By Lanford Beard
Updated November 06, 2013 at 05:30 AM EST
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New Girl

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The name “Coach” worked on many levels in Tuesday’s episode. Relationship Coach, specializing in how not to treat your girlfriend. Basketball Coach, with an emphasis on how to grind Winston’s gears. Strip Club Coach, expertise: how to spend your Bunny Money (okay, that was more Winston’s forte). Suffice it to say, Coach is not just a beloved ’90s sitcom anymore. And that’s just the tip of the Damon Wayans Jr.-shaped iceberg, Newbies. While you debate in the comments whether Coach’s return measured up to expectations, I shall get to the recapping.

Coach had sent text messages to both Nick and Schmidt, who were still feuding over Schmidt’s defection to the loft across the hall (though Schmidt was still popping up every once in a while to startle everyone and steal wind chimes from the garden). The guys surmised that Coach must have broken up with his latest girlfriend, since he’s the kind of guy who disappears when he’s in a relationship, and they were super-excited to bro down with their long-lost pal. Or, as Winston put it, “You better hand over Power of Attorney to your loved ones, because it’s about to get craaaaazy.” You see, Coach is a notorious partier — cue flashback of the guys drunkenly singing Mariachi karaoke to Scorpion’s “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” including a trumpet solo from Nick!

And, as if saying his name forced some sort of Candyman-esque materialization, Coach suddenly appeared. He hilariously didn’t remember Jess at all, even though she claimed they’d shared some important times during their two weeks as roommates (cue flashback of them celebrating Osama bin Laden’s death). After only a few seconds, the mood shift in the room was immediately apparent upon the ultra-macho Coach’s arrival. Predictably, Winston was ruffled by Coach resurfacing an old nickname: “Shrimp Forks,” which mocked his “little girly hands” that couldn’t hold a basketball. Less predictably, Nick started acting like a misogynist pig.

The latter was spurred primarily by Coach’s suggestion the guys hit up da strip club. Naturally, Jess wasn’t too excited about the prospect of her boyfriend ogling naked women. She took him aside to discuss, but Coach kept interrupting Nick’s talk with Notorious N.A.G./Naggie Gyllenhaal. Between these interruptions, Nick was making a pretty strong effort to ruin his relationship by digging a dry-spell-deep hole about how they hadn’t had “the boyfriend-girlfriend-seeing-other-people conversation” and eventually bragging to Coach that he was “just telling [Jess] what kind of cake to bake for me, son!” (His trembling face when he turned back to Jess after saying that was particularly priceless.) And so Jess had had it! She gave Nick “permission” to go to the strip club, and by darn, she was going out, too: “And I’m gonna “bake a cake”! A pineapple upside down cake…” and… yeah… that metaphor didn’t really have the legs she’d hoped it would.

So Jess summoned Cece for a retaliatory girls’ night out, throughout which she planned to send Nick passive-aggressive texts (she’d eventually ask Cece, “Should I add a ‘Woohoo!’ or is that too bitchy?”). Cece had other plans, like making Nick jealous to teach him a lesson. Jess idly mentioned a sexy coffee shop guy named Artie, who turned out to be the human equivalent of a grande shot of steaming espresso (a.k.a. Taye Diggs). As it were, Artie had given Jess his number and suggested they go out some time. Her response? “Shut your face!” (That was apparently the only response Jess could muster in the of Artie’s smoldering handsomeness.) So, when Jess excused herself to go to the ladies’ room, Cece took matters into her own hands and called Artie.

No sooner had Artie arrived and ordered Jess a drink — he’d sniffed her signature concoction out to be a Shirley Temple with a finger of coconut rum and a lemon squeeze that Jess had named the Temple Grandin “because it makes me friendly and compassionate” — than Jess uncomfortably giggle-confessed that she had a boyfriend. Artie graciously shook Jess’s hand and started toward the door, stopping only to seductively wipe an eyelash from her cheek (“Make a wish,” he said, and Jess countered, “I’m afraid to!”). Jess said she’d had her fun, but Cece insisted she call Artie back. So the steamboat gamely sat there for hours and listened to Jess’s relationship issues (she would later grouse that “Nick doesn’t have a life plan, he doesn’t even have a day plan — I once found a note he’d written himself that said, ‘Put on pants’… followed by a question mark“). Artie even tried to convince Jess to stand by her man — mind you while he was dropping hints of his own awesomeness, like how he owned the coffee shop and that his job required “jetting off to Brazil at a moment’s notice.” Were Artie’s intentions truly pure? Would it even matter since Jess couldn’t stop herself from tittering like a schoolgirl at his dulcet voice while requesting for him to repeat the word “Brazil” and say “rubber baby buggy bumpers”? She was a goner.

NEXT: “Shake ya ass, show me what you’re workin’ wit'”

That “NEXT” line from the previous page? It’s a song I can’t hear without thinking of this (love you, Nicholas Hoult!). It’s also the song that was playing at the Velvet Rabbit strip club some time around “Butt O’Clock.” Which was coincidentally the time that Nick and Schmidt realized they were no longer cut out for Coach’s party-’til-dawn lifestyle. More specifically, Nick was afraid of facing Jess’s growing wrath, and Schmidt was getting antsy about waking up for “an 8 a.m. presentation — that means I have to get there at 7:45 to lower everyone’s chairs.” For his part, Winston was busy regretting a withdrawal of $2,000 in singles from the in-house ATM because he’d realized the bills were “Bunny Money,” i.e. only valid currency for food from the bar or merch from the gift shop… or at their sister location in Fort Myers, Florida! Every cloud has a silver lining, eh, Winston?

After Coach and Schmidt ganged up on Nick for being whipped “like cream cheese,” the guys embarked upon a Raiders of the Ark-style shot-drinking competition based on Nick’s stupid assumption he and Schmidt could out-drink Coach. Long story short, they all succeeded in getting super-soused. Nick finally grew a backbone and decided to leave. Unexpectedly, Coach started to weep. He admitted he’d lied that he dropped his ex Malia because she’d gained weight. In fact, she’d dumped him — “and now she’s datin’ some dude named Da-reek… or Derek.” And that‘s when all the guys decided to call it a night. Well… with one small detour…

Coach secretly instructed the cab driver to take them to Malia’s new boyfriend’s workplace — a police station. Yep. Coach wanted to beat up a cop. Winston was especially displeased with this notion, deadpanning, “Did you hear the joke about the two black and the two white guys who went into a police station? The two white guys came out.” It was all a moot point, though, because the key word in that earlier sentence was that Coach wanted to beat up Derek. The minute the tall, muscular guy came out and saw a clearly wasted Coach frolicking around in head-to-toe Velvet Rabbit gear, Derek realized he wouldn’t have to lift a finger to defend himself. And certainly Nick and Schmidt wouldn’t have been of any use considering they were embroiled in the world’s lamest slap fight (or “physical altercation of fisticuffs,” as Schmidt slurringly called it). And yet, after seeing that Derek wouldn’t harm them, Coach and the guys weirdly felt confident to taunt the cop — which they did from a safe distance… until some more policemen started toward the door. At which point the guys fled like scared animals, hilariously weaving in the streets like they were running from a crocodile. Tip-top strategy, dillweeds!

Eventually, the guys returned to the loft. This was bad news for Jess, who’d brought Artie home in an attempt to spur Nick’s jealousy with some “long… hot… conversation.” Cece’d had a change of heart and began to argue that this was a terrible idea that stemmed from her own vendetta against Schmidt (not too much Tuesday-night boozing for Jess). When Jess went to find Artie and send him home before Nick arrived, she found the java gigolo naked in her bed, doing heel stretches so his underbusiness would bulge beneath the sheet. Of course that was pretty much exactly the time when Nick showed up. Jess contritely told him what had happened (which was that nothing had happened), and Nick actually believed her. Now, that didn’t mean he wasn’t still set on decking Artie for trying to seduce his “girlfriend” (yep! he said the word!). Artie noted that it wasn’t a fair fight since he was naked and sitting in a bed, and Nick was fully clothed and standing up. Nick happily leveled the playing field by ripping off his pants (“Thank God for snaps!”), jumping into bed with Artie, and clocking him. Nick and Jess lugged an unconscious Artie — still wrapped in only a sheet but now accessorized with a Velvet Rabbit baseball cap — into the elevator before Nick swept Jess into his arms for some makeup sex.

By the next day, the roomies were once again at homeostasis after Nick and Schmidt made up, and Winston scored a nickname upgrade (introducing “Bunny Money!”) by standing up to Coach. They all sat down for a communal dinner from “the V Rab” — yep, that Bunny Money just kept on giving — that included a Deep Dish Gyrator pizza, some Main Stage Fish Tacos, an order of Pour Some Sugar on Me-atballs, and some Short Stack Ass Clap Hotcakes. Now those are what you call Happy Endings.

Now I turn it back to you, Newbies. Do you wish Jess had gone to da club, as was originally scripted? Are you ready for Schmidt to move back yet? Are you excited for five more Coach-tastic episodes?

Episode Recaps

New Girl

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