"Sometimes it's necessary to go a long distance out of the way to come back a short distance correctly." Edward Albee
It's been two weeks since the last recap of Wilfred (sorry), so it's probably a good idea to preface "Stagnation," the third last episode of the third season, with a quick status report on show's chances for renewal since "the show has underperformed this season." While Wilfred's situation is disappointing, it's nice to see executive producer David Zuckerman (who also adapted the show for American audiences) be so candid about the state of the show saying that, "we need big ratings to get to S4" a few weeks ago before weighing in again last night adding that he's now cautiously optimistic. Still, if you want to see the FX comedy live to bite another day, it's (past) time to post flyers and get everyone you know caught-up in time to watch the rest of the season as it airs. Stop the ratings stagnation! Speaking of getting caught-up, "Confrontation" took us to new places in Wilfred's serialized story with the Newman family reaching some reconciliation as well as the Kristen revelation with the drawing.
"Stagnation is death. If you don't change, you die. It's that simple. It's that scary." Leonard Sweet
"Distance" ran with the last thread, with Ryan seeking out Dwight Yoakam's Bruce for help since his two previous appearances (Season 1, Episode 11 "Doubt" and S2, E8 "Truth") revealed his complicated relationship to the existential mystery. Well, nothing is really ever revealed when Bruce comes around except that he has a relationship with Wilfred and they love messing with Ryan's head. This time the pranks escalate until they're reminiscent of Hard Candy with a mix of Full Metal Jacket. Light-hearted stuff. As for the drawing, not much is solved except that the picture Wilfred is supposedly Kristen's imaginary dog friend named floppy-ears. And with the end of the episode once again promoting that Ryan find some distance from the mystery, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that "Stagnation" leaves all ontological questions at the door. With a doorknob. Instead the eleventh installment (the one FX showed at Comic-Con) focuses on Ryan's rut thanks to the comfort that having a roommate allows. Oh yeah. Ryan has a roommate. Kristen Schaal is back as Anne, the dirty slob introduced six back in "Shame", but she's looking for a new place to live which has our lead worried that his funemployment with Kristen is coming to an end.
"You know how crazy male dogs get when they smell a bitch in heat."
Wilfred is uncharacteristically in favor of Ryan going back to work because even he can see that his human friend needs to make a change. And besides, he's already licked all the detritus off Anne anyway. Turns out though that the real reason for the possible split it that Anne has to suddenly watch Phil, her boyfriend the breeder's bulldog. Ryan's happy to let the other dog visit if that means Anne will continue to let him lie around and do nothing, so in comes Phyllis. Yep. The dog's a bitch. And in heat too boot. Dog's love boots. Wilfred pulls a Pepé Le Pew and instantly falls for the new guest after a quick sniff but Ryan tries to put the 'soul mate' situation in perspective. Shockingly, the breeding talk doesn't go so well and it doesn't take long for the canine lead to take the concept of purebreds to an absurd point. If dog bloodlines are kept pure, why not humans? Perfect time to whip out the vampire fleshlight and extract a sample from Ryan in a sexy dream sequence. The brief peek inside his unconscious was probably the most daring visual scene in "Stagnation," the camera-work not being a highlight of the episode as if often the case with Wilfred.
"I think I'll name your baby Rysten."
The installment actually played everything rather safe, just moving the narrative forward and re-focusing on the neighbor's love story. I've been saying all season that they will-they, won't-they relationship between Ryan and Jenna was the real undercurrent of Season 3 and now we're privy to what will probably cause the end of her time with Drew. It seems that Jenna's fiancé and Ryan's competition has been stepping-out on his future wife with Anne (of all people, he must like crumbs). And their tryst won't just come to an end with her departure because she's also pregnant with Drew's baby. I wonder what prison boyfriend will have to say about the inevitable baby bump. I guess she might disappear and have the baby uh, taken care of which would possibly solve Drew's 'problem' permanently and put the telling squarely on Ryan's shoulders. Of course, he also has no proof except Wilfred's word so perhaps next week will be spent trying to uncover some evidence? Will that get Ryan out of his rut? Will he find romance? We'll have to wait and see what next week's "Heroism" bring. Oh, and things didn't work out between Wilfred and Phyllis. He finally saw her.
"I look forward to meeting her future son, Andrew."
Wilfred returns with Episode 12, "Heroism," next Thursday at 10 p.m. ET on FX.