“Missed Connections” delved into the past of Dex and Grey, while proving that not only is there more than meets the eye to both of them, but also that true love can cost a fortune.
This recap of Stumptown Season 1, Episode 2, “Missed Connections”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Stumptown Season 1, Episode 2 pulled double-duty as both a fresh case — this one about a man both extremely wealthy and extremely naive unwittingly lured into a honey trap — and backstory for the core relationship between Dex (Cobie Smulders) and her put-upon bestie Grey (Jake Johnson). Since their friendship is both central to the show and refreshingly asexual, it was a bit of a disappointment that “Missed Connections” revealed that a one-night-stand was what brought them together.
Still, thanks to some clever writing and really fine-tuned performances from both Smulders and Johnson, even knowing this doesn’t really change their dynamic much. Sure, they slept together once — “Oh, God,” says Dex, “I slept with a car guy” — but it turned out to be a bad idea pretty quickly; they had that platonic best-friend banter as soon as the morning after. It was fun to see Grey’s early interactions with Ansel (Cole Sibus), see him advise Dex against buying the car with the mind-of-its-own-mixtape, and see him value Dex’s emotional health more than his desire to get laid again. He seems like a genuinely nice guy, even if “Missed Connections” hinted that he might not always have been thanks to a guest appearance from Austin Amelio as an old friend who hints at prison time and lingering debt, and doesn’t survive the episode.
The present-day case in Stumptown Episode 2 begins when Dex is hired by a timid man with more money than sense who is willing to pay a grand to find a woman he met in a bar — a woman who gave him an incorrect number, no less. But naturally, there’s more to it than that. The woman is a con artist with a murderous partner and Mr. Right is their next mark. Or is he? You can’t put a price on love, as they say. and if someone’s willing to pay 50K to ensure their happiness, then that’s their business. Since the police inevitably get embroiled in the case, mostly as an excuse to bring Detective Hoffman (Michael Ealy) and his snarky superior Lieutenant Cosgrove (Camryn Manheim) into the plot, we at least get some development in Dex’s career opportunities. Will she, on the advice of Cosgrove, get a license and go legit?
We’ll see. Luckily Stumptown Season 1, Episode 2 gave plenty of reasons to keep watching, with all its stylish graphic-novel-style scene transitions and its on-going character drama and the endless pleasure of watching Cobie Smulders beat on petty crooks. That mixtape seems cursed to only drop the most fitting song possible at any given opportunity. I have no idea how long that gag will work, but there’s a chance it might be longer than the car.