Right on the heels of the season’s worst episode comes what could be its best—at least, best so far. “Control” is Wilfred in its truest sense; it doesn’t need a seriously developed plot, or even more than a handful of solid characters to succeed. It’s a simple show with a hilarious hook.
Jenna is back after a few episodes of absence, and her “squishy tits” mishap on the news is making its rounds on the Internet. While Ryan is offering his shoulder in comfort, his new boo Amanda happens to jog by, making for an awkward introduction between the two women. Determined to make them like each other, Ryan plans a dinner party. But as Wilfred warns him, you can’t control relationships, and so begins the drama.
Wilfred crashes the couples-only occasion with Bear in tow. He’s eager to make Amanda’s acquaintance, but she’s less than enthusiastic about dogs. Bear hits the bottle, things get tense between Jenna and Amanda, and Ryan struggles to regain control of a rapidly deteriorating dinner party.
“Control” packs a mighty punch. Wilfred is back at full strength, both in terms of the show’s humor and straight-forward story arc. It’s nice to see Ryan’s relationship progressing so well; he sometimes gets a little touchy with Jenna, but it looks like he’s really moving on. Interestingly enough, Wilfred is becoming a somewhat logical voice of reason, even if his methods are anything but. Ryan, will you just shut up and listen to your talking dog friend already?
Wilfred is a lot like a really screwed-up kid’s show. Each episode follows an important, real-life theme, and Ryan always learns a valuable lesson at the end of every episode. Every 20-minute segment wraps up neatly; conflicts are solved, friendships are reestablished and everyone is happier for it. The show is undoubtedly formulaic, but for now its jokes pull it through. The “Bear’s fallen off the wagon and now he’s causing problems” shtick may not be the most clever, but it is effective. Wilfred’s doggy humor is spot-on as usual (particularly with moments such as Wilfred asking “Take my coat?” before rubbing his fur on Ryan).
Episodes like “Control” really emphasize the show’s potential, especially following last week’s disappointment. Wilfred proves that a comedy can simultaneously be edgy and heartfelt without sacrificing its personality in the process.