Cut to later that night. Jess had dressed up as Joey Ramone-a Quimby, Winston was channeling his inner David Letterman (a costume based solely on a miscommunication at work that even included a completely inaccurate Letterman laugh), and Nick was wearing bunch of trash from his car because, you know… Nick. Instead of confronting his roommates, Schmidt popped up behind them and informed them he’d come to the party as a Public Serpent. (Check out the whole gang’s costumes here!) He told them he’d reread the e-mails from Keaton and determined that his icon would have wanted him to go to the party, then he smirkily complimented a clueless Winston on his “great costume: Maya Angelou.”
Jess sent Winston to stall Cece while she and Nick tried to put the charade back on track. Only, after a few too many slugs of Jack Daniels, she was sending “Keaton” e-mails to Schmidt willy-nilly — everything from “You’re in great danger, leave where you are immediately” to “I’ll meet you at your building in 30 minutes.” Long story short, a tipsy Jess borrowed a Batman costume from a random kid and embarked upon a laughably unconvincing impression of Michael Keaton as Batman circa 1989. Schmidt was wise to all this, but he of course gave his friends a few beats to humiliate themselves.
And yet! After all that, Schmidt spat, “You should be ashamed of yourselves. How dare you hack into the private e-mail account of one of our nation’s finest actors!” Jess was in so deep she was more than willing to preserve this last shred of Schmidt’s illusion, but Nick couldn’t keep up the lie any longer. He admitted, “I’m the owner of the e-mail address KeatonPotatoes@aol.com — it was me the whole time. How do you think I know that you kissed the bus driver at Spring Break? Or that you want to open up a glassware boutique in Connecticut? Or about the wall hole?” Setting what that means aside, Schmidt was particularly chagrined that his mom had originally conceived of the deceit — and advised him through a series of embarrassing public erections. (“I drew pictures!”)
And in case you didn’t think there was any more humiliation in store for Schmidt, that was exactly the moment when Winston arrived with Cece. Schmidt turned to run away and inadvertently knocked down a trick-or-treater. One of the kid’s friends screamed, “A bully!” and the tweens began mercilessly beating Schmidt with their candy-filled pillowcases. All while Cece watched. On the bright side, Nick no longer had the guilt of lying to his best friend for 12 years, and Schmidt was willing to accept his apology — even if the last bit (“You don’t need Keaton, you’ve got me“) sounded like “the end of a high school football movie.” What’s more, the bizarre interaction gave Cece some much-needed closure. A relieved Jess suggested they “fire up the ‘Batmanmobile,’ go to a taco stand, and eat some feelings.”
The next morning, Nick was cleaning up the mess from the party when Schmidt wheeled a suitcase to the door and said he’d made a decision. Nick asked, “You going to one of those weekend spas again, buddy?” (Jess echoed this question a few beats later.) But this wasn’t a weekend retreat — it was a new chapter in Schmidt’s life. He announced that, like Billy Joel, he was “Movin’ Out.” Well, it was Jess who almost had a heart attack-ack-ack-ack-ack at this — and Winston, who asked forlornly, “Who’s gonna do my fades?” — as Schmidt symbolically grabbed the (overflowing) Douchebag Jar, stuffed it into a box, and opened the door to leave (Jess: “Come on! How are you going to fit all your socks in that suitcase?”). Schmidt saluted them, saying, “Who knows when we’ll see each other again… or where?”
In fact, Schmidt’s journey to his new home wasn’t all that far. Just across the hall, as it were. Suffice it to say, the loftmates were suddenly a lot less upset. Or, as Nick put it, “It’d take me longer to walk from the kitchen to the bathroom than to where you are now.” Even after Schmidt closed the door on them, Jess chimed in, “I can see your feet!” Cut to a montage of Schmidt being joyously weird and alone in his new big-boy pad. Big question: How long ’til he gets a trampoline?
NEXT: The effect of an eCard