The hardest part of saying you're sorry is admitting you were wrong. So I'll say this right now: Winston/actor Lamorne Morris who plays him, I'm sorry. I'm sorry I've doubted you for so long. I'm sorry the New Girl writers haven't known what to do with you since you took over for Coach (Damon Wayans Jr.) after he got freaked out by Nick and had to go live with a different group of white people. I'm sorry it took this long to have an episode to call your own. But I hope, now that you've finally been given some substance, we can all move on and all the doubts and criticisms can be a thing of the past.
Phew. That feels better. You see, it all happened during last night's episode of New Girl called "Cabin". In this particular episode, raging moron Schmidt felt compelled to have Winston get in touch with his blackness, to let his black light shine (his words, not mine).
Of course, Schmidt did that in the only way he knew possible: the racist way. He bought Winston a Rastafarian hat, he offered to eat soul food with him, he wanted to share his "people's culture" with him. Winston, who damn well knows his friend much better than his friend apparently knows him, decided to have fun with this opportunity.
Winston messed with Schmidt by telling him the most cliched, stereotypical things possible. That his family wound sing around a burning trash can while enjoying the sweet taste of crack cocaine. By now this should have stopped Schmidt cold and realized he was being teased and that Winston, clearly, never was and never has been a gangster from the projects.
The whole thing ended in an amusing enough misunderstanding in "the hood" with a man named Robert with a nice smile. But it wasn't this part of the story line that did wonders for Winston (though him laughing at Schmidt with his back turned was delightful.) Instead, it was when Winston confronted Schmidt after all this absurdity.
Winston tells Schmidt that not only does he know who he is, but he's comfortable with himself. That he is a black man who just happens to live with three white people, nothing more, nothing less. Winston/Morris is not a sight gag or filler to boost his white friends' lives, he's an actual, realized person. It just took us halfway through the second season to get there.
While Winston and Schmidt dealt with their own set of friend revelations, "honky as hell" Nick and Jess had their own messes to deal with.
When Jess got invited to a cabin in the woods with her handsome doctor boyfriend Sam (David Walton) she panics that everything won't be perfect and invites Nick and his wild stripper girlfriend Angie (Olivia Munn) along as a buffer.
What could possibly go wrong in this sitcom scenario?! Well, for one Jess accidentally shoots out the electricity after wildly, recklessly swinging around a shotgun Angie found (I wouldn't know what to do with a gun, but I'm smart enough, as are most people to not do that).
Then the foursome gets drunk on enough absinthe that could have killed them all, Angie makes a pass at Sam because she thought they were doing a couple's swap scenario, Jess freaks out about her relationship, and Nick confesses his feelings to the hot, but reckless Angie, who takes off in the morning with some of his possessions and a lot of his dignity.
Now, all of this stuff we saw coming from a mile away. Jess fretting over what a boy thinks of her (though I am glad they aren't glazing over the fact that she lied about who she was when she first met Sam) and Nick getting himself into another dead end situation.
Not exactly new material for either of these characters or the stars who play them, but it was really all worth it to watch Sam violently throw up his absinthe into the fireplace, wasn't it?
Here, now, are some of the other best moments and lines from "Cabin":
- "You were so light and charming, you were like Pixar Winston"- Schmidt, to an understandably offended Winston.
- "White Nick, Brown Cece, I'd like to have a frank discussion about race" - Schmidt, to an understandably offended Nick and Cece.
- "There’s nothing like the feel of a fire and a fresh-baked cookie and that sweet, sweet taste of crack in your lungs"- Winston, messing with Schmidt so hard.
- Jess needing a "back story" about the cans she's shooting.
- Jess' fear about drinking absinthe: "[It] has killed so many of our famous painters."
- "I suppose we could get out and ask some of these street youths"- Schmidt, trying to buy "crack cuck-ane" with Winston.
- "I like dogs more than cats. I like chipmunks more than squirrels. I believe in UFOs. I once had a bass teacher when I was younger who did the standing bass, and he had a very weird smell, and I still remember that smell. His name was Mr. Hilton."- Nick's drunk confession to Angie.
- Nick has his own form of currency called Nick Bucks, which can be redeemed for hugs or something from his nightstand.
- Schmidt vowing to order racially sensitive vanilla and chocolate swirl frozen yogurt.
[Photo credit: Patrick McElhenney/FOX]
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