TV Review: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency 1.6 “Fix Everything”
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Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
Episode 1.6 “Fix Everything”
Created by Max Landis
Directed by Tamra Davis
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, November 26, 2016

SPOILERS for Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

Last week on Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, holistic detective Dirk Gently (Samuel Barnett) and his sidekick Todd (Elijah Wood) followed the map left by Patrick Spring to unearth items that once pieced together create a machine, one in which Gordon Rimmer (Aaron Douglas) and his followers are searching for. Todd admitted to Dirk that he never had Pararibulitis, the genetic disorder his sister Amanda (Hannah Marks) currently suffers from. Missing persons detectives Estevez and Zimmerfield found dead bodies at the Animal Transfer Unit at the Seattle Zoo where Gordon had worked; Gordon’s men showed up and shoot and killed Zimmerfield. Farah witnessed this, and killed one of the attackers, and saw Gordon driving away with Lydia Spring. Amanda went for a ride with the Rowdy 3, who were then accosted by CIA operatives Riggins and Friedkin, but they all got away. Holistic assassin Bartine and her sidekick Ken made their way to Seattle looking for Dirk Gently.

Here’s a recap of what happened this week on Episode 1.6 “Fix Everything”…

Episode 1.6 opens up with a flashback to 1886 in Zachariah Webb’s laboratory in what’s now the Spring Mansion. He’s got a machine and he’s experimenting with animals, presumably trying to swap their souls. After a bird and a cat don’t survive the experiment, a dog does, and a note appears afterwards from Dirk Gently! It’s hard to read, but says something like “SORRY, WENT BAD, TRIED BUT SAME WAY, WROTE THIS LAST [?], SHIT. DIRK GENTLY.” (See note below.)

Detective Estevez is freaking out over his partner Zimmerfield’s murder to his boss, Captain Edumond Doyle, who doesn’t want him to follow up, which is strange — but we saw he was seemingly trying to bury this case last week. Estevez eventually concludes that Doyle is in on everything with Gordon Rimmer, an accusation that leads to his firing. Once Estevez is escorted out, Doyle phones Gordon to say they have a problem. He’s in on it!!!

Dirk and Todd return to the Ridgely building with the machine they found. Todd first sees Farah, who tells him how she killed one of Gordon’s cult drones — this was her first kill. Todd says they killed two drones too — well, the kitten-shark technically did it. Farah gives Todd brass knuckles to protect himself.

Todd goes to Amanda, who is excited to tell him about her conversation with Farah, saying the bodyguard is “super weird” and that Todd definitely has a chance with her. This is when Todd abruptly confesses that he never had Pararibulitis, and it does not go well, obviously. She is in shock as he tells her that he lied to their parents to get money so he wouldn’t have to work, and then how he screwed over his band. He shows her the $10,000 winning LOTTO ticket he plans to use to help her, but she sees it as a bribe and locks herself in the bathroom.

Farah and Dirk are stuck in traffic in the city. Dirk says that he and Farah are Module B — the Strike team — of his detective agency, while he and Todd are Module A. Farah says not only is she not part of his detective agency, he also can’t be part of more than one Module. She then goes into a detailed explanation of how organization structures should be constructed using the MECE methodology (Mutually exclusive Collectively Exhaustive). He says that they’ll put “Cases Solved With Arguable Efficiencies” on the sign of his office, which he on the spot names “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.”

He then excitedly starts shouting out, “Dirk Gently, I am Dirk Gently!” which summons… crazy killer Bartine!!! She jumps on the hood of the car and shoots at Dirk, missing him, much to her surprise (she never misses!).

Dirk runs and Bartine goes after him, continuing to shoot and miss. Farah catches up to them and gets Bartine in her sights, but then Ken knocks her over. She then kicks Ken’s ass, before running to find Dirk, who is now face-to-face with Bartine. “You’re supposed to die,” Bartine tells Dirk, “I’m supposed to kill you.” And then they both say at the same time: “Everything is connected. You’re one of the others. You’re like me. You’re not like me. You’re something different. You….”

But then Farah shows up and stabs Bartine, beating her and tosses her over the staircase. But when she looks for her, Bartine is gone, leaving her blood behind on the stairs. Turns out, Ken saved Bartine again and is trying to get her to safety at their hotel. She has never been hurt before, so she’s screaming and crying. “I left my path,” Bartine cries, “and this is my punishment.” The universe is broken, she says. Meanwhile, Farah and Todd look for Bartine. But then Dirk runs off, because he realizes he left the machine back in the car, while Farah calls FBI Agent Weedle for help, not knowing that he’s one of Gordon’s cult drones.

Down by the water, Estevez is talking about his “theory,” one that seems crazy. Turns out, he’s talking to Rapunzel, Gordon Rimmer’s corgi. “Are you Lydia Spring?” he asks the dog, who barks in response! Estevez then asks the dog to bark and turn and do some other things if she’s Lydia Spring, and the dog complies, proving that she IS Lydia Spring. The dog also barks confirmation that Gordon did this to her, and that Todd and Dirk were the ones who took her from Gordon. Time to talk to Todd and Dirk then!

Back at the Ridgely, Amanda is still processing her brother’s bombshell when Estevez shows up with Rapunzel, telling Todd he knows the dog is Lydia. He pulls his gun on Todd, demanding answers and punches him in the eye, but then Amanda starts having an attack in the bathroom like she drowning. Rapunzel is at the bathroom door barking for help, and finally Estevez busts in to save her. They bring her outside, where the two drones with the harpoon who killed Zimmerfield are waiting. But the Rowdy 3 pull up in their van, and kick the drones’ asses, and suck the negative energy from Amanda, saving her. When she comes to, Amanda tells Todd that he doesn’t care about her. He tries to give her the LOTTO ticket, but she rips it up, and tells him: “Everything about you is a lie. I don’t want your help, and i don’t ever want to see you again. You are exactly the piece of sh1t that everyone thinks you are.” She then leaves with the Rowdy 3, and Todd is taken by the drones.

[Elijah Wood as Todd Brotzman on Dirk Gently.]

Back at the car, Dirk tells Farah he has no clue who his attacker (Bartine) was. “That homicidal dirt muppet and I have never crossed paths before,” he says, but that he thinks they had “a moment” together. Dirk asks Farah if she likes Todd, and she says “he’s fine” and that she likes that “he’s brave in his own unique way,” but then she gets off them off the subject, and back on to the machine. “Once we plug in the machine, everything will become clear,” Dirk tells her, “I’m sure of it.” He then says that the machine “clarifies everything” and shows it to her. She realizes that it has dates on it — the day Patrick Spring died, and the day Patrick’s wife Catherine was killed, to which Dirk says, “It’s a … bad news … calendar … machine.”

Just then, Agent Weedle arrives without the SWAT back-up he promised. After they bring him up to speed on what’s happened and show him the machine, he reveals that Farah was right the first time they met and knocks her out, before taking Dirk hostage.

Down by the waterfront, Gordon meets Doyle, who says “You lost your mind when you betrayed Rainey,” saying that their original “Supreme Soul” had a plan for them. But Gordon says it wasn’t a good plan — to get new bodies, make new drones, and get more money. He also berates the man for thinking this plan was anything “spiritual,” because Doyle believes that the machine they use came to them “from across time and space” and that their “altar is sacred.” “It’s electrical!” Gordon screams, adding “The Soul Exchanger isn’t some holy relic, it’s a piece of technology.” It doesn’t matter what he says, because Doyle thinks Gordon’s plans are failing, but Gordon tells him, “I don’t give a shit whether you believe in me or not. I am the Supreme Soul now.” And Gordon has a final plan to execute, and it involves Todd and Dirk!

Ken finally gets Bartine to their hotel room, miraculously without detection. She’s still screaming, and still in shock at getting hurt, and ready to just “give up.” Meanwhile, on the television, Ken sees a news report that the man that was killed in the street because of Bartine was actually holding two women captive at his basement for over three months. This makes him realize that Bartine’s targets are not random — there’s a reason the universe is sending her to kill them. “You assumed too much,” he tells her, because she thought she had been killing whoever she felt like killing. But when she met Dirk, she didn’t “feel” like killing him. He realizes even more now that there’s something bigger going on. “I believe,” he tells her, “I believe in you, Bart.” Now, to get her cleaned up and back out there to “follow the web of the universe.”

The final scene is with Todd and Dirk, now being held captive at Gordon’s “Temple.” Dirk sees Todd’s black eye and asks who did it — Detective Estevez. Remember, Doppelganger Todd at the hotel was wearing the flag shirt that current Todd is still wearing, and he had a black eye. He was also wearing the yak fur coat, which, oh look, here comes Gordon wearing it! When Gordon walks in, Dirk reassuringly says to Todd “He’ll explain everything. He’s gonna have the answers.” Gordon looks at his captives and ominously tells them: “I’ve been waiting for you two for a long time.” Sounds scary!

But instead of explaining everything that’s going on, Gordon has a slew of questions for Todd and Dirk that he delivers frantically and rapid-fire. Who are they, and why were they at the hotel the day of the murders? Who shot Ned? Why is the FBI involved? How did they know about Farah Black being in the apartment? Where’s the kitten? Where’s his dog!? Why did they burn down his house? Who else is involved? How can Patrick Spring be in two places at the same time? — this one he’s asked before.

Todd and Dirk don’t have most of these answers, but then Dirk has an epiphany! He remembers the various machines he saw, and realizes that they are all the same machine! “I’ve solved the case,” Dirk says.

Just then, Todd puts on the brass knuckles and attacks Gordon. Before knocking Gordon out and shooting one of the drones, he ends up wearing the yak fur coat. Dirk grabs the machine and he and Todd run into the other room, which has a plug there like Dirk saw at Webb’s laboratory and under the Ridgely building. He connects the machine, and tells Todd to grab hold, because he’s saving them. As electricity crackles, Dirk says the machine is not only the Unlimited Energy Device and the Soul Exchanger, but it’s also something else! When Todd warns that Gordon’s men are going to come in there and kill them, Dirk says they won’t be there. “There’s not going to be a murder,” Dirk says, “We’re going to fix everything.”

[Samuel Barnett as Dirk Gently.]

Clearly, the machine is a time machine, hence why there are dates on it, and Todd and Dirk are going to go back in time to the hotel to the day of the murder to stop it from happening. This was the same day Bellhop Todd saw his doppelganger with a black eye dressed in a flag shirt and yak fur coat. It made no sense back in that first episode, but now we know why Patrick Spring would hire Dirk to solve his murder six weeks before it occurred and then leave clues for him to find the buried pieces of the machine, which once put together, create a time machine!!!

While I hated seeing Todd and Amanda at odds, I did love seeing so many pieces come together, especially Todd and Bartine finally coming face to face. It was also great to see Estevez, who seemed like a very practical guy when we first met him, realize that there’s not only a conspiracy going on, but that there’s also some paranormal stuff, too! His interaction with Rapunzel/Lydia was so satisfying. But the end with Gordon was the best. Typically, this would have been a scene where the villain confronts his captive victims and then does a monologue explaining all the nefarious activities thus far, and then threatening all he will do to them soon. Instead, Gordon doesn’t know shit! I was laughing so hard when he started his rapid-fire questioning, which was basically him going “What the fuck is going on?!” All this time he’s been plotting in secret, and all of a sudden, all these strange people have shown up, they set his house on fire and steal his dog, and have brought on the attention of various law enforcement agencies. They basically fucked his life up! And now, HE is the one who wants the answers.

By the way, I noticed that the actor who played Zachariah Webb in the flashback is Julian McMahon (who played Dr. Doom in the original Fantastic Four movies), and if I remember correctly, whenever there was a TV news report about Patrick Spring, they used Julian McMahon’s picture. Does this mean that Webb and Patrick Spring are the same person? Now that we know there’s this time machine, it could be the case, especially considering that people have gone missing from the Spring family over time.

There’s only two more episodes left of this first season, which has been fantastic each week. I will miss it so much, but at least a season two has been greenlight.

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1 Comment »

  1. The scene where Todd seizes Gordon’s gun, shoots the drone and ends up wearing the yak coat was beautifully choreographed and executed.

    Comment by I Dominguez-Urban — December 17, 2016 @ 12:55 pm

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