Stumptown: Who does Tantoo Cardinal play in the new ABC series?

Outlander’s Tantoo Cardinal is a series regular in ABC’s new series, Stumptown. The first episode introduced the character and here’s what we know so far.

We know Tantoo Cardinal best for her role of Adawhei in Outlander Season 4. However, she’s landed a series regular spot on Stumptown, the new dramedy from ABC. The show premiered last night, and it’s time to get the lowdown on the character.

Cardinal plays Sue Lynn Blackbird on the new series, a casino owner on the reservation who has a close connection to our lead character, Dex, played by Cobie Smulders. There’s a backstory based on Dex’s past relationship, leading to a sort of friendship between the two.

However, Sue Lynn is not a woman to be tested. When her granddaughter goes missing in the pilot episode, she will stop at nothing to get her back. And that means sometimes working outside the law. It’s clear we’ll need to watch her carefully in the upcoming episodes because I don’t think she’s going to be afraid to get her hands dirty.

Cardinal being cast as a series regular in a network TV show is a huge step in the right direction for diversity. You’ll barely ever see Native Americans gain lead roles, especially Native American women. And when they do get lead roles, it’s usually in a period piece or in some stereotyped character.

That’s not the case for Stumptown. The writers have done their homework, and Cardinal is impressed. In an interview with Deadline, Cardinal shared:

“I was kind of astounded to get the script, to see this character and see who she is. It’s exciting to see a whole different idea of who we are and close to the truth of who we are today.”

STUMPTOWN – “Forget it Dex, It’s Stumptown.” – Dex Parios – a strong, assertive and sharp-witted army veteran with a complicated love life, gambling debt and a brother to take care of – works as a PI in Portland, Oregon. With only herself to rely on, she solves other people’s messes with a blind eye toward her own, finding herself at odds with the police and in the firing line of criminals, on the series premiere of “Stumptown,” WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 25 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/David Bukach)

While this is a procedural at heart, Sue Lynn and other female characters offer a complexity to the series. They offer a different take on women with secrets in jobs that you’ve seen them in before. And this is what makes the show so exciting and worth watching.

If you didn’t get to see Stumptown‘s pilot episode, it’s now available to stream on Hulu. I highly recommend it, and not just to see Cardinal on your screen again. This is a show that has a lot of potential and deserves an audience.

Did you get to see Stumptown? Will you watch for Tantoo Cardinal? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Stumptown airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on ABC.