Saturday, March 23, 2013

New Girl 2.19: "Quick Hardening Caulk"

“There are plenty of things to be down about. The deficit. Air pollution in China. ‘The Hobbit’ wasn’t very good.”

I think this was my favorite “New Girl” episode I’ve watched in a long time. It just had a lot of really good laughs that came from a quirky place. That’s really all I ask from a good episode of “New Girl.” The episode was a bit more broad comedically than “New Girl” typically is, but because that humor came from the same place as most of the best humor on the show (exaggerating the absurdities of late 20’s/early 30’s single life), it worked for me. I am especially impressed with how the creative team continues to handle Nick and Jess’ relationship. Instead of continuing to place artificial obstacles in between them, the creative team has had Nick and Jess acknowledge their feelings but have to work through those feelings before they can be together. The moment at the end of this episode where Nick and Jess kiss, then go right back to arguing, is a perfect example of this. It was an acknowledgement that Nick and Jess want to be together, and they’re going to have to do some work to get there.

The main plot in this episode is that Nick is suddenly more ambitious. He’s got big ideas for the bar where he works (a “guy’s night”), and he’s actually trying to do his own laundry. Jess, for some reason, finds this really attractive. I guess maybe because she’s had a thing for Nick but has had misgivings about what their future would be like? But yeah, Nick showing any smidgen at all of ambition is a huge turn-on for Jess. She admits to Cece that she wants Nick now, and Cece, understandably, is a little skeptical. Unfortunately for Jess, there’s an unexpected motivation behind Nick’s newfound ambition. Schmidt and Winston go to the bar and discover that Nick has a new manager, and her name is Shane (Odette Annable). And the relationship is definitely more than professional. Which can’t possibly end well for Nick, his manager, or the bar, but that could just be the lawyer in me talking.

Winston and Schmidt don’t have a chance to warn Jess about what’s going on, though, because Schmidt is still wallowing in Cece’s engagement. Winston thinks a trip to the aquarium will cheer Schmidt up, but the idea ends up backfiring. Schmidt sees the rare California Lionfish, and he’s immediately obsessed with it, because he somehow connects it with Cece. I guess because both are exotic and rare? Anyway, the person working at the aquarium tells Schmidt that he can’t have a Lionfish, because they’re protected. Schmidt goes full-on tantrum, stealing the aquarium worker’s Lionfish hat. Back at the loft, he sets up a massive fish tank, ready for his own Lionfish. Then he tells Winston how they are going to obtain one. They’re going to go fishing. This won’t end well. Instead of catching a Lionfish, Schmidt gets stung on the face by a jellyfish. There’s a not especially funny sequence where Winston refuses to pee on Schmidt’s face (apparently it takes away the sting) before the paramedics arrive.

Jess and Nick go to the hardware store so Nick can get supplies for all the ambitious projects he has in mind, and the whole thing just devolves into one sexual innuendo after another. The best is Nick pulling some (literal) chain and Jess looking like she’s about to faint from the hotness. Unfortunately, this culminates in Jess taking a two by four to the jaw. Nothing’s broken, but she’s pretty sore, and the doctor gives her some pain killers. Painkillers obviously result in extra loopy Jess. Said extra loopyness leads Jess to tell Nick that she wants to have sex with him. Nick’s not quite sure what to make of this. As he explains to the other guys, he’s only sleeping with Shane because he thought the door was permanently shut with Jess. He’d take Jess over Shane any day. Real stand-up guy, that Nick Miller. He’s not sure if Jess is just saying what she’s saying due to the meds, though, so he heads to work.

Schmidt ends up in the hospital, and while he’s sleeping, Cece stops by to visit. She has a Lionfish with her. Winston tells her to leave the fish and get out before Schmidt wakes up. He tells Cece that her engagement is killing Schmidt, and she needs to give him some space for a while. Winston really does have a good point. Cece’s trying to have her cake and eat it too by trying to still be close with Schmidt after rejecting him multiple times over. Cece heeds Winston’s advice and leaves just before Schmidt wakes up. Once he’s recovered enough to go home, Schmidt tells Winston that he has finally realized that the whole Lionfish obsession was a proxy for Cece, and he want to get rid of the fish that so mysteriously showed up in his hospital room. This plot ends with Schmidt and Winston back at the beach, with Schmidt unsuccessfully trying to toss the fish (named Cece) into the ocean.

Later that evening, Jess is feeling a little better, so she shows up at Guy’s Night to support Nick. She’s pretty pissed off to find out that first, Guy’s Night means she has to pay for her drink, but guys don’t, and second, something is definitely going on between Nick and Shane. Nick tries to play it off as the staff being a team (that’s why they pat each other on the rear), but all bets are off when Shane kisses Nick. Jess runs out of the bar and goes home, and Nick follows, hoping to repair the damage. They start to fight in the loft living room, but then Jess makes her feelings clear by kissing Nick. They start going at each other, clear that their feelings are mutual, but then they accidentally break Schmidt’s aquarium, and the magic spell is broken. They start fighting again and head for their respective rooms. After a few second pause, they each go back out into the hallway, kiss, then go back into their rooms. Clearly they’re not done.

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