"Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die." Malachy McCourt
First, that's a great quote. Second, for all the fans who 'took poison' over the series taking a week off, well, it's time to put the bad feelings aside and welcome Wilfred back with, uh, "Resentment," the second last episode of the season. Oh, sorry. That was a rough way to break the news that there is only one more Wilfred this season and, since we have yet to hear anything about a renewal from the network, it could be the last of the series. Try not to fret about that too much while you watch the possibly second to last episode of the series EVER! Sorry, getting a little worked up already and know that if FX gives it the axe that's going to create a lot of audience resentment. Okay, I think I've worked the title of the episode into the introduction enough, let's take a look at the installment that finds Wilfred, and by extension Ryan, being put in the position of ring-bearer at Jenna and Drew's Wedding. Does anyone resent, sorry, object to this union?
"Hey RYce-A-Roni! The San Francisco treat now in the new chicken... uh, what's up neighbor?"
The episode doesn't waste any time, with the "Resentment" starting right in the opening, elegantly crafted, shot of Ryan watering his grass in the foreground and watching Drew arrive at Jenna's way in the back. He tries to duck and cover, but the spray has somehow offended an overly excited Wilfred, just back from his soon to be step-dad's bachelor party, and ruins Ryan's retreat. Finally face to face with the happy couple, Ryan can no longer dodge the wedding invitation, even while spraying an interrupting Wilfred, and he begrudgingly accepts with a 'Plus 1.' I wonder who the 'one' will be? Taking his upcoming responsibilities seriously, the four legged (kind of) ring-bearer tries out a few walks on Ryan and clearly the second in preferable. It's very clever for the writers to incorporate the 'walk,' perhaps the most important thing to a dog besides food, as something for Wilfred to handle during the wedding. I'm still predicting leash trouble, Ryan or not.
"Ryan, I've been on a lot of walks in my life but this is the most important. And the shortest. What's your problem?"
Oops. Jumped a bit ahead, not just in predicting next week's events but adding the caveat that Ryan will be a co-(or associate)ring bearer at Jenna and Drew's nuptials. Even though Ryan's clearly jealous and would way rather have her as his sweet, sweet baby (I like it too). But that's not what's bothering our troubled young lead, he's stick of staring their happiness in the face because it reminds him of all he lost, namely the one. Sorry, Amanda. Too bad Ryan's too big a pussy to be happy or gay, the mean the same in so many ways. The show's narrative had been moving pretty seamlessly so far, with the jokes hitting the mark and then there was the curious incident of the dog at the pound fence. Wilfred makes a stop at the chain link to rub his freedom (and other parts) in a locked up pooch's face, claiming that he deserves it for being a bad dog, not to mention resents Wilfred's freedom and loving, non-cheating, family.
"'Above all love.' That's what it says. Screw them."
After the run in with the bad dog, Wilfred and Ryan return home, the former taking a minute to hang with the boys being walked by their dog walker while the latter gets hollered at by a stress out bro, bro. Drew, the always amazing Chris Klein, is having a little trouble writing his vows and turns to Ryan and his doobage for inspiration. Wilfred, however, is trying his best to not smoke out and ensure that the vows, and therefore his owner Jenna, are done right. A hologram groom, panda bear and Van Halen may be a bit much to ask though. Drew might have toked a bit too much though and despite Wilfred's accuracy, the game of food catch isn't helping the dog focus, even if it does foreshadow where the ring is eventually going to end up. Who didn't see it coming? Huh? Anyway, Wilfred leaves the humans alone where Drew confides in his good friend Ryan a pretty shocking secret. Jenna cheated on him.
"You shut your lying face vagina. Jenna wouldn't cheat on anyone."
But still, that's not the problem, the problem is that Drew loves Jenna too much for words, all of which was said to perfect eye rolls from Elijah Wood. His good hearted nature does convince Ryan to co-walk Wilfred down the aisle come the big day, probably the thing farthest from what Ryan would actually like to be doing that day and it also puts him in charge of the ring. Drew's a pretty interesting character. At first glance (or on convention), he appears to be the stereotypical 'stupid jock boyfriend in the way of our better suited protagonist' but in reality he's actually the nicest guy on the show. I wonder if that will hold true after next week's "Secrets?" Either way, Ryan's got the ring and the burden it brings except he's not walking this one all the way to Mordor, he discards the responsibility almost immediately and accidentally chucks it in Mt. Wilfred. Let the waiting for Wilfred to poop begin! The dog gag is great though, that's one thing about mine that drives me nuts. Just shit already!
"Just let it go and get on with you life!"
Despite how skillfully caught it was, the fact that the ring is stuck in Wilfred's stomach ends up putting the two best friends at odds. What a surprise. Ryan suddenly has a change of heart (as usual) and decides to play the good guy and retrieve the ring for Jenna at pretty much all costs. Wilfred, however, is shattered by the knowledge that Jenna is a cheater (how many hands!) and refuses to let the symbol of marriage loose from his bowels. Now who's the resentful one? Or jealous. Whatever. Ryan does his best to calm Wilfred but the sight of Jenna gang-petting all those other pooches makes him sick (and offers an interestingly absurd deconstruction of gender double standards) and then literally sick, which I thought would offer a nice twist on how to get the ring out. Nope, more playing with the audiences' expectations. I like. Ryan's not gong to let Wilfred's rectal protest stop the wedding and he decides to just buy another ring but that means finding out where Drew got the first one.
"No it's not, Jennaration X."
Walking in on Jenna and Drew getting it on was suitably awkward and dramatic (not to mention the well timed sleeping bag gag) but the ring being an irreplaceable family heirloom couldn't be more by the book. Gods plans. I wonder if they include a drunk Wilfred stumbling into the garage, yelling at Drew to calm up before him in the leg? Cause those are awesome plans, especially how the blood splattered on Jenna's wedding dress (bad luck indeed). Jenna screams at the 'bad dog' which prompts Wilfred to run away from home and go where he belongs. Where the bad dogs belong. Ryan finds him there and they hash out their resentment together and, luckily, Wilfred is soon scared ringless. The pair return (Jason Gann's determined run is hilarious) to find Drew on a crutch and the wedding cancelled. No worries, they'll have a simple ceremony at the courthouse. No, no worries! Ryan volunteers to host the wedding himself, which sends both Jenna and Wilfred jumping for joy. Could Ryan be that happy? Well, the return of the Mack (sorry) might help.
"Do you ever wonder what it'd be like if Wilfred could talk? I mean, look at him. It's like he's trying to tell us something right now. Hey, what are you trying to say boy?"
I know I use the words 'traditional' and 'formulaic' a lot in my recaps of Wilfred, which may seem odd since the show is often off the wall but that's precisely the reason why those factors need to be repeatedly discussed. The FX comedy bounces between the norm and abnormal, mostly playing with the conventions if occasionally still falling back on them in times of need. "Resentment" was much more of the former. I mean, how many sitcoms have done 'wedding ring' episodes? Probably plenty, but I'm not sure if they used a dog refusing to poop it out in protest as a metaphor for the poisonous side of resentment. It was a well written, funny and unexpected episodes and perfectly sets up next week's finale. Sure, it's a television standard to have season finale weddings (and don't want to jinx anything but there have been a lot of series finale weddings as well) but it will be interesting to see how Wilfred will play with the convention.
Wilfred's second season finale, "Secrets," airs next Thursday at 10 p.m. ET on FX. It stars Elijah Wood, Jason Gann and Fiona Gubelmann. And word of renewal would be nice, but perhaps they aren't telling to only amp up the tension for the finale? When Louie was renewed, FX did say they expected the Wilfred to be 'around' but no hard commitment was made.