Operation: Cece Sabo — Phase 2 also incurred damage, but not necessarily to the expected parties. While Shivrang sat on the marital altar wishing dearly for an ice pack, Cece looked resplendent in her red sari as she walked down the aisle to the sweet strains of… “Cotton Eye Joe” by Rednex? Nick ran to the back, where Winston had hijacked the sound system. Jess followed close behind. But! Instead of thinking Nick was trying to save the day, she accused him of being in cahoots with Schminston. To be fair, all the circumstantial evidence was there — the sound system had been duct taped (in a hobo handyman quick fix that Jess deemed “brilliant”), “Cotton Eye Joe” was Nick’s jam (we even got a flashback to prove it), and he was uncontrollably fist pumping even as he insisted he’d done nothing wrong. Jess called him childish, echoing her dad’s doubts about him and confirming to him that she didn’t really want him. Thus, Nick fllipped and joined Operation: Cece Sabo. If this were Homeland, Nick-as-Brody would basically be a quadruple agent by now.
Phase 3 was already in progress when Schmidt came to Jess in a full-on panic, panting as he admitted, “We went too far. It’s bad. It’s really bad!” He admitted the final prank was Winston’s idea. After she gasped, “Oh my God!” Jess knew she had to bring up the big guns, threatening Schmidt, “Tell me everything, or I’ll mess up your hair — your precious hair.” While she gave him a scalp noogie interrogation, we cut to the air ducts above, where Nick was discovering exactly what Winston had devised for the pièce de prank-sistance.
A little background: Before Winston had gotten drunk with adrenaline and prank-power, he’d spotted Bucky the Badger, the mascot for the University of Wisconsin, outside the venue. Somewhere between horse spooking and ’90s Eurotrash pop, Winston had abducted Bucky for use in his masterpiece — dropping the varmint on the priest mid-ceremony. Flash back to the present, where Bucky was hissing and snarling as Winston banged his carrier against the metal in the air shaft above the ceremony. (Or, as Schmidt told repeatedly, “The duuuuuuucts!” Jess finally slapped him out of it.)
The upside: In seeking help from Jess, Schmidt also inadvertently revealed that Nick hadn’t been involved in the plot from the get-go — that he’d fought for Jess initially and only joined after she berated. Unfortunately, the guilt Jess felt was useless because he was already terror-struck as he shimmied around in a tight space with a jacked-up Winston and an irate badger. And he was right to be scared. Jess tried to get things under control by calling Nick, triggering Winston’s paranoia (“they can track us using our phones!!!!”). The resulting scuffle accidentally set Bucky free — just in time for Jess to join them in the air shafts (because nothing says comedy like a loose badger and a woman in a flowy skirt!) as Winston told her, “Welcome, welcome! I’m pretty sure this is where we die.”
Instead of high-tailing it out of there, Winston started thinking very deeply. About the earth: “We gotta leave it better than how we found it.” About himself: “Sometimes I think I never really felt love, you know? You know?!” Closing thought: “Boobies!”
Meanwhile, Jess and Nick had the most claustrophobic heart-to-heart of all time. He asked her point-blank if she was scared he’d been too much of a mess and if she felt like a relationship between them might be a mistake. She admitted she did partly feel that way. And then they fell through the ceiling — at that, Nick received a disapproving head shake from Bob.
NEXT: The fallout (literally)