Closer and closer to the wood chipper. That was Russell’s metaphor for his so-hateful-it’s-hot relationship with ex-wife Ouli (Jeanne Tripplehorn). And that was Jess and Nick by the end of the episode. Was that scene between them not crazy?! My head is still kind of exploding from the hotness, but let’s just say that Jess wanted a relationship that flared with love-or-hate/love-to-hate passion, and that was exactly and unmistakably what she had/has with Nick. Only, instead of engaging in a loft-crashing makeout session à la Apartment 23, these two schmoes ended up shaking their butts at each other in some sort of elementary school playground mating dance. To be fair, Liz Meriwether has made it extremely clear for some time now that there will be no Jess-Nick hookup in season 1, but that doesn’t mean I’m not chewing on ice cubes from the frustration.
It all began when Jess ran Ouli at her gym, where presumably Schmidt was teaching a spinning class. But they weren’t spinning. They were in the steam room, and there was a naked hug. I’m not sure what was more awkward, the hug itself or the fact that Jess was at the gym at all. Either way, somewhere between telling Ouli her back was “like a bag of ropes” and making eye contact wither nipples, Jess invited her boyfriend’s ex-wife to dinner. Having grown up with divorced parents, Jess thought she had it handled. But in Jess’s world, “handled” meant jazz-handing to “Surrender” by Cheap Trick.
So, not only did the disastro-dinner result in Jess falling back on the aforementioned Vaudevillian attempt at pacification, it also ended with Jess growing mega-insecure when she noticed the distinct hate-sex vibe between Russell and Ouli. That was only after Ouli over-pronounced the heck out the world “quesadilla” — with a Castilian lisp even though they were in an L.A. Mexican restaurant, mind you — and ultimately provoked a knock-down, drag-out fight with Russell over some long-ago road trip and that one time he got a man-icure.
The next day at the gym, Ouli apologized for making Jess uncomfortable, saying she and Russell could no longer be in the same room without wanting to rip each other’s faces off. It wasn’t Russell’s face so much as his trousers that Jess was worried about, though, when Ouli practically had an orgasm on the chest press describing her rapport with Russell. Witness: “It’s like this rollercoaster. It’s like standing on the bow of a catamaran, blasted with spray during a perfect storm. You’re naked… and you’re on fire….” Sounds to me, like Ouli and Nick should exchange notes.
Inspired (read: insecure), Jess tried to inject some of that “passion” into her relationship with Russell by provoking him with her big eyes, her over-enunciated ‘k’ sounds, and her weird habit of squatting while thinking. This was all at once, it’s worth mentioning. Between the love slaps, the kisses so forceful they hurt Russell’s teeth, and the projectile coasters, he was over it. He drove her home, where many shenanigans ensued involving his complicated car technology (“the Batmobile doesn’t have so many buttons!”). Long story short, he put his foot down that he had no interest in a “passionate” relationship like he’d had with Ouli. Jess, because she is immature and wildly misguided, declared she couldn’t live without that kind of fire. To be continued…
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