New Girl recap: 'Naked'
After Jess saw Nick's bing-bong, Schmidt felt left out as the only roommate who hadn't seen Nick's nethers
Well, Newbies, we’re back after nearly a month of baseball and X Factor. Did you miss everyone’s favorite quirky huh-roine? Have you been counting down the minutes to the return of Jess? Did your life feel entirely too whimsical and unjudged without Nick’s side eyes? Did you find yourself saying and/or douche-y things just to contribute to your own Douchebag Jar? If so, I won’t carry on any longer. The Jess has been suppressed for long enough.
Most of the episode centered on Nick’s attempt to get back into the swing of things since achieving closure with Caroline. He set up his first date with a coworker named Amanda (Lake Bell). At least he thought he did. It was hard to tell because, “Sometimes she’s so ironic, that I think she’s being serious” — particularly in regard to the Steve Miller Band. While Nick easily rebuffed Schmidt’s sexy date suggestions (which all involved the dubious notion of “close-up magic”), Jess’s overreaction to Amanda’s hotness (and Schmidt’s advice to “suck in the gut”) psyched him out as he prepped for this ambiguous get-together. Now, while your average person mentally pregames a first date by Googling themselves, hitting the gym, or just, you know, taking a nap, Nick got pants-around-ankles nekkid to reggae music. It takes all kinds, folks.
Since Jess has no boundaries, it was only a matter of time before she walked in on Nick and expelled a banshee-like shriek-laugh before hightailing it out of his room. What would be the next logical step for most people? Deny, deny, deny! What was Jess’s response? Blab about Nick’s “bing-bong” to the roommates! In song! With funny accents! First, she played off the whole incident with a thugcent (“Ain’t no thang”), then decided maybe it would be less uncomfortable to discuss “The peen what I saw” in a British accent. At this point, Nick tried to quickly exit the house, only to be met by a French affectation: “Bonjour le peen!” As is generally the case with Jess, that which was meant to diffuse the awkwardness of course only amplified it by a million. No less so when she looked down at Nick’s underbits and said of his impending date, “The adventure begins!”
NEXT: I Gotta Feeling (Stick)
On the doomed date, even though Amanda was like a slutty Girl Scout — always prepared… to get it on — Nick’s confidence was shaken to the core. She got naked and offered herself to him, but Nick couldn’t bring himself to do anything more than entrap her in an immobilizing bear hug, mime taking his clothes off, and eventually settle for a sympathy cuddle. Like Austin Powers, he had lost his mojo. (Boom, 1997!) Then again, Amanda’s bizarre personality tics were a lot like Jess’s quirks if you think about it. Substitute irony for singing and tight dresses for hillbilly teeth, and they were basically the same person.
Back to Jess, who refused to take Schmidt’s advice and sweep everything under the rug. Instead, she adopted an aggressive two-prong attack. First, she brought home the Feeling Stick from her classroom. Because nothing empowers a man quite like being treated like a 7-year-old. As such, Nick snapped the Feeling Stick in half. Said Jess, “Believe it or not, that’s not the first time someone’s broken my Feeling Stick.” A.) I believe it. B.) That’s what he said! Nick fled, and Jess literally chased him down, cornering him — and an innocent bystander — in an elevator and sharing her Feeling Shtick. “I think it’s great you dance naked to Jamaican music. It’s really cool. You should explore your sexuality.” Crank up the awkward to 11!
All of this advice would have been legitimate — albeit wildly inappropriate — if Jess could even say the technical term for male genitalia out loud. When pressed (over several minutes of adorkableness), the closest she got was “pianist.” Of all the bits tonight, this seemed like the least believable. Jess was living with a guy at the start of the series. She has seen at least one pianist in her life. In that light, what did you think of Jess’s inability to talk frankly about “pee and bubbles”? A little over-the-top, no?
After the elevator fail, Jess moved to Plan B: Tit for tat. At the urging of her model friend, Jess went to Nick’s room, disrobed, and lay in wait. Of course this was the moment Nick finally regained his mojo and brought Amanda back to the apartment for some rebound sex. Color Jess trapped. Instead of hiding under his bed quietly for 15 minutes or so, Jess tried the old cartoon character crawl out of the room. Nick spotted her (only after once again pulling out his goods) and roared in horror. Jess klutzed her way right into a bookshelf on the way out, dropped her towel, and gave both Nick and Amanda the Full Jessie. And so, without meaning to, Jess bing-bong-blocked her roomie. Again.
NEXT: The unexpected intersection of The Human Centipede and “David After Dentist”
Amid all this, Schmidt learned that he was the only housemate who hadn’t seen Little Nicky. Of course he was jealous because, in Schmidt’s world, there is an infinitesimal (but incredibly realistic) chance that one day he might need to identify Nick solely by his scrotum. Schmidt happens, you guys! As such, Schmidt spent much of the episode lurking in bathroom stalls and showers in various failed sneak attacks on Nick’s nethers. When Nick yelled at him, “Best friends don’t do this!” Schmidt said matter-of-factly, “They do it all the time.” That’s just how Schmidt rolls. He’s willing to take a ball-it for his bros.
When he wasn’t lurking, Schmidt was running like a girl in short shorts. Which was awesome. It all began after Winston went to a job and realized how woefully out of touch he had become living in Latvia. (For example, he cited these professional skills: “I know Word. I can open a document. Save it. Save as. Print. Print preview.”) To buff up his cultural knowledge, Schmidt fed him a steady diet of The King’s Speech, The Human Centipede, Precious, and “David After Dentist.” And, hey, if you’ve only got four movies on a desert island, those are about as close to summing up the last few years as you’re going to get.
Winston quickly became overwhelmed and disheartened at his chances to re-assimilate, so Schmidt suggested they go out for a run. Only after seeing Schmidt’s panting and “exercise-induced crying” did Winston rally. He embraced a Zen-ternet philosophy: “You know what I learned from the Internet? We got nothin’ to worry about. Everybody has their moment. We might get get a cat one day. That cat might play the keyboard. A bear might fall on our trampoline. We don’t need to have it figured out right now. Our moments will come!”
In lieu of the usual end-of-ep gang huddle, this week’s New Girl moved toward its resolution with a Feeling Stick Nickervention. Predictably, the roomies’ decision to call Nick out on his emotional blockage — not to mention Winston’s suggestion that Nick show Schmidt his weenis — went over like a lead balloon, so Jess followed up with a one-on-one. She showed Nick that she not only learned how to knock but also how to say “penis.” In turn, Nick learned that he still has work to do before he’s ready to rebound… and also what Jess’s “gumbo pot” looked like.
NEXT: Shout out to Ralph Garcie and Fievel Mousekewitz
Tonight’s notable dote-ables:
Jess (on movie night): You know what we should watch? Have you guys ever seen Fame? It’s about a group of dreamers with talent to spare taking New York City by storm one dance number at a time… [Later] You know what else we should watch? An American Tail! It’s about a little Jewish mouse with a great big heart. Where are you guys going?
Schmidt: Do you know where you’re taking her?
Schmidt: Do you need a list of my sexiest date spots? It’s been a while for you. Need me to stretch you out?
Winston: What did I miss?
Schmidt: From the past two years?
Schmidt: Okay. Uh, country’s broke… Betty White’s back.
Winston: Cool! What about the rest of The Golden Girls?
Schmidt: They’re all dead, man.
Winston: It’s not a big deal. I’ve seen Nick’s stuff like a million times.
Schmidt: You have?
Winston: We grew up together. Locker rooms, swimming pools, penis fights… it just happens.
Schmidt: What happened after you walked in on him?
Jess: I don’t know, I kind of laughed?
Schmidt: Jess, you can’t laugh at a naked man — especially Nick. Nick is delicate… like a flower… a chubby, damaged flower who hates himself.
Jess: Maybe you don’t want to have meaningless sex. Maybe that’s not your style.
Nick: I have a bing-bong and chick-a-dees. It is my style.
Nick: Maybe you were right. Maybe I’m not ready for meaningless sex with beautiful women.
Jess: Well.. you know, maybe when you are, you’ll be ready to show her your other penis — your heart penis.
Nick: Get out of my room.
So, what did you think, Newbies? Was Jess & Co.’s return worth the wait? Have you missed the Douchebag jar desperately? (The answer is obviously YES!) Did you like Lake Bell as a love interest? Are you getting excited for Jess’s love arc with Justin Long? What were you favorite moments of this episode? What do you want to see next?
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Zooey Deschanel plays lovable Jess, who is plodding through life with a good group of friends.