So my “Dr. Lombardo isn’t real” theory was wrong, but my “Portia is giving Dory the House of Woodcock Special” theory was dead on. Win some, lose some, zombify a rat some. Things weren’t looking great for Lyte, and now that the only sane(-ish) scientist has vomited blue stuff and jumped out a window, things can only get worse.
Dory has been able to shut out her doubts long enough to go on one of those cable news money shows. She dismisses concerns from the FDA that Lyte hasn’t shared its research in a grip, as well as worries from the Duchess’s Catherine Oxenberg-alike mother — sorry, mummy— that her daughter is in a cult. But as soon as the camera is off, Dory is blowing chunks into a trash can. Tunnel suggests that she see a doctor. Gotta say, there is some gross vomit in trash cans and toilet bowls in this episode. Hats off for realism, set dec team.
Meanwhile, in Maine, Drew has found a quaint inn run by Lou Diamond Phillips. Drew asks Lou Diamond Phillips about the Jesper Society, and we get yet another genre swerve. If the Maine location didn’t give it away, we’re in Stephen King country, fellas. Mr. Lou Diamond calls someone and says, “It’s happening again.”
Back at Lyte, things are … going. Most of the acolytes’ time seems to be spent trying to convince their followers that giving yourself a massive chemical burn is chill and not a troubling sign at all. These headwounds look gross as heck. Ritchie said they’d head into crystalline structures, but in the meantime they are wet and inflamed looking.
Ritche, the “I Fucking Love Science” personified guy, has decided to work towards the enlightenment pill. These real scientists ain’t shit, and it’s time for a guy who makes Diet Coke/Mentos volcanoes to step in. Ritchie is on board with Dory’s idea to literally kill people and bring them back. What could go wrong? In order to pull this off, they need a phoenix beetle enzyme. These insects can allegedly die at will, and by combining this death chemical with molly, he hopes to create a standard-issue enlightenment on demand. Only thing is, they’ll need Dr. Carpet’s help to get the enzyme from Dr. Benny’s chemical laboratory.
After attempting to get out of it with yet another elaborate lie (Dr. Carpet’s wife is cheating on him with his own parents, and he’s in kind of a vulnerable space about it), Elliott re-dons the Dr. Carpet wig. The scene with Early and Aparna Nancherla in the lab is incredible. The lengths Elliott will go to preserve a lie have always been one of the show’s greatest strengths and seeing him kiss a woman while under heavy prosthesis is incredible.
Back in Stephen King’s It, Drew meets the Jesper Society. Joining Lou Diamond Phillips are Illeana Douglas, Michael Ian Black, and Scott Adsit. It’s all heaters and so funny that Drew couldn’t give less of a shit about them. We get tantalizing little hints about these kids and their Pennywise-esque monster battles. Illeana Douglas and Lou Diamond Phillips had an un-acted upon mutual crush, Michael Ian Black used to be fat before working on Wall Street, and Scott Adsit had a lisp. Their narrative inertia keeps Drew in Maine until it gets dark, which pisses him off to no end. In the end, we find out that the woman who slashed Dory in the last episode was the wife of Dr. Lombardo from episode one.
Drew goes to Dory’s old sanitarium and asks after Dr. Lombardo. After getting stonewalled by the receptionist, Drew is taken by surprise by Dr. Flesh. Dr. Flesh was one of the docs who nixed Dory’s release back in the season premiere, and he believes that Dory is psychotic. He gives Drew a drawing of Dory’s visions of the future. It kind of rocks. Dory’s graphic design career may have gone nowhere, but her grim vision of the apocalypse is a serve. Dr. Flesh tells Dory that Lombardo killed himself because Dory basically told him to and that he himself has jerked off to thoughts of her. Dr. Flesh, HIPAA violator. Drew realizes that the negative space in the drawing is the outline of the Lyte logo, and he is shook. Again, Dory’s drawing is very good. Should have tried indie comics instead of solving a disappearance, Dor.
Back at Lyte HQ, Ritchie has made a semi-breakthrough. After going through several dozen rats, he managed to get an enlightenment-style brain response from one named Gemini. Okay, someone is too into astrology on the Search Party writing staff. That a Gemini is responsible for the end of the world is a slander on my whole sun sign. Anyway, Gemini is dead (sad) but showed promising brain scans shortly after death (happy?). Also, Ritche finally brings up what we’ve all been thinking: Dory has been poisoned.
After getting confirmation from Lyte’s on-scene medic, Dory goes rifling through her apostles’ belongings on a poison hunt. But girl, the apostles don’t feed you. Portia does. Eventually, Dory figures it out, and Portia loses it. She confesses to sleeping with Dory, which flips Elliott’s lid. But she doesn’t come clean about the vial of yellow poison found in her (frankly gorgeous) sequined t-shirt dress. But she doesn’t really have time. Leonora’s mummy starts documentarian-ing at her daughter. Drew comes in and presents his investigation’s results, accusing Dory of delusions and telling her that Lombardo’s dead. Things are stressful! Oh, and Gemini has arisen and attacked Dr. Benny. Dr. Benny jumps out the window and lands on Tunnel Quinn’s car. Here we fucking go.
Stray Pages From the Book of Dory
• The fact that Drew’s investigation side mission is successful astounds me. He straight-up asks Lou Diamond Phillips if he knows a lady because she stabbed his friend. How does that work?!
• Dr. Philip Lombardo seems to echo real-life psychologist Dr. Philip Zimbardo, the dude who did the Stanford Prison Experiments and has varying sus:legit ratios depending on who you ask.
• Okay, more on Portia’s sequined T-shirt dress. It has pockets? Pockets big enough for a big test tube of poison? That’s so rare in womenswear.
• “Stop making documentaries about me!”
• Between the Jesper Society and the unholy child Aspen, Search Party is really giving “There are eight million stories in the naked city” vibes. I was reminded of the scene in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas when the normie goes into the bathroom and sees Flea licking LSD off Hunter’s flannel. “With a bit of luck, his life was ruined forever. Always thinking that just behind some narrow door in all his favorite bars, men in red woolen shirts are getting incredible kicks from things he’ll never know.” That’s Drew’s life now.
• Okay, we gotta talk about Dory’s drawing some more. If the Lyte logo was part of the drawing, does that mean Dory did have some sort of vision of the future, but a self-fulfilling one? Are we getting a soupçon of Greek tragedy? It’s also possible Dory helped design the Lyte logo, in which case she’s just normal crazy, not symbolically crazy.