Season finale review: ‘Wilfred’ – ‘Secrets’

Senior Television Writer
09.20.12 22 Comments


A review of the “Wilfred” season finale coming up just as soon as I hear you with a French accent…

For the second year in a row, “Wilfred” closes its season with a very dark episode that leaves Ryan questioning his sanity and the nature of Wilfred like never before. And this was probably even darker than the first season finale, which at least had the running gag about Wilfred and the bubbles. “Secrets” had a few obvious jokes, like Ryan stringing Wilfred along with the story of “Battlestar Galactica,” but mostly it was a series of mysteries: Did Wilfred insert himself into Ryan’s childhood drawing, or did Ryan do it years before Wilfred was born? Is someone framing Ryan, or has he had a complete psychotic break? And does Amanda really also hear Wilfred?

It’s interesting that David Zuckerman would take that approach in both finales, given what he said at Comic-Con about how answers on any kind of mythology-driven show are inevitably unsatisfying. We actually got answers to all of these questions within the boundaries of “Secrets,” but the revelation that Ryan did draw Wilfred way back when only, in true “Lost” fashion, opens up many more questions – and all but necessitates multiple Dwight Yoakam appearances next season.(*)

(*) Technically, the show hasn’t been renewed yet, but FX president John Landgraf has said it’s just a matter of making deals work for everybody, and I’m assuming it will happen sometime in the next couple of months.

And what I think made “Secrets” work as a satisfying, if not especially humorous, end of the season is that Elijah Wood is so good, and so expressive, as Ryan, that I do genuinely care about his emotional plight even as it involves his possibly toxic, probably delusional friendship with an Australian guy in a dog suit. And it helped that Allison Mack was so convincing and enthusiastic in her mania.

I also found it interesting that we didn’t get what I assumed was the inevitable moment where Ryan tries to disrupt the wedding. He accepted last week that Jenna was going to marry Drew, and that would be that. With Amanda now out of the picture, I’ll be curious to see if his attraction to the now-married Jenna resurfaces next season, or if the show is moving on from that along with Ryan – and, if so, what role Jenna plays on the show other than as Wilfred’s owner.

Because of a lot of travel and other activities this summer, I wound up watching this season in a more fragmented way than the first. So it’s hard for me to hold the two up and declare one better than the other. But I was satisfied, and am looking forward to more, assuming everyone eventually signs a contract.

What did everybody else think, about both the finale and the second season as a whole?

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