It’s interesting that this week was all about scoring because New Girl needs a win just about as bad as Coach’s beloved Pistons. Did it get one? Well, let’s just say this week probably could have used more overtime. To mix metaphors à la Schmidt, the show stuck the landing — which saw Jess and Nick in sports jerseys that symbolized compromise — but the episode overall left me wondering, Did I really need to go through all that just for this? I guess any game, or relationship, sees phases of exciting conflict followed by plenty o’ same-old-same-old… unfortunately, the relationship in which we’re truly invested (Jess and Nick) is mostly static for the time being, while the attempt to create conflict occurred between Jess and… Coach? Let me explain.
“Basketsball” (named after Jess’s malapropism for netball or the hoopgame, or whatever the sporty kids are calling it these days) found our heroine desperate to get buddy-buddy with Coach. Unfortunately, she’d learned during a “Team Drug Store” trip that Coach considered her nothing than more his buddy’s girlfriend. She griped to the other guys: “What a walnut! It’s been two months… and I have yet to crack him.” At Nick’s suggestion (sort of), Jess embarked upon crackin’ that nut with a lot of basketball watching. You see, she was convinced that sports would eventually lead to revelations about his past because “childhood [is] the friendship money shot.”
Coach quest, alas, also involved a fair amount of lying because Jess didn’t know a damn thing about a “basketsball.” You know who did know about basketball? Nick. A diehard Bulls fan, he was predisposed to despise the Detroit Pistons, Coach’s team of choice, but he was willing to humor his lady. That is, until she made some headway by somehow convincing Coach the “Pistons Butt Bump” was a thing (it’s not, right?) and slithering into his bed wearing a Pistons shirt. Thus began the “sex stand-off”; the “sex tap” was off.
Amid bouts of mind-numbing losses by her new team, fair-weather fan Jess also had to confront Nick’s seductive taunting, which included repulsive metaphors (sexy dental hygiene?), at least one pair of short-shorts, several racy photos taken with a disposable camera, and a lot of sexy squats. Witness:
Ridiculously, yet predictably, Nick managed to turn on himself more than Jess.
For Jess, the stand-off meant pretty much doing everything she’d been doing all along… just with a few more Paula-Abdul-circa-1989 tics. What can I say? Men are easy. In any case, all the high jinks were in service of their respective points about male-female relationships as well as their resolve as “sports fans” (I use those quotes loosely in the case of Jess. Obviously).
Long story short, Jess and Nick both broke eventually — Jess in more ways than one. After she sabotaged the common room TV in hopes of having actual conversation with Coach, he lured her to a sports bar, where she finally came clean. Weirdly, her giving up worked in all regards. It led her to slip into a Bulls jersey and wait for Nick — who had himself donned a Pistons jersey. And thus ended the sex stand-off.
Backtracking a little, Nick had advised Coach to give a little to his relationship with Jess, so Coach gave Jess a glimpse into his childhood — and into her future as more than just Nick’s girlfriend. Ironically, she’d already fully reinvested in her relationship by the time Coach came around. So his attempts at emotional intimacy would have to wait until she was done having makeup sex with Nick. Apparently, they’d be the only ones doing butt bumps that night.
NEXT: Respect your elders, Schmidt!