NEW GIRL: Kids, Adventures in Babysitting
In this New Girl episode Jess babysits for Russell and on Jess’ watch, his young daughter falls for Nick, Nick thinks he has found a mature, cultured woman in Chloe but learns that may not quite be the case, Winston does his own babysitting with his boss and CeCe thinks she may be pregnant with a “Schmidt Baby”.
The latest episode of New Girl, “Kids”, has all of the roommates dealing with at least one “kid” during the episode. The writers got creative with the definition and made the term kid encompass so much this go-round. I think this is one of the cleverest episodes yet. The writing team that I have been begging to give us more , as well as this great cast have stepped up to the plate and hit a home run! I like to think that this episode may be a way of saying goodbye to the “kids” they thought they were starting the show with and ushering in an adult version of the characters we have come to love. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about keeping the kid inside alive and feel less like an adult now than in years past, despite having two kids, a husband, a house and various responsibilities to different companies an entities. As far as I’m concerned, I’m still somewhere between 14 and 23, The Neverending Story is still my favorite movie and poop jokes still make me laugh. I just feel that there was room for these characters to grow up a bit.
This episode opens with Jess and CeCe sitting with stunned expressions. It quickly becomes evident what the discussion has been when Jess asks CeCe about birth control. Her reply is that Schimdt is so creative when it comes to sex that a condom is “like one of those plastic barbeque covers in a hurricane”. CeCe’s reply not only makes Jess cringe in icked-outedness, but myself and I’m certain the majority of the audience as well. This is a testament to all the work put forth by everyone involved in the show to make these characters relatable and lovable so when we hear a little TMI, it’s like we’re hearing it about our own roommate or friend. I’m scrunching up my nose and inwardly grossing out just thinking about it again. The two women ruminate on what a Schmidt baby would be all about, wondering if it would want to breast feed all the time or if they should make a baby douche-bag jar. The idea of the jar brings it all home for CeCe who suddenly seems to realize the gravity of her situation, which is exacerbated when Schmidt walks in and talks about himself as an awesome, break-dancing baby. Jess makes CeCe swear to wait until she’s sure before saying anything to Schmidt.
Winston and Jess both end up babysitting throughout the episode, but in very different ways. Winston’s nanny experience comes in handy when his boss needs someone to drive him around because he has too many DUI’s and lost his license. Joe has to meet with Michael Strahan, which you think he would be excited about, but he keeps trying to run away and stall every chance he gets, Winston has to keep him in line for his meeting, but it proves challenging. At one point Joe jumps out of a moving car to check out a yard sale. Once they finally reach their destination and Winston is about to drive through a security checkpoint, Joe bails again and runs as fast as he can away from Strahan’s offices. He finally confides in Winston that Strahan intimidates him and Winston manages to give him a pep talk that convinces Joe he can do it.
Russell has asked Jess to babysit his daughter and her student, Sarah. When she meets Russell’s ex-wife (played by Jeanne Tripplehorn), things get a little weird. Though she’s his ex, she keeps calling Russell her husband, which justifiably weirds Jess out a bit. Sarah hangs out at the apartment for the afternoon. It’s pretty obvious once Sarah meets Nick that something is going on in her head, between the nervous laughing and telling him his eyes are brown…like poop (which threw me into a fit of juvenile laughter). In an attempt to bond with Sarah and make her feel more comfortable, Jess tells her they can talk about anything. With teen/preteen girls, you really have to be careful what you say. Sarah vomits awkward question after inappropriate question all over Jess’ sensibilities. Starting with, “Are you in love with my dad?” and ending with a question relating to sex animal style. Bonding session over.
Nick tries to convince everyone that his new squeeze is a mature, cultured, intelligent woman. He thinks she is amazing and a whole new level of woman for him. Seeing Nick at an art opening does seem out of place, but he is at least trying. Chloe looks adorable and I began to think maybe she would be around for a bit. At dinner with Jess and Sarah, Chloe is made to feel uncomfortable when Sarah’s crush on Nick causes tension between the girls. Quickly we realize they really are both girls as Chloe is young enough to have ridden the same bus as Sarah, at the same time. Nick’s mature woman turns out to be nineteen and not so very mature after all.
Schmidt realizes that something has changed with CeCe’s demeanor and tries to figure out what is going on. He thinks she may want more from him. Schmidt tries to convince CeCe to go to Italy on Ice with him. She turns him down and in typical CeCe fashion, tries to convince him it’s because they aren’t serious. Schmidt’s reaction to her suggestion he see other people results in his calling Nick but pretending he is calling someone named Nicole, making CeCe frustrated and jealous. She in turn freaks out on Sarah and how she needs her to stop stealing Jess’ attention. She then inadvertently lets Schmidt know she is pregnant. Schimdt goes into full Schmidt mode and already starts to talk about the amazing bone structure their Indian/Jewish baby would have, calling it a caramel miracle. He also makes sure to let CeCe know he will have to spend time on the internet before they are intimate again as he doesn’t want to create Russian nesting doll situation with the baby (by impregnating it in-utero), which was funny on-screen but kind of creepy in print.
Toward the end of the episode, as the drama with the baby winds down, Sarah locks herself in Jess’ room. She’s distraught that she can’t be with Nick and is embarrassed as preteen girls tend to be pretty constantly. Jess and Nick work together to try and convince her to leave the room. Nick tries to talk himself down to her. When they realize she’s embarrassed about things they start telling her secrets about themselves to make her feel better. Nick confesses to peeing in every single pool he’s ever been in…ick, and Jess mentions that the only reason she has bangs is because she’s embarrassed of her massive forehead. This is all unnecessary as what Sarah is really embarrassed about is not the situation, but that she put on all of Jess’ bras and can’t get them off. Sarah’s mom, of course, walks in just as Nick and Jess are working to get the bras off of her (she is fully clothed), and isn’t too happy about seeing a man taking bras off of her daughter.
The final surprise of the episode is the announcement by CeCe that the pregnancy turns out to be a false alarm. She is exceptionally relieved, but Schmidt seems kind of disappointed. As he says goodbye to CeCe outside the apartment he abruptly tries to shuffle her into her car and on her way while looking at something none of us can see and he obviously doesn’t want CeCe to see. As the frame opens up, we see skywriting that Schmidt has presumably commissioned asking CeCe to marry him. It was a very sweet, slightly sad moment and the fact that I felt that means that this show has really turned a corner in their ability to connect to their audience.
What was your thought when you hear there might Schmidt baby on the way? I know it wasn’t right for the progression of the show (again, looking at you The Office), but I was kind of disappointed not to see at least an imaginary Schmidt and CeCe baby scenario.
One thing still haunts me from this episode…who were the rest of the Golden Girls? Jess starts explaining that she is Betty White and Schmidt is Rue McClanahan, but stops there! I really can’t decide if Nick is Bea Arthur or Estelle Getty (though I’m leaning toward Bea). What do you think?
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