Sunday, October 13, 2013

New Girl 3.04: "The Captain"

“Ain’t no way in Hell I’ve got a cat brothel going on in my room and I’m the only normal person in this loft.”

I think “The Captain” was probably my favorite episode of “New Girl” this season thus far. This episode lived where the show does its best work – awkward sexual situations. We also see Schmidt make good on his thread to try and break up Jess and Nick. Hopefully, this episode also represents the end of it. Because the characters in this episode told Schmidt exactly what I was saying last week. He needs to deal with his shit instead of blaming Jess and Nick for his dating two women at once situation ending badly. The one thing that didn’t work for me in this episode was the creative team once again going to the “Winston is just plain crazy” well. I miss the days when Winston was super competitive or good with kids. Now he's just plain nuts. To make it worse, the Winston plot also resulted in wasting the talents of one of my favorite comediennes, Riki Lindhome. Go check out the albums of her comedy band with Kate Micucci, called Garfunkel and Oates.

This episode really tries to deal with some of the realities of a couple living in an apartment with two roommates. Winston and Schmidt are just plain tired of having to listen to Jess and Nick having sex all the time. Schmidt becomes even more determined to break Jess and Nick up. Not only is he pissed off about their role in ruining his thing with Cece and Elizabeth, but he’s also sick of being around that much happiness when he’s going through a rough time. In sort-of related news, Winston informs Schmidt that he has to take Furguson to get neutered soon. Winston feels really bad about this, and Schmidt jokes about taking Furguson out on the town for one last hurrah. Winston, projecting his sadness over the break-up with Daisy and having to be around Jess and Nick’s happiness all the time on to Furguson, decides to take the suggestion literally. And yet another Winston be crazy plot ensues.

Schmidt is true to his word and puts his break Jess and Nick up plan into action pretty quickly. He makes a big happy one month anniversary cake for the pair. Jess, of course, thinks this is nice, although she’s still somewhat suspicious considering what Schmidt said in the last episode. This is really all a game to get in Nick’s head. Apparently the only relationship Nick has ever had that lasted longer than a month was with Caroline. Usually, the one month mark is where Nick gets scared and gets himself out of the relationship. Schmidt points this out to Nick, emphasizing how it seems Nick’s relationship with Jess has turned rather serious. This conversation has almost immediate consequences for Nick and Jess. The next time they try to have sex, Nick just can’t perform. Jess just wants to make a joke out of it to make Nick feel more comfortable, but that just makes Nick feel worse. Every time Jess tries to talk about it, Nick runs away, saying he has to go move his car.

Schmidt then takes his plan into phase two. While standing near a blender, he starts telling Jess that Nick has been with a lot of women, and Jess needs to make things more interesting in the bedroom if she’s going to keep Nick. He starts describing a move called “The Captain,” running the blender at opportune times so that the naughtiest bits are left to the imagination. All we know is that Jess needs to clean herself up immediately, and there are somehow racial slurs involved. Believing Schmidt when he says he has a PhD in “Nickology,” Jess decides to try out the Captain. As soon as she turns the lights out, Nick says he’s scared, which is one of those moments that proves the rule that Jake Johnson yelling randomly is never not funny. Things don’t get better once the Captain starts, either. Nick has a look on his face afterwards that shows he definitely didn’t like it at all.

Meanwhile, Winston goes off in search of a cat for Furguson to bang before he’s fixed. Winston approaches a lot of women with cats, but they al understandably think he’s weird and brush him off. The only woman who seems interested is Riki Lindhome’s character. She thinks that when Winston refers to “her cat,” he’s actually referring to her. But he’s not. He’s literally referring to her cat, Fatty. They go back to the loft, and Winston even manages to entice Riki’s character into his bedroom (along with her actual cat). Jess and Nick are making a lot of noise in the next room as they try out the Captain, and Winston is getting frustrated because the noise is keeping Furguson from having sex himself. At this point, Riki’s character realizes that Winston really was looking for a hook-up for his cat, not himself, and he rightfully hightails it out of there.

Jess eventually spills the fact that she talked to Schmidt about her and Nick’s problems, and Nick flips out. He reminds Jess that they can’t trust Schmidt right now, and he tells Jess that Schmidt doesn’t really know him all that well. They then go out into the living room to yell at Schmidt. Instead of being contrite, Schmidt flips out too. He screams and begs for Jess and Nick to break-up so they can all go back to just being roommates again. Could the shake-up of Jess and Nick dating be what’s make Schmidt and Winston act so darn weird lately? I could potentially buy that. Nick doesn’t want to give into Schmidt’s manipulations this time. He tells Jess that he likes her a lot, and he’s happy that they’ve made it to a month. He’s going to work on expressing his emotions more, because he thinks it will help their relationship. This results in Nick starting to spill all sorts of awkward things about himself, including a story about the time he saw his mother naked.

Schmidt continues to go off the rails in full tantrum mode. First he starts destroying all the condoms in the apartment, then he starts taking all of Jess’ birth control pills. That seems like a really, really bad idea. Jess can probably get more meds, so that’s not a big deal, but it can’t be healthy for Schmidt to take all those hormones at once. Anyway, Winston finally steps back into loft parent mode and tells everybody to just quit acting like such idiots. As it says in the Quote of the Episode, when Winston is running a cat brothel, and he’s the most normal of the bunch, they’ve got problems. Big problems. He tells Schmidt he needs to deal with his shit and take ownership of his role in his personal life blowing up, and he tells Jess and Nick that they need to try to be a little quieter. Nick tries to respond to Winston’s request by taping up egg cartons all over his room for “soundproofing.” Which is kind of adorable.

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