Wednesday, December 24, 2014

New Girl 4.09: "Thanksgiving IV"

“Your plan sounds a little kidnappy. What’s the rule on that, Winston?”

While I haven’t loved every episode of “New Girl” recently, I do appreciate that the creative team continues to come up with very different Thanksgiving plots each year. This year is one of the more superficial plots, but it was different from everything that has come before. I mostly make the comparison to “How I Met Your Mother.” Their first Thanksgiving episode was amazing, but that creative team dragged out the slap bet one too many times. This year, Schmidt decides to basically turn Thanksgiving into a singles sex party, and he calls it “Bangsgiving.” Since it’s “New Girl,” though, there’s a bit more to it than that. Most everybody learns something from the dates with whom they are pared. And Jess continued to awkwardly sort-of pursue Ryan, which was just unfortunate. I will be very happy when that particular plot has run its course.

Anyway, like I mentioned, this Thanksgiving, per Schmidt’s decree, shall be “Bangsgiving” for the roomies. Schmidt declares to the group that he warned them winter was coming, and it has now arrived. They need to unite in their effort to get a little more sex before 2014 comes to a close. Schmidt declares “Bangsgiving.” He wants to get all the roomies laid Secret Santa style. They all draw names out of a hat, and they’re supposed to bring a date for the person whose name they drew. Schmidt draws Ceces name, which understandably makes Cece suspicious. Schmidt promises, however, that he won’t make himself Cece’s date. Jess is especially excited about this idea because she hopes that she will meet someone who will help get Ryan out of her head. Coach thinks that this is silly and that Jess should just date Ryan, rules be damned.

Soon enough it’s Thanksgiving, and we meet all the dates for the evening. For Winston, Jess brings a woman named Pearl who works at the school. Winston thinks she is hot, and he’s pretty excited about his date, until he finds out that Pearl isn’t a teacher, she’s a lunch monitor (or “lunch lady” as Winston keeps calling her). Winston is one of the more successful of the roomies (he had his sports radio career, and now he’s successful at the police academy), so I guess it’s okay for him to be a little career snobbish, but it’s definitely not attractive. For Coach, Winston brings Pepper, one of his police academy classmates. Pepper is extremely ripped and strong, and Coach is extremely intimidated by her. It’s kind of gross, really (the Coach being intimidated part). By the end of the episode, they both come to appreciate their dates, of course. Coach in particular feels better after Pepper lets him win an arm wrestling contest.

At his request, Schmidt’s date is Lucy, who apparently dated Nick for a couple months a few years ago. For some reason I don’t quite get, this really upsets Nick. I have a feeling it has more to do with still hurting over the breakup with Jess than anything else. He purposely makes a pass at Cece to make Schmidt jealous (and it works). As for Nick’s date, he pulled his own name out of the hat, so he decided to just bring his friend Tran. By the end of the episode, Nick gets the phone number of Tran’s granddaughter, so it all works out for him. It was a nice coincidence that she came to pick up a very drunk Tran just as Nick had made the choice to really put himself out there again. As for Cece, for most of the episode, she had no date. Schmidt swore he invited a guy named Geoff, but there was no Geoff to be found. Apparently he was stuck in peacock-related traffic. By the end of the episode, Cece decides she’d rather just hang out with Schmidt for the evening (apparently he’s on her “Never” list), and at that moment, Geoff actually does show up. And Cece shuts the door in his face so she can keep hanging out with Schmidt. Go figure.

As you can probably guess, Coach is in charge of finding Jess’ date, and he brings Ryan. At first, Jess is very upset about this, because she specifically wanted to not think about Ryan anymore. She goes back to playing the avoid Ryan game somewhat. At one point, she takes him into her bedroom. To talk to him about how they can’t have a relationship. Ryan has a hard time taking her seriously since the buttons on her dress keep unbuttoning themselves somehow. And in a way, that is why I have such a problem with the Jess and Ryan plot. As Jess herself says at one point in the episode, she loves her job, and she worked hard to get it. Jeopardizing her ability to command respect from her staff is just foolish. Anyway, apparently the rest of the roomies disagree, because they hold a vote and decide that Jess needs to have sex with Ryan. The hope is that it will really get him out of her system. Or get her a sexual harassment lawsuit. One or the other. Or both.

Anyway, Jess calls Ryan into her bedroom again, and he is thrilled to see her dressed in nothing but an apron. He is not happy, however, when Jess says that she just wants to “bang one out.” He wanted something more. Eventually, Jess comes to the realization that she wants something more, too, and she (like Nick) has just been afraid to really put herself out there since the breakup. She goes to Ryan’s house to apologize. Even though Jess ate the entire pie she brought as a peace offering before she even got to Ryan’s house, Ryan decides to forgive her anyway. Jess says she wants to take things slow, but Ryan has other ideas. He pulls her into a kiss, and as the episode comes to a close, they are post coital and watching television. So I can start counting down the episodes until this ill-advised relationship goes down in flames.

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