Season 2 of Dirk Gently ‘s Holistic Detective Agency starts in the most confusing way possible – by starting in a completely different reality from the one the main cast has been living in last season, with not a single familiar character on the screen. Not that the show gets any less confusing from here – it is the first of ten episodes that we already know things won’t start being connected until we get in the second half of the season. But still, it’s only the little #DirkGentlyBBCA in the corner of the screen that lets you know your TV isn’t punking you.
Fade in on a beautiful castle, a sky train, and a young boy giving the typical fantasy story narrator intro:
“Darkness has come to the land of Wendimore. An evil wizard called The Mage has risen, his great army destroying everything in its path. Now, he marches into the Valley of Inglenook where a war between two families rages.”
Enter Panto Trost (Christopher Russell), the pink haired man and lover of Silas Dengdamor (Lee Majdoub), who is looking to save his world and end the war between their families by fulfilling the prophecy and finding Dirk Gently.
So yeah, about that. Good luck, Panto because not only are you going to need to jump into an entirely different reality than you live in, but you’re going to have to find Dirk Gently. If Farrah and Todd haven’t been able to find him in two months, you and your pretty scissor sword are not going to have much luck either.
For the record, I want a scissor sword, BBC America. Can someone in the props department tweet me at @ThreeIfBySpace please and tell me how I can obtain one? Pretty please?! I promise I won’t run with them… much.
Yes, back to the review. Let’s look at the four separate story arcs one at a time – and I’m skipping to Amanda and Vogel first as the breakdown of Amanda’s vision is needed for the other sections.
Wacky Shit Brain Vision
Amanda Brotzman (Hannah Marks) is still out there with a childlike Vogel (Orsic Chau) and all Amanda knows is that they have to keep going south to find the rest of the Rowdy Three. Amanda is also getting visions which includes:
a face with black marks/makeup around the eye and nose area, symbol #1, fading into train tracks along a green tree-lined path, fading into another face and upper body covered in dirt or blood, then the scissor sword overlaying on the house that Todd and Farah find later in this very episodes, to a red flying car, symbol #2, a truck with the license plate V4J 027, the black marked faced person again, the number 18 with the 8 shifting into the infinity symbol, a crescent moon with the face that looks like the Mage, symbol #3, the infinity symbol again, the crescent moon again being attacked by Pinkie Pie from My Little Pony, then a ∗ over the first face again but this time we see shoulder length hair, the sign Cardenas Family Motor Inn Sit ‘n’ Stay Put sign, the clown face squeeze toy on a desk twirling in place which then pulls back to having a bunch of green bright dots with grass and the squeak toy’s eyes are glowing green, which leads to a hand rising up from the scene just before it fades into a brick hallway with doors on both sides and single lights leading down it that a clown enters and the camera zooms straight into it – a young boy with white clown clothes and shoes, big blue circles around his eyes and a red circle around his lips and chin -who is then pointing at us as we zoom away from it, and then we see a neon arrow that points down before starting to spin and fading away in Amanda.
Yeah. So some pieces in this vision we get right off the bat in this episode, some we are probably not going to understand until later, and some that we may not even see for another season knowing Max Landis. Let me just say thank you to my two housemates who patiently sat with me rewinding and frame by frame photo taking of some of these symbols and trying to interpret them. However, beyond the images, there is also inaudible dialogue from who we will learn is the shapeshifter. If you can make any of it out, tweet at me at @ThreeIfBySpace and tell me what you hear!
One of my favorite lines this episode was Amanda’s when, while recovering from her vision, someone tried to point out that the Rowdy Three number doesn’t match their name, and her response was “oh shut up, math.”. Also, the dynamic between Amanda and Vogel firmly establishes that Amanda is the one in charge of the two of them, and Vogel is fine with his “sister” giving him orders. There’s no indication from Amanda about her wanting to know where her brother is even if her last scene in season 1 included her calling Todd for help. We didn’t get enough screen time with these two to get anything more on their plot, but I’m hoping they find the rest of the Rowdy Three soon.
That’s Not How Any Of This Works
Sgt. Hugo Friedkin (Dustin Milligan) has managed to round up a bunch of the Blackwing Subjects including “Project Icarus” Dirk Gently (Samuel Barnett), three members of the “energy vampires” Rowdy Three: Martin (Michael Eklund), Gripps (Viv Leacock), and Cross (Zak Santiago), and mistakenly kidnapped Ken (Mpho Koaho) with Rapunzel (Bentley the Corgi) thinking that they have powers since they were not killed by Project Marzanna (aka Bart) and Friedkin’s stupidest question of the night on “how does the dog work?”.
Ken makes a big point in telling Friedkin that he can’t keep the Blackwing subjects locked up because they need to be out connected to the universe that their powers answer to. You’d think he’d listen to Ken since he has spent the most time with Bart and really learned how her mind and powers work, right?
There’s just one problem. Friedkin is an idiot and has no idea how any of this works, which Dirk finally calls him out on. After having a dream of Todd and Farah being badasses and coming to rescue him, Dirk is brought in to sit with “Project Moloch” (Robert Corness ), who is in a coma now after had a stroke when Blackwing closed down the first time and was moved. Moloch was Dirk’s first assistant, never interrupting Dirk as a child when he was talking. Dirk tells Friedkin that what he’s doing isn’t going to work. “Fate and Chance are not mutually exclusive. If you keep on this path you’re going to get a healthy dose of both. It’s probably already started and you haven’t even noticed.”
Which, as Dirk predicted, is completely true. Beyond everything else going on in the episode, in this story arc we see it when Friedkin leaves the squeeze toy behind and it starts to move on its own, going through a series of transformations until the shapeshifter Mona Wilder (Alexia Fast) finds Dirk Gently in his room. She tells Dirk that he needs to “find the boy”, splashes his face with water, and then he shifts through the bed and disappears.
The Todd and Farah Crazy Train
Todd Brotzman (Elijah Wood) is slowly going crazy between his recently developed Pararibulitis and trying to “make all the connections” to find Dirk in the most crazed Dirk-like way. Farah Black (Jade Eshete) is playing his keeper and trying to keep him focus. She calls on her brother Eddie (Roger Cross) for help, and he tries to get her to give up on Dirk and Todd and come back home. They meet at a grounded boat in Bergsberg named “The Infant, Male, Pollock, Francis” – a boat there since the 50’s where no one knows how it got there, and no one has towed it away. He points out that she hacked his account, offers to protect her, and then just gives her a phone to use when she’s ready to give up, and points out that their father died while she was in hiding.
While Farah is talking to her brother, Todd meets probably the nicest and talkative Sheriff in America – Sheriff Sherlock Hobbs (Tyler Labine). Todd ends up having an attack and Farah gets him up and away, leaving one very confused Sheriff with Todd’s pill bottle that he will eventually look up and find the “person of interest” APB on Todd, Amanda, and Farah. He will share that info with a very drunk and somewhat high deputy Tina Tevetino (Izzie Steele) who ironically points out nothing interesting happens in their town.
Todd and Farah end up at the house in Amanda’s vision that is surrounded by a government fence, has very strange locks and a strange feeling around it. Todd is certain that they are on the right path while Farah is about to give up while Todd is trying to catch a space rabbit for five hours. Farah has to point out that Todd can’t do what Dirk does, and thinks Todd is delusional. Todd wants to make things right and find his sister, as well as finding Dirk for all of their sakes.
Of course that prompts Farah to ask, “So what, we’re just supposed to keep wandering around, waiting for something weird to happen?” Cue the red car falling face-first through a tree into the ground behind them.
I think they have finally found the clue they were looking for.
Wash It Off and It’ll Be Okay
Then we come back to another set of new characters being introduced for this story-line. Meet Suzie Boreton (Amanda Walsh), married to Bob Boreton (John Stewart) and mother of a psychotic, firecracker wielding, destructive and in need of a serious time out Scott Boreton (Jared Ager-Foster). Really, setting off fireworks in his mother’s car because she bought groceries instead of tickets to a Sound of Nothing concert – that child needs a job and a lesson how reality work ASAP. We also learn that Bob works at the Cardenas Family Motor Inn – where Todd and Farah had just booked a room -and after dropping him off for work, Suzie drives part Bart Curlish (Fiona Durif) in a prom dress on a bicycle to her job with the WORST. BOSS. EVER.
Seriously, Dan Samuels (Sean Campbell) is horrible, and I’m not upset at all when he ends up dead a few minutes later. The Mage (John Hannah) comes to speak with Dan, but talked with Suzie first. The Mage already knows who she is, and Suzie mentions about having memorized the whole first act of Macbeth. Turns out Dan has problems with a job he was doing with the Mage, and so the Mage kills Dan in front of Suzie before asking her if she’s noticed an acceleration of strangeness in her life. The Mage sends people to kill her, and they try to use magic but can’t make it work. Deciding to use a gun instead, they are about to kill her when Bart arrives on her bike and kills the three henchmen before debating on if she should kill Suzie or not.
Bart has been looking for Ken, and she’s trying not to kill people because they may not like it and makes them unhappy and scared. She doesn’t understand why Suzie isn’t smiling when Bart spares her, and when she does, she asks Suzie if she wants to come with her and be best friends. It’s so adorable, and you can see Bart is angry with the universe for taking Ken away. Let’s be real, I’m also kinda angry at the universe for separating my favorite pairing in this show. So, while Bart is screaming at the universe, Suzie summons the Mage’s wand and hits Bart with a wave of magic before escaping.
Yeah, Suzie Boreton is firmly caught up in the crazy of the Dirk Gently world. She has the wand and the magic book that she brings home while the Mage enters the house that Todd and Farah couldn’t get into but somehow now the door has been broken into. Part of me wished she had gone off road-tripping with Bart, but we will see where Suzie’s story takes her.
What’s Next on Dirk Gently…
A whole lot of crazy. First, we have yet to see Mr. Priest (Alan Tudyk), who we know is dealing with the captured members of the Rowdy Three. Friedkin also mentioned three other Blackwing subjects that he had yet to find – the shapeshifter (who we already know the location of), the invisible guy, and a human bomb?!
Who is the boy Dirk needs to find? Is it Panto? Could it be the boat named “The Infant, Male, Pollock, Francis”? Or is it the boy clown from Amanda’s vision?
Also, has the shapeshifter been the squeeze toy this entire time? Remember, this toy was first in Todd’s apartment, and Martin took it from there and has had it the entire rest of the first season. Hiding in plain sight is always the best way to hide, but if this was the shapeshifter – why was she at Todd’s to begin with, and why wait two months before approaching Dirk in Blackwing to send him off on his next case.
How are our world and Wendimore connected? So far we know there is a prophecy there about Dirk Gently that will save their kingdom. The Mage has been working with a demolition company in our world – but what was the job they were doing? What would that spell have done to Suzie – and what did it do to Bart?
And most importantly, when will Dirk and Todd get their epic reunion hug? Everyone following the #DirkGently and #DirkGentlyBBCA hashtags are expecting it next week or there will be a very angry fandom mob on BBCA’s hands…
As always, Dirk Gently leaves us with more questions than answers – and only more are on their way before we get some answers on how everything is connected. Part of the intrigue in this series is just how well Max Landis and his team are able to craft their story to keep your attention, interest, and making literal hands at the television because the episodes are too short and you are left needing more.
Thankfully, more comes in just one week, so be ready to join me Saturday at 9pm EST / 8pm CST on twitter at @ThreeIfBySpace when I live-tweet along with the East Coast airing of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency on BBC America. Make sure you also subscribe to our site to keep up on all the latest on Dirk Gently as well as your other favorite sci-fi and fantasy tv shows this season. See you next week!