the Baudelaire orphans is over and the truth is out there, see how some theories about what could've been in the Sugar Bowl hold up.,
One common theory was that the Sugar Bowl Sugar Bowl was empty. Surely, that would have been disappointing, but perhaps less divisive than the truth.
2The Poisoned Darts
The Baudelaires don't know why Olaf hates their dead parents, but they learn in Season 3 that it's because of their mom's involvement in the death of Olaf's dad. In the books, both of Olaf's parents died at the opera, so some fans including Reddit user ThugznKisses and the above Twitter user thought that the Sugar Bowl could contain evidence that Beatrice was a murderer.
3Evidence That Lemony Isn't Guilty
Lemony is on the run the entire time he tells the Baudelaire story. So some fans, like Reddit user Cb8393, thought that the Sugar Bowl could prove Lemony's innocence to the public.
4The Contents Are Missing
A theory featured on the Sequence Breaking blog is similar to the idea that the Sugar Bowl is empty, but there's a twist. This theory reasons that the Sugar Bowl did once contain something extremely important, but neither side of the schism knows that it's now gone. So they are all struggling to get their hands on something that isn't even there anymore.
5The Bombinating Beast
One theory that was debunked ahead of the reveal was that the statue of the Bombinating Beast in Handler's prequel series All the Wrong Questions could somehow be in the Sugar Bowl . (The Bombinating Beast is thought to be the Great Unknown of ASOUE.) The Snicket Sleuth Tumblr page explained why they didn't think this theory was valid and Handler himself pretty much confirmed it was incorrect on the Future Horse podcast.
6A Hidden Recording Device
Speaking of Snicket Sleuth, that Tumblr page has devoted a lot of time to the Sugar Bowl mystery and one theory is that it held a recording device. Above, a Twitter user also was on board with this secret microphone.
7A Horseradish-Apple Hybrid
Even though people didn't know about the sugar, many people did consider that the vaccine could be in the Sugar Bowl, like Reddit user arnavkomaragiri who suggested the sugar bowl could have a core of one of those horseradish-apple hybrids. (The Snicket Sleuth also acknowledged this popular theory.) While not exactly right, this line of thinking was clearly the closest to the truth.
The contents of the Sugar Bowl may not satisfy every fan of A Series of Unfortunate Events. But at least the Netflix show put the debate to bed. And it's good to know that Beatrice Baudelaire's actions were all to protect something that really could have saved people's lives.