Going into this episode blind, not having watched or read any previews, my first and only wish was that it be better than last week. Let Schmidt be funny, let Nick and Jess be a little less boring, and (as awesome as he is) let Winston not be the only light in the tunnel. I kind of got my wish, but only kind of. There was a cute cat, though!
At first, Schmidt seems to have made up his mind and decided on Cece..? Maybe? But either way, he seems to be back to being funny with a pretty amusing anecdote of cat versus nipple. Oh wait, he didn’t choose. He drags Elizabeth to the office which leads to awkwardness and a (completely deserved) side-eye from a co-worker. We then get the immense displeasure of watching Schmidt go back to being unfunny and manipulative as he continues to juggle two women who both deserve better. Either way, Schmidt seems to have earned a pretty equally-matched enemy in that side-eyeing co-worker of his. Do I sense sparks? God, please don’t make this love triangle into a love square. His romantic flip-flopping has already become a drinking game; the last thing we need is one more excuse for indecision. Well, at least he’s back to being kinda funny.
Much to everyone’s relief, Jess and Nick seem to be back to their usual awkward goodness, and Nick is adorably happy. Like, as happy as he was that Christmas Eve when he decided that staying with his friends was more important than flying home to see his mom. But as happy as Nick is and as mostly-back-to-funny as Schmidt is, neither of them seems able to use an elevator properly, leading them to hook up with Winston and talk more about cats, girlfriends, and commitment. Fist bumping ensues.
As soon as Winston decides he wants to follow Nick and Jess’s lead and go all in with Daisy, he finds out that she’s shtupping some dude who shares Ryan Lochte’s taste in footwear. Oops. He wants to make a point when, despite the (arguably not so awful) betrayal, he ends up babysitting Daisy’s cat. But his initial violent impulses are thwarted by cuteness – and maybe just a general lack of follow-through.
Jess’s work troubles are worthy of an ’80s teen dramedy, as she pines to become one of the “cool teachers” at her new school. Maybe she should ask John Hughes for advice? Nick tries to help and sort of does, ’cause as much as he’s the human Grumpy Cat, he’s also less of an insufferable, do-gooder nerd than Jess is. He trains her to act less like Jess and more like the leader of the Miller Sack Pack. Jess ends up dancing in a toilet bowl and getting tanked on a school night, but Nick’s patented technique kinda works – the cool teachers end up liking Jess, but at the expense of Jess losing her Jessness.
But Jess can’t lose her Jessness! Jess is Jess! So Nick is then forced to reverse his training, briefly becoming the most sane person in the loft. Briefly. Jess’s quest for coolness dissolves into her and Nick ending up in her new boss’s hot tub – with her boss himself. While she milks the story for the cool teachers’ positive attention, it’s also a lesson in stepping back. And thus we have our good ol’ Jess back.
Additional highlights: An inspirational roommate rendition of “I Believe I Can Fly”, a really cute cat playing with a really tiny noose, Jess experiencing the same bang troubles you do, and Angela Kinsey’s cameo – so brief, but so good!
Looks like New Girl is back in the saddle and ready to resume business as usual. Did you enjoy this week’s episode? Did you drink a shot every time Schmidt almost got caught in a lie? Are you cat-shopping on Craigslist right now..?
Hannah McIlveen is a freelance graphic designer and TV-obsessed writer living in Nova Scotia, Canada. She grew up riding horses and reading Roald Dahl books, got an art degree, and then spent the next several years moving around the country and watching television. Her greatest goals in life are to write good stuff, produce a web series, build a house with her husband, and have six cats at once. Hannah has contributed to BitchMagazine.org and is a staff blogger for the soon-to-launch TeenSized.com. She also writes her own daily blog, Click Watch Write. Hannah can be accosted on Twitter @ClickWatchWrite.