Wilfred charges towards his finale on all three legs.
After episode seven’s surprise ending, Wilfred showed no signs of slowing down the plot this week, a trait not particularly common for a show based around the idea of understanding a character learning to understand himself.
(Spoilers ahead! Warning! Spoilers! Like seriously stop here if you really care.)
Last week’s episode ended with what seemed almost like déjà vu from season one: Wilfred was hit by a car. Again. However, this time around, a quick visit to the vet wasn’t going to be able to save Wilfred as he lost his leg. Even worse, Ryan and Wilfred learn that Wilfred may have lung cancer, even if they do not find out for sure until later in the episode.
Facing his possible mortality, Wilfred urges Ryan to help him complete his bucket list. I have to say, a few of the shots of Wilfred’s bucket list are definitely ideas that have to have been tossed around since the beginning of the series. Yet, since some of these have obviously been saved, I felt less of an urge to laugh and more of an urge to once again take notice of the cinematography.
The shot of Wilfred and Ryan on the side of a zooming fire truck is something I would have laughed at four years ago, something I would have probably forgotten as one of the shows many greatly done jokes about the man and his dog, and the man who is that dog. Something was different here though, as the smiles of the two main characters as they fly past the screen on an emptied street are just so fitting; and show how the two have both grown since the start of the show. Wilfred now trusts Ryan, and Ryan no longer cares to think about everything that Wilfred has done to play with his head in the past. The two are just man and dog, living life in a way that Wilfred calls “carne diem.”
After those very heartfelt “you waited four years to see this” moments, however, this episode then has even more of the aforementioned moments when Ryan returns home to find that Jenna has already learned the results of the tests. What follows is one of the most heartfelt scenes between Ryan and Jenna, which finally sees them together. Interestingly enough, Wilfred isn’t around for any of those scenes, as if the two being happy together was enough for him to finally go address his own mortality while they do their thing.
As always, the cast brings the show to a level that it never would have been able to achieve with actors less able to throw themselves into such a world. The way that the friendship between Gann and Wood is visible on screen in every episode always makes the weaker parts of any episodes seem like more, and that is just between them, not even mentioning all of the great supporting players that have had their own place throughout the series.
If I have one complaint, it is how for the amount of mythology that there is to Wilfred, we never get full answers to any questions, even if we learn more and more about what little is revealed. A very tiny complaint, however, for a show that sold me four years ago, despite being about a man in a dog costume shot on DSLR’s.
My Arbitrary Rating System!!! Declares Wilfred, S4-E8, “Courage,” a:
“Courage” shows Wilfred at not only his best, but the show’s best, as a character piece between the three main characters is mixed with major plot developments and some beautiful camera work.