This week’s episode of New Girl was a game changer, which was kind of a surprise. I’ve made no secrets about how ridiculous I thought the Schmidt-Cece-Elizabeth love triangle was, but after seeing last week’s manic episode involving the trio, I started to see the comedic potential in having Schmidt try to juggle the two women. Which is why “Double Date” caught me off-guard. It’s not often that a series will dramatically alter the dynamic of its main characters just three episodes into the season, but it seems like that’s what may have happened here.
The episode begins by Schmidt once again having to somehow reconcile the fact that he’s supposed to have “Dexter and pie” with Elizabeth on the same night he agreed to go on a double date with Cece, Jess and Nick. The B plot is also laid out when the two couples agree to let Winston tag along as a +1 if he can score a reservation at a newly opened popular restaurant, Picca. No worries, though. Winston bets the group that he could “get a table at a chair store.”
Apparently Schmidt’s odd behavior has not gone unnoticed as Cece approaches Jess and Nick (while they’re still in bed) and asks them if Schmidt is on drugs. Jess points out how unlikely that is since after Lance Armstrong got busted, he just “stared at that yellow bracelet and cried.” Jess bribes Nick to talk to Schmidt against his better judgment by offering him “treats.” They proceed to get gross.
In the meantime, Winston finds out that there are no reservations available at Picca for seven weeks. His only option, is to try his luck at the community table.
Back at the apartment, Schmidt comes clean to Nick, but also tells him that under no circumstances is he to tell Jess, which is a problem since Nick cannot lie. His solution is to wear a helmet, which Jess takes as Nick’s finally agreeing to “no-kiss sex.” This doesn’t last long and after the “no-kiss sex” Nick lets the cat out of the bag. At this point, Jess freaks out and goes after Schmidt and tells him he has to tell Cece, while Nick is in the background doing this to keep everyone happy:
When Cece shows up for the double date, instead of telling her, he whisks her away to the restaurant before Jess can interrupt. Schmidt and Cece drive off with Nick and Jess driving after them.
Winston had gone back to Picca to try and squeeze his way into the community table and slowly gross the other patrons out so that he can reserve the open seats. While he was successful in securing the community table, his attempt to reserve the table by ordering 8 entrees and taking a bite out of each entree had raised suspicions in the restaurant.
In the car, Schmidt lied again to Cece by telling her it was Nick who had cheated on Jess with someone he met at a gas station who was “deeply, deeply Korean.” Cece gets so angry she feels the only solution would be to punch Nick in the nuts, even though Schmidt implored her to try to understand why he would do such a thing. The episode came to a head at Picca, where Cece arrived just in time to not get Winston kicked out. Schmidt locked himself in his car refusing to let the valet do his job. Jess runs in to tell Cece the truth. And Nick tries to avoid paying $12 for valet parking.
In the end, Schmidt goes into the restaurant and tells Cece the truth. But not before Schmidt’s lie led to this (twice):
He explains that he found himself in this predicament because he didn’t want to hurt anyone, especially Cece. He then made some lame excuse about how he used to be super fat and never had any girls like him, so he didn’t know how to “do this.” (Whatever that means).
When everyone gets back to the apartment, we find out that Cece told Elizabeth what had happened. So, the night’s original plans of Dexter and pie turned into
Going forward, Schmidt somehow, unbelievably blames Nick and Jess for his situation and vows to break them up.
In my recap for the season premiere, I expressed concern about what happens next. This new dynamic keeps things moving and prevents some of the staleness that I feared would happen. Could Schmidt go from being the misunderstood good guy to just a downright jerk? I’m in (as long as this doesn’t mean less Cece).
G.B. doesn’t stand for Gareth Bale. It might stand for Graduated, Barely (from law school). After spending time in Texas and Pennsylvania, he now lives in Northern California where he makes gifs and watches a lot of TV, movies and sports.