By Lanford Beard
Updated October 24, 2012 at 04:30 AM EDT
New Girl React
Credit: Greg Gayne/Fox

Okay, Newbies, I will not bury the lede: Nadia the penis breaker was back! Lucky for Schmidt, she had moved on to Wilma Ramalama… or at least some random visibly ethnic guy who claimed to be That ’70s Show alum who supposedly devirginated Mandy Moore and/or Lohan and/or half of Hollywood from 1998-2010). Between Wilma, her lessons in butt drinking, and her starving-as-lethargic proclamation, “I so excited. I shake the thing that my mama gave me. YOLO!” it was a glorious episode. And Nadia was only the icing on the cake (that she refused to eat).

Speaking of cake, it was Cece’s birthday! Jess wanted to spend it as they always had: “We’re going to eat cake, we’re going to watch Clueless on VHS, and we’re going to try to make prom dresses out of towels.” Cece had other plans in mind. Instead of ogling Paul Rudd, she invited Jess to hit up da club with her and the model squad. (As Bianca put it, “We go party tonight, let dogs out, catch gypsy.”) Since the living, breathing hangers once told Jess she looked like “a monkey from a Russian cracker ad” (an ad I can show you thanks to the good folks at Fox), Jess tried extra-hard to glam up.

One semi-sheer top, a miniskirt, a pair of sexy cobalt stilettos, and a Jess-year’s worth of makeup later, she was rockin’ a “promising ballerina-turned-streetwalker” chic aesthetic. While Schmidt and Winston gave her last-minute tips on looking model-esque (“look sick, tired — altogether disengaged” / “really let your bones prop you up”), Nick wondered if she had shoe polish on her eyelids. Yes, ladies, that smokey eye you spent 45 minutes (and, oh, say, five years of your adolescence) perfecting? Some guys think it’s from you falling face-first into a shoeshine stand. Before Jess went out, she asked, “Is it totally obvious that I’m not wearing underwear? Because it should be!” Nick: “That makes two of us!”

Alas, the slutty get-up and the “shoe polish” eye makeup didn’t stop the models from spending the greater part of the night almost literally yelling at Jess to “Dance, monkey, dance!” Sick of it, Jess went on a tirade during which she claimed she was one-eighth Romanian (take that, racist Russian models!) and inadvertently called Cece dumb. Of course Cece heard this. After Jess totally biffed her apology and said she felt sorry for Cece (“It’s your birthday, and you won’t even eat cake!” #truth). Cece responded as you would — by slapping Jess in the boobs (a throwback to Cece’s seventh-grade slumber party, the last birthday they spent apart). Jess retaliated, and they spent the next 60 seconds smacking each other’s naughty pillows. Cece stormed away, grabbed vodka, and sternly told Nadia, “Tonight, I drink with mouth.”

Meanwhile, in what I can only assume is a nod to the Internet’s many “Nick Miller Turtle Face” comments, Nick considered purchasing a pet. He’d narrowed down his choices to Eastern Box and, my personal favorite, “near-sighted loner.” His turtle time was interrupted when Schmidt bought him a giant Linzer cookie. Just ’cause. Cue Nick weirdness. Long story short, Schmidt got pissed when Nick said he never thought about Schmidt. (Apparently the only man another real man is allowed to think is about is Jay Cutler.) Having been through years of emotional withholding from Nick, Winston knew Nick’s brush-off signaled something deeper. But he, too, had a bone to pick, starting with Nick’s refusal to reciprocate his bedtime “Good night.” Though Nick predictably grew defensive and shrunk farther inward, Winston blurted out, “That wasn’t a cookie, damn it! That was a piece of his heart.” Then he bid Nick a bitter “Good night.

NEXT: New car hell

The next day, Nick returned from the pet store empty-handed. Hard to say whether he was more mad at not procuring a turtle or because he “bought a tiny cowboy hat for nothing.” But he had bigger fish to fry when Winston announced that Schmidt was no longer speaking to Nick until Nick acknowledged all the things he put into their relationship. Before Nick knew it, Schmidt was crying. Jess stumbled upon this cringe-fest, and Team Schmidt exited.

Nick explained the origins of his 10-year live-in bromance with Schmidt, the beginning of which involved Schmidt eating Ramen noodles like a rice cake (and which you can see in this clip). Nick admitted to Jess that Schmidt’s overwhelming love for him was scary and that he didn’t feel like he deserved it. Jess commiserated, telling Nick about her fight with Cece. Nick agree with Jess’s belief that being a model is “a dumb thing to be” but got a little sidetracked — and aroused — when Jess brought up the girls’ boob fight. Much like Nick’s issue with Schmidt, we learned via flashback that some of Jess’s underlying problems with Cece went back to when she stood by, virtually unnoticed, as Cece was discovered. Nick and Jess both wondered whether they’d still be friends with Cece and Schmidt if they met today.

Jess headed to Cece’s and found her friend incredibly sick, yet foolishly determined to report to her auto show modeling gig. Once there, it became clear the rotating platform would be too much for Cece. Jess volunteered, claiming, “I’m big in Japan — they call me Gigglebangs Riceball” (a name almost as good as Lesbian Yellow Sourfruit). The guy knew she was lying but didn’t care. In fact, he did he not care so much that he stood by silently while Cece quite obviously (and painfully) vomited in her own mouth, then swallowed it back down. Professionalism!

Thus began a sequence of gratuitous product placement. And, oh yeah, Jess’s chance to squash years of jealousy and play out her adolescent modeling fantasies. That is, if she didn’t collapse under the weight of “chain mail”-like false eyelashes or trip over the sky-high platforms the wardrobe team handed her. In a moment that I refuse to believe is not a (500) Days of Summer shout-out, she made her entrance to Hall & Oates’ “You Make Dreams.” Only this was much less graceful than Tom’s spontaneous musical number.

Stumbling around like a drunk toddler, Jess barely made it up the stairs before getting one of her heels stuck between the rotating and static portions of the platform. (True fact: They had this challenge on America’s Next Top Model. I can’t find a clip, but here’s the next best thing.) Jess abandoned her shoe to get into the car, only to lock herself inside. The harried announced finally broke his spiel and snapped, “Use the handle!” She found her way out — with a splat. (Refer to the image on page one.) On the bright side, the epic failure forced Jess to acknowledge Cece’s job was more difficult than it looked (Cece: “You make it look a lot harder”). The girls made up. With cake!

Back at the loft, Nick tried to pick his friendship up off the floor by handcrafting Schmidt a Star of David black and white cookie. When Schmidt didn’t immediately accept this gesture, Nick dissolved into a series of unintelligible riffs on the word cookie. Laying it all on the line, he confessed he’d roamed the grocery story for 45 minutes trying looking for something for Schmidt. He considered Ramen like Schmidt ate the first time they met but thought Schmidt probably ate “fancy Ramen now, like with figs in it.” Nick spilled his heart and his insecurities, ultimately breaking into the very tears for which he had mocked Schmidt just 24 hours before. Schmidt was touched, though he did ask, “What about the turtle?” Nick: “You’re the turtle in my life.” Because everyone needs a turtle. Or a lobster.

NEXT: The cold-hearted Republic of Nick Miller

Notable dotables:

Nick: Hey, do you think Jess would be mad if I got a turtle and named it Jess — even though I had that name picked out before she moved in?

Schmidt: A turtle?

Nick: Thinkin’ man’s best friend, Schmidt-y.

Schmidt: In our home? Over my turtle disease-ridden dead body.

Nick: What was that? Did you just grunt at me?

Schmidt: It wasn’t a grunt, it was a hrmph.

Nick: A hrmph sounds like this — huh-rumph.

Schmidt: Sorry you took it the wrong way, it was not a grunt.

Nick: Serena Williams, that was a grunt.

Schmidt: I don’t know what is allowed in the cold-hearted Republic of Nick Miller, but I do know how I feel. And I know how much you love cookies. And I saw it there behind the glass and thought, “Nick Miller. I’m gonna buy that, man.”

Nick: If I could give you that cookie back, I would. Nothing would make me happier than to throw it up, mash it into cookie shape, and shove it down your throat.

Schmidt: You want to mama-bird me the cookie?

Nick: That’s not what I–

Schmidt: You want to mama-bird me the cookie. You’re not mama-birdin’ anybody anything!

Winston: Schmidt is tired of doing things for you that go unnoticed — lining your shoes up at the door.

Nick: Don’t line my shoes up at the door.

Winston: Recording your favorite shows. The turn-down service.

Nick: The turn-down service is weird, and I never asked you to do that.

Schmidt: Well I guess those chocolate mints just disappeared on their own.

Winston: Did you know once a week [Schmidt] goes into your room, and cleans it, then returns everything to the way he found it?

Nick: And I’m weird in this situation?

Jess: What’s going on? Did you guys watch porn together again? Why do you keep doing that? It’s always awkward!

Nick: In March, I will have been living with Schmidt for 10 years. I know that because he sent me an e-mail asking how I want to celebrate our tin anniversary.

Jess: How did you become friends? Was it an accident? Did you hit him with your car and you became his reluctant caretaker?

Jess: When I hear all the stuff about Cece’s profession, like the dieting, it’s crazy. And the butt-drinking…

Nick: Did you just say “butt-drinking?” You can’t say “butt-drinking” and not explain what it is. That’s two of my four favorite things.

Schmidt: Well, Nick, I’m all out of tears. Plum out. All that’s left is yellowish goo. That’s right, Nick. Goo. [exits angrily]

Nick: That’s a third of my life.

College Nick: You like rap music? Who’s your favorite rapper.

College Schmidt: Brian Austin Green.

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Zooey Deschanel plays lovable Jess, who is plodding through life with a good group of friends.

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