Friday, March 8, 2013

New Girl 2.18: "TinFinity"

“I can’t talk right now. I’m writing a strongly worded e-mail to my florist.”

“TinFinity” celebrated ten years of Schmidt and Nick living together, and it also marked a few major events in this season’s story arc. While I’m not really thrilled with a couple of the plot twists in this episode, I thought that the episode overall was strong. It has a good balance of humor and heart, and Schmidt was acting more like a human being than a cartoon than he has in many recent episodes. Yeah, I can see at some point down the line having the same complaints about Schmidt that I currently have about Barney on HIMYM. I think Schmidt had a more human starting point, though, so hopefully that bodes well for the future. Besides Schmidt’s heart getting crushed into tiny pieces, there was also plenty of Nick and Jess awkwardness, as Jess is determined to start dating again to move past having kissed Nick. Which leaves Nick feeling a little sore, understandably. In the end, the two friends who are celebrating with their party only have each other for now, before the TV powers at be finally allow to be with the women who are clearly meant for them.

As I mentioned in the introduction, this episode was the celebration of Nick and Schmidt living together and being friends for ten years. Apparently the ten year anniversary is the tin anniversary, so Schmidt wants to throw a big party and call it “TinFinity.” Nick is down with this, but he wants some say in the party planning. Schmidt allows him to get porta potties and the balloons. Because he’s Nick, Nick ends up actually buying a porta potty (a rather gross one at that) and trying to make money by setting it up in the park and such and charging people to use it. The balloons don’t really go as planned, either. He buys a hot air balloon that figures into the very end of the episode. But he has no money to actually run the balloon, which kind of defeats the purpose. At the beginning of the episode, I felt kind of bad that Schmidt wasn’t really letting Nick participate in the party planning, but by the end of the episode, I totally understood why!

Meanwhile, also as I mentioned in the introduction, Jess is doing her darndest to get over Nick and his hot kissing ways. Personally, I would have just gone with Nick, but thanks to the rules of television (you don’t want to get the endgame couple together too early or you’ll have the next “Moonlighting”…the horror!), she’ll have to take the slow path back to Nick after making a few detours. Anyway, Jess thinks she’s found her rebound when she goes out to the bar with the guys and meets Jax McTavish, an apparently famous football player. Winston really, really wants to befriend Jax, mostly because it would probably boost his cred as a sports reporter. To Winston’s chagrin, though, Jax is mostly just interested in Jess. Jess wants a man who, unlike Nick, is really comfortable with sharing emotion, and at first Jax seems to fit that desire really well. Then Jess learns that athletes do everything really intensely, including feeling emotion. Jax goes from zero to sixty in his feelings for Jess in a matter of minutes. He claims he’s hopelessly in love with her, and that understandably freaks Jess out.

Soon enough, it’s time for the big TinFinity party, and the whole crew is there. It’s a blowout affair, as only a Schmidt party can be. The lights and music gear up for Schmidt and Nick to give toasts, but it’s the ladies in their life who end up stealing the show. Thanks to other men. First, Cece’s new boyfriend (I think we saw him in last week’s episode, too), Shivrang, up and proposes to her in front of the whole party. It’s awfully soon for an engagement, but Cece is determined to make this semi-arranged marriage to a fellow Indian thing happen, so she says yes. Schmidt is absolutely dejected, and Max Greenfield plays it so well. You can really feel Schmidt’s pain, even though he tries to play it cool. It sucks that his big party has been coopted by somebody else proposing to the love of his life. Schmidt’s partner in TinFinity is soon to join him in the another guy just moved in on my girl club, though. Jax decides to seize the opportunity and going up on stage to make a huge declaration of love to Jess, too. This mostly just makes Jess really, really uncomfortable, and the runs off.

Schmidt and Nick end up in the uninflated hot air balloon’s basket, and they gripe a bit about how at the end of the day, they only have each other. Jess ends up in the hot air balloon basket too, but she soon becomes uncomfortable because of Nick’s presence and makes a really, really concerted effort to leave. Nick’s got to feel pretty crappy about that one. This episode really left me contemplating where the two core romantic relationships of the show, Nick and Jess and Schmidt and Cece, are headed in the long run. Nick and Jess appear to have a little more growing up to do with a reconciliation and second attempt at a romantic relationship most likely set for the end of this season. Schmidt and Cece appear to be headed for a “stop the wedding!” type reconciliation somewhere down the road. Or maybe with the latter, the creative team will do something unexpected and not go the cliché route. I think another lesson this episode taught all of us as viewers is that first and foremost, this is a show about the friendship between four roommates and how they navigate their early 30’s as millenials much more than it is about romantic relationships. The romantic relationships are something that happens as a part of the bigger picture.

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