'New Girl' recap: 'Men! Men! Men! Oh, my cowman hat!'

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Armed with a kitchen knife duct-taped to a pole, Schmidt, Coach, and Nick go hunting. And by hunting, I mean walk in circles and say things like “If something’s in there and you get injured, I promise you I will kill you fast.” Hunger Games, this is not — even if Schmidt can detect scat Bear Grylls-style. The episode relies on a wishy-washy conceit — aren’t they smart enough to realize how silly hunting and foraging in a state park for Thanksgiving is? But it does allow for inspired antics like Schmidt falling for his own squirrel trap. I guess he got into the mind of a squirrel all too well — just not this one. Fashioning a sling for Schmidt’s injured shoulder out of his jacket, Coach reveals that he was an Eagle Scout. He knows a thing or two about the wood, after all.

Jess tries to forage but relents to Coach and Cece’s insistence to go to a nearby country store after sticking her hands in a brambly bush. Following the plan to buy only foods “found in the forest,” they buy a fruit and vegetable smorgasbord including cashews, beets, and avocado. They can obviously be found from a cashew bush, beet bush, and avocado bush, duh. Upon returning to the camp — and slowly realizing they bought rather than gathered the food — Nick feels “betrayed” just like the first Thanksgiving. (No…that came afterwards.) He storms off to cook and eat his dead fish on his own.

Ever since he started dating Jess, Nick admits that he’s lost a bit of his identity including his high tolerance to alcohol. In a show of appreciation for his “mountain man” efforts, Jess eats from the rotted fish. Nick advises against it, confessing way too late that the fish was already dead when he caught it. She’s already swallowed the meat — bones and all — and soon after, starts to hallucinate and runs off. I’m not sure that’s how quickly delirium sets in but no matter, the show is on sitcom time.

The group searches for Jess, but as soon as they spot her, she falls into Nick’s bear trap. Nick jumps after her, head first — literally. Schmidt and Coach decide this is the best time to talk about their “feelings” as Coach admits that what Jess and Schmidt saw happen between Cece and Coach is as far as the two went. Now, Cece has been ignoring Coach. This comforts Schmidt, which, of course, angers Coach. Cece focuses the battling boys’ attentions, so that they make a pants-rope to pull Nick and Jess out of the trap. (On my Christmas list this year: lady versions of Winston’s non-kitten long-johns. Heck, they might already be the lady version.)

Cut to: Jess and the gang are at a local hospital, where Jess is being treated for eating rotten fish. But all is well — she doesn’t have rabies and didn’t lose her foot! Wait, what? (Moral of the story: don’t eat already dead fish.) Nick makes Jess’s initial wish for Thanksgiving come true with another smorgasbord, this time boasting a pack of brazilian nuts, chips, ginger ale, and an old cafeteria sandwich. New Girl shows that all you need for the holidays is to enjoy the company of family and friends — although not having Legionnaires’ disease is also probably ideal.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Or as terrible people say, Happy Brown Thursday!

Notable Dotables…

Jess: I thought you hated camping and nature. You said you were afraid a fly was gonna fly in your head and learn all of your thoughts.

Nick: (mumbling) Real men are on the bottom.

Jess: (correcting Cece)  Grammar is important.

Winston: We could’ve made the craziest mugs, man.

Nick: Do you think George Washington had a pet cat? He didn’t. He hunted them, and he made milk and butter out of their spoils.
Coach: You’re saying George Washington milked his cat?
Cece: Nothing is sounding accurate at all.
Schmidt: Where’d you read this?

Coach:How do you get into the mindset of a squirrel?
Schmidt:(crouches) Tk-Tk-Tk-Tk! I’m a squirrel.
Coach:You do that really well.

Nick: I don’t mean to be laughing, but are you okay?

Coach: A little FYI, the first Thanksgiving was the good one.

Schmidt: Goodness gracious, what are you a sorcerer?

Jess: I’m seeing some interesting things. I’m out of the office ’til Friday. For immediate assistance, please call Deb at extension A.C. Slater.

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