‘Search Party’s Showrunners Break Down Season 4’s Final Moments & Dory’s Journey

Search Party Season 4 Alia Shawkat
Spoiler Alert

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Season 4 of Search Party.]

Search Party‘s fourth season explored some uncharted territory in its final episodes, bringing fans along on one wacky adventure.

If you’re a little unclear about what actually happened, you’re not alone. Thankfully, we chatted with showrunners Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers who are offering some clarifying answers regarding Dory Seif’s (Alia Shawkat) fate and more.

'Search Party's Alia Shawkat & Showrunners Tease Dory's Psychological Torture in Season 4See Also

'Search Party's Alia Shawkat & Showrunners Tease Dory's Psychological Torture in Season 4

Plus, the show's incredible line-up of guest stars, including a vampy Susan Sarandon.

After being held captive over the course of Season 4 by wannabe friend Chip (Cole Escola), Dory’s real friends finally find her in a small Massachusetts town, far outside the concrete comforts of New York City. But Dory resists returning to reality and runs away from Portia (Meredith Hagner), Drew (John Reynolds), and Elliott (John Early), going back to the house owned by Chip’s mother-aunt Lylah (Susan Sarandon).

The fight against being rescued ultimately backfires when she finds herself trapped in the basement of the burning house, a task initiated by Lylah to cover up the murder of neighbor Paula Jo (guest star Ann Dowd). As the flames close in on Dory in Season 4’s penultimate installment, she loses consciousness and fans are escorted into the trippy dream world necessitated by a dead Dory.

Search Party Season 4 Elliott Portia Drew

(Credit: HBO Max)

As he friends cry over the loss at a posh funeral service, viewers are lead to believe that the curious criminal didn’t survive the fire. But did she actually? “What is true for us, at least, is that, yeah, she did die and had a vision of this funeral, which is what you live in, in the finale, and then is brought back to life,” Rogers explains. “So there’s a lot of ambiguity there for viewers, but I promise we…”

“We know what we’re doing [Laughs],” finishes Bliss, reassuring fans. Yes, Dory’s funeral doesn’t really happen — instead it’s a manifestation of her own mind as she remains somewhere between life and death until firefighters rescue her. Where it will lead remains unknown as the dark comedy has yet to be renewed. “It’s unconfirmed,” Rogers says. “We hope there’s a Season 5, because there’s a lot to mine about what it would be like to be on the other side of death.”

Dory Loses Her Mind in 'Search Party' Season 4 First Look (VIDEO)See Also

Dory Loses Her Mind in 'Search Party' Season 4 First Look (VIDEO)

Can Drew, Portia, and Elliott put their feelings aside to help Dory before she loses herself?

Prior to Dory’s near-death experience, her friends essentially give up chasing her, sitting by the roadside and calling an Uber. While they’ve been put through the ringer, Dory’s truth is revealed, showing that she initially escaped Chip’s kidnapping while at a gas station, only to get back in his trunk as she remembers her least savory deeds of recent years past.

“You know, I think that she made her bed, but I think that’s the irony of that moment,” says Bliss. “They are literally trying to convince themselves that she doesn’t need help, when this is precisely the moment she does need help. But also, she has truly given them no reason to chase her anymore, so that’s on her at this point.”

Search Party Season 4 Dory Alia Shawkat

(Credit: HBO Max)

“She realized that she appreciated, not necessarily being trapped in the basement, but the idea that she could start over and see herself as good, and that all of it could be untrue and make her someone else,” continues Bliss, noting Dory’s desire to return to her unofficial prison. “But then ultimately, that’s not what she really wants. At the end, it’s like, no, you have to embrace every aspect of who you are.”

Here’s to hoping we see Dory embrace all parts of herself in a fifth season. Until then, relive every bonkers moment from Search Party on HBO Max.

Search Party, Streaming now, HBO Max