Sunday, November 10, 2013

New Girl 3.07: "Coach"

“Also, he throws pizza at seagulls. Which I guess is kind of nice because he’s trying to feed them”

It’s pretty obvious from the title, but this episode of “New Girl” marked the return of Damon Wayans, Jr.’s character, “Coach.” Coach, if you recall, was one of the loft roomies in the pilot episode when Jess first moved in. Thanks to “New Girl” being in second position to Wayans’ job on “Happy Endings,” however, Coach mysteriously disappeared in the second episode due to “Happy Endings” being unexpectedly renewed. “Happy Endings” has since been cancelled, leaving “New Girl” fans to wonder when Coach would be making a return appearance. Coach’s departure required the creative team to quickly create a new roommate character, and that was Winston. Ever since, the commentariat has suspected this is the reason Winston doesn’t seem to be as well developed as the other characters. This speculation was also accompanied by sadness that Coach couldn’t have just stayed on the show. After this episode, I’m not so sure if the critics were on the right track.

Coach has broken up with his long-term girlfriend, and as a result, he wants to party with his boys again. Nick, Schmidt, and Winston all receive texts from him around the same time. Apparently Coach has a habit of disappearing while he’s dating someone, then reappearing with a vengeance once they break up. I suppose that’s as good a reason as any to explain his two-ish year disappearance. When he arrives at the loft, he doesn’t remember Jess. Even when he’s informed he lived with Jess for two weeks, it doesn’t ring a bell. Jess is surprised by this, considering they did share some big moments together, like watching the news report of the bin Laden assassination. There’s a little flashback to this that is pretty darn funny.

Anyway, Coach wants to go to the strip club with his boys, and Jess understandably has a little problem with Nick taking part in this. Nick doesn’t especially want to go (partly because he genuinely doesn’t want to and partly because Jess doesn’t want him to), but Coach thinks that is lame. Nick doesn’t want to seem lame in front of Coach, so he starts demeaning Jess. Which just plain isn’t cool. He makes a big show of telling Coach that Jess isn’t his girlfriend, which understandably pisses Jess off. They haven’t had “the conversation” yet, but they’ve been pretty devoted to each other ever since the events of Cece’s wedding day. Jess has reason to be upset that Nick would be so dismissive of her at this point.

Jess and Cece go for drinks to commiserate over how much guys suck, basically. Jess talks about how she could see other people than Nick if she really wanted to, mentioning a ridiculously hot barista named Artie who hit on her recently. Who just happens to be Taye Diggs basically trying to be a parody of himself. It’s rather glorious. Anyway, Jess has kept Artie’s number in her phone just as sort of a reminder of the awesome she is capable of. She’s not interested in actually using the number. Cece, however, has other plans. She contacts Artie, and he shows up at the bar, ready to hit on Jess again. Diggs has even modulated his voice a bit lower than usual just to amplify the effect. Jess is still kind of smitten with him, although she’d rather Nick would just see the error of his ways, apologize, and stop going out to strip clubs.

Meanwhile, they guys (other than Coach) really aren’t having all that much fun at the strip club. Coach is really into it, hitting on all the strippers he can. Everybody else is just wondering when they can go home so they aren’t too much of a mess for work the next morning. Ah the joys of life in your 30s! They’re all getting pretty drunk, though. Wouldn’t want the whole night to be a bust. The guys all kind of squabble among themselves about who is going to be the first one to tell Coach it’s time to call it a night. Nobody mans up and does it though, so the shenanigans continue. Eventually, Coach breaks down and admits that he’s too old for this stuff, too, he’s just really upset over the break-up. This is the first moment in the episode where he felt like the character from the pilot. Coach in the pilot had a comedically short temper, but at his core, he wanted to be a gentle person. Because they’re drunk, the guys decide that confronting Coach’s ex’s new boyfriend might be a good idea. Some of the guys start to have second thoughts when they arrive at a police station and it turns out that the new boyfriend is a cop.

Jess and Nick had an upsetting phone conversation (while Nick was still at the strip club), so Jess decides to invite Artie back to the loft, pretty much out of spite. What kind of surprised me was that Cece didn’t make a pass at Artie in the middle of any of this. I guess she really is pissed at men in general at the moment thanks to Schmidt’s douchery. Meanwhile, Coach and the boys roll up to the police station, and it looks like there’s going to be a fight. At the last minute, though, Coach thinks better of it, and he ends up just telling the new boyfriend to take care of his ex. More police come outside to back the new boyfriend up, and the guys decide to cheese it. The four of them drunk running away from the police station was pretty much the funniest thing in the whole episode.

Artie definitely got the wrong signals from Jess, because Jess finds him naked in her bed. It’s not a bad sight by any means, but Jess really didn’t mean for things to go this far when she decided she wanted to make Nick a bit jealous. Before Jess can do much of anything about this situation, Nick arrives home. Cece makes a half-hearted effort to stall him, but he finds Artie. There’s not really much of a fight over it. Jess swears nothing happened, and Nick believes her. It also makes Nick realize that he needs to step up and be on Jess’ side. He also finally calls her his girlfriend, which makes Jess happy. Nick gets in the bed with Artie and punches him unconscious. Nick and Jess then dump Artie in the elevator, and all is well. The episode ends with Schmidt saying Coach should spend the night in his new apartment. Coach also has a new nickname for Winston. Winston is now “Bunny Money” thanks to converting $2,000 to Bunny Money at the strip club, not realizing that he couldn’t convert any of it back.

No comments:

Post a Comment