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'New Girl' recap: 'Menzies' (season 2, episode 7)

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New Girl Menzies
Patrick McElhenney/Fox

Pain and pleasure were the twin themes of last night’s episode, Newbies. Though there was decidedly more pain than pleasure, the few shining moments of goodness — Schmidt telling Cece, “I’ll never want to stop kissing you,” and Nick assuring Jess, “I believe in you” — provided necessary sustenance. They were validation for the show’s decision to take a breather from the usual quipfest and focus on the characters’ interior lives. Now let’s dive into it like Nick into a weird old Asian dude’s serenity pool!

With Jess still unemployed, Schmidt had grown tired of covering for her financially. Winston was no help, explaining that his newly single status was more expensive because “basically I have to trick women into thinking I can buy them stuff.” Schmidt decided to practice tough love by turning off the gas (and, thus, the hot water), which only amplified Jess’s PMS. But her mood swings weren’t just affecting the roommates, they were also jeopardizing her job prospects, specifically when she biffed an interview after a picture of a teacup Yorkie (that looked something like this) reduced her to sobs.

Jess’s emotional outbursts prompted Nick to look inward at his own rage issues. (Schmidt: “I wouldn’t call it an issue. Issues can be fixed.”) Walking to a local park, he sat down on a bench and was joined by a random, unspeaking Asian man. In the course of many soul-searching visits with his silent guru, Nick found inner peace. He placed all trust in his new pal Tran and found himself in a pool spa, where tacitly peer pressured Nick into disrobing and getting in the water so Tran might swirl him around. Jake Johnson’s expressions were priceless, as were his nervous blurts, “Why are you cradling me like a baby, friend? This is not how guys of my generation hang out. This is a moment that got away from me.” Eventually Nick gave way to Tran’s gentle embrace and the tranquil tone of the in-house Native American flute player, relaxed in the warm water like “a huge baby.”

Nick came home, totally placid and ready to get new wave-y with Jess (by “rapping it out” or at least partaking in 30 seconds of direct eye contact), but he found her depressed from her interview mishap. He invited her to his aquatic sanctuary, setting of a hilariously uncomfortable series of submersions and flailings that at times seemed like they might resemble Nick having sex, boob touching and all. (Hope you enjoyed that preview of coming attractions, shippers!) It was only after the unsynchronized swimming that Nick gave Jess a much-needed pep talk, inspiring her to reapply for the job. Jess will now teach creative writing to adults — or, as Schmidt put it, she’ll be “reading a bunch of old weirdos’ writing.”

NEXT PAGE: Winston gets a visit from Aunt Flo