Dory is joined by another prisoner — a boomer.
This recap of Search Party season 4, episode 4, “Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity-Jig”, contains spoilers.
Search Party has always been a show about the way millennials (whatever that word means) are stereotyped within our society. That commentary reached a fever pitch in the show’s third season but has settled down for the past three episodes, focusing more on grounding the character in their changed lives.
That changes in “Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity-Jig” where Dory is returned to her captivity along with Ann Dowd’s nosey neighbor character, Paula, who is kidnapped after she catches a glimpse of Dory during a heated argument with Chip over Christmas decorations.
After her failed escape attempt, Dory has lost hope, resigning herself to both her imprisonment and her misdeeds. This creates a sharp contrast between her and Paula, who, in classic boomer fashion, is compelled to blame Dory for her own misfortune. “Why do you live like this?” she asks as if it’s a conscious choice. “How could you just let this happen to yourself. I just don’t have this generation.” When Dory asks what town she’s in, Paula acts incredulous; “Oh my god, you don’t even know what planet you’re on.”
On the generational flip-side, the knock on boomers is a “speak to the manager” entitlement, that Dowd brings in full force. “What are you considering doing with me,” she tells Chip, before listing her extremely complicated dietary requirements. When she finally recognizes Dory, she complains to her warden, “I decided that I need to be released.”
Her fighting spirit (“Let’s escape! It’s two against one, and I’ve got my grandfather’s forearms.”) goes to show how far Dory has sunk. “I’m starting to wonder if I’m ever going to get out of here or if I should just kill myself,” she says, mostly to herself. Gone is the conniving and witty Dory of the past. This Dory is ready to atone, as she has nothing else to live for.
Of course, Paula’s arrival stresses Chip out in a totally in-character way. But when he can’t take it anymore, he uses her allergies against her. Once her body hits the ground, Dory finds herself able, for the first time in a while, to confess — to face her crimes. But she also has a grip on what makes Chip tick. “I am a murderer, I’m a liar,” she tells him. “I am a psycho. What you really like is that I manipulate people into thinking I’m not… you wish that you could do the same.” It hits a bone Chip did not expect, and when he’s dealt with Paula, he knocks Dory out.
Luckily, Dory’s friends have finally pooled their (albeit small) knowledge of her disappearance; mainly Drew’s realization of the fake Instagram pictures and Elliott’s newsflash that “the twink is alive.” They regroup after Drew, in the way he’s known and reviled for, spins a series of half-hearted lies explaining his sudden need to leave Merry-Merry Land. He claims he has to make a speech at his high school tomorrow, but Cindy has seen his search history (he googles Dory every day!). He’s clearly not over her, but when Cindy tells him she loves him, his response is that he has “big feelings too.” Oh, Drew.
We finally get to see parts of “Savage: The Dory Seif Story” which is a hilarious reimagining of what the audience is familiar with, but a hundred times more ridiculous (e.g. Portia is always chewing gum). Portia gets to try on a Dory wig but is a little concerned by the direction of the production. The cast asks her “why were you friends with these people?” and the director rejects Portia’s attempts to inject nuance into her portrayal of Dory, and ends up asking her to take some time off.
Conversely, Elliott’s career is looking better than ever in “Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity-Jig”. “You have made a lot of very rich men even richer,” says his boss after showing him the new “Elliott pistols,” soon to hit stores. The higher-ups want him to be a bigger star but are keen to fire Charlie (an example of how women are easily discarded in the media sphere). But keeping secrets has never been Elliott’s strong suit, and it takes only a few (literal) prods for Charlie to get it out of him. Furious, she chases him out of the building, where she is struck by…. a flying book?
Search Party season 4, episode 4, “Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity-Jig” Notes:
- “I thought that Portia could always be chewing.”
- Ann Dowd’s pronunciation of “potty” will keep me going for weeks
- “I am intimate with the most desperate and ostentatious lawyers on the east coast.”
- I finally decided what to do with you, and my decision is that I need more time to decide”