Warning: Dirk Gently spoilers follow. Only read on if you don’t mind knowing what happened on the latest episode!
For the first ten minutes of this week’s Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency from BBC America, it looked like the show was heading towards its third straight disappointing installment, where the action and excitement of the story took a back seat to needlessly rehashing previous events and offering up already established characterization. However–and fittingly considering its title, “Fix Everything”–the episode quickly recovered and ended up being lots of fun.
After the pre-credits scene that finally introduced the time travel element of the story we knew was coming ever since the first episode when Todd saw a second version of himself from the hotel elevator, we were treated to back-to-back scenes of Todd explaining in-depth events that we already know all about. First, to Farrah, he recapped what happened to him last week; and then he again confessed all of his past lies, but this time to his sister Amanda.
In both cases the scenes could have just been joined in the middle, with the two women reacting to what he had said, and it would have spared us rehearing things we just saw in the last episode. Both scenes felt like they were done for the benefit of the audience and not because they were actually needed, but none of what Todd said was required for us to continue following along. Yes, the plot is all over the place and there are numerous moving parts, but the confusion of what is happening is more fun than knowing what is happening. They didn’t trust the audience to be engaged enough to move forward without another step back, and it resulted in a tedious opening.
Embracing the ever-growing madness is when the show is at its best, and retelling is when it is at it’s worst.
Which was proven true later in the episode, when Dirk anticipated that Gordon was going to be able to answer all of the questions Dirk and Todd themselves have, but instead all Gordon had were more questions. It was the show’s funniest scene yet, and it was especially the best meta-joke the show is fond of telling. This mystery is absurd madness, and the ending was the complete opposite of the start. It was exciting, insane, and loads of fun, everything we have liked about it.
But there was also lots to enjoy in-between the start and finish, like an emotionally damaged Estevez putting together the illogical pieces of this nutso puzzle and running amok with the dog/Lydia Springs, and also of Bart and Ken (finally!) taking the next step in their story. It was hard to believe that Bart was ever going to kill Dirk, but her failing spectacularly and having something totally new and unexplainable happened to her was an interesting development those two characters needed to keep them engaging.
As for their “connection,” the backstory of both Bart and Dirk, as well as the Rowdy 3, is what it is at this point. We’d love our Dirk to be unique and different unto himself, but there’s no point in continuing to complain about the inclusion of that story strand. We just hope it will be a minor factor as we head to the finale and not a major one.
There are only two episodes left and there are still, fortunately, lots of questions to be answered. We have no idea just how important Amanda is to everything, or what made Bart screw up and go after Dirk. Also, we know that at some point Todd, with that tank top and fur coat, is going to end up back in time at the hotel with Dirk on the day that Patrick Spring was killed (and also that Patrick Spring was in two places at the same time). Plus we still have Lydia inside a dog, a kitten/hammerhead shark on the loose, and some original souls causing all of these problems.
We know all of these things, and if the show doesn’t worry about making sure that we do, and instead just worries about what we don’t know, it could make for a great ending.
But what did you think of this week’s episode? Head into our comments below and let us know.
Images: BBC America