Watch out world. There is a new bad bitch in town, and her name is Dex Parois.
During Stumptown Season 1 Episode 1, we were delivered everything we could ask for in a series premiere: Action, mystery, humor and a compelling lead character with endless layers for us to peel back.
Read through our review as we discuss this first wild ride into Stumptown.
Cobie Smulders has hit her stride as Dex Parois.
If Robin Sherbotsky and Maria Hill combined there DNA and made a baby it would be Dex.
Dex is the perfect amount of snark and bad ass.
We have only begun to scratch the surface of who she is as a character, but it feels like we have known her longer than characters who have been established for years by other shows.
Dex is the type of character which draws people in, as we see throughout the premiere with the various supporting characters that reside in Stumptown's Portland, Oregon.
Like Hoffman. On other shows, Hoffman's almost immediate infatuation with Dex could have come across as cliche, but Hoffman was experiencing the same thing as the viewers when he met her. Her force is undeniable.
The only people who don't seem drawn to Dex are, suprisingly, the strong female characters.
Sue Lynn and Dex have a rocky history that goes back to when Dex and Benny dated in college. It is hard to imagine, though, how Sue Lynn could not have approved of her relationship.
Sue Lynn and Dex share a similar "take no crap" attitude, but perhaps the similarities are just too close for comfort for Sue Lynn.
Sue Lynn had expected Benny to take part in the family business, presumably in a leadership role. If Benny would have become the male figurehead, maybe Sue Lynn was worried that Dex would not be able to take on a subservient role.
At least Sue Lynn can look past her feelings towards Dex and acknowledge her strengths.
If my family member was missing, Dex is exactly who I would want on the case.
The level of instincts that Dex have is not something that can be taught.
Maybe that is why Cosgrove had such an adverse reaction to her.
Having someone come in with such natural instincts, and question your skills that you have developed over years of experience can be off-putting.
However, clearly the police needed someone like Dex to come in and question their judgment.
The fact that the police were so willing to accept Sue Lynn's statement that Nina had been returned without requesting any proof is a tad bit disconcerting.
If it wasn't for Dex, Michael, and his cohorts could have been off with Sue Lynn's two million dollars, or worse, Nina could have been killed.
Watching Dex's work was reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes. She can look at a situation and see the teeny tiny details that other people can't see.
Dex's quick assessment of the man hitting on her at the bar was worth a standing ovation. How many women has that guy probably fooled before Dex came along and pointed out all the flaws in his plan?
Dex: Well you know what they say in Pashto, he who spreads his own goat dung is bound to step in it.
Dex: To. Yeah, it’s what they speak in the stan.
Dex: Yeah anyone who actually served there would know that. Your dog tags don’t match the name on your credit card and nothing about your car keys says rental, so I’m guessing you’re not in from out of town either. I know you asked if I was from around here figuring we could go back to my place probably ‘cause there’s a woman back at yours.
Dex: Hesitation, it’s when your body says yes before your mouth can say no, i.e., until you get your lies straight. I’m pretty sure only one of us is getting lucky tonight.
Dex used that same quick perception on Michael. Michael and Nina seemed like such a sweet couple, so Dex being able to look past that facade with so little to go on was impressive, to say the least.
Cosgrove may not be ready to see the innate ability that Dex has, but Hoffman is.
It is hard to say whether he is more impressed by her ability to hogtie the perps and stuff them in a trunk or by her ability to tire him out in bedroom, but as long as it got her that job lead, that is all that matter, because she could sure use it.
Trying to take care of herself and Ansel on a disabled veteran's income alone, while gambling the money away, isn't cutting it.
Thank god Sue Lynn was willing to pay Dex for her assistance in finding Nina by getting rid of her debt to the casino, but I'm sure it will only be a matter of time before Dex has racked it back up again.
Gambling isn't Dex's only vice has to escape the horrors of her past though.
Watching Dex facing the flashbacks to her time in the war, while desperately dialing all of her go-to booty calls was hard to watch.
On the one side, you wanted to scream at her that the meaningless hookups would only be a bandaid, but on the other hand, she desperately needed that bandaid.
We all need to do what we have to in order to get through the day, and if distracting herself from her emotional pain with physical connection is what gets her through the day then so be it.
A show based purely around Dex being a pseudo-PI would be entertaining in itself, but adding the added layer of taking on the struggles of a veteran dealing with life after active duty is what is going to help it stand out.
It helps to create a balance between the dark and the light of the show.
Shows taking on characters dealing with PTSD is not new, but too often it is dealt with fairly quickly and then pushed to the side and never mentioned again.
Given that Dex's PTSD storyline seems to be a pivotal aspect to Stumptown, hopefully, we will get to see it explored on a much deeper layer.
Grey's reaction to Dex not dealing with her PTSD felt like a natural reaction for any family or friend of someone dealing with PTSD.
Dex: There's something wrong here.
Grey: You. Nina's home, so are you. It's time to move on.
It is easy to stand on the outside and decide what the best way for someone to deal with their issues is. It is another to be the one who has to deal with them.
It was hard not to wonder if Grey's concern came from a pure friendship standpoint, or if there is more to his feelings.
When Dex was talking to him in at the bar at the end of the episode and thanking him, you could almost see the sparkle in his eye, and the hint of jealousy when he saw Hoffman and Dex talking.
Writers not feeling that male and females can just be platonic friends can sometimes be one of the most frustrating aspects of shows, but in the case of Jake Johnson, an exception can be made.
A girl could have worse choices than him and Michael Ealy.
In a show filled with stand out characters, the most surprising one was the music. Stumptown is going to become the Guardians of the Galaxy of the TV world if they keep us this incredible soundtrack.
Here's to hoping that Stumptown creates a Spotify playlist so we can play Dex's mixtape on repeat.
What did you think of Stumptown's series premiere? Were you as blown away as this writer was? Share your thoughts below and watch Stumptown online at TV Fanatic.
Meaghan Frey is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.