New Girl: Double Date + 1, or as I like to call it…the Pentagon
The Schmidt is about to hit the fan.
Ceshmidtabeth had to end, my friends. Let’s all give New Girl a round of applause for letting it last beyond the usual one-episode arc (go team!) and you know what, I’d have to say Winston handled things pretty well, all things considered. Episode three is back with the mix of happy/sad funny/awkward I love. Not a knee-slapper, but full of that satisfying feeling of reaching the inevitable end of a triangle.
My rating: A
Suggested dinner pairing (back by popular demand): A one-man solo extravaganza consisting of different sized bites of 8 different entress over the course of 2 hours
[LAURA: THAT SOUNDS DELICIOUS!]
This week starts with our two fave couples all sleepy in their jam jams. Awww….so cute, what with sex marathon and sock gag references and the like. Nick suggests a double date for Cece + Schmidt and Nick + Jess, and Schmidt reacts like a rockstar doing coke for the first time. Of course, we know this to be because Schmidt has surreptitiously-ish hung up with Elizabeth on the phone. They had made plans for pie and Dexter (perfect date night, imho*). Looks like he’ll need an excuse to get out of that.
[*LAURA: ME TOO!]
What could possibly go wrong?
Enter Winston + Ferguson (Ferginston, we’ll call them), and Winston is singing about pasta to his new best friend. Who hasn’t sung to their cat? Come on…raise your hand. That’s right. Nobody. He has an awkward moment with our couples planning couple stuff, and invites himself along on their date, despite his self-proclamation of being cool with being alone:
It was a choice that I made, as a man. To be alone. Don’t nobody know you like you. So I’m choosing to know myself. Who I am….So can I come along?
More cute jam jam time for Jess and Nick (in bed). (I like to add in bed in there like a fortune cookie, but they really were in bed.) Enter Cece, also still jammin’ it up. She thinks Schmidt is on drugs: “He’s just like stopped blinking…is that Whippets?”
“I didn’t get that reference!”
According to Urban Dictionary: Whippets is “Nitrous oxide found in small metal cannisters used in refillable whipped cream cannisters. Used as an inhalant drug to get high.” The more you know…
Of course, amidst all the funny country lawyer bedroom talk, we all know Schmidt’s behavior is due to impending imploding triangle syndrome (IITS). Nick’s simultaneously awkward and shy then into-it and sexy behavior is…well, something else.
Cut to Winston (yay!) who is on his own for the most part (again) this episode; this time trying to get a table at shuper shwanky restaurant Picca. He tries a few pretty hilarious things to get a table:
- Guilting the hostess: “I tried to call like 20 times and I couldn’t…get…through.”
- Bribing the hostess (with an IOU of 10 dollars)
- Calling in to reserve a table as author Toni Morrison
- Creeping out folks at the dreaded Community Table (is that a real thing?) by stealing their food and seats
- Occupying the table for two hours, and convincing the waitress to let him stay. “What do you think, that over the past two hours I, as a single person, have ordered 8 different entrees, and I’ve taken bites of different sizes of each of them create some sort of pointless illusion?”
- Scaring people away form his saved seats with African click-constant sounds
Meanwhile, back at the loft Nick confronts Schmidt about possibly doing drugs, but get’s an earful of triangley despair, instead. Schmidt feels bad, real bad. Nick feels…mad and vomitty that he has even been dragged into this, and that he (most of all) can’t tell Jess that Schmidt is a two-lady-two-timer. Nick gets a bit monogamist and shouty:
“You think you can have a bunch of wives? You get one wife! This is the way the world works!”
And at some point there is random odd b-roll footage of Schmidt “falling off the deck at Chester’s graduation.” My flashback-meter is disappointed at the lack of funny or relevance.
Later, we cut to Nick giving himself a pep-talk not unlike Jess’s mirror pep-talk in Season 1, Episode 8 “Bad in Bed,” but this time he’s convincing himself he can lie to Jess (not be a sex-beast). It’s a nice little mark of some of the richer themes we’re dealing with these days, or, you know, maybe just a Mirror Monologue . We end up with Nick hiding his face under a motorcycle helmet, as he can’t really lie to Jess’ face. Sweet, really.
It sort of works, and Jess get’s all sexy-timey at the idea of “no kiss sex.” Not gonna lie…I was having a little moment, too, but mine involved a similarity I saw to…*swoon*…The Stig.
Am I right? I’m right, right?
Is it just me? Okay, it’s probably just me. In fact, Jess took the helmet to a whole other galaxy:
But it’s not all jammed scanners and happy fun sexy times. Jess figures out that Schmidt is, indeed, “Long Island street trash,” a “Crumbum” and a “Lowlife.” She confronts him, and gives him an ultimatum: Schmidt has to tell Cece, or she will. Cece enters, but of course Schmidt doesn’t have the heart to tell her quite yet (we still have like 10 minutes in the episode), so off they run to the restaurant.
Oh, and in the meanwhile, Nick pulls off some ridiculous tension break-dancing for very little other reason. I tried not to like it, but it was too gosh-darned funny:
Gif from here. [LAURA: You’re welcome!]
After commercial we have two in-the-car scenes.
- Schmidt’s car: Super fast driving! Schmidt is obviously distraught, and in a last-ditch effort to not face reality, he claims it is because Nick is cheating on Jess with a Korean woman he met at a gas station.
- Nick’s car: Super slow driving. Neither Nick or Jess want’s to see their best friend hurt. They will, however, be brave enough to stick their fingers in the cigarette lighter. Switch!
- Schmidt’s car: Cece demands they turn the car around confront Nick, giving us the powerful line of “Cheating is selfish, and it is cowardly, and there is no excuse for it. The only thing that you can do is punch it in the junk.”
- Nick’s car: Jess has one of those character-defining lines I love just as they arrive at Picca:
“When someone I love get’s hurt, I get involved.”
And when everyone arrives at the restaurant, and just after Cece really does punch Nick in the junk, Schmidt confesses to Cece that he has been cheating on her.
And I really felt for him. I did. I felt for the whole group all at once, almost with the kind of combination of empathy and humor and real-life sincerity that brings me back to another dramady I love. Some sort of sad music played in the background, but all I could hear was the Sad theme from Scrubs.
It was a very private moment for Cece and Schmidt, in the very public place of a restaurant lobby, in front of all of their friends. It’s heartbreaking. It’s lovely, really. Just watch it.
Just as we think “well that could be the end of the episode,” we come back to a pretty adorable bathroom kissing scene with Nick and Jess, punctuated by the sounds of Elizabeth yelling at Schmidt. How could we have left her out? I really wish we could have given Elizabeth a bit of a better send off than a pie to Schmidt’s face and one line:
“You broke my heart. Mail me my mouthguard.”
I hope she’s not gone for good. (Go team Elizabeth!) It is truly a “tough time in Schmidtburg.” Pie still dripping from his face, Schmidt blames Nick for everything, he blames Jess, and he vows to split them up. Is that next-episode-lead-in I smell in the air?
I can almost taste it. A bit like peach pie.