New Girl recap: 'The Landlord'
When Jess attempted to prove to Nick that not everyone was out to get him, she ended up proving that their landlord was out to get both of them... into the bedroom
So it seemed like it would be bit of a weak episode, right? And then… BAM! Ménage happens. I was kind of shocked how much I enjoyed the addition of the gang’s Creepy McCreeperson landlord Remy (played by Jeff Kober, a.k.a. the guy who took all the psycho killer roles of the ’80s and early ’90s that didn’t go to Brian Thompson). Tonight’s episode was one made up of tiny moments and off-hand phrases, which is at its core is what the show is all about. I strongly considered calling the recap “The Husky Kid in the Mailroom,” though “The Pool of Possibility” and “A Sexually Charged Zero-Gravity Tea Ceremony” were also strong contenders. In the end, one scene in particular has forever changed the way I will listen to the song “Send Me on My Way,” and this sublime scene of seduction could not go overlooked.
It all began when Jess gave Nick guff for assuming the worst in everyone. Mind you, this is after he decided a gun-flashing, SAMCRO-looking dude might be a credible threat — imagine that! The interaction went as follows: Dude pulls gun, then terrified ducking, followed by Jess freaking out that “This is just like The Wire” and quickly slapping an unnatural smile on her face and being Jess-level nice and adorable. Nick thought this they were seconds away from being shot when (to Jess: “He has a gun, and you’re dressed like a bullseye!”) and yet! The guy backed down.
Validated, Jess decided to prove her point by calling the cantankerous landlord to fix their janky apartment — the evidence of which we’ve already seen in Nick’s DIY bathroom repair and now with his violent thrusting of a broom stick into the jammed garbage disposal. The landlord was crotchety sort named Remy, who was recovering for a traumatic break-up by storing gasoline in buckets, carving broom shivs, fermenting liquor, making cheese, and drawing crude murder sketches in the basement. (Jury’s still out on whether he liked the desserts Jess brought him.)
During her meet-cute with Remy, Jess unintentionally spilled the beans that four people were living in the apartment when there were only supposed to be three. Remy came a-knockin’, and in the precious seconds before the guys would reasonably have to open the door, they frantically threw all of Schmidt’s belongings off the balcony in order to facilitate the ruse that his room — the big one, which I guess Winston guiltily gave back to him — was actually a library. (Awesome Schmidt line: “There go the Chinos!”) Also, Schmidt also grabbed his wheely suitcase and made a big pretense that he was a visiting friend supposedly from Panama but who totally sounded like Serge from Beverly Hills Cop. Long story short, the jig was up, and Schmidt’s seductive black light wall décor (the aforementioned sexually charged zero-gravity tea ceremony) would soon be just a fond memory.
Somewhere amid all this, though, Jess managed to sweet talk an ostensible adversary onto her side, not only avoiding eviction but actually getting Remy to fix a few things. Nick immediately spotted that Remy was trying to move in on Jess — specifically when Remy showed Jess how to slide her bedroom door… from behind and emerged from her bedroom in a tank top — so he offered to act as a buffer for Jess’s thank-you dinner with Remy. To Jess, a home-cooked meal would be proper repayment for her landlord’s “kindness” — a.k.a. what every other tenant in civilization would call “doing your job.” Indeed, Remy was hoping to get a certain “job” done when he showed up in a fancy Cosby-patterned silk shirt and got Jess and Nick silly on basement liquor, then took a bathroom break only to emerge sans pants.
NEXT: Pittsburgh’s official dance of seduction begins
Jess and Nick were each so committed to proving each other wrong, that they willingly went into the bedroom as Remy did lunges to prepare for the night’s sexual gymnastics. The ensuing absurdity was on a plane beyond verbal expression, right up there with Jess and Paul Gunslinger’s “erotic rope course.” In fact, I might even argue it was more hilarious because Nick was made wildly uncomfortable. Only, neither he nor Jess would back down! Suffice it to say, I paused many times during this scene, and every single freeze frame was priceless. To his credit, Remy immediately sensed the roommates’ discomfort. To his discredit, he Remy-died the situation by queuing up Rusted Root’s “Send Me on My Way.” You know, because it’s a relaxing and sexy song. He also began to massage Nick’s shoulders. (Jake Johnson’s face in this moment nearly caused me to a do a Remy’s-fermented-liquor spit take.)
As Jess did some twitchy combination of raising the roof and air swatting, Nick mustered up every ounce of determination in his soul to consciously allow Remy to stroke him about the hair, neck, and chest and lean in close to talk Nick through the evening: “Then I’m going to start unbuttoning your pants. And then I’m going to unbutton my shirt. I’m not going to take my underpants off. Not right away. I’m going to keep my underpants on until I let you take my underpants off. Because you are going to be the Underpants Captain tonight.” Nick: “Makes sense.”
Only when Remy turned the tables on TV’s zaniest will-they-or-won’t-they couple, telling them to kick-start the lovemaking, did Jess relent. Nick very possibly would have gone through with it, but Jess couldn’t handle the pressure. On the one hand, it was absolutely perfect. On the other hand, all of us who are long for a Jess-Nick hook-up just got a serious case of blue balls. In conclusion, Jess admitted she was wrong, Nick high-fived a confused Remy, and Winston happened by to deliver approximately his third line of the episode: “Whoa! What is going on in here?” At the sight of another possible sex partner, Remy departed, admitting, “I am not ready for a four-way.” The next day in the elevator, he did tell Jess and Nick, “My door’s always open.” (Fair warning: It squeaks a little and has the musical taste of a late ’90s New England prep school kid.)
Meanwhile, Schmidt was also experiencing mixed signals. He couldn’t discern what his CFO boss Kim meant when she asked him to dial her in to Tokyo. Was it literal… or bow-chicka-wow-sexual? Schmidt stressed mightily over the possible double entendres. He even called on CeCe for advice, telling her, “My boss and I, we’re running a pre-sex marathon, and I feel like we’re stuck on mile 25. I’m cramping, CeCe. My toenails are falling off, I’m peeing down my leg… it’s like I can see the finish line, but I just can’t get there.” At CeCe’s urging, Schmidt decided to go for it (including a car hood slide — nice!). Unfortunately, it was 2 a.m. in a parking lot, and company security guards mistook his aggressive foreplay for sexual assault and rolled up in their golf cart to beat the snot out of him.
The next day Schmidt told Kim first and foremost not to fire him but also that he’d “had a thing for [her] ever since [he] was a husky kid in the mail room.” She once told him to dial her in to Tokyo… if you know what I mean. Cue a conference room full of Japanese businessmen getting a glimpse of Schmidt in his skivvies — flexing, doing pushing ups, and generally getting his game face on. As we know from seeing Schmidt in various states of undress throughout this season, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Next: Schmidt’s New Year’s resolutions
Lines Schmidt thought were sexual…
A text from his boss: “Tokyo call at 11, and bring me the budget reports.”
At Starbucks: “Non-fat vanilla latte.”
In the elevator: “Three, please.”
UPS guy: “I have a package for Schmidt.”
At work: “Schmidt, my files need sorting. Do it here so I can watch.” [This one prompted him to rub a manila folder up his torso before licking it.]
Work: Clean up my hard drive. [This was actually meant as a come-on.]
Jess: Isn’t Nick the most negative person you’ve ever met?
Schmidt: Absolutely. And you know what? It all pools up right in that little sadness center below his belly button.
Winston: He’s not wrong, though. His life is genuinely terrible.
Are people really the worst? A story in two parts.
Young Nick [finds money on the street]: Whoa, five bucks! Look out, college, here I come! [Random stranger snatches the money.]
Pedophiliac-looking stranger in abduction van [to young Jess]: Hey, little girl… ya like candy?
Young Jess: I sure do!
Stranger: Great! My Nana made way too much! [His Nana slides open back door and gives a neatly wrapped package of candy to young Jess.]
Schmidt [to CeCe]: Oh, come on! Don’t you ever wear jeans? Honestly, you look like you should be distracting James Bond at a baccarat table.
CeCe: I’m actually going to go meet Kyle. Jess loaned me her sea sickness bracelets. I’m going to a party on Greg Kinnear’s boat.
Schmidt: You’re going to a party on Neptune’s Folly?
CeCe: Relax, he’s not going to be there.
Schmidt: I know. He’s in Rio until the 16th.
CeCe: There’s nothing less sexy than a dude asking if he can kiss you.
Schmidt: Nothing? I mean, what if I ate my own hair and pooped out a wig? What if I called my mom after sex to describe it to her? What if I had a croissant blog?
Schmidt’s 2007 New Year’s Resolutions [unearthed from his “interplanetary ass dojo” (Winston’s turn of phrase)]
- Everything is easy when you are a battleship invading the Bay of Success.
- Stop pursuing Caroline. She’s Nick’s girl. Deal with it.
- Begin the search for the cocoon that will one day release [my] butterfly.
- Find out where Winston gets his sparkle… and then steal it.
- Only think about hot new CFO every other time I masturbate. [Schmidt: “I did not live up to the challenge.”]
- Start floating the idea that people call me “Mr. Finish”/”Gametime Jones”/”The Hook-Up-erator.”
- Just pick a color of Crocs and buy them already!
Jess: Remy brought a bottle of… this.
Remy: I ferment things in the basement. I also make cheese.
Nick: You’re not drinking that, Jess.
Jess: Yes I am. Remy made it. [Takes a sip annnnnd… spit take.]
Remy: Think you can handle some, Nick?
Nick: Oh, I don’t think so. Somebody needs to stay sober enough to fight you.
Jess: Nick, be nice! How hard could it be to just open yourself up a little bit? Dip your toe in the pool of possibility.
Remy: Yeah, Nick. Dip your toe!
Jess: You guys have a lot in common. Nick went through a break-up that was really hard on him. [Whispers] Schmidt said your mom had to fly out.
Nick: That was a scheduled trip!
Remy: Did you smell your girl on your sheets for months until they were too soaked through with your own sweat and tears?
Remy: Did you punch out all the windows until you hit the wall and broke your hand? Did you go out looking for companionship, a little human warmth, only to come through the woods covered in animal blood?
Nick: In my own way.
Remy: All right, so a ménage à trois is about three of us — trois — ménage-ing… fully.
Nick: Okay, this is happening. With this guy. This is happening right now, Jess.
Remy: So it’s going to get even a little more uncomfortable. We just have to keep talking to each, all right?
What did you think, Newbies? Did you care for Remy? Were you disappointed by Jess and Nick’s near-miss or happy that their big moment didn’t go down under the duress of an ego-driven threesome? If you were going to steal Winston’s sparkle, how would you do it? And have you visited Fox’s website to design your own “Hey Girl” interactive music video yet?
Zooey Deschanel plays lovable Jess, who is plodding through life with a good group of friends.