DIRK GENTLY’S HOLISTIC DETECTIVE AGENCY is really defining its genre in its second episode, “Lost and Found.” While the pilot episode boasted Douglas Adams-quality humor amidst action, mystery, and the paranormal (with a little bit of horror/thriller sprinkled in), this second episode jumped head on into the thriller category, sending us straight into the Farah storyline, who we quickly discover is the woman who was kidnapped and held hostage in the apartment above Todd’s. She also happens to be the hired security for Peter Spring, the man brutally murdered in the hotel suite in the first episode, and whose daughter is being held prisoner by the strange man who owns the wandering corgi.
There’s a lot to take in here, just as the first episode, though with most of the introductions out of the way, it’s easy to dive in and begin to peel back the layers. With the discovery of the gorilla mask in Dirk’s possession at the end of the first episode, the second episode picks up right away in hinting towards Dirk’s – and possibly Todd’s – involvement in the Peter Spring murder. But how? We’re not sure yet, just like we’re not sure why – of all things – Peter Spring’s cause of death was by the jaws of a hammerhead shark. I mean, as Dirk points out, hammerheads don’t normally bother people.
We meet a new faucett of the paranormal, a group of bald-headed men who remind me strangely of talking versions of The Gentlemen from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, though they aren’t nearly as gruesome looking. These are the men holding Farah hostage, and they report to the relatively normal, deadbeat-looking man holding Lydia hostage. Meanwhile, for whatever reason, The Rowdy Three have begun tailing Amanda.
In the midst of all this is Bart and Ken, the holistic serial killer and her less-than-willing companion. The car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, giving the two ample time to talk, and we learn through Bart – and a subsequent cut to some unnamed federal location – that perhaps Dirk and Bart are not completely opposites, but rather exactly the same in radically different ways.
The cut to the unnamed federal meeting is revealing in other manners as well. For starters, we learn that there’s a whole program that was created dedicated to studying strange phenomena, and somehow from this came both Dirk and Bart. But with budget cuts, this branch of federal bureaucracy doesn’t want to keep tailing Dirk (apparently they only had enough money to tail one of the thirty from the program sent out into the world) and a new head of department orders the official overseeing the program to round up the thirty in question or else she will eliminate them, as they are a threat to national security.
But perhaps the most revealing discoveries made in this episode dealt with Dirk and Todd’s more-than-messy investigation of Lydia’s kidnapping. They stake out the house where Todd returned the corgi, and because of Dirk’s in-the-moment half baked idea, wind up inside the house, hiding in a bathtub. After some quite unstealthy hiding, Todd gets the bathroom window open to escape, but not before Dirk has accidentally (unbeknownst to him) tipped over a candle that starts a fire in the house, and also kidnapped the corgi.
The corgi turns out the be very important here. Dirk has his suspicions that the corgi is in fact Lydia. Well, at least, that the corgi has been “hypnotized” to think it’s Lydia, while Lydia has been hypnotized to think she’s a corgi. Todd, of course, thinks this is all nonsense. But a showdown on a bridge later that night (after Dirk is sent a text threatening that “his friend” – Farah – would be killed if they didn’t give the corgi back) confirms that there’s some sort of body switching paranormal voodoo going on here.
Dirk and Todd arrive on the bridge with the corgi, and Farah is at the opposite end with Lydia’s kidnapper and the strange posse of bald men. The kidnapper demands they give the corgi back. Dirk and Todd demand they release Farah. The kidnapper refuses, saying giving up Farah was never part of the deal, they had just promised not to kill her. Todd takes matters into his own hands, threatening to dump the corgi over the bridge. Everyone panics at this. It is a cruel thing, afterall, dumping an innocent corgi over a bridge. Even the corgi – or perhaps it’s really Lydia – thinks so, too, because a ghost-like essence briefly emerges from the corgi. It looks like Lydia and it speaks to Todd, imploring him with a panicked “No!” not to drop her – the corgi – over the bridge. So shocked is he, though, that he does just that. Poor thing.
Lucky for Todd, Dirk is thinking quickly, and Farah is a trained badass. Though she’s masked and tied up, she uses the moment of distraction to catch her captors off guard and escapes their grasp with enough time to hop in Dirk’s car with Todd and Dirk. They drive away to Dirk’s apartment. Though no longer under Todd and Dirk’s (rather irresponsible) protection, the corgi seems to have survived as well, and so far has escaped detection from her original captors.
What’s next in this unraveling story? I can’t wait to find out. Perhaps we will get to dive into more of the paranormal in next week’s episode.
Season 1, Episode 2 (S01E02)
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency airs Saturdays at 9PM on BBC America
Tasha is a freelance writer currently based in Los Angeles. Originally from Kansas, when she’s not writing about or watching TV, Tasha is searching for the best BBQ place in LA to fill the KC BBQ hole in her stomach.
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Tasha Cerny | Contributor