“Wilfred” came to a close Wednesday (Aug. 13) with more of its patented crazy plot twists and ideas that leaves some room for interpretation. But before we dig into that, the first episode dealt with Wilfred’s death.
It was surprisingly sad to watch Jenna and Ryan grieve for Wilfred dying of cancer and ultimately have to put him to sleep, which is a testament to the actors for sure. But that shot above really hit us in the ol’ feels and we’d be lying if we said some tears were not shed.
Of course, Wilfred’s death sends Jenna running back into Drew’s arms and they head back to Sheboygan together with their new puppy. Good riddance, honestly.
Ryan, meanwhile, is left back where the series started — ready to kill himself. But his mom shows up and they finally have it out about the Flock of the Grey Shepherd, which is a cult where Ryan was born and raised for the first few years of his life.
In the discussion, Ryan’s mom interestingly parrots back to him what Wilfred said to him earlier about animals finding you at just the right time and helping you find happiness until it’s time to move on to the next sad person.
Cue Wilfred, whose essence returns to Ryan and leads him out to the Grey Shepherd farm where Ryan meets Charles Smith, his father and the cult leader. Smith admits to making all of the cult and god stuff up and that he is crazy. But is he really crazy?
The show leaves it up in the air whether Wilfred is actually a manifestation of this Mataman god, who can perhaps only be seen by the person he’s there to help find happiness, or if Wilfred is simply the product of some mental illness passed down from Smith (and maybe Ryan’s mom too, since we also know she talks to animals). Wilfred was talking to Ryan about scouting around in his brain, like perhaps he’s just a figment of Ryan’s imagination — because wouldn’t Mataman be going off to someone new who needs help, rather than living in Ryan’s hippocampus?
But either way, it kind of doesn’t matter. Wilfred is Ryan’s best bud and has been trying to help him become his best self — and also provide lots of foul-mouthed hijinks along the way. So maybe whatever Wilfred is, is incidental to the messages and help that he brings.
What do you think Wilfred is? Do you have a third theory?
PS: I love that the show left the basement/closet door issue as a mystery. What do you think Ryan saw in that doorway? Probably just a closet, but … we don’t know for sure.