Certain Schmidt wouldn’t be coming to her party, Jess visited Cece and found her bestie wallowing in a pile of beer cans and her own filth. She pinky-swore Cece they wouldn’t cross paths and returned home, where Schmidt cheerfully name-dropped that his “old friend” Michael Keaton had told him to skip the party. Upon hearing this, Nick flew into a bug-eyed panic. After Schmidt left the room, he told Jess that any misstep could lead to the revelation that “Keaton” wasn’t real and create “a Truman Show situation.” (Cue a running gag that Winston refuses to admit he never actually saw The Truman Show, including but not limited to his insistence that the film was “about the Civil War.”) Nick said Schmidt had almost learned the truth once in college, but Nick had “handled it,” i.e. he had taken a blunt object to Schmidt’s head. Jess cockily dashed off an e-mail telling Schmidt that ”Keaton” was going on vacation, but the abrupt change in tone threw Schmidt into a deep depression. The roomies found him lying on his bed, and he told them, “I guess I’ll just always be the fat boy who eats fat-boy cheese….” Seriously, he must have taken out half a block in one bite! And then he whimpered. Repeatedly.
Nick scuttled Jess and Winston to the empty loft across the hall, where he donned a DIY Batman mask and readied himself to rescue Schmidt from dairy despair. While Jess broke it to Winston that his hero Robin was a joke, Nick stole liberally from Nelson Mandela as he/”Keaton” wrote a note to Schmidt: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.” To keep things Keaton-y, Nick added, “Remember what happened with the Penguin and the Riddler!” And he did all this while staring at a picture of a bear because “The great Michael Keaton attacks each new problem with the ferocity of a hungry brown bear. It is his entire acting philosophy — which I totally made up.”
Across the hall, Schmidt was happily condescending to trick-or-treaters and sending replies to Keaton when he heard the sound of his own messages being received. With that, the jig was up.
NEXT: Nick drops the Mike