Season 2 gets weird for ‘Dirk Gently’
“Have you noticed an acceleration of the strangeness in your life?” says a polite, mustachioed mystery man (John Hannah) to Suzie (Amanda Walsh) a few moments before he kills her boss, the owner of a dynamite company.
An acceleration of strangeness describes the second season BBC America’s “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency,” the oddest series on television not created by David Lynch.
But the series, created by Max Landis (“American Ultra,” “Chronicle”) and adapted from the novels by the late Douglas Adams (“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”), has a decidedly lighter touch.
The new season opens up in the magical kingdom of Wendimoor, which is being threatened by marauders under the spell of the Madge (Hannah) who has crossed over into the present day.
Picking up from last year, psychic gumshoe Dirk (Samuel Barnett) has been imprisoned by the government organization Blackwing that is trying to contain people like him and their “gifts.”
Dirk’s assistant, ex-rocker Todd (Elijah Wood), and ninja-like Farah (Jade Eshete) are trying to reach out to the universe for clues to locate Dirk, which is what holistic detectives do. Along the way, they stumble on a case — the disappearance of a long-missing couple in Montana. It’s there they meet Sherlock Hobbs (Tyler Labine), an easygoing small-town sheriff and his deputy Tina (Izzie Steele), “five-days sober.”
If you didn’t see the first season of the series, it doesn’t matter. There may be a little more unpacking to do, but “Dirk Gently” has its own charming weirdness that you either go with or don’t. What’s fun about the story is that every character is obsessed with their own failings and problems while the cosmos keeps playing tricks on them.
Meanwhile, the series isn’t afraid to mix in more craziness. Suzie, as it turns out, discovers she has some magic of her own — first thing she does is give herself a makeover — and becomes a force.
Also onboard is Alan Tudyk as Mr. Priest, a deranged bounty hunter working for Blackwing, and Alexia Fast plays Mona Wilder, another of the “gifted” ones. Back is Bart (played with a lively edge by Fiona Dourif), a holistic assassin fighting her instincts to kill people.
“People are happier when I don’t kill them,” Bart reasons, but that doesn’t always work out for her.
When Dirk goes wandering off on his own while they are investigating the new case, Tina asks Todd, “Is he being like holistic or just rude or just dumb?”
“A mixed bag,” he replies. The series is like that, but eventually things begin to connect and there are enough surprises and offbeat moments that make “Dirk Gently” worth following.
Tyler Labine (Sherlock Hobbs) Samuel Barnett (Dirk), Elijah Wood (Todd) in season 2 of “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency” on BBC America.