Tonight marked the start of New Girl airing for one hour each week — through its season finale on May 10 — and the one-hour showing featured some major developments.
Sam and Nick faced their bad feelings toward each other (sort of), Winston pulled an absolutely crazy prank, Aly’s boyfriend (guest star Kal Penn!!) was finally introduced, and — in the biggest story of all — Furguson went on an audition.
There’s big, plot developments to be sure, but also plenty of loftee silliness, like Jess taking a sexist car salesman on the test drive from hell, so let’s dive on in. Here are the top 5 moments from “Jeff Day” and “Helmet.”
Jess and Nick’s fake backstories. Jess wants to buy a used car, but a sexist salesman keeps getting in her way. So she comes up with a male alter ego, Jeff Day, as a workaround, and starts emailing with said salesman to land herself the perfect wheels. All is well until Jeff has to sign the paperwork in person, so she enlists Nick to play the part. This proves problematic because he and Sam still aren’t on good terms, so Sam shows up pretending to be Jeff, too. But the highlights here are the fake backstories Jess and Nick came up with to spin for the salesman. “Remember Jeff Day is a lovable schnook who makes sausage in his spare time,” Jess tells Nick, who insists on wearing a mustache as a disguise. “You work for the phone company so you call the phones units.” When Nick butchers her backstory, she corrects him, “I’m a disgraced ice skating sensation. I got ex-communicated from the sport for protesting that nudie fabric and then I broke my butt.” It’s all in the details, and that’s where she really goes for the gold.
Winston’s prank to end all pranks. Winston decides to bring his new girlfriend, Rhonda (The Walking Dead’s Sonequa Martin-Green), as his plus one to Schmidt and Cece’s wedding. They’re concerned because Winston hasn’t known Rhonda very long, and turns out they’re totally right to have those concerns. Rhonda is as big of, if not more of, a prankster than Winston, so Schmidt and Cece tell their boy that they’re revoking his guest privileges because they don’t want any surprises on their big day. Winston doesn’t take it well, so he and Rhonda GET MARRIED AS A PRANK (??!!!). They wanted to make the point that Schmidt and Cece shouldn’t meddle in their love lives and were planning on getting the marriage annulled the next day, but Rhonda was called away for military service, so they’re still married. Whod’ve thought Winston would beat Schmidt and Cece to the punch?
A super scary test drive. Tired of the fighting between Nick and Sam and the misogynistic behavior of the car salesman, Jess takes all three on what could be the scariest test drive ever. She scares the salesman into giving her what she wants, which is the original deal plus bluetooth and more. Her best request? “I want to feel like I’m driving a spaceship!” Then she tells the boys they need to talk to each other and figure out how to both be in her life, because otherwise “I’m going to turn the heat up to 90, I’m going to turn the radio to Pink, and I am going to find a cobblestone street!” She might be quirky and cute, but apparently she’s not one to be messed with.
Furguson’s audition. Winston finally meets Aly’s boyfriend, Tripp, you know, the guy who’s getting in the way of Winston and Aly being together. He’s a talent agent for pets, and pretty full of himself and his job, probably because he recently signed the crow from Game of Thrones. Schmidt sees an opportunity to cheer Winston up by taking Furguson to meet with Tripp to potentially get into the biz, but Tripp immediately shuts it down. Not to be defeated, Schmidt steals a script and convinces Winston to take Furguson on an audition. There, Schmidt covers himself in catnip oil to distract all-star kitty Patches and the other auditionees. At first it seems like the cat casters are making fun of Furguson, and they sort or are, but they’re into his different look and style. “He’s an original,” a casting director says. “He makes Patches look like a Culkin brother.” In the end, Winston decides he doesn’t want Furguson in the game, but he still showed Patches (and Tripp) who’s boss.
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Nick’s helmet. Jess has a sex dream about Nick, prompted by Sam asking her about a football helmet Nick had given her. Jess gets rid of the helmet to clear her mind because she’s meeting Sam’s parents that night and wants to focus solely on that, but Nick takes it back from Outside Dave, who got it from a “shoulderless Dutch boy” (so, Jess). In asking about why she threw out the helmet, Nick finds out about the dream because Cece FAILS at playing it cool, and he pushes for details before getting rid of it. Things escalate and Jess puts the helmet on in a fit of rage, but it’s child size, so she can’t get it off and dinner with Sam’s parents is near. Eventually Jess discovers that the helmet was given to Nick by his late father, so she doesn’t want it to be broken just to get it off her. But Nick breaks it and says he doesn’t want to get in the way of her and Sam anymore. The episode ends with Jess making it to the dinner and framing a piece of the helmet for Nick to hang in his bar.
- Jess’ interactions as Jeff Day… Go Clips!
- Rhonda wearing a mask of Schmidt’s face as yet another prank.
- Sam declaring that of course Nick is messing up the car deal because he’s a “human pork chop.”
- Nick and Sam agreeing to make their sons hate each other, then agreeing to put on a good face for Jess and hate each other when she’s not around.
- Winston explaining the difference between sarcasm and sharkasm.
- Patches’ demo reel.
- Jess’ recurring muffin dream.
- Nick admitting he’s had sex dreams about Jess too, the details of which are, um, interesting.