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New Girl 3.19 “Fired Up” Review: Firing Your Friends

12 Mar

The New Girl Abby Day arc is over, Schmidt is back in the loft and so is all of his stuff. “Fired Up” deviates from the potential problems that Schmidt’s return might cause the overall dynamic, namely that Nick and Jess are now sharing a room and instead focuses on two different work related stories.

NewGirl-Ep320_FiredUp-Sc10_0542This is really a follow up to “Clavado En Un Bar” – where it was revealed how everyone ended up in their current jobs – and details such as Nick actually passing the bar exam are instrumental in the events of the episode. The reason Schmidt moved back in is because he sunk all his money into a store front for Abby and now he’s broke. The store front becomes a storage facility for Schmidt and when it gets mistaken for an actual retail outlet Schmidt sees a way of making his money back (everything is “100% full price”). Nick points out that legally this isn’t something he can do and before the lawyer pressure is on, Nick sounds pretty knowledgeable. It of course leads to disaster as the furniture is stacked like Jenga and the guy who comes in for the lamp breaks his arm – cue amazing dramatic piano sounds from Winston, he once again wins the episode.

It’s been a while since there has been a Winston/Schmidt/Nick storyline and because this is sitcom and not a crime procedural I’m not going to look quibble over any plausibility issues that could be raised from the speed at which any of this happens. Plus everything is always expedited on those shows anyway. Like Winston (and everyone else), I have watched a lot of lawyer shows so there’s part of me that feels like I could sit there and say the right things. Winston is the only one who manages to play the part well, even if his business card turns out to be just a baseball card. I totally cracked up at his “it’s all billable, am I right gentlemen?!” as did their fake firm being called Cooper, Bishop & Ferguson.

Nick can legally represent Schmidt, but Schmidt fires him when it becomes clear that like riding a bike, Nick has forgotten a lot of what he learnt at law school. This doesn’t stop Nick and this is Nick at his worst; he’s belligerent and doesn’t really pay any kind of attention to those around him. It becomes a point scoring thing so Nick can prove the preppy dicks that he went to college with wrong. He also spent $19 on a briefcase that he really wants to use. This all comes up while he is speaking to Jess and she’s also after some advice. Nick doesn’t listen to her and he’s far too concerned with how to make the briefcase look sexy.

The scene is out of character for Nick and the only reason why it doesn’t feel like a massive reach is because Nick is insecure about the whole law school thing, even though he was the one who made the decision not to pursue it. It’s a chip on his shoulder and it brings out Nick’s self absorbed side. Oh Nick, if you weren’t so delightful in the tag as you call yourself a power couple and smile at Jess asleep surrounded by work then you’d have really pissed me off in this episode. I’m worried that they’re going to head down a communication issue route between Nick and Jess as we near the end of the season just to raise the stakes.

It’s not a Nick and Jess episode, this is a good thing as while I am very much in the pro Nick and Jess camp it’s refreshing to see these different dynamics take center stage. The Schmidt/Nick dynamic is one that has been lacking for most of this season (“Keaton” aside) and by hooking Jess and Nick up this soon, it has of course had an impact on how much screen time both Nick and Jess share with other characters. For all of Nick’s pigheadedness, he does have Schmidt’s best interest at heart, it’s just he’s got a terrible way of showing it and his way to stall the deposition by getting them to read the transcript out is pretty hilarious. As is all the references to them getting physical with each other and at one point I figured a slap fight was on the cards. Instead Nick has a plan and it’s a dumb plan, but it works “What do you call a lunatic who’s only got one case and no hobbies? You’re worst nightmare.”

Over at Jess’ school, Coach has become the new volleyball coach despite his feelings about the profession “I don’t like kids, I don’t like teaching. I just like pay checks.” That swiftly changes and he is soon enamored with the kids and they adore him, even if he yells that he’s going to murder their families. Coach is now very much part of the cast and Damon Wayans Jr. has really great chemistry with everyone, he’s probably had the least to do with Jess so I’m very happy with this development that will see him working at the same school. “Basketsball” laid the groundwork of their friendship and he gets to use the skills that earned him that nickname with both the pupils and Jess as he pushes her to ask for a promotion. It’s a job she gets, not because she’s good at her job (which she is) but because she’s the only one who asked. It also means that she gets a heap of work dumped on her that results in the discovery that they’re over their budget. As Coach is the last one in he’s also the last one out.

There are a whole lot of tears, first when the kids present Coach with a “Coach Coach” Letterman jacket just as Jess has fired him and later in the bar as they talk about the volleyball team. Jess gets hit in the face a couple of times by a volleyball and Coach shows what a good friend he is by stating that he’s not going to laugh, ok he laughs a little bit but who wouldn’t?! Now that Coach is working at the school it gives them more reason to use this location and this band of merry teachers. It definitely did take a turn for the dark with what is on the biology teacher’s laptop and the weird with his book burning suggestion – everything but The Da Vinci Code. The phrase “you frost my cookies” uttered by Principal Foster has entered the (imaginary) creepy phrase journal I keep.

Cece gets her own story while she is at work at the bar and Ben Falcone’s surly bartender Mike makes an appearance, more from him please. Same goes for Buster, an Australian with a fake ID (he’s only 20) and an eye on Cece. Buster is totally charming and the age difference is not an issue when it comes to asking her out, though I suspect that if this continues it’s going to get brought up. Nicely cheered on by the guys at the bar, as they celebrate their deposition win.

Overall this is a pretty strong episode and it’s a nice return to form after the somewhat unfocused Abby episodes. This has been a patchy season, but I’ve still been really enjoying New Girl overall and I’m happy that it is ambitious, even if they don’t always stick the landing. There’s a True American game on the horizon and hopefully it will be just as memorable (ok I don’t think anything can top The Kiss) as the first two.

This week’s wish list comes courtesy of this episode and can be found here.

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