Wilfred Season 2 Finale Watch: Secrets

By Jesse Carp 2012-09-21 02:00:36 discussion comments
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"If we knew each other's secrets, what comfort we should find." John Churton Collins

Weddings are the worst. All the happy people, smiling, crying and secretly wishing the worst for the couple. Sure, the ceremony may signal the beginning of something beautiful, or whatever, but it also marks the end of an infinite number of other possibilities. Cynical? Absolutely, however, not without reason, especially in a world where everybody's got their "Secrets" and the characters on Wilfred provide a shining example of how often people keep the most important parts of themselves hidden from the rest of the world. What you see if most likely not what you get. Like assuming that the Season 2 finale's titular "Secrets" belong to Wilfred or at least somewhat pertain to his existence. I mean, who else could they be about besides, oh, everyone on the series? Let's find out who's hiding what from whom... you know, besides Ryan concealing the fact that he doesn't see (or fall under the influence of) Wilfred the same way as everyone else. Right?

"This isn't a game! I need answers, Ryan! Who am I? What am I?"

The episode opens right where "Resentment" left off, with Ryan and Amanda patching things up as the former also plays wedding planner for his neighbor's wedding. You know, Jenna. The cute one he started a will they-won't they relationship with only to find out that he had an unusual connection to her dog. But the feelings and resentment are in the past and Amanda is Ryan's future. Let's toast the couples and all the single ladies (especially the ones with babies) can get shit-faced. Wilfred is a little riled up about the wedding and messes with the place cards after noticing a certain uncle sitting restraining orderly too close to a young nephew. When Ryan goes to calm him, he gets sliced up by the dog's unkept claws and it's down to the basement for a clipping. Finally alone, the owner is able to pry the problem out of his pooch but it's not the re-emergence of Amanda that's causing the rift, it's a work of art.

"If I wanted to ruin your life Ryan, I wound't do it with crayons."

Okay, art may be a stretch but the drawing is undoubtedly interesting and a twist I know I didn't see coming. In one swift, and really well executed move, the writers completely managed to shake-up the audiences' prior notion of the premise. It also instantly made me think of the photograph at the end of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, adding another level of creepiness to the already uncanny image. Making a child's drawing not only unsettling, but a great way to visually signify that the game has changed. Who is the cart and who is the horse here? Or are they Hooper and Brody paddling back in together? Sorry, Jaws reference. And references are clearly important to the series since Wilfred throws in one of their own at the end of the first act with a nod to (or soft-focused, close-upped creepy prophecy involving) Battlestar Gallactica.

"Christ, Ryan. Think about it. Sending you to jail, how would that benefit me? Without you, I have no purpose. I'm nothing. It's like I don't even exist."

More importantly, Wilfred (through Ryan) comments on the, uh, mixed feelings about the ending of the revived sci-fi series which once again brings up the series' mantra to enjoy the journey because any 'wrap-up' ending will probably only be unsatisfying. Instead, heap on the questions. Load up on mysteries. Further entangle the web. And that was Lost at its best before fans starting clamoring for answers, like a certain leading canine in this episode, and found themselves unsatisfied. Well, many anyway. That's not the case with the FX dramedy which decidedly to use the Season 2 finale to completely confuse the situation. Confuse may have negative connotations but I'm enjoying the ride of not completely understanding the situation right alongside Ryan, and apparently Wilfred as well. And in another clever play on conventions, the wedding of Jenna and Drew not only goes off without a hitch, it's just a backdrop for the real action.

"Because I can't. I'm a dog, Ryan. I can't talk to people. How many times do I have to tell you that?"

Can you tell how much I liked this episode? Anyway, Amanda shows up for the ceremony looking beautiful and mentions how she spent a little time with Wilfred on the porch the other day. Ryan brings it up, along with the drawing, at the best possible moment - walking the dog down the aisle - but Wilfred stands fast (figuratively) saying that he not only never saw the former ex-girlfriend but had nothing to do with the picture. Ceremony over and problem free, James (Eugene Byrd) crashes the party with bad news but at least he gets a kiss and a babysitting gig out of the visit. It seems that Ryan's father is representing Kevin (Rob Riggle) in the selling company secrets case and new evidence has surfaced that implicates our hero. Someone is trying to ruin his life and, of course, Wilfred is the first person (dog, person-dog) that Ryan decides to blame. And no nonsense about the Postal Service and their flea-borgs being behind any of this!

"... wonderful. It's all going to be wonderful."

The obvious villain in this scenario is Harry Newman, Ryan's still unseen father (I really thought there would be a reveal in the finale) who has conveniently come arose this damming information about his son. Unless there is someone else that loves to damn Ryan even more than his father? Perhaps, Ryan has been sabotaging himself and his dementia has reached a new self-destructive high? And he thought he was getting better. So did I. Except the whole still talking to a dog thing but at least he's got Wilfred to hold his hand through these tough times, as long as his paw's on top! Getting pretty close to bottom, Ryan decides to go for broke and confess his unusual situation to his girlfriend, a speech that is met with a surprisingly (un)favorable response. A kiss and similar confession that Amanda can also converse with Wilfred, which explains why she was initially so weirded out around him. I'll admit, that line made perfect sense.

"Some people can't handle Vegas. You can."

But of course Amanda can't talk to Wilfred, he's a dog for God's sake. Right? Wilfred couldn't possibly be cruel enough to play that nasty a long con? Well, that's always in the show's back pocket but for now it becomes clear that Amanda's not all there when the three all get together in the kitchen and there's mention of a French accent. And while she descends into a pretty sad madness (the 'wonderful' line was heartbreaking), the question of why Ryan's sanity is any more secure suddenly becomes the elephant in the room. Why does she need institutionalization and Ryan just needs to hang out with his man-dog best friend? Well, because there is something more going on between the pair than simply psychosis. Will it ever be explained? That's a secret that may or may not ever be spilled (if the writers even have an endgame) but one thing is for sure... nothing is for sure.

"Don't worry mate, you're in good hands."

The boys debate who's driving the wheel of this crazy bus before Wilfred reassures (lies to) Ryan about being the one responsible for the drawing until a glimpse through the looking glass moments later reveals that both our leads are lost. They need each other. Probably because they are the same person. Tyler Durden? "Secrets" was a really solid episode and once again showed that when Wilfred goes off the rails, it's capable of something quite special. In fact, if the series were six episode seasons (eliminating some of the sitcom filler), Wilfred would be one of the most compelling dramedies on television. Progress and Secrets not only bookend the second season but are also the most impressive episodes, showcasing the unlimited potential the series has if allowed to continue (down this path). Still no word on whether this is the last episode of the year or the last of the show (most of the cast and crew on twitter have been referring to it as the season not series finale), but Wilfred's "Secrets" basically demand a third.
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