If Nick and Jess weren’t the focal point of last weeks dual episode season premiere, there’s no denying that they were the stars of this week’s episode, “Fluffer”. This week’s installment of New Girl was rather topical, addressing current hot topics such as the friend zone, “cheating of the mind,” and…Mitt Romney.
The episode begins as Jess elicits the boys’ aid in learning how to be more comfortable with her new ultra-casual relationship with Sam. The boys agree to accompany her on a group date to a fancy restaurant to give her the emotional fix she craves, thus preventing her from seeking an emotional connection to Sam. This plan backfires, however, when Schmidt and Winston (conveniently) make last minute plans and have to bail on the dinner, leaving Nick and Jess to share a few awkward moments before agreeing to go through with the dinner anyway. One thermos of white wine and half a bowl of soup later (sounds like Tuesday nights at Peirce?) Jess leaves a dejected Nick to pick up the check as she heeds a call from Sam.
Meanwhile, Schmidt and Winston realize that the only way to get into a club is to pretend that Schmidt is a Romney, which isn’t too hard considering his decision to don a Vineyard Vines-esque whale belt. Schmidt manages to convince a girl that he is, in fact, “Tuggb Romney” (he describes his name later as “two Gs, silent b” so I can only assume this is how it’s spelled), despite Cece’s eye rolls and protests. In the end, the naïve girl and her “Kappa for Romney” sisters discover Schmidt’s lie, and Schmidt ends the episode crying in Cece’s…arms. Do I spy a future rekindled romance?
In other news, Winston and Shelby’s relationship is on the rocks, but when is it not? The two can’t even have a proper fight.
The end of the episode, however, left me wondering where the building tension between Nick and Jess was heading. The yelling scene in Jess’ bedroom seemed to be the perfect opportunity to bring the pair’s sexual tension to a climax. It had all the elements of a great pre-make out scene: nitpicking at each other’s flaws at top volume in a way that negates the ability to hear or be heard. For some reason, however, the producers decided to let the scene’s energy disperse into a rather anti-climactic ending; Jess goes off to eat burgers with Sam, who gives her surprising insight into the unfairness of the friend zone without realizing its personally applicable for Jess. Nick, meanwhile, gets some useful advice from Winston and then decides to ignore it and build the Ikea dresser for Jess anyway.
Nick seems to accept that he’s reached the point of no return in the friend zone, even after he and Jess somewhat admit to having feelings for each other (didn’t they)?!
This season really started out with a bang, but all of this abruptly mounting drama has to be leading somewhere. The ladies at HerCampus Kenyon will be waiting on the edge of their seats to see what next week’s episode has in store!