“Our biggest problems arise from the avoidance of smaller ones.” – Jeremy Caulfield
Wilfred, “Avoidance” starts with Ryan and Kristen having lunch, actually managing to be civil to one another, if you don’t count the dig she makes referencing Wilfred and Jenna. Kristen claims to be done with Arturo and is evidently on the hunt for a new baby daddy. This becomes evident upon the arrival of an old friend of Ryan’s name James. They are old law school buddies and had their first jobs together. When Kristen accepts an invitation James puts to Ryan to go out for a drink, Ryan tells her he doesn’t want to have anything to do with him, though he didn’t say it to James’ face.
Wilfred wants to know more about James and Ryan gives him the lowdown as to how the two men fell out of favor with one another. James and Ryan both worked for Ryan’s dad at his firm. The two of them wanted to do something more meaningful. The two planned to start their own law firm for the disenfranchised but when it came down to quitting, Ryan did and James didn’t. In fact, Ryan’s old friend took a promotion instead and left him in a lurch. It seems we are getting more insight into what caused Ryan’s downward spiral and what led him to the dark place he was in at the beginning of season one and his first meeting with Wilfred.
Wilfred suggests that Ryan should have talked all this out with James a long time ago rather than avoiding the confrontation. He says he would never do something like that to his best friend, Dennis. When Ryan realizes he isn’t Wilfred’s number one, the dog reveals that Ryan is actually somewhere around his fifth or sixth best friend despite Ryan saying that Wilfred is still his best friend. Wilfred cites someone named Dennis as his first best friend. He finds it uncomfortable to discover he is Ryan’s number one.
We soon find ourselves a doggie dancing with Wilfred and Jenna, which is awesome. My dog loves to dance, really and truly, he can’t help himself if someone is getting down he has to be right there with you. I must learn if there is such a thing and if it is near by. Don’t judge me. Wilfred gets an interesting reward for his dancing, a churro that he covets. And of course doggie dancing must have doggie recitals, but when Wilfred learns that Jenna can’t take part in his, he is devastated. He begs Ryan to be his partner for the event.
Ryan grudgingly tries to help Wilfred, but is uncomfortable dancing with him. Wilfred decides the situation calls for an icebreaker and invites Ryan to share about his first sexual encounter. Ryan’s story is pretty much the normal, cute, nervous mess that most experiences are. Wilfred decides to share his too, and though we have no doubt it will be disturbing, just how disturbing took even me aback. Thankfully the writers sail over it and we don’t have to revisit or dwell on the imagery. Despite the disturbance in the force, the icebreaker works and Wilfred is able to get Ryan to his happy place where he feels freer and more comfortable dancing. An adorable montage follows to the tune of “Dance Hall Days” by Wang Chung, one of my happy songs.
Thank goodness the song stops before the next scene so it can stay one of my happy songs. Shortly after their dance-a-thon, Ryan and Wilfred are taking a break in the backyard and Wilfred gets a cramp in what seems to be his groin area. Ryan generously and foolishly offers to help him work it out. The two have been happy too long for something not to go wrong now, and sure enough it does. Wilfred enjoys his massage a little too much and splooges all over Ryan, who completely freaks out. Like practically curls up in a ball rocking freaks out. Wilfred is slightly bewildered as to what the big deal is, and Ryan runs away rather than acknowledging what just happened.
Ryan meets James at bar with Kristen as planned, but more as an escape from Wilfred. James starts to really get on my nerves at this point with the inside jokes between he and Ryan which Ryan is completely unreceptive of. James suggests the two men talk about what happened to damage their friendship, but Ryan just keeps avoiding it. Just then, wouldn’t you know it, Wilfred shows up. He claims to be there to meet Dennis for a drink, noting that Dennis is severely disabled, therefore he cannot be Wilfred’s new dance partner. Wilfred suddenly seems completely obsessed with dancing and won’t leave Ryan alone, though Ryan is still deeply disturbed by the earlier incident in the backyard. Things get really creepy as Wilfred continues to refer to his “treat” as he makes obscene hand gestures at Ryan
Wondering where Amanda is this episode? I was too. It seems Amanda is at Comic-Con. Ryan offers to go with her next year and dress up, adding the giggle-worthy line that he can totally pass as Harry Potter. During his phone call with Amanda Wilfred turns up at his door. Wilfred apologizes and comes bearing gifts. Ryan falls for this ploy and opens his door only to have Wilfred dance attach him again. Ryan finally explodes telling Wilfred he knows he wants a hand job because of the crude gestures he makes when he talks about his “treat” he is supposed to get after dancing. Wilfred is shocked at this accusation, telling Ryan that the gesture is indicative of a shaking the sugar off a churro, not a hand job. He sites this incident as the reason that Ryan should talk to people when he has an issue with them rather than avoiding them. He explains to Ryan that the ejaculation was nothing personal as he has done so on just about everything in the house, including the jar of mayonnaise in Ryan’s fridge that isn’t full of mayonnaise anymore.
Ryan takes the point and learns his lesson. He talks with James about the issues he has been harboring with his not leaving the firm. Because he finally confronts James, Ryan finds out that his dad threatened his friend with blacklisting him all over the state of California. And we bring home the entire point of the episode…talk things out, don’t avoid situations and assume you know what is going on without talking to someone first. James speculates on the exchange between he and Ryan’s father by saying that he believes he was only kept around as a way to keep Ryan around. He compares Ryan’s dad to Darth Vader, which Ryan observes makes James Lando. No, not because he’s black, because he’s a double crosser…come on now! I feel a big reveal coming on and can’t wait to see Ryan’s dad. Things are coming to a head and we will get to the bottom of all of it sooner or later.
At the end of Ryan and James’ conversation there was one odd, out of place moment referring back to the beginning of the show when Wilfred stands behind one of those wooden cutouts that tourists put their face in to take pictures. At the beginning of the episode Wilfred is behind a dog cutout saying “look Ryan, I’m a dog!”. But…at the end of the episode he is behind a human cutout saying “look Ryan, I’m a man, I’m a man!” Everything is suddenly very focused on this moment, pushing us further into our own assumptions about Ryan and Wilfred and what they represent to one another.
Did this episode live up to David Zuckerman‘s tweet that it was the funniest yet? I think so. The dance scenes are what really got me, Elijah is just so darn cute in these moments. Add to that churros and dog ejaculations and I’m sold.
Couch moment: Wilfred and Ryan miss their dance recital after all the craziness. The two do their dance number anyway, the basement turns into stage and the two of them have tuxes on for a big, super cheesy number. But we know where couch moments end up…ending on a high note just wouldn’t be right. Wilfred wants his churro afterward of course and uses his signature move to shake off the excess sugar. When he offers some to Ryan, he forces his bud to deep throat the churro, violating him yet again. Leaving us with another head shaking moment…will Ryan ever learn? Lets hope not.
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