'New Girl' recap: I'm Okay, You're Okay (JK, We're All Broken Up)

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Image Credit: Jennifer Clasen/Fox

Whenever New Girl has had a big plot point in, it’s always been interesting how they handle — or don’t — the fallout in the next episode. A few examples: Jess and Nick’s first kiss in “Cooler” was followed by the Indian speed-dating shenanigans of “Table 34″; the roomfriends were doin’ it and doin’ it and doin’ it well in “Virgins,” but “Winston’s Birthday” felt a bit like a digression; and it’s probably best if we don’t dwell too much on “Exes” (aside from Adam Brody’s dreaminess therein) because it had the misfortune to air in the wake of the excellent “I love you” declarations on “Prince.” So, as you can see, New Girl‘s track record when it comes to following up on its milestone moments is… well… not so good. I’m very happy to say that the latest episode, tracking the repercussions of Jess and Nick’s split, is the exception. From the returns of Tran(!) and Furguson(!!!) to the throwbacks to the ridiculous costumes and submissive monkey noises, the episode was a real treat. Sweet as a Honey Roast-ed peanut, and just as cute.

In typical New Girl style, “Big News” picked up the morning after the break-up. Nick woke up to find his hand covered in Memento-style notes: “You and Jess broke up”… “Bed got burned”… “It was not a dream”… “Writing left-handed is harb.” After he was startled by Jess in his closet (see Dotables), the exes began negotiating how exactly they’d cohabitate moving forward (no more seeing each other naked meant “boob season’s over” for Nick). They both pretended they were handling the split well — he wasn’t leaving her 300 voicemails, she wasn’t watching Dirty Dancing on repeat (pilot throwback!) — but it was clear their ability to maintain this ruse would be about as weak as Nick’s knowledge of Patrick Swayze’s filmography. Ghost is the one with Whoopi, Nick. Ghost! (ASIDE: Props to Jake Johnson for spot-on execution of that incredibly awkward tangent about a monkey documentary he watched, including but not limited to a noise of submission that sounded like Agnes’s “annoying” noise from Despicable Me. His last look was so pitiful, it added just a touch of pathos — which you wouldn’t imagine would be possible after the line “they also give each other oral pleasure, and they masturbate.” END OF ASIDE)

Jess and Nick also realized they’d have to tell the loftmates the titular “Big News,” so they headed out to the living room. Unfortunately, they stumbled upon Winston, Coach, and Schmidt singing “Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do…?” Yep! Winston passed his LAPD Academy entrance exam and wanted to throw himself a banquet. (Schmidt derided the idea of throwing a party for oneself “cheesy” — season 2 opener throwback! Though, does it count as throwing a party for yourself if you’re actually throwing it for your penis?) Given his hard-earned success, Winston felt entitled to ask, “Can anyone think of any reason why today should not be all about me?” And so it was clear Nick and Jess would have to hold in the announcement — and their feelings — for a little while longer.

The silver lining of Jess and Nick’s totally not “okay”-ness was that Nick went to the park to consult with Tran! (Highlights: “I’m sorry to pull you out of your dance class…. aw, the recital was today?” and “You’re also my best friend — don’t start that weird jazz train!”) Nick came away with one piece of advice: “The problem is the solution,” i.e. stay busy, i.e. put all his energy into planning Winston’s party so he wouldn’t think about Jess. While Tran was his usual placid, sage self, Jess’s mom was a blubbering mess who advised her daughter to “get that semen cookin’” so Jess could bear her some grandbabies. (Semi-related, it’s really a shame Jess’s mom never met Nick’s dad. They would have enjoyed so much semen-related conversation!)

So Nick returned to the apartment, Caucasian policeman piñata in hand, and said Winston shouldn’t relegate his celebration to a mere banquet. He should have his dream party. And what would that be? Winston didn’t miss a beat before declaring he wanted a Honey Roast. (Coach’s priceless react: “What the hell is that? Don’t say it like it’s some thing we know!”) A Honey Roast, apparently, is a roast where you can only say nice things about the person being roasted. Nick would make Winston a “prominent chair” (a.k.a. a throne) and also emcee. Oh, yeah, this is definitely not going to end badly.

NEXT: Coach gets touchy

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