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DIRK GENTLY S1 Finale Recap: “Two Sane Guys” Turned Out to Be Exceptional

I was hoping for and expecting a lot of things from the season one finale of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency from BBC America, all of which I got, and moe. Would all of the different plot lines come together in satisfying fashion? They did. Would the absurd and complicated story somehow make complete sense by the end? It did. Might the innocent Lydia at the middle of everything be saved? She was. But what made this final episode, “Two Sane Guys Doing Normal Things,” so exceptional, and as a result the whole season as well, was something I never hoped for because I was never expecting it, and that was just how emotional it all turned out to be.


Considering the convoluted (in the best way) story about a band of men that had come into possession of a time machine/soul-swapping device, by the time all of the different aspects of the story came together–in truly impressive fashion–in that basement, we were surprisingly overcome with emotion at Todd and Dirk’s success in saving Lydia, and in her reunion with Farrah. And that was already after Bart and Ken’s touching scene when he told her he wasn’t leaving her, after she had just discovered (much to her surprise) that sometimes the universe doesn’t make sense and we can’t always know what is coming next.

And that hilarious shrug between Ken and Todd was a quiet moment of perfection.

It was easy enough to appreciate just how coherent the whole, massive plot really was from the get-go, when Bart and Ken showed up just in the nick of time, proving that everything truly is/was connected (seriously, try and make a graph of everything that took place this season–including a timeline–and see how that goes). However, the real impressive work was making that entire story resonate so much on a personal level. For all of the awful things that happened (and were/are yet to happen), there was a beauty to it that transcended the silliness of the story, as well as its darkness. We always knew that the disparate events and character would come together, but this episode didn’t work so well because it made sense; it worked because it meant something.


Part of that was due to the truth about the whole story, that the time loop itself could/can never be closed, because to close it would be to wipe out Lydia Spring’s very existence. Patrick Spring was right: it always ends this way, because it has to. To try and erase our mistakes would be to erase who we are. In this case it was literal, but it was a powerful message from a show that managed to have insightful things to say amid an entertaining and totally insane story. There are far more “serious” and boring shows on television that have tried and failed to say something half as meaningful, all while using a heavy hand, instead of the lighter-tone Dirk Gently employed. And those shows don’t even have a band of murderous bald guys with electrified crossbows.

It’s especially great that the (first) ending didn’t wrap everything up nicely, because life doesn’t work like that. Amanda didn’t forgive Todd, and Patrick Spring will always die in that hotel to save his daughter. The second “ending,” where the new idiot in charge of rounding up the subjects of Project Blackwing was out hunting Dirk and his ilk, was really more prelude to season two than a conclusion to this story, but even that led to poor Estevez’s death, adding to the uneven resolution of season one’s story. The characters barely got to enjoy a job well done before the next, connected job, showed up. That’s perfect.


There was a little lull in the middle of this eight-episode season, where character motives and histories got repeated and the furious pace came to a disappointing halt, but ultimately this first year was completely crazy, totally complicated, and wholly entertaining.

Before it started I hoped all of those things would be true, but what ultimately made it great was the unexpected part. Everything was connected, and that turned out to include connecting us to all of it personally.

What did you think of the finale? What did you think of this first season? Talk about it with us in the comments section below.

Images: BBC America

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