[Review] Search Party Takes It Cult-Like Following Literally in Its Final Season

Photo: HBO Max

Search Party has always been about Dory trying to help others and her friends, Portia, Elliott, and Drew clinging on to their friendship no matter what. The show has evolved over the years. It started off as a Nancy Drew-esque mystery, then evolved into a legal drama and now a psychological thriller. Search Party has always followed where the story has naturally gone to. At the end of season four, we see all four Dorys and now we meet the fifth Dory-“enlightened” Dory with a cult-like following who is on a mission to better the world.

Season five starts off right where season four left off. After being saved from the house fire, Dory technically dies for 37 seconds. She wakes up with a different perspective and outlook on life: she’s “enlightened” as she frequently tells people. The gang thinks she’s crazy and has her committed. Six months later, Portia, Elliott, and Drew are trying to live a life separate from the drama of Dory. But once she escapes the mental institution and meets up with them again, her magnetic personality is hard to get away from.

Dory is on a mission for people to experience what she has and to have this evolved perspective on life. She teams up with tech guru, Tunnel Quinn (Jeff Goldblum) to create a pill that will enlighten people. Of course, when it comes to Dory, the drama follows, including a love triangle, a psychotic child, and a hostage situation. Things get even messier when after consulting with YouTube scientist she realizes people have to die momentarily and be brought back to life to experience what she has. And of course, Chantal, always trying to remain relevant, is still around as well.

The show has always been a bit bizarre and season five leans into this theme. What’s truly hard to understand is Portia, Elliott, and Drew’s devotion to Dory even though her actions have ruined their lives. It all comes down to ego: Dory’s ego wants her to help everyone and the gang wants to cling on to friendships that allow them to feel superior to those closest to them. It’s no wonder the death of the ego is essential to Dory’s transformation.

The road to hell is paved in good intentions and no good deed goes unpunished, and the show’s ending conveys just that. We do learn that whether they are brunching in Brooklyn or trying to start a cult, the gang has an unbreakable bond.

You can watch every episode of Search Party on HBO Max.