Hello, Newbies. I am your host today while my colleague Lanford Beard takes a well-deserved overseas vacation.
This latest episode of New Girl, “TinFinity” (I’ll explain that odd title in a moment), had the roomies at each other’s throats a little more than usual. There was plenty of drama and heartfelt moments, but of course still plenty of room for New Girl’s brand of quirky, ridiculous comedy. And the fallout (read: hilarity) after the Kiss continued.
Now, about that title: The episode kicks off with Schmidt pronouncing that they are coming fast upon his and Nick’s 10-year anniversary as roommates.
Quickie Flashback Time gives us a look at a couple past anniversaries: the wood anniversary (that’s number 5) when goatee!Nick sliced his roomie’s hand while the guys were chopping wood, and the paper anniversary (number 1, so back in college here), when fat!Schmidt woke up moustache!Nick by leaping out of a giant newspaper-covered box. (Side note: I love that Nick and Schmidt of the early 2000s have Fight Club and X-Files posters on their dorm walls.)
When Schmidt announces that the traditional gift for 10th anniversaries is tin, Jess has a realization that totally blows her mind and Schmidt’s (but Nick and Winston, not so much): the periodic table symbol for tin is Sn – as in Schmidt and Nick! (I can only imagine the reaction in the writers room when someone made this discovery).
So Schmidt organizes a TinFinity-themed party in the park, with Nick reluctantly helping him. Schmidt gives him two responsibilities in the party prep: balloons (which Nick promptly forgets, providing us with what is surely the first time anyone has been able to shout “balloons!” with anger) and porta potties.
At the party, there are no balloons in sight, but Nick is extremely pleased to present to Schmidt his new purchase: a single grimy, moldy porta potty (which Nick purchased for $60 before the local porta potty company threw it out with the garbage). Schmidt is of course, disgusted by the thing, but it’s all okay because there’s a backup in place. Schmidt had brought a couple bathroom trailers (is that even what you’d call those things?). “I thought that was the visitor’s center!” Nick says. And he is none too happy that Schmidt didn’t trust him to get a task done.
The B story in all of this was Jess’ determination to get “a different mouth on my mouth to erase that mouth” – that mouth, of course, being Nick’s. The solution, she and Cece decide, is to find Jess a man who can express his feelings, unlike Nick the panic moonwalker.
When Jess tries to find a good man at the bar, she bats 0 for 3. Or maybe negative-3 considering how awful the guys she finds are. Then walks in pro-footballer Jax McTaven (way to create a really tough name for your athlete, New Girl), whom Winston brings to the bar after interviewing him at the radio station. He’s so psyched about hitting it off with Jax (played by Reba dorky hunk Steve Howey), but then things go downhill for him when Jess insists on introducing herself to the guy and his ponytail. Winston isn’t too keen on his embarrassing roommate stealing away Jax’s attention, but steal it away she does, even when Winston is convinced he has an upper hand in this contest because he knows a lot about sports and Jess knows nothing about sports. Winston, buddy, don’t you know that if men weren’t into women who don’t like sports, all the world’s over-population problems would be solved? Yes, there are probably more sports-savvy girls than ever now but still certainly not enough to go around.
Jess’ sports-ignorance proves to actually work to her advantage. A game of touch football (actually touch-Jess-but-tackle-Winston football) turns into a major flirtfest. “You want me? Come and get me!” “I want you. You can’t get by me!” You get the idea.
Later after the game, Jess and Jax are tossing the football back and forth, and Jax confesses, “I like you. A lot.” But then things get weird when he starts to get a little too emotional. He starts to tear up, tries to shake it off with a clearing of the throat and walks off to get a beer – because he’s a MAN. And MEN drink beer!
Now you Nick/Jess shippers (i.e. 90 percent of all New Girl fans) are probably wondering what Nick thinks of Jax. Well, when Jess first sits down with him at the bar, he is clearly totes jealous. And later, when Jess asks him what’s up with the porta-potty (or “dirt dungeon,” as Schmidt calls it), Nick lets out his frustrations about people not using his porta-potty, and Jess points out that this is really about something else. Nick immediately clams up and says, “I don’t want to talk about this.” And there’s Jess’ opportunity to say that she wants a man who can talk about his feelings. And Nick’s opportunity to scoff at that and insist that’s not what she wants.
NEXT PAGE: Nick finally talks about his feelings