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TV Review: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency 1.5 “Very Erectus”
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Dirk Gently Episode 1.5 Todd

[Elijah Wood as Todd Brotzman on Dirk Gently.]

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
Episode 1.5 “Very Erectus”
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 19, 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 clues left by murdered millionaire Patrick Spring that led them to uncover several things: a device that it seems Gordon Rimmer (Aaron Douglas) and his fellow soul-swappers are after; a message from Spring telling them to save his missing daughter Lydia (Alison Thornton); and a treasure map, which will set Dirk and Todd off on a new adventure. The missing persons detectives searching for Lydia find Gordon’s corgi Rapunzel (Bentley the dog), and realized that she is somehow connected to their case. Gordon kills Sammy, the lover of dead rock star Lux DuJour, whose body he possessed for nearly two decades, and tells his people that he’s going to “take back control.”

Here’s a recap of what happened this week on Episode 1.5 “Very Erectus”…

This week’s episode 1.5 “Very Erectus” opens up with Gordon tossing his old Lux DuJour possessions into a dumpster. Dog Lydia is there sniffing around, and Gordon really wants to shoot the girl, but he can’t until his dog is swapped back into her body. We see he gets rid of everything except for Lux’s yak fur coat.

After being absent from last week’s episode, Bartine and Ken are back. They arrive in Seattle driving an ambulance, wearing paramedics attire, and Ken reveals that every time their car stops, someone dies. Bartine can sense that Dirk Gently is not there, so her plan is to just wait, since in the past either she goes to her target or they come to her.

Meanwhile, Dirk and Todd are off following the map left for them by Patrick Spring. Dirk believes that it will lead to some kind of buried treasure, but Todd says they don’t even know what they are looking for. Plus, he’s more concerned that he left his sister Amanda behind. Meow from the back seat — looks like Dirk brought the black kitten from the crime scene with him!

Back home, Lydia is keeping tabs on Detectives Zimmerfield and Estevez, who didn’t get any pertinent information from Patrick Spring’s lawyer, but they think he’s just not talking.

Over at Todd’s apartment, Amanda hears the sounds of the Rowdy 3’s van pulling up. She goes outside and smiles to see them there, and then hops into the van.

Hours away, Dirk and Todd stop to eat. Todd says that weird, supernatural things seem to happen all the time around Dirk, suggesting there’s some kind of “power” within him. Dirk says “I’m not psychic,” but Todd never said was! Todd draws a picture on his napkin and asks Dirk to tell him what’s on it, but he refuses. Dirk gets frustrated and walks away, saying he doesn’t have time to talk about the “stupid picture of a cowboy.” Of course, that’s what was on the napkin! As Todd goes after him, he bumps into a waitress, and gets food all over his shirt. Here we go, the shirt is coming…

Dirk Gently Episode 1.5

[Elijah Wood as Todd Brotzman on Dirk Gently.]

In the diner parking lot, Dirk is now behind the wheel of a jeep, having traded his blue sports car for it, since they will be driving off-road. He also picked up a new shirt for Todd — it’s a flag tank top, the same one Todd remembers seeing his doppelganger wearing at the hotel the day of the murder!!! As they head off following the map, they’re unaware that two of Gordon’s men are trailing them: one of the tattooed bald men, and the guy with the black hair (they were there when Gordon killed Sammy).

Also back this week are Colonel Riggins and his trigger-happy sidekick Sergeant Friedkin. Last we saw them, they were tasked by the CIA with bringing in the former Black Wing test subjects, including Dirk. This time, they are readying to engage with the Rowdy 3, aka Project Incubus, who were one of the first test subjects. Of the Rowdy 3, Riggins says they “subsist by the distortion of physic energy.” Riggins stresses that if handled properly, the men can be reasoned with, so Friedkin is not to engage unless he gives the word. Crazy Friedkin suggests that the word be “Cinnamon.” :::facepalm:::

In the van, the Rowdy 3, who are actually 4 men, give Amanda a beer and introduce themselves: Martin, Gripps, Vogel, Cross. She asks if Dirk’s their friend. No, they say, they just like the taste of his “energy.” “He’s got gourmet panic,” they say, talking about the energy of fear and confusion they suck from people. They ask if she had a vision of anything “cool” when they siphoned her energy. “Yeah,” she says, but doesn’t reveal what. We saw her vision twice so far this season, and it had a lot in it, including stuff with Friedkin.

Meanwhile, Zimmerfield and Estevez go to the local zoo, where one of the workers tells them that Gordon was in charge of the old Animal Transfer Unit, but the building has since been abandoned and is scheduled to be torn down.

Dirk and Todd have made their first stop. Dirk says they’ll know what they’re looking for when they find it, which just reenforces Todd’s suspicion that his comrade is indeed psychic.

Back to Ken and Bartine, who’ve now stopped to eat at a Chinese restaurant, and share an interaction that parallels that of Todd and Dirk’s at the diner. But instead of ending with a dirty shirt, it finishes with Bartine pulling out $17,000 in crumpled-up cash. Once again, we see that Bartine is naive about the simplest of things, like how restaurants work. She says that typically food comes to her when she’s supposed to eat it.

So, about that $17,000: Ken and Bartine rent a hotel room, where she doesn’t understand how hotels work or how to take a shower. She nearly drinks the shampoo. This is a whole new world for Bartine, who tells Ken with a smile, “You’re still here.” “Yeah, I am,” he says softly.

Now what’s happening with Todd and Dirk? Well, it’s nighttime now, and Dirk still maintains that he’s not psychic. The duo has dug many holes, but found nothing. Just as they’re about to give up, Todd’s shovel hits on something. It’s a box with “a thing” inside it, according to Dirk. That’s helpful.

The Rowdy 3 make a pitstop and start doing their usual destruction of property bit. This time, they hand Amanda a bat so she can join in, and she does! But soon her jubilation turns to panic as she has a Pararibulitis attack. The men surround her to drain her nervous energy. “You’re not gonna have to worry about that shit anymore,” they assure her.

It’s the next morning, and Todd and Dirk are waking up in the jeep, with the kitten meowing again. Todd asks why Dirk took the kitten from the crime scene. “Hunch?” Dirk replies. Todd then brings up that he has made some very poor choices in life. Next comes a montage of the two of them driving to places and digging up the buried items hidden by Patrick Spring.

Meanwhile, Zimmerfield and Estevez want to get into the Animal Transfer Unit building to investigate, which the zoo officials say is condemned with nothing inside, but they get shot down — not enough cause for a warrant. This sends Zimmerfield into a rage, as he spouts off how Gordon Rimmer is connected to Lydia Spring. Estevez jumps in saying that animal control never followed up on that missing shark, which doesn’t help their cause. “Move on,” their captain tells them. Guess what? They’re not – they’re going to check out the building anyway! Of note – their captain is acting really suspicious.

By now, Todd and Dirk seem to have found all of the buried items, and have put together the pieces to create a machine of some kind, but still don’t know what it is. Dirk thinks perhaps it’s the missing Unlimited Energy Device that Gordon is looking for; if so, they can trade it for Lydia. Then, Todd tells Dirk that he’s seen that flag shirt before, but just before he can reveal what he saw at the hotel the day of the murders, they are attacked by the two henchmen that were following them. “Get down, he’s got the shark!” the brunette warns his partner when Dirk holds up the black kitten. Dirk then tosses the kitten towards the man, and we see the energy of a shark pop out of the kitten and attack the two men, killing them, before it goes back into the kitten. “The kitten is the shark,” Todd says. “I think we found the murder weapon,” Dirk responds. Crazy!

Finally, back to Riggins and Friedkin, who await the Rowdy 3’s imminent arrival but are ambushed by the group instead. Riggins gets them to stop beating on Friedkin, and says he’s trying to save their lives. Martin replies that they have no use for Riggins. “You don’t tell us what to do anymore,” Martin tells the man. That’s when Friedkin grabs Amanda as leverage. The Rowdy 3 tell Friedkin “We see you, don’t think we don’t. We’re gonna get you,” as they walk away. Martin reassures Amanda they’ll see her again, though they leave her behind, but she manages to get free and run the other way. Angry, Riggins head-butts Friedkin, knocking the Sergeant down. “This is bad,” Riggins says, “this is very bad.”

With Farah still trailing them, we see Zimmerfield and Estevez talking about how strange their captain was acting, and that something is very wrong. They’re going to go to the building anyway – they have to for Lydia.

After the deadly kitten-shark attack, Dirk concludes that the men were after the machine they put together from the buried pieces. After Todd dresses Dirk’s facial wounds with pink band aids he found in the jeep, Dirk says that Todd’s a good friend. This sets off a huge conversation where Todd reveals that he lied about having Pararibulitis — he never had it. He knew the disease ran in his family, so he got his parents to pay for him for years so he wouldn’t have to work, to the point where they were too broke to help his sister when she came down with the illness. That’s why Todd pays her expenses now, but he feels guilty having lied and schemed. He’s a different person now, but he’s not giving himself a pass for his past transgressions. “I’m a terrible friend,” he tells Dirk. Soon after, they realize they don’t know where the kitten is. Panic!!!

Back at the hotel, Bartine has had enough of sitting around waiting. She walks out onto the street wearing just a robe, while Ken runs after her. She reveals that she’s going to kill a man across the street, but Ken tries to prevent her. “It’s what I do, it’s all I do, it’s the will of the universe,” she tells him. He’s worried she’ll end up in jail, and makes the mistake of physically trying to stop her. She yells to the man across the street, “Hey Dickhead, come over here,” and when he looks her way, he gets run over by a car. “There’s no stopping me,” she tells Ken, adding “You touch me again, you get in my way again, I’ll take your head off.” He gets the message. “I need pants,” she says.

Zimmerfield and Estevez have now arrived at the old Animal Transfer Unit building; Farah is watching and listening from a distance, rifle in hand. The detectives find the gate suspiciously unlocked. Inside the dark building, they find unusual graffiti on the walls and a horrible smell — there’s a pile up of rotting, dead bodies! They race outside to radio for back up when they are attacked by one of the tattooed bald men with the energy taser arrows. Zimmerfield is shot with an arrow, and as Estevez pulls him to their car, Farah sees Gordon Zimmer drive by with (dog) Lydia in the back seat!

Farah then picks off one of the men, giving the detectives time to escape. Estevez races his injured partner towards the nearest hospital, but poor Zimmerfield, aka “Eyebrows,” doesn’t make it. With his last breath he tells his partner, “Save Lydia Spring.”

Out in the woods, Dirk and Todd are looking for the kitten. “Have you ever felt directionless, like you didn’t know what to do next?” Dirk asks Todd. He reveals that while everything is connected, only he can see it. He’s not psychic, but he is “something,” he says. Though he gets hunches, they don’t actually help him, so instead he uses them to try to help others.

Dirk Gently Episode 1.5

[Samuel Barnett as Dirk Gently.]

Turns out, Todd is the first person that’s ever stuck around to help him do this, and the first one to act like a friend. “I don’t have any friends; I’m always surrounded by bizarre and frightening stages of disaster; and I am always alone,” he tells Todd, adding “even you keep saying you’re not my friend.” But since Todd is the closest thing he has to a friend, he wants him to stop calling himself an asshole. Todd says that when they get back in the morning, they’ll solve the murder of Patrick Spring, save Lydia, figure out what the “thing” is they found, then he’ll tell Amanda the whole truth. “And Dirk, I am your friend,” he adds.

Farah arrives at Dirk’s apartment, where Amanda is there already. Amanda says things have been crazy, but it’s Farah who’s acting panicked because she just saw Lydia Spring.

The episode ends with Friedkin talking to Wilson, his new CIA boss, about what happened with his and Riggins’ encounters with Project Icarus (Dirk) and Project Incubus (Rowdy 3), where both times they failed to apprehend the subjects. Friedkin says he wanted to take a more aggressive approach, but Riggins, who he says is too close and too emotionally involved (using the man’s words against him!), rejected it. “There’s a reason why the Neanderthals fell to the homo erectus,” she tells him, before asking him if he’s capable of being more aggressive. “Yes, very erectus,” Friedkin replies with a smirk, “much more aggressive.”

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