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Wilfred – Compassion

Wilfred fans were
treated to two installments of the offbeat comedy, as FX continued to
double down on episodes to make room for their fall lineup. Airing
first, “Compassion” proved that there is still a little gas left
Wilfred’s tank.
Which couldn’t have come at a better time after last week’s episode
seemed to be running on fumes. One of their most well utilized guest
stars to date -make that two actually, plus a great cameo- also
built confidence that the series wasn’t done yet.

Ryan’s mother hadn’t spent the last twenty years in a mental
institution she would have probably warned him that it’s not a good
idea to let someone that was in a mental institution for twenty years
move in with you. But having never received that lesson growing up,
Ryan finds himself burdened with a less-than-stable roommate; to go
along with the deranged dog he already has. Ryan’s relationship with
his mother, Catherine, was strained long before she moved in with
him(Did I mention she spent two decades in a funny farm?). As is
revealed though, it’s less from anger at having to put up with
Catherine’s antics, and more from the fear for his own sanity that
her presence brings up that has Ryan on edge. A fear that turns out
be completely justified.

episode kicked off by reminding us that Jenna actually exists, as
well as actually addressing the fact that she is rarely around. She
wasn’t any funnier than she has been in past episodes -beyond when
she was barreled aside by Wilfred in that opening scene- so it’s safe
to say we haven’t been missing much while she was away. Her role in
the episode wasn’t completely without humor, even if it was all on
the part of Wilfred. The man-dog’s tolerance for Jenna’s constant
abandonment finally reached its breaking point, and his usual undying
love had been replaced with pure spite. His petulant insults were
all the funnier because of Jenna’s obliviousness to them. It got
even worse for her once Wilfred found a surrogate mother in
Catherine; who he took great joy in showing his affection for.

has given us plenty of off-the-wall situations, but
seeing Mary Steenburgen making out with a scruffy Australian in a dog
suit was high on the list. It isn’t exactly a position you imagine
that particular actress in. Baking a pie or tucking someone in, that
is more what comes to mind when you think of Steenburgen; but that is
what made the role so good. Whoever picked her knew that is exactly
how the actress would be seen, which meant the farther they strayed
out of that comfort zone with the character, the funnier she would
be. Because of that, scenes like Catherine body painting on the
front lawn had all the more punch. Astonishingly, locking lips with
Jason Gann wasn’t Steenburgen’s craziest moment and within minutes
she was giving us a scene to top it. Mooning the adorably, doe-eyed
Elijah Wood was so unexpectedly over-the-top that it left me caught
between a laugh and a gasp; which is one of the best reactions a joke
can elicit.

Cahill, the doctor at Catherine’s hospital, didn’t do much early on,
but towards the end of the episode he was a great source of laughs.
Played by John Michael Higgins(
the character stole a couple of scenes with some hilarious lines.
It’s beyond me how he can keep a straight face, let alone a serious
demeanor, when delivering lines like;
“My sense is;
Jenna, masturbation, and the post office are all crucial pieces to
this puzzle.”

was one problem with “Compassion” and it’s the same issue that
seems to be escalating episode by episode. The price Ryan pays for
the growth he is gaining from Wilfred’s “lessons” is becoming so
high that it’s simply ridiculous that Ryan hasn’t done whatever he
has to get rid of the maniacal mutt. He’s lost thousands of dollars,
nearly been arrested for breaking & entering, came seconds away
from seeing his sister electrocuted, and now gets committed, all
thanks to Wilfred. The benefits he’s gaining hardly seem worth the
cost. Still, it’s easier to forgive an issue like this when the
episode is funny enough to make up for it.

solid episode capped off with an unexpected and uproarious cameo by
Rhea Perlman as Wilfred’s feline counterpart, Mittens. Poor Ryan,
there is no doubt now that the crazy gene passed down to him – not
that there was much before. “Compassion” wasn’t the funniest
Wilfred has
put out, but it was definitely among the top ranked.


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