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Wilfred Season 2, Episode 8 - Service

A lot of the second season of Wilfred has been building towards the inevitable meeting, or more like confrontation, between Elijah Wood's Ryan and his still unseen father but this week's episode is more interested in the return of his other parent. That's right, get excited as "Service" sees the return of Mary Steenburgen as Catherine Newman, Ryan's mother who made her first and only appearance in the first season's "Compassion."

"Compassion" was the ninth episode of Season 1 so there' a nice bit of symmetry to the timing of her reappearance for "Service" (depending on how "Progress," the special preview, factors into your Season 2 count) and, in case you've forgotten, there's also a lot of symmetry between her character and her son in terms of their mental state. Catherine was not only sprung from a mental institution at the beginning of the her guest spot but I think what occurred at episode's end might offer a better comparison.

Now that you're sufficiently excited, here's a preview for Thursday night's show...

Mom isn't just back in the picture, but "Service" finds the Newman family going on a road trip. You would think that would be heaven for WIlfred, with a dog's instinctual love of the 'car ride,' highlighted by the bit where Ryan shakes his keys at the pooch, but apparently he's not that into it. Especially since Catherine doesn't seem to know (or respect) the rules of shotgun not to mention that the long trip seems to be destined for Mexico and we all know they eat dogs down there. The official synopsis says that the "impromptu road trip leaves Wilfred, Ryan, and his family in peril," so I wouldn't expect a leisurely and scenic ride. Well, maybe scenic since Wilfred's cinematography never disappoints but not leisurely! At the very least, we'll witness some animal cruelty.

Wilfred airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX. It stars Elijah Wood, Jason Gann and Fiona Gubelmann.