This Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency review contains spoilers.
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency Season 2 Episode 5
Sometimes good storytelling is about coming up with a creative way to have characters solve a conflict, and other times, as with this week’s Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, the different threads build to a moment of triumph, even though the story is far from over. As facts about Wendimoor’s origins, Amanda’s powers, Farah’s hangups, and Dirk’s fears unfolded, that crescendo across all storylines that peaked as Farah owned her freak status induced goosebumps. Despite a less than happy ending for Hobbs, “Shapes and Colors” was just an undeniably fun, touching episode.
As the episode began, it was strangely encouraging to note that clues will still drop into Dirk’s lap even if he tries to investigate in a more conventional manner to keep people safe. When Arnold Cardenas imposes himself upon the group as they eat in a diner at which Dirk insisted they have breakfast, it’s clear that the universe will foil Dirk’s plans to keep the situation less “monstery or scissory.” But that’s okay; we prefer Dirk “bumbling aimlessly about saying stupid flighty bullshit.”
That’s why we share his incredulity that he wasn’t told about the Infant Male Pollock Francis, the boat that apparently fell from the sky. The ravings of Arnold gave the team some enticing clues about how (as predicted in last week’s review) the young Cardenas boy may have created Wendimoor from his imagination but how somehow it caused the ’67 burst of energy that killed his parents. At least this fantastical origin helps explain the more pop-culture inspired purple people-eater, which felt out of place last week.
What must the Mage have thought when he saw the exposed mural in the house? This villain hasn’t been the most well-developed character this season, but it was interesting to see him unsettled, saying, “It wasn’t supposed to be like this. It’s all a mistake.” What does that mean, exactly? He’s got the Kellum trucks rolling in and going through a portal of some kind in the barn, adding to the mystery. And now Hobbs has been zapped, ruining all the joy the earlier parts of the episode gave us.
Although, to be honest, nothing could spoil the inspiring climax in which the Rowdy 3 were pulled through the watery portal from their Blackwing prison to feast on the Kellum army as it approached the home of the Bafuki Napu. The decision to juxtapose Amanda and Wakti Wapnasi working together to get help with the peace spell at the Sound of Nothing festival was editing genius. The energy vampires hungrily feasting on the knights provided the perfect exclamation point to the love fest between Dirk, Todd, and Farah.
It was just what the group needed, not just because of Dirk’s despondence, but for Todd’s redemption and Farah’s feelings of insecurity. Sheriff Hobbs deputizing Farah was such a touching moment, and her phone call with Eddie confirming that Blackwing was active was so the opposite, that it was nice to have those small scenes carry more weight when she tells Dirk and Todd about her father. Farah spoke for the audience when she declared at the peak of that wonderful sequence, “I’m one of the freaks!” So are we, Farah; so are we.
How odd that the awakening came from Suzie’s attempt to calm the crowd so she could get to Dirk and kill him? Will Suzie be able to follow the Mage’s advice to “show this world your real power” now that she’s missing her wand? One thing’s for sure, Dirk and the others are on to her now, and the divided plotlines will start to merge.
That being said, Amanda is still on her own path for now, although now with the Rowdy 3 and Wakti Wapnasi in her corner. Agam Darshi (Sanctuary) gave a great performance as the witch, and the conversation she and Amanda had was philosophical mentoring at its best! Amanda’s awe at her surroundings come across wonderfully in her dialogue with lines like, “Are you a thing? Are you a person in there? Is it going to keep going like this? I tried to roll with the punches, but now this is ridiculous!”
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is killing it this season with a completely wacked-out story that shouldn’t be able to flow so smoothly and stay coherent, but somehow it does. Like Wakti Wapnasi says, “Surely these pieces don’t fit,” but they do. The relationships are heartwarming; the victories are as sweet as honey; and the performances and writing are just amazing. Like Bart, the show might not be such a wonder to the casual viewer, but ardent fans see the inner beauty. Panto Trost is not scared of a beautiful woman, and viewers are no less reluctant to embrace the insanity.