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'New Girl' recap: 'Santa' (season 2, episode 11)

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New Girl Santa
Greg Gayne/Fox

Last episode before the new year, Newbies! Kinda makes me sad…. In any case, Winston served as the Greek chorus tonight — as well as Jess’s excuse to avoid happiness (or at least regular hook-ups). He also served up one of my few laugh-out-loud moments of the night. If his penchant for singing along to Wicked has shown us anything, it’s that Winston has a flair for the theatrical. In that respect, tonight was a smash. More on that later…

Back-tracking to Jess’s avoidance of an actual relationship, I’m of two minds: Of course the shipper in me thinks it’s all a time-killer until Nick is done with the stripper whose name I can’t be bothered to remember (Olivia Munn). On the flip side, the feminist in me thinks, Shouldn’t she get a little some-some while she’s waiting? Dilemmas, Newbies! While you ponder them, let’s get started.

Just to get it out of the way, Schmidt spent pretty much the entire episode being a big douche to Cece. And not in a funny, jar-worthy way. It was sad. I don’t want to think about it.

Otherwise, the night found the roommates and Cece traveling to a number of parties (including one featuring “a really respected DJ [who] was also an actor on Boy Meets World“). Every party Jess visited, she ran across her former hook-up buddy Sam (David Walton), to whom she’d admitted her feelings and by whom she’d been unceremoniously rejected. Only, Sam had rethought things and now wanted a relationship with Jess. Instead of feeling validated, she freaked. Cue an admirable bit of physical comedy by Zooey Deschanel in which she flitted about, crashing into floor-to-ceiling windows and squeaking, “I feel like a bird. Are none of these doors?!”

That Sam wasn’t turned off by her sheer ridiculousness should have been a sign that he’d be a keeper. Instead, Jess lied she’d fallen in love with Winston. It’s worth noting that Winston couldn’t hear her because a cranberry had become lodged in his ear (don’t ask). Thus ensued all sort of innuendos about how their relationship “just got stuck up there so far so quickly” and how “it can get a little rough.” Only once Sam removed the cranberry — and revealed to  Winston, “You’re the only one I feel threatened by, not like that metrosexual sweatshirt guy over there. I would trade places with you in a heartbeat… except for the mustache”) — did Winston realize what Jess had done. Instead of calling her out, he launched into a Tony-worthy break-up spectacle, telling her, “I am not just the vehicle you get to ride to Pleasure Town. Be gone, honky!” [Throwing a drink on Jess’s coat] “Say goodbye to paradise, honey!”

Of course Sam instantly saw through Winston’s emotional fireworks. He tried to kiss and make up with Jess, but she put more emphasis on the “kiss” than the “make up” and refused to believe he wanted anything more than sex. To be continued…

NEXT: You sleigh me…