Earlier this afternoon Wilfred had its panel at Comic Con and TV critic Alan Sepinwall said that the episode that they aired as part of the panel was so dark and irreverent. I know the show had the capacity to go there, but we hadn’t quite seen it go there. This episode was not the one in question, but it was so spectacularly dark and twisted that it leaves me excited for what’s to come in the series.
First, I was pumped at the way the episode started. Ryan is having a meal with Jenna. I don’t think shows need a romance to be successful, but I do think that they need a goal. And it seems pretty clear that one of Ryan’s goals is Jenna. We hadn’t seen much of Fiona Gubbleman so far so it was great to see her in the episode and to see Ryan try and impress her.
The other great thing is that Ryan tried to better himself. Ryan started out the series suicidal and we can’t believe that he’s better because he’s still talking to a dog. So we need to see him try and get his life back together. Ryan made a revelation in the episode. He doesn’t care what other people think about him as long as he feels good about himself. Now that may seem like a cheesy sentiment, but considering the circumstances under which he uttered it, it was particularly dark.
All I could think about while watching this episode was how dark it was; how irreverent it was towards death, especially death to the elderly. The show was going to take a serious turn if Ryan would have been ok with Wilfred murdering old people to prove a point. Wilfred already controls Ryan to a certain degree and to get him to be ok with killing people would have crossed the line into too ridiculous for me to handle. (As if believing that a man can communicate with a weed smoking dog isn’t ridiculous enough.)
Again we saw Jason Gann and Elijah Wood so deftly play serious in bizarre situations that it made us laugh. The scene on the roof was so over the top but the two actors sold it beautifully. Wilfred was also on fire with his one liners tonight, “ A coffin is the last thing these people need. Up top!” Also Ryan came strong with one of his own, “Compassion was the first trick I taught him.”
This episode had Rashida Jones as a guest star and I enjoyed her very much. I don’t think that the show requires guest stars, but that seems to be part of the sell. We’ve already seen Ethan Suplee, Ed Helms and and now Rashida Jones. This show can be a good vehicle for these stars to sort of play foils to their normal roles.
I enjoyed how ridiculously dark and twisted this episode was. I can see where it wouldn’t resonate with some people, but I think for the most part, if you’re still watching the show, you’re ok with where the show chooses to go.