Race relations and swingers weekends: Two things New Girl probably shouldn’t have taken on. While I’m not arguing what happened with the roomies last night wasn’t believable, was it necessary Newbies? Most ridiculously, Schmidt took a cue from the Michael Scott Handbook and endeavored to be so inclusive he actually ended up coming off all kinds of racist. Even Winston’s attempt to exploit his friends’ naïveté backfired dreadfully — although with a spectacular Urban Uncle Remus tale along the way. And Nick ended this week’s ep alone and grumpy once again. At least one thing’s constant in this crazy, mixed-up world! Onward.
In the A-plot Jess wanted Nick and Angie to join her and Sam for a weekend at Sam’s boss’s cabin. Nick proclaimed himself and Angie “not romantic weekend types” — they had an open relationship and drew
poodle-hair doodle tattoos on each other’s underarms, by gum! Nevertheless, Jess thought the moment was ripe for seizing, justifying, “You’re dating a stripper; I’m dating a tall, handsome doctor — we’re both kind of living the dream.” She also was kind of afraid to be alone with Sam for that long, lest he see her imperfections. After promises of roasted marshmallows, fires, and bear rugs failed to persuade Nick, Jess pulled out the ultimate bargain chip: The weekend would be free. Who’s that negotiator? It’s Jess!
Nick arrived on the back of Angie’s motorcycle wearing a “bitch-ass” helmet he bought at a rest stop along the way and Jackie O sunglasses; these, he claimed, were his — though I suspect he purloined them from the bar’s lost and found. Things went south somewhere around the time Angie tried to introduce gun play into their sex life. Since Angie had interrupted a game of sexy Boggle between Jess and Sam, Jess got into the spirit of things and wrapped her fingers around a “boom stick.” In case you couldn’t tell by that twee nickname, Jess didn’t have a lot of experience with guns. Angie gave her a hands-on lesson which Nick described as “fantasy and nightmare colliding.” It was also a bullet and power pole colliding as Jess accidentally knocked out the heat and electricity.
The couples had plenty of blankets and absinthe to keep them warm. No games of True American were necessary to get these kids wormwooded off their faces. Jess became convinced that her bed had gone missing and went skipping upstairs. Nick said, “I gotta go check on that,” which Angie took to mean, “I brought you here for a swingers party!” Upstairs, Jess found the toilet instead of her bed. Sobered up, she told Nick she liked Angie. That sentiment would last about 15 more seconds. When they headed back downstairs, Angie was trying to make out with an unwilling and still completely snockered Sam. She giggled, “Hey, Nick, guess what! We switched!” Yeah, this is definitely not what Liz Meriwether was talking about.
In the ensuing argument, Nick accused Jess of pretending to be perfect, outed her for inviting the others to the cabin so she didn’t have to be her real self with Sam, then chugged about half a bottle of absinthe in order to prove how “rock ‘n’ roll” he was. The only thing that could break up this tension was a bout of projectile vomiting from Sam. Luckily he projected the spew into the fire, which blazed mightily as if hit with gasoline.
The tension began afresh when they sat down for dinner. Nick was now tripping balls and unleashed a stream-of-consciousness about his likes and dislikes: “I like dogs more than cats. I like chipmunks more than squirrels. I believe in UFOs. I once had a bass teacher when I was younger who did the standing bass, and he had a very weird smell, and I still remember that smell. His name was Mr. Hilton. [to Angie] I don’t like the fact that you tried to kiss Sam because I have feelings for you, Angie.” While that sink in, Nick non sequitured, “Doctor Sam, if you were a hat, you’d be a top hat… but, like, a really big Monopoly one.” And… boom.
A bit later, Nick had returned to his right mind. He and Angie had an earnest conversation. She admitted she was prone to self-sabotage in relationships. He insisted he didn’t want to be some sort of brunching, cookie-cutter couple, but he did want a bit of normalcy. He proposed they start by not “tattooing” each other’s armpits. Just as they reached this détente, Nick looked up and freaked out about a painting of a bird on the wall. Not entirely sober after all, apparently.
Downstairs, Jess recognized she had to stop being such a perfectionist, and Sam rightly noted that he deserved major brownie points for turning down a stripper while wacky-faced on absinthe. Those two just might make a go of it, huh?
Not so much for Nick and Angie. He woke up the next morning to find she’d left a note — and left with several of his personal belongings. Since he didn’t have a wallet, he bartered for a ride home in “Nick bucks: Fully redeemable for smiles and one item from [his] bureau.” Before they loaded into the car, Jess gave him a non-hug and a brief pick-me-up talk, which he reluctantly accepted. Then he helped himself to some “game-y” potato salad from the trash can and another swig of absinthe. If girls get through break-ups with sappy romantic movies and tubs of ice cream, this is how Nick Miller does it.
NEXT: Crack attack
Elsewhere, Schmidt saw Winston interacting with some other African-Americans and noted a change: He was “so light and charming…like Pixar Winston.” Later, he frankly (and foolishly) asked “white Nick” and “brown Cece” if they were all allowing Winston “to be his blackest self.” They immediately saw what an insane notion this was, but that didn’t faze Schmidt. He declared he’d “be the best black friend [Winston] ever had”… and proceeded to shove soul food and Rastafarian hats down Winston’s throat. The more gangsta the activity the better!
It didn’t take much of this foolery before Winston decided to test Schmidt’s “tolerance” by suggesting they go out to score some crack — you know, how black people do. Seeing Schmidt’s shock, he took it a step further and began to spin a stereotype-laced yarn about his childhood that went a little something like this…
I remember when I was a kid: Me, my mom, and her mom… and then her mom, her mom, and her mom — and of course her mom — and then my little cousin Peanut, we’d all rush back to that flaming trash can where we’d sit around and harmonize and just [singing] “Shoo-wop!” [stops singing] One of those nights I remember, we ran out of crack. I grabbed my scarf and I’d run on down to the liquor store where those thugs hung out, and I’d try to get a good deal on some crack. [Laughs nostalgically] Woooo! And they would give me a good price, man, but I tell you what: There’s nothing like the feel of a fire and a fresh-baked cookie and that sweet, sweet taste of crack in your lungs.
As Schmidt gobbled up every word, Winston had to turn away for the barely contained laughter. He suggested they go to the projects so that he could wait in the car while Schmidt bought the crack. Stop me any time if you think this won’t end well…. Indeed, Winston tried to give Schmidt an out, saying they could just go for frozen yogurt. But no! Schmidt was determined to be as understanding of Winston’s blackness — his totally out-of-character, walking-racist-cliché of a crack fiend blackness. With that, Schmidt moved in to seal the drug deal with a fumbled attempt at some sort of jive handshake. As he headed out into the night, Winston grimaced. What had he gotten them into?
They arrived in a rough neighborhood, both noticeably anxious. (“Schmidt-zing” to use our man’s parlance.) Winston tried to turn things around by once again, more forcefully this time, suggesting they go for frozen yogurt. But Schmidt proclaimed, “I will not let you deny who you are any longer! Not on my watch.” Which begs the question: Schmidt, have you ever met Winston? I’ve only known him for about 12 hours total, and I’m pretty confident he’s not a crackhead.
Either way, Schmidt did some sort of hood bird call and attracted the attention of the nearest thug, whom he invited into the car. Winston’s prank had officially gone straight past hilarity and into the terror zone. Well, save for when Winston said, “He could have a gun!” and Schmidt responded, “That’s racist!”
Afraid for his life, Winston finally admitted the whole thing was a ruse. As he and Schmidt squabbled, the thug feared he was being criminally entrapped by cops and then found that he was physically trapped by Schmidt’s childproof locks. He was so agitated that he reached into his front pocket… for his wallet. (Only Schmidt could go to the ghetto and be accused of holding up someone.) Turns out, he wasn’t a thug — just a good Samaritan trying to give two clearly lost guys directions. When all three of them stopped cowering and screaming like girls, they realized it was just a zany misunderstanding and had a good laugh. Schmidt disengaged the child locks and the not-really-a-thug named Robert exited, only to knock on the front window and scare one more dog-frequency shriek out of Winston.
Back at the loft, Winston was legitimately annoyed Schmidt had tried to foist some patronizing idea of blackness on him. Gleaning nothing from this, Schmidt apologized that Winston “had to live Jess and Nick — I mean, they’re honky as hell. And look at our people, look at what we’ve giving to this country. [Pointing at Winston] Jazz… [pointing at himself] the management of jazz musicians.” Winston told him to pipe down already, that there were so many more annoying things about all of them he hadn’t even gotten to race. Now could they just drop it and get some frozen yogurt already? (Winston really wanted frozen yogurt, y’all.) He asked if Schmidt would like some, too, and received this response: “Yes! [Meaningful pause] I’ll have a vanilla-chocolate swirl.”
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