Wilfred and human pal Ryan have a brush with the supernatural in this week’s episode of the quirky comedy Wilfred. Ryan keeps bottling his anger, and learns that there are healthier ways to deal with it after Wilfred is possessed by the ghost of his childhood dog, Sneakers.
Ryan doesn’t get angry much. He has daily brushes with fear, anxiety, and shame, but when he feels like getting angry he usually just swallows it down and bottles it up. His sister Kristen pushes all his buttons, but he owes her thousands of dollars since she paid for his car crash (another of Wilfred’s genius ideas), and so he just endures her constant criticisms and bossiness.
Wilfred counsels Ryan to let out his anger from the very start of the episode. He knows Ryan is upset by the way his sister talks to him, and as he tells Ryan, “Anger is like herpes, you’re not meant to keep it to yourself.”
Great advice from Wilfred, who is always there with bits of crude wisdom like that. But Wilfred finds he has his own problems with Ryan’s sister, who can’t stand him or animals in general it seems. He attempts to win her over, maintaining that everyone likes him, but the more she detests him the more determined he becomes.
Kristen is planning a big, important party for her boss, which is making her more stressed than usual. She needs Ryan’s help, and when he’s over at her house she is more critical and demanding than ever. She is angry that Ryan keeps bringing Wilfred (aka “that dog”) with him, and Wilfred is more and more frustrated as he tries to win her affection but fails.
One evening after Wilfred gets Ryan to talk about his long-dead pet Sneakers, Wilfred tries on his old collar and suddenly starts talking in a strange voice and saying he’s Ryan’s childhood pet terrier. Ryan has major guilt about Sneakers because he thinks he killed him, indirectly, by leaving the gate open. Sneakers got in the pool and drowned, and Ryan has been blaming himself since.
Ryan doesn’t believe Wilfred is possessed, even though there are some strange moments as Wilfred channels the spirit of Sneakers. Wilfred (as Sneakers) says that he’s come back because Ryan is carrying the guilt of killing him, when it was his sister Kristen who left the gate open. And he wants revenge.
Thinking that Wilfred is making it all up because Kristen hates him, and to get Ryan to lose his temper with her, Ryan tries to ignore him. He does say something to Kristen about it, and of course she is outraged he would suggest it and accuses him of wanting to ruin her party.
But when they go to Kristen’s over-the-top Bollywood-themed party, and he has to wear a costume he feels ridiculous in, Ryan finally bursts. After Wilfred is possessed and starts running around knocking things over and pushing Kristen in the pool, Ryan confronts her about Sneakers.
She finally breaks down and admits she was the one who left the gate open, and that she’s lived with the guilt so long and hated herself. She admits that she didn’t hate Sneakers, or even Wilfred, she was just jealous of Ryan because everyone liked him better.
Jason Gann was on point in this episode. His Wilfred was obnoxious and hilarious, and he got the opportunity to do some great impressions as he was possessed by Ryan’s childhood dog and some other famous people, like Magic Johnson.
It was hilarious to watch him change from deep-voiced Australian to American-accented, boyish Sneakers (who sounds innocent, but keeps suggesting doing horrible things to Kristen with a huge smile).
Ryan is his usual charming self, and Elijah Wood plays the easily manipulated every-guy like no one else. We saw more of Dorian Brown as bossy sister Kristen, who actually showed some vulnerability at the end of the episode when she admitted her guilt.
This episode hit all the right notes; hilariously funny but not too crude. And in typical tongue-in-cheek style, Kristen ends her emotional confession about killing Ryan’s dog by offering to pay him off for all the guilt she made him carry over the years. And as a special treat, the last few moments of the episode treat audiences to a Ghost inspired scene where Ryan gets to have one final cuddle with the spirit of Sneakers. Good stuff.