Saturday, June 9, 2012

New Girl 1.24: "See Ya"

“How’s the new apartment? Does it smell like new paint and compromise?”

“See Ya” is definitely high on my list of better “New Girl” episodes of the season. Sure, it kind of tries to cram ten pounds of plot into a five pound bag, but the ending was so incredibly perfect and “New Girl” that I can forgive it for that. Of course the last scene should be a silly, impromptu dance party, because isn’t that just what the show is overall? It’s all about both growing up and embracing joy where you find it. Not only was the end of the episode perfection, but I really enjoyed the moments that deepened Jess and Nick’s relationship. The creative team successfully drove the narrow path of avoiding actually having Jess and Nick get together romantically (because it would be “too soon”) but throwing us a bone and building a foundation. I especially enjoyed the scene where Jess makes a Roadrunner “meep meep” sound to try to scare off a coyote. I was a big Roadrunner and Coyote fan when I was a kid- it was my favorite of the Looney Tunes. I guess I just really appreciated that “See Ya” was really entertaining half hour and sweet way to say goodbye to these characters for the summer.

The episode opens with the roommates dealing with the fallout of Nick’s decision to move in with Caroline. They’re having a sort of loft meeting, and Nick tries to make the others feel better by giving them cookies. Winston and Schmidt are trying to deal with the situation by making stupid jokes at Nick’s expense, like Winston saying he’ll have a lot more money since he won’t have to pay for Nick all the time. Jess, however, is very upset, both about Nick leaving and the other guys not taking it seriously enough for her taste. When they’re all interviewing a potential new roommate named Neil (who is a seriously odd duck), Jess really goes off the deep end. She tries to sabotage the interview by acting really strange and threatening to go on “feminist rants,” all the while telling Nick “This is happening!” The guys pull Jess into the bathroom for the roommate vote, and Schmidt and Winston’s “yes” votes overrule Jess’ “no” vote. So Neil will be the new roommate. Later that night, Nick is working on packing up his things. He wants to take a lamp from Winston’s room, but poor Winston is afraid of the dark. It’s really pretty hilarious.

The next day, Schmidt pays a visit to Cece at one of her photo shoots. She and this really ripped guy are straddling what looks like a missile. It’s pretty ridiculous, and I have no idea what they were advertising (I guess that’s part of the point). Schmidt had been looking forward to the doctor finally taking the bandages off of his broken penis, but apparently the injury hasn’t healed completely yet, because he’s wearing a “hard cast” now. I suppose this makes him feel rather inadequate, because he gets extremely jealous of Cece and the model. The fact that Cece and the other model are all over each other during the shoot doesn’t really help things at all.

Back at the loft, Nick and the rest of the roommates have finished packing Nick’s moving truck, and they stand in a circle to say their goodbyes. Jess is the most upset, of course, and she looks rather forlorn as the truck pulls away with Nick, Winston, and Schmidt (the latter two presumably to help unload) inside. The moving truck approaches Nick’s new building, and Nick’s happily boasting about the great things he’ll have at his new place, like bay windows. All of a sudden, however, he passes the building and decides to keep driving, much like Jess did in the early episode “Kryptonite.” He goes so far as to get back on the highway. They end up driving all the way out into the desert, and when he stops the moving truck, Nick completes his freak-out by getting out of the truck and tossing his keys.

Back at the loft, Neil is moving in and being really creepy about it. He’s carrying a large box that definitely seems to contain something alive and angry. Cece is definitely a little freaked out when she runs into him on the elevator. Cece had stopped by to talk about Schmidt’s jealousy issues, and, perfect timing, Schmidt calls Jess to tell her what happened with Nick and the keys in the desert. Cece and Jess pull up to the rescue out in the desert, but things really don’t go at all according to plan. Cece and Schmidt immediately start arguing about Cece’s modeling career. Scmidt calls her a “sex worker,” which I think goes way over the line. Nick and Jess fight as well. Nick tells Jess that he’s made the decision (despite running away) to once again go back with Caroline. Jess is fed up, and she throws her keys out into the desert as well, because she doesn’t want to enable Nick’s destructive relationship. Winston has a hilarious freak-out about the prospect of having to spend the night in the desert.

Winston’s fears do indeed come to pass. The tow truck can’t come until the next day, so the group sets up a kind of adorable makeshift camp of lawn chairs, and they hang out for the evening listening to a mix tape Nick made of early to mid-1990’s music. This music didn’t seem quite accurate to me. It might be what the writers would have made in high school (when it appears Nick made the tape), but I’m only two years younger than Nick is supposed to be, and we didn’t listen to grunge and other early-mid 90s staples. It was all about boy bands, punk, pop rock (gotta love Nine Days and Matchbox Twenty) and ska. Nick probably would have been more the punk type than the TRL type. Oh how I wasted many teenage afternoons after school watching TRL (I did my homework too- I promise!).

Anyway, while the music is paying, Schmidt and Jess talk about how Schmidt doesn’t think Cece can be really happy with someone likes him, and he wants to “White Fang” her (drive her away for her own good). Schmidt does indeed try to White Fang Cece, and she sees right through it, which I love, because apparently “White Fang” is the only actual book on Schmidt’s Kindle. Schmidt then takes another approach, breaking out the “real” verbal rocks to throw at Cece. He tells her he checked the voice mails on her phone, and he tells her that she doesn’t have good taste in men. This leads to a real break-up. I hope that Schmidt and Cece get back together somewhere down the line, but for now, I think this was the right move to make. The only thing that might have made it better would have been if there were a couple of episodes of build-up with Schmidt feeling more and more insecure. The way it went down in this episode was kind of sudden.

Meanwhile, Jess has gone off in search of Nick, who is searching for his keys, presumably so he can get back to Caroline sooner. Before they really have a chance to hash things out, however, Jess and Nick are approached by a rather grumpy coyote. Nick tries to be protective of Jess, but Jess has to go for one of the dumbest (and most awesome) coyote intimidation tactics ever. She “meep meeps” like the Roadrunner from the Roadrunner and Coyote cartoons. If I didn’t run away screaming immediately, that’s probably what I would do too! While they’re huddling together trying to figure out what to do about the coyote, Jess and Nick have a really sweet conversation. Jess has clearly learned something from her earlier conversation with Schmidt, because she tells Nick that if Caroline makes him happy, he should go for it. She also says she’ll be okay if Nick made that choice because she met him and has hi as a friend. Then she decides to gather her courage and “be the coyote” in an attempt to scare the coyote away. Jess gets down on all fours and starts making scary noises, and it works. Jess and Nick are able to return to the campsite, and Winston runs off scared when he hears them approaching.

The next morning, Winston returns to the campsite all disheveled, and he says he’s covered in urine. Clearly he’s been watching too much Bear Grylls. Jess his happy to see that order appears to have been restored among her friends, and she pretends to find the keys to her car. It turns out she had them all along. The group says goodbye to Nick at his new apartment building, and everyone starts piling back into the car except for Jess. She gets the last goodbye, which culminates in the most emotionally charged “see ya” in the history of television. I loved it.

Back at the loft, the gang, minus Nick, are all sitting on the couch wondering what to do next. Jess notices the imprint left in Nick’s spot on the couch and remarks that Nick’s sitting around drinking beer and being grumpy actually had resulted in making something tangible. Across town, Nick walks into his new apartment and sees Caroline hanging curtains. He doesn’t look unhappy, but he doesn’t look as happy as you might expect, either. We then cut back to the loft, where Jess is drawing the curtains of her own room for the night. She sees the moving truck outside and starts to smile. Nick is back in his old room, and he turns on his mix tape. Nick and Jess smile and say “hi” from their respective doorways, and then they all have a big old dance party with everyone dancing by themselves in their own rooms. If “New Girl” goes downhill in season 2, I don’t care, because this was perfection.

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