Greg Gayne/FOX
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December 05, 2012 at 05:38 AM EST

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

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