8.5

Wilfred Review: “Guilt” (Episode 2.03)

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<i>Wilfred</i> Review: &#8220;Guilt&#8221; (Episode 2.03)

How nice would it be to only feel guilt for five seconds? Sometimes I think dogs are the luckiest beings on the planet, or at least they are in Wilfred’s world.

Ryan’s sister is back in the States, but it’s less than a happy homecoming. With a bun in the oven and a faux-forgiving attitude courtesy of her time in India, Kristen is as self-centered and rude as ever. Her marriage has dissolved, although Kristen claims that Dr. Ramos is planning on leaving his wife to be with her. But Wilfred sniffs out a restraining order against Kristen, making it clear that she’s lying to Ryan. Still, Ryan can’t help but feel guilty about last season’s blackmailing, so he takes her abuse without complaint.

Wilfred, on the other hand, is less than pleased about their new houseguest. We’ve always thought the greatest canine war was between cats and dogs, but it turns out the real enemy is one we never even suspected—babies. A war has long raged over who’s cuter, and casualties on both sides have been left in more than one Babies “R” Us parking lot. Wilfred immediately launches on the defense against “the Trojan horse,” Kristen. Some of the episode’s best moments are also its most shocking, from Wilfred trying to trip Kristen down the stairs to his brandishing of vacuum cleaners. Wilfred explains that dogs only feel guilt for five seconds, so his malicious plans continue without the nuisance of a conscience.

Kristen eventually suffers a small pregnancy scare (much to Wilfred’s glee), and Arturo, the baby’s father, makes an appearance. The doctor confesses that his wife made him get the restraining order, and the two have a…rowdy reunion. Ryan finally puts his foot down when Kristen and Arturo try to make his home their illicit love nest, and in doing so, forces Kristen to take responsibility for her own missteps—like, you know, having an affair. Wilfred and the unborn baby have a ceasefire after Ryan explains that the two have a lot in common, and all is well again in Wilfred’s world. For now.

“Guilt” is a great balance of the show’s trademark humor and character development. While the Wilfred/baby backstory provides comical delight (and a very disturbing scene with a voodoo doll), the relationship between Kristen and Ryan begins to shift. Kristen is well-known as one of the show’s most despised characters—a title’s she’s more than earned—but the new season is showing change. She finally takes responsibility for her actions and begins to treat Ryan as the caring brother he is. The episode will probably be a hit or miss for many viewers, depending on your attitude toward babies, but “Guilt” is the first episode in the new season to offer something a little more. It’s not the funniest episode yet, but it certainly is the most developed.

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