Title Quick Hardening Caulk
Two Sentence Summary Nick’s newfound sense of responsibility makes Jess more attracted to him than ever, leading to a pain-pills-induced confession of lust after a trip to the hardware store goes awry. Meanwhile, in the aftermath of Cece’s engagement, Schmidt becomes obsessed with acquiring a rare tropical fish, and Winston helps him on his quest.
Favorite Line “I know this is a dumb question—but will a number two help?” (Winston to Schmidt, after he’s unable to pee on Schmidt’s jellyfish-stung face)
Episode M.V.P. This was an incredibly hard choice this week. Every member of the cast turned in solid performances, and every character had their chance (or chances) to shine. Schmidt’s storyline was full of laugh-out-loud moments (his temper tantrum at the aquarium and his reaction to getting stung—“IT BURNS!”—were two of my favorites), but, once again, Max Greenfield was able to ground the moments of broad comedy with a feeling that Schmidt’s antics were coming from a place of really genuine (and therefore really heartbreaking) pain. Schmidt’s fish quest also showcased the friendship between him and Winston in a way we haven’t seen before. Winston’s scene with Cece was a standout moment for me because it felt so real, and that’s a credit to the poignantly direct writing and honest performances.
Zooey Deschanel perfectly played Jess’s growing attraction to Nick spilling over into unbearable sexual frustration (I was especially fond of her bolting from the room when Nick complimented her dress and her yelling at him to leave when he started to talk about wanting to iron his shirts). From her medication-induced Judy Garland impression to her priceless reading of Nick’s hardware store shopping list, Deschanel’s performance was a true highlight.
However, this episode belonged to Nick. In order for this episode to work, Nick Miller had to be more attractive than ever, and that was accomplished on so many levels. Jake Johnson is on fire this season, and his balance of adorable enthusiasm for self-improvement, genuine confusion over how to handle Jess’s high-as-a-kite proposition, and raw desire finally set free was nothing short of perfect. Nick may be a terminal adolescent in a lot of ways, but there’s no question that he’s a man when it comes to his relationship with Jess. The way Nick refused to do anything with Jess while she was on her pain meds was both surprising and not surprising at all. Like their first kiss, Nick wants their relationship—every bit of it—to be real. You could almost see an echo of his “Not like this” confession on his face as Jess told him she wanted to sleep with him. That facial expression was beautifully contrasted with the hope and happiness on his face when Jess finally tells him that she wants him for real. Johnson is so good at using his facial expressions to both make the audience laugh and make us forget how to breathe. That last scene, with him running the gamut from longing to passion (I might just be a little obsessed with the vein in his neck popping out as they’re kissing and fighting) to comedy, was some of his best work in a season that has mentions of Emmy nominations being thrown his way (as they should be).
Also, the man is just really attractive…I dare anyone to disagree after watching this episode.
Favorite Moment The final scene between Nick and Jess demonstrated what New Girl does better than any show on TV: mixing the broadly comedic with the genuinely emotional. Everything about that scene felt true to the characters and their relationship as we’ve seen it develop. There was something so deliciously exciting about watching the two of them playfully argue about Jess being a gold-digger as she stepped closer to Nick, and I actually held my breath when Nick told her to prove that she wasn’t. (Like I said, I’m finding Jake Johnson incredibly attractive right now.) And I loved that what followed was like a powder keg of sexual tension exploding. It was messy, it was full of arguing over random annoyances (Nick’s anger over Jess’s shorts was my favorite), and it was the only way a scene like that between Nick and Jess should be at this point. New Girl is special because it manages to find moments of realism amid comedy, and that’s exactly what happened in this scene. The comedy that was there was perfect, and the realism was…Well there’s no other word to describe it except HOT. I can’t be the only girl who finally understood what it means to swoon when Nick told Jess to take off her damn clothes (His voice!) and when he kissed her “like a man” (Now that is a “damn fairytale” kiss, Nick Miller.) I don’t know how this show has been able to hit every beat between Nick and Jess in a way that is both creative and simply right for the show and the characters. But they’re doing it. And I can’t wait to see where it leads.
A New Girl GIF* For My New Girl Feelings
I agree, Jess. Everything about this episode worked: the jokes, the friendships, the tension, and the payoff. But the thing that worked most of all is Jake Johnson. Who would have thought that Nick Miller would be known as the best kisser and one of the most swoon-worthy characters on TV back when this show started? Things have certainly changed…and it’s definitely a change for the better.
*I have no talent for GIF-making. Thankfully, I am highly skilled at searching Tumblr for the best GIFs. I take no credit for this beauty.