Now that Ryan (Elijah Wood) has a job on Wilfred in season two, the show is rife with possibilities. In episode three, “Dignity,” with Jenna and Drew out of town, the man dog (Jason Gann) needs some discipline, especially after he destroys Ryan’s living room and Ryan is working long days.
When crating doesn’t workÂ—the man dog won’t be “like some guy caged up like some animal”Â—Ryan decides to take him to work. And so the man dog officially becomes the “office dog,” and it becomes a stand-up comedy routine, full of jokes about being a dog, naturally.
Where his boss Jeremy (Steven Weber) was a jerk before, by demanding that Ryan get a patent report in immediately, he’s now smitten with the dog, even rolling around on the floor with him.
Wilfred doesn’t like Jeremy, though. “That guy rubs the wrong way,” he says, “literally, like from tail to head.” But the man dog also thinks that Jeremy is like Ryan’s father, because Ryan sees them both as stern authority figures that make unreasonable demands. And Ryan is incapable of standing up to either, even when he gets a wedding invitation from his dad that he could easily say no to, if only he let himself.
But while Jeremy is in a good mood, thanks to the dog, Ryan is able to enjoy his life at work, as well as outside of work. He finally enjoys a happy hour with his new love interest Amanda and makes plans to take her out for her birthday.
Unfortunately for both Ryan and the man dog, the dog loses his charm as everyone starts getting tired of him, including Jeremy. Ryan now has to get his patent report in ASAP, and the man dog is left to ponder what else he can do to entertain the masses (sliding down the slippery floor doesn’t work when he knocks over the water cooler).
The man dog considers a plethora of stereotypes of dogs, all of which are awesome commentary about man’s canine friends. He considers acting alert for no reason as well as pretending to sleep and twitching as if he’s dreaming of chasing a rabbit. But it’s Bear who has the best idea: get his head stuck in a bag.
So that’s exactly what the man dog tries to do in his next stand-up routine. But no one is paying attention to him, and just as he’s about to do his trick, janitor RickyÂ—who is a bit mentally disabledÂ—saves the dog by picking up the bag and making fun of him. This, naturally, angers the man dog, resulting in the man dog biting him on the cheek.
Knowing he could lose his job, Ryan gets blackmailed and promises to do Ricky’s work in exchange for Ricky not telling what happened. But with his hands in the toilet bowl, Ryan finally breaks.
He’s done, and he tells Jeremy that. Amazingly, Jeremy is okay with the report being in late. But it’s only when the man dog storms back in to have his confrontation that it’s made clear why: Ricky was giving Jeremy a blow job under the desk. And that’s how Ryan gets a full week off work.
What do you think of Wilfred “Dignity”? Did you like the commentary on dog habits and stereotypes?