A gun to your head can alter your perspective on life — not only for humans, but dogs, too.
“Now” veers away from the show’s signature brash humor and takes the German existential philosophy road. Wilfred encourages Ryan to “be in the present” and puts his words into action by holding a gun to Ryan’s face, misfiring it and attempting to reshoot. Although he doesn’t hurt Ryan, his goal was to make him recoil like a girl and appreciate life a touch more.
Plans backfire when a pair of thugs approach the buddies, asking for Ryan’s wallet in exchange for Wilfred’s life. Wilfred freaks when he finds a gun pointed at his face — a turn that shows his first signs of vulnerability.
Following that “stressful” encounter, Wilfred loses his sense of smell. Now, for all you cat-lovers out there, a dog’s sense of smell helps them interpret their world. This is as dramatic as the moment a teenage girl looses their cellphone forever — as if they lost a limb or two.
Without his sense of smell, Wilfred is left to his thoughts. Ryan suggests him picking up an activity to distract him — like reading. Instead, he decides to fight against the destruction of a dog park that Ryan’s company plans to remodel into commercial space. Regardless, Ryan plans to make the deal.
During a meeting with an investor, Ryan calls Wilfred (yes, a dog has a cellphone) and receives a gloomy voice mail greeting. He races home to find the Pete Wentz version of a dog sitting on the balcony. Wilfred spews philosophical, angst-ridden phrases — which Ryan deciphers as Wilfred’s ploy to evade the commercial space signing.
Ryan backs off, suspicious of Wilfred’s coy plans, before Wilfred leaps over the balcony, hanging by his leash. Snapping into the present, Ryan resuscitates Wilfred. Although, we know the series wouldn’t carry on if it’s main character died, I held my breath in anxiety thinking that could be. He laid there, adorned in black eyeliner and bangs that covered half his face, in a cheerless portrait of dismay. It only made sense.
But our favorite canine came back to life and regained his sense of smell — only to return to Ryan's basement and share a smoke.
Pictured above: Elijah Wood, left, as "Ryan" and Jason Gann as "Wilfred," in a scene from the episode "Now" (season two, episode five) from FX's "Wilfred."