"In my opinion, actual heroism, like actual love, is a messy, painful, vulnerable business." John Green
"Heroism" was not just the penultimate episode of Wilfred's third season but could very well end up being the penultimate episode of the entire FX series. There has been absolutely no word of renewal from the network and executive producer David Zuckerman has gone from "cautiously optimistic" (a week and a half ago) to sharing that, "if the show comes back, I'm hoping to return full time. It's all up to FX." That was a few days ago and the former showrunner, not to mention man responsible for adapting the Australian original for American TV, hasn't taken to the social media site since declaring this desire to take back the reigns if (not when, if) the comedy is granted a fourth season from FX. His ensuing silence also seems like a bad sign because Zuckerman is usually Wilfred's most vocal cheerleader on Thursday nights. And while I have enjoyed this season quite a bit, it is not as daring and inventive (and funny) as the show was during Seasons 1 and 2. But it's still solid and would be shame to see it go. Like Bonnie Tyler said, we need a hero! That rhyme was unintentional.
"Seems like we haven't seen your cool ass in like forever. If I didn't know better, I'd say you were avoiding us."
Solid is also a good word to describe "Heroism," another episode in the third season that was enjoyable enough without being especially revelatory. Well, there was a revelatory moment in the plot (more lip-service on that later), however, the installment seemed like it was simply checking off the boxes instead of going way outside of them like Wilfred did in previous seasons. And it's not just the writing (and comedy) that has been neutered, the look of the show isn't nearly as experimental or interesting as it was before. Wilfred used to have standout cinematography, with series director Randall Einhorn telling the story with some of the most unique compositions on television but more reserved writing has led to similarly reserved visuals. One of the main reasons this season is playing out like a more traditional sitcom is the renewed focus on Ryan and Jenna's will they-won't they relationship and this week continued to explore that well worn, safe path. I know I sound overly critical of last night's installment (and maybe I am being too hard) but it's a dire time for Wilfred and "Heroism" was not a 'show-saving' episode.
"Right on, man. I couldn't have said it better myself. Because I can't say things. Because I'm a dog."
"Stagnation" ended with the 'An(ne)drew' bomb and this week immediately put Ryan in close quarters with Drew, however, our hero didn't take the opportunity to confront his too cheery neighbour because he's still avoiding Jenna because of his romantic feelings. Given the new information, you would think that plan would have gone out the window because if you love someone, you don't let their husband have a baby on the side. That's not stealing her away, hell, she doesn't even have to end up in his arms as long as she knows the truth. Yet the issue was not addressed then or at all throughout the entire show. Not even one comment between Ryan and Wilfred to remind the audience. Weird. Instead, Wilfred is busy being scared of the pigeons out front (and of looking scared in front of the other dogs) while Ryan is busy helping Drew. Yep, he agrees to help the man cheating on the girl of his dreams convince said girl that the neighborhood is safe and a security system is an unnecessary expense. The security system isn't just an unnecessary expense but also an affront to Wilfred who should be the one protecting Jenna.
"Oh my God. This is the moment I've been waiting for. You can do this, just concentrate. You're a hero dog. Okay, okay, okay, 911. All you have to do is press 911. 5. Shit! No that's wrong. 5 is not 9. 188.8.131.52.9.9. #. Dammit!"
In an effort to keep it from being installed and prove that he's a hero dog, Wilfred puts together a neighborhood watch with Ryan unknowingly leading the group. Did I say group? It's just Ryan, Alan and Jenna (and Wilfred). And then just him and Jenna once Alan backs out because of his infatuation with Jenna and Wilfred is a little too aggressive in his effort to protect an old lady. No longer on the watch, Wilfred uses his spare time to break into Ryan's house, scaring and inadvertently injuring his human friend with Jenna coming to the rescue. Scaredy Wilfred stinks at being a hero dog. Ryan also stinks at picking up signals and kicks Jenna out of his room when all she's trying to do is feel safe while Drew is away. And take care of his head. And maybe sneak a smooch. This week is also the first time in a while that Bear has made an appearance and it could very well be his last. Not just because of possible cancellation (that too), his fate was kind of left up in the air (right?) after Wilfred started a fire to play hero only to end up putting Jenna's life in danger and himself needing to be saved by Ryan. Not a good plan, except that it did bring the will they-won't they together. At least for now.
"Happiness is hard to find. Real true happiness.You got to try taking risks without second guessing yourself or worrying about the consequences. Otherwise, you'll never really know..."
Wilfred returns with the third season (and possible SERIES) FINALE, "Regrets,” next Thursday at 10 p.m. ET on FX.