Television

'Dirk Gently' Picks Up Steam in the Best Episode Yet

Colin McGuire
Estevez (Neil Brown Jr) finally clues into the weird in "Fix Everything".

"Fix Everything" highlights The Big Showdown, captivity and a fired detective to great effect.


Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

Airtime: Saturdays, 9pm
Cast: Samuel Barnett, Elijah Wood, Hannah Marks, Fiona Dourif
Subtitle: Season 1, Episode 6 - "Fix Everything"
Network: BBC America
Air date: 2016-11-26
Amazon

"You're one of the others. You're like me. You're not like me. You're something different."

Welcome to the most memorable double quote of BBC America's Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency thus far. It comes about halfway into the sixth episode, "Fix Everything", and, for all intents and purposes, it comes as part of the series' Big Showdown. Finally, Dirk (Samuel Barnett) and Bart (Fiona Dourif) meet, and finally, maybe our questions regarding that pair are going to be answered.

Or are they? Probably not, considering how Bart ran out of bullets, both characters are still alive, and the Holistic Assassin actually had to deal with some actual pain. Still, their moment on the top of the stairs, before Farah (Jade Eshete) came and saved Dirk's life, was enthralling if not a bit charming. Both parties felt some type of something as they looked into each other's eyes, although one does have to wonder that if Farah didn't exist, would Bart have finished the job? Perhaps we'll find out in the final two episodes of this season.

Then again, perhaps we won't. That's because there's just so much that went down throughout this 42 minutes of television, it's impossible to think all loose ends will be tied up by the time the final credits role. "Fix Everything" is Dirk Gently's best episode yet because all told, we obtain some answers while being given consequential hope that others will be easy to come by in the next two weeks.

For instance, check out how the thing ends: Dirk and Todd (Elijah Wood) are captured by The Lost Trailer Park Boy Gordon (Aaron Douglas), only to have our dynamic duo rise above adversity, use brass knuckles, shoot some guns, and find the missing piece that enables them to travel back in time, presumably to save the day. Because this is where the episode concludes, one can only assume that next week sees the story begin in a completely different timeframe. It would make sense, don't you think? I mean, Amanda (Hannah Marks) went all "I Hate You!" on Todd, which either means we won't see her again, or part of Dirk and Todd's travels will allow the latter to make good on the lies he confessed to her this week.

Speaking of those lies and his confession … wow. Without question, that was the most emotional this series has been in its short life. The initial denial and inevitable anger that Amanda displayed was about as close to pitch perfect as Anna Kendrick's ever been. Todd, meanwhile, brought it (and brought it hard) as the despaired shitbag who knows it's too late to repent for his sins, despite how badly he might want to do so. What does it all mean? Well, it all means that a shocked Hannah Marks and a wimpy Elijah Wood combine for compelling, finely acted television. That's what it means.

It also means that Amanda's had enough. Because her saviors, those fine young men in the Rowdy Three, seem to pop up whenever she needs them to pop up, she's decided to say adios to her brother in favor of those who don't lie to her. It's hard to blame her, of course, considering how she just learned that pretty much everything she thought she knew about her brother was a complete lie. Why not get with the smelly dudes who share bad haircuts? At least they'll keep her safe. And besides: Todd sort of deserved a big Fuck You anyway.

Interestingly, her hooligans were needed because detective Estevez (Neil Brown Jr.) is having a tough time dealing with his partner's death. In fact, he's having such a hard time that he confronts his boss, who responds to said confrontation by firing him. Estevez then calls him out on the fact that he's "with them" (and by "them" he presumably means "the bad guys"), and -- can you believe it? -- he's not wrong. This is proven when we see his former boss convene with ol' Gordon.

Estevez responds in the only way he can: by talking to a dog. That dog, of course, is actually Lydia Spring, and now we officially have a cop who's hip to what's going on. For reasons I still can't quite understand, this inspires him to track down Todd in an attempt to take out his aggression. This leads to another freak out from Amanda. Those freak-outs are like catnip to the Rowdy Ones. Estevez makes off with the dog … er, Lydia … er, the dog. Amanda makes off with her besties. Todd is captured by Fred or Ed or Bed or Said or Head or whatever nonsense that they're being called this time around.

None of this is to ignore the fact that while all this is going down, Dirk is aimlessly yelling his name from the seat of his top-down vehicle, and … yeah, you knew where that was going, didn't you? Bart appears out of nowhere and boom goes that dynamite. The aftereffects run far deeper than a fairly neat double quote, however, when Farah and Dirk eventually find themselves in the middle of nowhere, awaiting the possessed/transformed/haunted/creeped-out FBI agent, who knocks Dirk's de facto bodyguard out before capturing the show's namesake.

That namesake is then reunited with Todd in captivity. So it goes. We’re back to the beginning. Or, well, the beginning of this review at least.

What's next? It's hard to tell. Now that the steam has officially been picked up, however, it's getting increasingly fun to see precisely what's coming around the corner once it's revealed. Like Bart and Dirk, this series is something different, indeed.

A Clue, An Accomplice, or An Assistant

Come on, guys. Let's be real. Gordon's response after seeing Dirk and Todd was comedic gold. I'm telling you: each episode, you think, "There's not going to be a genuinely funny moment this time around. It's impossible." And then boom. A genuinely funny moment happens. Here I am, thinking he's going to be all Bad-Guy-ish -- especially after he opens with his Real Man Voice -- and then he just ostensibly launches into, "Honestly, dudes. What the fuck?". Perfect.

"The universe is already weird, Todd." Preach, Dirk.

In this week's installment of "what odd thing will a part of Amanda’s body turn into", we have … nothing, really. Instead, we are given a sequence during which she feels like she's drowning. Hey. You say potato. Bart says potahto.

It hurt to see Amanda rip up that lottery ticket. Like, literally. It hurt. $10,000 is a lot of money, no matter how mad you are.

So … where's Farah now?

I didn't much care for the flashback of Todd and Amanda going to that concert. For some reason, it felt useless, cheap, and forced. So, he stuck up for her once? OK. So what? Now, everything is ruined.

Related to that, if I may, let me rant: I'm not buying into Todd being such an asshole. From day one, Elijah Wood has played that character like a nervous puppy dog and at this point, it's just impossible to view him as a man so devious and selfish and manipulative. He's constantly caring for Amanda, and yeah, it might be guilt-driven, but at least he's still doing it. I only say this now because the sequence during which he tells that girl in front of him that the band they are seeing sucks didn't really work. I didn't believe him saying the band sucked and I didn't even believe him believing the band sucked. If that was supposed to be the "But really guys, Todd is a dick" moment, Max Landis needs to do a lot better.

Happy not to see Riggins (Miguel Sandoval) and Friedkin (Dustin Milligan) this week. I still don't even know that I fully understand that part of the story.

OK. If I have this right, then Bart was actually supposed to kill the kidnapper she killed last week and not Dirk, no? Just checking.

This Week’s MVP: How about Todd, for stepping up with the metal knuckles Farah gave him earlier in the episode? Plus, hell. Dude took a beating and he's still standing. Call this a sympathy vote.

8

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