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New Girl: First Date

New Girl Recap: First Date – Season 2 Episode 21

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New Girl: First Date

Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson in New Girl: First Date

I’m not sure what to make of this week’s episode of “New Girl,” other than it leaves me wanting more, which, I guess, is the intention. In this highly anticipated episode, Jess and Nick go out on their first date, but as usual, everything doesn’t go as planned.

The ep opens up with the fact that the four roommates share one cell phone charger, which is placed in a neutral zone where everyone can access it. When Winston tries to snag it for himself, the others immediately take him down. What’s amusing is that the charger doesn’t even fit Nick’s phone, and Jess apparently has six more in her room.

After Schmidt chases Winston out of the living room, leaving Nick and Jess alone (seemingly for the first time since the tank-breaking makeout scene), they both try to figure out what is going on between them. Are they friends? Will they be lovers? Well, we know they’re roommates, that’s for sure. Nick puts his hand on Jess’ chest, trying to defuse an awkward moment but making it even more awkward.

Jess discusses the situation with Cece, while Nick finds himself in the park with Tran (the quiet water massage guy from the “Menzies” episode) who answers all of Nick’s questions without saying a word. Nick determines in his one-sided conversation that he needs to take the bull by the horns and ask Jess out. He tries out his move on Tran, and it’s quite elegant and endearing in its elocution. “Jessica, you’re a beautiful woman, and my life has not be the same since I met you. And it would mean the world to me if you would go out on a date with me.” Awww. Tell me you would just melt at that.

Of course, practicing and execution are two very different things.  Nick is flustered when he knocks on Jess’ door and is greeting by a towel-clad Jess just out of the shower. Instead of that simple elegant delivery we saw earlier with Tran, Nick comes off instead sounding more like the Geico caveman with his monosyllabic words. “If so… Food?” Jess agrees, thinking they are just going to get a bite to eat later, with no thought that Nick just asked her out.

Nick heads over to Schmidt’s room to ask him to help dress him properly for a date, which, of course, Schmidt jumps at the chance to do. “You’re asking me if I’ll help you pick out clothing so you can seduce a woman? It’s all I’ve been wanting for the past ten years, Nick!”

After getting some “basic grooming” from Winston paired with his suit and tie “Dressed by Schmidt” ensemble, Nick becomes, well, “smokin’ hot,” as Jess tells him he would in the “Cooler” episode.  I gotta say, Jake Johnson does clean up nicely.

Not knowing he’s going out on a date with Jess, Winston offers up his car, the “Faux Ska-pay,” which is his way of making the Ford Escape sound cool. Once Schmidt and Winston (Schmidston?) deduce Nick’s date is Jess (Winston’s ideas compared to reality are quite amusing), the duo immediately start planning ways to sabotage the date.

Nick meets Jess at the restaurant, scores some Doris Day parking — that primo parking space right in front of or ridiculously close to the desired building our main character wishes to go into on the busiest day of the year at the busiest time — across from the restaurant, while everyone else stupidly valets their car.

Jess is standing at a hot dog stand nearby, thinking that is where they’re going to eat, but Nick has made reservations at a restaurant called Beso (Spanish for “Kiss” – how cute!). Jess is wondering why Nick is all dressed up (interview? loan application?). She, on the other hand, is wearing a baseball t-shirt and jeans, the most dressed down her character has ever been. Her PJs are in better style than the outfit she has on for their date/non-date. Nick gets a $340 jaywalking ticket trying to cross the street to the restaurant.

At the restaurant, they bump into Jess’ former flame, millionaire Russell, who has never figured out what went on/is going on between Nick and Jess. Of course, Nick and Jess can’t figure out what is going on either, and so the two decide they aren’t on a date but two friends getting a drink. This requires Nick to go casual and dress down, so he takes off his jacket and tie and changes into sneakers. He gets another jaywalking ticket from the same cop!

Let me tell you, nothing is hotter to this writer than a guy in a crisp white button-down shirt with a few buttons undone at the top. That’s hotter than a suit and tie. Where’s my fan? Oh my.

The two grab a drink at the bar at Beso and banter like two old buddies, but their conversation is anything but, as they talk about what it is about the other that turns them on. For Nick, it’s Jess’ helplessness with opening jars (maybe my lack of helplessness is why I can’t get a date – okay, maybe not the only reason). For Jess, it’s Nick gargling with beer!

The two decide they’re hungry, which means they need to get food, which means – date? Back to the car for another superhero costume change as Nick dons his jacket and tie and dress shoes. Back to the restaurant where they kick Russell and his date out of their table so they can go on their date, but a comment Russell makes has the two chasing after him to ask what it is he meant.

Russell says he’s not sure. Hell, he’s pretty sure they’re not sure what they are to each other, as they’ve been on three dates already tonight. He asks Nick and Jess to write down separately what they think they are to each other. Whatever the answer, Russell doesn’t say and leaves with his date. It makes you wonder, did they write too polarizingly opposite things, or did they write the same thing?

Neither will reveal to the other what they wrote, and Jess determines they should follow “middle school dance rules” and no “body hugs.” Nick agrees but then proceeds to put his hand on her chest again. He admits he can’t stop thinking about them, and that they have a great squish to them.

In their attempt to sabotage Nick and Jess, Schmidt and Winston draw on their own date-gone-wrong experiences.  Winston recalls when a fat, shirtless singing homeless person interrupted a dinner date. Next thing you know Schmidt and Winston try to hire Outside Dave (the same guy who was sprawled atop Jess’ car in the “Parking Spot” episode) and hilarity ensues when OD locks himself in the loft bathroom and starts using Schmidt’s hair care products from his “pomade caddy.” Neither can call for help, as their cell phones have died and the sole charger is in the most neutral room of all – the bathroom – which OD has now locked himself into.

Schmidt tries to enter from the skylight above, only to be caught by Outside Dave as he screams like a little girl. It’s always hysterical when any one of the male roomies screams like a five-year-old girl. Winston busts into the bathroom to save the day with a sandwich in hand to find OD trying to shave Schmidt’s leg.

Episode ends with Nick and Jess back at the loft. Jess comes out to get a snack and finds Nick grabbing a bite and drinking a beer, since neither ever actually had dinner. After they just agreed to follow “middle school dance rules,” Jess tries to open a jar of salsa to no avail, her helplessness piquing Nick’s desire for her.

She notices and turns her back to him as she tries to open the jar. Just as I think Nick is going to wrap his arms around her and help her open the jar, he doesn’t and just takes the jar from Jess to open it. He takes a swig of beer and she murmurs, “Don’t,” as he gargles it, turning her on. They both retreat to their bedrooms with no goodnight kiss, neither sure if the middle school dance rule is going to last long.

Mind you, I was watching a preview version of this episode, but I did see some continuity problems that may have been fixed by the time the final version goes to air. In the park with Tran, Nick and Tran sit on a park bench with nothing in their hands as Nick talks. Cut to the next shot and they are both holding pretzels in their hands. Did a time-traveling Doctor Who-like pretzel vendor stop by between cuts?

Another is when Winston breaks into the bathroom. He didn’t have a sandwich prior to him breaking the door down, but when he does, he has a sandwich in hand. Same time-traveling foodie who gave Nick and Tran the pretzels?

OD, his hands covered with shaving cream and presumably some of Schmidt’s leg hair in one cut, grabs the sandwich from Winston with a clean hand in the next cut.

I’m wondering how many takes it took for Lamorne Morris to film the singing homeless guy scene without breaking into hysterics. The awkwardly long scene is hysterical as it continues.

Don’t you love the Schmidt-icisms? “Pomade caddy”, “sexual Narnia”, “Street youths” … I mean, the douchebag jar is there for a reason. What’s your favorite Schmidt-icism? “Lap dance pants”? “Driving moccasins”?

My personal favorite: “I’m like a sexual snowflake. Each night with me is a unique experience.”

I do have to say I never understood the exorbitant price of a jaywalking ticket. If the person is walking, it usually means he can’t afford a car because s/he can’t afford a car payment. So how can they afford to pay a jaywalking tickets which can run into the hundreds?

Give yourself a slap on the back if you made it to the end of this recap! What did you think of the episode? Does anybody read these posts? I’ll give you a gold star if you post a comment!

K. L. Connie Wang is a member of the Television Critics Association. She has been published in The Orlando Sentinel, Campus Circle and Latina Bride magazine as well as on such web sites as Parade Magazine, TV Fodder, and The Travel Channel.

An avid reader, Connie is a huge fan of monthly serial romance novels and Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire series.

Other interests include shopping (especially when it comes to finding the best bargain!), food (eating, cooking, watching food shows, and eating again), books, online gaming, and traveling when her income affords it.

Follow Connie on Twitter at @BeTheBuddha.

K.L. Connie Wang has written posts on Reel Life With Jane.


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12 comments

  1. This episode isn’t what I expected, wasn’t that good actually but It’s ok. We have a few priceless moments.

  2. I honestly don’t understand what people see in this show. I find it incredibly annoying. To me, it feels like the writer’s are trying too hard to make everything quirky-no doubt for an audience of incredibly UNquirky people. If you want quirky done well, watch The Big Bang Theory.
    Melanie recently posted…Wahls Paleo Breakfast SmoothieMy Profile

  3. I read your post but I don’t watch the show! Do I still get a gold star?!
    Jennifer Margulis recently posted…Our Little Boy’s Birth Story by Marisa SoboleskiMy Profile

  4. MyKidsEatSquid

    I need a gold star too! I don’t watch this show either (I’m solely a Netflix watcher), but I gotta say I think Big Bang Theory does quirky well.
    MyKidsEatSquid recently posted…Fancify Friday: egg roll bowlsMy Profile

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