This week the writers prove my prediction at the end of last week's review to be true. Jess is not allowed to be happy this early in the series. Granted, they did it so they could show us just how adorably sweet and cuddly Nick is. Awwww! Will-they-want-they button mashed again! So let us journey forward on this ride of 'Jess Versus the I Love You.'
Clearly I am going through CHUCK withdrawals already.
The setup: Jess and her coolest boyfriend in the world, Paul, are celebrating their first Christmas together which includes exchanging gifts. Paul gives her tickets to Vienna. She gives him a stuffed mechanical heart that has a beating heart noise that sounds like little farts. Being the sweet and quirky guy that Paul is, he is more than happy with the gift, seeing it as just part of what he loves about her. So he confesses that love and Jess, being the typical girl, decides that the sweet, nice, wonderful guy who cares about her has to suffer for what the asshole douchebag she loved for no good reason did.
And that is totally realistic as a bunch of my super nice, caring dudes with lots of love to give buddies of mine can attest (and my lady friends who do it all the time). If a guy is a cunt, then he is worth ruining friendships and family relationships for as he uses and abuses your love until, way too many years later, you realize he is never going to change and you finally give up (or he kicks you out of the apartment you shared for years).
However, if the next guy you date is everything you ever wanted and more in a man, but isn't a total cock face, then you have to crap on him because you are a piece of shit that daddy never truly loved, because you weren't a boy. So, yeah. That happened.
Where was I? Oh yeah, so now Jess has a problem because when Paul confesses his love, Jess uncomfortably squeezes out a thank you. Soon after, the gang goes to Schmidt's work Christmas party where the wild-one is playing sexy Santa to his office full of sexist women. Winston is there, doing his best to not get noticed by the audience, except when to interact with a child (he has spent 1/3 of this season so far with children). Nick and Jess talk about the love confession issue, where the most obvious thing is about to happen. And it of course does.
Nick, thinking Jess has already talked to Paul, discusses the issue, then realizes his mistake and uncomfortably and crazily tries to get out of it. When he finally accepts that pretending to be drunk or kidding won't work, he tries to talk Paul off the ledge. When Jess finds the two talking outside, after having some sexy sit-down with her friend Cece in the bathroom, Nick confesses his mistake and then hurriedly tries to escape back inside only to find the door locked. This leads to a few funny moments where he interrupts a serious discussion between the soon-to-be-over lovers.
Meanwhile, Schmidt is being sexually harassed. Then he stands up for himself. Cece's new boyfriend is a dick. She tries on stinky perfume that Schmidt gave her. Oh no! WILL THEY?! WON'T THEY?!
In the end, Jess and Paul break up, with Nick feeling horrible and pleading with Paul not to do it. Then, as the gang goes on a ride with Nick to the airport (a side story about him always missing the flight home for Christmas is at times fun, even though I barely cover it here), Nick decides to try to cheer Jess up by stopping by one of those super-duper Christmas lights neighborhoods you always see on TV. But when they arrive the lights are all out (never seen this happen in all the years I have taken a ride through one of these 'hoods) and so the gang starts screaming for the lights to be turned back on... which of course happens. Awww. Isn't that romantic?!
At the opening of the episode, the boys are all on roller skates that Jess has given them as gifts. When she arrives at the apartment she finds them all sprawled on the floor.
Jess: You guys are all wearing the holiday gifts I gave you.
Schmidt: No, I.. (the others look at her guiltily)
Jess: That is so sweet! I need to take a picture.
Nick: (crawling) Jess! Don't take a photo!
Jess: (with camera in hand as Nick tries to maul it away) So cute. So cute.
Jess and Nick are out shopping and Jess reveals a gift certificate for sex that she is considering giving Paul.
Jess: But I don't want him to think that I'm using him for his body.
Nick: I'm sure he'd be okay with that.
Opens up the card.
Nick: 'Nerdy weird sex that works for both of us?'
Jess: Okay, give it back!
Nick: This is amazing.
Nick: I'm gonna keep this.
Jess: Come on..
Nick: I'm gonna cash this in one night and get some weird nerd sex with it.
Jess: But it's not for you!
Nick: Oh my god. Thank you! Now I know what I'm getting my mom.
Jess: Oh my god, Nick!
Nick: It's going right to my mom!
Nick and Jess discuss her issues with being too giving to men.
Jess: One time I went on a date and by 11pm, I gave the guy my ATM code.
Nick: What is your ATM code?
Jess: Four. Two. Th.. very funny! Very good try but no.
Nick: Not a try. Got it.
[note: I wonder if the 4 and 2 was supposed to be a nod to Zooey being in HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY]
Cece talks to Schmidt about how his boss (how many does he have?) is treating him in his sexy Santa outfit.
Cece: You know, you don't deserve to be treated like that. You just gotta tell her no. Otherwise, all she'll do is see you as a pretty face and a hot body.
Schmidt: I'm sorry, what was that?
Cece: You have a pretty face?
Schmidt: No, no, the sec.. 'cause the second part. And I'd like you to say it like in an accent and, but make direct eye contact.
Cece: Schmidt, do not push your luck with me.
Schmidt: (sniffing her as she walks by) What's that smell?
Cece: That's your perfume.
Schmidt: You wore it?!
Cece: (naughtily smirking) Yeah, it smells terrible.
Schmidt: (laughs) It does smell terrible. It's like a dirty dish towel.
After Nick confesses to Jess that he told Paul she didn't love him, his escape from the very awkward situation is made worse by the locked door.
Nick: Please, this is my nightmare! (banging on the door) Winston! Help me!
Schmidt tries to talk to his boss about sexy Santa.
Schmidt: It's over. Santa's dead. I killed him.
A small child screams and runs away.
Kim: Oh my god. No, no, no don't worry, that's just Gena's cowardly son. He is a scream machine.
Schmidt: Kim, I'm not a sex object, alright? I'm your employee. And I work harder than anyone. I'm the first one to show up every morning.
Kim: No, you're not.
Schmidt: There's, there's never a parking space.
Kim: That's because everyone's already here, Schmidt.
If I had to rate this episode, I would give it:
90 out of 100
I really loved Nick in this one. It is his best episode since the wedding one (that ballooned expectations for this show in general). I still feel like the writers are having a hard time finding a place for Winstons. Man, that other dude was so much better. Schmidt was also fun, and his little moments with Cece do reveal a good amount of chemistry between the two. Finally, Jess and Paul's failed relationship may have been a bit of a downer, and the setup to that failure may have been too predictable, but it brought us a moment of Nick's mega awkwardness that made him even more lovable.
If I got any facts wrong during the recap, so what?