Schmidt brings his frat experience to a baby shower, Nick resists getting a haircut, and Jess takes seduction cues from old-time newsmen and lumberjacks. What could go wrong?

By Lanford Beard
Updated December 07, 2011 at 05:30 AM EST
Credit: Ray Mickshaw/Fox
S1 E8

As much as I do enjoy me a good hand bell performance, there was something missing from last week’s episode, no? And it wasn’t just Paul Gunslinger, who made an unforgettable second appearance this week. (Remember that Jimmy Stewart-tinged sex scene we told you about last month? Oh, it was on tonight, my friends.) But it was more than just Long’s return that got things cooking tonight.

After a Winston-heavy week (which I’m not complaining about, mind you), the show’s ensemble balance was restored. There was a delightful mix of broad comedy and inspired character-based humor. Tonight was definitely one of the best episodes of the season, which I feel like I say almost every week — but that’s kind of the charm of the show, no? It may have gotten off to a slow start (though I know many of you would fiercely disagree with me on that point), but once it hit its stride, the bar has gotten successively higher and higher. Okay, enough praise-heaping. Let’s get it on…

The night’s wheels were set in motion when Jess and Paul had an exceedingly awkward first time (we’re talking Carrie and Berger-level awkward), or at least an exceedingly awkward attempt at their first time. While most people would probably blame Jess for scatting and cheering about “Intercooooourse” right before the deed, Jess pawned it off to the fact she hasn’t had sex with anyone but Spencer for six years (“It’s like starting a new job with a really weird interview”). Nonetheless, she was committed to rocking Paul’s world, telling the guys, “I am gonna tap him like a maple tree. I’m going be searching for some syrups…” and, in case they didn’t grasp the metaphor, “I’m going to have sex with him.” But as you can imagine, it’s not easy to get your freak on if you’re the kind of person who refers to male genitalia as a “pianist” (and don’t even get me started on the “gumbo pot” euphemism).

NEXT: Jess asks the guys for a birds and bees talk

In preparation for her big night, Jess went shopping for underlovelies with CeCe. It quickly became clear this was a bridge to nowhere when she used a pair of panties as a bonnet to imitate Elizabeth Bennet in Pride & Prejudice and when CeCe recollected teenage Jess listening to NPR Lewinskygate coverage for sex info. Nonetheless, Jess managed to leave the store with a bit of Kiss of the Spider Woman‘s mise en scene repurposed as lingerie by way of Cher’s 1986 Oscars ensemble. It was improbably called the Starfish, prompting Jess to yo ho ho, “I hope Paul is packing some coral polyps ’cause this starfish is hoooongry.”

Upon returning home, Jess stumbled upon the “red folder” on Schmidt’s laptop and spent much of the afternoon falling down the rabbit hole, pornographically speaking (to a soundtrack of chainsaws and horse whinnies… ohhhhh, Schmidt!). Her main take-away? “That young lady can really multi-task.” Seeing what’s out there these days, Jess became concerned that Paul would expect her to be able to… ummm… multi-task. Since her repertoire had included precisely four moves since George W. Bush was president — including a 1980s hair metal video girl head swoosh and what appeared to be a seal clap — she turned to the guys for a crash tutorial. They gave her a calamity of mixed messages. Whereas Schmidt (he who uses body gelato) preferred a more romantic approach, Nick was straightforward (“take off your clothes”).

The lesson inevitably devolved into an indictment of Nick’s sexual skill, stemming from the revelation that he barely got his pants off his first time and Schmidt’s accusation that Nick having sex with Caroline sounded like “a rescue crew trying to communicate with a stranded miner.” With seconds to go before Paul arrived, Jess did ascertain that flicking is not okay and was advised to explore role play. Unfortunately for Paul, her only voice was “old-timey newscaster: ‘Hey there, son, I’m gonna kick ya into next Tuesday, seeeee?'” Then Paul arrived, and Jess went into her room to put on the Starfish (over her decidedly unsexy stripe-y underwear, of course) and hop around like a bunny… because that’s sexy?

NEXT: Paul Bunyan in a porno?

By the time Jess and Paul actually started rounding the bases, she had all sorts of obscene things flitting around in her adorable little head. What started off with a dirty talk (“Hello, weather service? There’s a heat wave from Portsmouth to Port Kansas!”) carried on as she flipped Paul over to slap his “caboose” while he riffed in Jimmy Stewart-speak. Somewhere along the way, her old time radio voice morphed into Mae West by way of a stuffy-nosed old school marm (“Young man! The things I’m gonna do to you! Don’t take all day! I’m not getting any younger!”). This only flustered Paul — still in Stewart voice — who bumbled, “I understand, ma’am, but you’re wearing chainmail… It’s like an erotic rope course!” Then things got lumberjack-y (“I’m gonna split you like a log!”). Make. It. Stop. (But also, I could probably watch this forever…)

For a second, they kissed normally, and you thought — hoped! — the sextastrophe would normalize. Alas, Jess introduced a light choking into the mix, triggering Paul’s fight-or-flight response. After spending the night alone, Jess was understandably disheartened. Winston gave her a pep talk, telling her to stop overthinking and be herself (Express the Jess!). Paul returned and admitted all Jess’s (presumed) experience and kink intimidated him. He vowed to try anything she wanted — except fire, handcuffs, felt, polyurethane, or bugs — for the pleasure (and pain!) of her company. By setting their boundaries, the two dorks dispensed of their mutual nerves and finally they got frisky — in the building elevator of all places. Best part? Paul had to unclip Jess’s overalls to get her naked. Still less complicated than Starfish.

NEXT: Schmidt storms a baby shower

Meanwhile, Nick resisted getting a haircut because it was “too intimate” (“You’re trapped. They’re standing behind you with their hands in your hair, and they expect you to talk back!”). And he wondered why people were loath to take his sexual advice… or any advice from him at all. He made it through about half of a YouTube tutorial on cutting one’s own hair before realizing the guy in the video was doomed to slice his head open and violently spurt brain blood all over the wall (“I was wondering why it had so many views”). Ultimately, Winston convinced him to go to his barber shop, resulting in Nick rocking a Vanilla Ice circa 1990 fade.

Elsewhere, Schmidt tried to compete with his ball-busting coworker-slash-female equivalent Beth (Eva Amurri) for a promotion by wangling his way into the baby shower of his boss Gina (SNL alum Michaela Watkins). The gift that would keep on giving? A portable breast pump (“You’re out there in every day life… just milkin’ away” — there were hand motions for this, by the way). It goes without saying that Schmidt and baby showers weren’t exactly a perfect fit. To wit, his toast referenced the baby’s “journey… through Gina and out into the light.” Yikes.

When Beth tried to steal his thunder, Schmidt harkened back to his college days (he was in two frats, natch) and turned the celebration of life into a Rihanna-backed rager: “We’re all gettin’ drunk, tonight! Except for you, Gina. Horribly irresponsible!” (Seeing Schmidt being showered with candy from a giant-sized baby bottle was worth the price of admission alone.) As with any frat party, someone had to get knocked into the pool. And it was Gina… by Schmidt. You’d think that would be a fatal blow to his professional standing, but you’d be wrong. Gina was having the time of her life! Schmidt happens, y’all. (And, since one of his coworkers took a bleary-eyed walk of shame through the apartment the next morning, it’s safe to guess that he added another item to the hook-up lost and found.)

NEXT: Lots of really, really bad sex advice

Notable dotables:

Jess [in the mirror to herself]: Hey, tiger! You’re having sex tonight. [Looks nervous.] Don’t give me that look, just do it! [High fives mirror.]

Jess: You know what? Tomorrow night — let’s just go out to dinner and then just nail each other. Just pound each other. [Points at him, then herself] V-bomb on the P-bomb! Pow!

Paul: I would have the P-bomb, right?

Nick: I’m not going to a black barber shop, Winston. I’ve seen the movies. I know how fast they talk. I don’t need to seem any less cool than I already do.

Schmidt: Want to go to my salon?

Schmidt: I gotta cram for this baby shower. Can I have my computer back?

Jess: I’ve been watching porn. I found your red folder.

Schmidt: How long you been doing that for? Are you okay?

Jess: Five… and a half hours? [Flash forward as Winston and Nick join Jess and Schmidt around the computer — from which we hear the sound of winnying]

Winston: Wow. You went deep, Jess. Real deep.

Jess: I’m freaking out, okay? I need all of you to sit in front of me and tell me what guys like in bed. Right now.

Winston: What do you want to know?

Jess: Okay, when you’re… if you’re in the… if you’re holding the… start over! Um… when you reach… completion?

Schmidt: Yeah, that was bad.

Nick [steps away for a minute]: I can’t do this, Jess!

Schmidt: Guys want to be whisked away. They want to be enchanted.

Nick: Just take your clothes off, Jess.

Jess: Do you think Paul would be into something like that [shows a porn scene]?

Schmidt: A little light choking? I’m willing to bet Paul is into some pretty dark stuff.

Jess: Light choking, really?

Nick: No one’s doing that.

Schmidt: You know what, Nick? Maybe you’re hooking up with the wrong kind of girl.

Nick: Apparently I’m hooking up with the right girls, Schmidt, because they don’t choke me.

Schmidt: Nick is meat-and-potatoes kind of guy. Winston and I…

Winston: Don’t want to be a part of this!

Schmidt: …we’re sushi.

Schmidt: Hey, ladies. What are you guys talking about?

Gina: Afterbirth.

Schmidt: Afterbirth. That’s, like, the party you guys have after you have the baby?

Gina: Sort of.

Schmidt: I’d like to be invited to that. You know what they say — “An afterbirth ain’t an afterbirth without some Schmidt up in there!”

Barber shop guy [to Nick]: Boy, your hair looks like a high-rise! Where’s the penthouse at?

Nick: Hey, old man, what’d did you steal those pants off of Danny Glover’s grandfather?

Barber shop guy: I am Danny Glover’s grandfather.

Nick [anxious pause, mumbles]: I’m a big fan of his work, he’s great in the Lethal Weapons…

Barber shop guy: No I’m not!

So what did you think, Newbies? Was this the funniest episode yet? Did you miss Nick at all when Jess and Paul were having the most awkwardly hilarious foreplay ever? Is there some seriously hot hate sex in store for Schmidt and Beth? Do you hope they extend Justin Long’s contract? What was your favorite bit or line of the night?

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