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Let’s Go on a Trip Within a Trip in WILFRED’s “Questions”
What can be said about “Questions” that I haven’t already said about the second half of this season of Wilfred? It has everything I’ve come to love about the show, including a return to the inside of Ryan’s mind, something we haven’t been able to enjoy since the premiere. In terms of anything being thrown on to the table, there really isn’t anything here. “Questions” merely builds upon the foundation that has been set in the past few weeks by continuing Ryan’s journey of self-actualization. It does this in a quirky fashion by sending Ryan on a drug-induced vision quest to discover why he has panic attacks whenever he hears Kristen trying to get her newborn baby – regrettably named Joffrey – to stop crying.
There’s a lot of subtlety mixed amongst the blatant world of Ryan’s mind, where trees exist that grow his black folders and he fantasizes about Jenna and Kristen making out. As he travels through his own consciousness, he is initially guided by a stereotypical Native American chieftain named Red Wolf. He tells Ryan he is not there to judge, yet that note of disgust is hard to miss when they happen upon Ryan’s Jenna/Kristen fantasy and he tells him “That’s your sister.” Ryan’s a messed up guy bent on discovering the answers to his many questions. While at first he wants to know what’s causing his panic attacks, he quickly realizes this is his chance to discover exactly what Wilfred is.
It’s a well used tease, though if the show were to actually reveal what Wilfred is it would suffer a serious blow. The fun isn’t in discovering Wilfred’s identity, it’s watching Ryan repair himself through increasingly bizarre means. I’m willing to bet that finding out what Wilfred is would be the moment Ryan has finally fixed all his problems and no longer needs Wilfred. So just as Ryan is about to get his answer from Red Wolf, Wilfred kills him with an arrow to the throat and takes over as spirit guide, telling Ryan he’s been asking the wrong question. It’s not nearly as important to answer what Wilfred is as it is to discover what’s causing Ryan’s panic.
While I found the idea of tripping while tripping hilarious, the ultimate source of Ryan’s panic didn’t hit home with me. So what if Kristen used to try and get him to stop crying by simply telling him not to cry? The idea being that Ryan never stops being sad and just keeps going on and on, which is fine. I like that Ryan can’t get over being depressed and he now realizes he needs to stop crying and fix things, but the way it ties into Kristen’s baby just didn’t really match up. It works in a way, but I think they could have found a something else to link to his depression.
Wilfred has gotten into the habit of ending on really heartbreaking, but stirring notes. I legitimately feel bad for Ryan that he lost out on Amanda. It tears him up inside and he doesn’t know how to be happy. He can’t move on. This is ultimately what I’ve come to appreciate the most about Wilfred this season. As funny and off the walls as it can be, it never shies away from showing real emotion. When someone is hurt, you see that hurt as clear as day. Some may not like that Wilfred will end with a sad scene, but it just feels right to me. It would be a disservice to Ryan’s emotional journey if everything wrapped up neatly with no fallout. For us to believe Ryan is getting better, he first needs to experience what he is really feeling. And Ryan feels sad.