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Grief, Fate, and Destiny in 'Wolf Like Me'

'Wolf Like Me' works if you want a show to shut off your brain while watching. If you think too much, you'll hurt yourself.

Wolf Like Me is a bite-sized delight recently released by Stan in collaboration with NBC Universal and Peacock. This article discusses some pivotal plot points- spoiler warning!

Josh Gad plays Gary, an emotionally distraught father dealing with the aftermath of his wife’s death and what that has done to his 11-year-old daughter, Emma. Isla Fisher plays Mary, a werewolf who has lived in isolation from the public for over a decade since her transformation. Fate and destiny play a big part in both the series and the characters’ motivations. Mary and Gary meet for the first time after Mary crashes into Gary as he drives Emma to school. It is afterward, as Emma has a panic attack, that the pair formally meet. Mary helps Emma out of her panicked state.

Wolf Like Me explores a love story that is light and fluffy, not much to think about
Isla Fisher (Mary) embraces Josh Gad (Gary)

One day, Mary knocks on Gary’s door to apologize for the crash and to gift Emma with a book. Until this point, Emma seems socially withdrawn, and Mary has a way about her that draws her out of her shell. Gary has been a single father for 7 years and still feels out of sync with his child. We all sympathize with him, and so does Mary. You get the sense that she, too, is hiding something. The pair share a moment of intimacy or understanding, and Mary turns into a track star, running away from it- and him. Throughout the series, there is a constant tug of war where Gary opens up, Mary runs, Mary opens up, and Gary runs. Each spooking each other the moment there are genuine feelings involved.

Gary peeks through slat in door, still from 'Wolf Like Me'
Gary spies on Mary’s transformation

When Gary follows Mary home one night after their lunch date turns into a night date, the tone of the series shifts from meet-cute romance to full creature feature. Mary dashes home in order to arrive before the full moon. We don’t know why. She’s just a jerk about getting home before dark. Gary follows her home, and Mary doesn’t notice until she has to lock her house down to keep herself trapped inside. From the slit in her panic room, he watches her transform into a monster. This is where my interest in the series waned.

Mary, to keep her secret a secret, allows Gary to see her in a vulnerable position, revealing how she bit during a trip with her husband and that her first transformation resulted in the death of her husband by her own hand. Gary lets Mary in and reveals that after his wife died, he abandoned his daughter with his wife’s sister to run from his grief. The separation didn’t last long, but Gary still carries the guilt over leaving. Their relationship moves like a bullet from there. None of it feels deserved, and all of it feels like it’s being held together by a flimsy emotional thread that the audience is supposed to fill in. Mary is adamant that fate has brought them together. I can’t help but agree. I’ve never seen two characters held so tightly together as Mary and Gary.

Wolf Like Me, ends with this bizarre sequence of events. Gary, Mary, and Emma go on a camping trip one day before the full moon to share the news of Mary’s monthly problem, but Mary chickens out the first night to reveal that she is actually pregnant and Emma should expect a half-sibling soon. Emma is delighted. The next day, the battery of the car stops working, and the family is stuck in the middle of nowhere with a ticking time bomb. Mary runs off to god-knows-where to keep from harming Emma and Gary, and the pair wait in the dead car for an Australian equivalent of CAA when instead they’re greeted with what I assume are robbers at worst, but fear not, here comes Miss Werewolf in her transformed other-self to kill some bad guys, and would you look at that, the power of love stops her from killing her partner and his child.

In conclusion, Wolf Like Me works if you want a show to shut off your brain while watching. If you think too much, you’ll hurt yourself.

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