Synopsis of 1×02: Dirk and Todd find the corgi. Or a girl hypnotized to think she’s a corgi. Or is it something completely different! One can never be too sure in this week’s episode of Dirk Gently Holistic Detective Agency.
What is Todd’s connection to Farrah? Before the events of episode 1, she was looking for Lydia in Todd’s building, specifically asking Todd to open his door, before she was kidnapped by the bald tattooed men who killed the hotel manager last week. These same bald tattooed men were also taken to the morgue before being removed by the FBI. Or at least that’s what a morgue worker tells Estevez and Eyebrows, bringing us back to the present.
Present Todd has brought Dirk to the house where the corgi lives. And Dirk, being fascinated, decides to use Todd’s lottery ticket to entice Todd to indulge in some B&E. They wind up in a room of posters featuring Lux Du’Jour, a rock star that disappeared years ago.
With the house full of people (the corgi, the man, and the girl), Todd manages to get the lottery ticket back and he and Dirk manage to sneak into the bathroom. The man, who calls himself the Supreme Being, is talking on the phone to someone about how he’ll “burn their souls out,” and other madcap phrases.
Dirk and Todd are close to getting out through a window when Lydia the girl bring them a toy. A dog toy, as the girl would like to play fetch. I feel less bad about recognizing Lydia now, because Lydia the girl is in fact Felicia the dog. And the corgi Todd has been seeing is probably Lydia the girl. Problem solved! At least on that front.
There are more problems afoot, like how when Dirk plays fetch, he knocks over a lit candle, or how Todd’s phone goes off mid-escape, alerting the Supreme Being to the presence of intruders. Todd escapes, but Dirk gets found out.
Elsewhere, Curlish (channeling more of Orphan Black’s Helena this week) is explaining to Ken that when their car breaks down, it was meant to break down. Which it has, broken down that is, in the middle of a dark scary forest road. A man comes to help. But is he really there to help or hinder?
Amanda sees the Rowdy 3’s van parked outside her home and is immediately suspicious. There it sits, waiting for her. And she knows it. She calls Todd about the strange incident, then takes matters into her own hands.
She throws a brick at the van, only to immediately have a delusion that she’s literally freezing. She runs inside to take her pills. After a momentary lapse into madness, she calms down. Amanda is clearly unsure if the van is a delusion or reality. And the return message (a brick through the window with a note that’s says “hi”) might not help her sense of reality or safety. But it’s at least interesting and different from her daily life.
Farrah is being tortured by the bald-headed men, named Ed, Zed, and Ned. They are literally electrocuting her to find out what happened to the kitten in Patrick Spring’s hotel room. This whole scene seemed out-of-place to me. The violence of the bald-headed men or of Curlish’s murder spree, seems far too sadistic for a show that would otherwise resemble Doctor Who at its most family friendly.
Todd, still covered in a shower curtain, is catching his breath when Dirk runs around the corner. For a show named Dirk Gently, the narrative follows him very little and never shows the audience his point of view.
For example, we see his escape from the house as he tells it to Todd, instead of in realtime. (He threw his business cards at the Supreme Being and ran.) And we only see Todd’s reactions; like when Dirk explains that the Supreme Being and his cohorts are animal hypnotists and that they’ve tricked the dog and the girl into thinking they’ve switched bodies. We see Todd’s very unhappy reaction instead of Dirk’s zany thought process.
Maybe Curlish can shed some light on the situation. After all, she often waxes poetic about the connectivity of the universe to Ken. Which reminds her that she needs to kill the guy fixing the car. And though Ken almost convinces her not to, she still does. But for good reason: he’s also a serial killer.
And the lesson we learn from this scene is that the universe won’t allow Curlish to die. She’s shot at multiple times and survives. She even shoots at herself to make a point, but each time the gun locks up. She explains that the universe keeps her alive because she’s meant to be alive. And that the universe sent her a dream about Dirk Gently. So that’s what she’s now meant to do: find Dirk.
…who is still standing with Todd on the pavement with the dog. He is telling Todd that the universe sends him to find his cases, much like the way the universe sends Curlish her victims. During their argument, Dirk starts getting texts from the Supreme Being: we have your friend. Bring us the dog. Of course, the dog is important! The “friend” is Farrah, who Todd remembers as the woman who knocked on his door.
Elsewhere, the Rowdy 3 are back at Amanda’s. But this time she’s ready for them. Her drums are out and as she bangs away, the van starts a-rocking. Amanda seems to have found the perfect audience.
Dirk and Todd arrange a late night exchange on a bridge. Dirk, in his infinite wisdom, literally brings a knife to a gun fight. The following scene is probably the best writing thus far; the hilarity of two parties fighting to agree on something, but they’re not sure who is the good guy or bad guy.
The Supreme Being believes that Dirk has attacked him; Dirk and Todd believe the Supreme is going to murder Farrah. What is happening? No one knows, including two FBI agents who have been trailing the bald-headed, tattooed men since they moved Farrah.
The bald-headed men not only try to sedate Dirk with taser guns, they actually do “relieve one of the men from his body.” This is happening while Todd is negotiating for Farrah by threatening to throw the Corgi over the bridge. Except the dog is not just a dog; it’s not even a hypnotized dog. The corgi suddenly grows Lydia’s human face for just a second, causing Todd to drop the dog.
The penultimate scene sheds a little light on Dirk’s background. An army general is being put to task by his senior. Apparently, Dirk and Curlish are some kind of experiment gone awry, and during the course of season 1, the general must right those wrongs. The final scene has Todd ready to believe everything Dirk has said about connectivity when he discovers that Dirk in fact knows Farrah. Todd loses his cool once again.
This show is a hodgepodge of characters, genres, plots, and subplots. Does this show know what it is? A science fiction fantasy? An alien inspired comedy? An existential romp? Tune in next week to find out.