‘Dirk Gently’ 1×01 review: Mind blown

11:11 pm EDT, October 23, 2016

Dirk Gently debuted on BBC America and our minds are officially blown

Dirk Gently is based upon the character of the same name from the Douglas Adams novels. The series has opted to not retell the novels, which has already been done by the BBC, but to instead tell a new Dirk Gently tale.

We enter Dirk’s (Samuel Barnett) world right alongside Todd (Elijah Wood). Think of Todd as the Rose Tyler of Dirk Gently. When Doctor Who rebooted in 2005, old school Whovians found enough nuggets to latch on to the new series. At the same time, newbies had Rose Tyler as their launch pad, discovering the world alongside her fresh perspective.

The mystery

Essentially, Todd is a down on his luck hotel bellman who unfortunately witnesses the aftermath of a horrific murder in an exclusive hotel suite. Is Todd a suspect? Seattle detectives Estevez (Neil Brown Jr.) and Zimmerfield (Richard Schiff) aren’t quite sure what to make of him. Regardless, management fires Todd because he seems to have lost the key to the suite which possibly allowed the murderer to enter it.

The murders may or may not be linked to the disappearance of a Lydia Spring. On the other hand, Dirk is about to pop up to investigate the death of Patrick Spring (presumably one of the dismembered bodies). In fact, Dirk was hired to investigate the murder weeks before it happened… but we are getting ahead of ourselves.

The crime scene

There are hotel rooms trashed by rock bands in the 1960’s that were left more intact than our hotel room in question. For starters there is blood everywhere. This is likely to do with the dismemberment of at least two people, not to mention the bite marks on the humans and in the walls. As if that wasn’t enough, there are scorch marks and paw prints everywhere.

According to security footage, a guy in a gorilla mask entered the suite. Likely he/she is the one who did it. Of course it doesn’t help matters that Todd thinks he saw himself on the 18th floor, possibly talking to a guy in a furry animal suit.

Enter Dirk

Dirk is a holistic detective. According to the BBC this means that, “he has strange psychic abilities that enable him to sense tangential connections. He’s turned these abilities into his new profession: that of a ‘holistic detective,’ a term that reflects his belief in the fundamental interconnectedness of all things.”

Dirk barges into Todd’s ramshackle apartment and wonders if Todd is, “a clue, an accomplice, or an assistant.” In short order, Dirk decides Todd is going to be his new assistant, and, of course, Todd wants no part of this new position. On the other hand, since Todd’s just been fired from his job, he’s got nothing better to do, so why not.

Dirk, as we described him the other day, is this odd combo of the 10th and 11th Doctor, with a little bit of Sherlock, rolled into something that is just simply, lovably Dirk. He moves into Todd’s apartment because he perceives that Todd is integrally connected to the hotel murder, and somehow Dirk is assigned to this case. What person or agency hired him is unknown.

The CIA and the woman upstairs

It’s not just the police who are interested in Dirk and Todd. CIA operatives, Colonel Scott Riggins (Miguel Sandoval) and Sergeant Hugo Friedkin (Dustin Milligan) are surveilling Todd’s apartment, and the trigger happy Friedkin manages to fire a shot that ricochets though the lighting fixture into the upstairs apartment.

Said upstairs apartment contains a, as of yet unidentified, woman handcuffed to a bed. If you get nosy and want to check out the BBC America site you can find out who she is, but we recommend the surprise route. Don’t open your Christmas presents early on this one.

The sister

The reason that Todd has no money is because he’s been paying for the expensive medical treatment of himself and his sister, Amanda (Hannah Marks). Todd is in remission, but Amanda is still in the throws of Pararibulitis. This made up condition, according to BBC America, is, “a hereditary disease that turns everything around her into a potentially agonizing physical hazard — she’s remained isolated, leaning on her brother for support.”

The assassin

We don’t know why, but there is a holistic assassin, a.k.a. Bart (Fiona Dourif) after our holistic detective. According to BBC America, “Bart is a terrifying, homicidal, deranged, fearless, and nearly invincible self-identified “holistic assassin.” Like Dirk, she is a causality psychic. Bart doesn’t determine who she kills or when and how she kills them. It’s all instinctual. Drawn towards people who kill or endanger others, she feels a second nature urge to eliminate them, which she can do with very little effort.”

Bart’s managed to kidnap her own assistant, Ken (Mpho Koaho). Ken was just a hacker hired for a gig and now he’s quite literally along for the ride.

The Rowdy 3

Todd’s apartment gets destroyed by The Rowdy Three, this weird roving group in a van who enter his apartment, trash it, and seem to suck the life and presence out of Dirk. In the midst of this chaos, Todd’s violence prone, insane landlord shows up. Shots ring out and he’s dead. Plus side, Todd doesn’t have to worry about overdue rent. Downside, Todd is now linked to another homicide.

The corgi and the cat

A corgi keeps wandering around, and crossing Todd’s path. It even wanders through he hotel at one point; let us not forget the animal paw prints at the crime scene.

Finally wanting to just do a good deed after a bonkers day, Todd returns the dog to the address on its tags. We’re pretty sure that the dog isn’t just a dog, and there’s something really off about the owner.

Dirk whips a cat, who we are betting is no more a cat than the corgi is a corgi, out of his duffel bag. The duffel bag also contains a gorilla mask.

Questions

How does all of this interconnect? Who is the murderer? Do Dirk and Todd time travel? What are the rules of this supernatural universe? Who is the woman upstairs? How is the CIA involved? What do The Rowdy Three and Bart want? Who hired Bart? Who hired Dirk? What is with the cats and dogs? Most importantly, WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?!?!

We are so confused, but we love it. This show is about the journey and characters more than immediate answers. Let’s hope they can keep up the suspense, quirkiness, and frenetic pace for the rest of the season.

What did you think of ‘Dirk Gently’?

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