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'New Girl' recap: A Groundhog Day Situation in the Cathouse

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New Girl 02
Greg Gayne/Fox

Tonight’s New Girl was a study in a universe that is — and, frankly, must be — self-correcting. Everyone started the night straight-up certifiable, with Jess in the midst of a sexual awakening, thanks to a month of dating Nick; Schmidt just beginning his disgusted (and deluded) vengeance quest against the couple he was convinced had destroyed his doomed-from-the-start love triangle; and Winston was more devoted to his new cat Ferguson than any person who ever hoped to have a fighting chance at a love life should be. Flash forward some 28 minutes, and the tables had had turned. Would you believe it was Winston who brought them all back from the precipice? No? He didn’t either. That’s just how far off-kilter things in the loft had gone. But what goes up must come down — which, coincidentally, was probably just one of the many moves making up the world’s most horrifying sexual position, The Captain.

Though Nick and Jess hadn’t yet experienced The Captain (only The Underpants Captain), they began the evening in a panting afterglow. The sex was so good, said Jess, she wanted “to film it, but [she didn’t] want to film it — because that would be porn.” Oh, Jess, that’s never stopped anyone before! Nick, who’d just poured water on his head like a marathon runner at mile 26, was lacking one skill, though. He hadn’t mastered the ability to talk about his feelings. (He’d later insist, “If we needed to talk about feelings, they would be called talkings.”) But who had time for emotional chatter when all Nick needed to do was “banana it,” and he’d be ready for round 2? For the record (and much to Jess’s relief), “banana it” just means “eat a banana.” At least for now… those dirty bastards.

In any case, the roommates’ connubial bliss was less pleasing to Schmidt and Winston, who could hear everything. Winston was making do with a survival kit involving earmuffs and a deck of cards (for magic tricks!), but Schmidt was incensed that love had turned on him. Also worth noting, he was particularly baffled about the loud sex noises, given that “Nick’s body is so soft, it should absorb sound.” Once Nick and Jess made their giggling way to the communal bathroom to have sex there, Schmidt officially launched Operation: Break Hearts, Not Penises.

Schmidt sowed the seeds of discontent, counter-intuitively, by bringing home a #1-shaped sheet cake in honor of the roomfriends’ one-month anniversary. Nick and Jess were understandably hesitant to accept his supposed peace offering since, as Nick put it, “It’s Schmidt we’re talking about — after he saw the movie Titanic, he started the Billy Zane fan club. Look it up, they’re called the Zane-iacs.” So Nick went to investigate, and it really didn’t take much for Schmidt destroy his roommate’s libido. Specifically, he noted that Nick had been in only one other relationship (with Caroline) that had lasted longer than a month. He sprinkled the conversation with suggestion that Jess might be “The One” and dropped the L-word, asking unctuously, “Too soon?” Nick insisted he was really happy, and Schmidt piled on, “You should be, man. You’re like a different guy. Usually at this point you’re overthinking… and anxious and panicky… and overthinking… and overthinking… and distant… and nervous and sweating… and overthinking.” Ladies and gentleman, the power of Schmidt-ggestion.

Cut to a few minutes later: Nick’s eyes bugged mid-makeout with Jess. And, while his eyes may have gone out, other parts were retreating inward. Or, as Jess tried to joke, “Uh oh, looks like we have a little Groundhog Day situation here!” Cue up Daft Punk and Pharrell’s song-o’-the summer “Get Lucky,” which underscored Jess’s under-score as she spent the rest of the night trying every trick in the book to bring back Lil’ Nick. Now, keep in mind this is Jess’s book, so those tricks included reading aloud from an Indian takeout menu (ohhhhh Jess, only Schmidt finds”chut-i-ney” arousing!), practicing self-esteem-damaging reverse psychology (to Nick: “you’re a fat, fat, fatty, fat…”), doing the robot halfheartedly, painting her face like Papa Smurf (weirdly, this worked for the blue-curious Nick), and finally punching her boyfriend in the face. The last one was Nick’s suggestion. It did not work. A few hours later, Jess said playfully, “Well at least the sun managed to get up!”

As Nick fled to “move [his] car,” Schmidt was happy as a pig in mud at what he’d wrought. Foggy from her sleepless night, Jess foolishly turned to Schmidt for advice on how to revive Nick’s mojo. Schmidt suggested The Captain. Though most of the “good” (read: foul) parts were covered up by blender pulses — see Dotables for what we did hear — Nick’s traumatized face was enough to prove that this perversion had to be grosser than any of the Urban Dictionary definitions. After Jess pounced on her new boyfriend, they emerged from the high seas, their legs a-tangle and Nick’s ability to articulate deteriorated to somewhere between Drunk Uncle and late-days Marlon Brando.

The Captain had been every bit as degrading as, if not more than, Schmidt suggested. While trying to make sense of why the other would want to do such a thing, Jess and Nick inevitably arrived at the realization that Schmidt had set them up. Nick was incensed. All he could get between his gritted teeth was, “Did you just talk to… tight pants and eyebrows?” Ha! Jess stormed out to murder Schmidt. Nick trailed behind, pleading, “I can’t run that fast [after] The Captain!” To be continued…

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