Contains Heavy Spoilers!
Initial Reaction: I Don’t Know.
I cannot answer whether the ending was good or bad, but I know one thing is for certain: the finale to FX’s Wilfred two nights ago was a completely fitting ending and very possibly one of the most original finales of all time.
I cannot even get over how frustrating the finale was after the credits rolled. I laughed. I cried my eyes out. I all but screamed at the computer screen in confusion. Ryan was insane the whole time! Wilfred was not real! It was in plain sight the whole time. I was glad that the show’s writers did not take it to a supernatural level. Ryan does not go through with his second suicide, Wilfred was dead, he did not get Jenna, he now knows he is insane, and he is living a pointless existence. All must be lost! No. He has reached closure with his family and rather than be distressed or try to further pursue “normalcy,” Ryan is content with his delusion and finds his happiness. What? That can’t be right. Falling into your own delusion and accepting insanity is a pathetic and disturbing thought! Now that Ryan knows Wilfred was always in his head, he must try to get his life to a “normal state!” Or does he? If you watched the finale and were a fan of Wilfred, do not lie to yourself. You were happy that Ryan had come to terms with his insanity and could spend the rest of his life with Wilfred. Some people might come to the conclusion that while Ryan was satisfied, the audience should see his insanity and pity him. For some reason I do not think that that was what the show’s writers had in mind. Although you might feel discomfort in the pit of your stomach knowing Ryan is in fact insane, it’s nevertheless a form of closure. I am willing to accept that. For crying out loud, I was willing to accept that Ryan saw his neighbor’s dog as an Australian guy in a dog costume from the get-go! Throughout the whole show, Wilfred kept toying with the audience and mixed it with humor, drama, and aspects of a thriller. It was utterly unpredictable and original, which was unusual for a half-hour comedy, no less a television show in general, in the year 2014. So it only seems fitting that such an incredibly thought-provoking ending would come from such an original and odd show. While the ending was frustrating, I have now come to terms with it, much like Ryan has with Wilfred and himself. It was a masterful way to end a show that had its own ending hanging over its head since literally the first episode. This show was not about pleasing audiences. In the long run, the finale is not even trying to make people rethink their conceptions of insanity, as I had earlier concluded. The show makes us think and care so much because of the amazing character development of our main character. No, not Wilfred; I am talking about Ryan. Whether the audience likes how Ryan has reached it or not, Ryan has found his happiness. It may not be the way that the audience expected, wanted, or can even fully accept, but it is all too fitting for the show. That is why it is so hard to come to terms with it.
For all those who have no idea what Wilfred is or have only a vague idea, let me explain. It is one of the most underrated television shows in the history of television. Behind Louie and How I Met Your Mother, it is my personal favorite television show of all time. The acting, the characters, the writing, the cinematography, the production design, its excellent usage of symbolism, etc, etc, etc. Although it was hilarious, it was mis-marketed throughout its run as merely a comedy. It was disturbing. It was bizarre and mysterious. It was emotionally moving. It was complex. It was original. It did not cater to its audience, preferring to treating them maturely. So why did nobody watch it? Because of all of those who claim “television is not original anymore.” Well, you fools, you missed this show. If this show does not get a cult following, I pray for the future of entertainment. Do yourself a favor and look past the bizarre premise (suicidal Elijah Wood becomes friends with an Australian man in a dog suit whom everyone else sees as his neighbor’s dog except him). I am very sad to see Wilfred go, and it is my sincere hope that this show will be watched and remembered for years to come.
Final Reaction: Much like the rest of Wilfred, it mindfucked the audience, and you may not be completely on-board with all of it, but it brought an odd sense of closure in a very well-made farewell episode.