S1E8: Wilfred, what are you doing with all that potential? The Australian-accented dog with great comedic timing pitted against Elijah Wood’s wide-eyed depression was comedy gold. Sure, the story-telling needed some work, but we were seeing improvements. Unfortunately, this week, Wilfred fell off the wagon.
It’s one thing for the story to be a little flat, or the cause and effect to be nonsensical, or for the jokes to be an undesirable combination of overly cutesy bits and absurd humor, but usually that’s because at least one of those elements works while the others misfire. “Anger” was a whole lot of misfire with almost no determinable successes. Let’s hope this is a minor hiccup, or I smell mediocrity on the horizon for what was once a promising FX comedy.
“Ryan, anger is like herpes: you’re not meant to keep it to yourself.” –Wilfred
Ryan’s sister is insisting he sit around and wait for some delivery at her house because she paid for his car troubles from last week’s episode. There’s just a major snags: she hates Wilfred and seems to think Ryan is incapable of doing anything right. Wilfred tries desperately to get Ryan to once again stop being such a wimp, but he can’t do it.
In the process we learn that Ryan used to have a dog named Sneakers, who he loved dearly and he blames himself for the little pup’s death. After hearing about Sneakers, Wilfred gets jealous and finds himself spooning and licking Ryan in the morning. Then we get this weird homophobic plotline mixed with a pseudo spiritual element to figure out if Sneakers is trying to possess Wilfred. The homophobic bit is totally out of place (and thankfully dropped immediately) and the whole idea that Wilfred could be possessed by Ryan’s dead dog was just too much. We accept a lot from this show, but this is going a bit too far with little payoff.
In this possession bout, Wilfred becomes possessed by Sneakers – supposedly – and he says Kristen was actually the one who allowed Sneakers to drown in the pool. Ryan confronts Kristen about it, is embarrassed when she yells at him for it and insists that Wilfred’s just making it up to get Ryan to get angry, which is really what the rest of us are assuming anyway, because that’s what he does every single episode.
“I’m doing this to make that bitch pay for killing me. Yippity-do!” –Wilfred/Sneakers
The party arrives and Ryan stupidly keeps Wilfred – the dog-man with opposable thumbs – in the car. Of course he escapes and wreaks havoc on the party, pushes Kristen into the pool, and almost tries to kill her before Ryan unplugs all the lights and stops him.
Ryan apologizes to Kristen for Wilfred ruining her party and of course, she yells at him because we can't go a single episode without seeing her ream him out. So finally, just on time, Ryan changes a bit and actually gets angry. His anger pushes Kristen to confess that she did actually kill Sneakers and that she was always jealous of Ryan for being the better sibling and being more well-liked and for being Sneakers’ favorite, blah blah blah. She admits she doesn’t hate Wilfred, but Wilfred still spills wine on her because “I still hate the bitch.” And just like that, we’re at the tag wherein Ryan dreams he gets to see Sneakers again and the episode is over. It’s just too bad, because even with all that, we don’t feel like we’ve really gone anywhere.