Hell hath no fury like a Dex Parois scorned.
Manipulation was the name of the game on Stumptown Season 1 Episode 3.
Everywhere you turned, someone was trying to manipulate someone else, with varying degrees of success. Who was successful and who needs to go back to the drawing board?
Read on through our review to find out!
Dex has met her match in Artie Banks.
No two people could be more perfectly matched for a mentor/mentee relationship than these two. It is like the TV gods handcrafted the most iconic cynical duo they could think of and delivered them in the form of Dex and Artie.
If you thought that Dex was the ruler of all things snark, then you haven't seen anything yet. Artie is the king of the snarky one-liners.
Donal Logue is an absolute gem in this role.
Something so great about him as an actor is that he always manages to embody the characters that he plays completely. It never feels like he is playing a character, it feels like he is the character.
Artie may be rough around the edges, but let's face it if you aren't here for people who are a little rough around the edges, then you are watching the wrong show. Imperfect, authentic characters are what Stumptown does best.
Artie wasted no time giving Dex the hard lessons in private investigating.
Artie: First rule of private investigation: manipulation is your best weapon.
Artie is an expert in manipulation and started from the second they met eachother.
Artie used the fact that Dex is Ansel's caregiver to convince a potential client, Candace, to sign on with him, and it worked like a charm.
The manipulation didn't stop there though. It didn't take long for Artie to realize that Dex was an asset, and he squeezed every last ounce of usefulness out of her to get what he wanted.
Finding out that Artie is a dirty P.I. was a blow. I was ready to make Team Dertie T-shirts. I was about to start a fan club. That all came crashing down in an instant.
Dex is one of the most perceptive characters to ever grace television screens, but she was completely blinded when it came to Artie. Just goes to show you how good Artie really is at his job.
Artie is right about one thing, Dex cares. It is both her biggest weakness and her greatest assest.
Artie: You are incredibly talented, but there is one thing standing in the way of you being an exceptional private investigator: You care.
Dex's passion for private investigating stems from her caring. Without it, she wouldn't be half as good as she is, but at the same time it also leaves her vulnerable, as we saw with Artie.
Maybe if Dex had been more objective about the case, instead of being driven by her empathy for Candace, maybe she would have seen what Artie was doing.
Artie lied to Dex with such ease. It is almost to the point that you have to wonder if he is a borderline narcissist. He felt no remorse for what he did to Dex, even going as far to say she will thank him one day.
Artie has no idea what he has gotten himself into now that he has poked the beast. Dex does not like to be made a fool of, and like Artie said, she cares, and now Artie's actions have hurt Candace.
Dex is coming for him, and he better hunker down because Dex is a hurricane.
Hey, um, today I got beat. I lost, we lost. Artie sold me out and it, it pisses me off, and it pisses me off that my mistake could cost you your child. But they're not gonna get away with this, okay? You know they think we're just gonna lie down and take it. Yeah, you know, they have the power, and they have the influence and, but you know what? They're arrogant sons of bitches, and they don't know that women like us have been fighting our entire lives for everything. Randall's gonna pay and Artie's gonna pay for what he did and I, I won't lose again.Dex
Artie wasn't the only one trying to manipulate Dex. Hoffman was trying to get in on the game too, but unfortunately for him, he isn't as smooth as Artie.
Hoffman will get a reprieve on this one, as it was Cosgrove's idea for him to go to Dex to try to get intel on Grey and Feeney, and because Dex was there to press him for intel too. He is in over his head, though.
Hoffman's main objective might have been to try to crack Grey's alibi, but it didn't take him very long to change hats and go into hornball booty call mode.
It's clear that Hoffman is under Dex's spell. If this were any other show it would be easy to think that Dex is riding that train with him, but as we saw in Stumptown Season 1 Episode 2, Dex isn't trying to catch feelings.
The situation with Hoffman is just a can of worms waiting to be opened with Grey.
As I discussed in my review of Episode 2, it is clear that the feelings that were there between Grey and Dex 6 years ago are still there beneath the surface, lying dormant waiting for someone to waiver. That person has to be Dex though.
Grey would probably jump at the chance to be with Dex if she gave the green light.
What has allowed their friendship to remain intact and strong all these years is that Dex is not dating anyone. She was honest with him in the fact that she didn't want to be with anyone, and she has stuck by that.
If Dex starts to go there with Hoffman, though, everything may change.
How could Grey, in that situation, not wonder why Dex would choose to open herself up to Hoffman when she wouldn't with him?
It feels like a conflict that is coming down the road, and it can take it's sweet time getting here because the Grey and Dex relationship continues to be one of the best aspects of the show.
At least for now, Grey's focus is elsewhere.
Why is Grey not going to Dex for help with his situation? If he's trying to save face, it's probably not the best time to let your ego get the best of you when you are up against a potential murderer.
Hopefully Grey opens up to Dex soon, because he is much better of with her help than without it.
Stumptown continues to be the perfect lighthearted nightcap with just enough edge and grit to set itself apart from it's competitors. If any new show this season deserves people's time of day it is this one.
Hopefully, that is something that the network sees and really gives it a chance to spread it's wings and breath without the looming threat of cancelation.
-The soundtrack continues to be stellar. Even the simple jazz song in the scene between Hoffman and Dex sets the tone perfectly. Bravo music department.
-Ansel's absence was felt this week. He may not be the most significant character on the show, but he is part of its heart. Hopefully, he will be back next week.
-Does anyone else feel like Dex's car is its own character on the show? During Episode 2, we got to see it's origin story. This episode it almost felt like it was talking to Dex, Bumblebee style, giving Dex just the right song that she needed at the moment.
-Dex's PTSD continues to be handled in a delicate and quiet way, making the portrayl honest and believable. The fact that it isn't being shoved down our throats, but instead just presented as a reality to who Dex is as a person, is really refreshing
What were your thoughts on the episode? Were you shocked by Artie's betrayl or did you see it coming? Comment your thoughts below and watch Stumptown online if you need to catch up.
Meaghan Frey is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.