Dirk Gently Review S2E4: A House Within a House

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S2E4: A House Within a House

Warnings: Spoilers


We start out again looking at the drawings of what has happened, and what may happen in Windimore. We also get the glimpse of someone with a candle–the ‘boy’ or someone else, who can tell? We cut to a group of knaves who have captured a young man and a strange wild woman, by order of the Mage. This is in Windimore, of course–and what else is in Windmore, but none other than Vogel and Amanda, sputtering and nearly drowned in a lake. Four episodes in and the stories are now fully mixed, with people in each world.

Back in our world, Dirk is in the strange house, and finds a slide in one of the rooms, which he of course falls down, leading him to be stuck in a house within a house (hence the title of the episode). Everything about this sequence is gold, from Dirk running about like crazy, to being chased by a literal one-eyed purple people eater. There is also a murdered table (with a pair of scissors)–which Dirk realizes may been what killed Mr. Cardenas. Dirk tells Todd he may be in “Judeo-christian Hell.”

Despite Dirk’s insistence that Todd stay safe, Todd jumps in to save his best friend the moment he is in real danger. With the strange air gun they found in a previous episode, Todd is about to beat back the monster just long enough for the both of them to escape. But escape to where? Well–it seems jumping out of the house-within-a-house leads to the outdoors, just like it would in the normal house. Go figure.

We also find out that Suzie didn’t only assault the book club members with her wand, but killed them. Farah and Tina investigate the missing women, and find piles of sand where they had been standing (well, piles of sand with their jewelry in it). So Suzie is definitely a murderer, on top of being a bad person–which is exactly why the Mage comes and visits her, encouraging her to work with him as an apprentice, to help him take over both worlds. The first task for her is to kill Dirk Gently. Because, of course. It will be interesting to see if she stays a bad person through the entire season–I really do love the idea of a woman hiding behind the veneer of being a ‘good person’ but is actually rotten at her core.

Back at the sheriff’s station, Bart and Panto start to bond; it’s genuinely sweet. Bart has calmed down a great deal since last season, and Panto, not knowing any of her past, thinks that she is a good person–which she is. She also doesn’t find anything he tells her particularly strange, which helps with their budding friendship.

In Windimore, Amanda and Vogel have been captured by the group of knaves, and placed with the other prisoners. The young man sharing the cell with Amanda attempts to befriend her, but she is having a real breakdown over the entire situation. Hannah Marks really shines in this episode; Amanda is having to deal with things she’s never had to confront before. Responsible for an injured Vogel and still trying to sort out her own capabilities and the “dungeons and dragons” she’s found herself in, Hannah runs Amanda through a wide range of emotions without any of it seeming corny or fake.

Amanda’s heightened emotions and sheer frustration and terror over her situation (not made better hearing that there is a Mage running around killing people), causes her powers to manifest in a new way–her hands and face start glowing with blue electricity. It causes another vision, but this time, as Vogel pulls the energy from her, she is transported temporarily back to her world, where Todd can see her. However, before they can talk more, whatever she is doing triggers his disease and the bond is broken, leaving Todd convulsing on the ground, Dirk panicking over him.

Friedkin is still struggling with his Blackwing duties, basically moping about with the corgi while Ken hacks the files, learning all about the special people. Hilariously, Friedkin didn’t let him out of the room–but at least Ken is out of the taxi…baby steps! I’m actually starting to feel some sympathy for Friedkin, which I didn’t think was possible. He’s always been an idiot, and someone to laugh at–but his ambition has gotten good people killed, and harmed our heroes, so I find it interesting that the show might be trying to rehabilitate him. It’s one of the things I genuinely like about Dirk Gently–people are allowed to have depths, and develop over time in ways we might not expect.

Dirk is overwhelmed by the idea that people keep turning up harmed or killed around him, and specifically, he’s terrified that Todd is going to die because of him. He’s so heartbroken over it, and I love how Todd, in comparison to last season, is the one so willing to be positive and try to help his friend. He confesses that he saw Amanda, that he really saw her, and it triggers something within Dirk–he wants to take Panto and the group back to the strange house.

What they find in the house are the drawings that we have been seeing in the prologues of episodes–they have been hiding under the wallpaper in the house the entire time.

Back in Windimore, the young man in Amanda’s cell calls her what her powers mark her as–a witchacoocoo [their fancy name for a witch]. A man working for the Mage shows up and decides that Amanda and Vogel need to die–which is a mistake on his part. Amanda, in a true show of force, manages to use her newfound powers to destroy all of the bad guys, and her energy is enough for Vogel to feed on, and it allows him to heal. It seems like such a watershed moment for Amanda’s character–whatever she is, now, is powerful; for someone who has always felt helpless this is huge. I can’t wait to see what is in store for her, next.

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