Wilfred Season 2 Episode 3 Recap – ‘Dignity’
This week’s Wilfred was the charmer, trying to please Ryan’s co-workers as ‘the office dog’. It didn’t quite worked out, but it helped teaching Ryan a lesson in self respect. Dignitywas a good episode, that served well the show’s structure, and also moved the plot forward in a small, important way. Also, it seems like the sub-plot of Ryan’s relationships with his father is going to take some attention this season, so we might just get a bigger ‘bigger story’ in the second season of ‘the talking dog’ show.
What just happened (episode summary): Ryan’s boss is stressing him; Ryan asks Amanda on a date; Wilfred is trying to be ‘the office dog’.
How it happened (the chatty TV critic): After Wilfred got too bored being home alone, with Ryan at the office, and trashed the living room (and after he’s refused the next day to stay in a cage like Ryan had suggested – “like some guy caged up like some animal?”), Ryan took Wilfred with him to the office.
That being a bad idea was not even the point: Wilfred wanted to be at the office to be near people, so Ryan was really too naive trying the ‘hide in my office’ attitude with him. At first the office people loved Wilfred, especially Ryan’s boss, who gave him a rubb ‘in the wrong way’.
But on day two, most of the office wanted Wilfred out. For no reason, actually. He was just being cute, trying to be loveable, showing the ladies his balls, etc. But they didn’t want him anymore, not at all – only the big boss still did.
Meanwhile, Ryan got a huge urgent project from his boss, which made him postpone his date with Amanda (the one they scheduled at the end of last week’s episode (episode 2, Letting Go). The tight deadline stresses Ryan a lot, and Wilfred is no help – until Ryan understands his affect on the boss.
Could Wilfred be useful for Ryan just this once? Only if he can make the ladies of the office love him again, which is his new obsession. So Ryan must help Wilfred to find the trick that will do the job (in a wonderful scene that includes Bear pitching an idea) – and when he finally does (putting a bag on his head unable to take it out) it’s a great disappointment for him then next day when the cleaner of the office is doing the same trick before him to the applause of everyone in the room.
So when the dog meets the cleaner in the toilets he attacks him, which leads to the cleaner blackmailing Ryan (and Ryan cleaning toilets). That’s Ryan’s break point, and Wilfred’s high time. After Ryan says he won’t take it anymore, that he knows what he’s worth (“I’m a great lawyer and I was a great son. I did everything right and all I got in return was shit”), Wilfred convinces him to tell his boss that (a great scene, that works wonderfully if you analyze Wilfred’s character as Ryan’s super ego, and adds the proper weight to Ryan’s father conflict).
When Ryan goes to his boss and do exactly that, he’s surprised to see how easy it is – and his confidence is back on. He almost doesn’t care when Wilfred admits he was sure this will fail and Ryan will get fired (and Wilfred, even as Ryan’s super ego, surly wants that, at least a little).
But then, when Wilfred wants to say something nasty to the boss, and Ryan runs after him to prevent that, they finds the cleaner under the boss’ table. So maybe it wasn’t his attitude that worked so well after all, but the result is still the same, and better – now Ryan can pretty much do whatever he wants in the office, which probably means more ‘office dog’ rights too.
What are we left with: Dignity was an episode that proved that when Wilfred works, it becomes a great layer cake without trying too hard or seem contrived. I’m happy that Ryan and Amanda will finally have their date next week – and that her looks on Wilfred hinted that problems are to come (a couple of times she looked at Wilfred with disgust, but shedidn’t say anything to Ryan – yet). I’m curious in the father subplot, and with Ryan planning to go to the event this will sure become the heavy-weight of season 2. Jenna is away for two weeks, which gives Ryan time to focus on Amanda, and releases us from a sub plot that got a little tiring.