NEW GIRL Debriefing: Loft arrest

Courtesy Fox

It’s Winston’s (Lamorne Morris) time to shine this week: he’s getting close to graduating the police academy, and his future all hinges on him passing his background check. Which means, of course, that his roommates are front and center during a home visit by the toughest investigator the LAPD can find, apparently. Piece of cake, right? Well, unless you’re Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and accidentally bought a bag full of meth inside of a secondhand footstool, that is. Poor Winston, he’s never going to be a cop at this rate.

Courtesy Fox

Courtesy Fox

I’m a big fan of bottle episodes, where the bulk of the action happens in one setting and the action depends on the characters reacting to a same situation, so this one was really fun for me. We open in the loft, where Winston implores his roommates to be cool when his evaluator (Cleo King) arrives, or else he won’t pass the academy and become a police officer. The gang is supportive, but also aware of how important this is, since apparently Winston is close to failing already and this would seal his fate. Jess is especially nervous about the home visit, and reveals to her roommates that she has a bag of meth in her closet thanks to her yard sale purchase. They conspire to keep it from Winston, so he that he can’t be implicated if they got caught, then worry about how they’re going to conceal it from him — after all, Nick (Jake M. Johnson) in particular is the worst liar in the world. Are they going to cave under pressure?

Courtesy Fox

Courtesy Fox

The answer, initially, is yes. Schmidt (Max Greenfield) can only focus on Cece’s (Hannah Simone) new date, Paul. Coach (Damon Wayans Jr.) makes up a story about Winston being a Big Brother to make him look better, then decides to go out and find “Dequan” to prove it. Nick sweats profusely and spouts nonsense. Jess is clumsy and ends up stuffing the meth in her bra. Winston realizes everyone is acting a little strange, but believes Jess when she claims it’s just her “cycle,” which he notices is very early. (“Oh, Winston. Some day you’re going to make some girl very uncomfortable.”) Jess skips out of the interview to go pour the meth down the shower drain like a total novice, but Cece, who she’d called to help her deal with this (because obviously Cece would know what to do about hiding drugs), points out she should just flush it down the toilet instead. The toilet plugs up, and floods the bathroom, and now they’ve really made a mess of things.

Courtesy Fox

Courtesy Fox

Speaking of messes, Nick is left alone with the officer while Schmidt and Cece babysit, with predictably disastrous results. He devolves into a blubbery mess and confesses every one of his sins, which appals her. (“I’ve never seen someone sweat so much in my life. It looks like your body is crying.”) In the bathroom, Winston finally wonders what Jess is up to, and finds out about the meth. That’s not the only revelation, though: upon some pressing, Jess admits she didn’t seek his help because she didn’t think he’d make it as a cop, and expected him to drop out long before this point. Poor Winston is understandably hurt, but defeatedly attempts to take the blame for the meth; after all, he’s convinced he’s now failed his background check, so the least he can do is take the fall so Jess doesn’t lose her job. It figures that when Winston finally gets a storyline, he kind of breaks my heart. It’s not that Jess is necessarily wrong about her roommate, because I never expected Winston to make it this far either based on how they’ve written him in the past in the workplace, but it was still sad to see him realize that his friends don’t believe in him. Even more so because he goes on to prove what a good man he is by putting Jess’ well-being before his own, since he thinks his career prospects are now sunk.  Given how they’ve written Winston in the past few seasons, it’s not a leap to think he’d screw up at the academy, but it still stung to see his friends lack of faith in him. I really do wonder if there will be any lasting ramifications of this kind of betrayal, but knowing this show, that seems unlikely at this point.

Courtesy Fox

Courtesy Fox

Winston goes to “confess,” but Jess admits the drugs are hers. The officer has had enough and sequesters the roommates while she investigates — only to determine that the meth is, in fact, nothing more than a bag full of aquarium rocks! (Called it!) Not only is no one under arrest for drug possession, but we find out that Winston isn’t failing the academy at all; he’s actually one of the highest scorers, and is on his way to becoming a wonderful cop himself. Yay, Winston! Hopefully he gains a little more respect from his friends now that they know how competent he actually is. (As long as he stays out of Narcotics.)

In other news:

  • As soon as Coach said he was going to go find a Little Brother for Winston, we all saw his inadvertent To Catch a Predator  setup on the basketball court coming a mile away, right?
  • On the other hand, figuring out that “Dequan” — a Hispanic labourer actually named José he presumably finds off the street — is a kindred spirit in outlet mall shopping strategies was unexpected and hilarious. Coach made a friend! Now if only he could get a storyline, too!
  • Loved Cece messing with Schmidt by claiming her date was Mark Paul Gosselar. As well as when Schmidt angrily replies, “I had bad feelings towards Mark Paul Gosselar and I didn’t enjoy any minute of it! How dare you!”
  • That being said, we’re back on the Cece-Schmidt roller coaster, aren’t we? (“That’s the problem. You shouldn’t be with a normal guy.” Schmidt has it bad, guys.)
  • Schmidt to Nick: “Congratulations! You have the willpower of a six year old!” It’s funny because it’s true!
  • How many times do you think the gang has had to pull the “Cover your ears and sing ‘Landslide'” schtick on Nick? (I chuckled when he kept going on and admitted it was a great song.)

What did you think of “Background Check”?

Nels
Nels knew how to operate a TV remote control before she knew how to talk. As a result, she has spent an inordinate amount of time pretending she actually lives on a soundstage. When she isn’t watching whichever show is currently capturing her heart, she is writing about how said show is currently capturing her heart. She loves pie.

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