Friday, February 15, 2013

New Girl 2.16: "Table 34"

“I’m a man, Jessica. Pink robes are my catnip!”

So “New Girl” dealt with the aftermath of the big Nick/Jess kiss better than I thought they would. I guess I should have a little more faith in the creative team behind my favorite current show. The initial super awkwardness has passed (although some awkwardness remains I’m sure) without at all closing the door on a future Nick/Jess relationship. Sure, the aftermath was too painful for a true Nick/Jess relationship to start up right away, but I think the events of this episode put them on the right path. I’d like to partially ignore the second major plot of this episode, which was Cece going to an “Indian marriage convention” and Schmidt stalking her through the whole thing. Redeeming factors of that one were Schmidt doing a very Barney in “Robin 101”-like rant about how it was the Indian guys’ loss that they weren’t interested in Cece and the fact that Schmidt and Cece actually sort of got back together by the end of the episode. I was happy to see that mostly because I was tired of Schmidt being all mopey and trying to cover it up with bravado.

The episode opens with the awkward. Nick and Jess are both in their respective rooms following the kiss. They can’t sleep, and they happen to walk out into the hallway at the same time. Jess tries to talk to Nick about what happened, but Nick just “panic Moonwalks” away from her and back into his room. For the record, panic Moonwalking is quite possibly the greatest thing ever. It’s freaking hilarious, at least, and Nick does it often in this episode, sometimes even resulting in a pratfall. Anyway, Jess goes back into her room, and when Sam wakes up, she pretends she just woke up, too. The tension and guilt is too much for Jess, though, so she rushes over to Cece’s apartment to confess what just happened. Cece alternates between genuine concern (wanting to know if Jess really likes Nick) and horniness. Apparently Cece hasn’t gotten any while on these dates arranged by her mom, so she enjoys Jess’ description of the kiss. Jess for her part is adamant that she isn’t interested in Nick, but it’s clear that the lady doth protest too much.

Back at the loft, Winston’s all happy because he’s had sex for the first time since he and Shelby first started dating (because, remember, there was that long awkward stretch before they broke up where they weren’t having sex at all). He says he’s “mojo man” now. Schmidt cuts Winston’s celebration short by talking about the Indian arranged marriage convention. Do such things actually exist? Anyway, both Nick and Winston think this would be a fun thing to see, so they tag along. And Jess ends up tagging along at Cece. So the whole gang ends up at the convention (even though only one of them is actually of Indian heritage), and of course that leads to another panic Moonwalk from Nick when he sees Jess is there. The lady who is running the convention collects educational information and a resume from everyone.

While waiting for the event to start, Nick admits to Winston that he kissed Jess. Winston just punches him in the nuts, which is kinda hilarious, too. Winston is worried that this is all going to blow up, and Nick is going to end up having to move out. Winston doesn’t want the hassle of having to find a new roommate, even if Nick is so gross that he has centipedes under his bed. As the convention starts, everyone is grouped into tables by professional qualifications. Nick and Cece are both at Table 34, aka the loser’s table (over 30, part time work, etc.). Jess and Schmidt are both at Table 7. Winston’s not at any table because the organizer lady wants his mojo all to herself. Jess and Nick get into a big argument over whether the kiss meant anything (and they pretty much keep arguing through the whole convention), and Jess calls Sam to come pick her up. Sam ends up joining in the convention for some reason, though. And of course, since he’s a doctor, he’s at Table 1. The activities at the convention demonstrate the relative merits of Sam and Jess and Nick and Jess as couples in a rather anvilicious way. Jess and Sam fail rather horribly at a hula hoop exercise that is supposed to show if a couple is physically compatible, and later, Nick and Jess completely rock a newspaper table building activity that is supposed to show how strong a couple is.

As the convention progresses, characters come to some self-realizations, and secrets are revealed. One guy kind of mocks Cece for being at Table 34 after she exhibits a kind of nonchalant attitude towards how she should probably have kids soon. He wants to know if she fails to think through all her decisions. Schmidt tries to stand up for Cece, but she really just wants him to leave her alone. Cece and Nick end up sitting together for a little while, and they bond a bit over having both make poorly thought out life decisions. Meanwhile, Jess’ guilt gets the better of her, and she finally confesses the kiss to Sam. To say he doesn’t take it well would be an understatement. He storms out, and Jess runs after him. Out in the hallway, he breaks up with Jess. His self-righteous attitude about the whole think kind of rubbed me the wrong way. Nick runs out and tries to stand up for jess, and Sam punches him in the throat before leaving. Which is also, somehow, kind of funny.

Back in the ballroom, Winston uses his mojo powers to set up the organizer lady with a guy who is actually available. Then Schmidt notices Cece sitting over at Table 34 looking all forlorn. That’s when Schmidt has his big “Attention, Canada” moment. Only instead of taking about how Canadians are stupid for letting Robin go, he’s talking about how Indians are stupid for overlooking Cece. Of course, after he gives that speech, guys are all over her, which doesn’t make him particularly happy. Back at the apartment, Jess is trying to mourn the break-up by listening to some Taylor Swift, and Nick is trying to cheer her up by silly dancing to it. He apologizes sincerely for everything that happened, and Jess is a little more warm to him, but she’s still not okay. Nick realizes that it’s probably best to leave her alone for a little while, and they do hug before he goes off to his room. Cece and Schmidt have better luck. We end the episode with them arriving at the loft and heading right for Schmidt’s room.

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