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"Very Erectus" is an episode of the series Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, the fifth episode of season 1.


As Dirk and Todd embark on a hunt for Patrick Spring's dark enigmas, Todd reveals a deep-seated secret of his own. Detectives Estevez and Zimmerfield take big risks as they inch closer to the truth of their missing person’s investigation, and Amanda finally confronts the looming specter of the Rowdy 3.


Intro: A series of television screens display Scott Riggins and Hugo Friedkin getting dressed in protective gear, Farah Black aiming a sniper rifle, flashing lightning, Estevez holding an indri, a forest, Todd Brotzman reading from two pieces of paper, Zimmerfield holding an electric crossbow bolt, Dirk Gently digging for something in front of a car, Bart Curlish in a bathrobe poorly applying lipstick, Ken Adams holding more money than he can carry, Gordon Rimmer dancing to music playing through a set of headphones, the kitten falling through the air, Amanda Brotzman enjoying herself as the Rowdy 3 dance behind her, Fred in Joseph Weedle's body making a finger gun and smiling, Wilson grinning and sharpening two knives, the American flag shirt from the hotel, a Seattle PD badge with blood running down it, a river of blood running across dirt, and the coroner making a throat-cutting motion. They transition to only displaying the falling kitten.

Rimmer throws Lux Dujour's things in the dumpster outside the Animal Transfer Unit as Rapunzel, in Lydia Spring's body, mills around in the background. He calls her over and puts a gun to her head, apologizing for putting her soul in Lydia's body, and promises to swap them back and kill Lydia when finished. He mimes shooting her in the head and sends her away, deciding to keep Dujour's fur coat.

An amublance runs out of gas on a Seattle block and Ken, dressed in paramedic garb, opens the back doors and lets a similarly dressed Bart out. He asks if this is where they need to be, and Bart states she cannot sense Dirk's presence, so they will stay where they are until Dirk comes to her.

Dirk and Todd drive to Skagit Valley, Dirk expressing excitement that Patrick Spring may have left them something, Todd less certain. He asks why Dirk said "three questions, one answer" when they were in the map room, but he ignores him. Todd states that they should finish quickly, as he does not like leaving Amanda alone, before hearing a meow, which Dirk claims not to hear.

Estevez and Zimmerfield finish questioning John Dollow, having gotten nothing useful out of him, and Farah listens in on them as they leave the police department. They agree to follow up on Rimmer next.

While they eat in a diner, Todd states his belief that Dirk has some sort of power that enables all the strange coincidences around him to happen. Dirk, visibly uncomfortable, tells Todd he is not psychic, and Todd points out he never said Dirk was. He draws something on a napkin under the table and asks Dirk to tell him what he drew, but Dirk insists that he had to accept that things don't always make sense, so now Todd must as well, and that "I don't have time or interest in talking about your stupid picture of a cowboy." He hurries off and Todd flips the napkin over, revealing that he did indeed draw a cowboy, and he stands to go after Dirk but accidentally bumps into a server in his haste, staining his shirt.

Amanda smokes alone in Todd's apartment when she hears the Rowdy 3's van outside. The door opens when she approaches it, and after thinking about it for a moment, she gets in.

Todd comes out of the diner to find that Dirk has traded his Corvette for a chef's Jeep, having shown their map to the chef and learning that they needed an off-road vehicle to navigate the terrain. He gives Todd a new shirt that he bought for him, which Todd realizes, to his shock, is the same shirt he saw himself wearing in the hotel. Before he can contemplate this, Dirk tells him to get in and they drive off, being followed by a bald man and the coroner.

Riggins and Friedkin dress themselves in protective gear to confront the Rowdy 3, Riggins referring to them as "Project Incubus" and stating that he would usually want ten men for each of them. He warns Friedkin (who has not read the file again) not to try and fight them unless ordered and that the Rowdy 3 feed off psychic energy, originally being classified as vampires. Friedkin asks if they should arm themselves with stakes, (and golden bullets, despite them not being related to killing vampires) and a visibily annoyed Riggins tells him to just follow his lead. Friedkin asks why the CIA did not supply him with more backup, and he admits that they believe he is too emotionally attached to the subjects, but insists that "no one knows these people the way I do" and that the Rowdy 3 can be reasoned with if handled properly.

The Rowdy 3 offer Amanda a drink, and they introduce themselves: leader Martin, sledgehammer-wielding Gripps, unkempt Cross, and young Vogel. She asks if they follow DIrk around because they are his friends, but Martin states that they like the taste of his psychic energy. He notes that they liked the taste of her Pararibulitis more, and Gripps asks if she saw anything cool when they consumed it. She muses that she did.

The detectives visit Rimmer's old place of work, the zoo, and learn from a worker that he had a negative reputation and was in charge of the abandoned Animal Transfer Unit. They ask to look inside the building, and she points them to the person who can grant them access.

Dirk and Todd stop at a spot Dirk insists they need to dig at, stating that it will all work out so long as they find what they are looking for. Todd asks what exactly that is, Dirk stating that they will know when they find it. An amused Todd remarks that he is psychic, and they begin to dig.

Hungry, Ken convinces Bart to stop standing around and get Chinese food with him, having never eaten in a restaurant before because "food comes to me when I'm supposed to eat it." Ken asks if she has money to pay the bill, and she pulls out a large pile of stuck-together bills that totals to seventeen thousand dollars. They use her money to get a hotel room (leaving her stunned that someone can pay for a full room to sleep in) and takes a shower, instructed by Ken, sitting outside, on what to do. She notes that "you're still here" and he thinks on this, murmuring "yeah, I am."

Having dug dozens of holes, Todd insists they are in the wrong spot and asks to stop for the night until Dirk points out that it would be "one more thing you walked away from." He compares life to the maze, "an endless series of rooms with puzzles, and eventually, one of them kills you. Giving up is an answer, I suppose. It'd certainly be easier, but it's an easy road to nowhere. What if one more shovel in the dirt is all it would take?" Todd reluctantly tells Dirk to dig one more, having to convince him to drop his sudden act of not wanting to dig, and his shovel strikes something solid when he pushes it into the dirt. They dig up a plastic-wrapped box and find a mechanical device inside.

The Rowdy 3 smash up a traffic cop's vehicle and Martin gives Amanda his bat to join in, which she does until she suffers an attack and hallucinates nails growing from the bat and piercing her hands. She collapses and the Rowdy 3 surround her, Cross inhaling her energy and making the vision vanish, promising that "you're not going to have to worry about that shit anymore."

Todd awakens to the sound of meowing, finding the kitten in the backseat. He asks Dirk if he will ever explain why he took it from the crime scene, Dirk stating it was just a hunch. Todd reminisces that he had not slept in a car since his last band, which had ended poorly because he made some "really bad choices." Dirk tells him that he has learned "when I'm looking behind me, I can't see ahead of me." Todd asks if he is telling him not to dwell on the past, but Dirk states that he means he literally cannot see behind him when he is looking forward, but with Todd there, he can help him look in both places at once. Todd asks if he wants to "dig up some more weird crap buried by a dead guy" and Dirk responds "more than anything else in the world." They spend the rest of the day digging up more strange devices.

The detectives ask their superior, Edmund Doyle, for a warrant to search the Transfer Unit. Doyle states that they do not have enough for a warrant, despite Zimmerfield angrily laying out all the evidence connecting Rimmer to Lydia's disappearance. After leaving, they confirm that something is off and agree to search the Transfer Unit regardless.

Having dug up all the devices, Dirk and Todd assemble it into one larger machine, which Dirk theorizes could be the unlimited energy device. Todd asks Dirk if he ever sees visions of the future and states that he has seen his new shirt before. Before he can explain what he saw at the hotel, they are attacked by the coroner and the bald man. Dirk picks up the kitten and the coroner warns his associate that "he's got the shark!" Dirk throws it at the bald man and a hammerhead shark's soul bursts from it, tearing the bald man apart. Todd hits the coroner with a shovel, only for him to turn around and put his gun to Todd's head, narrowly stopped by the shark killing as well. The soul goes back inside the kitten and Dirk picks it up, realizing that they have found Spring's murder weapon.

Riggins and Friedkin observe the Rowdy 3's empty van and Amanda alone, Riggins reminding Friedkin not to do anything before moving towards the van to find the men. The Rowdy 3 ambush and attack Friedkin until Riggins intervenes. He tries to talk them down until Martin presses their heads together roughly, warning him that they will not be put "back in no cages," despite Riggins insisting "it's different this time" and he is trying to save their lives. Friedkin restrains Amanda and puts a gun to her head to make the men back off, despite Riggins ordering him to let her go. Martin tells Riggins holding her hostage is low, even for him, and tells Amanda they will see her later before leaving. Amanda bites Friedkin's arm and runs off, and Riggins headbutts him for his insubordination.

Farah listens in on the detectives' conversation as they walk to their car, stating their intent to go to the Transfer Unit.

As Todd applies bandages to Dirk's face, he wonders why the men didn't kill them in their sleep, Dirk realizing they were waiting for them to find and assemble the device. Dirk thanks Todd for bandaging him up and states "for someone who constantly talks about what an asshole he is, you're quite a good friend." Todd rebuffs him, stating that Dirk's positive attitude projects onto Todd, and says that he thought of Amanda when he looked down the barrel of the coroner's gun, how there would be no one to take care of her if he died, and he would "never be able to make up for all the shitty stuff I've done to her." As Dirk starts to say that him supporting her through Pararibulitis having had it himself indicates that he is a good brother, he interrupts him and admits he never had the disease. He explains that he pretended to have it to get easy money from his parents, only to pretend to get better when Amanda became genuinely sick, their parents having already run out of money by then. He finishes by telling Dirk that "I am, and always have been, a complete and total asshole." He walks back to the car as Dirk contemplates this, only to realize the kitten is missing.

Ken returns to the room and finds it empty, finding Bart out in public in only a bathrobe, sick of doing nothing. She states that she is going to kill a man across the street, not knowing if it is Dirk but wanting to regardless. Ken tries to stop her, as they do not know if he is a bad person like Red or the bikers, and they are in a crowded area, despite Bart insisting that "it's the will of the universe." She ignores him insisting that she cannot kill Dirk if she is in jail and he grabs her arm when she moves. She easily shakes him off and calls to the man, who walks towards her and gets hit by a car. She warns Ken that "there's no stopping me, no even slowing me down. You touch me again, you get in my way again, I'm taking your head off."

The detectives find the Transfer Unit's fence unlocked, despite supposedly being condemned, as well as a car inside the fence. They explore the building, finding symbols similar to the bald men's tattoos drawn all over the walls, and eventually find a room with dozens of bodies piled inside. Estevez walks back to the car to find cell phone service while Farah watches through a sniper rifle scope. Zimmerfield is shot in the chest and electrocuted by a crossbow bolt, fired by Zed from the Transfer Unit's roof. As Estevez carries him to their car, Ed fires on the detectives with a rifle. Farah notices Rimmer fleeing the scene in his car with Lydia in the back, as well as a third bald man sneaking up on the detectives from behind. As Estevez loads Zimmerfield into the back of their car, Farah shoots the bald man to save their lives, and they flee the scene separately. As Zimmerfield bleeds out, Estevez realizes he needs to remove the bolt and stops the car, only for Zimmerfield to murmur "save Lydia Spring" and die.

As Dirk and Todd conclude the kitten is long gone, Dirk asks if Todd has ever felt directionless. He muses that "everything is connected, but only I can see it. I'm not psychic, but I am...something." He explains that when he was a child, he would get vague intuitions about the world worked, but never fully understood them. Todd asks why he does not use his ability to keep himself safe, but Dirk insists that it doesn't work that way, and that if he cannot help himself, he may as well use it to help others. He tells Todd that he is his first closest thing to a friend, and yet he is "a bit sick of your bullshit," as he is not the bad person he thinks he is. Todd admits that he is right, and that when they get back to Seattle, they will solve Spring's murder, find Lydia, and he will tell the truth to Amanda. He tells Dirk that he is his friend.

Farah returns to Todd's apartment to find Amanda armed with a knife, who drops it when she sees her. Farah asserts that the situation is under control and asks if she has heard from Dirk or Todd, wanting to tell them that she saw Lydia.

Wilson interviews Friedkin independent of Riggins, wanting an account of the mission so far. He recounts Riggins letting Dirk go and his passive approach to confronting the Rowdy 3. She asks what he would have done, and he states that he would have took a more aggressive approach and that Riggins is too emotionally attached. Wilson muses that there is a reason the Neanderthals went extinct under the Homo Erectus and asks if Friedkin can be more aggressive, and he responds "yes, ma'am. Very Erectus."

Behind the scenes[]




  • Todd says "I'm just glad we got through the ride without anyone or anything trying to kill us". (This may be why Bart killed the biker gang.) At the same time, Bart is searching Seattle to find and kill Dirk.
  • Todd tries to get Dirk to admit that he has powers but Dirk denies it. As Project Icarus of Project Blackwing, Dirk is a type of psychic.
  • Dirk gives Todd the same shirt that he saw himself wearing in the hotel hallway in Horizons
  • The Rowdy 3 ask Amanda if she saw anything cool when they sucked her energy. She was previously shown to experience psychic visions during the process.
  • Bart tells Ken Adams that food comes to her when she needs to eat. This connects to the fact that she believes the universe leads her to where she wants to go.
  • Dirk says he had a hunch to take the cat from the crime scene.
  • Detective Zimmerfield's last words are "Save Lydia Spring". This is a phrase that has been repeated throughout the series by several people.
  • Riggins tells Friedkin that the reason he doesn't have more back up is because people think he is too close and too emotionally involved in the operation, leading him to be blinded by what he should do. Friedkin later uses these exact words to convince the head of the operation to let him take over.

Other Notes

  • Dirk says that together with Todd, they can see two places at once.
  • Martin calls the other members of the Rowdy 3 his rowdy boys.



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