This Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency review contains spoilers.
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency Season 2 Episode 8
With two episodes remaining in the season, this week’s episode of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency revealed a surprising number of answers to a few of the core mysteries while providing viewers with a swashbuckling adventure and a heartfelt reconciliation for the Brotzmans. And while not exactly on the level of Gordon Rimmer’s cathartic “What is going on?” speech last season, Dirk’s explanation of the interconnectedness of all things (or at least most things), including the Cardenas deaths and the creation of Wendimoor, was extremely satisfying.
Not that there still aren’t a few things to be upset about (as a fan, not a critic). It’s nice to know that Farah and Tina are still in the game, for example, but to have them lured to the quarry and zapped by the Mage was both traumatic to watch and frustrating on their behalf because of the progress they had made. Tina’s success in getting Bob to “talk” helped level the playing field between her and Farah a bit, but it’s difficult to decide if we should be scared for their fate or hopeful in that maybe they’ll be in a position to rescue Hobbs. The uncertainty is both unsettling and hopeful.
A similar but reversed dichotomy exists with Ken at Blackwing. On the one hand, the fact that he’s acclimated to his surroundings (skinny tie and all) means he’s closer to taking control of his situation; on the other hand, he’s with the wrong team. His understanding of inflection points and convergences certainly plays well against Friedkin’s cluelessness, but will his knowledge of Project Lamia a.k.a. Mona Wilder, cleverly disguised as Friedkin’s stress doll, be helpful to Dirk and friends or to Priest and Blackwing? Hopefully, Ken knows what he’s getting into.
What’s starting to become commonplace but no less impressive is the manner in which Hannah Marks as Amanda Brotzman takes some of the best dialogue in the series and just owns the scenes in which her character strives to make sense of her experience. Whether she’s marveling at Todd hooking up with Farah or reminiscing about their shared childhood while slapping him silly, her reactions seem exponentially more real than her circumstances would seem to allow for. She even manages to pull Todd into a similar attitude as they flip off the crowd assembled to witness their execution.
Samuel Barnett has also had more chances to draw viewers into Dirk’s troubled psyche with his words, and this season it appears to take the form of Dirk over-explaining himself out of desperation, as he does this week when encountering the Rowdy 3. But as he regains his mental footing in affecting a faux-medieval accent and dueling Silas, he utters lines like, “You have to give up now because I got you on the arm,” showing that the Dirk we know and love is back and ready to explain how he solved the case.
That being said, the explanation Dirk offers feels less organic than the Patrick Spring story last season, and although Martin insists unconvincingly that he likes “this nerdy bullshit,” the exposition does its job. Some viewers, including commenters here on these reviews, figured out that the second Cardenas boy must be Project Moloch, who has been in a coma for years, but the most exciting part of the big reveal was the prospect that Amanda might be the one to help them break back in to Blackwing the same way she broke the Rowdy 3 out.
Really the only loose end revolves around what to do about Wendimoor, especially now that Suzie’s in charge. Amanda’s impassioned plea to Frija Dengdamor seems like it at least got her thinking about the true enemy, and Dirk made clear that Wendimoor is an actual universe with real people whether it was spawned from a child’s mind only 3 generations ago or not. It’s unclear what Suzie did when she dipped her wand into Wakti’s divining pool, but having her show up just as Dirk and Todd are celebrating the fact that everything is connected after all means we’re clearly just getting started with her.
So although it hasn’t been a flawless denouement (not a big fan of the “Did it!” mantra Dirk has adopted), the extremely thoughtful dialogue, the rollicking adventure, and the possible end of Dirk’s funk make this an episode worth celebrating. It’s difficult to predict how Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency’s second season will end, but it appears the the final two episodes will be an inflection point to end all convergences!