Poor Wilson Winston... he gets no respect, I tell ya. No respect. Not only does he have to play fourth (and sometimes fifth or sixth fiddle) on New Girl, but the guy finally gets his own episode called "Winston's Birthday" and the whole thing winds up being about his friends forgetting about said birthday and dealing with their own set of much sexier problems. Hey, at least Lamorne Morris got to play Samantha Baker in Sixteen Candles while wearing that Eddie Murphy Raw red jumpsuit. Not many actors can say they've had that chance.
How could Nick and Jess be bothered to remember their pal's birthday when they were soaking in the morning-afterglow of their seriously hot hookup? There was shoulder kissing, laughter, googly-eyed glances, sweet nothings ("That was really fun") — hell, there was even a bonus soft pretzel found in bed. It was wonderful. Nick even tried to be a romantic by bringing Jess a balanced breakfast in bed comprised of runny eggs, a grapefruit, a piece of pie, and a beer with a flower in it. Aw, Nick, he means well.
Of course, the bound-to-be-adorable moment all became significantly less so when Jess' dear old dad Bob (returning guest star Rob Reiner) showed up unexpectedly to stay at the loft before Cece's upcoming nuptials. And just in case that terrible timing wasn't enough, Jess got a last-minute substitute teaching offer that could turn into a full-time gig. When it rains, kids. Jess tried in vain to keep Nick and Bob away from each other, as Bob is an overly protective pop, but Nick folded like a damn lawn chair and decided to spend the day with him.
I mean, how could things possibly be weird between these two? Nick once hit on his ex-wife Joan (Jamie Lee Curtis, who will hopefully pop up for next week's finale) and slept with his daughter just mere hours earlier. Plus, it's Nick, when has he ever made a situation more uncomfortable than it already is? Oh, right, constantly. Surprisingly enough, things started out not terribly. Bob and Nick were bonding on the roof, talking about things like life and the ladies. Hell, Nick wanted advice and even brought up his new love interest: the not quirky, no bangs, tall, fat, tiny-eyed and fictitious Yolanda Winston (hooray, she's back!)
Bob and Nick were bonding: they were shooting the s**t, making sandwiches, everything was going the opposite of how Jess feared it would. Until Nick went and Nick Millered the whole thing by confessing that the girl who meant a lot to him and didn't want to screw things up wasn't Yoldana Winston. As he not-so-coyly put it: "It's Jess...she's your daughter." Bob then lunged after Nick and Nick ran away screaming. Yep, Jess was right.
Of course, Jess was too busy putting out other personal fires, like trying to win over a classroom of terrible children and attempting calm down Cece who was in total bride meltdown mode thanks to no dress, spotlight-stealing relatives, and accidentally falling asleep on her henna tattoo which was all over her face. Jess tried to solve the latter by sending over Winston (who thought it was a surprise birthday party — but surprise! — it wasn't), but it was all fruitless efforts. Jess had a total verbal meltdown in the classroom (read: over-sharing with a bunch of kids) and only sweet Shivrang could help Cece (that guy is finally growing on me) since she just rubbed olive oil her face and made the henna crisis worse.
When Jess finally got to deal with her own crisis, it was already too late — the damage was done: Bob was seriously pissed and Nick had attempted to defend himself physically with a mallet, a tiny bat, and an ash tray. But he wasn't ready for the emotional blow he was about to be dealt by Bob. Jess' father warned that Nick was nothing more than a "lazy, drunken cable thief" who doesn't have his life together — a younger version of himself, and "I'm not good enough for my little girl." Ouch. Nick was crestfallen and Jess, despite understanding that her father was just doing what fathers do, was able to take care of herself and deal with her own messes.
New relationships are tricky...but sometimes old new relationships can be even trickier. Just look at Schmidt and My New Favorite New Girl Character, Elizabeth (guest star Merritt Wever). These two unexpectedly reunited, got down, and quickly became the most interesting couple on the series. (Don't get me wrong, Nick and Jess are just as sexy and swoon-worthy as ever — Nick especially — but they are still in a frustrating place. We're still gonna have to hold our breath for these two to make it official). We already knew that Elizabeth was a seriously awesome college girlfriend who accepted Fat Schmidt for who he was: Schmidt. But we had no idea that she got him to dance at college parties, bought him amazing sweatshirts that read 'Frogettaboutit' with a picture of a frog on them, and was just so damn cool in general.
Schmidt was smitten with her all over again. He was schmidtten, and with good reason: Elizabeth rules. But Schmidt almost blew the whole thing by pretending not to know her when one of his hot coworkers was snooty to her and implied she was a "spooky" cleaning lady. Elizabeth, of course, fired back at the horrible girl, and rightly told Schmidt to get lost. But Schmidt — thank goodness — realized he wanted to be with Elizabeth, the only girl who has ever really known and loved the real him, and rescued her from a terrible date. Even better, he showed up in his old sweatshirt and they Roger Rabbit-ed for old times sake.
At the end of the night, both Schmidt and Elizabeth and Nick and Jess wound up on the roof (or, as Schmidt pronounces it, "the ruff"), but for entirely different reasons. Schmidt and Elizabeth brought a telescope up to match Schmidt's mole patterns to the constellations (true love!), while Nick tried to remedy the botched breakfast in bed plan with a romantic dinner. Ultimately, both roof rendezvous for the couples were interrupted by Winston, who thought it was a star gazing breakfast party. Which, admittedly, sounds incredible. Still, poor Winston was actually a nuisance for the other characters because the guy was just trying to celebrate his birthday, which everyone actively forgot about or plain ruined. Maybe the finale will bring him the same kind fate that seems to have befallen the far more interesting Nick, Jess, and Schmidt.
Here are the best lines and moments from tonight's all-around satisfying penultimate Season 2 episode of New Girl ,"Winston's Birthday":
- Nick checking Jess' pulse in bed because she sleeps so soundly. So endearing.
- "If they make fun of you, I'll punch them in the penis"- Flashback Elizabeth to Flashback Schmidt about dancing at the party. She rocks.
- "I got...documents"- Nick, failing to come up with an excuse to get out of hanging out with Bob.
- Nick's general big-eyed terror. It's on par with Joey's on Friends at this point, and no one did a big-eyed freakout quite like Matt LeBlanc.
- "I don't know how you get a podcast, but you should look into it."- Nick to Bob.
- "Burkas isn't you guys, is it?" - Jess, to Cece, trying to come up with a creative way to cover her face.
- "I got my own damn cake, and you can't have none!" - Poor Winston, who couldn't even have his cake and eat it, too, as Bob gave him guff about his figure.
- "Hey Gipetto, make with the 'Oom Pah Pah!'"- Schmidt, to the musicians at the Italian restaurant where he won back Elizabeth.
- Speaking of music, how great has New Girl's music choices been as of late? "Until We Get There" by Lucius was the perfect song for Jess and Nick to meet on the roof to.
- "You know how much I love to explore space and time!" - Winston, thinking the roof festivities were for him.
- Nick's sweet, sad look when he realized he wouldn't be getting alone time with Jess on the roof. Sigh. Until next week. I hope.
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