Three weeks of consistently funny episodes, reappearances by Tran and Nadia, and an actually compelling love interest for Nick? New Girl, you spoil me. Here I thought Christmas wasn’t until the end of the year!
Truth be told, I was a bit nervous for tonight’s episode, and between the title and the advertising, it’s easy to see why. A retread over old ideas about the inherent bitchiness of women towards each other isn’t exactly progressive sitcom territory, which, as proved by “Goldmine,” is especially frustrating when watching a generally progressive sitcom. Besides, Jess and Cece wouldn’t fight over a purse. They’re best friends, and best friends would never let something like a silly shopping dispute boil over into — OH MY GOD — they would, though.
At some point, I had to concede: New Girl got it right. This is exactly how a lot of girlfriends fight with each other. The longer you’ve been besties with someone, the more your instinct is to forgive and forget. Women aren’t conditioned to get out hard feelings in a single punch, and though I know that’s not healthy, either (and reductive about the way men fight — I’ve never been in a male best friendship, but I assume some dude BFFs get just as nonviolent and passive-aggressive as their female counterparts), a punch can certainly prevent an insidious little ball of hurt from taking root at the center of the friendship.
Jess and Cece are getting ready for Nadia’s baby shower when — oh, yeah, wait, there’s awesome news. So Nadia “Cece’s Russian Model Roommate Who Broke Schmidt’s Penis” Whateverherlastnameis is pregnant with a little “sex-party miracle.” Do you realize what this means, you guys? Besides the fact that we might have a tiny version of Nadia in the very near future? It means that Cece is going to need a new apartment. It means that we are building toward Cece finally taking her rightful place as the sixth roommate … and, probably, her rightful place living in Schmidt’s room. It is the happiest I have ever been for a group of a half-dozen 30-somethings living in an apartment with one shared bathroom.
Anyway, Jess and Cece are getting ready for Nadia’s baby shower when Schmidt accidentally reveals that Jess had secretly bought the purse she and Cece had decided neither of them would buy. Now, why they didn’t just decide to go in on it together and borrow it from each other (because, what, they were going to wear it out together at the same time? Hardly) is beyond me, but it proves enough of an indiscretion to reopen some old wounds.
Coach, who “grew up with sisters,” as all men who grew up with sisters and apparently haven’t recovered from the trauma are constantly reminding us, warns Schmidt that he has no idea what hell he’s unleashed. Jess and Cece have both shown the absurd depths of their nonconfrontationalness over and over again, so it’s no surprise that they are unable to vocalize their feelings beyond increasingly indecipherable emoji, but it’s clear how hot their rage is boiling just underneath the surface. “Yellow Heart, Whale, Thumbs Up” is Jess Day for “I will literally fuck your shit up.” Their eventual confrontation at Nadia’s baby shower (where the woman of honor eagerly awaits a stripper and is excited for fistfights to break out, God bless you, Nadia) plays like a slightly more subdued version of the climax of Mean Girls, although it’s unclear whether Schmidt or Nadia is Regina George.
Meanwhile, and, in my opinion, more interesting, Nick has finally met his match. Kaya, granddaughter of Tran (who gives Walter White and Omar Little serious competition for most compelling character in television history), loves pizza and porn, has strong opinions about gorillas, and doesn’t see the point of smoke detectors. She also hasn’t left Nick’s apartment in over a week and therefore might be homeless, so Procrastinating Cop Winston is on the case.
There is a strong argument to be made that a homeless woman might actually be the perfect match for Nick. Besides a killer apartment, Nick doesn’t bring that much to the table, so if a roof is all you’re looking for, why not date Nick Miller? Winston’s horror that Nick was potentially dating a homeless woman can only be matched by my horror that women who were not in desperate need of a place to sleep have also dated Nick Miller. He’s a pretty nice guy, sure, but he’s angry, delusional, drinks like a fish, has terrible personal hygiene, and has more issues than Highlights, which is also probably the only magazine that Nick has ever read. In TV world, Nick is the best; if you knew him in real life, you would head for the hills. In real life, that guy wouldn’t look like Jake Johnson, either.
But Kaya is super cool, and, as you might have been able to guess based on the fact that it’s the opposite of what Worst Wannabe Cop in the World Winston Bishop postulated, also super rich. Her embarrassment in showing Nick her apartment had nothing to do with her lack of pillowcases (“I’ve even got an extra one I never use,” brags Nick, delightfully) and everything to do with the fact that her considerable means might make Nick think differently of her. The good news is that Nick liked her whether she was homeless or not, and I really do, too. She’s cool without falling into a “Cool Girl” trope, and weird without becoming first-season Jessica Day. She’s idiosyncratic, arbitrarily opinionated, lazy, and loveble — they really succeeded in creating a female Nick.
I hope “Girl Fight,” “Thanksgiving IV,” and “Teachers” are just part of an ongoing upswing, and not merely a trilogy placed in the middle of a season hurtling toward a wedding and a Day family reunion I am not looking forward to. But between Cece’s impending move and Kaya and Nick’s chemistry, “Girl Fight” put in place quite a lot to get excited for.
One last thing: GIFs of Winston Saran-wrapped to the rolling chair and of Jess saying “I’m a damn feminist who loves purses” are about to be HUGE. Here you go: