Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency Episode 1.3 “Rogue Wall Enthusiasts”
Created by Max Landis
Written by Max Landis
Directed by Michael Patrick Jann
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
Air date: Saturday, November 5, 2016
SPOILERS for Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency…
After the craziness that was Episode 1 of BBC America’s new series Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency from writer/creator Max Landis, Episode 2 gave us some semblance of order — but not too much, though. Holistic detective Dirk Gently (Samuel Barnett) and his reluctant assistant Todd (Elijah Wood) are trying to solve the murder case of millionaire Patrick Spring, who hired Dirk six week’s prior to his death, and are doing so while being watched by the FBI, CIA, and missing persons detectives. The duo discovered that weirdo Gordon Rimmer (Aaron Douglas) has been holding Spring’s daughter Lydia captive, and is in with a group of strange, bald tattooed men who kidnapped Lydia’s bodyguard Farah (Jade Eshete). We don’t know how or why yet, but for some reason Gordon and his crew are doing some kind of human/animal swaps, where Gordon’s corgi Rapunzel actually has the spirit of Lydia in her. Meanwhile, Todd’s ill sister Amanda (Hannah Marks) is being stalked by a group of crazed energy-sucking vampires known as the Rowdy 3, while a holistic assassin named Bartine (Fiona Dourif), with her own reluctant assistant Ken Mpho Koaho) — a hacker hired to do a job for the bald men — is out to kill Dirk. By the end of Episode 2, Dirk and Todd rescue Farah, who it turns out knows Dirk, a fact that infuriates Todd.
Here’s a recap of what happened this week on Episode 1.3 “Rogue Wall Enthusiasts”…
The episode begins 15 years ago at the home of Gordon Rimmer. The rock star Lux DuJour, who says he’s one of the “original souls,” has been summoned there by a beautiful woman he refers to as Rainey. Rainey says they’re all just “simple energy” and that they’re all equals, yet he (his original “shell” was a man) is actually “The Supreme Soul.” Rainey says they’ve found a new location for their temple and that Gordon’s body is the key; therefore, they are redesignating Lux’s energy into Gordon. The tattooed bald men are there to restrain the rock star, who’s horrified of this fate, especially since he’s got fame, fortune, and a new album in the works! Now we know why Gordon’s garage was a shrine to Lux, and why the public believes that the rock star vanished 15 years ago. We learn during this flashback that Rainey has inhabited 50 bodies in 10 years, and that they’ve been looking for “Edgar Spring’s other machine” for decades in order to further their “cause.”
Flash to 3 days prior to the events of Episode 1. Lydia Spring arrives to the home of Gordon Rimmer, wanting to know who killed her mother, what happened to her grandfather — that would be Edgar Spring — and what is Zachariah Webb’s connection to her family. Gordon, who had written to Lydia, says he doesn’t know about Webb, but he can tell her about her mother and why her father is so afraid. He asks her if she likes Lux DuJour. “Who the hell is Lux DuJour?” she asks, as she enters his house. Ouch, he says. So, it looks now like Lydia was not kidnapped, but it’s still unclear whether she was being held captive against her will. But something tells me she might have been a willing participate in Gordon’s experiments, in an effort to find out the answers to what’s happened to her family members.
On to the present: Dirk, Todd, and Farah are at the Ridgely Building in the red-lit apartment upstairs from Todd where Farah was being held captive by the tattooed bald men. There, Farah recalls what happened to her, and wants them to take her to Gordon’s house next.
[Samuel Barnett as Dirk Gently and Jade Eshete as Farah Black outside Gordon Rimmer’s house.]
They arrive to Gordon’s house to find the fire fighters — in the last episode, Dirk inadvertently burned the house down when he and Todd were searching it for clues about Lydia. Here, Todd and Farah get a little flirty; he tells her his clothes look good on her, and she tells him how brave he was in rescuing her on the bridge. Hmm… will this be a love connection? Anyhow, the men who kidnapped her thought that Dirk and Todd killed Patrick Spring, which we know they didn’t. Farah calls Gordon demanding to know where Lydia Spring is, but he says she’s gone. He wants to know where the “other machine” is — Patrick Spring had agreed to hand it over to him, but died before it could happen. After that confusing call, Farah wants to go back to the Spring Estate, where she has her things and her guns, which freaks Todd out. He goes off, while Dirk accompanies Farah, who’s wondering how the military got involved in this mystery — she recognized that the bullet that killed her captor was military grade; we know this came from Corporeal Friedkin, who’s working for CIA operative Colonel Riggins.
Speaking of Friedkin, here comes the trigger-happy dunce to help Riggins make contact with a former Black Wing subject — that would be Dirk. Riggins reveals that in 1988, the CIA appointed him as the head of a division of his own creation to seek out, codify, and collect individuals with ESP.
Then there’s Ken and Bartine, still on the road together. It’s obvious Bartine likes their buddy dynamic, but Ken is a little hung up on the fact that she murders people. When she turns on the radio, a Backstreet Boys song comes on, and we learn that she doesn’t understand how radio works and is fascinated that Ken knows the words to songs. As she laughs with joy at his singing, a motorcycle gang shoots them off the road.
Time to catch up with Todd’s sister Amanda. She’s walking down the street leaving a message for Todd, while the Rowdy 3 van slowly follows behind her. She smiles.
[Neil Brown, Jr. as Detective Estevez holding the corgi Rapunzel (played by Bentley) at the police station.]
At the police station, Zimmerfield is on his computer looking at a site about “Solving the Mysteries of the Webb Mansion” when Estevez walks in with Rapunzel the corgi, the dog they saw on the video footage from the hotel where Patrick Spring was murdered. The detective says the dog was outside the police station barking to come in. And the address on the dog’s tag is Rimmer’s place, which was burned down the day before. Coincidence? They don’t think so! What they don’t know is that the spirit of Lydia Spring — the person they are looking for! — is in that dog. This is when Todd — their person of interest who is involved in all the coincidences — arrives there to talk to them.
Over at the Spring Estate, Farah tells Dirk that the place is an historic landmark that was built in the 1880s for an inventor named Zachariah Webb, who went missing, and that Patrick bought the place in the mid-1990s after his wife Catherine died. Farah says she grew up in this estate, as her father was the original security chief, and that he never got over Catherine’s death. Enter John Dollow, Patrick’s lawyer, who has something from his client for Farah.
[Neil Brown, Jr. as Detective Estevez, Richard Schiff as Detective Zimmerfield, and Elijah Wood as Todd Brotzman at the police station.]
Back at the police station, Todd tells the detectives he saw Lydia Spring at Gordon’s house, and that she was acting odd. He tells them about how he met the men holding Lydia so he could trade their dog (the Lydia-corgi) for Farah. He stressed how everything is connected, but the detectives are more focused on Todd’s past and his character. They bring up his old band, The Mexican Funeral, who reported $4,000 worth of gear stolen, but it turns out that Todd was the one who actually stole it and sold it behind their backs. The detectives also know, from Todd’s parents, about the genetic disorder he has — Pararibulitis — and that his sister has it now too. Todd stresses that he came there to help, but they say that he is now connected to three crimes — not including his stealing back his rent money from his landlord, Dario, who accidentally killed himself. They think Todd’s guilty of something, but of what they don’t know yet. But, looks like Todd’s gotta run, because there’s a problem with Amanda…
Amanda took a chance and went to the grocery store on her own. As she’s at the counter celebrating her success, she goes up in flames. So close, Amanda! Of course, no one else can see the flames, only the screaming woman. Just then, the Rowdy 3 show up and trash the parking lot, beating down some guys who were filming Amanda’s outburst. They bring Amanda back home to safety, but not before sucking out some of her energy. When they do this, she has a bunch of visions — we see a bloody Friedkin, Todd, Dirk, her own face in blue, and lots of other stuff flashes by very quickly, too.
So, what happened to Ken and Bartine? The motorcycle gang stripped them down to their undies and tied them up in a field. Ken, as usual, is freaking out, but Bartine knows she’ll survive… even if Ken doesn’t. If Ken doesn’t make it, she says she’ll miss him. How sweet.
Back to the Spring Estate: Patrick left Farah an envelope for her to open only when in the presence of one Dirk Gently; this leads Dirk to believe that he wasn’t hired to PREVENT Spring’s murder, but to solve it. The envelope has 3?1! on it, meaning 3 questions 1 answer.
Todd rushes to Amanda, who’s back behind her drum kit, assuring her brother that she’s fine now. She leaves out the whole part about the Rowdy 3. She wants to know where Dirk is, because she thinks he’s the reason for all the recent weirdness, and that since he’s a detective he can figure it out. About Dirk, Todd tells her that “the amount of stuff he doesn’t know is stupefying, it would blow your mind.” Todd then insists that Amanda come stay with him at his place.
[Samuel Barnett as Dirk Gently and Jade Eshete as Farah Black at the Spring Estate.]
At the Spring Estate, Farah berates herself as incompetent, ineffectual, and a disappointment, saying she screwed everything up, and she feels like a crazy confused failure. Clueless Dirk tries to console her by saying that she’s only some of those things! Farah opens the envelope, which contains a hand-drawn map that leads her and Dirk down into a secret room that’s an original portion of Webb’s mansion. There’s a “big electro thing” there that’s some kind of generator, but Farah says Patrick knew nothing about technology. Dirk picks up a light bulb and it goes on just from his touch.
They find a note in Patrick’s handwriting written on Edgar’s stationery that reads “It started here, it ends here, please save her” — with the “her” likely being Lydia. They also find some kind of tool that Dirk calls “very important,” as well as a grid-like map. Dirk says that Patrick must have planned all of this, but then if he knew this was going to happen, why didn’t he save himself? “I’m starting to think you’re actually a pretty good detective,” Farah tells Dirk. Props!!!
[Mpho Koaho as Ken and Fiona Dourif as Bartine, taken captive by a vengeful motorcycle gang.]
Meanwhile, Ken and Bartine are still tied up in the field, and he’s waiting for this super-assassin to get them out of this. “It doesn’t work like that,” she tells him. Just then, the motorcycle gang returns and they want vengeance for Bartine killing their friend, Jake (in Episode 2). Ken keeps telling them it was Bartine who did it, and in an effort to shut him up, their leader throws a rock at him, which ricochet’s off his head and breaks Bartine loose from her bonds. That’s it for these guys — she slaughters all of them within seconds. When the leader is the last man standing, he throws his knife at her, with the handle part bouncing right off of her — remember, she says the universe won’t let her die — and then she uses the blade to kill the leader. As Ken and Bartine dress in the motorcycle gang’s clothing, he calls her “some kind of killer angel,” and realizes that she really is who she says she is, and that he’s been brought together with her for a reason. “We have to find Dirk Gently,” he says. “We have to kill Dirk Gently,” she replies. Who would have thought after Episode 1 that we’d grow to love Bartine in this way?!
Off to Todd’s still-trashed apartment, where Amanda and Dirk seem really happy to see each other. “Amanda’s fantastic,” Dirk tells Farah, and Amanda responds “You’re fantastic!” Does Amanda have a crush on Dirk? Speaking of crushes, Todd and Farah (ship!!!). Anyhow, when Amanda sees the grid that Farah and Dirk has, she recognizes it as a layer that goes on a map that city governments have to show utilities. This one shows the city power grids, with the Ridgely Building in the center (remember, that’s Todd’s building!). This makes Farah very happy to meet Amanda (new besties!).
For some reason, Todd is really not thrilled at all about this. When Dirk goes out to get the “magic light bulb” from the car, he bumps into Todd in the hallway, and stresses to him that they were meant to know each other. They found a map with Todd’s building at the very center of it! “I want your help,” Dirk humbly tells Todd. That’s when Todd connects that the neighborhood they’re in is named Springsborough, as is Edgar Spring. “It’s not a coincidence, is it?” Todd says. No, Dirk says. Todd then mirrors what Ken said to Bart – that Dirk really is who he says he is. Todd agrees to help Dirk.
Thrilled at this breakthrough, Dirk happily makes his way down the stairs, only to come face-to-face with Colonel Riggins, who addresses him as “Project Icarus.” Friedkin then tackles Dirk, but Riggins calls him off. The CIA head wants Dirk, who he also calls “Svlad,” to come back with him for a debriefing about Black Wing for his own safety. But Dirk stresses it’s been 16 years and he has his own life now with friends who are going to help him solve a real mystery. Riggins says Dirk is not really a detective, and that he’s going to get himself killed. “You promised me something and you couldn’t deliver,” Dirk tells him, but Riggins just wants to protect him, as he doesn’t know what the others will do to him. But Dirk doesn’t care. “I don’t need you. Go back to hiding in the shadows,” Dirk tells him, “it’s the only thing you’ve ever been good at.” When Dirk leaves, Riggins tells Friedkin that they’ll have try another angle to bring him in. “We’ll get them, sir, all of them,” Friedkin says, “we have to.”
The episode ends with Gordon checking inside the Animal Transfer Unit building. There’s dead bodies on the ground, and he’s on the phone telling someone that it doesn’t look like anyone has been there since they were last there. He goes out to his car, where Lydia is sitting in the back behaving like a dog. Gordon tells the caller that everything seems to be working, so they’re to bring “him” there and to bring a mouse, too. The news reports on the radio state that a body was found at the house that burned down — Gordon’s house — and it was of Robert Wayne Terrio aka 1990s rock icon Lex DuJour, who had done missing nearly two decades ago. This sets Gordon off — “NO NO NO, shut up” he screams and cries while hitting the radio. Dog Lydia whimpers in the back seat, so Gordon consoles her. “It’s not your fault, I’m sorry,” he says to her, as she licks his hand like a faithful companion.
Wow, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency just gets better and more intriguing each week. As you can see, I love knowing all the little details about the characters, and Springsborough is shaping up to be quite the mysterious place. I did not see that coming. I can’t wait to find out the secrets of the Webb Mansion, and what this Souls cult’s purpose actually is. And who was Todd’s doppelganger from Episode 1? And what about Patrick Spring – is he really dead? Because in a previous episode, Gordon was asking how it was that Patrick could be in two places at once. Perhaps it was time travel? And what is happening with the defunct Project Black Wing that has the CIA up in arms after 16 years?
Damn, that is a thorough recap if I’ve ever seen one. I didn’t realize just how many details I was missing.
Comment by Erik Rohmer — November 8, 2016 @ 1:35 am