Thursday, January 24, 2013

New Girl 2.13: "A Father's Love"

“I’m not angry fixing! I’m fixing!”

“A Father’s Love” introduced us to Nick’s dad, and he wasn’t anything like I would have expected. Basically, he’s a con man Nick has his issues, but as the characters point out, after meeting his dad, I would have expected him to be a lot more messed up than he actually is. Nick’s dad is manipulative and has no qualms about using his son’s friends. He also doesn’t really seem to care all that much if he hurt Nick in the course of getting what he wants. I wonder if maybe the creative team went a little too far in exaggerating the con man aspect of Mr. Miller’s character. And the less said about the B story the better, really. Schmidt and Robbie unite in their displeasure with Cece going the arranged marriage route, but the result of their conspiring is really rather disappointing. Schmidt and Robbie’s scheming was a lot more entertaining than the actual execution.

The episode opens with the gang playing a kind of weird game where they have to guess what they’re feeling in a cup. It reminds me of that old haunted house trick of peeling grapes to make them feel like eyeballs. Nick is engrossed in the game, even though he’s pretty terrible at it. He’s blindfolded, and he doesn’t believe his friends when they say his dad is at the door. His dad jumps in and rocks the feely guessing game, though, and when he hears his voice, Nick knows that his worst fears are confirmed. Nick is not at all happy to see his dad. Winston and Schmidt explain to Jess that Nick’s dad is a con man. Winston seems to be much more a fan of the guy than Schmidt is, though. Winston tries to make excuses for Mr. Miller’s behavior. He talks about how Mr. Miller “sometimes used to sell hats” (that were “technically misprints.” Nick, however, does not take his dad’s appearance well. He starts “angry fixing” the sink (aka banging pipes with a wrench).

The gang takes Mr. Miller to the bar, and while there, Jess keeps insisting, in her way, that if Nick and his dad would just talk to each other about Nick’s childhood issues, all would be well between them. Mr. Miller has Jess help him get another round of drinks from the bar, and while they’re separated from the rest of the group, he asks Jess if she’s ever been on the race track. Quite ominous, right? It turns out that, yes, Mr. Miller is so horrible that he would run a con on one of Nick’s closest friends. Elsewhere in the bar, Schmidt and Cece are chilling, and Schmidt brings up the topic of who Cece’s mom has been setting her up with. Cece mentions a guy who is part of a very prominent Indian business family, and Schmidt is pretty much instantly jealous.

Next thing we know, Nick, Winston, Jess, and Mr. Miller are at the racetrack. Mr. Miller splits Jess off from the rest of the group again, and they go look at the horses. Mr. Miller has Jess pretend she’s a veterinary student, and she starts going on about how this one horse will never race again. Jess bought into the con in the first place because Mr. Miller told her that Nick’s childhood dream was to have a family horse. Mr. Miller tells Jess he wants to name the horse “A Father’s Love,” which is kind of sick, really. Meanwhile, Schmidt and Robbie both happen to be stalking what appears to be Cece’s first date with the guy her mom recommended. They’re happy to see each other, united in their unhappiness that Cece is trying to move on. Later they discuss this together at the bar, and they decide that they’re going to unite to keep Cece away from this new guy and eliminate the “subcontinental threat” altogether. Robbie, in a kind of gross racist move, says “white guy power!” Schmidt quickly tries to correct it to “cool guy power,” but it’s still gross. Back at the track, Jess reveals that she helped Mr. Miller pay for the horse they had been looking at, and she realizes she’s the one who has been conned. Mr. Miller reveals he has a buyer who is willing to pay a lot of money for the horse, but it looks like things are going to unravel quickly.

Schmidt and Robbie end up crashing the bit meet-up between Cece’s family and the set-up guy’s family, and it’s really more uncomfortable than funny. The guys are just boorish in general, and the final straw is when Robbie starts chanting “white guy power.” Cece rightfully throws them both out for that one. Meanwhile, Mr. Miller wants help for the big meet-up with the guys who are supposed to buy the horse. Nick volunteers, mostly to protect Jess, even though it’s going to involve lying and Nick is terrible at lying (he sweats…gross). He really wants to make sure Jess gets her money back. The hand-off, predictably, doesn’t go at all as planned. The buyers make Nick strip down to his underwear and do a stupid dance to prove he’s not a police officer wearing a wire (I guess because he looks nervous). Nick then makes the mistake of saying that he only sweats when he’s lying, and since it’s obvious he’s lying, the buyers take off. Jess takes off, too, because in her kind of ridiculous way, she thinks that abandoning Nick and his dad in a random sketchy parking lot will lead to their reconciliation.

Schmidt and Robbie enjoy a post-debacle drink where they talk about how they’re glad their friendship has deepened over their mutual enemy. Then Schmidt says some kind of gross stuff about how he’s looking forward to the day they defeat all the Indians and can have a final duel to the death for Cece’s affections. Meanwhile, back at the sketchy parking lot, Nick and his dad actually do have a bit of the bonding moment Jess was hoping for when Nick’s dad offers Nick his pants and Nick starts laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation. Nick’s dad offers to take Nick to any game he wants the next day, and all seems to be forgiven. It’s short-lived, though. Jess catches Mr. Miller trying to sneak out of the loft the next day, and she doesn’t succeed in getting him to stick around. Nick finds Jess trying to “angry fix” the sink, and he tells her that he’s actually okay with how things went down with his dad. He’s come to accept that once people are broken, they don’t change. Nick thinks he’s a bit broken too, but Jess sweetly assures him that he is actually a good person in spite of his dad.

No comments:

Post a Comment