All bets are off in a delirious season 5

John Reynolds, Meredith Hagner, John Early, Alia Shawkat in Search Party Season 5

John Reynolds, Meredith Hagner, John Early, Alia Shawkat in Search Party Season 5
Photo: Jon Pack / HBO Max

Search team breaks in the moments leading up to the final credits roll on his fifth and final season. The bizarre ending will not necessarily appease everyone, but it fits strangely perfectly with a show that revel in its elevated situations. The HBO Max comedy highlights the absurdity of the last few episodes of season five, and mostly draws a whiplash-provoking third-act focal point that no other TV series can, thanks to a virtuoso but heavily underrated cast.

The series started as a dark comedy in 2016 and has since experimented with genres with almost every season: true-crime, legal dramas, psychodramas / thrillers. Search team ‘s smart and structured approach is slowly expanding its scope; last season it just takes it to a whole new level. While struggling under the burden of too many narrative threads, the series manages to tie its various bows together into a delirious and captivating ending.

Made by Sarah-Violet Bliss, Charles Rogers, and Michael Showalter, Search team has ultimately been about Dory Siefs (Alia Shawkat) dizzying identity crisis. Over a period of four seasons, she caused upheavals in her life and the lives of her friends, with little or no remorse in a quest for adventure. As the show runs to the finish line, Dory’s narcissism literally has world-changing consequences. Revealing more will spoil some colossal events, but suffice it to say that the show is moving forward with satire levels where all bets are off, to complete its journey.

Search team rarely misses with its mockery of the millennial lifestyle and internet culture. The new season sees these topics through the lens of technology moguls, Instagram influencers, modern cults and fears of an impending doomsday. Som Dory, Drew (John Reynolds), Portia (Meredith Hagner), Elliott (John Early) navigating the chaos they have randomly caused, the show reflects on current times with accuracy and cheerfulness. That humor is crucial, but the show always cuts deep because under surreal circumstances and unscrupulous protagonists, it is rooted in surprisingly strong emotional hooks. The twisted central bond between the four cores humanizes their overall ridiculousness.

Despite a terrible track record, Dory’s friends can not help but fall for her confident charm, whether it means keeping a murderous secret or running in a loop to save her from her kidnappers. Season five takes advantage of the riddle Shawkat skillfully makes around his character by turning Dory into a kind of messiah.

Alia Shawkat and Jeff Goldblum in Search Party Season 5

Alia Shawkat and Jeff Goldblum in Search Party Season 5
Photo: Jon Pack / HBO Max

Fresh from her near-death experience, Dory believes she has found inner peace while incarcerated in a clinical institute. She ropes in her friends to help share this newfound wisdom with the world. Their first move is to merge with Tunnel Quinn (Jeff Goldblum), an eccentric, Elon Musk-like CEO who offers them all the resources and resources needed to create an “information pill.” If only it were that easy. To add to the vanity, they invite top influencers to be guinea pigs. The crusade is gradually evolving into an uncontrollable and entertaining disaster.

Search team gives a bite analysis of how Dory and co. can hardly save themselves through this false sincere notion that they are saving humanity. There are some fascinating insights into how gullible society is about the superficiality of social media, buying ideas and feeding egos to be checked. It’s not just Elliott, Drew and especially Portia who are starting to earn a fool’s paradise – it’s the whole online world. Consequently, the show’s metaphorical response to the dangers of Dory’s apparent work is a bloody big swing.

A sweeping focus on the genre-bending shift results in less yield for other subplots. Elliott and his partner Marc (Jeffrey Self) adopt an eerie son directly from a horror movie. Unfortunately, their new family dynamics result in not much beyond a few amazing cameos. To no one’s surprise, Goldblum fits in smoothly Search team, but Kathy Griffin struggles with her insane performance and an abrupt story with Chantal (Clare McNulty). In honor of the show, it rewards patience with Chantal’s unusual bow, especially in how it finds a parallel between her and Dory at the end.

Meredith Hagner and Alia Shawkat in Search Party Season 5

Meredith Hagner and Alia Shawkat in Search team season 5
Photo: Jon Pack / HBO Max

Dory’s transformation – from a bored NYU graduate to an attention-seeking criminal, from a kidnapping victim to now a viral sensation – feels far-reaching. Shawkat sells it with ease; she has a clear grasp on Dory’s complexity and nuances. It is downright disturbing to watch as her alter ego falls into measured madness as a cult leader. Her relaxing performance is the best in the show yet.

The other cast members are consistently hysterical, but Hagner remains the outburst star as she comes to demystify Portia’s psychological state. Her roadmap here is reminiscent of Dory at the start of the show. Tired of a boring relationship and a subordinate job, Portia is attracted to Dory’s enlightenment opportunity as an escape in the same way her friend had it with the mission to find Chantal. She even finds herself in an unexpected love triangle that is both compelling and ridiculous. At one point, Portia drinks Dory’s bath water, as if it were a real Kool-Aid.

Search team‘s ambitious and unlikely conclusion is in a way emblematic of its protagonist; it’s scary, fearless and gets big because there really is nothing to lose. There are some minor misses along the way, but last season’s anarchy sharpens the show’s understanding of the spirit of the times.

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