Ryan's lack of a job has been one of the issues Wilfred has just below the surface. There are structural reasons. Jobs are a good way to expand the show's world or have adventures of some kind. But it also makes Ryan look like kind of a dick. There he is, with a nice house, state-of-the-art toys, and no job. Hell, he's even borrowing money from his sister while living quite well. Which is not to say that Ryan doesn't seem like a nice guy or that it would be impossible for him to live like that on unemployment benefits. Just that it doesn't help him.
So I did like it tonight when Sitcom Events contrived to create a situation where Ryan was pushed back into his lawyering, and Wilfred did take a minute to talk about the kind of lawyer he was. I am not certain if this is going to be a one-time thing or lead toward Ryan entering the workplace in season tow. I'm not sure if the writers know, either, given that it seems to be leading to a big finale next week.
This episode also directly addressed Ryan's crush on Jenna, which has sometimes seemed like the point of the show at times (as it was in the Australian original, apparently), and at other times isn't even mentioned. Wilfred acknowledges this early on, as Ryan wonders why he basically exists to help Jenna with her dog and various things, but we haven't seen any romantic interest in quite a while.
A not-manic pixie dream girl named Cinzia shows up, for the express purpose of forcing the issue. I am perfectly content with Wilfred's use of caricatures as guest stars, as the whole point of the show seems to be that everyone is over-the-top except for Ryan. But when it's combined with a conventional sitcom trope like the first-day-at-a-new-job-accidentally-on-drugs thing that Jenna goes through, it can be a little much. This is wacky Wilfred rather than dark Wilfred, but it's also a Wilfred that's laying the groundwork for potentially positive changes down the line.
Once again, the episode also isn't as funny as it could be. There are a few dark and amusing lines, yes, but there's also the most Zany Dog Humor that we've seen since the second episode. Wilfred being a “sillydog” to try to cheer Jenna up was barely amusing with the first joke and quickly wore out its welcome, the same as his attempts to join Ryan on the plane to Italy.
And I can't say I liked the resolution much, either. Obviously Ryan wasn't going to run away with the dream girl; it would ruin the show. But that seemed to be the only reason that he didn't do it. Jenna really isn't worth much to him, and his life isn't so great that going to Italy with a beautiful, perfect woman wouldn't seem like a better idea. Plus it makes him look like kind of a dick to stay in order to hook up with a woman who's already got a boyfriend.
Still, while I may not have liked the decision, I must say that I liked how it happened, with a bizarre courtroom scene and a parody of “The Red Balloon” to warm the hearts of anyone who ever took French I or Intro To Cinema. That keeps it worthwhile.
- “I'm sure the Roman soldiers wanted to hang out at the Pantheon and stare at tits all day. But they knew they had a duty: to kill Jesus.”
- “And I'm not sure spending the day on YouTube watching gruesome cat deaths counts as protecting.”
- “Cal! You gotta feel how soft my tits are!”
- “Welllll… she thinks I'm a total dick for asking at a time like this….”
- “Ryan, I've always had your best interests at heart. But I've never asked for anything in return. Except for a bunch of stuff.”