‘New Girl’ Recap: Nick and Jess Explore Virgin Territory

Credit: Greg Gayne/FOX

Flashback episodes and first-time episodes (as in, when two characters finally give in to mounting tension and have sex for the first time, making ‘shippers the world over rejoice) are not exactly virgin territory for sitcoms. While New Girl has done the flashback thing time and time again (often with mixed results), they most certainly haven’t had Nick and Jess do it before.

That’s right, it finally happened: after weeks and weeks of agonizing teasing, flirting, and longing glaces on confusing first dates, Nick and Jess had sex. And much like any first time, expectations were sky high and left you with feelings of confusion, exhilaration, and — let’s be honest with ourselves — a little bit of concerned regret. Was it too soon? But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s slow down and start from the beginning, baby. 

The aptly titled “Virgins” found the gang hanging out where they spend far too much time for an attractive group of early thirty-somethings: the bathroom. Jess was helping Cece shave her underarms (I don’t know if this is like the pillow fight urban legend, but this does not happen), Winston was talking about getting the chance to hook up with Daisy again (the guy needs something to do on the show, why not have it be a beautiful woman), and Nick was creeping in the stall listening in (like he apparently does more than anyone had known). 

After Jess got a text from some schmo named Teddy who wanted to meet her for drinks, Nick went into a tailspin of jealousy after she revealed the mystery man was actually the one who took her flower. (“He stole a flower from you and you wanna have drinks from you…. Oh, from your wonderful secret garden.” Aw, Nick). When Cece butted in and claimed that Jess had the most embarrassing story about losing one’s virginity, well, the rest of the gang had to chime in with their own tales of first-time fornication. 

While Jess claimed up and down that hers was not only the most embarrassing, but also had the intrigue of murder, her house mates had far worse stories and even more illegal activities. Here, I’ll rank the gang’s virginity stories from most humiliating to least based on their tales. 

Winston: Oh, good god, poor Winnie. This guy can’t catch a break. He’s nothing more than filler on the show (though he has had some consistently hilarious one-liners over the past few weeks, including last night’s masterfully executed and accurate cry of “Oregon sucks!”) and now he’s the guy with the worst story about losing the V-card. For years Winston was convinced that he wooed the ladies of the night that Nick’s dad Walt Miller (Dennis Farina, back from the dead) brought the boys during a visit to New York City. Well, one lady in particular: Mysteria. Apparently that name wasn’t a dead enough giveaway that she was a prostitute, and neither was the fact that she laughed in his face when he asked her what she does for a living. Then again, young Winston legitimately didn’t know how Titanic was going to end. Even when Nick honored his father’s memory by waiting until he was dead to tell Winston the truth (the flashback of their father-son chat was not only sweet, but imperative to the Nick-Jess story line, but more on that in a bit) the guy just didn’t want to believe the truth. 

Schmidt: In any other group of friends, Schmidt’s story of being 200 pounds overweight and using so much lube that he slipped off his bunk bed and on to his roommate would win, but Schmidt clearly isn’t humiliated by the story. I mean, why else would he be trying to replicate the escapade with his college girlfriend, Elizabeth? (Sorry Cece, I’m really pulling for these two to wind up together. Schmidt is most himself around her, because she knew him before he was Schmidt). Still, the sequence was a physical comedy gem, between a tripping-on-shrooms Nick “magnetically stuck” to the wall and a Fat “The Sex Haver” Schmidt trying in vain to get up from the floor covered in lube. 

Jess: Nice try, Jessica Day. While your story may have started out with your nerdy prom date stabbing himself in the hand with steak knives because he couldn’t get you out of your dress and moved to you trying to lose your virginity in a plastic castle on a playground (with a murdered guy on a bench mere feet away) to a handsome fellow (played by Dylan O’Brien) who couldn’t get it up and figured out he was probably gay, it still ended with you losing your virginity to a handsome firefighter named — you guessed it —  Teddy. Jess’ road to losing her virginity at 22 was paved with sewing and social mishaps, including singing Lisa Loeb‘s “Stay” far too much, but hers ultimately turned out to be pretty great. 

Nick: We didn’t get a flashback of Nick’s story (we did get a taste of Nerd Nick and Hippie Nick, however, in Winston and Schmidt’s stories) he did sweetly reveal to Jess that he lost his to a gal named Allison Daniels on a towel in the woods. He cried and she left her bra on. “It was nice,” he reflected. Sounds pretty status quo, but by no means terrible. 

Cece: Of course. Of course Cece had the best losing her virginity story. She lost it on prom night…but not to Study Hall Steve or Cool Car Johnny, but Mick Jagger. “Game changer!” as Schmidt exclaimed, only to wrongly later exclaim, “Beatlemania!” 

But even though she had the best story, Cece wasn’t exempt from the more emotionally draining and exhausting land mine that is the sex life of a grown-up. She still hasn’t had sex with her groom-to-be, Schmidt was still trying out all his tricks (namely German sex device The Arch Duke, which requires 16 batteries), and Winston still got a little too turned on by Titanic. We might grow up, but deep down we’re all still insecure, nervous teenagers. 

I mean, just look at Nick and Jess: two grown-ups clearly attracted to each other who continue to dance around each other’s feelings and hope the other will make the first move. It’s amazing neither of them have passed each other notes under their doors from across the hall. Sure, technically Nick became a man when he had sex with Allison in those woods so many years ago, but he didn’t truly become an adult when he took his father’s advice to stop over-thinking and take charge of a moment. Which is exactly what he did when he ran after Jess in the elevator, took her in his arms like a damn man, and carried her to the bedroom. “Let’s not think about it,” he growled to a clearly into-it Jess. (The girl loves her take-charge men).

I will always love Walking Human Disaster Nick (the guy who doesn’t know that tuxedos and suits are different things) but I think I love Sexy Smoldering Nick a little bit more. That guy can stay. Well done, Jake Johnson, you have officially set the bar far too high for reasonable expectations. 

Back in the bedroom, the two friends looked at each other and then the bed and then back at each other again, knowing this was the point of no return. While we only saw a post-coitus Nick and Jess blissfully going through a range of emotions from surprise to delight to anxiousness right back to delight, all the episodes leading up to this moment have been arguably sexier and you can pretty much just let your imagination run wild as to how hot their session was.

While we’ll have to wait to see how these two deal with things post-hookup (I mean, they could barely handle a kiss or a dinner date without freaking out) from the look of things, they seem pretty damn happy about this inevitable rendezvous. He smiled, she smiled, he laughed, she laughed (and snuck in an adorable “Ruh-roh” for good measure) and the episode faded to black. Keeping in line with the theme of virginity, all this did was leave fans wanting more. What a tease!

Here now are the other best lines and moments from “Virgins”: 

– “Oh, you need help? Where’s your Women’s Lib now?!” – Schmidt to Jess
– “Who cares about the theme, what were you wearing?” – A worked-up Nick to Jess, about her prom
– Jess Day in the year 2000: major credit to the New Girl hair and wardrobe team for making the already-youthful Zooey Deschanel actually look like a rosy-cheeked high schooler.
– Nick’s wrong, desperate claim that girls don’t like guys who play guitar. 
– “David Foster Wallace, where is the sex?” – An annoyed Schmidt to Jess. 
– Even though College Hippie Nick is as about as lame as College Hippie Ted on HIMYM, I give him the slight edge over Nerdy High School Nick as I too was/still am “a Daver.”  Plus, he tried to reason with the shroom-induced troll he hallucinated by telling it, “I don’t want any trouble; I think you’re a remarkable creature.” 
– “She was a nurse! Her nurse hat was in her purse!” – Winston, still in denial about Mysteria. 
– Fat Schmidt unknowingly hitting on Cece of the Past with lines like “Do you like DVDs?” and “Does this bar have cookies?”
– Jess describing her date’s erectile dysfunction as a “wind sock on a windless day.” 
– “Let’s not think about it.” Yeah, I know I mentioned it already, but it deserves a second mention. And bonus points for the use of the very awesome “Anything Could Happen” by Ellie Goulding. Perfection.

So, what did you think of “Virgins”? Is this the beginning or the end of Nick and Jess, and in turn New Girl? I’d say I can’t wait to find out (and I think it’s the beginning, as this show is the best comedy on television and will only continue to hold that title), but Taylor Swift appears on the Season 2 finale in two weeks. For now, I’ll just bask in this Nick and Jess afterglow. 

Follow Aly on Twitter @AlySemigran

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