In Seattle, a man wakes up when his phone rings, and he answers it. Another man asks where he is and says that it's time, and the first man says that he's on his way.
At a penthouse hotel room covered in blood, a man torn in half lies on the bed. More men are dead in the next room, and a kitten runs out... and a woman picks it up.
Todd Brotzman jerks away when a man yells at him and smashes Todd's car. The man, his landlord Dorian, demands his money, and Todd runs down to stop him. He reminds Dorian that he paid him the rent the day before, but Dorian doesn't believe him. Dorian asks if Todd is going to call the cops, and figures that he won't because he's got him.
Back at his apartment, Todd discovers that Dorian has locked him out. He goes around to the back and breaks in through a window, and gets dressed for work while a news anchor on the TV talks about the missing Lydia Spring. Todd discovers that his sister Amanda has called him eight times, and takes the bus to the Perriman Grand Hotel where he work. On the way to the hotel, the bus passes a dog. His boss Hermano Palacios walks by, and Todd asks him if he can get his check early. Palacios ignores his request and asks him to go up to Room 745 to deal with a drunk woman and check out the penthouse while he's upstairs. He says that they'll talk about Todd's check later and walks off.
As Todd starts to knock on the door to 745, a man opens it and jumps back, startled. He then walks out as the woman inside cries and throws her shoe. Todd goes in and the woman, half-dressed, covers herself and asks if she has to leave. The woman, Www, asks to sit there for a few minutes and asks Todd to hang out with her. He agrees and sits down, and Www puts her head on his shoulder and says that she hates men. Once she gets hold of herself, Www tells Todd that she'll be out in an hour and escorts him out.
Todd takes the elevator to the penthouse and calls Amanda. He leaves a voice mail saying that he doesn't have the money and the elevator stops at the 18th floor, and Todd sees a man in a white woman's coat arguing with a man inside a room. When the man turns toward Todd, Todd realizes that it's himself. His other self says that now is when it happens, grabs the man, and runs as the elevator doors close on Todd. Palacios calls and asks if Todd has checked out the penthouse yet, and Todd says that he's on his way.
The penthouse doors open and Todd steps out as the lights flicker. There's a blood-covered Lotto ticket on the floor in front of the door, with six winning numbers on it. Todd discovers that the door is open and looks inside, and sees the men's corpses.
Detectives Zimmerfield and Estevez frim Missing Persons arrive after Todd calls the police and the CSI techs secure the crime scene. The head tech says that they're not sure if it's a homicide, and takes them inside. The detectives look around and receive a report that a man on the bed was bitten in half. There are bite marks on the ceiling, and witnesses say that they only heard noise from the room for ten seconds.
The detectives talk to their witness--Todd--and he admits that he lost his key. Estevez points out that he was late to work and he was late to the penthouse, and it looks bad for Todd. The police have preferred the security footage but the fluctuations scrambled most of the video. There is a shot from two minutes before Todd arrived, showing a man apparently wearing a gorilla mask. Todd thinks about it, and Estevez tells him not to leave town. As they go, Todd asks if they can get the security footage for the 18th floor, and the detectives wonder why when it was badly scrambled. He assures him that he didn't touch anything in the penthouse and promises that he won't leave town.
Once the detectives leave, Palacios tells Todd that the police think the murders are tied to something bigger. The manager asks if Todd saw any kind of an animal, and says that the police found paw prints. He then tells Todd that he's fired because of his involvement, and warns that he has to delay Todd's check because it was a same-day termination.
Todd takes the bus home and looks at the TV running a photo of the missing Lydia. He then takes the Lotto ticket out, and then looks out the window and sees the same dog as earlier walking down the street. When Todd enters his apartment he finds a man, Dirk Gently, climbing in through the rear window. He throws a shoe at Dirk and punches him, and Dirk dives over the kitchen counter and bumps into the microwave. Dirk then says that he's trying to decide whether Todd is a clue, an accomplice, or an assistant. He asks if Todd has noticed an acceleration of strangeness in his life that seem unconnected except that they're all bizarre. When Todd stares at him in surprise, Dirk figures that he's his new assistant, introduces himself, and says that he's living there now. Todd immediately throws him out.
As Dirk walks out to the street, two men watching him from a black SUV. The man in charge, Colonel Scott Riggins, says that Project Icarus is leaving the building. The soldier with him says that he has a bead on Todd and asks if he should take the shot, and Riggins shoves his arm just as he shoots. The bullet misses, ricochets off a fan, and hits man in the apartment above who is threatening a handcuffed woman. The woman, Farah Black, stares at the bullet hole in the floor in shock.
Riggins drives after Dirk, and Zimmerfield and Estevez spot him from where they're watching Todd's apartment. The plates come up military, and the detectives wonder what's going on.
Farah manages to break the bed she's handcuffed to, trying to free herself. Todd hears the bed banging against the wall as he talks to Amanda, who complains that her life sucks. They talk about how she's going through what Todd went through, and she reminds him that it runs in the family. Todd says that he's coming up, and Amanda wonders if everything is okay. He remembers everything that happened to him in the last day and says that everything's fine.
The next day, a man, Ken, is at a rig as his employer Red watches and wields a shotgun. A car pulls up and a woman, Bartine "Bart" Curlish, gets out, throws coffee in his face, and kills him with a machete. She then runs over to Ken, smiling, and he runs, screaming. Bart chases him but they finally both stop when they run out of breath. She says that Ken is Dirk Gently and he's a dead man, and Ken says that he has no idea who Dirk is.
Todd leaves his apartment and finds Dirk waiting for him. Dirk knows that Todd has already lost his job, and explains that he's a detective on a case. He finally badgers Todd into telling him that he's going to his sister's house and offers him a ride. As Todd considers it, Dorian comes out demanding his rent and Todd tells Dirk to get going. As Dirk drives off, Dorian addresses him by name and tells him to make sure Todd comes back with the money.
At the police station, Estevez warns Zimmerfield that they're going to bounce the case to major crimes unless they can link it to Lydia's abduction. Zimmerfield reports that some kind of pulse blew out the whole apartment and speculates that it was a lightning strike. Estevez wants to talk to Farah, but Zimmerfield warns that she isn't answering her phone. He figures that the murders, including those of Lydia's father Patrick are tied to her disappearance. Estevez tries to track the gorilla-masked man's route but he apparently knew where the cameras were and avoided them. However, he did see a dog run through the hotel lobby near the time of the murder--the dog that Todd saw.
Dirk drives away at high speed as Todd holds on for dear life. The detective explains that he was talking to Dorian earlier about the apartment building, and then says that he's a holistic detective. Dirk believes in the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. He looks for solutions in the pattern and web of existence, the connection between cause and effect.
Bart drives off with Ken and says that it's good that he came with her rather than have her kill him. She decides to stop for gas even though the car doesn't need gas. They pull up to a gas station and has Ken get up on the roof so that she can keep an eye on him. Bart goes in, discovers that the owner is dead, and the robber who shot him tries to shoot her. She yanks the gun away and kills him with it, then grabs some snacks. As she comes out, Bart casually shoots the second robber and tells Ken that she's a holistic assassin. She just goes around and kills people, and if she kills them then they were her targets. Bart figures that everything mirrors itself, and insists that she's never killed the wrong person. She admits that she has killed a lot of people.
Dirk stops for gas and Todd instinctively starts filling it up. HIs new companion figures that Todd is more important to the case than Todd realizes, and explains that he follows hunches. Dirk had a hunt that Todd would be important, and says that he found nothing while searching Todd's place... and nothing is also interconnected. A van with a bad engine pulls up, and Dirk nervously says that they should go.
Once they arrive at Amanda's house, Todd goes up to the door and Dirk sneaks up behind him. Amanda comes out and hugs Todd, and Todd introduces Dirk. Dirk insists that he and Todd are good friends, and Todd punches him in the arm. As they go inside and Dirk eats, he sees a newscast about Patrick's murder at the hotel. Meanwhile, Todd does the dishes and asks Amanda if she has any friends who would do it. She says that she can't make friends when she almost never leaves the house, and refuses to move back in with their parents because they're broke. Dirk wonders what's wrong with her, and Amanda explains that she has pararibulitus, a nerve disease that causes lifelike and painful hallucinations. Todd had it but he got better, so Amanda figures that there's hope for her.
Dirk doesn't understand why she stays in the house, and Todd interrupts to suggest that he and Amanda jam. Once Amanda goes to the garage, Todd asks Dirk why he's insinuating himself into his life. Meanwhile, Riggins and his sniper Hugo Friedkin watch the house. Riggins reminds him that they agreed that the rifle wasn't necessary, and explains that their goal is to observe and protect the primary, not to kill anyone. When Hugo still doesn't lower the gun, Riggins slaps him in the head.
Todd and Amanda jam in the garage while Dirk watches and imagines himself playing guitar with Todd. Amanda hallucinates holding a knife instead of a drumstick and screams in pain, and Todd runs to his sister while ordering Dirk to stay away.
Later, Todd gives Amanda his last $300 for his meds and leaves. Dirk, watching, asks why he did it. Todd explains that his parents went broke paying for his medication when he was in college, and doesn't want to discuss her getting better and how he got better. As they drive, the van from the gas station follows them.
Farah keeps trying to get free and blames herself for not seeing it coming. She vows to get Lydia.
Dirk follows Todd to his apartment and reminds him that he lives there now. Todd runs in and tries to slam the door, hitting Dirk's hand, and Dirk slips in. He wants to discuss the case with Todd, and explains that Patrick hired him to investigate his death six weeks before it happened. Dirk figures that they used Todd's key and the cases are connected, and Todd insists that he can't do it because he's broke. The detective assures him that money soon won't be a problem for him because the universe will make him a part of the case whether he wants to or not.
Riggins is parked outside and sees the van pull up. Zimmerfield and Estevez are also parked outside and see the same thing. The van slams into Todd's car and Dirk, looking out the window, sees it and swears. Four men get out and Dirk tells Todd that it's the Rowdy 3. They smash their way into the apartment and Todd begs Dirk to go. Dorian hears them yelling from next door and comes over to investigate.
Todd tries to shove Dirk out of the apartment, just as the Rowdy 3 arrive. Dirk ducks back into the apartment and Todd locks the door shut. They smash their way in and start tearing the place apart. Farah hears the noise below and yells for help. When Dorian walks up, he draws his gun and Estevez calls for reinforcements. Riggins figures that they're live and he heads in Hugo.
The Rowdy 3 surround a prone Dirk, and a white mist flows from him into them. After a moment they calmly climb out the window, go down to their van, and drive off. Dorian charges in and demands his rent, and doesn't want to hear Todd's explanation. He prepares to shoot Todd, but the microwave Dirk bumped into earlier goes off. Dorian instinctively shoots at it, and the bullet ricochets and hits Dorian in the head.
The four men watching the building hear the shot and run in, along with two FBI agents. They all meet in front of the apartment building and tell each other to freeze.
Furious, Todd smashes his guitar against the wall.
That night, CSI techs go over the apartment. In the room above, Farah finally breaks the headboard and it hits her in the head, knocking her out.
At the station, Zimmerfield and Estevez free Todd and say that he's free to go. The police have determined that Dorian's death was an accident, and Estevez says that the FBI had Dorian under surveillance because he was a drug dealer. Zimmerfield tells Todd that he's a permanent person of interest, and points out that Todd is connected to four dead bodies in two separate cases.
At the hotel, Palacios is locking up when he sees a man Zed kneeling on the floor that he doesn't recognize him. Another man, Ed, comes up and asks Palacios if he found the kitten in the penthouse. The manager has no idea what he's talking about, and both men remove their hoods to reveal the same tattoos that Red had. The first man then shoots Palacios with an electrified crossbow bolt/taser.
As Todd leaves the station, he sees a telephone pole with Missing posters for Lydia on it. The police release Dirk as well and insists that the CIA helped get him out. He offers Todd a ride, and Todd says that he stole the rent from Dorian to pay for Amanda's meds. Dirk points out that Todd is okay, but Todd notes that he's now homeless. Undeterred, Dirk insists that they have a case to solve but Todd isn't interested. His new associate tells him that he's been making choices out of desperation. Once Todd breaks the pattern and takes control of his life, interesting things will happen. Frustrated, Todd walks off.
Todd takes the bus and sees that he has a call from Amanda. The bus passes the dog, and Todd has the driver stop the bus. He gets out and picks up the dog, finds its owner's address, and takes it there. The man takes it without a word, while Lydia looks at Todd curiously from inside the house.
At the station, Zimmerfield and Estevez study surveillance footage of Todd.
Farah wakes up and reaches for a knife to cut herself free... and someone steps on it.
Bart drives through the night with Ken sitting next to her. She glances over at him and smiles.
At their RV, the Rowdy 3 are burning up mannequins and their leader Martin looks at a photo of Amanda that he stole from Todd's apartment.
As Todd walks past a bodega, he hears the lottery announcer talking about how the viewers should make a choice.
Dirk returns to Todd's apartment and takes the kitten out of his duffel bag... which has a gorilla mask inside it.
A wind blows and a newspaper with Lydia's photograph blows past Todd. The lottery announcer announces the numbers, and Todd realizes that they're the numbers on the Lotto ticket he found.
Written by Gadfly on Oct 27, 2016