Stumptown Season 1 Episode 4 Review: Family Ties


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Can people change, or are we all just slaves to our past? 

On Stumptown Season 1 Episode 4 that is the question that faces our favorite residents of Stumptown. 

Read our review as we discuss and watch Stumptown online at TV Fanatic.

After the events of Stumptown Season 1 Episode 3, it seemed like Artie was a hopeless cause.

It says a lot about a person if they are willing to help a man who beats women, get full custody of his daughter, over his wife just because the man gave you a better price.

Artie proved that he is more than just a money-hungry egomaniac, though. 

Dex had every right to be wary of Artie when he approached her about helping Candace. He had just completely flipped the script on her after she had put her trust in him. The wounds were still fresh. 

As Artie told the story about his child who passed away, and how seeing Randall take his daughter from Candace reminded him of how it felt to have his own daughter taken from him, it was impossible not to wonder if it was another lie. 

It would have taken a real scum bag to make a story like that up, so it was a relief that it seems like the story can be trusted. 

Stumptown continues to do an incredible job of creating characters who are dynamic and layered. Just when you think you have got someone figured out, the writers peel back another layer on a character. 

That’s part of what makes Stumptown so good. The characters don’t feel like they are written as characters. Real people aren’t just one note. There are so many different variables that go into what makes someone who they are. 

Related: Stumptown Season 1 Episode 3 Review: Rip City Dicks

When a show forgets to make their characters feel like authentic human beings, that is when they fall flat. 

If these first four episodes have proven anything, it is that Stumptown does not have to worry about. 

The change in Artie’s character from this week to last week could have felt abrupt and out of left field in the hands of writers, but instead, it felt natural: a logical reaction to what was happening given his backstory. 

Dex: No, I think I get it. It’s not enough for you to win. If someone crosses you, you have to destroy them.
Randall: Sounds like you know what you’re up against.
Dex: Sure do.

Artie said that people don’t change. In some ways, he is right. Artie is still the character we met last week. We see that as he cuts corners to get Dex her P.I. license without doing her necessary hours. However, we do grow. 

We don’t know how we are going to react to a situation until we are in it.

Artie wouldn’t have worked with Randall if he knew he was going to be this deeply affected by it. But at the end of the day, he was, and his actions reflect that. 

Artie was able to see the error in his ways and right a wrong that he helped create. That doesn’t make Artie a perfect reformed human being. It makes him the same person, just making better decisions. 

Related: Stumptown Season 1 Episode 2 Review: Missed Connections

Hoffman was another character struggling with if it is really possible to change.  

With the news of Kane being broken out during a prison transport, Hoffman was brought back to one of his most significant cases. 

We learn that the woman we saw during Stumptown Season 1 Episode 1 was the wife of someone who was not just his friend, but was his former informant who died while working with Hoffman. 

Hoffman pressured Darius into the situation that leads to his death, the fact that it is clear that Hoffman is racked with guilt over. 

It is clear from the way that Cosgrove treats Hoffman that whatever mistakes Hoffman made in that case, he has grown from.

No matter how much he has grown though he still dragged back to that moment in time with the meer mention of Kane. 

Cosgrove was right in telling Hoffman to take a vacation. 

Hoffman is using his heart, not his head right now, and is acting out of feeling versus logic. As Artie told Dex, caring gets in the way.

Related: Stumptown Season 1 Episode 1 Review: Forget it Dex, It’s Stumptown

While passion can drive you, it can also lead to stupid mistakes, and it feels like that is a path Hoffman is headed down. 

With Grey missing, that is just another person for Hoffman to feel responsible for. He will probably find some way to blame himself for it as if he could have done more to catch Kane without the police department backing him in his private investigation. 

It seems very telling that Hoffman goes to Dex for help in the preview for Episode 5. If he were thinking rationally he would leave things up to the police to find him, but instead, he enlists the help of a new, albeit amazing, P.I. 

It goes to show just how strongly Hoffman wants Grey found, leaving no stone unturned to get there. 

Cosgrove kept telling Hoffman and Dex that she needed to get her P.I. license if she wants to be involved, but you have to wonder how she will react to him involving Dex. 

Watching Dex get a win on the Candace case was a perfect end to an emotional battle for her. Like Hoffman can’t separate her emotions with Kane, Dex couldn’t seem to put her emotions aside with Candace. 

We haven’t been given much backstory to Dex’s family, but given that neither parent seems involved in her and Ansel’s lives, and her extreme reaction she has had to Randall and Candace, it seems like this has struck a nerve. 

Did a similar situation happen with Ansel and her growing up? Did they have estranged parents and end up being put in the custody of one who didn’t deserve it? 

Related: Enjoy UNLIMITED access to thousands of Movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video. WATCH ANYWHERE. CANCEL ANYTIME!

Whatever the reason that Dex was so invested, it paid off in the end. Hopefully, her trip to the slammer at least taught her that she can’t go around bashing cars whenever she doesn’t get her way though. 

Other thoughts: 

-Artie getting Dex her P.I. license, basically eliminating the need for them to team up every week for the foreseeable future, was a devastating blow. Just when Artie was showing redeemable qualities again, he is ripped away from us. 

I’m sure this isn’t the last we will see of Donal Longue. Until then our grizzled P.I. 

-Tookie pulling his best Jason Bourne was a highlight. 

Did anybody else relate super hard to him running out of breath while running away from security? Talk about an accurate TV moment. It always has felt so unbelievable that this doesn’t happen. Where are all the out of shape people on TV? 

-The music continues to be one of the star characters of the show. It never fails to have perfect timing. Whether it be to add just the right comedic edge or amp up an action sequence, it is always there for us. 

-Raise your hand if you were shocked by Sue Lynn taking Dex’s side in the Randall situation. Just when it seemed like this woman could be pegged as a low life villain, she proves us wrong. 

Over to you TV Fanatics. How did you feel about this episode?

Are you disappointed that we won’t be getting more team Banks Parios?

How do you think Kane will have Grey pay off his debt?

Who is your favorite character so far?

Hit up the comment section and share your thoughts and your own favorite moments from the episode. 


Editor’s Note: Our system got updated! Now, you’ll be able to scroll through many articles at once. That required a bit of a change to the comments, though, and now you have to click the blue “comments” bar at the bottom of an article to access them. 

There are also two segments to comments now. You can either comment using Facebook or Disqus. Either way, you can SEE both types of comments. We hope that will be more inclusive of our community at large and that the conversations will grow as a result.

Meaghan Frey is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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