Search Party season 4, episode 7 recap – “The Infinite Loop”

January 28, 2021
Cole Sansom 0
HBO Max, Weekly TV


The gang finally make their way towards Dory, but she seems further than ever from them.

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The gang finally make their way towards Dory, but she seems further than ever from them.

This recap of Search Party season 4, episode 7, “The Infinite Loop”, contains spoilers.

Over the past few episodes, I’ve noted how Dory’s suffering has been grim and difficult to watch, but I’ve kept with it because it seems to be building to something. And boy did it pay off. “The Infinite Loop” builds on the past six episodes to deliver the season’s high point (so far) and one of the show’s best episodes; containing one of the most hilariously construed sequences in the series and ending with a gut punch more brutal than anything that’s come before.

First, we get to the real aunt Lila, played by none other than Susan Sarandon who is, unsurprisingly, a delight. Lila’s brother Richard (the Sticky’s factory owner from the last episode) rings her up with news of Chip; “We believe that he — I hate using this word — ‘kidnapped’ a woman.”

Lila flies (in a private jet!) to Babyfoot, MA where she finds Paula, resting with the Chicken nuggets in the freezer. Her blasé attitude to Chip’s…alterations…are hilarious, admiring his creativity. “There’s a room full of chains. I don’t remember them being there when we bought the house.” 

At a gas station (where she purchases all the available gasoline) she narrowly avoids her nephew(?) who, dressed as Lila, slips out and punctures the real Lila’s tires, giving him time to pack up and flee with Dory in tow. 

But they’re not the only ones closing in on Chip in Search Party season 4, episode 7. After an excruciating phone call with Mark (which Elliott begins with “hey can I speak to Mark) the gang finds their way to Babyfoot. Mark gives a hint that Dory might not be ok; “We had an incredible conversation. She did scream Dory is dead, but I think that was my fault, I’m just weird socially.”

Finding the ice cream shop, they show the attendant Mark’s selfie, and she describes Chip dressed as Lila, but with nothing more to go on they return to the car. Moments later, Lila, waiting for her car to be repaired, stumbles into the same ice cream store holding a picture of Dory. The attendant then points her towards the gang, innocently enough, given that Portia is now sporting a Dory wig (the result of an “official cast announcement” social media post that turns out to be not so official and more out of fear that Portia will be replaced by Selena Gomez).

This leads to the episode’s centerpiece; a hilarious slow chase sequence where both parties believe the other is who they’re after. After some extremely slow driving and reluctance to pull out, the two cars end up circling a highway, both waiting for the other to pull out. There are some hilarious lines about “young people” not knowing how to drive while Portia think that the other driver might have dementia (which Elliott reprimands her for).

They circle around until Drew notices that not only are they preventing cars from entering the roundabout, but Dory is in one of those cars. They stop and run after her, but Dory, freaked out at the arrival of her friends (who she now believes to be responsible for her pain) runs off.

They run after her while Lila comforts Chip, revealing that she is his mother as well as his aunt. Sarandon plays it so well, as Chip lashes out, “This is why no-one wants to be my friend.”

Even after they catch up with her, Dory’s friends don’t know how to handle their brainwashed friend. Tied up in a hotel bed, she spits venom at them, accusing them of being the cause of all her pain. Drew tries to settle her down, pleading with her from the bottom of his heart to come back. But she only speaks of revenge.

As the gang cuddle together, Drew, resigning defeat, says, “I think we lost her.” How cruel, to have finally found their friend; the person who means the most to Drew. But Dory might never be coming back.

Search Party season 4, episode 7, “The Infinite Loop” notes:

  • “What am I going to do for half an hour” – There’s a sex museum over there”
  • I love the details of Babyfoot, with the Heel roundabout and signs for “Big Toe.”
  • The ice cream attendant has clearly never met anyone from New York asking “are you guys friends with Jay-Z?” and if they’re “scared of a terrorist attack or is that at over now?”
  • The TV in the hotel  announces the “Charlie Reeney Story,” depicting the grueling final hours of Elliott’s former co-host after she was hit by a book. 
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