This Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency review contains spoilers.
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency Season 2 Episode 2
Now that we’re into the second episode of the second season of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, it’s good to see the central mystery starting to take shape with most of the key players on the case. The strength of this show lies in its ability to juggle several storylines and not lose the viewer with its complex twists and turns and its pervasive unknowns. Adding Sheriff Hobbs and Deputy Tevetino as willing participants in the craziness, for instance, brought a level of fun that exemplifies this series’ willingness to embrace its own ridiculousness. How else can you explain the audience’s joy at seeing Alan Tudyk as a guest villain, despite the character’s sheer horribleness?
Tudyk’s Mr. Priest came at a crucial juncture, however, when it seemed that either Ken’s offer of quid pro quo or Martin’s vampiric powers would neutralize Friedkin’s hold over those he captured. Friedkin is clearly out of his depth, asking if the wet circle on Dirk’s bed means he “peed himself invisible,” which begs the question, as Mr. Priest asks, why wasn’t the man who brought in 38 of the 42 subjects of Blackwing helping all along? The answer may lie in the more experienced operative’s warning to Friedkin: “I’m a very bad person.” His first new targets, Amanda and Vogle, had better watch out!
At least we have an explanation for why the vampiric Rowdy 3 didn’t harm Amanda (or Dirk for that matter) last season. She’s clearly “special,” like them! Although inducing psychic visions is getting harder for Amanda, she finds quite an innovative way to force a pararibulitis attack with its accompanying flashes of insight (and sustenance for the hapless Vogle). There were definitely more important and discernible images this time, and the fact that Amanda says, “I know where to go,” gives us hope for a Brotzman family reunion sometime soon.
Thankfully, we didn’t have long to wait for Dirk’s reunion with his friends. Despite the grisly discovery Todd and Farah made in the red car, having Dirk emerge from the trunk gave some vindication to Todd’s manic faith in following random clues. But the writers should be congratulated for reminding viewers of Dirk’s tendency to avoid answering any questions Todd poses to gain some clarity. We were so eager to see the team back together again, we could forget, as Dirk seems to have, that although the universe guides them, they’ve ended up more punished than rewarded.
Samuel Barnett interviewed on our Sci Fi Fidelity podcast (at 49:02):
And who would have thought the team could be enhanced by the addition of two bored law enforcement officers? Sheriff Hobbs’ haphazard arrest of the three wanted fugitives was hilariously executed, but adding to it his surprisingly astute acceptance of the whole holistic detective concept was just genius. Dirk’s incredulous utterances such as “I – love you?” and “Am I – in heaven?” in his interactions with the police officers is priceless, not to mention Hobbs having a temporary replacement for Todd’s medicine. He doesn’t even seem to know what a comfort he’s being to the trio.
Tina is just as full of charm, starting with her recognition of Todd as a member of Mexican Funeral, supposedly “a god of the Seattle mid-2000 alt scene.” Her desire to assuage her boredom is a little more obvious than her boss’, but this leads to wonderful moments like her encouraging Dirk to poke around the house and “do a holistic.” Definitely not something Detective Estevez, rest his soul, would have done, at least not at first. Tina’s crowning achievement, though, is encapsulating Todd and Dirk’s whole working relationship when she says, “So basically he ignores whatever you say and does some random shit for no reason?” It’s hard to imagine any fans aren’t immediately on board with Tina and Sherlock!
The new team members bring to the table the first set of clues for Dirk to follow, not only with the identity of the body in the car Dirk emerged from but also in mentioning “the ’67,” an event 50 years ago that blew out the power grid like an electro-magnetic pulse, coinciding with the disappearance of the woman in the car and her husband Hector. Signs of the couple having a son may be a red herring for Dirk’s central directive, “Find the boy,” but it’s a place to start. Add in mysterious clues like the red phone, the wet circles, the strange gun, and the mention of Dirk’s old acquaintance Mona Wilder, and we’ve got a true Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency mystery on our hands.
The Mage’s presence in the house reminds us that there will eventually be a tie-in with Suzanne, who has been using the spell book and wand to great effect. It might have been a strategic move on the Mage’s part to leave those items behind since despite the abuse Suzanne suffers at the hands of those around her, her husband mentions a dark side that might be hiding inside the beleaguered woman. After all, it’s one thing to give herself a magical makeover and quite another to mind-wipe her husband and command him to get rid of the dog. Is this the righteous vengeance of the downtrodden or the beginnings of an evil Mage disciple?
Packing all of these threads into one episode was an amazing feat, but it all held together beautifully and displayed in grand form what makes Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency so wonderfully complex and entertaining. In the end, we hope for the liberation of the Rowdy 3 and poor Ken; we wonder about the fate of Bart after Suzanne zapped her last week; we revel in Dirk investigating with his friends, both old and new; and we wish for Amanda’s safe return to the fold. After all, the prophecy must be fulfilled before the Kellum army arrives! Yep, there’s that, too — astounding.