Search Party: Exodus Season 5 Episode 2 Recap


Research group


Season 5

Episode 2

Editor’s Note

4 stars

Photo: Jon Pack / HBOMax

Okay, first of all: the message is love? It is so stupid. “Love” isn’t the hard-selling concept that Dory and her new hippie friends seem to think it is. And “the death of the ego” is so vague that it doesn’t make sense. It’s only fitting that while Dory finds an audience for her post, that post is essentially hollow.

Here’s how Dor handled her near-death experience: Dying allowed her to merge all sides of herself, experience ego death, and come back with ancient wisdom. We saw that moment of fusion in the season four finale when the various dories dressed in meaningful costumes all thrilled into each other. The point is, have Dory’s different “selves” ever been so different? And how does the reconciliation of your different beings really reconcile with the death of the ego? Arguably, your ego is even stronger now since all of the selves are unionized. It’s cool that death taught him to pick locks, though.

Fed up with not being able to get her message across, Dory escapes from the mental institution. She somehow manages to bake banana bread dosed with sleeping pills, then steals a nurse’s keys. The jailbreak is almost canceled by his squeaky shoes. But why is she wearing real shoes, anyway, and not grippy socks? It’s a horrible hospital. Dory comes out and continues live on the nurse’s stolen phone. People are feeling the message. Well, almost everyone.

Enter the Quinn tunnel. Played by Jeff Goldblum, he appears to be essentially Elon Musk of this world. If Elon Musk was a character deeply Jeff Goldblum – y. Tunnel makes a face-to-face video explaining to his subscribers that he doesn’t buy what Dory sells. He thinks this is another manifestation of his psychosis. He scores points. Nevertheless, Dory invites him to think things over and maybe try love.

Elliott interrupts Portia and Drew’s coitus to let them know that Dory has escaped and made a full face manifesto. Portia and Drew always keep their… whatever… Elliott. But he’s too wrapped up in himself to find out the truth, even when it rings in his ears. The gang meets again at Portia’s, where Dory has already broken into. Apparently, enlightenment makes you a big fan of break-ins. The three let Dory take them to a late lunch at a nearby cafe because (as Elliott points out) they’re too scared of her not to go.

At the cafe, the gang struggles to swallow Dory’s latest transformation. She asks the universe what we humans have done to deserve pasta. She’s dealing with a drunken day. It’s too much, too soon for them. After lunch, Dory demands that they spend the day together because every moment is precious or shit. I guess Dor had access to many books on philosophy and spirituality in the hospital, but one of them wasn’t McMindfulness.

Would you believe that for Dory, cherishing every precious moment means breaking into another apartment? This time, it’s the one she and Drew shared at the start of the series. It has been completely transformed by its new “yuppie” owners, as Elliott points out. Imagine Elliott doesn’t think of himself as a yuppie. Total illusion. Either way, Dory gets them dancing to a favorite banger from their college days, Usher’s “DJ Got Us Fallin ‘in Love”. Life in the moment is temporarily interrupted when the current occupants of Dory and Drew’s former home return to find their home invaded.

The quartet are drinking in the park at sunset, and almost everyone has been charmed by Dor. Portia is 100 percent converted. Elliott is either on board most of the time, or he’s pretending (and honestly, what’s the difference with Elliott?). Dory says she’s never offered herself compassion until now, which is fucking rich. But she offers what appears to be genuine excuses for the last years of madness. Drew is still on the fence. He’s been burned too many times to believe in this particular reinvention, and who could blame him? He gets a gesture of good faith from Dor: she admits having killed April, as well as assuming some guilt for having killed Keith.

It’s enormous. Dory has always avoided all murders, going into such a state of denial during the trial that it was terrifying to those around her. Maybe what Dory means by being able to offer herself compassion is that she’s finally able to accept the horrible things she’s done. Before, Dory shunned her misdeeds; now she’s just a little over them. Shouldn’t there be an intermediate step aside from 37 seconds of flatlining?

Dory is staying with Portia now, apparently. They’ve gone from best friends to foes to share a toothbrush. Portia swears loyalty to Dory and admits her relationship with Drew. Guru Dory is all about free love, so everything is fine. She checks social media before bed, to find that Tunnel Quinn invites her to collaborate. Big beugs.

Earlier in the episode, Dory seems to indicate that she wants to help people “die” and this will help them all achieve enlightenment and learn to crochet like her. It is worrying whether she means this death spiritually or literally. With a techbro billionaire as a partner, literal mass death seems very, very possible.

• The bad sex that Drew and Portia have. Wow. Whenever you think these two can’t get sadder, they get sadder.

• What app does Dory use to get her point across? It sounds like Instagram, which would be fine for a show about millennials. But every piece of media you see on his phone is a front-facing video, which is more like TikTok? Does Dory use coils? Let me know in the comments.

• Speaking of Dory’s phone (which she stole from the nurse), it’s an iPhone. If Rian Johnson is right and Apple won’t let its products be used by bad guys, maybe that indicates that Dory’s transformation is real this time around?

• Creepy Kid Watch: Aspen sticks Elliott in his shoes, drinks a whole carton of whole milk, and looks likely to electrocute Marc in the tub. They should sue John Waters for shoddy merchandise.

• And my “Dr. Lombardo is a hallucination” theory will never be proven or disproved now that Dory is out of the hospital. Never mind!

• Screaming at a scene wonders Constance Shulman and Brian O’Neill as former radicals who welcome Dory after she is released from the hospital. They say they were members of West Village 11 which I guess is a corollary of Weather Underground / Chicago 7. Hope they come back and blow something up later.


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