Hey, hey, New Girl fans! Your fave recapper Bethany is taking on the recap of this week’s episode of Glee, so I’m just pinch-hitting and getting the discussion started for your favorite adork—ah, you thought I would Bethany’s hated descriptive, right? Nope. I’ll just say the show is charming and leave it at that.
This episode was all about timing: Are Paul and Jess on the same page romantically? Will Nick make his flight in time? Will Winston be in the right place at the right time to make some networking opportunities? Will Candy Cane Lane be awesome (Duh.)? And in other non-timing related show-biz, there was some Schmidt. Some seriously good Schmidt.
I want to say upfront that I’m pretty much a Nick and Jess shipper. They are, I believe, my only current serious ship. There will be discussion/gushing later, but it comes with a warning, so there’s that.
The episode begins in the apartment, where the roomies are enjoying their Christmas gifts from Jess—roller skates. Winston feels free while Schmidt is getting on Nick’s case because he’s sending his 12-year-old nephew tacks as a Christmas gift—setting up an episode theme that Nick is a TERRIBLE gift giver.
Interesting that most episodes this season revolve around something Nick may or may not be THE WORST at, when, to Bethany’s point in a previous recap, he is obviously The Best. But the show wants us to think he’s the worst at giving gifts, the worst at getting haircuts, and the worst in bed. Draw your own conclusions!
Schmidt is bummed because Christmas means only bad things; primarily the end of Chanukah and that his friends all go home for the holidays (though, what . . . this has to be like a week apart, tops, right??). Nick and Winston promise they are going to hang out with Schmidt at his company holiday party. Okay, quick poll: Lame or Legit— do people actually just go hang out at other people’s company holiday parties? Discuss.
When Nick asks if Schmidt is dressing up as Santa (again), Schmidt tells him that since he’s the only man, of course he is Santa. Besides, he says, he likes it—he gets all kinds of dirt and gossip on his coworkers when they get drunk, and he uses it against them all year long. Winston disses him, and Schmidt calls him on it and goes after him on his OWN roller skates, leading to an instant classic Schmidt line, “I had figure skating lessons until I was thirteen and then my mom sobered up and realized I was a boy. Let’s do this.”
Then Jess arrives in a huff to declare the guys MUST go with her to the mall to help her pick out a gift for Paul.
At the mall, Nick stiffly says, “So why can’t you figure out what to buy for your boyfriend, Paul?” which is either incredibly bad dialogue—OR—is a sly writing move to make it clear that Nick still has feelings for Jess and he’s just trying to make conversation. [Bethany Note: I think Jake Johnson's delivery of this line was FAB. It was so obviously awkward and perfect because he doesn't want to talk about Paul with Jess, but feels like he needs to. Love. It.] Either way, Jess contends that she doesn’t know what to do—she’s only been with Paul for one month. Nick suggests she figure out how she feels about him and give him a gift that reflects that. Good advice, which somehow prompts her to tell him that she was planning to give Paul a certificate for piping hot, nerdy sex, which she has already made and is carrying around with her. Haha. Nick steals it, natch, and Jess is annoyed, but it’s flirty, so we all win. Nick says he’s going to save it and cash it in sometime. NickChickaWowWow!
Meanwhile, also at the mall, Winston wants to know why they are all going to Schmidt’s work’s Christmas party. Schmidt says that it’s because it’s the last night before they go home for Christmas (lame), but that it will help Winston do some networking on the job search (legit).
Back in the car, Jess drives them all down Candy Cane Lane, which is an overly decorated neighborhood she claims is awesome and well lit at night. It’s not so much lit when she drives them through and the guys laugh and say it’s a spectacular view—I liked this a lot because it showed that they were sort of making fun of her in good spirits, in the way they dis one another, right? Jess insists that they have to come back that night, but Nick says no, because after the party, they have to go straight to the airport so he can get his plane home. Jess groans, but he insists. He’s missed his flight four years in a row; if he misses again, his mom is going to kill him. They spot a menorah on a lawn, ‘for Schmidt’ apparently. Schmidt yells, “Judaism, son!” [Bethany Note: This is ah-maze-ing.]
When Jess and Paul exchange gifts, we find out she got him a fuzzy, anatomically correct heart of a 50-year-old non-smoker. Oh, and . . . he got her tickets to Vienna. She apologizes for her lack of gift, but he loves it. It’s funny and quirky and so sweet—like her (good one, Paul!); that’s why he loves it. And he loves her. She then says, “Thank you.” “You’re very welcome,” he replies.
It’s as awkward as you can imagine, but not as awkward as CeCe wearing a mustache to the office party at Jess’s request. What was that about? [Bethany Note: I have a weird hipster love for fake mustaches, so I was down with this.] In case you thought the show was getting weird, Schmidt is “Sexy Santa,” which . . . wasn’t weird at all actually.
Winston’s plot involved hanging out with Elvin, the [awesome] son of Schmidt’s preggers boss Gina. Elvin is not good with people, but seems to like Winston—so much so that he affectionately calls him LeBron. [ADORBS!] Winston may end up with a job opportunity after all—Gina wants him to hang out with Elvin and is willing to pay a lot of money to make it happen. Like money PLUS money. [Bethany Note: Show, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let Winston be a manny.]
Schmidt gets a healthy dose of girl power from CeCe, who encourages him not to let his coworkers treat him like just a pretty face with a hot body. He would totally be her pretty face and hot body, as we know.
Okay, commencing Nick/Jess talk…
Here at OCTV, we’ve discussed how we feel about the Nick/Jess relationship, and I have to say I liked how their friendship+ was highlighted in this episode. Nick is interested, but he’s being pretty cool about it. I liked him giving her advice on what to do with Paul. That he inadvertently later told Paul that Jess didn’t love him wasn’t his fault. And I liked that, when Paul was all “if you’re not serious about me, then I can’t do this,” Nick was annoyed on Jess’s behalf. It was a nice subtle way of letting us know that Nick thinks Jess is worth the wait.
Their body language was particularly revealing in this episode, especially Jess, who once again seemed overly concerned about Nick’s opinion. Then again, Nick really is a good friend. I liked the way he looked at her in the car on the way to the airport and that he turned around and drove them to Candy Cane Lane.
Jess’s “I think we’re too late, Nick,” was interesting, though I’m probably reading too much into it. But what was ALSO interesting to me was when Schmidt told Nick he should have just gotten Jess perfume. Logic Puzzle: if Schmidt wants CeCe and bought HER perfume, and then he suggests that Nick should have gotten Jess perfume . . . well, that means Schmidt thinks Nick wants Jess, right? Right. If Schmidt has honed in on Nick wanting Jess . . . that is serious. Am I imagining this?
But Nick just sort of sits on the hood of the car, and Jess joins him. And you know how when you sit next to a guy you like, and your arms crush together? Yeah, that was happening.
I remember John Krasinski did an interview once where he was asked how a guy shows he likes a particular girl, and he said that one big sign is if he wants to be wherever she is. Like “I could be like ‘nah, I’m just going to stay in. Oh . . . Sarah’s going to be there? Yeah, I can make it’.” (Sidenote: I swear to God, he used the name Sarah in his example too. I’m serious. I will prove it somehow), and that is sort of where Nick and Jess are. I like it.
Back to the side by side on the hood of the car thing. Jess says, “I have the worst timing. I’m always in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Between that and her earlier “I’m the one who always loves more,” well, this is me and my life SO much . . . there is not enough room on this server to elaborate. But I liked her vulnerability there, and that Nick picked up on it and went a little crazy trying to get her the gift of a lighted Candy Cane Lane by risking arrest and yelling at the residents at 4 A.M. to turn on their Christmas lights, and thus missing his plane home AGAIN. Nick seems to be doing crazy things for her all the time, which is a fun dynamic, especially since he’s such a stick in the mud about so many other things.
Nick/Jess talk over.
[Bethany Note: I HAVE to mention how much I loved Nick being trapped on the patio/balcony thing with Jess and Paul. Holy COW was that fun. And I know it's sort of a weird, cheesy writing device—"Oh, we want this scene to be funny and not so serious. How can we change it? Oh I know! Let's put Nick out there with them!!!!"—but it really, really worked. And allowed Jake Johnson a lot of really fun moments. Also, OMG, his flannel shirt UNDER his suit jacket? So much love in my heart for that one. SO. MUCH. LOVE.]
Other moments I loved:
- Schmidt’s “4 to the 0 to the 1 to the K”
- Schmidt’s self-disappointment that he could never quite get the ‘authority’ to pull off sexy MLK Jr.
- That CeCe was the ‘after’ model in a before/after shoot re: diet pills
- Elvin asking if Schmidt was a d-bag [Bethany Note: I also adored this.]
Okay, there is so much more to discuss, from Cecilia No. 5, to whether or not Paul and Jess are really done for good, to why a woman would name her son Elvin and then seem surprised that he DID have issues with people. Didn’t she watch The Cosby Show? Obviously Sandra and Elvin were the most uptight of all of that crew.
Enough from me. What did or didn’t you like about this episode? The comments are open. Let’s discuss!