[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers through the Season 3 finale of Dave, “Looking for Love.”]
“I’m not going to lie, every finale we’re like, ‘We’ve got to do something big,'” Dave Burd, a.k.a. Lil Dicky, tells Consequence. And “Looking for Love,” the Season 3 finale of FXX’s Dave, does not fall short of that goal — thanks to a super-sized runtime and some major guest stars, including an extended appearance from the one and only Brad Pitt, who appears as himself in what becomes a surprisingly dark and tense story about obsession and fame.
Also featuring Rachel McAdams and Drake as themselves, “Looking for Love” begins with Dave (Burd) filming a music video with Rachel, building on the friendly bond they’ve developed this season. When Brad pops his head into the scene for a lyrically cued cameo, it’s a surprise, especially because his appearance is so short; afterward, when Brad asks Dave if he’s needed for anything else, Dave says no, “I think it’s kind of cooler to not overuse you.” It’s an impressive (and meta) misdirect, because when Dave gets taken hostage by an obsessive super-fan (Tenea Intriago) in his home, a badly-timed drop-by leads to Brad also being held captive.
Thematically, “Looking for Love” captures a lot of what Season 3 of Dave has been exploring this whole time, according to Burd. “There’s the theme of looking for love. There’s also the theme of looking for validation and fame, and my standing as an artist and all that, and when is enough, enough?”
The central idea for the episode, Burd continues, came from “Vanessa McGee, one of my main writers, [who] was always very keen on the idea of a stalker coming back into play. It’s such an extreme premise, and I pride myself in being very grounded, that I was like, ‘We need the right actor who I believe in that can pull this thing off.’ And boy, did we get it in Tenea [Intriago], who is as great as Brad and Drake and Rachel and all that — she is a force of nature in this thing, and it’s such a fine needle to thread of being believable, being scary, being funny. She’s such a perfect storm of everything this episode needed, and she killed it.”
In addition to the hostage angle, though, Burd wanted to up the stakes — and he’d heard about a certain fan of the show who could do just that. “We wanted to do the idea of a stalker and me and a dangerous situation, but I always was like, ‘Man, let’s get Brad Pitt involved.’ Because [there’s] no bigger Brad Pitt fan than I. This guy is such an inspiration to me. I’m a huge movie guy — movies are my favorite things, more than TV shows, and this man has been in my favorites. I’ve seen him in comedies and I’ve seen him working with my favorite directors… This guy is my numero uno.”