Saturday, January 12, 2013

New Girl 2.12: "Cabin"

“But I need, like, a backstory. Why am I mad at the can?’

I adore “New Girl,” and I pretty much consider it my favorite show on television right now, but this episode was most definitely not one of their best. It was more odd than anything else. We said goodbye to Angie in a rather bizarre fashion. While I’m 100% on the Nick/Jess train, I would have liked to have seen Nick and Angie together for just a little longer because I think Angie was really helping Nick turn into the person he’ll need to be before he’ll be ready for a relationship with Jess. I guess most of the oddity came from the fact that the main plotline involved four of the characters drinking absinthe. Lots of absinthe. This episode just felt like the creative team was trying too hard. It was a midseason klunker of a filler episode, which I suppose most shows experience now and then. It’s just a shame that it had to happen on the first episode back after winter hiatus.

So the episode opens with Jess telling Nick that she and Sam are going to be spending a romantic weekend at a cabin in the woods. She’s a bit nervous, though (which doesn’t really make sense…Jess is nothing if not always authentically herself, even when it’s to her detriment), so she wants Nick and Angie to come along too. Nick’s not too enthusiastic about the idea until Jess says it will be free. Then he’s all over it. Sam’s not too happy to see Nick and Angie roll up on Angie’s motorcycle, though. I think he (understandably) thought it was going to be a romantic weekend with just him and Jess. Nick and Angie with their screaming and running around like little kids kind of kill the mood, you know? Jess and Sam play Boggle (which they contemplate turning into “strip Boggle,” however that would work) while Nick and Angie break in the bed upstairs.

When Nick and Angie are done having their fun, the craziness just continues. Angie breaks into a first floor storage closet and takes out some guns. She wants to go outside and shoot them, and for some reason Nick is right there with her. Nick and Angie just start randomly shooting some rifles in the air (which is really dangerous, by the way). Sam thinks this looks like a lot of fun and wants to join in, and Jess begrudgingly joins in too. The fun ends, however, when Jess accidentally shoots the transformer on the property, shutting off all electricity to the cabin. To pass the time, the gang decides to make use of a bottle of absinthe that was also in the closet with all the guns. Did I mention that this is Sam’s boss’ cabin? What sort of pediatrician has a closet of guns and absinthe in a remote cabin? It’s a little scary, really.

Anyway, back in Los Angeles, quite possibly the most bizarre subplot in the show’s history takes place. Winston and Schimidt are enjoying a night out at the bar, and Schmidt gets a bit jealous when he sees Winston talking and joking effortlessly with a group of fellow black men. Schmidt has the epiphany that Winston must not feel free to be his inner black man self at the loft with three white folks, so Schmidt takes it as his mission to make Winston feel for comfortable. And the lengths to which Schmidt goes to achieve this goal get progressively more bizarre. He insists they order out soul food for dinner, even though Winston really wants Chinese. He buys Winston a Rastafarian hat. Winston, understandably, thinks Schmidt is being rather ridiculous, so he concocts a pretty awesome plan for making Schmidt feel stupid. He tells Schmidt that what he really misses from his childhood is crack cocaine. Schmidt, since he’s completely committed to doing whatever needs to be done to help Winston feel more comfortable with his blackness at the loft, agrees to help Winston score some. They end up in a rather precarious (and hilarious) situation where they have a drug dealer accidentally locked up in the back of their car. Surpringly (through quick thinking and talking), they get out of it alive and come to an understanding that Winston is just fine with things at the loft the way they are.

Back at the cabin, the gang (except Nick…at first) are all pretty trashed thanks to the Absinthe. Jess runs upstairs to vomit, and for some reason Nick runs after to try and take care of her. I was thinking that should probably be Sam’s job, but I guess as the lest trashed person, Nick through it was his responsibility? Plus he really does have a thing for Jess and won’t admit it. Anyway, when Nick and Jess come back downstairs, they find Sam and Angie rather sloppily making out. That, understandably, causes a bit of a ruckus. Jess is really upset with Sam, and Nick pretends to be cool with Angie because they have an “open relationship.” Jess knows that Nick has stronger feelings than that for Angie, though, and she tries to get him to admit it.

Each couple discusses the day’s events over pillow talk, and the outcome of each conversation is very different. Sam seems to kind of like that Jess was nervous about their weekend. I guess because it shows she’s invested in the relationship. They go to sleep quite happy. Nick basically tells Angie that while he loves her crazy, he’d like her to tone it down just a hair because he would like for their relationship to last. Come morning, Jess and Sam are still very much together (obviously), while Angie has left, taking Nick’s car with her. And thus ends Olivia Munn’s brief stint on “New Girl,” I suppose. It had its ups and downs for sure, but I think that overall, I lied Angie. She brought good energy to the show. Anyway, poor Nick has to bum a ride back to LA from Jess and Sam. At first he offers to help pay for gas, but then he realizes he doesn’t have any cash. Instead, he offers to pay in “Nick Bucks,” which are redeemable for “smiles and any one item from [his] bureau.” I loved this because earlier this week my coworkers and I were so nerdy that our procrastinating conversation out in the hallway happened to be about the viability of random alternative currencies. Who knew that “New Girl” would be that on point? I always did say that the creative team and I seem to share a brain.

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