Back to Nick and Schmidt: When Schmidt gives Nick note cards with a prepared toast that Nick is supposed to read about Schmidt, that’s the last straw. And here’s where Nick is finally able to talk about his feelings, and we have our man-to-man talk about their troubled bromance.
“Why is it that you think you’re better than me, Schmidt?” he says. “Our friendship didn’t used to be this way. Remember when we were back in college when we were equals?” – and there we get a flashback to the boys laughing it up about how equally loser they were – “And then you got that juicer, which I was excited about. You were at a dangerous fat level. But somehow you became skinny, and I became this idiot that you need to take care of.”
“TinFinity” gave us Schmidt at near-peak-level douchy. We all know this character works because Max Greenfield made him a lovable douche, a douche with a heart. But there was a little less heart tonight. Between destroying a kid’s soccer ball, telling Shrivang “welcome to America” and intentionally ordering beef tacos because he would be there, and writing Nick’s toast for him with declarations like “I’d be nothing without you” – Schmidt was at some of his douchiest here. That heart only showed itself when it was broken – as he saw the love of his life proposed to by another man.
Yes, Shrivang popped the question, a surprise that Cece reveled in after he’d basically proposed-without-proposing earlier in the episode. Then he pulled out all the stops that should be pulled for any memorable proposal – but they were Schmidt’s stops. His hired DJ initiates the “toast sequence”: there’s a spotlight on Shrivang, red and blue lighting effects, Queen’s “Save Me,” and at the big moment – “Yes!” and a kiss – there’s a shower of confetti.
Soon after, Jess and Jax’s budding romance abruptly ends when Jax decides to ride on the coattails of Shrivang’s proposal. He takes the mic and declares that Jess has stolen his heart, that he wants to have her babies and that he’s found his third wife. Classy, dude. Jess runs away, Jax is last seen sobbing into Winston’s chest, and that’s the end of that.
Nick and Schmidt patch things up, and it’s a pretty sweet couple of moments: Nick rushes to comfort his roommate after devastated Schmidt walks away from the anniversary-turned-engagement party. Schmidt isn’t all that great with talking about his feelings either – he says he’s just upset about the lighting cues and the party’s off girl-to-guy ratio – but they both know Nick knows what he’s really upset about. And they both know that Schmidt’s pining for the girl who just got harder to get is only evidence that both of them still have a lot of their lives to figure out.
Then Nick shows Schmidt that he didn’t really forget the balloons: he rented a balloon – a hot air balloon! But, being Nick, he didn’t realize he had to get propane. So Nick and Schmidt have a peaceful moment away from the party in the grounded hot air balloon, when they both finally agree that 10 years of living with your college roommate is “upsetting but kind of great.”
Now, onto the major question this episode raises: If Schmidt can afford to throw a party like this – with tables decked out with daffodils (yes, the 10th anniversary flower) and all sorts of tin (including tin candelabras), several blown-up black-and-white portraits of him and Nick, fancy couches and chairs, a popcorn machine, a hot dog stand, those “visitor’s centers,” a giant infinity symbol-shaped cake, a DJ, the stage and all the fancy lighting, a lot of alcohol, plus the cost of renting out the whole park – then why doesn’t he just live in his own apartment? Surely he could afford to, even in L.A. There’s a line of his during that cute moment in the hot air balloon, “Not having roommates is for losers.” But is that really believable? Just think about how much Schmidt would love having a space to call his own, with his décor only, his food in the fridge only, no need for a Douche Jar and no damp towels. Maybe he really, really does care about Nick, but if that’s the case, then this episode spent a little bit too much time convincing us that he really likes to have a guy he sees as inferior around to boost his own self-worth.
Time for your two cents on “TinFinity,” Newbies. What did you think of Steve Howey’s guest appearance? How long do you think Cece’s arranged engagement will last? How was the interesting phenomenon of watching a show about roommates with your roommates for this anniversary-celebrating episode? Did anyone want to answer Cece’s “What is happening in this loft?” with “Girl, we wonder that every week”? Any grammar Nazis cringed at both Nick’s and Schmidt’s ability to properly use “me” and “I”? No? Just me then. And what would you like to see happen next in the saga of the Roommates of 4D?
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