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‘Search Party’ Recap: Detective Joy Is Closing in on Dory

“Denial,” the first of Search Party’s two episodes on Sunday, December 10, isn’t the show’s strongest. There’s a lot of wheel-spinning with only one really solid storyline (which I’ll get to because it’s awesome). But the second ep, titled “Hysteria,” brings back Detective Joy Hartman (Tymberlee Hall), and with her comes the show’s mojo.

First, however, we have to sit through Drew (John Reynolds) telling Dory (Alia Shawkat) about the threatening flowers he received; Portia (Meredith Hagner) cutting her mom out of her life, at the advice of her director, Elijah (Jay Duplass); Dory going to a funeral for Keith (Ron Livingston) and meeting his daughter; and Julian (Brandon Micheal Hall) being branded a woman-hating abuse-denier because he accuses Chantal (Clare McNulty) of making up her story about her abusive boyfriend and the motel. Then Mary, the woman whose campaign Julian is working for, starts to sexually harass him because she knows he can’t get a job anywhere else.

None of these story lines are terribly interesting. The Julian story line would be interesting if it pertained to the overall plot more, but as it stands, it feels like a waste of time. Yes, his female colleagues yelling at him for not believing Chantal is darkly funny, and the sexual harassment is certainly an on-the-nose plot, but it just doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the show, so I find myself impatiently running out the clock on those scenes so we can get back to the rest of the story.

Nothing against Hall, though. He’s great — if you aren’t watching him on ABC’s The Mayor, you should be.

The first episode of the night does have one shining star: Elliott (John Early) in rehab. And predictably, it is amazing. Elliott is being held captive with a bunch of other pseudo-Elliotts, but don’t tell him that. He all but confesses to Keith’s murder to his therapist, though in his telling of it, Keith is now a seal that they had to club to death. Oh, Elliott.

But the second episode is where the show really gets going this week. In it, Joy is back, and she knows that Dory and Drew are totally full of crap regarding Keith. Dory keeps spinning her lies about “Fat Frankie,” whom Joy doesn’t think is a real person.

There is also the sticky situation of Drew and Dory finding out who is threatening Drew. It’s his crazy neighbor, April (Phoebe Tyers), who has sussed out the situation because she can hear everything when he and Dory fight in his apartment. Ruh roh. What do you think it’ll take to shut her up?

Meanwhile, Crystal (Jessica Chaffin), girlfriend to Keith’s ex-wife Deb (Judy Reyes), inadvertently saves the day when she tells Joy she thinks she knows who Fat Frankie is. His name is Frank Medici and he’s a shady mob guy who does business in Canada.

So perhaps that will put Joy off Dory’s scent, but something tells me that probably won’t happen.

Oh, and Portia’s play debuts and she’s fantastic in it, even if her murderous rage causes Dory to freak out in the theater. And Elliott has decided he just doesn’t want to work anymore. Ever. It’s so great.

Odds and Ends

John Early is so, so great as Elliott. The scene where Elliott starts crying at lunch about how scared he is and about all the terrible things he’s done and how full of crap he is? Outstanding.

Elliott: “Working feels bad and I don’t ever want to work one more day in my entire life.”

Joy: “These hipster kids did it! They are full of sh*t and they’re hiding something. There’s, like, too many coincidences. And you know what else I noticed? That both of them are scared of me and that means something!”

(photos via TBS)

Andrea Reiher
TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara, and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."

Ahhh, fall. There are so many things to love about this time of year (give us ALL the sweaters and pumpkin-flavored eats). But, high on the list comes autumn decor candles, throws, textiles — you name it. Of course, buying items and actually adding them to your room are two different things. So we're turning to Instagram for the best styling advice and inspo for the season. Scroll on to see everything you need to get those wheels turning!

@sbkliving: Sometimes, it only takes a chic doormat to transition your front steps for the season. Hello, fall!

@rachelpuccetti: Excuse us while we spend an entire lazy Sunday relaxing in this fall-infused space.

@farmhousetofrills: A monochrome mantel never looked so chic. (That fireplace pumpkin setup is seriously *genius*.)

@faith_hope_home: Greet guests with a fall-themed entrance to set the tone for a day of pumpkin carving or scary movie marathoning.

@simplysoutherncottage: Don't forget about those nooks and crannies! This entryway/mudroom situation is capturing our little harvest-loving hearts.

@6thirtydecor: Speaking of pumpkins, pick up a few extra gourds to pave the way into your cozy autumn abode.

@farmsteadonfirst: That guest bedroom you weren't sure what to do with it? Transform it into a rustic retreat with some fall signage and mustard-yellow and green accents.

@fiddleleafinteriors: We're going to take a second to *swoon* over this adorable kitchen setup. Those farmhouse accents and simple centerpiece setup? We're in love.

@ohmydearblog: Contrary to what you think, florals *aren't* just for spring. Bring them into your abode by selecting buds in moody tones to pay homage to the season.

@simply.mrs.z: Drawn to modern style? Play up the Halloween vibes by picking black, orange and brass accents to rock on places like your bookshelf. (Bonus points for carrying the theme over to your textiles.)

@drivewaytodreams_crystal: We're going to go ahead and give two thumbs up to all of these orange-hued accents. Backdropped with a neutral furnishings and they truly *pop*!

@cripcollectiveig: For those who don't want to go overboard with the "fall stuff" this one will speak to you. Compile a couple of cute throws and a minimalist pumpkin print on your mantle and you're set

@cavcottage: Who said fun pillows were limited to furnishings only? We're ALL about this entry display.

@houseon77th: This daybed setup is a *dream*. But actually, this would be the perfect space to doze off in come the colder days.

@kristenforgione: For a more festive Halloween look, overhaul your living space with a spooky handmade addition like this one. *Googles paper bat DIYs.*