Wednesday, February 18, 2015

New Girl 4.15: "The Crawl"

“Fake accent, smug attitude. This is exactly why the teachers have turned on Jyan”

“The Crawl” was just a weird episode. I can’t really think of a better word to use to describe it. In some ways, it felt like classic “New Girl.” The gang was being goofy, and they were each other’s best support system. It was a nice mix of heart and humor for the most part. On the other hand, I feel like the very end of the episode kind of ruined the whole thing. I’m tired of Nick being impossibly unable to function in life. I think it really allowed Jake Johnson to shine when Nick was allowed to become a little weird, but now I think it has gone way too far. Around the time he started dating Jess, the weirdness escalated from saying hilarious random things to just completely failing at functioning like a human adult. It was really what killed Nick and Jess’ relationship, and I would really like to see that change. Nick can stay weird to continue to give Jake Johnson such a wonderful opportunity to survive, but he needs to be able to function. A completely helpless Nick crosses the line from funny to pathetic.

As the episode opens, Jess arrives home to the loft after having apparently spent the week at Ryan’s. Since Ryan apparently doesn’t still live like a college student even though he’s over 30, apparently it was very pleasant. Jess is a bit smug about how pleasant it all was, complete with fake British accent, and Coach says that’s why the other teachers don’t support the relationship. They’re too darn smug about it. Jess says Ryan is looking for a job at a different school, and she hopes that will ease some of the tension with the staff. Meanwhile, Nick, who hasn’t left his bedroom since Kai broke up with him a week ago, finally ventures out into the kitchen to let the rest of the roomies know that he has finally planned his dream, smiley-face shaped (where the bars are situation on a map looks vaguely like a smiley-face) bar crawl. Most of the gang has plans – Winston is supposed to work, Schmidt is going to some cardiologist fundraiser with Fawn, and Jess and Ryan have reservations at a fancy restaurant. Nick, however, says the crawl is mandatory.

The crawl starts at an Irish pub (which kind of makes me want to break out the shepherd’s pie I’ve got in the freezer). Schmidt is the only member of the gang not there yet, because he’s trying to put In an appearance at the fundraiser. The fundraiser itself is rather ridiculous – even the invitations looked like actual human hearts. At the actual crawl, Cece has decided she’s going to try and out-drink Nick, which can’t possibly end well. Winston, because he’s on call with work, is the “designated buddy,” and he carries around a backpack with just about anything the gang could need for the evening. Jess and Ryan chat in a booth and try not to drink too much because of their reservations for later in the evening. Ryan says he has been having trouble finding another job, and he has even asked the headmaster at his old prep school for help. He also asks Jess to move in with him, and she doesn’t react in response.

A bunch of other people end up joining the bar crawl as it moves along, as Nick happily declares, “The crawl is for all!” One of those latecomers is Schmidt, who leaves Fawn at the cardiologist function after she was a bit too demanding and basically told him they wouldn’t be going to the crawl. Schmidt tells her to decide if she wants a photo op or a boyfriend, and then he leaves to join the crawl. When he arrives at the bar the gang is patronizing at the moment, he is kind of horrified that Cece is trying to outdrink Nick. He knows that this can’t possibly end well! Coach, by the way, has been trying to flirt with a paper heart as a prop. There’s one particular woman he keeps running into named Faye, and the gag just isn’t working on her at all. She’s getting quite annoyed by it, actually. Coach and Faye, however, eventually bond over the fact that they both have Kansas drivers’ licenses and grew up as military brats. Coach ditches Faye because he’s not looking for something serious, and Faye could be something serious. Winston basically tells him that’s dumb, though, and Coach eventually goes after Faye and gets her e-mail address. She says if he sends a really nice, perfectly proofread e-mail, she’ll go out with him.

In a bar bathroom, Jess and Cece discuss the moving in with Ryan situation. Jess pretended she didn’t hear the offer because she was afraid. Jess and Cece decide to do a pros and cons list to help Jess figure out what to do, and according to the list, there really are no cons to moving in with Ryan (how about moving away from your best friends, perhaps?). At the bar, Nick and Ryan talk about the situation as well. Ryan isn’t sure whether Jess really didn’t hear or if she was just pretending. Nick assures him that she was probably pretending. Flashbacks show us that apparently pretending not to hear things is something Jess does a lot, especially in the context of relationships. Jess and Ryan do eventually agree to move in with each other.

Eventually, the alcohol catches up with Cece. The person holding her hair as she pukes in the toilet is, of course, Schmidt. They have a nice conversation in between rounds of vomiting, though, and they’re really starting to bond again. Cece and Winston have a conversation about her feelings for Schmidt, because apparently Winston is now the relationship counselor of the group. It’s pretty obvious that Cece still has feelings for Schmidt despite how he treated her, and it seems like those feelings are reciprocated. Just as the sparks are really flying, though, Fawn shows up and declares that she wants Schmidt to be her boyfriend. Schmidt takes her up on the offer.

It’s last call, so the gang has to hurry to the last bar if they are going to be able to complete the crawl. Nick is determined to make it happen and complete the smiley face. Jess and Ryan have temporarily abandoned the crawl to fool around a bit. They are interrupted, though, when Ryan gets a message from the headmaster of his alma mater. The headmaster wants Ryan to be the next headmaster at the school. In England. After a pause, Jess tells Ryan that he wants him to go for it, since it is pretty much his dream. She thinks they can do long distance. Because of course they can.

The gang finally reaches the last bar, and Nick is finally upset over the breakup with Kai. It’s all hitting him because he has “nothing to do” now that he has completed the crawl. The rest of the group cheers Nick up enough that he’s willing to go into the last bar, but the bouncer won’t let him in because he’s not wearing shoes. Apparently Nick threw his shoes at a squirrel on his way to the last bar, and shoe-throwing at squirrels is something he has done before. This is an example of a time when the line from “Nick’s a loveable weirdo” to “Nick’s kinda creepy and barely able to function” has been crossed, and I don’t love it. Anyway, Winston’s got a couple six packs of beer in this backpack, so they finish the crawl out on the sidewalk and it’s all good. Couldn’t Winston have packed an extra pair of shoes instead?

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