Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New Girl 3.06: "Keaton"

“Look man, I know this is hard. But I was honestly just trying to help. You don’t need Keaton. You got me.”
- Nick

So I’m taking over New Girl for the week as Jen is in the midst of crazy time in her day job. This week’s episode of “New Girl” was its Halloween-themed shenanigans. I have to be honest, I haven’t been enjoying this season as much as prior years. I feel like the writers have lost what made the show quirky and fresh and fun and just made everyone weird and unlikeable. I don’t even know what Winston’s purpose is the majority of the time. But I thought this week’s installment was an okay episode. Anyway, on with the recap!

It’s coming up on Halloween and Jess is throwing a party at the loft. Unfortunately, Schmidt has descended into grossness and depression over the Elizabeth/CeCe break ups. He’s been sitting on the couch double fisting cold cuts and guzzling mayo (yes literally and it was gross). He’s become apathetic to everything around him (he punches Winston’s pumpkin and says it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t go to Jess’ party). I am so over Schmidt being all “poor me”. He was the moron who dated two women at once. Jess thinks they need to take some action to cheer Schmitt up because his current course is driving her nuts. Against Nick’s better judgment, Winston suggests Schmidt needs to hear from an “old friend”. And thus the basis for the whole episode is born.

Nick recounts how at age 7, Schmidt became pen pals with one Michael Keaton (or so he thought). In reality, his mom wrote him letters to cheer him up and give advice following his parents’ divorce. When Schmidt went off to college, Nick was tasked with continuing the charade. But Nick thinks the “power of Keaton” is too strong and that Schmidt would do anything Keaton told him. The guys agree not to go forward with bringing the faux Keaton back but Jess goes behind their backs and sends off a note.

Jess pops by to check on CeCe and finds her rather disheveled and bummed out over Schmidt. Jess promises that Schmidt won’t be at the party so CeCe agrees to go. She ends up grabbing a little candy on the way home and is about to dole it out when Schmidt emerges from his room in a fantastic mood. He’s gotten an email from an old friend and is giddy. Jess feigns (rather over the top) surprise when he says it’s Keaton. Nick and Winston scold Jess for dragging all of this up but Jess thinks she’s helping her loft mate. Schmidt is rather annoying as he obsesses over how to respond. Jess tries to fix things by sending a note as Keaton that he’s going on vacation. This only depresses Schmidt. Things get a little crazy going forward. Nick dons a Batman mask and downs some alcohol as he sets out to respond to Schmidt to try and cheer him up. It works at first until a group of trick-or-treaters show up and through the open door, Schmidt can hear the sound of messages being delivered as he texts. He ignores the small children begging for sugary niblets and sees Nick, Jess and Winston hovered around Nick’s laptop. It would appear he’s not so clueless. I only wonder how he’s going to react to his friends duping him like this.

The party is now in full swing. Jess has come as Ramona Quimby (I thought it was actually kind of funny). Nick’s thrown on a bunch of crap from his car and Winston has come as Letterman (yeah I don’t quite get it either). Despite his statement to the contrary, Schmidt shows up as a public serpent (the costume is ridiculous but the concept was kind of funny). Jess sends Winston off to stall CeCe and Nick and Jess start writing to Schmidt as Keaton to get him to leave. Jess is a little drunk and starts sending messages to the effect of “you’re in danger, meet me in half an hour”. Quite fortuitously, some more kids come hunting for candy and Jess commandeers a kid’s Batman costume. Schmidt plays into seeing “Keaton” but then accuses Nick and Jess of hacking Keaton’s email. I don’t believe he’s that stupid but apparently I am wrong. He’s rather devastated that Nick lied to him and that his mom lied to him, too.

Things go sideways when CeCe and Winston show up. Jess is worried her friend is going to freak out and then Schmidt gets pummeled by angry kids. The kids weren’t wrong unfortunately. He was kind of a dick to them. CeCe is okay with seeing her ex though. She says she got closure. Then she and Jess spend a pointless couple of minutes arguing over how Jess incorrectly says Bat mobile (she says Batman mobile). Yeah, it was pretty pointless and stupid. Outside, Nick apologizes for lying to Schmidt but it seems like Nick was being a friend when he was there for Schmidt during difficult times. I mean sure, it would have been better for their friendship if Nick had actually been there. The next morning, Schmidt announces he’s moving out. Part of me thinks that’s not entirely kosher since he’s on the lease and you can’t just get out of a lease. Seems rather unfair to the rest of the roommates. We learn, however, that he’s just moved across the hall to the supposedly haunted apartment. We end with him doing random thing sin his very empty living room/dining room including sweeping, riding a bike and playing with a basketball. I’m not entirely sure what this is setting up. Spoiler alert, Coach is back next week for a brief arc so maybe he’s moving back in with the rest of the roommates. Who knows? Overall, this was not the best of what New Girl is capable of. I hope that going forward Schmidt can stop being so annoying and Winston will have a purpose.

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