Saturday, November 3, 2012

New Girl 2.06: "Halloween"

“Statistically speaking, every American thinks about Abraham Lincoln at least once a day.”

It surprised me to realize that “New Girl” hasn’t really done a Halloween episode before, considering their Thanksgiving and Christmas episodes last year were so excellent. “Halloween” did not at all disappoint. It definitely lived up to past holiday episode expectations. I think I laughed more during this episode than every other episode of this season of “New Girl” thus far, mostly due to the comedic talents of Jake Johnson. He made me laugh even more than Max Greenfield’s Schmidt in this one, which I’ve found to be increasingly the case staring as far back as the second half of season one. Greenfield was no slouch in this episode, either, though, effortlessly transitioning from Abraham Lincoln to “Matthew Mcconaughey in ‘Magic Mike.’” Tying the whole episode together was the fact that for a brief moment in the episode, all of the roommates were in a relationship of some sort, but by the end, all of them were completely single. Cece, however, is inexplicably still with Robbie by episode’s end, although it’s pretty obvious that won’t be the case for much longer.

We learn early in the episode that Jess’ latest temporary job is at a haunted house. She’s a zombie scarecrow, and the make-up is actually pretty elaborate and cool. This is important, because most of the latter part of the episode takes place at the haunted house and surrounding fair. After work on this particular day, Jess is planning to pay Sam a visit for the usual meaningless sex. When she stops by Sam’s work, however, she discovers that he’s not just an ER doctor. He’s a pediatrician. Seeing Sam interact with kids (and seeing the thank-you cards from kids on his office wall), makes Jess start to see Sam in a new light. She think he might want an actual relationship with Sam and not just the causal whatever they’ve got going on right now. Jess asks Sam to come visit her at the haunted house, and she asks him to wear a costume for her. She later tells Nick that she thinks if Sam actually does where a costume, it means he’s starting to feel the same way about her.

Speaking of Nick, his college friend Amelia is in town for business, and he invited her to crash at the loft. Nick had a thing for Amelia in college, but he never really had the courage to go for it. Times have changed, though. Amelia pretty much jumps Nick, and they have quite the ugly make-out session. Amelia manages to smush Nick’s face or something. It looks horribly awkward. They have sex, too, but Nick is coming to realize that the reality of being with Angela is quite different from what he imagined when he was in college. Nick’s not quite ready to admit that things aren’t working, though. I think at this point he was still too invested in the fantasy of Amelia he had built up in his mind to give it all up. Winston and Shelby are at a turning point, too. Winston tells Nick that he and Shelby are going to wear sexy costumes this Halloween, and he’s hoping that will reignite their sex life. Nick isn’t optimistic.

The second half of the episode takes place at the Halloween carnival and the haunted house where Jess works. We’ll get the Winston and Shelby plot out of the way first since it had the least substance to it. Can we please have a good Winston subplot sooner rather than later? Some of the stuff at his office last season was pretty darn hilarious. Anyway, Shelby’s costume isn’t exactly sexy. She’s “reigning cats and dogs”…as in she’s in a queen costume with plushie cats and dogs attached to the cape. It’s fun wordplay, but it’s pretty obvious that she’s not that invested in saving her relationship with Winston. Things come to a head while they’re in the haunted house, and an actress in the nurse costume finds herself listening to the whole awkward conversation where Winston and Shelby talk about not having sex anymore and how their relationship isn’t working. They end up breaking up, and while I’m happy that Winston’s out of a toxic relationship, I’m disappointed in how the creative team kind of destroyed Shelby this season. Winston was so in love with Shelby last season, and I wish we could have seen what happened to make things change. Instead, Shelby just became a cold shrew, and I kind of resent that.

Sam does show up at the haunted house, and he wears a clown nose as his costume. Jess thinks this means that he must really be considering a relationship with her. Then, while Jess is working, Nick catches Sam texting another woman. Sam really doesn’t want into be in a relationship right now, and he doesn’t realize that Jess is starting to feel differently. Nick wants to save Jess from going down this road, so he decides to brave the haunted house to find Jess and tell her what happened. Nick is petrified of haunted houses, though, and when Jess pops out to scare him, he accidentally punches her. All of Jess’ coworkers then gather around Nick and start attacking him, which is pretty much the funniest moment of the season thus far, just because Nick is more petrified than injured. Later Jess finally talks with Sam, and she realizes that they aren’t on the same page. So we’ve got relationship two finished. And Nick finally faces Amelia and they realize things aren’t going to work out either. Relationship number three right there.

Already single Schmidt spends his haunted houe time with Cece and Robbie, as awkward as that seems. Schmidt’s dressed as Abraham Lincoln, and when paired with Cece’s angel costume, looks suspiciously like a groom to her bride. Robbie takes a walk with Schmidt, and they have a bit of a confrontation (in which Schmidt repeatedly tries to head but Robbie), and they seem to reach some sort of an understanding. Robbie announces to Cece that they’re going to be hanging out with Schmidt from now on. All the parties involved seem happy about this on the outside, but it’s pretty obvious they all realize it could be awkward. I really can’t see how it will end well. In what seems like half a peace gesture and half an attempt to flirt with Cece, Schmidt gives Robbie his Lincoln outfit so Cece and Robbie can be the bride and groom. This leaves Schmidt in underwear and a vest, which is when he transforms into the character from “Magic Mike.” The look in Cece’s eyes at this point tells me she and Robbie will soon be a thing of the past.

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