Saturday, May 5, 2012

New Girl 1.19: "Secrets"

“Oh God, now I hate me as much as I’ve always hated you.”

I didn’t especially love “Secrets” the first time I watched it. I thought Jess was a bit over-the-top, and I didn’t understand her rationale for being so upset with Cece. Cece and Schmidt sleeping together doesn’t hurt Jess in any way, so I didn’t think she was justified in going so off the rails over it. That being said, I enjoyed the episode significantly more when I rewatched it to write this. There were a lot of good laughs, and that’s really what I ask for from “New Girl.” Zooey Deschanel was clearly having fun with the physical comedy of Jess’ over-the-top ranting, and Nick taking douchebag lessons from Schmidt was pretty darn hilarious, too. I’m glad the truth is out (sort of) about Schmidt and Cece’s relationship, because I think they’re fun to watch, and the fact that their relationship is no longer secret sort of evens out the balance of power between them. Schmidt and Cece are more fun when they’re each challenging each other as opposed to Schmidt being completely whipped by Cece.

The episode opens by showing us that even though Winston saw Cece and Schmidt together in the last episode, the rest of the gang is still in the dark about their relationship. Jess and Cece had made plans to run a charity 10K race together, and Jess stops by Cece’s apartment wanting to train. Cece, however, is making excuses for not wanting to go for a run. She claims she’s hung over, but later, Jess remembers that Cece didn’t want to go out the night before. When Jess leaves Cece’s apartment, we see that Schmidt has been hidden under the cushions of Cece’s couch. Cece’s two model roommates had been sitting on the couch, so that really can’t have been comfortable for Schmidt at all!

Next we head over to the loft, where Nick is still in his “bang as many college girls as I can” phase. He’s trying to shoo a blonde out of the loft by coughing like crazy. Once she leaves, Winston tells Nick that he needs to tell him a huge secret. Nick warns Winston not to, because he’s pretty much the worst secretkeeper on the planet, but Winston can’t help himself. He blurts out the news about Cece and Schmidt. Nick is just as appalled by this news as Schmidt was (“up is down!”), which is pretty darn hilarious, although I don’t quite understand it. Schmidt is good to Cece. I guess he just doesn’t let his bros see that side of his personality. Anyway, Jess arrives home at the loft right after Winston spills the big news, and she gets Nick to reveal the information in seconds. She could tell he had a big secret because of his “sweat back,” which was kind of gross. Schmidt walks in soon after, and when he realizes the rest of the roommates now know the big news, he wants to celebrate. Instead, Jess runs out of the apartment screaming. Once the initial shock has worn off, the roommates (and Cece) have a big loft pow wow to discuss the situation. Jess demands the whole truth, and when she finds out that Schmidt and Cece have been sleeping together for two months, she starts going off the rails yet again.

Meanwhile, Nick is continuing to take Dirk’s advice to heart. He’s got yet another college girl at the apartment. His phone rings, and the girl wants to see it. Obviously it’s yet another college girl, so rather than letting the current girl see that he’s cheating all over the place, he throws the phone against the wall and breaks it. This seemed like a rather dumb move to me, considering Nick only has a cell phone at all thanks to Russell’s charity. It’s not like he can go get another one, thanks to his “credit score lower than a ghost.” I guess he’ll just have to go back to claiming that having no cell phone is a “thing.” Or I guess he could get one of those pay-as-you-go no contract phones. Anyway, after the college girl leaves, Nick begs Schmidt to teach him his douchebag ways.

Cece meets up with Jess as Jess is attempting to train for the 10K. Jess is still extremely pissed at Cece for keeping such a big secret for so long, and she keeps running away from Cece. She ends up running into a moving truck and closing the door on her. Back at the loft, douchebag class is in session, complete with Schmidt air-writing on a fake chalkboard. Schmidt wants Nick to practice giving women simple excuses for not calling or showing up to things. This, of course, is a prime opportunity to break out the comedy gold of Jake Johnson yelling random stuff like “Bears! Famine! Magic!” Jess barges in on “class” and starts truthing all over the place, telling the guys semi-secret stuff she knows about all of them. In retaliation, the guys admit they’ve all fanaticized about her while “self-completing,” as Jess puts it.” Nick has done this more than the other two combined, naturally. Jess is grossed out and yet again, runs away from the situation screaming.

When we next see Jess, she’s wearing winter clothes, complete with puffy jacket and ski mask, to try and avoid being the object of the guys’ fantasy. They guys, of course, just tease her that it’s not working. Nick even mentions that an outfit like this features in one of his fantasies. Cece drops by, and she and Jess argue again. Jess says they always tell each other everything, but Cece corrects Jess. Jess always tells Cece everything, but Cece stopped telling Jess everything a while back because Jess got judgy. Meanwhile, one of Nick’s conquests stops by looking for her scarf while another college girl is already in Nick’s bedroom. That girl appears wearing the scarf, and it starts a massive cat fight with Nick desperately trying to separate them. Jess and Cece are yelling at each other too, with Cece dropping all kinds of truth, including the fact that when they were in elementary school, Cece went to see “My Girl” with Jessica P. first. The fighting wakes Winston up from a nap, and he goes all nanny on everybody. First he pretends to be Nick’s lover to freak out the college girls and get them to leave. Then he yells at the rest of the roomies about their bad behavior. Then he goes into the kitchen to have some cereal. It’s rather glorious, and I appreciated that Winston has started developing some real characterization.

Finally it’s time for the big 10K race. Schmidt is wearing a super-dorky homemade t-shirt that says “See Cece Run.” Jess notices this and is surprised that not only did Cece let Schmidt wear it, she thought it was funny. Two other women run by who happen to be roommates, and Nick hooked up with both of them. Somehow he successfully ditches both of them, and they’re happy about it. Now Nick kind of hates himself, though. Jess catches up with Cece, and she gets Cece to admit that she actually likes Schmidt. Jess thinks Cece kept Schmidt a secret because she knew Jess would recognize her true feelings. Now that Cece and Jess have their own secret, Jess is happy. Poor Jess barely makes it over the finish line, but the guys make sure the race organizers allow her to finish. We end the episode with Schmidt and Cece being adorable prepping dinner, and Jess tells them they’re adorable. Winston also grills Cece about why she’s sleeping with Schmidt. He doesn’t get a good answer.

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