Tuesday ended up being a Michael Keaton-themed day, and the man wasn’t even personally involved. First, we were treated to news that one of his most famous characters may be returning to the big screen. Then, we got this week’s episode of New Girl.
It turns out Schmidt has become totally unhinged after his breakup-squared, and he no longer goes to work. Instead, he sits in front of the TV all day watching the news, proclaiming nothing matters, and eating deli meats. Jess calls a secret meeting at the vacant apartment across the hall (which, for some reason, is unlocked?) with Nick and Winston to try and figure out how to help Schmidt. Except, it seems the only reason she wants to help Schmidt is because she’s planning a Halloween party and knows CeCe won’t come if Schmidt is there. (And, if that’s the case, then by all means, get rid of Schmidt.)
Jess tries to meet the problem head-on and simply asks Schmidt not to come to the party, but Schmidt is not willing to cooperate and simply tells Jess he’ll see her at the party. Winston then tells Jess that there may be an option. They go to see Nick at which point the two tell Jess about Michael Keaton.
When Schmidt was seven years old, he turned to crying and chocolate to deal with his parents’ divorce. His mom decided to fake a letter from the star of Schmidt’s favorite movie, Batman, in order to shape the kid up. That letter did the trick, except Schmidt started writing back anytime he had a problem (most notably, public erections, which really can be a problem). Schmidt’s mom was forced into keeping the letters from “Michael Keaton” coming. When Schmidt went off to college, Schmidt’s college roommate, Nick, was entrusted with the secret. And, when Schmidt started experiencing some tough times, it fell onto Nick to wear the cape, so to speak.
But, when Jess asks Nick to do the Michael Keaton one more time, Nick refuses, out of a loyalty to his best friend and, more importantly, a love for Michael Keaton. Unbeknownst to Nick and Winston, Jess decides to do it herself.
Jess then visits CeCe and finds out that she’s been going out on drinking benders and is in rough shape. She promises CeCe that if she comes to the Halloween party, Schmidt will not be there.
When she gets back to the apartment, Schmidt informs the roommates that he will not be coming to Jess’ Halloween party because he has received an email from his close friend Michael Keaton and they have a lot of catching up to do. Nick and Winston scold Jess and tell her that if Schmidt finds out Michael Keaton’s emails aren’t real it could be disastrous:
Nick: “We are talking about a Truman Show situation.”
Winston: “Oh yeah, I love that movie. What part are you talking about?”
Nick: “Well, I’m talking about the part in the movie when Truman realizes his whole life is a lie then he goes crazy.”
Winston: “Oh yeah, right there in the middle of the movie.”
Jess: “No it’s the whole movie.”
Winston: “Oh yeah…”
Jess: “You haven’t seen it”
In an ill-advised move, Jess attempts to remedy the situation by simply writing another Michael Keaton email that simply says “I’m going on vacation” which devastates Schmidt.
Nick takes over and makes up an email from Michael Keaton that combines a Nelson Mandela quote with something about the Penguin and the Riddler. This almost works except when Schmidt replies, he hears and email message received in the vacant apartment across the hall and realizes his roommates have been conspiring against him this entire time.
When the Halloween party actually starts, the roommates find that Schmidt is actually there and panic because CeCe is on her way. Winston goes to stall CeCe while Nick and Jess compose more emails to try and drive Schmidt away (while drinking). Finally, Jess takes a trick-or-treater’s costume and dresses up as Batman to impersonate Michael Keaton (possibly because she’s drunk). This fails horribly for many, many reasons before Schmidt admits that he knew it was them all along. Nick admits he had been composing the Michael Keaton emails since Schmidt was in college and before that Schmidt’s mom was behind the letters.
Meanwhile, CeCe tells Jess that seeing Schmidt gave her closure.
The next day, even though Schmidt has told Nick that they are “all good” (“I’m really sorry I’ve pretended to be Keaton for the last 12 years, it’s super weird.”), Schmidt decides he needs to move on. Which means he has to move out…and move in across the hall.
But not before the long-awaited return of the douchebag jar.
BRING ON THE REPLACEMENT ROOMMATE!
In case you were wondering, the costumes: