“I COULD’VE SENT THE EMAIL, BUT DO YOU REALLY THINK I GOT THE COSTUMES… AND THE CHILD ACTORS… AND THE SCRIPTS?”
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episodes. SPOILER ALERT!
Wilfred is one of those shows that is as mysterious as it is funny. Past episodes of the show have flirted with the mystery surrounding who Wilfred is (and each season finale certainly adds a new wrinkle to the issue), but the Season 4 premiere, “Amends,” really ran with the concept, turning the plot developments from the Season 3 finale on their heads. It was revealed that it was Ryan who fell down the stairs, and everything after that point was a dream. While the “dream” card is usually a hokey one to play unless your name is Bob Newhart, Wilfred handled it well, with Ryan’s dream informing his actions in the present in an “It’s a Wonderful Life” sort of second chance. After dreaming that he saw his father’s good intentions, (and his father appearing at the door to provide paperwork proving them as well) Ryan decides to reconcile with his father which meant taking the job at his law firm and ending his hangouts with Wilfred. Wilfred’s reaction to this was both predictable and hilarious, with Wilfred issuing a constantly rising number of “forgives” to Ryan as he pulled out his driveway. Things began heating up at the law firm however, as Ryan instinctually decides to check his father’s records for the mysterious envelope he found in “Regrets.” He does find it, not in the records, but in an email from Wilfred, who claims to have found a place that will give them answers once and for all.
Of course, Ryan is skeptical that Wilfred just wants to see him again, which is proven slightly true when the invitation leads them to an empty field with three children who claim to be part of dog-worshipping cult. (That the god’s name is Mattdamon is just a coincidence, Wilfred insists.) Wilfred’s immediate conjecture that he’s actually a god sent to help Ryan was great, as was Ryan’s almost-as-immediate realization that Wilfred staged the entire thing. However, the one thing he knew Wilfred couldn’t have planned was the envelope, which Ryan only saw in his dream. Ryan’s father then called him, explaining that he saw him in his car with Wilfred and thinks he needs psychiatric help. The episode gained a nice impetus here, as Ryan quickly realized everything he dreamed was coming true, with his father’s death and a betrayal by Wilfred coming up. Sadly, he couldn’t stop his father’s death, and Wilfred’s speech on making amends to console him was one of the highlights in a considerably more dramatic episode of the series. Of course, the season got some nice set up with an end tag showing Wilfred’s betrayal: he emailed the picture of them together to Ryan’s dad!
“I’LL HAVE WHAT BEAR’S HAVING.”
While “Amends” did a nice job of setting the stage for the show’s final season and balancing the dramatic elements with the comedy well, it’s the second episode of the evening, “Consequences,” that really solidified the direction for this final run of episodes and brought everything back to the usual, hilariousplace. With the other big development of “Regrets,” Ryan and Jenna’s kiss, still going unresolved, Wilfred points out although he was fine with it now, there is bound to be some kind of fallout from everyone else in one way or another.
That fallout turns out to be a particularly clingy Drew, who wants to hang out with Ryan in order to get a break from a strange-acting Jenna. A similarly strange-acting Ryan repeatedly declines, partly due to not wanting to touch the situation between him and Jenna and partly due to finding a file in his father’s office containing a photo of the statue he saw in his dream. Wilfred, still thinking himself a god meant to lead Ryan to happiness, wants to come with and ends up getting himself invited along in one of the show’s more hilariously dark bits. (“He bit her. Well, nipped her. Point is, she ain’t going to Disneyland.”) Drew ends up accompanying Wilfred, and the three head out into nature to find where the photo from the file was shot. Drew’s admiration for camping was hilarious, with the mixing of his jock persona and enthusiasm for camping creating constant deadpan lines like “Oh god, is that a big brown polypore? I’m gonna kick the shit out of it.” Wilfred was great here as well, with his constant need to lead Ryan to happiness creating the episode’s best bit, where Wilfred claimed that the statue was under some leaves, and gradually revealing a hornet’s nest that sent Ryan and Wilfred flailing around the forest’s cliffs until one knocked into Drew, sending him off the edge.
Drew’s reaction to this was priceless (“Worst case scenario, I lose my leg.”), and Ryan’s hornet-stung swollen eyes were a nice bit of visual comedy as he and Wilfred walked in circles looking for help, until Ryan questioned whether Wilfred wanted Drew to die and the subject of the kiss came out. The resolution here was a bit surprising, but nonetheless believable, as Drew confessed he felt Jenna’s feelings for him had changed as he headed back for Wisconsin. With Jenna going to Wisconsin to work things out with Drew and Wilfred in need of a caretaker, it looks like Ryan and Wilfred are back in their usual place of constant togetherness. Now if only we knew more about that photo…
All in all, “Amends” and “Consequences” were a fine pair of episodes to kick off Season 4 with. Much like Lost, it feels like the mysteries which the writers have worked so hard to weave through the past episodes will finally be getting some answers, and the show is still as funny as it ever was. Elijah Wood and Jason Gann continue to bring the funny and still manage to make all the surreal, philosophical elements that make up the world of Wilfred mesh well. With Wilfred now being theorized to be a spirit, part of Ryan’s psyche, an alien, and now a cult-summoned god, Wilfred also seems to satirizing mysterious shows now. And Wilfred’s own mystery is as well-written and darkly humorous as ever.
What moments from the premiere had you intrigued? Which moments made you laugh? Let us know in the comments below.
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