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Review: The Strain Starts to Show on New Girl’s “Double Date”

By on October 2, 2013
Jess (Zooey Deschanel, R) and Nick (Jake Johnson, L) in the "Double Date" episode of New Girl. Co.  Cr: Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Jess (Zooey Deschanel, R) and Nick (Jake Johnson, L) in the "Double Date" episode of New Girl. Co. Cr: Ray Mickshaw/FOX

By Nicole Bozzani

“This is a Real Butt Munch of a Situation We Are In”

There comes a time in every relationship when couples decide they should go on a double date. What happens when one couple is strong, one half of a couple is being deceived, and there’s one leftover single friend with a cat? Double Date answers all those questions and creates a whole lot more.

Jess suggests to Nick that they go on a double date with Cece and Schmidt. Cece notices Schmidt has been acting strangely lately and asks Jess for her help. Nick finds out Schmidt has been seeing both Elizabeth and Cece at the same time, and tries to avoid telling Jess. Jess finds out what has been going on and confronts Schmidt who then makes up a lie to avoid hurting Cece. Meanwhile, Winston goes on a quest to get a reservation to the hottest restaurant in town for the “double date plus one.” 

It’s a rare thing when there are bad things to discuss in an episode of New Girl. Double Date is one of those episodes. One of the most positive yet heartbreaking developments was the resolution to, what this writer is calling, The Schmid-tuation. Finally the truth comes out but not until after a series of unfortunate events and lies. When Nick gets involved he finds it very hard to process. This is the typical Nick Miller reaction viewers know and understand. He knows Schmidt is playing with fire and shouldn’t be, but this time he can’t tell Jess. However, crucially, he knows he needs to, which signals a little growth in Nick this season.

Schmidt’s lie about Nick being the one doing the cheating is entirely true to his character. It’s hard to understand whether he does these things because he’s selfish or he just doesn’t want to hurt anyone except in the moment it backfires. Not only is Schmidt’s lying digging himself into a hole, it’s creating tons of trouble for his friends, and particularly Nick’s lower regions which take a beating in the zero hour. Schmidt’s crucial point of reveal is sad. Cece really took her chances on him and it’s hard for us to watch her realize he’s selfish and indecisive. Max Greenfield is truly great in this character, and this different side of Schmidt is refreshing but hard to watch. Not because it’s bad, but because it’s strange to watch him deal with things he has held in for so long. His insecurities about having used to be fat and rejected by women is now replaced with a cockiness that could often be considered pretty self centered. In the end, Cece is still broken and it sucks for not only her, but also for Schmidt and everyone within earshot. How can Schmidt possibly handle the awkwardness? By asking uncomfortably to borrow twelve dollars to pay the valet.

Winston, fresh off his breakup with Daisy, has only one thing going in his life: his new cat Ferguson. Grumpy Cat 2, aka Ferguson, made his debut last week and he’s still ever so slightly stealing the show. He was only on screen for five-seconds, but managed to even have his own theme song written and performed by Winston. Winston does have some great moments this week, believing he can get a reservation in a trendy restaurant with a ten dollar written IOU. His saga to obtain the reservation leads him to the community table – or restaurant hell with random people all eating together hoping for the best meal possible. It’s just a horrible idea, but Winston “I could get a table in chair store” Bishop has got it on lock.

Nick and Schmidt. ©2013 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr: Adam Taylor/FOX

Nick and Schmidt. ©2013 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Adam Taylor/FOX

As Double Date unfolds a bit of a strain on Nick and Jess begins to arise. For a moment it almost seems a rift could appear due to both of their best friends being involved in some relationship drama. Jess is obviously protective of Cece and Nick, for some reason, puts up and maintains some loyalty to Schmidt. Although he has allegiance to Schmidt, he can’t keep things from Jess and things begin to unravel. Schmidt makes it his goal to take down Ness. Only one problem, they are too strong for that. That just may be the case which is why they lay all their crazy on the line. Unfortunately for Schmidt, Nick wants nothing more than to be with Jess, and hearts all over the world melted.

Let’s take a second to fully appreciate Nick Miller in Double Date. He is becoming a more confident version of himself. He still refuses to pay 12 dollars for valet parking (but who would do that?), and he bought 10,000 phone minutes in 1999 that he’s still using. That’s just resourceful. He’s also the newest member of Daft Punk, and created the greatest dance ever known to break up awkward situations. Here’s to hoping it’s moonwalking 2.0.

It’s hard to say where the gang is going in the coming weeks. Schmidt is now relationship-less since Cece told Elizabeth what he has been doing. Nick and Jess are still all in and growing stronger. Only time will tell if Schmidt truly does have the power to pull them apart, but until then let’s review what Double Date has taught us: “You only get one wife. That’s the way the world works,” always turn the car around in traffic as slow as possible, horses are from outer space, and most importantly don’t be persuaded anyone knows how to read. They could have just memorized a lot of words.