New Girl Recap: Black Robot

Photo: Fox
New Girl
New Girl
Episode Title
Coming Out
Editor’s Rating

Remember this time last year, when Nick and Jess were blowing through all the big relationship milestones one by one? The longtime roommates even “moved in together” within a matter of weeks. Well, tonight, Jess and Ryan said “I love you”… and today, Zooey Deschanel announced her pregnancy.

Get ready for a New Girl baby, y’all!

I guess I’d always assumed it would be Schmidt and Cece’s broken-condom baby — or, more recently, Kai*, and Nick’s too-lazy-to-wear-a-condom baby. But now that it’s apparent that a new Geauxinue-Day is on the way, let’s time this out: season four has already been filmed. It will probably end in a proposal at Jess’s father's wedding (help me), or, if things get really crazy, a wedding-within-a-wedding. This means that season five is when the bump will start showing, and while mid-season-five is probably when the real-life baby will make its real-world debut, little Penelope or Kale or Tweed or … Zooey … probably won’t be debuted until the season-five finale.

Can. Not. Wait. 

In fact, I can’t wait for a lot of what the future of New Girl has in store, especially if in store are more episodes like “Coming Out.” Laugh-out-loud funny, heartfelt, frenetic, and comfortable, “Coming Out” is a near-perfect display of all of the skills New Girl has been honing throughout the first half of this season. It’s fitting that a baby is potentially on the way, since we are now seeing just how strong New Girl can be when its weird little family continues to expand. It’s not just Jess and Nick and Winston and Schmidt anymore. It’s Jess and Ryan and Nick and Kai and Schmidt and Cece and Winston and Coach and Lorenzo and Outside Dave and Tran and everyone else, and it’s never been better. New Girl is finally the true ensemble comedy it was always trying to be.

In part, that’s probably due to the fact that Jess’s love life is no longer on the line. If the showrunners at New Girl are smart, comfortably with Ryan is where they’ll leave Jess for a while. I’ve written at length about how much I like them as a couple, and at even further length about how little I really care about Jess’s dating misadventures, so this is really the best of all possible worlds. But it’s not just Jess whose relationships are finally feeling stable: Everyone seems like they’re in a really good place here. It’s as though they’re all wearing crystal pendants under their adorable outfits.

First, we’ve got Jess and Ryan, whom Coach pushes to come clean about their relationship to the other teachers. If I have one major criticism about this episode, it’s that it’s entirely anticlimactic when it comes to the reveal of Jess and Ryan’s “extracurricular activities,” given how much was made about their sneaking around. That said, Brian Posehn’s fake call to his mom more than makes up for the blue balls — hell, it’s so good, it almost makes up for “Goldmine.” Speaking of Brian Posehn, the man all but picks up the episode in his giant ginger arms and runs away with it. His suggestion for a field trip to go see “foli-gee” initially loses out to Ryan’s significantly better idea (he’s so perfect that I’m looking forward to finding out what his flaws are), but Jess is pressured into not appearing to play favorites, and the biology class is instead forced to do Lorenzo’s yard work for him.

Side note: Is it too much to hope that we might get Lorenzo and Outside Dave in the same room? And if not, is it a pipe dream to hope that they might end up as a couple? (Gone but never forgotten, Sarah Silverman Program.) Also, why were all the teachers present except for Angela Kinsey?

Coach hopes the news that Ryan is taken will return the attention of the female teachers back to him, and is baffled to find that a girlfriend isn’t enough to negate the charm of the “boy [who] looks like he was raised in a muffin.” Winston’s suggestion? “You got girl troubles, get a crystal.” Indeed, what started as rookie police-hazing has turned into a way of life for Winston, who now happily espouses the virtues of the crystal. It is blissfully weird, and only Jess actually takes him up on it, wearing the crystal as she declares her love for Ryan as well as her status as Head Bitch in Charge.

Cece (who I guess has now replaced Nick as the bartender friend?) is given short shrift in this episode. As much as I like Kai, especially in relation to Nick, it felt as though she was blowing up Cece’s spot tonight. Where was Cece while Schmidt was sick? Couple or not, Cece’s absence was felt as Kai and Nick attempted to take care of Schmidt and the ulcer that’s been four seasons in the making. Schmidt doesn’t want to stop working, however, because he’s attempting to land the “red potatoes account,” which he says will be the biggest “since jasmine rice.” (Schmidt’s ad agency only dealing with bizarrely generic items is far and away my favorite running joke of the season.)

It occurred to me watching “Coming Out” that Nick and Schmidt’s friendship is rooted entirely in their status as the two oldest young men on the planet. (Or are they the youngest old men?) They both hate youths, use “word processors,” and understand what it means to assume the position of a “1920s boxer.” The key difference between them is the type of old man each is, deep down. Nick is the “bum who other bums look at and say, ‘What is that bum smiling about?’” Schmidt is the dad from “Cat’s in the Cradle.” 

The best part of having someone around who’s known you that long is having someone to remind you of parts of yourself that have long remained buried. For Nick, that means that Schmidt recalls a time when he was “Da Vinci in tie-dye.” The two realize they are greater than the sum of their parts and decide to go into business together. While it’s unclear what that business will be, exactly, one can only hope that it entails more beer-drinking out of rubber-glove fingers. I also hope it will become clearer as to what Kai’s role in Nick life will ultimately be. Right now, she’s his girlfriend and enabler, but Greta Lee is a wonderful actress, and I hope she's allowed to do more than just help Nick stagnate. 

There was a lot going on this week, but it was a chaos that ultimately amounted to a pleasant, spritely hum. The show is starting to really tear into all of its exciting new possibilities … just like ripping into a beautiful baguette.

* IMDb informs us that her name is Kai, not “Kaya”; I’m sorry about the mistake in previous recaps!