Friday, March 6, 2015

New Girl 4.16: "Oregon"

“The only thing that matters is if the guy is there for you when you need him. Otherwise, you’re dating a wall.”

“Oregon” thankfully brought us the long awaited (to me, at least) break-up of Jess and Ryan. We’re also back to Nick being extremely awesome to Jess and not being completely worthless. Maybe he’s grown up a bit? We can hope! We also got to see a bit more of what Jess’ life was like growing up, because it’s time for Jess’ dad’s wedding to her high school nemesis, and the whole gang is going to attend. I really don’t understand why the whole gang is attending this event – seems kind of overkill. Nevertheless, the set-up provides a good opportunity for the roomies (and Cece) to get into some wacky hijinks. The episode had a good mix of humor and heart as the aforementioned wacky hijinks was mixed with Jess confronting the reality of what a long distance relationship with Ryan really means. Of course, when this realization hits home, Nick is there to pick up the pieces.

The episode opens as everyone is preparing to head up to Oregon for the big wedding. Jess is leaving a long, schmoopy voice mail for Ryan, and she mentions that they haven’t actually talked to each other for about a week. The whole gang, and Nick especially, are dubious that the whole long distance thing is really working, although Jess insists it’s romantic. Ryan is supposed to be going to the wedding, too, and Jess is looking forward to picking him up from the airport and giving him a tour of her hometown. When Cece arrives at the loft, Jess informs her that Cece’s high school crush, Jake Apex, is coming to the wedding. Schmidt, of course, even though he seems really happy with Fawn, isn’t thrilled about the idea of Jake Apex. The rest of the gang kind of tease Cece about it a little bit, although Winston is specifically teasing her about Schmidt’s reaction.

When we next see the roomies (and Cece), they’re in Portland, presumably at a brewery. Coach has a small, but funny running bit throughout the episode where we learn that, since he’s an Army brat, he has developed a habit of researching every new place he goes so that he can blend in. His impression of a typical Portlander is pretty funny. At the rehearsal dinner, Jess keeps getting distracted by her phone because she keeps expecting Ryan to call saying he’s at the airport. While she leaves to take her messages, Jake Apex enters the room. Cece goes to talk to him and makes a complete fool of herself (which I think was actually to make Schmidt jealous). Schmidt, over Cece’s protest, offers to help Cece get a date with Jake. Jess returns to the table after taking her call, and she dejectedly tells the rest of the gang that Ryan’s not coming after all. Trying to cheer her up, Nick says they will all go on her hometown tour instead.

The tour itself is kind of ridiculous. Jess and Cece ride around in a pedicab (with chic umbrellas, since it’s Portland and raining and all), and the guys run beside them. They ride and run pass all sorts of random locations from Jess’ childhood before ending up at a pizza place where Jess was forced by bullies to eat greasy napkins. Jake Apex shows up again, and what do you know, besides being ridiculously hot, he’s also a firefighter. Schmidt tries to talk to him for Cece, and Cece is horribly embarrassed. The tour ends at Jess’s mom’s (Joan) house. Joan seems to talke the news that Ryan’s not coming even worse than Jess does, although it’s pretty obvious that she’s just projecting her unhappiness about Bob and Ashley’s wedding. Nick is a little too blunt about the Ryan situation, and Jess ends up running to her childhood bedroom, slamming the door, and turning on the Sarah McLachlan. Nick tries to talk to her, but all he manages to do is make things worse. Apparently Jess was a massive Lilith Fair fan as a teen, which I find slightly odd considering she’s only about a year older than me, but to each her own.

When it’s time for the wedding, Jess is all dressed up in her “best man” suit (apparently her dad always wished she was a boy and gave her the middle name of Christopher), but she forgot the most important thing. The wedding rings. Coach and Nick offer to go back to her mom’s house to fetch the rings, and they take a tandem bicycle to get there, which is pretty amusing. Meanwhile, Cece tells Schmidt that Jake can’t make it to the wedding because he has to work. Schmidt wants to try to resolve this, and he says he’ll never stop trying to make Cece happy. Then he goes and takes a call from Fawn. Jerk. Jess goes to talk to her dad and Ashley, and she gets a call from Nick saying that the ring retrieval mission is going to be a little more difficult than they anticipated. Jess’ mom said she wanted to take a trip to forget about the wedding. They didn’t realize she meant an acid trip.

Jess tries to stall the wedding so that Nick and Coach can make it back with the rings, but she doesn’t exactly pick the best way to do that. She sings Ave Maria for the assembled crowd. Twice. Both the traditional and the Cookie Monster versions. Eventually, Schmidt, seeing an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, pulls the fire alarm. It stops the singing with the added bonus of bringing Jake to the wedding. After he’s done checking out the fire alarm, Jake asks Cece out. Cece, however, turns him down, admitting that she is actually in love with someone else. That someone else would be Schmidt, of course, who I think doesn’t really deserve her love after what he did last season with the dating two women at once thing and what he’s doing to her now.

Nick finally arrives with the ring, and when he and Jess go to find Bob and Ashley, they find the wedding couple dancing with each other. Nick describes them as “cute as a mute.” For all the issues I have with Schmidt in this episode, I did enjoy that Nick got to be a functional person again. He does truly care about Jess. Jess tells Nick that he is right – she does need someone who will show up for her, unlike Ryan who can’t even manage a phone call. After the wedding, the gang all gather at “Crush Pond,” where Jess says she and Cece would throw rocks and think of guys they had crushes on. Jess announces that she has broken up with Ryan. Apparently she had to do this by voice mail because he never takes her calls. The episode ends with everybody throwing a rock into the pond. Schmidt’s, of course, is especially large and splashes everyone with water.

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