Stumptown is making its first season with a smart, emotionally rich finale

Stumptown is making its first season with a smart, emotionally rich finale

Jake Johnson, Cobie SmuldersPhoto: Ali Goldstein (ABC) TV ReviewsAll our TV reviews in one convenient place.

The pace that Stumptown is plowing through familiar tropes in this persistent and often thoughtful first season is truly something. While this is a trend that has grown several times during the tense finale, it’s probably good with the scene at the beginning of the 16th episode of “All Quiet on the Dextern Front.” Gray and Dex would be the one who opened the door to a motel room and just looked at one bed; Gray then notes “there’s only one bed” with help. So they get drunk in the van, watch horrible porn, think briefly, and then smoke a hookah and go to sleep. Nothing happens, except for one or two people running along a few weave emotional strings. Explains the difference between real life and fiction; It is true that the story does not move forward. Here, the plot should happen, he says, but does not know, because Dex is not ready.

This is not to say that there is no trick for Stumptown – especially this last one, there is room for reserve. But Dex’s progress is slow but steady, and the biggest steps on the healing path come mostly in the form of things like straightening his bed or going to a support group that doesn’t have a support group. The events of the week were like a cyclone, often throwing Dex inside. (Sometimes Dex is a cyclone.) Again, he dances one step forward, two steps back, hindered by truck traffic and some serious mental health problems.

Luggage is here with him, as well as incurable diseases. While Stumptown still buys a rifle from the known tropics in this episode, using it to highlight what happened (or not) in Dexin’s life, he also takes large-scale steps in the story, embracing a mystery and setting up a reconnaissance phase. others in pairs. The result is a smart, sometimes thrilling, and (as always) funny watch that requires virtually a second season, despite a few weird editing options and a peak that isn’t hit as hard as it should.

(Let’s ABC – we all need good news right now. Please update Stumptown twice for the season.)

This episode is even more impressive when you think about how other episodes have given their stories to the A-plot throughout the season. Stumptown is built on the final scene between Sue Lynn and Dex from the start (and Tantoo Cardinal, one of the show’s most powerful secret weapons, is pretty good). Ansel’s push for independence and Parios’ repeated inquiries about what happened to her parents come to a head when she arrives at Dex’s door after being connected to her mother; Tukie and Ansel’s growing friendship also plays a role. Gray’s feelings of family and loyalty and his feelings for what is inside you emerge, and therefore there is always the person he is. The friendship / flirting between Cosgrove and Tookie is as impressive as Ansel’s driving lessons.

It’s built with a lot of thought, but it’s also another event of the week in some way (and another trope: detective is suspicious, classic). Dex’s client is himself, as well as the Blackbird family. We know that the crime he delivered was committed by someone other than Hoffman and the company, because it was related to the death of Benny, whom we watched in the last episode. we now know that it was the result of a murder. So he has to follow his tips, use all his tricks and nervous and creative thoughts to move from one point to another. Even though you don’t really know what “it” is, you have a deep need to make it happen. Gray’s “And what does Dex look like?” is a matter of episodes; Like the “there’s only one bed” scene, the episode’s story is clearer than expected: it’s not about killing Benny and TJ, it’s about what Dexin will do, what choices he’ll make, and what he can’t take back.

Cobie Smulders, Michael Ealy and Cardinal are all doing their best at this hour, and Jake Johnson, Camryn Manheim, Adrian Martinez and Cole Sibus are all doing very well. All of them, especially the Smulders, keep the episode in a very real emotional place, even though he is inclined to the strangeness of Stumptown. To the actors and director Marc Buckland, the fragile, reluctant tone of the show is a testament to the fact that it still often runs a very toned clock. The high watermark is a ruthless money fight with a priest over the song “The Devil Falls in Georgia,” which begins when Dex’s priest and priest openly hit him on a confessional wall. You’ve seen it once, you can’t believe you’ve never seen it before, it’s so cruel and funny, shocking and weird. And the choice of song only enhances it. What a wild, entertaining sequence.

Stumptown’s great strength is his ability to balance it all: a little mental tape board after his “father” enters the hospital room, and Gray’s calmness and straightforwardness; Lionel Hoffman took a hit off the road at Bad Alibi’s office, and Miles Hoffman finally lost in the kitchen; Dex handed over the fruit cup, and Dex endured a flashback as he gave a gun to the man responsible for Benny’s death; a church battle, and Dex and Sue reconciled with the past by drinking beer and whiskey at Lynn Benny’s grave.

An entertaining, emotionally rich finale for a strong first season. I hope we will see what happens next.

End result: B +

Season rate: B +

Critical observations

  • I love the fact that this show is about interesting, often confusing parents (even non-parents). Bring Tookie’s parents! Cosgrove’s! All parents!
  • Dex’s “take the money and run” run was a lot of fun, but some adjustments were a bit confusing. Again, Camryn Manheim was the perfect woman for all the hijinks, and Ansel aces was the one who drove the fleeing car.
  • Twice a great season – a solid finale that makes me think of a finale: Veronica Mars and Alias.
  • Thanks for reading these very random results! Hopefully, the show will return next year so that we have coverage.