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New Girl 4.06 “Background Check” Review: “It Looks Like Your Body is Crying”

5 Nov

True American isn’t the only thing that will set the loft to crazy on New Girl as Winston’s surprise academy background check proves. Just like Felicity did in a recent episode we covered on TV Ate My Wardrobe, Jess has a mysterious bag of meth in her closet and it’s not just a little baggy. Nope, this is an amount that would have made Gus Fring happy (if only it had been blue) or actual meth. Jess was super shoulder shrug casual about the whole thing and she didn’t think it was a bad idea to keep a sizable quantity of drugs in her wardrobe (it is only her that goes in here after all).

This Winston development sets in motion panic and stress, Schmidt is the calmest of the roommates but this is due to a preoccupation regarding Cece’s date with a dude named Paul. “Background Check” showcases the best of New Girl with a tight focus on the group at their least put together, well everyone except Winston who is doing a mostly excellent job of being a normal human being.

New Girl 4.06What should be a regular Saturday for these guys – Coach has a whole outlet mall plan that ends with a cinnamon pretzel – gets turned on its head quite quickly and Nick hits the meltdown point first thanks to his inability to lie. This goes back to season 1 when he found out about Cece and Schmidt’s secret hookups and his back turned into slip ‘n slide levels of wet. “Background Check” is peak Nick Miller as his sweat levels gradually go from clammy face to full on back soak (the grey tee really brings out the sweat levels) and Sergeant Tess “The Fish” Dorado remarks that it looks like Nick’s “body is crying.” Nick’s spiraling also includes the inability to shut up and when he is left alone with Dorado he spills every secret except for the one that is going on in the loft – choice highlights include the year he didn’t get a boner which made him think his penis was dead and that he made love to himself when he was 13 behind a post office – and the sweat grows to the v of his t-shirt that is exposed while he is wearing Schmidt’s kimono. Throwing things and yelling “Distraction!” is another Nick tactic that fails, however there is another person in the loft who takes the crown for biggest trainwreck this week and that is Jess.

None of this would have happened if Jess had just kept quiet about the potential illicit substance in her room or if she had trusted Winston with her discovery. Where would the fun be in that? It doesn’t take long for the chaos to set in as the bag bursts and Jess ends up with most of it down her bra. We have seen Jess high on a couple of occasions from painkiller side effects and bad fish; this time Jess claims the meth has gone through her boob skin and she’s experiencing a drug induced meltdown. This is all a placebo of course and yet the result is still the same as she has the appearance and reaction of someone who is tripping. Nope this is just fear and panic at the thought of a cop in their apartment coinciding with the one time there is crystal meth present. Not that it is really crystal meth and Jess has spent the entire episode trying to dump a bag of aquarium rocks down the toilet.

This is all a question of confidence and Winston realizes that no one in the loft sees him as a cop. Jess admits to this explaining they didn’t think he would get this far. It is a moment of honesty rooted in Winston’s ever changing career path and while some faith from his friends would be nice, they do have prior experience to back up this notion. Jess does fall on her sword in a dramatic and over the top fashion to protect Winston from getting kicked out and potentially sacrificing her own job/freedom. It’s not meth and they’ve also misjudged their friend as Winston happens to be one of the best cadets. He also manages to pass the background check despite the chaos.

Nick and Jess freak out in the most overt way, but they are not alone as Coach spins a tale of Winston’s Boys & Girls Club duties and when he goes out looking for a kid to play Duquan he ends up looking like a predator. Instead he comes home with a guy named Jose sealing Dorado’s belief that Winston should really move out.

Winston is often not privy to what is going on from when he thought they were planning a surprise birthday party, to the Nick and Jess breakup last year and Nick, Cece and Coach got stoned earlier this season. This exclusion is harsh from a friend point of view, but it works wonders on the show as Winston is a great straight guy who also happens to be a little on the crazy side – he handcuffed his cat to a radiator for a Christmas card, also wherefore art thou Ferguson? – in fact pretty much all of these characters could be the one who needs all of the others to act normal, only to have them fall apart at the worst possible moment.

The close quarters bottle episode(ish) aspect adds to the farcical nature and when Cece bursts in saying she got Jess’ message Schmidt kisses her to stop her from saying the word meth. It is a good save from Schmidt and considering how much he has been obsessing over Cece’s date it isn’t something he was actively against. Neither was Cece as she does admit that she kissed him back. Starting up this dance again is fine if it doesn’t end up being all that Cece is here for and I have faith this won’t be the case. Schmidt’s umbrage that the guy is called Paul is a good running joke as it seems such an arbitrary reason to dislike this dude and because it gives Cece the chance to head fake Schmidt by saying it was actually Mark-Paul Gosselaar. And it makes perfect sense that Schmidt would worship the guy who played Zack on Saved by the Bell.

Schmidt’s lack of shirt for the latter half of the episode adds to the chaotic visual and in the lineup all of the dudes appear equally ridiculous. Jess is rather disheveled and only Cece looks like her usual self. Okay the Schmidt no shirt thing isn’t that unusual but in this context he does add to the overall image that Apartment 4D is a place where insane people live. Or at least people who don’t know how to behave like adults.

After the many misses of season 3 there has been a tighter focus this year and this episode is a big pay off as it delivers in every way. There is the balance of stupid shit with real shit that New Girl both favors and excels at, plus it is just a very funny episode.

New Girl Style Watch

New Girl 4.06 JessNo not the bad decisions hat, but Jess’ simple J Crew ‘Tippi’ sweater which is available in many colors. It might shock you to hear that I want the yellow one.

New Girl 4.06 CeceCece does the black oversized vest top often and here she is wearing a Trouvé faux-leather drapey wrap. Over at HelloGiggles New Girl makeup artist Jorjee Douglass talks through Michelle DeMilt’s makeup routine for Cece including yet another Nars lip pencil I am now after.

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One Response to “New Girl 4.06 “Background Check” Review: “It Looks Like Your Body is Crying””

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. New Girl 4.07 “Goldmine” Review: “I Live with my Ex” | TV Ate My Wardrobe - November 12, 2014

    […] where Nick pretends to be a ghost) and even though he is terrible at lying (see last week’s sweatathon) he thinks he is excellent at make-believe; all he needs is a decent backstory. Gay Nick works […]

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