Episode Title: "Secrets"
Story by: David Zuckerman
Teleplay by: David Zuckerman & Scott Prendergast
Director: Randall Einhorn
"Secrets" brought the second season of "Wilfred" to an end with a lot of callbacks to episodes from earlier in the year and a few returning guest stars as well. Looking back at the season as a whole, a lot of the threads revealed in "Secrets" had been planted before coming to fruition here. Clearly, the "Wilfred" creative team had a plan to bring us to this point. It remains to be seen if they have a plan for the future… provided that FX finally greenlights "Wilfred" season 3.
While the name and theme of the episode was "Secrets," the title could have easily been "Control" if that hadn't already been used as an episode title. There's always a constant tug of war between Ryan (Elijah Wood) and Wilfred (Jason Gann) for control of Ryan's life, with Wilfred usually coming out on top. Nor is Wilfred particularly subtle about what he does, having already convinced Ryan to break up with Amanda (Allison Mack) because he is far too mentally ill to be with anyone.
Regardless, Ryan and Amanda are back together after their reunion last week. Naturally, Ryan is suspicious when Wilfred produces a drawing from Ryan's childhood which includes his entire family, his dog Snickers… and Wilfred lurking in the background. Both Wilfred and Ryan claim to know nothing about the drawing and whether Ryan actually did it or if Wilfred forged it simply to make him question his sanity again. Ryan's "Battlestar Galactica" inspired monologue briefly convinces Wilfred that he constantly comes back to life, leading to the funniest line of the episode: "Frack you, Ryan!"
But the main backdrop of the episode was the wedding of Jenna (Fiona Gubelmann) and Drew (Chris Klein), who actually make it through the ceremony without breaking up or Wilfred inflicting bodily harm on Drew again. I was expecting something to happen just to give Ryan the glimmer of hope to be with Jenna. Who knows what this will mean for a potential season 3? Maybe Chris Klein will stick around or we'll see even less of Jenna until Drew is written out of the show. After Ryan came clean to Jenna weeks ago, she promised to not take advantage of him again… a promise which she breaks repeatedly in this episode. Ryan not only hosts Jenna's wedding in his backyard, but he seems to be the wedding planner as well.
And yet with Amanda back in his life, everything is smooth sailing for Ryan… right up until James (Eugene Byrd) drops by and unleashes a bombshell: Ryan's friend, Kevin (Rob Riggle) never actually sold the secrets of their cancer drug to another company. Instead the evidence points to Ryan himself, with James passing on an offer from Ryan's dad to represent his son in the legal fight ahead.
Ryan's first response is to blame Wilfred, because it is just the kind of thing that Wilfred would probably do if he had thought of it. But Wilfred counters with the theory that Ryan's dad, the heretofore unseen Hank Newman orchestrated the events to bring Ryan back under his thumb. Failing that, Wilfred suggests that no one hates Ryan more than he hates himself. Considering Ryan's difficulty distinguishing between reality and fantasy, it's not out of the question that he sabotaged himself once again.
However, the culprit turns out to be someone who loves Ryan. Amanda confesses her crime shortly after Ryan admits that he speaks to Wilfred as a person, not a dog. To his shock, Amanda tells him that Wilfred speaks to her as well and he told her to go through with her plan to steal company secrets so that Amanda and Ryan can skip the country and live happily ever after. Amanda also shows only fleeting glimpses of remorse when Ryan reminds her that their boss, Jeremy (Steve Weber) committed suicide over her actions. But Amanda just wants to be with Ryan no matter the cost.
Perhaps the most alarming thing to Ryan is Amanda's assertion that Wilfred set the entire thing up as part of his larger plan. Wilfred himself looks pretty guilty until Amanda is put to the test and she reveals that the words she hears from Wilfred are completely different from Ryan's interpretation. The writers missed an opportunity here to have Amanda's Faux-Wilfred appear and speak in the accent she described. But if Ryan is mentally disturbed then Amanda is flat out crazy.
Soon enough, Ryan's name is cleared as Amanda is carted away (off camera) having confessed to everything. It's a little sad to see Amanda written out of the show this way, but there were some hints to her mental instability from earlier episodes. Amanda's pursuit of Ryan was a little puzzling from the start, considering how introverted he was at the office. And Amanda did seem really freaked out by Wilfred in the dinner party with Drew and Jenna. If she was hearing words coming out of Wilfred's mouth in that episode, it would have explained a lot of her alarmed reactions in addition to her story about finding her grandfather eaten by his dogs.
There was something unsettling about Ryan saying "I hope [Amanda] gets the help that she needs." That's a pretty callous thing to say given his own tenuous grasp on sanity and the fact that he was seemingly in love with her. Those feelings shouldn't disappear just because Amanda is also crazy. That non-reaction would be more understandable if Ryan showed some anger towards Amanda for nearly getting him sent to jail… but we don't even get that.
Instead, we come back to the childlike drawing of Wilfred and Ryan's family; which Wilfred finally cops to when Ryan admits that he's worried if Wilfred doesn't have all of the answers about their relationship. And yet soon enough, Ryan finds photographic proof on his fridge that he did draw Wilfred into his family portrait when he was a kid. Unless of course, this is another elaborate trick by Wilfred, who admittedly loves playing with Ryan's head.
The cliffhanger with Ryan and the drawing was pretty flat compared to the dark moments of last year's season finale. While both endings hinged upon Ryan doubting his sanity, the mystery of the childhood drawing just isn't grabbing me. Whereas I couldn't wait to see how season 2 would answer the questions of the first season finale, I didn't find this ending to be very compelling. The rest of the episode was fairly solid and it did wrap up the major plots of season two. Much like "Wilfred" itself, "Secrets" was very good, if imperfect at times. But I would still very much like to see this show get a third season.