It's been a minute since Search Party season 3 dropped on HBO Max. Now that Search Party season 4 has begun, pause your socially distant lunch plans and recap everything you might have forgotten about this millennial saga. The dark comedy got even darker in season 3.
The series, which started as the semi-anticlimactic story of a missing woman, ended up becoming the twisty, complicated story of another missing woman. Dory (Alia Shawkat) was kidnapped at the end of season 3 by a legitimately dangerous person. So let's really reflect on how we got there.
Season 1 was about Dory and her friends looking for their missing Facebook friend, Chantal (Clare McNulty) which culminated in the group murdering Keith Powell (Ron Livingston), the private investigator who chased them to Canada in pursuit of a missing woman. Season 2 was all about their attempt to get away with that murder and cover up their tracks. That failed spectacularly, and season 3 put Dory and Drew (John Reynolds) on trial for Keith's murder. The legal satire was on point, but in case your memory is a bit hazy, here's how it all happened.
How Dory & Drew got away with murder
Nope. While Drew did kill Keith with Dory's help and both Portia (Meredith Hagner) and Elliott (John Early) did help bury the body and hide evidence, at the end of season 3 a jury found them not guilty.
This is nothing short of an absurd miracle because Dory and Drew could easily have pled self-defense and been fine. Keith was being violent. He had a tracking device on Dory's phone. Keith did turn out to be less dangerous and more just kind of creepy, but a jury would have believed a self-defense argument. Technically, they could have plead insanity (though that's not exactly a great option). Dory was having visions and behaving erratically and Drew slept with one of the jurors in his own murder trial.
However, Dory made the rash decision to tell the press that she and Drew had nothing to do with Keith's death, despite mountains of evidence. So they were forced to plead innocent. She also fired her lawyer and represented herself for closing statements. Yet somehow they still didn't get convicted. Wild. Reasonable doubt is a hell of a drug.
Someone kidnapped Dory
We don't know too much about Dory's stalker, played by Cole Escola from Difficult People. He attacked Portia at Elliott and Marc's wedding by posing as one of the "Twinkies" catering the affair and got away by faking his own death. Then, when Dory finally made it home after the jury declared her not guilty, he abducted her. The last time we see her, she's had her head shaved and is chained to a chair in some kind of basement. The stalker also got her name tattooed on his knuckles.
He took her because he's obsessed with her, and sees some kind of connection with her, which means he probably doesn't want to murder her. Clearly, this is a problem for season 4 to solve.
Dory's lawyer was the best new character
Easily the best addition to Search Party season 3 was Shalita Grant as Dory's vocal-fried lawyer Cassidy Diamond. Dory was saddled with Cassidy after her former employer Gail asked her friend — and Cassidy's mother — to bail Dory out of jail. But the joke's on everyone: Cassidy may practice her statements on her stuffed animals, but she's a dang good lawyer and if Dory had actually listened to her everything would have been fine.
Portia got in with a Christian crowd
Portia took a break from her acting career in season 3 and got involved with some harmless Christian millennials. They baked cookies together. They made music together. It was a nice distraction for her after lowkey betraying her friends by doing the right thing and testifying against them.
Elliot got dumped & made a new friend
We learned a lot about Elliot in Season 3, though that shouldn't actually be too surprising. Turns out he hires actors to play his rich parents when in truth he's got a rural Hillbilly Elegy of his own. This revelation caused Marc (Jeffery Self) to break up with Elliot — for the last time — by leaving him at the altar.
However, when conservative pundit Charlie Reeny (Chloe Fineman) asked him to come on her show to talk about being a witness in the high profile trial, Elliott found a new calling. Their antagonistic chemistry was off the charts, and now they're going to be doing a show together.
Remember that time Dory killed April?
If and when she escapes, legal troubles could still be coming for Dory, because she also killed her neighbor April (Phoebe Tyers) in cold blood by pushing her off of the Staten Island Ferry into the Hudson River. This happened at the end of season 2, because April had a taped confession from Dory and Drew about Keith's death and was blackmailing her. April's body has not been found, but her twin sister June is determined to uncover the truth.
Oh, and what happened to Chantal?
The girl whose face started it all is still around. While Chantal really had little to do with the murder trial, she found a way to make it about herself anyway and went full #GirlBoss by launching a company called Chantal's Castle: a luxury shelter for heartbroken women. (Think: YWCA meets The Wing.) Unfortunately for Chantal, she got involved with shady investors who used her start-up to launder money from offshore accounts. So, she got arrested at the end of the season. Somehow, Chantal is the one facing real legal consequences after everything that's happened on this show. Wild.