Saturday, May 25, 2013

New Girl 2.25: "Elaine's Big Day"

“I want to uncall it. Please can we uncall it? And before you say no…don’t say no.”

I’ll admit, I was a bit nervous going into this episode. I knew that since it was the season finale, we’d have to have some kind of big statement about Jess and Nick’s relationship, I knew it was going to be Cece’s wedding, and I knew that Taylor Swift was going to be a guest star. I should have had more faith in Liz Meriwether and the creative team, because none of these elements ended up being at all problematic. Everything was resolved in the best possible way with decidedly “New Girl” twists. Jess and Nick have some tension, but by the end, it feels like they’ve made a choice to try and see what it’s like to be together. Schmidt does try to sabotage the wedding, but the sabotage isn’t what ends the wedding. And Taylor Swift’s appearance was barely more than a cameo, and it was particularly hilarious (probably more thanks to the writing than to Swift’s performance itself).

It’s Cece’s wedding, and everyone’s in a tizzy. Jess and Nick are trying to act more couple-y, and Jess’ dad is really unhappy about it. This kind of sets Jess and Nick off on a negative tone for much of the episode. Jess starts making comments to Nick about how her dad said he’s a child. Which isn’t quite true. It’s more that Jess is projecting her own fears. This continues through most of the episode, where, while Nick keeps trying to be the person Jess thinks she wants, Jess keeps fretting about Nick being childish and thinking the worst of Nick. I’d think this would be a bit alarm bell about the potential of their future relationship, but I think that by the end of the episode, both realize that the way they have been acting is kind of ridiculous.

So with all this drama in the background, the gang heads to the wedding. Jess assures Cece that as Maid of Honor, she is going to ensure that everything goes smoothly. As if on cue, Schmidt chooses that moment to burst into the room where Cece is getting ready. She gives Schmidt a look that Schmidt interprets as meaning that Cece doesn’t really want to get married. Schmidt relays this information to Nick and Winston, and they’re both a bit skeptical. Nick doesn’t want to do anything to sabotage the wedding because he’s afraid it will upset Jess, and he stands firm on that point. Winston’s crazy love of practical jokes, however, gets the better of him, and he agrees to help. Schmidt and Winston generally give Nick crap about how much he is trying to change himself for Jess (he’s even carrying her pink purse), but he still tries to, you know, be a decent human being.

The practical jokes start out tame enough. First they set off an air horn to spook the white horse that Shivrang is riding into the venue. Well, okay, maybe that’s not so tame. But believe me, it gets stranger as it goes along. Then “Cotton Eyed Joe” starts to play as Cece walks down the aisle. That one was most definitely a middle school dance flashback for me, and is yet another example of the pop culture references on “New Girl” being just a little too old for the characters. We learn that “Cotton Eyed Joe” is pretty much Nick’s jam, and the way he reacts to it seems like someone who discovered it later than middle school. He involuntarily fist pumps to it, which, I’ll admit, is pretty hilarious. Anyway, Jess sees Nick trying to get Winston to stop this foolishness, and she instantly assumes that Nick is involved because he’s “childish.” So the arguing escalates.

Nick is tired of trying to be above Jess’ expectations, so when he hears Schnidt and Winston start talking about “phase three” of their plan to “sabo” the wedding, Nick wants in. Unfortunately for all of them, phase three involves letting a badger loose. Seriously. Who even thinks of doing that? Jess hears more strange noises, and when she goes to confront Schmidt about it, he tells her that Nick is “in the ducts” with the badger and Winston. He also, without any prompting from Jess, reveals that Nick was not, after all, involved in the earlier pranks. Jess is still kind of surprised to hear this, which made me a little sad. Schmidt is freaking out about phase three going too far, and by threatening his hair (great choice, by the way), Jess is able to get the full story about what’s been going on. Jess ends up going up into the ducts herself to try and save the day, although clearly that’s not going to end too well.

Up in the ducts, Winston is waxing philosophical instead of doing anything productive to try and re-capture the badger before it wreaks wedding havoc. Nick takes the claustrophobic surroundings as an opportunity to ask Jess point blank how she feels, and Jess admits that she’s afraid she might have made a mistake in pursuing Nick. Before they have a chance to really work anything through, though, Jess and Nick fall through the ceiling. This is the prompt Cece needs to call off the wedding at the last possible moment. She says she’s in love with someone else (Schmidt, obvs), and surprisingly, Shivrang says he is too. Her name is Elaine, and she’s played by Taylor Swift. There’s a very short bit where Taylor pokes fun at herself (Elaine does a “surprise” face and says that she’s been writing and drawing Shivrang), and then the happy couple runs off into the sunset.

The revelation by Cece obviously spells trouble for Elizabeth and Schmidt, and Elizabeth points this out right away because she’s got a brain. Schmidt tries to convince her that he sabotaged the wedding out of concern for Cece as a friend, but Elizabeth doesn’t buy it. Cece walks in on this conversation, and Elizabeth gets her to admit that she was indeed referring to Schmidt when she called off the wedding. The ladies turn on Schmidt and demand that he choose between them. Schmidt tries to head them off with some banter, but he ends up just completely bolting. Literally. So I’m thinking that’s probably not going to endear him to either of the ladies in his life.

Jess and Nick have a heart to heart at the bar, where they both mutually decide that it’s time to “call” their relationship. Jess walks away from this crying, and Winston falls through the ceiling just in time to drop a little wisdom on Nick in spite of his badger wounds. He calls Nick on acting like his dad by running away from his problems and drinking them away instead of dealing with anything head on. This inspires Nick to get up and follow Jess, where he finds her crying. Jess tells Nick that she wants to “uncall” their relationship, he kisses her, and they literally drive off into the sunset. While I certainly don’t want to wish my life away, especially the summer when it’s not our busy season at work, I’m already anxious to see what happens next in the lives of the roomies.

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