So they’re not all dead. That’s … good? For TV, that’s good. For the world of Search Party, that’s very, very bad. One of the ways you know you’re watching a prestige TV show in the classic mold is you find yourself actively rooting for bad outcomes for humanity within the show.
Three days later and the bus is still burning. Drew is FaceTimed by his mom. Hello again to Drew’s horrible family! Long time no see. I love scenes with Drew’s fam. They’re a painfully accurate representation of a coastal elite and their feelings toward the flyover folk they left behind. In the real world, Chicago is an elite city, but in the Search Party world, anyone not from New York is from Hee Haw.
“Why don’t you come home?” asks his mom. “You have nothing to live for anymore; that’s when people come home.” The brothers aren’t into it, one even saying he’ll kill himself if he has to live under the same roof as Drew, but it’s moot anyway. Drew isn’t taking a long, slow drive back to Chicago. He is rendezvousing with the rest of the cult members, who have been chilling in the sewers these many days. The FBI figures it out but is like, They don’t know that we know, Phoebe on Friends style.
A beguiling thread I fear will always be left hanging: Drew’s dad says he took a long, slow drive back to Chicago when he was Drew’s age and all his friends died. What? The world of Search Party is awful on a fractal level. The closer you look, the more fucked up it gets. On that same tip, Chantal and Liquorice have decided that a little boy will travel back in time, seduce Chantal, and get her to sire the antichrist. (IMO, we already have an Antichrist and his name is Aspen, but I digress.) Kathy Griffin is fearless. One of her first big post-cancellation roles involves advocating for someone to murder a child in front of his parents. But Chantal can’t go through with it, so they’re back to square one.
Dory leads her flock to the hippies, who helped her straight out of the asylum. I missed them! The disciples wash their tie-dye jumpsuits, and we are treated to a rainbow Last Supper tableau. Elliott is in Judas’ spot because of course he is. Drew is sitting next to Dory, Beloved Disciple style. P.S. Did you know about Jesus’ possibly maybe gay relationship with John the Apostle? Just a fun li’l something to bring up at parties. Portia is in Doubting Thomas’s position, who famously fingered Jesus(’s wounds). I love comparative theology.
Elliott asks to be in charge of jelly-bean security, and Dory says no. He’s still planning on nabbing some pills to placate Dr. John Waters so they can return Aspen from whence he came. Honestly, I think she’d do Elliott the solid if he just asked directly, but sneaks gotta sneak.
Dory announces that tomorrow is Pill Day. Almost immediately after dropping that bombshell, she goes outside to look at the stars. Drew, Portia, and Elliott all take turns going out to join her (and bone down). Drew’s tête-à-tête is the most upsetting. After their conversation about how he needed to either come back fully or leave forever, Drew decided to give up independent thought completely. “I’m not gonna question anything anymore,” he says. “I was put on this earth to be by your side, Dory.” They boink, and Drew’s daisies are askew when he returns to the dinner table.
Portia and Dory’s coupling takes the least time, despite them still probably needing more “Sorry for Munchausen-syndrome-by-proxy-ing you” talking to have. But presumably, once Portia is pilled-up, she’ll have fully processed every bad thing she’s ever done. Just like Dory has, right? Right?
Elliott finally seals the deal with his spiritual leader because being left out of it would literally kill him. It has all the chemistry of whenever Liz and Jack had to pretend to be in love or kiss in 30 Rock. But El gets his. He returns to the table and appears to pull a pube out of his mouth, a lovely touch.
Back in the city, we meet up with the Witherbottoms. Hello again to Chantal’s horrible family! Ted, her brother-in-law, has apparently developed a hot sauce for babies, and it’s made the whole family megarich. Her mom is FaceTiming in for a family dinner because she’s gotten a whole new face. And Chantal’s dad is in a wheelchair and using some sort of assistive technology to speak. Once again, there are extra stories looming on the edges of Search Party. The world is full of the worst things happening to the worst people on this show. It’s the tethered of How to With John Wilson.
Chantal and Liquorice are interrupting the family dinner so Liquorice can ask for Chantal’s hand in marriage. Since Chantal didn’t have the nards to shoot a kid in broad daylight, they’ve decided that locking her down in the bonds of holy matrimony is the only way to prevent the coming of the Antichrist. Ted, as the new family patriarch, gives his blessing to the union.
It’s Enlightenment Day! Dory says the disciples need to transform their egos before dying and being reborn: “My ego had driven me to a place of such despair.” Babes, your ego drove you to murders, plural. If Dory’s enlightenment were real, she’d acknowledge the pain she’d caused as much — if not more — than the pain she experienced. That being said, the guided-meditation scene is legit beautiful. The girlies levitate and are bathed in light from their third-eye chakra. Dory’s eyes go iridescent, and it’s the same rainbow mottling on Dr. Benny’s corpse. We really are all connected.
Oh, yeah, Dr. Benny. Her body is being examined at the morgue, and it’s looking like she died before she died. That can’t be good. It also can’t be good that her body goes missing from the autopsy table. Her dead and decayed form attacks one of the coroners conducting her autopsy, and it is a go for zombies in New York.
Meanwhile, the acolytes are tripping balls, or so they think. Elliott switched the pills (thanks, Judas!), and everyone is only placebo enlightened. The disciples are having a dry-humping orgy merely because they think they’re high. But Elliott discovers one person actually ate a real death jelly bean. It turns out to be Winnie, who pukes black bile and takes a big ol’ chomp out of the nice hippie lady. RIP Patti Mayonnaise, you were a real one. I wish I could have learned more about your role in the West Village 11. I bet it was less than you were capable of because radical bros loved to box women out of the movement in the ’60s.
And with that, we enter the endgame of Search Party. Dory and Drew presumably don’t know of Winnie’s zombification since they seemed ready to drive off and distribute the jelly beans far and wide right before shit went downhill. Dr. Benny, Dr. Joe Pera, and Gemini the rat are already in New York. Dory and Drew can’t be far behind. It doesn’t seem like the world will last long enough for that kid to grow up, time travel, and impregnate Chantal after all.
Stray Pages From the Book of Dory
• So what are we thinking, standard-issue postmodern zombie rules? Remove the head or destroy the brain, don’t get bit, and they’re fast for some reason?
• “We always have to be respectful of his sadness; it sucks.”
• When the dude hippie played a didgeridoo into a singing bowl? I was LOLing.
• In the Last Supper tableau, Winnie is in Simon’s place. Theologians, please tell me what this means.
• This is the only time I ever want to see Joe Pera die. That man is a treasure!