Episode four, Season 2. Otherwise known as “Now,” this might very well be the worst episode of the season—at least, we can hope as much.
Ryan’s life is finally falling into place—steady job, cute girlfriend—and he’s starting to think about his future. More specifically, he’s looking to invest. But Wilfred, ever the canine guru, has other ideas. He’s pushing Ryan to stop thinking about the future and start living in the now. But the plan backfires after Ryan is mugged and Wilfred is held up at gunpoint, the trauma of which causes him to lose his sense of smell.
Now that he’s not distracted by those pesky olfactory senses, Wilfred starts having…thoughts. Does Jenna really cease to exist when she’s gone, or is she just somewhere else? Is there more than one UPS guy? No, the uniform simply changes guys. Enlightenment, thy name is Wilfred.
But as Wilfred’s knowledge grows, so does his depression. Eventually, Ryan realizes that he must stop living in the future and start living in the now, starting with paying his doggy friend more attention.
The problem with “Now” is that it lacks any real substance. It’s plagued by a dull plot that makes a normally pleasant 20 minutes feel three times as long. Sure, the jokes keep rolling, but they’re not enough to hold the episode together. Wilfred’s doggy revelations are humorous, but the show can do—and has done—better. The real laughs don’t come until the last five minutes of the episode, when Wilfred dons an emo hairswoop and sulky attitude for the dramatic finish. There’s very little development to be found, and “Now” feels inconsequential in the scheme of things. It’s an episode that feels as though it can be skipped entirely. And you may want to do just that.