So it seemed like it would be bit of a weak episode, right? And then… BAM! Ménage happens. I was kind of shocked how much I enjoyed the addition of the gang’s Creepy McCreeperson landlord Remy (played by Jeff Kober, a.k.a. the guy who took all the psycho killer roles of the ’80s and early ’90s that didn’t go to Brian Thompson). Tonight’s episode was one made up of tiny moments and off-hand phrases, which is at its core is what the show is all about. I strongly considered calling the recap “The Husky Kid in the Mailroom,” though “The Pool of Possibility” and “A Sexually Charged Zero-Gravity Tea Ceremony” were also strong contenders. In the end, one scene in particular has forever changed the way I will listen to the song “Send Me on My Way,” and this sublime scene of seduction could not go overlooked.
It all began when Jess gave Nick guff for assuming the worst in everyone. Mind you, this is after he decided a gun-flashing, SAMCRO-looking dude might be a credible threat — imagine that! The interaction went as follows: Dude pulls gun, then terrified ducking, followed by Jess freaking out that “This is just like The Wire” and quickly slapping an unnatural smile on her face and being Jess-level nice and adorable. Nick thought this they were seconds away from being shot when (to Jess: “He has a gun, and you’re dressed like a bullseye!”) and yet! The guy backed down.
Validated, Jess decided to prove her point by calling the cantankerous landlord to fix their janky apartment — the evidence of which we’ve already seen in Nick’s DIY bathroom repair and now with his violent thrusting of a broom stick into the jammed garbage disposal. The landlord was crotchety sort named Remy, who was recovering for a traumatic break-up by storing gasoline in buckets, carving broom shivs, fermenting liquor, making cheese, and drawing crude murder sketches in the basement. (Jury’s still out on whether he liked the desserts Jess brought him.)
During her meet-cute with Remy, Jess unintentionally spilled the beans that four people were living in the apartment when there were only supposed to be three. Remy came a-knockin’, and in the precious seconds before the guys would reasonably have to open the door, they frantically threw all of Schmidt’s belongings off the balcony in order to facilitate the ruse that his room — the big one, which I guess Winston guiltily gave back to him — was actually a library. (Awesome Schmidt line: “There go the Chinos!”) Also, Schmidt also grabbed his wheely suitcase and made a big pretense that he was a visiting friend supposedly from Panama but who totally sounded like Serge from Beverly Hills Cop. Long story short, the jig was up, and Schmidt’s seductive black light wall décor (the aforementioned sexually charged zero-gravity tea ceremony) would soon be just a fond memory.
Somewhere amid all this, though, Jess managed to sweet talk an ostensible adversary onto her side, not only avoiding eviction but actually getting Remy to fix a few things. Nick immediately spotted that Remy was trying to move in on Jess — specifically when Remy showed Jess how to slide her bedroom door… from behind and emerged from her bedroom in a tank top — so he offered to act as a buffer for Jess’s thank-you dinner with Remy. To Jess, a home-cooked meal would be proper repayment for her landlord’s “kindness” — a.k.a. what every other tenant in civilization would call “doing your job.” Indeed, Remy was hoping to get a certain “job” done when he showed up in a fancy Cosby-patterned silk shirt and got Jess and Nick silly on basement liquor, then took a bathroom break only to emerge sans pants.
NEXT: Pittsburgh’s official dance of seduction begins