I’ll confess. I was reminded about something coming at some point this season on New Girl, and now, everything that happens until then is just foreplay. (If you want to know, click here, but be warned: spoilers). This episode fell squarely in that foreplay category. What’s worse, not one second of CeCe.
This week’s episode opened setting up the two plots pretty quickly. First, Schmidt feels like he’s a bad person after what he did to CeCe and Elizabeth, and this has been causing him to lose sleep. Then, a sketchy-looking associate of Nick’s late father drops off something that was to be given to Nick after his death: a paper bag containing $8,000 cash.
What does Nick decide to do with the cash? He takes Winston and Jess with him to the mall where he buys a bunch of shoes — some of which aren’t even his size, gets a massage and has a portrait taken of himself. We also learn that Winston is enabling him because he feels that this is the only way he’s going to trick Nick into paying him back $1,900 Nick owes him. Jess, on the other hand, is alarmed and once they get back to the apartment, tries to suggest to Nick that he open a bank account. Nick is not having any of this since “a bank account is just like a paper bag but with fancier walls.” It is at this point that we are introduced to the titular box. It is where Nick keeps all his “junk” that he doesn’t feel like dealing with, which is mostly comprised of bills. Jess is horrified. Unfortunately, Nick finds the idea of using the money to pay his bills just slightly less ridiculous than going to the doctor for a checkup.
Schmidt, in the meantime, goes to a very confused rabbi (Jon Lovitz) for some advice to deal with how he’s feeling. He is told to start thinking about other people. Coincidentally, as he’s leaving, he witnesses a bike messenger who is hit by a car and is, for some reason, choking. Schmidt applies the Heimlich maneuver and saves his life, which Schmidt realizes is exactly what he needed.
Back at the apartment, Winston is baking for Nick and softening up as he tries to get his money back, unsuccessfully. In the other room, Jess is using Nick’s money to pay his bills without him knowing. Nick proclaims that Jess is the only one he trusts to stay out of his box and goes to the bar to get loaded. Winston finds out that Jess is in fact the one who is meddling in Nick’s box and tries to blackmail her by getting his money from her.
At the bar, Schmidt suggests that Nick give his money to Tzedakah, or charity (or tzatziki, as Nick says it). Nick rushes home and finds that Jess actually spent all his money paying his bills. Schmidt goes to the hospital to seek some reassurance from the messenger he saved and just realizes that bad things happens to good people, so maybe he doesn’t want to be a good person.
While going through his box, Jess finds out that:
- Nick started a corporation called Fatface
- But he thought he was filing a patent
- He got a false lifeguard certificate even though he can’t swim as a beach prank when he was 26
- He refuses to pay taxes until gay marriage is legal everywhere
This leads to an argument where Nick tells Jess that he is tired of her trying to fix him and she just wants him to grow up a little. He ridicules Jess’ collection of vintage purses (really, they were all pretty ugly) and proceeds to throw them all out the window. Nick gives Jess a choice to accept him as he is or leave. Jess writes Nick a check for the money she spent to pay his bills and leaves.
(I got really hopeful that we had seen the end of the Nick/Jess thing right about now.)
Schmidt goes back to the rabbi, who happens to be teaching a bar mitzah class, and tells him that he realizes “there is no good and bad, just winners and losers.” The point of which is maybe there’s no point in trying so hard to be a good person because bad stuff can happen to you anyway (I think?). He promptly gets thrown out.
Jess, in the street below the apartment with a homeless person who had collected all her vintage purses which Nick had thrown out, receives a call from her bank because a guy is trying to open an account with a check of hers. (I wasn’t aware this would cause a bank to call the person who wrote the check, but whatever). Nick tells Jess that he’s opening a checking account because he would do anything for her.
Finally, Schmidt returns to the apartment to find that Winston has a surprise for him: a candelabra he bought with the money Nick repaid him. Winston tells Schmidt he’s a good person, and that’s all Schmidt needed to hear. However, Schmidt asks Winston how many times he rubbed the candelabra hoping a genie would come out, to which Winston replies, “three.”
There was a little bit of running in place to this episode. The scenes from next week’s episode promised more CeCe (yay!) and there are things that will happen later on in the season that will definitely shake things up. Until then, we were forced to play inside the box for a week.
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.