Elsewhere, Winston was in his own monogamous relationship… with his new cat Ferguson. This entailed pasta dates and impromptu serenades. Have we discussed how much I LOVE when Winston sings? It is seriously the greatest thing. Get that man a record deal! (His first single would obviously be a dubstep/slow-jam cover of “Defying Gravity.”) Trying to prove that he hadn’t become a desperate loser, he not only invited himself on his roommates’ double date, he also made a bold promise that he could score a day-of reservation at an ultra-popular new restaurant called Picca. Then, undermining himself with great panache, Winston suggested, “You know what would be nuts? If I brought my cat Ferguson as a date!”
Flash forward: A Fergusonless Winston arrived at Picca. First, he ate a piece of glass thinking it was a mint. Then, upon learning there were no reservations for seven weeks, he engaged in a series of absurd and escalating maneuvers to secure a table. What started with attempted bribery (a business card scrawled with “IOU $10
0“) reached a midpoint so cray-cray he called the restaurant mimicking the voice of Toni Morrison (ha!) and ended with him desperately snagging the last seat at a communal table and then systematically driving away the other diners — through everything from stealing food off others’ plates to talking in some sort of “threatening” (read: vaguely African?) tongue-clicking language.
A had begun to form at the check-in desk by the time Winston had secured all eight spots at the communal table. He’d ordered a variety of entrees and strategically taken different-sized bites from all of them to keep up the ruse. (Say what you will about Winston, but the man is committed — and perhaps should be committed.) The only problem? His friends were nowhere to be found. The sequence of him looking around Picca after leaving his fourth voicemail for Jess was truly sad — not the saddest moment of the night, grant you (that was still to come), but enough to make all of us question our commitment to/comfort with singlehood.
The couples finally arrived at the restaurant, and Cece was amped up to beat the stuffing (or at least the testicles) out of Nick for creepin’ around on her bestie. Schmidt tried locking himself in his car and miming a phone conversation to buy some time, but he eventually had to go inside and face the music. The moment had come. And it was horribly uncomfortable — like, in the same way Day 39 of 40 Days of Dating or the penultimate episode of last season’s Bachelorette was wildly uncomfortable. eal talk: Break-ups suck — no matter how warranted they are — and this one didn’t even have a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt or a completely new fiancé as a parting gift! Schmidt’s speech about the lingering fat-boy insecurities that had led him to these despicable lies was legitimately tear-inducing. (Also: “You have no idea what you mean to me” — gah!) But it was Cece who deserved the most sympathy. (Hannah Simone acted tonight, y’all.) Cece didn’t deserve this. No one did. And, as much as we conceive of Schmidt as a douchebag with a heart of gold, this was beyond forgivable douchebaggery. It was just awful. You feel for Schmidt because Max Greenfield is so incredibly charismatic, but there’s nothing in the world that can justify what went down. What I’m saying is, Why must you make me feel, show? Whyyyyyy?!
Interestingly (and in an incredibly sweet scene), the sight of their best friends’ break-up only strengthened Jess and Nick’s resolve to make their relationship work. And boy will they need that resolve. After Cece called Elizabeth (whose last words to Schmidt were: “You broke my heart, mail me my mouth guard”), the d-bag had pie in his face and a vendetta in his heart. In typical Schmidt fashion, he immediately absolved himself of any guilt and placed all blame squarely on Nick and Jess. From henceforth, it would be his singular goal to break them up. And, while I’m sure the shenanigans to come will be amusing, this really is no laughing matter. For starters, there are many potential causes for conflict in Jess and Nick’s relationship (see Dotables). Add to that, Schmidt has nothing but time on his hands at this point — and I suspect he’s gotten pretty savvy with the time management during his cheating days.
On the upside, Winston might just have something to do now! There’s no way he’s not getting roped into this “project,” and no one can take an ill-conceived idea to DEFCON 1 like Winston can. Just don’t implicate Ferguson!
What do you think, Newbies? How much steam is there in Schmidt’s vengeance quest? I know there are plenty of you out there who don’t support Nick and Jess as a couple, so how would you like to see the roomfriends go down in flames?
NEXT: Schmidt locks and loads — plus all the potential ammo