“If you do not ask the right questions, you do not get the right answers.” – Edward Hodnett
Wilfred, “Questions” opens with Ryan, Kristen and new baby Joffrey (yes, like the dance school) in an uncomfortable breast feeding moment on the couch. When Kristen leaves Ryan with the crying Joffrey, he seems to really freak out. Neither Ryan or Kristen seems to be equipped to handle a crying baby with Kristen just telling the baby to stop crying over and over again and Ryan literally running away from the baby and into the basement in the midst of a panic attack. Wilfred first offers to take the baby out for Ryan as retribution for what the baby has done to both of them, as Wilfred is affected by Ryan’s stress in the form of shedding.
While Wilfred encourages Ryan to identify the cause of his stress, and seemingly strikes a chord when he mentions Amanda, Ryan opts to self medicate the stress away and heads to the pot clinic. The dispenser shares with Ryan that he has a hallucinogen that he calls “the teacher” because you can learn so much from it. After Kristen calls and Ryan panics again after hearing the baby crying on the other end of the phone, Wilfred spikes his tea with the peyote-like drug Ryan picked up at the clinic and off they go.
This altered state episode is one I’ve been waiting and hoping for all season. After talking with Elijah Wood before Season Two started, I was hoping for more internal inspection and anticipated altered states of reality coming into play for these moments. Just before Ryan’s hallucination begins, Wilfred psychs him out and not in a good way. The two find themselves in a forest (Ryan finds himself and Wilfred in a forest at least) and leave the basement behind. To emphasize to Ryan how truly not there he is, Wilfred tells him “Right now you’re passed out in the basement and I’m eating vomit off your shirt.” The visualization doesn’t do justice to the image that is shown of Wilfred using a spoon and napkin as he eats the vomit off of Ryan’s chest.
Ryan meets Red Wolf (Gil Birmingham), his spirit guide. Wilfred pulls the spirit guide aside to let him know they might be overlapping a bit and that he doesn’t believe Red Wolff is right to help Ryan on his journey. Red Wolf explains his qualifications, works to prove himself to Wilfred but Ryan shuts him down and goes with Red Wolf anyway. The question that Ryan opts to discover the answer to is, “What is Wilfred?”, which doesn’t sit well with his furry friend. He moves forward with Red Wolf to answer this question without Wilfred. As the two men walk through Ryan’s spirit world they come upon Kristen and Jenna making out, to which Red Wolf looks slightly disgusted as he judges Ryan for this image, telling him, “That is your sister.”
Just as a revelation is about to be made with regard to the question of what Wilfred is, Red Wolf is shot from behind with an arrow and falls dead as it went through his throat. It doesn’t take any amount of thought to figure out that the arrow came from Wilfred. Ryan is flabbergasted by this development, but Wilfred tells him he just isn’t ready for some answers, like finding out who Wilfred is. There is a momentary Alice in Wonderland reference when Ryan says he won’t eat or drink anything that Wilfred gives him, even in his spirit world. Wilfred convinces his friend that he wouldn’t dose himself within his own head, and despite any evidence to the contrary, Ryan listens to him. Of course he did dose himself and goes into a trip within a trip. Wilfred tells Ryan that he has to go deeper for this one (just as I thought they were going to do last episode with the basement within a basement), further down the rabbit hole if you will.
Ryan then meets P.T. (Brad Dourif) who tries to help him regain the memory that will unlock the issue that he has with the baby. He is in a photograph developing lab and he give Ryan a photo that is intended to take him back to his childhood. The photograph is successful, showing Ryan, Sneakers and Kristen many years prior, both he and Kristen are children. Kristen is saying to a crying Ryan, stop crying, telling him that he will make his parents more sad by crying. Ryan’s revelation is that it isn’t the baby crying that sets him off, but hearing Kristen tell the baby to stop crying. He realizes that he never stopped not crying after that moment as a child. Ryan realizes he really is sad over losing Amanda, and acknowledges his profound sadness to Wilfred who snuggles him, but reminds him that he still needs to pee.
Technically this entire episode was a couch moment as that is exactly where Ryan and Wilfred spent the entire time. “Questions” went by really quickly. It wasn’t a terribly revealing episode, but my heart strings were definitely pulled with Ryan’s tears and pain at the end of the episode. I even felt that dull ache of past heart breaks along with him. I think the emotion evoked speaks to the caliber of writing, and of course acting in Wilfred. As much as I want to see how this season will end, I’m not yet ready to say goodbye to these characters. Season one didn’t pull me in the same way that this season has. I think the minimal amount of Jenna and Ryan drama throughout season two really kept the season moving and made it more personal. I recommend giving this season a shot, regardless of how you may have felt about the first go ’round.
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What big reveal do you think is in store for the final episode of this season?