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New Girl: Winston's Birthday

New Girl

In the afterglow of their coupling, Nick quietly adores Jess as she sleeps, running a finger across her back, then kissing her shoulder … then reality hits in as he runs his fingers across her neck, checking her pulse to make sure she’s still alive – LOL.

They are still basking in the bliss of their lovemaking, and all things seem to be going well. Nick even has Jess stay in bed while he attempts to make her breakfast – undercooked eggs that almost guarantee a lengthy stay on the toilet, a ripped open grapefruit (because Nick, who works at a bar and has to cut fruit all day long for garnishes can’t slice a grapefruit), and pie (because who doesn’t love pie!?).

But just as he’s about to bring her breakfast in bed, he’s greeted by Jess’ dad (Yay! Rob Reiner is back!).

Bob Day is in town for Cece’s wedding and shows up unexpectedly to the loft because he’s decided to bunk down with them during his stay. When Bob notices Nick with his breakfast tray of “lady food,” Nick pretends it’s for Winston, for his birthday, only after Winston announces it’s his birthday. Winston actually knows Nick is lying but he’s not about to give up free food, so Jess inadvertently dodges the diarrhea bullet while Winston takes one for the team.

It’s also the day before Cece’s wedding, and there’s lots to do. Unfortunately, with dad to entertain, Jess has her hands full. On top of that, Jess has the opportunity to be a teacher again but has to go to the school right away for an interview. So off Jess goes to the school as Nick is left to amuse Bob while she’s gone.

Cece is freaking out because the wedding’s a day away and all her and Shivrang’s relatives are in town and she still has to pick up her wedding sari, get her hands tattooed with henna, etc. etc. Jess is trying to calm Cece down as she drives to the school, headphones in her ears. Does she not know it’s illegal in California to wear headphones while driving? Did no one in production, standards and practices, or Fox legal catch this? This bothered me as soon as I saw it because it seemed so out of character for her to be blatantly breaking the law.

Plus, I hate seeing people driving with their headphones on in real life! It is illegal in many states, including California, where the show is set, though had she only had one earbud in, it would have legally been okay.

What she thought would be a quick interview turns into an all day subbing gig which Jess simply doesn’t have time for. Plus, all the kids are unruly and totally not listening to her. Jess bides her time until the lunch bell rings and finds a way to take off for her hour lunch to head over to Cece’s.

Jess tasks Winston to run some of Cece’s errands, and he thinks it’s a ploy to get him to Cece’s for a surprise party. He shows up at Cece’s — wearing some pleather outfit akin to Michael Jackson’s Thriller ensemble — looking for the party. Cece comes out of her bedroom after taking a nap to find she slept on her hands that were recently hennaed,  and now her face has the markings of the henna tattoo!

Nick and Bob are having a drink on the rooftop. He tries throwing Bob off by describing the woman he is currently interested in – a woman who is the opposite of Jess in every way and is named Yolanda Winston, the name he gave to Schmidt and Winston as his current fling in “First Date.”

Later, they are making sandwiches (apparently, the correct way to build a sandwich is “lettuce, tomato, lettuce, meat, meat, meat, meat, meat, meat, meat, cheese, lettuce”) when Nick decides to ask Bob for some romance advice. He thinks all is good so Nick reveals to Bob that Yolanda is really Jess, and Bob blows a gasket.

New Girl

Meanwhile, Jess shows up at Cece’s (I’m curious as to where Winston has run off to at this point) and in trying to remove the henna tattoo off her face, she only makes it worse, now giving Cece a five o’clock shadow that won’t come off.

Of course, any woman who has botched up their legs and other body parts with self-tanner knows that the quickest way to remove any kind of similar stain is with hydrogen peroxide – you’re welcome, world. Of course, knowing this cure would have made for a rather boring plotline, so Cece and Jess are none the wiser.

Jess then returns to the loft where she finds out that Nick told her dad about them.  Bob doesn’t want Jess to date Nick because he sees a lot of himself in Nick at that age – lost, without purpose. This is a total downer to Nick and he retreats to his room.

Now, all of the above apparently took place in the space of an hour (including drive time in Los Angeles traffic) as Jess returns to the classroom. Frustrated by the events of the day, she raises her voice to the unruly students. They pipe down and get in line quickly after that.

Shivrang shows up at Cece’s, and the two look like Don Johnson-“Miami Vice” era twins with their five o’clock shadows. He says he’ll make a call to fix the problem, which presumably means he’s calling the local pharmacy that delivers to send over the hydrogen peroxide I mentioned earlier.

New Girl

Basking in their own afterglow, Schmidt asks Elizabeth to critique his moves now that he is no longer Fat Schmidt, but it turns out Elizabeth liked him just fine back in the day when he was 200 pounds heavier. Flashback to the two in college dancing like they just don’t care, doing the “Running Man” and other ridiculous dances from the late 90s.

He asks her to meet him for lunch, but when she shows up wearing the same shirt she had in college, snobby Schmidt rears his ugly head and he tries to pretend he doesn’t know her.  This pisses Elizabeth off (and rightly so). She says what she thinks about this new version of Schmidt and dumps him to take another date.

Elizabeth is on her date with the most uninteresting man in the world when Schmidt shows up, wearing a dorky sweater Elizabeth got for her when they were dating a decade ago. (How did he know where she’d be on her date?) There is a bit of an “awww, that’s cute” factor when you realize he’s kept her gift after all these years, showing that Schmidt has a sentimental side to him.

He doesn’t care who knows they are seeing each other and cues the band to play as he asks her to dance. Cue Schmidt-icism: “Hey Gepetto. Make with the Oom-pah-pah.”  You think they are going to dance a waltz at first, but they both break out into the “Running Man” and all is right with the world.

Bob decides to sleep on a blow-up bed in the hallway between Jess and Nick so no shenanigans can occur, but the man with the old Kodak Instamatic 110 film camera with flashcubes is clearly unaware of technology (though Jess has sent him naked pics of her mom as noted in this season’s “Thanksgiving” episode) as Nick texts Jess to meet him on the roof.

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Up on the roof, Nick has laid out a charming and romantic setting, including the breakfast he was trying to her make her this morning. Before they can do anything, Schmidt and Elizabeth show up also, looking to use his telescope to “match up constellations to the mole patterns on his back.” Jess calls dibs but then Winston shows up thinking they are gathering for his birthday and that they haven’t forgotten (but they all have). Romantic moments aside, they all finally celebrate Winston’s birthday.

I don’t know whether to root for Schmidt and Cece or Schmidt and Elizabeth. I think he’s great with either one. I like the quirky, sardonic Schmidt when he’s with Cece, but I also like the cuddly, cute and humble Schmidt when he’s with Elizabeth. But never fear, both still have their timeless Schmidt-icisms.

This week’s Schmidt-icism has got to be his “perfectly sculpted pubic topiary.” I laughed and was grossed out at the same time. I do have a problem with the way Max Greenfield says “roof”. I noticed this once before and cringed. He says “roof” as “ruf” – like the sound a dog makes when he barks. This bothers me to no end as the word has two Os in it and should not be pronounced truncated like that, but that’s just me.

What did you think of this episode of “New Girl”? Do you drive with headphones on? 

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