Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New Girl 1.22: "Tomatoes"

“That’s pathetic, Nick. You’re just saying that because you don’t have the patience or the courage to be alone.”

“Tomatoes” wasn’t one of my favorite episodes of “New Girl,” but like all episodes thus far that I’ve placed in that particular category, it still had some great, hilarious moments. Most of the humor in this particular episode was courtesy of Nadia, Cece’s Russian model roommate. Seriously, everything that woman said was comedy gold. There was also a Little Jess flashback that played out in an amusing way, and the pathetic comedy of how far Nick has really gone of the deep end since the break-up with Julia. Jake Johnson has mentioned in interviews that he’s had a lot of fun with Nick’s arc of being the sane one of the group in the early episodes to being the craziest, and it’s really just as fun to watch. As I’ve said many times before here on MTVP, Jake Johnson yelling random shit is never not funny, and we got lots of random funny from Nick in this episode. Nadia is funny almost in the same way. She’ll say things in a very matter-of-fact way, and she’ll say kind of random stuff too. I know the humor that comes from her character is not really politically correct, but I can’t help laughing anyway.

The episode opens with Nick having called a meeting of the roommates and their significant others on the roof. He announces that after his rough year of breakups with both Caroline and Julia, he’s giving up women for a while. Instead, he’s going to try growing tomatoes in a container garden on the roof. The rest of the group thinks this is pretty silly. Jess tries to defend Nick, but she only makes it worse by using plant humor. The derision from the rest of the group doesn’t sit well with Nick, obviously. As this plot develops, it mostly focuses on Winston and Nick, because Winston and Shelby are in a really great place right now, and Nick is kind of feeling left behind. We have several scenes between the two of them to develop this. First, Nick is desperately trying to take care of his plants, but doing it stupidly. He spits water into the plant containers and yells crazily at birds flying by. Winston is up on the roof too, but he turns everything in the conversation to Shelby. He wants to show Nick a picture of Shelby’s cat on his face, and he mentions how Shelby loves birds.

Later, Nick is trying to make a scarecrow, and Winston comes up to tell him to be quiet with the hammering, because he and Shelby are trying to “make love.” Nick is fed up and says that he used to be Winston’s Shelby, and Winston replies that it’s not his fault that Nick’s life still sucks while his is getting better. Nick picks up his pitchfork, goes into farmer mode, and tells Winston to “git” off his farm. By the end of the episode, Nick and Winston make their peace. Nick is in the loft trying to jam his scarecrow in a trashcan, and Winston approaches him. They exchange apologies, and Winston tells Nick that he shouldn’t give up on love. After all, calling Shelby and asking her to get back together was something Winston did kind of on a lark. They were both very different people from the first time they dated, and so far it has worked out wonderfully. We can see the gears starting to turn in Nick’s head.

Meanwhile, Schmidt pays a visit to Cece’s apartment because he and Cece haven’t really talked since the pregnancy scare. Cece tries to break up with him, saying things are moving too quickly and have gotten too intense. Schmidt tries to passive aggressively get Cece back by agreeing to go out with Cece’s crazy roommate Nadia. The date between Schmidt and Nadia is probably the funniest part of the episode. Schmidt asks Nadia what she likes best about living in the United States, and she has a very long, very specific list, which includes “Leon J. Panetta.” Nadia notices Schmidt is eating a lot of cheese, and she asks him if he’s “Mick Mouse.” This results in some arguing before Schmidt realizes she actually means Mickey Mouse. Then she says she’s going to “sex [Schmidt] in his face.” Seriously. Everything this woman says is comedy gold.

Back at the loft, Jess mentions to the guys that she saw Russell’s wife Euli at Russell’s gym. Predictably, this was all sorts of awkward, especially since the meeting took place in a sauna and Euli was naked. Jess was wearing an awesome retro swimsuit, though. Seriously, if I had the abs to pull off a two-piece, I’d be hunting that swimsuit down. It was adorable. Anyway, Jess says she inexplicably invited Euli to dinner with her and Russell. The guys think that’s a bad idea, but Jess thinks that because she grew up with divorced parents, she’ll be able to navigate it. We get a flashback to Little Jess trying to stop her parents from fighting by singing and doing a tap dance number to “Surrender.” As you’d expect, Russell and Euli start arguing almost immediately at dinner. They’re arguing over a kind of disastrous vacation they once took, and it just keeps escalating until Jess starts doing her “Surrender” tap dance routine. That was a kind of predictable joke, but it was still hilarious.

After the dinner, Jess tells Cece all about the serious heat between Russell and Euli, and she implies she wants that too. Schmidt enters the room and starts stretching before a run, trying to give Cece a chance to tell him not to go out with Nadia (yeah, I mixed up the order of my recap a bit to organize things more by plot instead of chronologically). Cece doesn’t take the chance, though, and she lets Schmidt leave. Jess takes the opportunity to try and make Cece realize that she likes Schmidt and wants him back, but Cece runs right out of the apartment rather than confront her feelings. Poor Cece and Schmidt. They just keep shooting themselves in the foot relationship-wise. Maybe it means they weren’t really ready for something serious yet. It’s hard to say.

Jess meets up with Euli at the gym again, and Euli goes on and on about how being with Russell is such a roller coaster of passion. It makes Jess feel uncomfortable and inadequate. We next see Jess sitting on the couch with Russell, having low key evening. Jess starts trying to provoke a reaction out of Russell, starting by asking him what she does that annoys him (bugging out her eyes and squatting when she thinks), then doing those things, then finally devolving to Jess throwing coasters at Russell. Russell finally takes the bait and demands to know what’s going on. Jess explains that she wants passion, but Russell says passion is overrated. Frustrated, Jess says she wants to go home. In Russell’s car in front of the loft, Russell says that he’s not looking for the stressful, crazy, want to kill the other person type of passion anymore. Jess says that is what she wants, and thus they break up.

Cece arrives home to her apartment and asks Nadia how the date with Schmidt went. Nadia says she dropped Schmidt off at the hospital. An incredulous Cece rushes out the door to go check on him. When she arrives at the hospital, Schmidt tells her that he broke his penis having sex with Nadia. This forces Cece to admit that she doesn’t want Schmidt sleeping with other women because she likes him. They kiss, but this causes too much pain for Schmidt to continue. They’re going to have to put anything physical about their relationship on hold until Schmidt has healed. Cece leaves the hospital, promising to call a heavyset male nurse to help Schmidt.

Jess enters the loft after her breakup, and she runs into Caroline exiting Nick’s bedroom and dressed in one of Nick’s shirts. While Caroline is in the bathroom, Jess confronts Nick about how getting back together with Caroline is a really, really bad idea. Nick says he thinks they are different people now and can make it work. He really doesn’t want to hear Jess’ criticism. They end up having this huge fight where they scream about what annoys each of them about the other, and they end up shaking their asses at each other. It’s really kind of hilarious. It’s also pretty obvious that this scene was meant to show that Jess has the passion she seeks with Nick. After the big fight, we end the episode with a tag featuring Winston trying to make Schmidt feel pain with funny mental images like Bernadette Peters.

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