Friday, March 23, 2012

New Girl 1.14: "Bully"

“Your daughter sucks. Okay, she is a demon seed. She is the spawn of Satan. And I do believe I speak for the entire human race when I say that people like her? Should not be building robots.”

“Bully” was by no means one of my favorite episodes of “New Girl,” but it still made me laugh a whole lot. Like I’ve said before with other episodes that fell around the same place on my “New Girl” continuum, the fact that even the episodes I don’t love make me laugh and smile like an idiot means that “New Girl” is a show that has staying power for me. I’m going to be a fan for life. Sure, some of the scenarios presented in the episode were ridiculous (like Jess bringing Winston and Nick to the school science fair), but there was enough fun and humor in the episode overall that I could look past the flaws for the most part. I’m loving how Schmidt and Cece are evolving, and I also love that this episode gave Jake Johnson a chance to really showcase his comedic chops. Nick getting all bent out of shape over Julia was hilarious and pathetic at the same time, and that can be a difficult balance to strike, for me at least.

The episode opens with Schmidt and Cece post-coital. Apparently they’ve had sex multiple times since their initial Valentine’s Day encounter, but they’re still keeping their relationship, whatever it is, on the down-low. Cece’s enjoying herself, but she’s also loathing herself for it plenty too. Schmidt manages to successfully sneak Cece out of the apartment, but Jess sees him close the door behind her. Jess makes a big deal out of figuring out that Schmidt has just slept with the same girl twice (although she still doesn’t know that woman is Cece). She announces it to Nick and Winston, who are equally surprised. The three of them keep carrying on about it.

We next see Jess at school, where her class is presenting their science projects. Brianna, the class prodigy (and bully extraordinaire) has made a robotic arm for her project, so of course’s she’s a shoo-in for winning the school science fair. At the other end of the spectrum of students is Nathaniel, whose project is a playground ball duct taped to a flash light. Poor kid. As all the other kids leave for lunch, Nathaniel reveals to Jess that he’s being bullied. Back at the loft, Nick is freaking out. Julia went to China on a business trip and sent him a cactus. Nick thinks this means she’s going to break up with him, because it shows she doesn’t think he can take care of a “real” plant (which he can’t, as established by flashback). Nick proceeds to prove that he can’t take care of a cactus, either, by overwatering it and dropping it. He is determined not to give up on either the cactus or Julia, though. Jess arrives home and tells the guys about the bullying situation. She tells them she successfully delivered a lesson on bullying to her class by singing a song to them about it. It turns out that the class bully made a not-so-flattering video of the song, however, and posted it on Youtube. Jess wants to “open up a dialogue” with the bully about this, but Winston says that won’t work. He knows because he used to be a bully. And “Brown Lighting” was his catchphrase. The flashback to little Winston tormenting little Nick was hilarious!

While all this is going down, Schmidt sneaks out of the loft to go talk to Cece. She’s still seriously embarrassed by Schmidt, so she just wants to do it right there in the car instead of going to either of their apartments. Or a nearby Starbucks bathroom would work too. Okay, Vermont Ave. Starbucks, you’re off my list of places to patronize when I have time between work and a happy hour! Schmidt shoots the car idea down because he can’t use his best moves in a car. He comes up with a better idea- a little deception. Schmidt calls Jess and tells her to look out the window because there’s a crescent moon outside. Jess, Nick, and Winston follow the recommendation, and Schmidt sneaks Cece in during the few seconds everyone is gazing out the window before realizing they have no interest in a crescent moon. We next see Schmidt and Cece post-coital again, and Cece wants to leave, but Schmidt says she can’t miss the “cheese course.” He starts naming cheeses, and somehow this turns Cece on. The fact that Jess was sitting out in the living room on the phone asking someone how to “get something removed from the Internet” could have played a role in getting her to stay in Schmidt’s room, too.

After a little research, Jess figures out that it was Brianna (of course) who posted the mean vid of Jess singing. Jess tries talking to Brianna the next day in class, but Brianna just makes hurtful comments about Jess’ love life in response. She wants to know why Jess is single and why Paul dumped her (since he’s a teacher at the school, too, Brianna is in on the gossip). Brianna leaves the room, and in frustration, Jess breaks the robot arm Brianna created for her science project.

Meanwhile back at the loft, we’re treated to a montage of Nick leaving crazier and crazier voicemails for Julia about the cactus before he realizes that she isn’t picking up because of the time difference. This was when Jake Johnson got to really shine in this particular episode. When Julia gets back from Beijing, Nick pays her a visit. She says she wants to break up. She hadn’t been thinking of breaking up when she sent Nick the cactus, but his series of seven crazy voicemails made her realize the symbolism of the gift. So we’re done with Lizzy Caplan on “New Girl,” unfortunately. I’m a definite Nick/Jess shipper, but Lizzy Caplan is one of my favorite actresses, so I’m sad to see her go. So after the break-up happens, Jess calls Winston, who is outside Julia’s building (he drove Nick there). Jess needs robot help. In the background, Nick is starting to go a little crazy. He’s got a six-pack of beer and wants to go see the sunset on the beach.

Elsewhere in the city, Cece and Schmidt pull up to a club. Cece is going to go into a party for 20 minutes then come back out to the car and have sex with Schmidt. Schmidt, after a little hesitation, agrees to this as long as Cece promises to have breakfast with him in public the next morning. Cece leaves Schmidt in the car looking like a dog, head poking out of the cracked window and everything. It was a pretty funny choice on the part of Max Greenfield. Cece and Schmidt do indeed end up going to breakfast together, although the restaurant Cece chooses is quite far away from LA. Because it’s so far away from anybody they know, Cece allows Schmidt to announce their relationship to their fellow diners. Schmidt happily does this with gusto, including both parkour and push-ups in his excitement.

We’re next at the Science Fair. Jess seems to be overseeing it, and Winston and Nick are there, too. Winston is there to help with the robot (he brought his “good scissors” instead of the tools Jess asked for), and Nick is there because Winston is afraid to leave him alone this soon post-break-up. Brianna and her moms show up, and it’s time for Brianna to present her project. She turns on her robot arm, and it kind of goes up in flames. Brianna’s moms are all set to blame Nathaniel when Jess steps in and tells the truth about how she ruined the project. The moms start ranting about how Jess needs to be punished as Nick starts completely breaking down in the background. Jess really ought to be disciplined for bringing Winston and Nick to the event let alone what she did to Brianna’s robot! Tonya the Assistant Principal tells Jess to be at her office at 9 AM the next day.

The next day, Jess goes to Tonya’s office, where Tonya does not actually discipline her. Instead, Tonya congratulates Jess for finally joining the true teacher tribe and becoming a “kid hater.” I thought being a kid hater disqualified one from teaching, but maybe that’s just me. With her job secure, Jess comes up with a fitting punishment for Brianna. She makes Brianna sing a duet with her called “Let Me Lift You Up with my Robot Arm,” and she makes sure the video goes up on Youtube. And writes a bunch of comments on it, too. Self-flattering comments, of course! Finishing off her teaching for the day, Jess stops by Nick’s room, where he’s still moping about the break-up. Jess gives Nick a plant and tells him that she knows he’s going to kill it, but that’s okay. It’s okay to be weird.

No comments:

Post a Comment