Jess faces an old flame, and Schmidt quarantines the loftees when they get sick
Credit: Patrick McElhenney/Fox
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This week’s New Girl brought back an old face, Jess’ ex-boyfriend Sam (guest star David Walton), and his return brought back tension between him and Nick.

The reason behind his return? Jess goes on a trial run at a new school and the principal there, Genevieve (guest star Lucy Punch), is dating Jess’ old beau. Needless to say, major awkwardness ensues. As for the others, Schmidt locks loftees away one by one when they start coming down with a cold.

Here are the top five “loft”-iest moments from “Sam, Again.”

Jess’ new, progressive school. Jess recently quit her job after some unfortunate experiences with bad boss Becky Cavatappi (guest star Elizabeth Berkley), but things are looking up when another school brings her in for a trial run. “It’s the most progressive school in Los Angeles,” Jess says. “It’s basically heaven, if heaven were populated by kids who look like tiny members of Arcade Fire.” The non-denominational Eden is a highlight of the school’s modern ways, as well as the feelings farm, an exercise where children direct their feelings toward an empty chair. (Note: The feelings farm comes back at the end of the episode when Jess uses it to address the animosity between Nick and Sam, and she pulls it off so well that she gets hired.)

Schmidt’s fear of getting sick. When Nick comes down with a cold, Schmidt immediately puts him in quarantine, stuffing him away in his room and plastic wrapping the door frame (see photo above). He soon moves Cece and Winston in there too upon hearing them sneeze, all because he cannot afford to get sick because of a big presentation coming up at work. We’ve all been there (because who wants to get sick?), but Schmidt is completely ruthless, leading Winston — who was perfectly healthy, but pretended to be sick because he was afraid to go on a date — to sneak out for his coffee rendezvous. In retrospect, perhaps Schmidt had good reason because he got sick too after Winston — who was taken ill after being locked away with Nick and Cece — sneezed on Schmidt’s tablet.

And his boss’ reaction to employees getting sick. It’s not just Schmidt’s very intense fear of getting sick that gets the laughs. “The women I work with hate weakness,” Schmidt says. “You show up sick, you might as well be dead.” As an example, there’s a cut to Schmidt and his colleagues in an elevator. One of them sneezes and apologizes, but Schmidt’s boss takes the woman’s binder, hands it to Schmidt, and tells the woman very sternly to get out. When Schmidt does finally get sick, it shows at the worst possible time… as he’s giving his presentation. He tries to hold in a sneeze, and succeeds. “God, where did it even go,” his boss asks, but he can’t hold it for long and lets out a crazy, wild few sneezes shortly after. “Son of a b—-,” the boss responds.

Winston’s first-date cool. In an attempt to move on from Aly, Winston sets up a date but soon goes into panic mode. Unkind words from Schmidt about his outfit choices don’t help… “I don’t want to overthink it,” Winston says of what to wear. “It’s just coffee,” to which Schmidt responds, “so you’re going to just dress like you did today, which apparently happened during a solar eclipse in a land of no mirrors.” What it comes down to it he’s still hung up on Aly so, as aforementioned, he pretends to be sick, but with some encouraging words from Cece and some super cool sunglasses, he musters up the courage to put himself out there. Best of all, he completely kills it on the date. He’s witty, and the chemistry is on fire.

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The fever-friendly puppet show. Another factor that motivated Winston to go on the date was a magical puppet show that Nick and Cece had taken to in their feverish state. “It’s either a puppet show for kids or North Korean propaganda,” Nick describes to Cece earlier on. Feeling completely fine, Winston couldn’t stand to be around the program. “All these puppets do is sing about how they’re friends,” he complains. “I’m starting to not believe them.” He does, however, come around. “I can’t believe it just took a high fever for me to like this show.”

Honorable Mentions:

  • “To be clear, the date’s hot, not the coffee. I’m thinking about going iced,” Winston clarifies of his “hot coffee date.”
  • “I hope you’re sitting down for this” as the tentative title of Schmidt’s presentation for a chair company.
  • Schmidt’s misunderstanding confusion about the movie, Fury.
  • Genevieve and Sam’s openness about their sexual attraction to one another.
  • Nick vs. Sam part 2.
  • Nick very sweetly reminiscing about his relationship with Jess.
  • Sam crushing brownies with his hands because he’s upset about Jess’ continued, unpleasant involvement in his life. Though crushed, Jess believes Nick will eat the brownies.

Episode Recaps

New Girl

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

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