On ‘Wilfred,’ a stuffed bear is a dog’s best friend

Wyatt Miller

It is a sad task to report that season four of FX’s brilliantly bizarre, dark comedy “Wilfred” will be its last. While there are still many secrets about the mysterious mutt to uncover, one of the series’ most enigmatic figures is Bear, Wilfred’s stuffed animal.  

Bear is basically the third main cast member on the show. Considering he’s an inanimate object, that’s saying a lot. Bear was rescued by Wilfred from a sinister doggy day care in season one and has rarely left the Aussie pooch’s side since. Never bereft of dog-related humor, Bear serves that age-old canine purpose of a perpetual humping bag. In a show as outlandish as this, though, nothing should be taken at face value. 

Bear has feelings and is portrayed as a full-on sexual partner to Wilfred. His voice is only heard and deciphered by Wilfred himself, and he often exudes feelings of sexual objectivity and loneliness. The relationship escalated to a new level of absurdity when Wilfred cheated on Bear with a stuffed giraffe named Raffi. Bear’s personality could easily be chalked up to Wilfred’s insane nature, but there have been occasions in which this plush appears more sentient than inanimate. 

The relationship between Bear and Wilfred is one of the best examples of the show’s prowess for spectacular comedic writing. Bear completely eliminates the need Wilfred might have for a romantic interest and provides a double thread of lunacy for the show’s often psychotic story. It’s outlandish enough that Ryan (Elijah Wood) imagines a real dog as an Australian man in a dog suit, but to allow his imaginary dog to have his own hallucinations is even more far-fetched. 

“Wilfred” has transcended its initially gimmicky premise to become one of the most fascinating and perplexing programs on television. It might be a psychological comedy/drama, or it could be a dark buddy comedy with a dense mythology. Perhaps season four will stamp a definite genre on this brilliant series and bring fans a double helping of Wilfred and Bear’s absurdly adorable romance.