The truth comes out -- about Schmidt and Cece's sexual tryst, Nick's coed bed-hopping, and Winston's unstoppable awesomeness

By Lanford Beard
Updated January 14, 2020 at 08:03 PM EST
New Girl Secrets
Credit: Isablella Vosmikova/Fox
S1 E19

Admittedly, this was not the greatest New Girl episode ever. But there were so many great things about it: David Wain took the helm (and peed himself while doing it)! Nick got some! And relatedly, Cerie from 30 Rock guest starred! Fat Schmidt returned (and did chubby foreplay to the tune of “Let’s Get It Started”)! Zooey looked really weird without bangs! We got a second glimpse of the zero-gravity tea room o’ seduction! Diane Keaton featured prominently! Up was down! Up was the new down, man! Apropos of those last few bits, this really was Winston’s episode. Sure, Jess was hilariously brat-tastic upon discovering Cece and Schmidt’s DL relationship, and sure Nick actually got some (it bears repeating), but Winston’s third-act rant was epic. Epic. It took a lot of build-up — like, 18 episodes worth.

Or just a few days, maybe? Since Cece and Schmidt were still having the secret sex, Winston was still freaking out. As for Jess, the secrecy impacted her because Cece kept bailing on her during their 10k charity run training sessions. Jess hoped the element of surprise might force Cece to pony up, so she made an early-morning model house visit. Cece got Jess to leave by enlisting her roommate to feign remorse at eating a single cookie. All the while, Schmidt was hiding in Cece’s sofa cushions to avoid detection (“Good thing I’m a quiet breather! I learned that as a kid playing ‘Who passed out’ with my mom. My mom always won!”). After Jess was gone, Cece’s indelicate Russian roommate yelled, “Jew in the couch! Jew person in the couch!” Schmidt: “She’s not wrong.”

It wouldn’t be long until it came out though. Winston could go only a few days before cracking and blabbering to Nick that he had a secret. Nick literally went in hand-to-face combat with Winston to avoid learning anything confidential, but Winston couldn’t handle the pressure. Nick’s face at finding out the horrific truth was a-mah-zing. It was like he had been simultaneously stabbed in the heart and overtaken by a violent bout of diarrhea. He actually wrapped his arms around himself like a child in the fetal position. He staggered to one side, and his face went lax for a second, then a Lucille Ball-esque expression of “Ewwwwwwww” contorted the sides of his mouth. Even after I just spent scores of words covering roughly 10 seconds of silent reaction, I’m still sure I didn’t address all the nuances and tics.

From there, the big reveal happened in rapid fire. Nick developed a vast pool of back sweat and acted so bizarre (even for Nick) when Jess returned home, that she forced him to turn around and show himself. She confronted him — in French: “J’accuse, Miller! J’accuse.” He sputtered the truth just as Schmidt arrived. Schmidt probably would have been upset about it all if he weren’t so self-satisfied: “Can we just take a moment to celebrate me? Schmidty really did it this time. I mean, I’m having Indian every night!” At which point Jess rushed him into the hall, screaming like a maniac.

Obviously, she was feeling betrayed, not least of which because Schmidt and Cece had had sex in her room (“just the once”). But also because Winston held out on her for days. She called Nick weak, but he announced to the group, “For what it’s worth, I think what I did was really brave.” Schmidt, of course, took this opportunity to feign trauma and lean on Cece’s chest for comfort. To be continued…

NEXT: Douchebag 101

Meanwhile, Nick was also struggling with secrets — the ones he was keeping from his revolving door of 20-something conquests. The most possessive of which was a Gamma Pi Mu sister (Katrina Bowden), who frantically questioned Nick every time his phone rang. As Schmidt pointed out, though, leaving the ringer on was an amateur move. When Nick couldn’t distract her with fist-pumping invitations to go clubbing, he made the greatest sacrifice of all and hurled his phone against the wall. This might have been the most upsetting thing ever seen on this show. He just got that phone! And from the man he loves!

Nick realized he was in over his head and turned to, of all people, Schmidt. Cue flashback of Fat Schmidt’s rough tumble with a BBW gut-puncher as soul-patched Nick and corn-rowed Winston sat by haplessly. Schmidt: “Sex, man. It’s the real stuff!” Indeed, Schmidt had come a long way. Nick humbly asked him for lessons… on how to be a douchebag, the request for which was utterly validated when Schmidt called Nick “a clingy serial monogamist with a terrible metabolism.”

Schmidt brought out his invisible chalk board and told Nick, “In the restaurant of life, you have selected the tasting menu.” He schooled Nick on handling basic person-to-person interaction before transition to more advanced maneuvers, such as recognizing the inherent dangers in morning-after brunch. As he told Nick that his feelings would be his downfall, Winston admitted, “This is one of the weirder things we’ve done.”

Nick’s douchebag immersion course was interrupted when Jess barged into his room and declared, “I don’t want to live in a house of lies. I can’t do it anymore!” She began to air the roommates’ dirty laundry (see dotables). It backfired spectacularly when she learned all three roommates had thought of her while “self-completing.” In Schmidt’s case, “I thought about bangs, and your face just appeared beneath them.” In Winston’s, Jess had raccoon hands — and “oh man, they were digging through the garbage!” (His mischievous face after this phrase alone won him the night.) Nick had thought of her on more than one occasion, which surprised nobody. Back to Schmidt, who assured her it was “the sincerest form of flattery.” Jess fled to her room and shrieked loud enough to pierce the walls for several minutes. A fair response.

NEXT: Winston tells it like it is, or the song of Theodore K. Mullins

The next day, Jess had shrouded herself in ski gear to stave off her roommates’ impure thoughts, but it was clear she’d been plagued by her own impure thoughts as she told Cece, “Do not drink my almond milk when you spent the whole night drinking Schmidt!” Long story short, Jess’s wildest secrets (see dotables) were no match for Cece’s (giving “the same hand that was inside Elmo” a try, for example), and Cece felt judged. And, well… she was. Jess was all, “Schmidt?” Just then, our man walked out and kept it real: “Jess, please, a winter hat is not going to stop us from thinking of you from time to time when we delight ourselves.” Nick piled on, telling Jess her get-up was “actually kind of a fantasy” of his. That sounded eerily like a line from Misery, no?

But there was no thinking of Jess as Frances Sternhagen and Nick as Richard Farnsworth (though you will be later tonight!) because the sorority psycho came by to find the infinity scarf she had left behind. While she was tearing through the place, Nick’s latest trick emerged from his room… wearing the scarf. Dun, dun, dun! The girl fight was on, and I think Nick secretly kind of enjoyed it — at least until he got caught in the crossfire and started getting slapped about the ears and face. Their tension opened the floodgates between Cece and Jess. They also started fighting, and Schmidt was definitely enjoying that, saying disingenuously, “Ladies, let’s not do this… at least not with our shirts on.”

Who wasn’t enjoying the girly brawl? Winston. Somewhere between Cece admitting she had a motorcycle and spent New Year’s in St. Barths with an arms dealer and Jess bursting into tears over Cece going to see My Girl with “Jessica Freaking P.” (this was in 1991), the caterwauling woke Winston from his weekend repose. He summoned the spirit of Theodore K. Mullins, Nick’s lover on the down low, and delivered a righteous speech of hellfire and brimstone (or the hipster equivalent thereof). To type it out in full would simply strip it of its glory. Watch it as soon as you can (April 11 on and Hulu!). A few highlights: What started with “Finders keepers is not a thing” began picking up steam with “when the lights are off, we are all the same,” then concluded with a rapid-fire indictment/interrogation. To Nick: “You’re sweating so much it looks like rain.” To Schmidt: “You’re at the prime of your life, that’s actually pretty… [claps].” At Cece: “Get rid of the motorcycle!” And finally to Jess: “Don’t act like you haven’t thought about us, too, when you’re going solo. Okay? I don’t work 9-5 all day, I can hear you!” To them all: “Now go away. Because I am having cereal.”

Long story short, the girls turned up for their 10k. Jess is the worst runner ever (it took her 3 hours, 3 minutes, and 10 seconds to run six miles). Schmidt is a kind of adorable boyfriend (he made a “See Cece run” customized shirt and brought orange wedges and lime-infused water). Schmidt also tried to give Jess a good-natured pep talk, but she ended up punching him in the gut (which didn’t work to rev up his engines like it had with his BBW lovah). Only after learning that Cece thought Schmidt’s stupid personalized T-shirt was funny did Jess have an epiphany: Cece likes Schmidt!

At the same time, somehow Schmidt’s truncated d-bag lessons paid off — or perhaps were cut just short enough not to pay off. Some coed roommates, who were also running the 10k, realized they’d both hooked up with Nick. Shockingly, he handled it like a pro, telling one he’d had a family emergency and the other that he lied about hooking up with her roommate because “what [they] had was so beautiful and intense that for a second [he] thought [they] were the only two people on the planet.” Schmidt: “That was so good, my pants just got tight, Nick. Skin!” And Nick obliged.

Likewise, Jess obliged Cece’s embarrassing but undeniable feelings for Schmidt, calling them a cute couple just enough to force the question: Are they a couple, cute or otherwise? The answer, of course, is yes, but how long will it last before they go the way of Maddie Hayes and David Addison, of Sam Malone and Diane Chambers? That is, if Sam Malone and David Addison were able to rattle off a seemingly unlimited number of cheese-related sexual innuendos as foreplay.

NEXT: “A Jesus hawk on a speedboat”

Notable dotables:

Keaton can’t be beaten, an ode by Jessica Day

“Are you ready to run? I’ve got a playlist all ready… actually it’s Diane Keaton’s autobiography, and she just filmed First Wives Club, and it’s getting me PUMPED!

“I’m sorry, I can’t hear you. Diane Keaton’s talking about her rich life full of loyal friends!”

Why Cece is sleeping with Schmidt, by Winston

“Are you trying to get back at your parents?”

“Is it a pity thing?”

“Is he sick?”

“Are you working for the government?”

“Are you tired of being turned on?”

“Do you have a mole fetish?”

“Is it huge? I’m sorry, let me rephrase that: Is it huge?”

Jess: When did it start?

Schmidt: Three A-M, February 15th. Right. On. Schedule.

Cece: Two months ago.

Jess: Two months? Two moons have passed since you started doing it?

Winston: Why do you start talking like a Native American when you get angry?

Jess: Two moons have passed!

Nick: We have to face the reality of the situation. Schmidt has been having consensual sex with Cece — and lying about it. He’s better than us at this, Winston, and I hate it as much as you do! And Schmidt I hate saying this, but I might… I might respect you. You’ve come a long way.

Schmidt: Thank you for saying that. Since my 20s, I’ve had a string of lesser paramours, which, like weathered stone steps, have led me to the Hindu temple, a.k.a. Cece — because she’s Indian.

Schmidt: We want to focus on SSV — Short, Simple… [points to Nick]

Nick: Vagina…?

Schmidt: Vague. It’s actually vague.

Schmidt: Let’s practice. Pretend I’m one of these young girls that coming in here. I want to party. I’m in college, let’s do this. [Adopts girly voice] Hey, what happened to your phone?

Nick: Jesus took it. A Jesus hawk on a speedboat! The environment? Bears! Fairies! Magic! [Drops head] I need your help, Schmidt.

Jess: From now on, we are going to be open and honest in this loft, and that means that I have some secrets that I want to get off my chest. Schmidt, a couple months ago, I found Nick using your chenille throw as a napkin.

Schmidt: That is a microfiber blend from Pakistan, you heathen!

Nick: Stop quoting the catalog like a weirdo.

Jess: This is healthy. Air it out. All right, one more — Schmidt said that Winston is in danger of becoming a nanny for life. He said you were going “full Poppins.”

Jess’s deepest, quirkiest secrets

“That’s what second base means? Then I’m not a virgin anymore!”

“Is it weird that he wants me to talk in a deep voice and call myself Kevin?”

“I had a dream that I killed you.”

The boys’ thoughts on running

Nick: Why do all female runners look like old German women when they run?

Schmidt: Oh, Cece. That sports bra is doing God’s work right now!

What did you think, Newbies? Now that it’s out in the open that Cece likes Schmidt, are they doomed? Has that shark officially been jumped? Was this Winston’s best episode ever or what? And were you shocked by Nick’s sudden suavity? Just a few episodes left. What do you want to see in the final stretch?

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New Girl

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

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