While I’m in the process of closing out stuff from the summer TV season, let’s say goodbye to what is by far the weirdest show on the air, ‘Wilfred’, which wrapped up its first season with a real brain-buster.
After inadvertently getting Jenna high on pot candy, and thus also getting her fired for freaking out on the air, Ryan attempts to help her get her job back. This may require some of the dirty tactics that he used when he was a bad lawyer, which was the whole reason he stopped being a lawyer in the first place. Ryan is conflicted about this, but Wilfred pressures him to use whatever means necessary to accomplish the goal. He promises Ryan that if he can get her job back, Jenna will be his – Wilfred will make sure of that, somehow.
Ryan begins to actively question what Wilfred is, in a way that he’d largely avoided until now. Wilfred yanks his chain a bit by telling him that his suicide attempt actually worked and he’s in Limbo, and then segues into some ‘Lost’ references that Ryan picks up on easily.
Around this time, Ryan also catches Wilfred writing a Will for some reason and stashing it in the basement.
Ryan eventually succumbs to his dark side and blackmails the station manager (Ray Wise, in an oddly brief walk-on role) into rehiring Jenna. When Wilfred fails to live up to his end of the bargain (how could he?), Ryan pushes him away and determines to make a play for Jenna all on his own. To do this, he has to drive a wedge between Jenna and her boyfriend (Chris Klein).
One condition of Jenna’s rehiring is that she has to take a drug test, which she is happy to do since she doesn’t know that she ever took drugs. Of course, Ryan knows that she’ll fail the test. The only way out of this is to covertly switch her urine sample with some clean pee. He has to get the pee from his sister Kristen. That conversation and resulting argument ruins their already tenuous relationship, and Kristen announces that she’s going off to India to work in her boss’s new clinic.
Ryan gets the pee, but needs Wilfred’s help to distract the tester so that he can switch the samples. Wilfred sacrifices himself by jumping in front of the woman’s car. Ryan makes the switch, and later Jenna passes her drug test. However, along with her results comes some other news. Now Jenna thinks that she’s pregnant with her boyfriend’s baby, which will probably bring them back together. Kristen, who’s actually pregnant, has no idea and is headed off to India. Most of Ryan’s plans have backfired.
Wilfred survived the accident but claims to have amnesia and not know who Ryan is. At this point, Ryan believes that the Will Wilfred wrote must be very important. He runs home to get it out of the basement, only to discover that… he never had a basement. The door opens onto a closet. I don’t think anyone would be shocked by a plot twist revelation that Wilfred wasn’t real, but this alternate revelation that the basement they’d been hanging out in wasn’t real… Well, that’s just inexplicable and weird.
Like many episodes of the show, ‘Identity’ isn’t actually funny, per se. There are no jokes to speak of. Instead, it’s mostly just strange. And yet, there’s something oddly compelling about the show. If it comes back for a second season, I’ll probably watch again.