Sunday, December 1, 2013

New Girl 3.09: "Longest Night Ever"

“She’s on a flip phone. That means she’s either poor or a time traveler!”

“Longest Night Ever” was a welcome return to more emotionally grounded episodes of “New Girl.” I think that a big part of that could be because the episode did not focus on Jess and Nick. It focused a lot more on Schmidt and Winston and what they are going through at the moment. Schmidt is dealing with how he feels about Coach and Cece going on a date, and Winston confronts the fact that he has forgotten how to date women as he looks for Furguson (who went missing thanks to a mistake by Nick). Jess and Nick spend more time trying to help their friends in this episode than they do dealing with their own drama. And the episode is better for it. We also get some more insight into Coach in this episode. We see just how much he has been affected by his recent break-up. We got a hint of it in “Coach” when he broke down at the strip club, but we really see the full brunt of it here.

The episode begins by showing all of us why, if you’re a serious couple, it’s probably better to live on your own than with a bunch of crazy roommates. Jess and Nick are trying to plan a date night, but they keep getting interrupted by other people’s drama. First, it’s Winston. He’s planning on going out to a bar with some coworkers in the hopes of picking up a woman. He hasn’t dated since his break-up with Daisy, and his relationship with Furguson is more than bordering on creepy. Nick immediately agrees to watch Furguson so Winston can get back in the game, and after a little prodding (she’s not thrilled on giving up date night at first), Jess agrees too. Then Schmidt comes in to pile on to the crazy. Apparently Coach has asked Cece out (after clearing it with Schmidt, per the Bro Code, of course). Schmidt gave the okay, but he’s not sure he can deal with the consequences. Date night is most definitely now cancelled, but Jess is cool with it, starting to say that they can have date nights when they’re married, before quickly backtracking after a freaked-out look from Nick.

Cece decides to go on the date with Coach, which means that Nick and Jess have to go into major damage control mode to keep Schmidt from ruining the date. Nick starts rattling off a bunch of rules for what they’re going to have to do to keep Schmidt from leaving the apartment. When Nick laments not buying a dog cage, Jess gets a little freaked out. Later, though, Schmidt agrees that the dog cage actually would have been an excellent idea. Basically, they just have to keep Schmidt distracted, and they also cant, under any circumstances, let him leave the apartment. This plan is tested when Winston comes home early from his evening at the bar. Apparently he absolutely sucks at picking people up at a bar (so do I, so I’m not judging). Winston wants to pet Furguson for some comfort, but he’s nowhere to be found. Nick opened a window, and Furguson escaped. Nick feels bad about this, so he offers to help Winston find Furguson. Now all that is left between Schmidt and a ruined date is Jess.

Speaking of that date, Coach is doing a pretty darn good job of ruining it on his own without Schmidt’s help. He’s super nervous because he had gotten so comfortable in his old relationship. They are going to an LA Sparks (WNBA) game, and when Coach first picks up Cece, he goes back and forth between being endearing and creepy. As the evening progresses, the mix keeps going more and more towards creepy. He buys Cece a ridiculous amount of Sparks merchandise that she doesn’t even really want, then he buys her seven soft pretzels. I bet they weren’t even decent, Philadelpha-style soft pretzels, either (I’d be all about that, although maybe just one or two…definitely not seven). Anyway, the final straw for Cece is when Coach starts texting someone. Because she was so recently cheated on, Cece immediately assumes the worst, and she storms out of the arena. Outside, Coach catches up with Cece and becomes a real person again. He shows her that the person he was texting with was his mom, because he was just that nervous about their date. This is enough for Cece, and she’s once again smitten with Coach.

The great search for Furguson isn’t going too well until Winston gets a message from a bus driver named Bertie saying that Furguson has been found. Winston and Nick then head to Bertie’s kind of hovel-ish apartment to pick up the cat. Winston kind of finds a kindred spirit in Bertie, mostly because she’s even stranger than he is. She’s got a mangy pet hamster to go with Winston’s odd cat. She also has decided to give up on dating. Winston sees this as his in, since he’s pretty useless at dating himself. Bertie invites Winston and Nick to stay for bologna sandwiches, and Winston is only too happy to take her up on the offer. It takes a little while for Nick to realize what’s going on between Winston and Bertie, but eventually he does, and he leaves them to have the rest of the evening to themselves.

Back at the loft, Jess is putting in an admirable effort at keeping Schmidt from ruining the date. She’s singing silly songs and showing Schmidt some of her old yearbooks. It’s kind of amusing that this is the best Jess can come up with as far as distractions. She finally hits her limit, though, when Schmidt starts making out with the couch because it reminds him of Cece. She decides to break the rules and take Schmidt out to hopefully find him a new woman. She tries to remind him about what a player he was pre-Cece. At the bar, she even specifically picks out someone he should hit on. Schmidt tells this poor girl all about Cece, though, and when Jess isn’t looking, he escapes the bar, hoping to catch Cece at the Staples center. Schmidt then gets a little lost, and he finds himself in a chocolate shop at one point.

Jess eventually catches up with him, and Schmidt says that if she wants him to stop running, she’s going to have to hit him with her car. After protesting, Jess obliges and taps Schmidt with the car. He wasn’t expecting her to actually go through with it, so he starts screaming. Jess panics when a cop car pulls off, and she hits Schmidt again, much worse this time. The injuries still aren’t all that bad, though, so after getting checked out by some paramedics, Schmidt is free to go. Jess and Schmidt pull up to their building to see Coach and Cece kissing outside the door. Schmidt finally admits that he’s really not okay with Cece and Coach dating, but he thinks he will be eventually. Jess and Schmidt decide to wait to go up to the loft until after Cece and Coach are done with their snog fest, but it looks like they could have a long wait.

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