New Girl recap: 'Jess and Julia'
Nick's aloof new lady friend brought out the crybaby in everyone except Winston, who was trying to get his swagger back
Who doesn’t like cupcakes? In my entire life, I’ve literally only met one person who didn’t like cupcakes. To be fair, Nick’s new girlfriend Julia wasn’t hating on cupcakes specifically but desserts generally. I still haven’t decided if that’s worse or better than singling out cupcakes. Either way, Julia brought out the cynicism in Jess (although she was boasting about a ribbon hat while snarking on Julia) and the whiny girl in Schmidt. Two many girls in the New Girl bathroom is one too many according to Schmidt’s damp towel. How else did Julia, who is going to be around for at least two more episodes, shake up the group dynamic?
Let’s start at the beginning. Nick and Julia were reveling in their honeymoon phase all while being careful not to label anything because apparently that’s something only schmucks do — communicate clearly. (Point of fact: What schmucks actually do is make up “sophisticated person” accents and dances, à la Jess and Winston.) Jess was also excited about Julia becoming a regular fixture at the apartment because it meant having another girl around. Schmidt was less pleased. Apparently we girls are born with some sort of humidity-emitting enzyme that throws off Schmidt’s towel game. Cue a hilarious Mexican standoff between a completely unbothered Julia and a wildly bothered (and six-pack flexing) Schmidt.
Schmidt wasn’t the only one weathering a chilly reception from Julia. In case you couldn’t have guessed it, Julia (who is like pretty much every other character Lizzy Caplan has ever played, but especially Janis Ian and Casey Klein) did not immediately appreciate Jess’s particular brand of eccentricity. If you took Nick’s low level of patience for Jess, then added in a litany of sexual politics and subtracted the possibility of physical attraction that makes for sexual tension, you’d have Julia. Multiply that by a situation in which Jess asked Julia to help her get out of a parking ticket that she totally deserved. Long story short, she braked for a bird, got caught by the stoplight cam, then didn’t make her court appearance because her jerk ex “doesn’t believe in mail.” None of these circumstances even exist in Julia’s world. You could practically see her eyes twitching from the strain of not rolling them.
NEXT: Rejected cupcakes do not friends a-make
After brushing off a cupcake from Jess and saying she was “not a dessert person” (sacrilege!), Julia brusquely made it clear that patience neither for Jess’s blankie-toting twee sweetness nor for her walking-through-life-surrounded-by-hummingbirds-and-a-self-styled-soundtrack affectation. At least that’s how Julia saw it — as an affectation. Jess, of course, is utterly (and sometimes painfully) authentic, so the collision of overwhelming cynicism and angry-making enthusiasm was toxic.
The next morning, much the opposite of what you would think, Jess didn’t brush off Julia’s unintended — but still totally judgmental — insult, nor did she bend over backward to get Julia to like her. Instead, she sought solace in a coven of girlfriends (CeCe, rocking Jess’s hideous ribbon hat in solidarity, and a newly introduced gal pal, lesbian gynecologist Sadie). Nick happened upon the conversation and tried to understand where the tension began, but Jess couldn’t explain it on guy terms because she was fully aware it was girl-fight nonsense.
Nick argued that Julia was straightforward and explained this is why she doesn’t have many girl friends. (Oh, Nick, even Chris Harrison knows that’s a red flag.) Jess mentioned that Julia wasn’t being so straightforward when she had angled to find out whether Nick was bringing home other girls during their chat the night before and threw Julia’s non-labeling weirdness in Nick’s face. Of course that only made things worse for everyone involved. But not before Sadie mentioned that refusing to label things was “a classic move, even in the lesbian community.” At which point, Schmidt, who was not even involved in the conversation clumsily sprinted into the room and was all, “So what did I miss?” Proving herself to be awesome, Sadie totally called him out for butting in solely because he overheard the words “lesbian community.”
Tensions were high that night as Julia dropped by the bar to say hi to Nick. From a safe distance, Jess took every opportunity to toss out cutting-but-still-cute jabs at her nemesis. Back at the taps, Nick confronted Julia about trying to find out his commitment level, and they had a weird passive-aggressive back-and-forth about how they were totally having sex (lot of it!) with other people. It was clearly a lie, and it ultimately came out that Julia mainly didn’t like Jess because Jess brought a lot of insecurities to the surface — about her inability to be girly in the legal world, but mainly because she could see some heat between Jess and Nick. Heat that those two can’t even see for themselves, mind you. By the end of the night, basically everyone in the bar ended up crying.
NEXT: Jess has touched glitter in the last 24 hours and she will not apologize for it
The next day, the ladies had to face each other Jess’s court appearance and Jess became uncharacteristically snappish at Julia. Of course, this was only after Jess accidentally pled “Guilty” at her ticket hearing and roped herself into an $800 fine. I think we’d all be a little snappish at that point. Still, the explosion of “I am who I am, and what I am is adorkable!” reached Elmo-levels of awesomeness and was the first time we’ve seen Jess stand up for herself since Spencer. Express the Jess! Amid a torrent of declarations rivaling Schmidt’s “Things I love about India” speech, Jess made it clear that she means Julia no ill will and is not trying to mess up their relationship. Julia arrived at the apartment to apologize, and they knitted it out, bitch. Nick arrived home (with a genuinely tiny hat waiting for him!), at which point the anti-labelers decided they did want a label for their relationship, and all was right with the world!
And, in case you were wondering what became of the drama of Schmidt’s damp towel (I know you were really holding your breath), he had to forget his towel in his bedroom and accidentally expose himself to Jess and her girls before he realized that hiding his towel in his room was not going to work. At Jess’s suggestion, the guys started hanging their towels on bars instead of hooks so they would dry faster. Except! Schmidt’s towel was still mysteriously damp. “Mysteriously” for about five seconds before Nick told Schmidt that, in fact, Schmidt was using Nick’s towel. So they’ve both been using it (for “drying [their] junk,” Winston pointed out immediately) for who knows how long, and it has possibly never been washed. At least not by Nick. He announced with zero shame that washing a towel was idiocy because “the towel washes me!” He asked incredulously, “What am I going to do next? Wash the shower? Wash a bar of soap?” Schmidt: “I am furious right now.” What’s the step above furious? Plaid? Because that’s what he is when Nick admits he sometimes wears Schmidt’s underwear.
In C-plot, Winston had overcome his PLSD (Post-Latvian Stress Disorder) and was ready to scratch a certain itch. (If Schmidt had written that sentence, he would have ended it with “…a sex itch!”) He contacted Shelby, an old booty call (Jordin Sparks doppelganger Kali Hawk), who was not impressed in the slightest by his come-on (“taking her for a drink” at the place she works and telling her about his many questionable Latvian endorsement deals — the pronunciation of which resulted in spittle on her face).
As boys are wont to do, it took a girl blowing him off for Winston to realize he wanted her. He ignored Schmidt’s advice to pretend to be in Cirque du Soleil and consulted Nick on how to impress girls when you’re working with nothing special. Nick only took as half an insult, especially after his attempt to look like Tom Cruise in Cocktail was a literal bust. He stepped up his game, apologized for being a lout, and offered to take her on a real date. She agreed, then didn’t hold it against Winston when he couldn’t wait for her to get into her building before acting out a whining, seizure-like interpretive dance of excitement. Like Nick, our boy Winston may just have a girlfriend coming down the pipeline, only Shelby seemed a lot cooler than Julia at first blush.
NEXT: Body chut-i-ney and ribbon hats
Schmidt: Ugh! Damp towel! It’s like a really big Wet-Nap. I feel like I’m being licked by a golden retriever. There should not be two girls in this bathroom. You’re too humid, you make everything damp.
Jess: Eighty percent of the products in here are yours.
Schmidt: Blah, blah, blah, yawn. Yes, I use sculpting chut-i-ney.
Jess: Can you help me?
Julia: I can try. You never know, a judge might buy into this whole thing?
Jess: What whole thing?
Julia: Your whole thing, with the cupcakes and the braking for birds and [sing-speaking] “bluebirds come and help me dress in the morning!” thing
Jess: Oh, I didn’t know I was doing a thing…
Julia: It’s a great thing! I mean, the big, beautiful eyes — like a scared baby. I’m sure that gets you out of all kinds of stuff.
Jess: Yeah. Except my peripheral vision’s like almost too good.
Julia: So living here must be fun. Are there, like, lots of girls coming out of this place?
Jess: Schmidt’s like Ellis Island in the 1800s — he accepts everyone.
Sadie: I think I know what she meant. I mean, you do like girly stuff. It kind of freaked me out at first. When I met you, you were wearing a hat made of ribbons.
Jess: My ribbon hat! I love that hat!
Nick: What did Julia do wrong?
Jess: It’s just how girls fight sometimes. There’s a lot unsaid. Like, one time a girl said to me, “Jess, you rock a lot of polka dots.”
Sadie: How did she say it?
Jess [judge-wudgey voice]: “Jess, you rock a lot of polka dots…”
CeCe: That is diabolical!
Jess: And it ruined our friendship. I couldn’t get over the Polka Dot Incident.
Schmidt [interrupts the conversation]: Warning! Spoiler alert! Somebody unplugged my dehumidifier to plug in their flat iron. I will be putting my dehumidifier and my towel in my room where nothing ever gets wet.
Everyone [in their heads]: No comment. Teehee.
Nick: I’m not good at being a boyfriend. I’m good at being that guy who you find yourself spending more and more time with until you meet your husband.
Jess: All right. So, so far Nick Miller’s list of fears is sharks, tap water, real relationships…
Nick: And blueberries.
Nick: You’re dating other people? I’m seeing other people, too.
Julia: Good, good.
Nick: I’m having sex all the time. I’m like a mailman, except instead of mail, it’s hot sex that I deliver.
Julia: I have had to start carrying, like, athletic shoes in my purse because I have to sprint from one sexual encounter to another. Can’t wear heels!
Nick: Well I’m having sex right now. Under the bar. And she’s on top. So figure that out!
Julia: I see what you’re doing. I know that I’m the mean lawyer girl who wears suits and works too much. And you, you’re the really fun teacher girl with all the colorful skirts, and you bake things, and eventually Nick is going to come running to you, and you’ll tuck him in under blankie.
Jess: What is it with you and the blankie thing? I never said the word blankie! I don’t talk like Teddy Ruxpin!
Julia: If I acted like you act when I’m at work, nobody would listen to me.
Jess: Well if I acted like you at work, my students would turn in really weird, dark dioramas, so…
Jess’s awesome “I am a girly-girl, hear me roar” monologue:
Okay, hey! I have something to say to you, man! I brake for birds. I rock a lot of polka dots. I have touched glitter in the last 24 hours. I spend my entire day talking to children, and I find it fundamentally strange that you’re not a dessert person. That’s just weird, and it freaks me out! I’m sorry I don’t talk like Murphy Brown. And I hate your pantsuit, and I wish it had ribbons on it — or just something to make it slightly cuter. And that doesn’t mean I’m not smart and tough and strong! I’m about to go pay this $800 fine, and my checks have baby farm animals on them, bitch!
Schmidt: Hey, anyone? My towel! Can someone please get my towel? It’s in my room next to my Irish walking cape. The bigger towel. Do not touch the smaller one! [No one helps him, so he runs out to the den, where the girls are sitting.] Okay, I left my towel in my room, nobody look. Nobody look, yo, nobody look! Seriously, no one’s looking? All right, forget it… [Slips, takes a pratfall, and flashes the girls.] Damn it!
Sadie: See, he’s a natural blond!
CeCe: What shape is that supposed to be shaved into?
Jess: I think he’s trying to force perspective.
Schmidt: Ha ha, very funny. I gotta get something off my chest [drops towel as girls groan].
CeCe: Schmidt, there is an apron right over there, go cover yourself!
Jess: You are Jewish!
Sadie: You’re making me gayer!
Schmidt’s sex rant:
Six months ago, I thought getting a girl roommate would mean sex all the time. Definitely with her friends and probably with her! Are there women here? Yeah, sure, more than ever. But you [points at Jess], not gonna happen. You [points at CeCe], I will never give up! And you [points at Sadie], well you sample from the gumbo pot. I am a damp bathroom full of naked women every day, and I hate it! It’s like a nightmare. I’m in a watermelon-themed apron with a [reaches into the pocket and pulls out] a tampon? Why would you need this for cooking?
Schmidt: Quick question for you [Sadie] — as a lesbian gynecologist, perhaps one of these days, the two of us could sit down and talk about OSI.
Sadie: What is OSI?
Schmidt: Our Shared Interest.
What did you think, Newbies? Are you excited about Shelby, the first girl on the show who doesn’t seem like a bizarro version of Jess but actually a real (and, thus far, cool) girl? Did you like seeing Jess turn sassy and actually stand up for herself? Did Julia’s Rooney Mara-esque aloofness rub you the wrong way? What do you hope to see from Julia in her upcoming episodes?
Zooey Deschanel plays lovable Jess, who is plodding through life with a good group of friends.