Search Party Refresher: Everything to Remember Before Turning on Season 4

Get all caught up before tuning into Search Party season four's all-new episodes on HBO Max.

By Alyssa Ray Jan 15, 2021 8:30 PMTags
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Where is Dory?

That's the question on everyone's mind heading into season four of Search Party, which debuted its first three episodes on HBO Max on Jan. 14. For those unfamiliar with the show, Search Party follows New York City-based friends Dory Sief (Alia Shawkat), Drew Gardner (John Reynolds), Elliott Goss (John Early) and Portia Davenport (Meredith Hagner) as they search for a college acquaintance who has gone missing.

Unfortunately for the gang, their hunt doesn't go as planned and they end up at the center of a murder trial. To make matters worse, Dory has since disappeared after becoming a true crime sensation.

Have we piqued your interest? Good.

Search Party is not only bitingly hilarious as it routinely roasts self-absorbed millennials, but it also provides plenty of action-packed moments. We're talking infidelity, a wedding, murder, a Charles Manson play and so much more.

So, we feel it's important to walk you through the last three seasons' most memorable moments to prepare you for season four.

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Season one:

The show, created by Sarah-Violet Bliss, Charles Rogers and Michael Showalter, kicks off with Dory learning that her college acquaintance Chantal Witherbottom (Clare McNulty) has gone missing. While Dory's friends feel that Chantal "sucked," an obsessed Dory is determined to find her, especially after she runs into the MIA girl at a Chinese restaurant.

Before long, Dory meets Keith (Ron Livingston), a private investigator who is also trying to locate Chantal. Convinced that Chantal is in danger, Dory begins investigating with Keith—and ends up sleeping with him too.

This is a problem as Dory is in a relationship with soft-spoken Drew. When Dory discovers that Keith hasn't been hired by the Witherbottoms, she breaks things off and believes he's a bad guy.


Next, Dory and her pals head to Montreal to find Chantal. Yet, before she can reunite with her college "friend," Dory is confronted by Keith.

As the former lovers tussle, Drew arrives and fatally strikes Keith.

Not long after this, Portia exposes the truth: Chantal was never in any danger as she just ran away to get over a breakup. Good news for Chantal, bad news for Drew and Dory.

Other highlights from this season include an exposé revealing Elliott's many lies, Chantal's a cappella group singing "Since U Been Gone" at her candlelight vigil and Lorraine De Coss (Rosie Perez)'s crazed party speech.

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Season two:

Following the discovery of Chantal, the Search Party crew moves quickly to bury Keith's body, which they put in a loud zebra-stripped suitcase. As they return to their lives in the city, Dory and company convince Chantal—who is oblivious to the murder—to lie about her whereabouts, so they aren't connected to Montreal in any way.

While Dory, Drew, Elliott and Portia attempt to act normal, they each struggle to move on. Specifically, Dory finds herself connecting with Keith's ex-wife, Portia joins a play about the Manson family murders, Elliott's body becomes covered in hives and Drew attempts a relocation to China.

The drama worsens when Dory and Drew's neighbor April (Phoebe Tyers) blackmails the group, having recorded their murder confession thanks to a paper-thin apartment wall. She demands $60,000 for her silence.

Mark Schafer/HBO Max

Instead of paying April, Dory offers a trade during a meeting on the Staten Island Ferry. Even though April agrees to the swap, which involves damning evidence about a politician, she threatens to "haunt" Dory and her friends forever. In response to this, Dory pushes April off the ferry and to her death.

Despite handling the April situation, Dory is still arrested for Keith's murder.

Other highlights from this season include Jay Duplass as Portia's cringey director Elijah, Elliott's breakdown while trying to write a memoir and Detective Joy Hartman (Tymberlee Hill)'s face off with mobster Fat Franky.

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Season three:

At the start of season three, both Dory and Drew are arrested for the murder of Keith. And, thanks to Dory's shockingly glamorous mugshot, the estranged couple become celebrities overnight. Only Dory appears to flourish in the limelight as Drew finds himself overwhelmed by the attention.

As publicity for the trial grows, Drew is convinced by Dory to pretend that they're still very much in love in order to gain sympathy. But, in reality, Drew wants nothing to do with Dory.

Regardless, he plays along and stands by Dory's claim that, despite the damning evidence, they're completely innocent.

Jon Pack/HBO Max

As for Portia and Elliott, they both testify at Dory and Drew's trial, but on separate sides. In exchange for immunity, Portia testifies on behalf of the prosecution. She feels immense guilt for this and ends up finding religion in the process.

Elliott, on the other hand, stands by Dory and Drew and has another lie exposed in the process. His real name is Eldad Tupper and he isn't the WASP he claims to be.

Little to Dory's knowledge, throughout the trial, a stalker has become obsessed with her. This is important to know as, at Elliott and Marc (Jeffery Self)'s wedding, the stalker attacks Portia.

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When the stalker escapes and is hit by a car, the friend group is unified once more. At the trial, Dory decides to present her own closing argument, which results in a not guilty verdict.

Dory is barely able to enjoy her victory as she is kidnapped by her stalker (Cole Escola).

Other highlights from the season include Portia singing "I'll Make Love to You" on repeat as Elliott is left at the altar, Elliott's face off with conservative pundit Charlie Reeny (Chloe Fineman) and Dory's hilarious, newbie lawyer Cassidy Diamond (Shalita Grant).

After reliving all of this, we are so pumped to tune in to season four.

Search Party is streaming now on HBO Max.

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