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TV Review: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency 1.2 “Lost & Found”
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Dirk Gently Dirk, Todd, corgi

[Elijah Wood as Todd holding the corgi Rapunzel (played by Bentley the dog), and Samuel Barnett as Dirk Gently.]

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
Episode 1.2 “Lost & Found”
Created by Max Landis
Written by Max Landis
Directed by Dean Parisot
Starring Samuel Barnett, Elijah Wood, Hannah Marks, Fiona Dourif, Jade Eshete, Mpho Koaho, Dustin Milligan, Miguel Sandoval, Neil Brown, Jr., Richard Schiff, Aaron Douglas, Alison Thornton
BBC America
Air date: Saturday, October 29, 2016

SPOILERS for Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

Last week’s series premiere of BBC America’s Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency television series, based on the Douglas Adams books, left a lot of people scratching their heads. There was a lot to digest, and after four-plus viewings, I feel like I finally figured out the “fundamental interconnectedness” of what was presented, even though I wasn’t always sure why these things were connected. I wrote a detailed recap of Episode 1.1, but briefly, here’s the situation…

Dirk Gently (Samuel Barnett) is a holistic detective who was hired by millionaire Patrick Spring to investigate his death six weeks before his murder; at the same time, the millionaire’s daughter, Lydia (Alison Thornton), has gone missing. To help with the case, Dirk enlisted Todd (Elijah Wood) to be his assistant, even though Todd doesn’t know him, nor does he want to. Todd is a downtrodden fellow who’s gone broke paying for medication for his ill sister Amanda (Hannah Marks). His life was relatively boring until the day he arrived to his bellhop job at the Perriman Grand Hotel to discover the body of Patrick Spring in the Penthouse suite. His manager then fired him for being the unlucky employee to find the body; a crazy group of psychic vampires called the Rowdy 3 trashed his apartment; his irate landlord tried to shot him, but accidentally killed himself; the police, FBI, and CIA all had eyes on him; he’s rescued a corgi and returned it to its owner Gordon (Aaron Douglas), who’s the one who’s holding Lydia; and unbeknownst to him, Lydia’s bodyguard Farah (Jade Eshete) is being held captive in the apartment above him, while several bald men with head tattoos are looking for a black kitten that was in the Penthouse suite. Also, unbeknownst to Dirk and Todd, there’s a self-described holistic assassin named Bartine (Fiona Dourif) out to kill Dirk, and she’s kidnapped an reluctant assistant of her own, a hacker named Ken (Mpho Koaho), who was doing a side job for the tattooed bald men. By the episode’s end, we saw that the LOTTO ticket that Todd found outside the Penthouse suite that morning has the $10,000 winning numbers.

Here’s a recap of what happened in Episode 1.2 “Lost & Found”…

Dirk Gently Jade Eshete as Farah Black

[Jade Eshete as Farah Black, hired to protect Patrick and Lydia Spring.]

This week, Episode 1.2 “Lost & Found” begins two days prior to the aforementioned events, when Lydia — who’s being held at gunpoint by Gordon — calls Farah for help, saying she’s at the Ridgely Building in Springsborough. Before the call ends, Lydia tries to warn her bodyguard that it’s a trap, but doesn’t get the message through. When Farah arrives at Ridgely — which is Todd’s apartment building — she’s ambushed by the tattooed bald men. She definitely knows how to fight, making it passed the first two men, but she berates herself again (as we saw her do in Episode 1), this time calling herself a “stupid mouse.” She starts banging on doors, saying someone should open up, and eventually lands on Todd’s unit. She looks into his peephole, as he’s looking out. “Open this door,” she commands, “I need you to open this door right now.” Unfortunately, her attempted Jedi mind trick fails, as Todd is too frightened to comply, and her attackers are back, and this time, they overpower her with a taser. (We saw these guys use a taser-type weapon last episode, too.) Next we see her, Farah is in the red-lit room in the apartment above Todd’s where she’s trying to get to the bone saw when someone steps on it to prevent her — this where we left off with her in Episode 1.

To the present: Detectives Zimmerfield and Estevez are the ones assigned to the Lydia Spring case and they’ve been looking into the murder of her father to find clues as to her whereabouts. Now, they are at the coroner’s office looking at Patrick Spring’s now-headless corpse, which seems unusual. The snot-nosed emo coroner on duty tells them they’re keeping the head separate, and that the other two bodies at the crime scene were transferred out to an FBI lab that morning. It turns out that the bite marks found on the men were from an adult specimen of Sphyrna mokarran — a hammerhead shark.

But guess who already figured that out?

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency S1

That’s right, the one and only Dirk Gently, who’s explaining to Todd that hammerhead sharks aren’t usually aggressive towards humans. “And they aren’t generally found in hotel rooms,” Todd chimes in. But why is Todd talking to Dirk when he basically told him to F off at the end of the premiere? Because he realized he should tell Dirk that he saw Lydia Spring at Gordon’s house — a place he was led to because he kept seeing the lost corgi and went there to return the missing dog to its owner. Dirk is outside Gordon’s house staking the place out when Todd meets him, and reveals that he found a winning lottery ticket at the hotel, and he plans to use the money to pay for Amanda’s medicine and to fix his car, apartment, and basically his life. Dirk feels this validates his interconnectedness theories, as this couldn’t all just be coincidence. Just then, Gordon returns home; the license plate on his station wagon is 745 ISU — 7, 4, 5 are the first three numbers of the winning lottery ticket! Just then Dirk snatches the lottery ticket and runs into Gordon’s garage, leaving Todd no choice but to follow. The universe is once again making Todd Dirk’s reluctant assistant!

Speaking of reluctant assistants, Ken is still with psychotic assassin Fiona, riding in her station wagon when it comes to a stop on a desolated road in the woods. Ken thinks Fiona should try to get it started again, but she believes that the car turned off there for a reason, and that it will start up again when it’s meant to, because that’s what cars do. No, they don’t, he mutters with fright. When they get out of the car, she questions him as to why no one is looking for him. He tries to act like there are people, but Fiona knows better. She then asks him who the man he was with that she killed at the power station (one of the bald tattooed men). He reveals that he’s an electrician who does illegal jobs, and that the men hired him to build a power converter to leech off a larger network, but he’d never seen anything like that before. He was halfway through programming it when she arrived looking for Dirk Gently and killed the man who hired him. Because Fiona is so bizarre, this little conversation is a bonding experience for her, which terrifies Ken, especially after she tells him that no one’s coming to save him. But, wait, here comes someone on a motorcycle! Ken might actually be saved.

But will Dirk and Todd make it out of Gordon’s place alive? Dirk rummages through Gordon’s garage, which is practically a shrine to a rock star named Lux DuJour, who Todd says “sucks.” Dirk recalls an old story about Lux disappearing, and that perhaps he too is in Gordon’s house. Although Todd is trying to escape the garage, Dirk lures him into the house with the lottery ticket. We’ll get back to them soon…

Dirk Gently Hannah Marks as Amanda

[Hannah Marks as Todd’s sister Amanda Brotzman, having a Pararibulitis attack.]

Meanwhile, Todd’s sister Amanda, who has Pararibulitis, a condition that causes the sufferer to have painful hallucinations, is being followed down her block by a graffitied black van — it’s the Rowdy 3! Freaked out, she runs back into her house, but the crazy bunch is not so easily deterred.

Back inside Gordon’s house, Lydia Spring crawls on all fours, barking like a dog. Gordon throws her a toy to fetch so he can finish his phone call, where he’s saying that there were two men at the hotel “in on it, a giraffe and a gorilla.” Lydia then bumps into the intruders, licking Todd’s face. Gordon then tells the caller that he has to go to the “animal transfer unit” where there had been a shootout, with bodies everywhere for them to “clean up.” He then starts yelling that he doesn’t care that Rainey is dead, because Rainey is not the “Supreme Soul” – he is and he’s the one running things. (Who is Rainey??!) Gordon, who then brandishes a gun, also tells the caller that he feels like someone is watching them, and that they have to “take back control” and “purify the situation.” At this point, Todd and Dirk are hiding in the shower, wondering if they’re going to be killed!

Someone else who seems like they’re about to be killed is Farah, who’s still in the red room. She’s bleeding and fighting off her captors, who taser her again. They then hook her up to one of their machines, and tell her that they didn’t do anything to Patrick Spring and that his energy is out in the universe. They don’t exactly admit to killing the millionaire, and actually give Farah a guilt trip, since she was hired to protect him. But what they really want to know is where is the kitten? (We saw at the end of the first episode that Dirk has the black kitten from the Penthouse suite.) Also, how was Patrick Spring in two places at once? SAY WHAT???? I’d like to know this as well. Their machine don’t seem to be working because Farah just looks confused, so they zap her again.

Dirk Gently Tattooed bald creeps

[The creepy tattooed bald men who are holding Farah Black hostage at the Ridgely Building.]

This show has a lot of law enforcement people in it, including the FBI. We see the two agents Nathan and Weedle from the first episode who were staking out the Ridgely because its owner was part of a drug ring. Here, they’re at a crime scene where Nathan thanks his partner for covering for him the other day; he’s going through a divorce from his wife Sammy, and he says the experience is like becoming a whole other person (hmm…). Just then Zimmerfield and Estevez show up. The men talk about Todd still being a person of interest in their respective cases, and that they were ordered to let Dirk go from higher up because he’s an “active state interest” with the CIA. The missing persons detectives want to know why the bodies from the Patrick Spring case were transferred, but Nathan and Weedle says they weren’t. The detectives leave, realizing that something’s gone terribly wrong, as the FBI agents call them “idiots” behind their backs. “Assholes,” Estevez says of the FBI agents. They really don’t like each other!

Back to Bartine and Ken: The motorcyclist knows what’s wrong with the car, and offers to fix it. Ken asks if the man can call him a cab, which the man laughs at. Bartine laughs at Ken too, before sharing some raisins with her starving captive sidekick. She goes on to tell him about how when she was young, she was part of a group of others like her. He asks her who is Dirk Gently, but she doesn’t know – he came to her in a dream. “I’m like a leaf in the stream of creation,” she says, until she finds whoever or whatever Dirk Gently is, then she’ll be a piranha in the stream of creation. Which reminds her, time to kill the motorcyclist! Ken convinces her not to, since the man is fixing their car.

Dirk Gently Dirk and Todd in the shower

[Samuel Barnett as Dirk Gently and Elijah Wood as Todd, hiding in Gordon Rimmer’s shower.]

And Dirk and Todd are still trapped in Gordon’s house, trying to figure out a way to escape with Lydia, who’s still acting like a dog, while Gordon is on the phone with “Tips” telling him that technically they’re “winning” and that they have to “kill both of them.” As Todd and Dirk attempt to escape, they inadvertently set the house on fire and alert Gordon to their presence when Todd’s phone rings. Todd manages to get out, but Gordon spots Dirk and yells “YOU!” which would signify that he knows the intruder. Dirk then tosses a bunch of cards in Gordon’s face, and makes his getaway — with Rapunzel the corgi!

And that phone call? It was Amanda. We see her leaving a message for Todd, but she ends the call before revealing that the Rowdy 3 are outside her house. When she hangs up, she has a hallucination that her hands are frozen, then goes to pick up a rock that the Rowdy 3 threw through her window. It has a note attached that reads, “Hi!”

Back at the coroner’s office, Zimmerfield and Estevez demand to know what happened to the bodies, but the emo medical examiner is gone. In his place is someone who appears to be the real coroner, who reveals that he’s the only one on duty that day. They realize that something is really going down.

At the Ridgely, the five bald men are carrying Farah to their truck. The FBI agents spot this, and wonder if they should report this suspicious activity to the cops they think are idiots. “If we follow up on this, that doesn’t make us their bitch, right?” Nathan asks his partner. That should tell you where their heads are at. They decide to follow the group on their own instead of reporting it to Zimmerfield and Estevez.

Todd, with the shower curtain still stuck to him, runs to safety; Dirk follows soon behind with Rapunzel. He explains he took the dog because animals are seemingly important in this case: There’s the shark, the dog, and the kitten, but Todd wants to know how Dirk knew that Patrick Spring was killed by a shark. Dirk evades the question, instead focusing on the suspicious Gordon and his fascination with Lux DuJour. He also points out that he called human Lydia “Rapunzel,” which is the dog’s name. “Are you Lydia Spring?” he asks the barking dog, who quiets down and whimpers. She is Lydia Spring! Dirk thinks Gordon and company must be hypnotizing humans into thinking they’re dogs or dogs into believing they are a specific human. Todd is not convinced, and says he’s “done” with all this. But Dirk says he’s just trying to do the right thing. He’s always being subjected to horrible things, which he gets dragged into. “I’m a leaf in the stream of creation,” he says, “right up until I find whoever or whatever killed Patrick Spring.” Hmm… sounds familiar!!! While it’s a difficult path for him to follow, he does it because if he doesn’t solve these cases, no one will. Just then, Dirk gets a text — it’s from Gordon. Turns out those cards he flung at him were his business cards! (That’s pretty hilarious.) The message includes a photo of Farah bound and gagged in the red room. Todd then remembers her from the hallway! “We have your friend,” the text says, “Give us the dog or we’ll kill her.” They’re to meet up at the Eastgate Bridge at midnight.

Dirk Gently Gordon and Farah

[Aaron Douglas as Gordon Rimmer holding Farah Black (Jade Eshete) hostage on the Eastgate Bridge.]

And that’s just what they do. When Gordon arrives on the bridge with Farah, the FBI guys are nearby watching, and realize that the missing persons detectives were actually on to something. Dirk then tries to bluff his way out of the situation with Gordon in an exchange of epically absurd proportions. “These are the stupidest goddamn people alive,” the FBI agents say, as they listen in on the conversation. Todd tries to exchange the dog for Farah, but Gordon says no, the woman stays. “That wasn’t the deal,” Todd yells, meanwhile, it turns out, there was no deal — the texts merely said to give back the dog or the woman dies. So Todd resorts to drastic measures: He threatens to drop the dog off the bridge if Gordon doesn’t give him Farah. Gordon really loses it here, and screams about how he’ll burn the soul right out of him for all he’s done; meanwhile, Todd has no idea what he’s even done to the man. Just then, an apparition of Lydia comes out of the dog that says “Help me!” which startles Todd so much that he drops the dog!

That’s when the FBI close in, and several bald men appear, who kill Nathan and knock out Weedle. Farah then gets away from Gordon, who’s calling for Rapunzel. Dirk drives off with Todd and Farah, while Gordon and the bald men search for the dog, who we see survived the fall and ran off, unbeknownst to them. When Gordon sees that the men were FBI agents, he makes a plan for one of the bald men to take over their identify.

Dirk Gently Fiona Dourif as Bartine

[Fiona Dourif as Bartine, a holistic assassin.]

Back with Ken and Bartine, it’s now late at night and the motorcyclist has finally fixed the car. Ken tries to warn the man to run, knowing that Bartine will kill him now that he’s of no more use. But it turns out that the man plans to kill them and take their stuff, like he has to several couples on that road before. “Can I kill him now?” Bartine asks Ken, before stepping up to do her thing. She trips and dodges the man’s bullet, before killing him. She then tells Ken that she’s special, and that the universe won’t allow her to be killed. She then plays Russian Roulette to prove her point, and she’s right. Ken says he’s still alive, that she hasn’t killed him yet. “You must be special, too,” she tells him.

The episode finally brings us back to Colonel Scott Riggins, seen here in dress uniform, meeting with his new commander, a woman named Wilson, who’s heading the oversight committee that’s reviewing his covert Project Black Wing. Wilson says his research was inconclusive and without definable results, and worst of all, he failed to keep the subjects contained. Now, there’s 30 potentially dangerous individuals at large — I wonder who those could be? Well, turns out, Riggins only has the budget to follow one — and we know who he is tailing: Dirk Gently. It’s been 15 years, and these people have proven that they cannot be contained, but Wilson is giving Riggins one more chance to try. If he doesn’t bring them in, they’ll all be eliminated, starting with Dirk.

Dirk Gently apartment snapshot

[Dirk Gently’s lovely apartment in the Ridgely Building.]

Back at Amanda’s, she’s banging on her drum kit, staring down the Rowdy 3 van still parked outside her house, while back at the Ridgely building, Dirk and Todd take Farah to Dirk’s apartment. Todd admits that Dirk is brave, but also surprisingly incapable, and wonders how he’s managed to stay alive this long. Todd starts connecting all the pieces of the case, and is about to reveal something strange he saw, when he notices the black kitten from the crime scene! Also, Todd flies into a rage when he learns that Dirk and Farah actually know each other! The episode ends on Amanda at her drums, giving the Rowdy 3 the finger.

Lots of questions were answered in this episode, but it also raised some new questions: What is Gordon Rimmer up to and what is he the leader of? What are those machines that the creepy bald men have? Who are the 30 special subjects and what makes them special? Why are humans and animals being psychically switched? How does Dirk know Farah? What do the Rowdy 3 want with Amanda? How did Dirk know that Patrick Spring was killed by a hammerhead shark? Will Todd ever cash in that winning LOTTO ticket?! There’s six more episodes in Season 1, so we’re bound to find out soon enough!

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