Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Girl 4.10: "Girl Fight"

“I'm a damn feminist who loves purses. Where else am I supposed to keep my feminist writings? In a purse! That’s where!”

I’m honestly torn about whether I liked or hated this episode. I’ll admit I definitely laughed a few times. I’m not sure if I like what it says about women, though. As you can see from the Quote of the Episode, Jess most definitely considers herself a feminist, so I don’t think it is really meant as an attack on women, but it’s not exactly flattering to women, either. The crux of the whole episode is stereotypes of how men and women fight. As you could probably tell just from the title of the episode. I didn’t really appreciate that, of all the things, it’s a purse (and a kind of ugly one at that) which starts a major fight between Jess and Cece. I know the idea is that the purse was the straw that broke the camel’s back, but come on. It’s just a purse!

The main plot of the episode is, of course, the rather short-lived (but apparently intense) fight between Jess and Cece. The pair are at the loft, planning a baby shower for Cece’s crazy Russian model roommate, Nadia, when they witness a little argument between Coach and Schmidt over DVR privileges. Coach and Schmidt resolve their differences by throwing a few light punches, and order is restored. The ladies are kind of horrified at the idea of using violence to solve a disagreement, and they tell the guys about their more passive aggressive style. We see a flashback to a time when both Jess and Cece wanted the same purse. As they tell the story, neither of them ended up with the purse after a very long back-and-forth of “oh it would look better on you!”

Schmidt, however, makes a terrible mistake. He mentions that he has seen the purse in question in Jess’ closet before. Cece sees this as a betrayal. They both decided that neither would buy the purse, and Jess went back and bought it anyway. Like I said, I don’t think that a purse is the be-all-end-all of the world, but apparently it matters a lot to Jess and Cece. Or, as the episode sort-of suggests, it is the last disagreement that will make it impossible for them to ignore all their prior disagreements. Jess explains to Schmidt and Coach that when she and Cece have a disagreement, they typically don’t speak for three days, then Jess buys Cece a latte and all is forgiven. Schmidt can’t stand the thought of not being able to talk to Cece for three days. Jess, however, begs him to keep his distance, because she doesn’t want to upset the delicate balance of her and Cece’s reconciliation ritual. I guess she thinks that seeing Schmidt in the three day window will just make Cece keep thinking about the argument.

Meanwhile, Nick has his first date with Tran’s granddaughter, Kai. They go to dinner and talk about how much they hate first dates, and dating in general, mostly because of all the awkwardness. I would agree with them, however, the way they frame their discussion seems less mature in a “blah dating takes effort and I’m lazy” kind of way. They’d both rather just hang out and do nothing, so they go back to the loft, and that’s what they do. For several days. They just sit on the couch, drink beer, watch television, and eat junk. In a way, they kind of bring out the worst in each other. As a sitting on the couch and watching television fan myself, I think I’d appreciate somebody who would challenge me to get up off the couch now and then. But what do I know?

Anyway, Winston is supposed to be studying for a big police academy test, and he’s procrastinating. The latest procrastination is worrying about Kai. Since she’s been hanging out at the loft for several days on end, and Nick met Tran sitting on a park bench, Winston is convinced that Kai is homeless and mooching off of Nick. Nick decides to put this theory to the test by telling Kai he wants to hang out at her place. She eventually relents, and to Nick’s (but not any reasonably observant television viewer’s) shock, Kai is actually rich. She started a business, sold it, made a ton of cash in the deal, and now just consults once in a while when she feels like it. One thing I did enjoy was Nick innocently calling consulting a scam. Nick is quite happy with this discovery. He’s even happier when Kai offers him $200 to stay with her instead of go to work, even though it feels a little wrong. Nick Miller as kept man – who would have thought?

As you might expect, Schmidt, despite Jess’ begging, does not stay away from Cece for three days. When Jess goes to give Cece her peace latte, Cece says she can buy a latte herself, and the feud continues. Jess is really pissed at Schmidt, and she tells him this is uncharted territory that could bring all of her and Cece’s arguments back to the surface. Cece and Jess then have a text argument entirely using emoji, which I’ll admit I found pretty funny. Apparently Cece’s use of “double syringe” was the crushing blow. Even though his involvement has only served to make things worse at any turn, and Coach keeps warning him to stay out of it (because apparently he knows what he’s talking about because he has three sisters), Schmidt continues to interfere. I think it’s partly because he wants to keep interacting with Cece and partly because he can’t stand the idea that Coach might know more about women than he does.

Everything comes to a head at Nadia’s baby shower (where Nadia is hilariously dry and kind of sociopathic, as always). Cece and Jess shoot each other dagger looks, and Schmidt starts to get a little nervous. I think he invited himself to the baby shower because he’s an idiot who just doesn’t know when to stay out of other peoples’ business. He calls Coach in a panic, who after telling Schmit he never should have been at the shower in the first place, comes over to help. He tells Jess and Cece that they should resolve their fight like men by punching it out. Jess and Cece take Coach’s advice, and the whole thing escalates to a full-on brawl between all the women who had been secretly holding grudges against each other for years. This is where I think the episode loses the feminism thread. The huge fight was just dumb. Afterwards, though, Jess and Cece are happy that they finally worked out their differences and have each other to talk to again.

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