That night, Jess showed up at the bar to support Nick’s new “Guys’ Night” promotion. (Even Jess had to admit giving guys free drinks at a dive bar was the world’s worst idea, though apparently the bar was making mad money on nacho upsells.) Nick tried desperately to separate Jess and Shane and, failing that, tried to play it cool so neither of them would notice his relationship with the other. Of course Shane blew that by slapping his ass and mauling him with her mouth. Nick’s claim that all his coworkers — including a guy named Big Bob — were having sex didn’t fly. Nick apologized to an obviously upset Jess, who sputtered out that she had not reason to be upset. Shane did, though, when Jess described Nick’s relationship with Shane as “gettin’ some stank on it.” Offended, Shane asked Nick what Jess meant to him, and he stumbled around until he settled on “roomfriend.”
Begin nerd transmission. Let’s pause for a minute and consider the term “roomfriend”? To my mind, it shows Nick already half-considers Jess his girlfriend. Even if he had said “roommate,” Shane would still have picked up the tension. And yet, he couldn’t stop himself from inventing this hybrid term for his fundamentally complex, weird-and-wonderful relationship with Jess. (Related note: Do you think the writers debated using this term over “girlmate”?) As someone in the business of words, it was a wonderfully dynamic way of showing not only his attempt at hedging his bets, but it was also probably the truest thing to come out cagey Nick Miller’s mouth in a long time. Just as satisfying, it also defies the typical definitions of relationships in a way that is delightfully consistent with this bizarro courtship. It was so THEM. End nerd transmission.
Despite her claim that she had no rights over Nick, Jess upset enough to storm out the bar. Nick followed her home, where she snarked, “I’m really glad her name is Shane. Who’s next? Cody? Tex? The Sheriff?” To Nick’s credit, he shut down her snarky banter and forced the issue. He told her what she’d said on the pain meds and admitted getting together with her was something he’d “thought about a lot.” He lost his train of thought a little when he started talking about his “little piggy,” so she yelled, “What are you talking about?!” He asked bluntly, “Do you want to have sex with me or don’t you?” Jess: “YES! … NO! … YES!” (And we’ll count that a win for the “Yes”-es.)
Terrified of the silence between them, Jess backpedaled furiously, claiming she was only attracted to him because he was getting his s— together. He called her a gold digger, and she snapped back that, if that were true, she’d be “the worst gold digger in the world.” It was clear at this point he playing with Jess, and she was playing along. He continued ribbing her as he moved in closer. She moved in, too. Then they were face to face. She said one last time, “I’m not a gold digger!” Nick: “Then prove it.” Cue the frenzied kissing.
They careened around the loft, each fighting to be on top as they made out on tables, couches, whatever moved them an inch closer to Nick’s bedroom. It was hot, yes, but also hilarious as they continued to reinjure each other. (Join me in overlooking the “They’re only hurting each other!” metaphor… at least for now.) They would kiss and yell at each other, kiss and yell at each other. Jess: “Kiss me like a man. You are a mess! Why are you so angry all the time?” Nick: “You are so annoying in your little shorts!” But the clincher? When Nick said, “Shut up and take off your damn clothes. I mean it.” Excuse me for a moment while I fan myself.
The sexy crash course, sadly, came to an abrupt halt when Nick shattered a giant fish tank Schmidt had installed in the living room. Nick volunteered to get some paper towels, and Jess immediately snarked about what an absurdly useless response that would be. And so they had stopped kissing and were back to bickering. But it’s funny: They might as well have been holding hands as they walked in tandem, yelling each other, back to their separate rooms. They slammed their doors then immediately reopened them so they could meet in the middle for one more furious embrace before heading back to their rooms alone. So tonight wasn’t the night, but it was a major one, no less. Anything else would have been too much, too soon, yes? Either way, Nick and Jess… it is ON.
Which leaves us to wonder how long they’ll be able push off the inevitable. Next week sees the gang go back to Chicago to meet Nick’s family. For a number of reasons, I think that’s a non-starter, sexually speaking. The next week is a repeat of “Cooler” (set your DVRs, Newbies — that is, if you don’t still have the ep saved on there from Jan. 29!). Now, as we know, the April 30 episode will flash back to the each roommate’s devirginization. So will they be reflecting on their first times before or after Jess and Nick’s first time together? Oh, the anticipation!
NEXT: Schmidt’s gone fishin’