Monday, September 24, 2012

The "Secrets" come out on Wilfred

The season finale of FX's Wilfred has many big events. Jenna (Fiona Gubelmann) and Drew (Chris Klein) get married. Ryan (Elijah Wood) is accused of being a mole within his former company, and selling trade secrets. Amanda (Allison Mack) is exposed as being completely insane. And Wilfred (Jason Gann) finds himself in a drawing that Ryan made as a child.

The last is the secret with the biggest impact, at least as big a finale as last year's disappearing basement. The implications of such a find, a drawing Ryan doesn't even remember making, but finds proof that he did, as well as the age of it, are enormous. Was there a Wilfred before this Wilfred? Is Wilfred an imaginary friend of Ryan's from childhood that has re-emerged and is projected onto the neighbor's dog? Or is Ryan completely insane?

Wilfred has always danced around the idea of insanity, without fully committing to it. Ryan's mother (Mary Steenburgen) is most definitely mentally unstable, as we've seen during visits to her hospital. Ryan hallucinates, too, as viewers witnessed in season's two "preview" episode. Does "Secrets" reveal once and for all that Ryan is on the same path that his mother took? Is there no hope for him?

Amanda appears a way out for Ryan. Someone who can make him happy, and maybe even negate the need for the man in a dog suit that Ryan sees as Wilfred. But when we learn she is off her rocker, there's kind of an "Oh, right" about it, seeing how Ryan could be drawn to someone like him, albeit a bit more of a criminal. Plus, if one stops and thinks, the signs about her mental state were present right from her very first appearance.

It's not like the others around Ryan are perfect. Jenna admits to using him, knowing of his feelings for her, but stringing him along to help her out. Kristen (Dorian Brown) shoves her child off on James (Eugene Byrd), the guy that comes to accuse Ryan of embezzling. These are not the actions of the best people. Perhaps if Ryan could break away from this group, he might stand a better chance of healing.

Jenna was always a possible way for Ryan to lead a "normal" life, but "Secrets" burns that bridge, or at least soaks it in kerosene, when she marries Drew. Now she is no longer an option for Ryan. Would she have even accepted the real Ryan, anyway, or been able to help him? Who knows, but it's quite surprising that the writers take the character out of play as a love interest. At least for now.

How interesting would an arc be where Ryan spends several months living with his mother in the hospital? Not only would we get more of Steenburgen, always a treat, but progress could be made on Ryan's condition, and there would be invaluable insights into his psyche as he is treated. Maybe Amanda could be there, too. This story doesn't have to ditch the titular dog, but rather, allow Ryan to better understand why he sees Wilfred, and of what value that might be.

Who knows what direction Wilfred will take if it gets a third season? This oddball dramedy is full of surprises, and could end up being about anything. Given the brilliant acting and the completely original writing, I hope we get the chance to find out.

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