‘New Girl’ Recap: It’s Like ‘Mean Girls,’ But With More Cat Murder (Season 3, Episode 2)

New GirlJennifer Clasen/FOX

Coming off of last week’s Season 3 premiere of New Girl, which finally put to rest the will-they-won’t-they of Jess and Nick’s sexual tensioned filled relationship (they’re officially together, everyone), Tuesday’s “Nerd” episode got back to the usual sticky situations that those loft friends so often get themselves into.

Plots: Nick (Jake Johnson) and Jess (Zooey Deschanel) figuratively time warp back to high school and have to figure out how to fit in with the “cool kids” that are Jess’ new teacher colleagues, Schmidt (Max Greenfield) still has to decide if he wants to be with Elizabeth (Merritt Wever — congrats on your Emmy) or CeCe (Hannah Simone), and  Winston (Lamorne Morris) vies for the heart of his lovely Daisy (Brenda Song).

Once a Nerd, Always a Nerd
In the A-plot of “Nerds,” Jess frets that she’s not fitting in with her fellow teachers at her new job (side note: when did Jess get a new job?). Nick, being the kind-hearted but misguided person that he is, offers to help Jess mingle with the hip teachers that she so desperately wants to be friends with. The “cool” teachers, who definitely would have been the popular and mean kids in high school, pick on Jess until Nick pulls out a few tricks (offering them school supplies and endless free booze) to buy their friendship. Unfortunately, Jess ends up trying too hard to impress them (she stands in a toilet and sings for them and then breaks into her boss’ backyard while they ditch her), but good ol’ Nick Miller comes to the rescue. He lets Jess know that he would have noticed her in high school (d’aww), and then they get it on in the teachers’ lounge.

This plot was actually pretty endearing. Yes, it was incredibly painful and awkward to watch Jess be bullied by the mean crew, but her “old man” (the name that Nick wants her to call him) was there to save the day. He may have a habit of messing everything up, but he cares enough about Jess to realize when he’s being a total dud and needs to clean up his mess.

Ladies’ Man
Meanwhile, Schmidt tries to balance his two relationships since he still hasn’t broken up with one of them. In the classic two-date situation, Schmidt must figure out a way to keep CeCe and Elizabeth away from each other at a work party. His Schmidt-hating coworker keeps on trying to ruin things for him (she’s jealous of his new office), but somehow he pulls off the whole scheme. Elizabeth walks off believing that CeCe is catering the event, and CeCe thinks that Elizabeth works at the company. Ladies, you’re not as smart as I thought you were. Well, I take that back — Elizabeth, you’re not as smart as I thought you were.

Oh, Schmidt, you poor idiot — decide between Elizabeth and CeCe already! Everyone knows how this situation is going to turn out: Schmidt finally gets caught and then both of the ladies dump him (and probably cause him physical harm). Either that or they all turn to polygamy (hey, it could happen).

Cat Lady
The third plot of this episode involves Winston pet-sitting Daisy’s cat Ferguson (because of course that would be the cat’s name). Thinking that Daisy wants to take things further since she’s trusting him with her cat, Winston adorably asks Daisy to be his girlfriend. Daisy says yes, but it’s apparent that there’s an unknown man in her shower (in other words, she’s sleeping with someone else). To get back at Daisy, Winston feebly attempts to kill her cat, but comes to terms with being a person with a soul and decides to let Ferguson live. When Daisy comes to pick up Ferguson, Winston officially dumps her and refuses to let her keep the cat (because both him and Ferguson “deserve better”).

Does anyone else remember when Winston used to be the too-cool-for-school archetype in New Girl? When did he become the guy who’s ferociously bad at pranks, wears a sweatshirt as pants, and spends a whole episode trying to kill a cat? Whenever it happened, it looks like the writers aren’t turning back now. They’ve found Winston’s niche and they’re sticking with it, just like they have with all of the other main characters: Jess is eccentric, Nick is a bumbling fool with (mostly) good intentions, Schmidt is neurotic, and Winston, well, Winston isn’t quite right in the head. God bless them all.

Some of the Best Moments and Lines from This Week’s New Girl Episode
– “Did you say that cats are obsessed with your nipples?” – CeCe to Schmidt
– The fact that two of the mean teachers are 
Angela Kinsey (Angela from The Office) and Dreama Walker (June from Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23) and that they take liquid ecstasy.
– “Leave it to me to fix it.” – Nick to Jess (I’ve never felt more scared for Jess’ life).
– Nick thinks half of a ripped dollar equals 50 cents.
– “My heart is a two-man bike and I want you in the rear.” – Winston’s ideal way to ask Daisy to be his girlfriend
– The boys sing/shout “I Believe I Can Fly” to wake up hungover Jess.
– “Now I’m no plumber, but I’m 99 percent sure there was a guy in her shower.” – Winston to Nick
– The ways Winston tries to kill the cat: strangle it with a rope, whack it with a bat, bludgeon it with a shovel, beat it with a hammer, and smother it with a pillow.
– The fact that Elizabeth might be more sexually adventurous than Schmidt (she’s down for all sorts of fantasy situations). 

What did you think of the episode? How far do you think Schmidt’s love triangle is going to last?

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