By Lanford Beard
Updated December 05, 2012 at 05:38 AM EST
Greg Gayne/FOX

New Girl

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Our men were men last night, Newbies. Well, except for Winston — but who’s to say it’s not manly to enjoy pink wine that makes him “feel like [he’s] a garden party, and [he hasn’t] even left home”? Certainly not me. Also… am I crazy, or was busted, hungover, summer suit-wearing Schmidt the sexiest he’s ever looked? Also bringing the heat? Jake Johnson mid-makeout. I’m no fan of Olivia Munn, but if her presence means Nick gets to be more than a pile of turtle-faced grimaces and Andy Rooney tics, then by all means. And then there was Jess, whose descent into meth-od acting during a particularly harebrained scheme was the low point of the night. Onward…

So Jess wanted a bathtub for the apartment. Apparently her new job — the one you’d already forgotten about — is very stressful. (Or maybe she just has two X chromosomes.) Because she wanted to luxuriate in suds after a long day at… whatever she does, she prepared an elaborate presentation including bubble gun and a little poster that illustrated all the roomies basking in the bubbles together — all but Winston, who doesn’t smile in photos and thus was replaced by a pic of James Brown. Nick was a negative nelly as usual, Schmidt derided baths as everything from “Medieval filth cauldron” to “testicle tea,” and though Winston was, ironically, the only roommate actually on board, he knew better than to reveal his true feelings in front of the other Y chromosomes. Final vote: 3-1 against Jess.

Later that night, Winston told Jess about his fond memories of bathing alongside goats in Latvia, oversharing, “There are parts of my butt only a tub can clean.” He had devised a plan to split the cost of the tub with Jess, hide it on the roof, then secretly install it in the middle of the night and blame Jess. What could possibly go wrong? Well, for starters, the roof wasn’t strong enough to support the tub after they filled it to test for leaks. The water rushed into the apartment at exactly the wrong place: Schmidt’s clothing rack, which held his $300 pocket squares the very suit he would need for an important opportunity (more on that to come).

Jess and Winston called on Remy(!) to patch up the ceiling, though he seemed more willing to “fix something in the lady’s bedroom.” Once she’d politely ushered Remy out, Jess reminded Winston that Schmidt once convinced the roommates to purchase renter’s insurance “when he almost tore down that rafter with the sex swing.” And so the bathtub hankerers faced a moral dilemma — tell the truth or… pretend meth addicts had robbed the loft? Clearly they chose the meth storyline. Setting aside Zooey Deschanel’s purposefully terrible, Dale Dickey-esque meth-head impression, the funniest part of the whole screwball venture was when they arrived at Nick’s messy room, wondered aloud, “Did you hit this already?” — “No, did you?” and then moved on. Apparently Nick has been too busy writing Z Is for Zombie to clean house.

Their brilliantly constructed scheme fell apart when Schmidt revealed he had a security cam installed in his room. Winston flew into a panic he called “the willies,” which mainly entailed him running away from things while ripping his clothes off. Jess found him on the roof in nothing but black socks and turquoise briefs. She assured him everyone gets panic attacks: “My dad used to get them all the time — every time he had to take a left turn. It would take him two and a half hours to drive me to school. We’d just drive all around Portland making right turns.” And that statement sums up pretty much everything you need to know about Jess.

In order to comfort Winston by revealing her own claustrophobia, Jess closed herself in her closet. Naturally the door got stuck, and Winston began tearing off his clothes in another willies-induced frenzy. Eventually, Remy rescued Jess. Seeing Winston in his bathrobe and Jess in a cleavage-bearing tank top, he assured them they didn’t have to be so coy — he was “totally ready to get mixed up in this choco-vanilla shake.” Door slam. Jess acknowledged they still had to contend with Schmidt’s suits, saying, “I feel like there’s a very obvious solution…”

NEXT: Schmidt suits up

Speaking of Schmidt, he was in the midst of two very important pitches. First, his boss gave him the chance to run his first account — appropriately, for a vitamin-infused vodka called Double V (is there anything more douche-tastic?). Second, Cece revealed she’d broken up with Robby because he wasn’t ready to have a family. For both opportunities, Schmidt would need to consult the “Schmidt in suits” look book he’d already photographed (“Wasted project, huh, Nick?” — “Herring bone? How did you get in here?!”). He chose his best suit and would have been in top form… but then came the flood, leaving Schmidt with only his summer suit emblazoned with a lightning bolt on the back. As summer suits are…?

Before heading to Cece’s apartment the next morning, Schmidt pumped himself up by rehearsing his speech in the bathroom mirror. He started somewhere in the Jodeci milieu before quickly moving to a Barry White throatiness. It goes without saying that Nick was listening the entire time. Schmidt was at first indignant at the eavesdropping, but his chest-puffing soon gave way to begging for Nick’s blessing. Nick awkwardly tried to avoid this guy-on-guy emotional exchange, but Schmidt forced it out of him. Then attacked him with a bearhug. Nick’s hilariously awkward clenched hands were priceless. Schmidt literally had to pounce on Nick to make the embrace happen.

Schmidt arrived at Cece’s apartment with his “Ukrainian dentist” suit and a pigeon in a box (he couldn’t find a dove). She ignored all cheesiness, not to mention his verging-on-creepy statement that he’d “put [her] hair in a bowl and eat it,” as well as the inevitable objections of her anti-Semitic mother. Instead, she focused on his earnestness. Schmidt sealed the deal by offering to “convert to Indianism.” With that promise and his love of chut-i-ney, how could she resist? She agreed to an official date that night, and he took a moment for an extra douche-dorable fist pumping “Yesssssss!” before he headed to work.

Sorry to say, Schmidt’s vodka presentation didn’t go quite so smoothly. Fifty Shades of Boss clearly wasn’t ready to let Schmidt go and would give him the account only if he taste-tested every flavor of vitamin vodka with her. He turned up at Cece’s apartment hours late after getting stupid-faceded drunk with his former sex contractor. “Nothing happened,” he assured her. “She just wanted me to taste the V — that came out wrong.” Even while he slurred that he could now pay for their babies’ college, Cece was losing faith. She called her mom to say she was ready to be set up with a nice Indian boy. Oh yeah, and somewhere in there, Schmidt announced that he was going to pee in his summer suit.

The next morning, Schmidt returned home hungover and rumpled and looking hot like a summer suitday. He found Jess and Winston “tied up” and claiming the meth-heads had come back to steal more stuff and return Schmidt’s suits because they didn’t fit. Of course they’d dry cleaned them first, deluxe package, as all polite junkies do. Sensing Schmidt’s doubt, Winston crumbled and admitted he and Jess wanted a bathtub with bubbles and candles. Schmidt was too dejected to notice the confession or refuse the hot tub. He told them what had happened, and they rushed from their fake restraints to comfort him. Maybe he was still a little drunk because he asked dumbly, “How did you guys get out of your ties?”

NEXT: Nick gets a drinking buddy/love interest

Rounding up the rear, Nick developed a crush on a whiskey-swilling regular he’d nicknamed “Thirsty Mendelsohn” (Munn). Encouraged solely by his completely fabricated fantasy of her, he decided they were perfect for each other: “She’s surly like I’m surly… she rolls her eyes at everybody like I roll my eyes… she likes to drink in the afternoon, and I like to drink in the afternoon….” I’m pretty sure Nick just described everyone I know.

More than that, though, Nick’s hesitated to hit on Thirsty because it involved breaking “the first rule of bartending.” To talk to her, he’d have to cross the bar. From experience, Nick knew crossing this line could lead to messy situations like breaking up fights between girls wearing unsupportive bras and/or searching for ferret ladies named Rhonda. Still, when he saw Thirsty’s skinhead, tat-covered boyfriend storm out after a fight, Nick decided to make his move. A rather idiotic move if you ask me considering how Thirsty’s boyfriend was basically one neck swastika away from a prison gang. Predictably, Nick’s approach moved from one verbal misstep (“you’re a whiskey girl — like me!”) to another (“I have a drinking thing”), but Thirsty didn’t care. She was there for the free hooch. Not, as Nick suspect, the unlimited access to pistachios.

Nick and Thirsty got good and sozzled to the point where Nick told her to dump her boyfriend. Shortly thereafter, the lout barreled into the bar to beat the snot out of Nick. Thirsty pre-empted the beatdown by clocking her boyfriend with a napkin holder, then told Nick she had a coworker who could stitch him up. Cut to a strip bar. The coworker was a heavyset thug carrying a dirty mop, Thirsty revealed unapologetically that she was a stripper, and Nick was in over his head. But that wasn’t the only thing over his head — eventually, a threeway catfight left Nick with a set of fake knockers on his face.

The next day, Thirsty returned to the bar. Nick started to explain his rules. She countered, “I don’t have any rules,” then slide over the bar to plant a surprisingly hot kiss on him — which was only slightly diminished when Nick spotted grizzled barfly Sid was caressing Thirsty’s back. After Sid disengaged, Nick and and his new new girl recommenced making out. Whether she’s a dessert person… well, we’ll just have to wait and see.

NEXT: If summer were a condom, what would it taste like? Schmidt knows!

Notable dotables…

Jess: You come home from a long day of work. You want to relax in a glorious, bubbly pool for one, sipping the nectar of the gods. [Pours Nick a glass of wine.]

Nick: I don’t get it. Is this bath water?

Schmidt: Might as well be — it’s rosé. Burn notice, France.

Schmidt: They took my doctor’s appointment suit! They took El Capitan! Damn it. The only one he left was my summer suit with the lightning bolt on the back. I keep that in my summer bin along with my summer condoms — citrus-flavored for a more refreshing summer experience.

Jess: That’s… a jar.

Winston: Jar for sure.

Schmidt: Look at this — took my suits, left the douchebag jar. Typical meth-head!

Caught on security camera, by Schmidt

“So many years of footage! This is from last May — I was trying to add an extra ab muscle. This is when I was experimenting with faux hawks. This is when I was lowering my bar sexually.”

Schmidt’s pitches

For Vodka: “I’m out there every night, ballin’ to the max, and you expect me to do what? Just stop and chew up some cherry-flavored multi-V? No thanks. I’ll take my vitamins on the rocks. Double V: Heart. Spirit. Body. Party.”

For Cece: “I’m a man with feelings. Feelings that are bubbling up inside of me, and they’re about the explode. I would like for those feelings to explode onto you.”

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New Girl

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