Turn off the Lights

Wilfred – Isolation

Wilfred went two-for-two with
its double feature, putting up a second episode that was nearly as
entertaining as its predecessor. “Isolation” saw Wilfred at his
most sadistic, but also produced one of the titular character’s
funniest performances. Some convincing physical humor and uproarious
lines of dialogue helped turn Wilfred’s demented acts into hilarious
moments; they were still pretty demented though.

After three days spent holed up in his
house smoking copious amounts of ganja, Ryan seemed ready to go for
another three, but that probably wouldn’t make for a very interesting
episode. So it wasn’t long before Wilfy came calling to check in on
his protege. Well, technically it was Jenna who first arrived to
invite Ryan to a neighborhood meeting, but as always she was only
there to provide a storyline and something nice to look at. It was
the crazed canine who scored laughs early on with the best running
joke in the series. Wilfred’s peculiar relationship with Bear has
not only stayed fresh, but actually become more charming in its
absurdity. The idea of Ryan’s imaginary friend having his own
imaginary friend just makes sense, as long as you don’t think about
it too hard. Wilfred absolutely killed it when he reamed out Bear
for screwing up his attempt to break into Ryan’s house, particularly
for not buying Bear’s story about a twisted ankle. Even when a scene
between them is particularly graphic -like Wilfred faking an orgasm a
few episodes back- they still manage to be lighthearted, with Wilfred
often resembling the frustrated husband in an old married couple. Or
in this case; the less inept partner in a pair of bumbling criminals.

Wilfred’s efforts to break Ryan of his
antisocial behavior was the episode’s driving theme. As he always
does, Wilfred went about the task with the style only a psychopath
could muster. Setting up Ryan to take the blame for all of the
neighbor’s cars being broken into was one thing, but Wilfred trying
to form a mob brought it to another level. His failed attempts to
stir the crowd up were hilarious; actually expecting them to rush
upon Ryan like the pack of wolves he sees them as. Wilfred finally
realizing his rhetoric was having no effect capped the scene
wonderfully; “Hey, why am I the only one with a torch?”
In addition to torturing Ryan to teach him, Wilfred of course had a
wholly selfish ulterior motive when it came to Ryan’s “lesson.”
In this case; ousting an evil sorcerer from the neighborhood, who’s
black magic has Wilfred perplexed. The sorcerer isn’t so much a
warlock, as he is a little boy named Andy, but Wilfred is convinced
his trick with a tennis ball springs from demonic powers. So after
having fun watching Ryan squirm, Wilfred’s true intentions become
clear as he gets Andy hauled off to juvie. It all ends well though;
Ryan learns to be more social, Andy returns home, and a dead homeless
man takes the rap – everybody wins.

Unlike “Compassion” this episode
didn’t feature a main guest star to steal scenes. However, there
were a couple of memorable, albeit brief, performances from two
recognizable faces. Eric Stoltz(Caprica) was excellent in his
short role as one of Ryan’s neighbors, Doug. His intense demeanor
-and stare- added to the humor of Ryan’s social anxiety-induced
nightmare. Ryan’s confidence rising for a brief moment after he
impresses Stoltz’s character with an obscure(and black) joke about
Fatty Arbuckle, made his inevitable tongue-tying even worse. It was
Stoltz responding nonchalantly to Ryan spitting out his own tongue
that really sold the scene though. Hopefully we will be seeing Doug
around the neighborhood more often, that is if he doesn’t just exist
in Ryan’s subconscious. Seeing him appear in more of Ryan’s dreams
could be even funnier actually.

Peter Stormare(Prison Break) was
also unforgettable as the homeless gentleman prostituting himself out
of the neighborhood’s alleys. Known simply as Trashface, the
character was right in Stormare’s wheelhouse, and it showed in his
one real scene. After explaining to Ryan what his future may hold if
he chooses to live the life of a recluse, Trashface unintentionally
drove his point home -and put a funny spin on a crude joke- by
offering Ryan sexual favors in exchange for drug money. It’s a shame
we won’t be seeing him pimping himself around the neighborhood
anymore. But while his death was disturbingly dark, it did provide
the shocking and hilarious image of Ryan and Wilfred urinating on his
grave – to pay their respects of course. And as Wilfred pointed
out; we can take solace in knowing Trashface is up in heaven,
shooting up with one of the veins in his new angel wings. RIP
Trashface, we hardly know ye.

To close out the episode we got another
humorous moment between Wilfred and Bear, and what looks to be some
development to Ryan’s character, as he informs Wilfred he is giving
up getting high. “Isolation” had a few dry spots, but there was
definitely more to praise than complain about.


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