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The Return of 'Evil' Ryan on the 'Wilfred' Season Finale (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 9th 2011 5:28AM
'Wilfred' season finale - 'Identity'The first thought I had when reaching the end of the 'Wilfred' (Thu., 11PM ET on FOX) finale was thank goodness the show's already been picked up for a second season. The entire episode was a fantastic exploration deeper into Ryan than we've gone all season, but the closing moments positively blew my mind.


A few weeks back I said I was going to stop trying to figure out what Wilfred represented and what was real and what wasn't. Rather, I was just going to go along for the ride and enjoy myself. But this show just won't let me.

Instead, I found myself having to question everything, and by the closing scene of this episode, I wasn't the only one. Once again, I have to ask "what is Wilfred?," and I can no longer accept that he is an individual completely independent of Ryan.

How could he have created those black files that Ryan used to get Jenna reinstated at her job? That was a facet of Ryan's old life that he'd long-since buried. But if that was Wilfred, then does Wilfred represent the evil sides of Ryan, or just the sides of Ryan he's trying to repress at any given moment?

After all, Wilfred suddenly became the voice of reason when Ryan concocted his evil dinner party to break up Jenna and her boyfriend. By the way, this was a brilliantly evil plan, and despite knowing that it was coming from a very dark place, while Wilfred (now Ryan's conscience) was distracted by bubbles, I was kind of hoping it would work.

Of course, the episode couldn't end with evil coming out smelling like roses, so Ryan of course pushed things too far. He got his sister, Kristen, to break up with her husband and leave the country, but only after he blackmailed her into giving her a clean pee sample after she admitted to an affair. He needed to sneak-switch it for a mandatory drug test with Jenna's sample, so Jenna wouldn't know she'd had drugs (which led to her on-air crack-up).

At this point, anyone who's ever watched a television show knew that Kristen was going to turn out to be pregnant -- most likely the result of her affair -- and Jenna was going to now believe that she's the one who's pregnant. As such, she felt a need to get back with her boyfriend, which was logical. This was the only moment that disappointed, as 'Wilfred' doesn't usually telegraph it's story moves so blatantly.

It was here, though, that Ryan suffered a full break. The craziness of that situation, perpetrated by his return to the evil ways of his past as a sleazy lawyer, seemed to cause a complete mental collapse.

He was starting to crack when he stopped respecting Wilfred, and started ordering him around. Wilfred sacrificed himself (was he still Ryan's conscience at this point?) to help Ryan switch the urine samples by jumping in front of a car. But at the hospital, Ryan's breakdown began to fully manifest.

Wilfred survived the accident, and he's still James Gann in a dog suit when Ryan looks at him, so we know Ryan's not fully sane just yet. But Wilfred doesn't recognize him anymore, unless he's just messing with Ryan again. It's always hard to tell with Wilfred.

But one thing that is certain is that when Ryan, who was needing guidance in what to do next -- because he's suddenly incapable of independent thought and action again -- went to the basement to retrieve a letter Wilfred had written in the event of his death, the basement was gone. Or maybe it had never been there. Was Ryan hanging out in a closet getting high all the time?

But if the basement was never real, then what was? Was the basement representative of Ryan's mind, and so Ryan was essentially talking inside his own head when he and Wilfred were down there trying to figure out the deeper things in Ryan's life? Where does it go from here?

What are your thoughts on the season, and theories on who, what and why Wilfred is?

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His first name is Jason not James.

September 24 2011 at 9:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have a comment not related to proofreading. :)

The existence of the basement was discussed briefly earlier in the season when Kristen states that she did not know that Ryan ever had a basement. Thinking back, only Wilfred and Ryan ever entered the basement. And all of the boxes contained Ryan's memories. How were Kristen's swim goggles in his box and why did it matter if he suddenly found them? Because it's all in his head.

But one thing continues to allude me: how was he able to bring the tin pot from the basement in the episode "Anger?" He probably just believed he was and found it in the kitchen or garage or something.

This is a trippy show.

September 17 2011 at 2:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"But if the basement was never real, than what was?"


You are a journalist and you don't know the difference between THEN and THAN?

September 09 2011 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree proofread and Ryan's sisters name is Kristen not Dorian. Dorian Brown is the actress that plays Kristen! Proofread!!!

September 09 2011 at 2:08 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

wow you should really proofread before you post

September 09 2011 at 7:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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