Wilfred Review: “Letting Go” (Episode 2.01)
What is it that makes a bromance so appealing? Is it the rarely seen soft side to male bonding? The comical implications of the word, and its overall auditory appeal? Or is it something more basic, an envy we house for such a relationship with our own friends?
Whatever the answer might be, the bromance is a remarkable occurrence. It’s also one of Wilfred’s most powerful components.
The season premiere of the darkly humorous buddy comedy puts our dear bros at odds with one another. It’s a couple months and one odd teaser of a preview episode later, and Wilfred has finally returned from Wisconsin after his accident. But he quickly gives Ryan the cold shoulder, instead opting to play catch with his new best friend and Jenna’s fiancé, Drew (Chris Klein). The two bonded during Wilfred’s recovery, and it shows in Wilfred’s intense brohavior.
Ryan isn’t giving up, but Wilfred is skeptical. “If we want this bromance to work, we need to have an equal relationship,” Wilfred tells him. He’s fed up with what he feels is a relationship built on fielding Ryan’s problems. To prove he cares, Ryan helps his furry friend enter the Health Kibble Incredible Dog Challenge, where Wilfred hopes to impress Drew.
Ryan continues to pursue the possibility of Jenna, taking notes on her seemingly doomed relationship and possible ways to end it. Not even the interest of his coworker Amanda (Allison Mack) can pull his attention away. But whether you love or hate Drew, it looks like he’s here to stay.
The jokes in this episode fall a little under Wilfred’s usual bar; little things, like the implication that Wilfred sees other dogs as people are worth a laugh, but the episode’s final scenes at the Dog Challenge feel a little forced. The comical highlight of “Letting Go" demonstrates Wilfred’s knack for the strange well, placing Ryan in the uncomfortable situation of buying steroids off a someone in a back alley for $150 and a hug a long hug that’s tender like sisters at a funeral.
In terms of premiere necessities, “Letting Go” quickly bridges the gap between seasons. The conflict between Ryan and Wilfred is easily resolved, and as the title implies, Ryan learns to let go of Jenna. The appearance of a new love interest for Ryan in Amanda is promising; the quirky, cute biochemist doesn’t feel as far out of reach as the bubbly-but-taken Jenna. But more importantly, our characters have not only returned to their usual selves, they’ve grown. Their relationships remain stronger than ever, and once again, all is right in the world—and our own bromance with Wilfred has been rekindled.