I apologize for being so late to post this review; I’ve been battling a wicked case of laryngitis, so my body decided to recharge (aka fall asleep) before I had time to finish writing this yesterday.
Title Double Date
Two-Sentence Summary Nick and Jess’s plan for a double date with Cece and Schmidt goes horribly awry when Schmidt’s relationships with both Cece and Elizabeth are revealed. After losing both women, Schmidt then vows to destroy Nick and Jess’s relationship.
Favorite Line “I’m not convinced I know how to read. I’ve just memorized a lot of words.” (Nick)
Episode M.V.P. While I thought Lamorne Morris was typically hilarious in depicting just how insane Winston can be (eating the glass pebble was my personal favorite moment of his), this episode was more serious than most New Girl outings, and it belonged to the actors who so expertly made the episode’s gravitas feel believable.
Zooey Deschanel has perfected the art of showing Jess’s quiet strength, and that was on full display in her desire to do what was right for her best friend. Her acting wasn’t overdramatic or attention-grabbing; it was just the right kind of concern and righteous anger on behalf of the friend she’s known a hell of a lot longer than Schmidt. Also proving she’s truly adept at quiet moments of emotion was Hannah Simone. She absolutely broke my heart in the scene where she found out about Schmidt’s infidelity.
Although both of those women were excellent in this episode, their male counterparts stole the show. Jake Johnson and Max Greenfield are both such sincere actors, and that sincerity was a big part of what made this episode so devastating for fans of Schmidt and Cece’s relationship and also so uplifting for fans of Nick and Jess’s romance. Johnson once again showed his skill at balancing broad comedy (his ridiculous dance in the loft while looking like another member of Daft Punk) with honest emotion (the way he kissed Jess in their bathroom scene). Nick is growing as a character with each episode, and I love that Johnson’s performance makes it feel believable that this man who thinks the moon landing is fake is the same man who can so sincerely tell Jess that he’s there for her and wants to be with her (especially when he knows they’ve both just dealt with a situation involving a man who couldn’t decide who he wanted to be with).
And then there’s Greenfield. How is it possible to feel sad for someone who was trying to date two women at once? It goes against everything I stand for, but somehow Greenfield made me believe that Schmidt genuinely didn’t want to hurt anyone. His performance in the restaurant scene was the best acting we’ve seen from him yet. I hated what Schmidt did, but I can’t hate Schmidt—and that’s a credit to the vulnerability Greenfield projected in such a dramatic moment.
Favorite Moment In the middle of so much heartbreaking drama, it was nice to see Nick and Jess stronger than ever as a couple. The scene between them as they drove to the restaurant was such a great way of showing the dynamic between these two characters in a way that was both funny and disarmingly sweet. First of all, of course Nick would drive absurdly slowly because he’s basically legally blind. Those little character quirks that keep popping up around this character never fail to make me laugh because they always feel right for who we know Nick Miller to be. Also, did anybody else love the way they argued as they were driving because it feels like a thing real couples always seem to do?
I also loved the bit with the cigarette lighter. There was a tiny moment when Jess yelled at Nick for being scared of everything where you could see tension take over his body because he’s trying not to be that person anymore for her. (Kudos again to Johnson for the physicality he brings to his work as Nick, even in the tiniest details.) And then who didn’t melt at the way Nick reacted to Jess burning her finger? Nick putting his own finger into the cigarette lighter was just icing on the cake of a great scene and a really sweet and funny way to reiterate the point last week’s episode made about him as a character: He will do anything to make Jess feel better when she’s hurting. He may not always have the most genius ideas because he’s still a mess in so many ways, but his heart is always in the right place when it comes to her. And in an episode where we saw Schmidt hurt two people he really cared about, it was nice to be reminded that this show also features a man trying his hardest to never see the woman he cares about hurting, even if he gets hurt in the process.
A New Girl GIF* For My New Girl Feelings
Although so much of “Double Date” broke my heart, Nick Miller proved once again to be a perfectly imperfect man who will do whatever it takes to make the people he loves feel better. If that’s not a reason to dance for joy, then I don’t know what is.
*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.