Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Season 2, Episode 16 of Fox "New Girl," titled "Table 34."
Ugh, the morning after. The bane of all that exists.
After last week's mind- and Twitter-blowing kiss, this week we find Nick and Jess trying to come to terms with what the hell that meant, if anything at all.
The two clearly haven't slept all night, with Nick's eyes torn so wide in bewilderment, they nearly match Jess' Anime baby blues. Hers is even a heavier cross to bear, since while that incredible kiss took place, her perfect boyfriend Sam was sleeping in her bed.
Nick's (totally called for) way of dealing with the awkwardness is panic moonwalking away from Jess, which is genius. He tries to talk it out with Winston, but the latter is preoccupied with being "pretty good" at sex again. He's Mojo Man.
Jess' way of dealing with the situation is talking it out with herself, preferably with Cece in the room. She's angry, she's confused, Nick kissed her, but she did kiss him back, and yea, she "saw through space and time for a minute," but she doesn't like Nick. Bah. Blah. Pfff. Nick. She's determined to not let him ruin her and Sam.
Cece, who has no choice but to keep Jess preoccupied for the day, is going to an Indian Marriage Convention to find herself "a brown husband," per Schmidt. He is, of course, having none of that, and in an attempt at traditional Indian clothing and a turban (is this the same as black face?!) he is determined to join the party. Because he can. There are no rules against white people attending: He read the website "vigorously."
Jess accompanies Cece to the event, while Nick and Winston tag along with Schmidt. They all must fill out a questionnaire upon arrival -- information, education, resume -- that will determine their assigned table. When Nick spots Jess, he panic moonwalks outta there. Winston follows him out, and Nick fesses up about the kiss. Winston adequately responds with a flick to Nick's nuts, both of which are named Sharon, by the way. He thinks the whole thing is going to blow up in Nick's face and he will have to move out, and Winston doesn't want a new roommate. He asks that Nick apologize to Jess.
Cece meanwhile confronts Schmidt about his presence, seeing how he told her he had moved on. He tells her he misses her, she says she wants to build a life together with someone from her own culture, that she's looking for something more. "Our sex was about more than sex," he retorts.
Nick, taking Winston's advice, apologizes to Jess. He calls their kiss "a mistake," tells her it felt like kissing a cousin in a non-sexual way. Jess -- out of the girlish pride we know too well and because it secretly meant something to her -- tries to get Nick to say it meant something to him. But he refuses so she refuses to admit it. Also, 8th grade.
The participants are asked to split into their respective tables, where Cece learns she's as rock bottom as Nick (Table 34, holla). "No advanced degree, part-time employment," the organizer, Anu, tells her. Turns out Anu has some plans of her own, being pulled by Winston's new mojo infused magnetic force. Jess and Schmidt are both Table 7, which should be a compliment to Jess, Schmidt says, whereas he feels slightly insulted. Just then, Sam joins. He is undoubtedly Table 1.
The first group exercise is meant to show how physically compatible two people can be. It involves a hula-hoop and some weird body contortions, and Sam and Jess fail pretty bad -- much to Nick's delight. The next assignment requires them to build a table with nothing but newspaper and tape, one strong enough to hold a phonebook. Nick and Jess are paired together (might as well, as they were still going at it with the "admit it, the kiss meant something to you!" shenanigans in the corner). Of course their table is the best the world has ever seen. Strong and sturdy, like their relationship.
At the speed dating portion of the evening, "M. Night Shyamalan," who doesn't "date below Table 6," rips into Cece. When Nick gets musical chaired in front of her, she asks him if he knows why they're at Table 34. "Because we're both bad at life?" he asks her. "It's because we don't think things through," she says.
Sam, with his keen doctor senses, feels there's something off about his girlfriend. Jess, being the former elementary school teacher that she is, comes clean. He is very angry. And hurt. And so is Nick, who runs out after them to apologize and explain himself and gets a sharp blow to the sternum. Sam walks away. They're over.
What would their moniker have been anyways? Sess? Jam?
Cece, alone at Table 34, comes to the sad realization that her smashing good looks can only get her so far. In a room that values one's resume above the size of their waist, she's invisible. Schmidt, yet again, is having none of that. In a moment of drunken clarity, he takes the mic and calls the room out on being "blind idiots" for not noticing the "brown angel" that walks in their midst. "Get your crap together, India. Schmidt. Out."
Back in the loft, teary eyed Jess is sipping rosé and listening to "22" by heartbreak maven Taylor Swift. Nick is trying to cheer her up by dancing like a total goon, but it doesn't help. It's also not that funny. He tells her he's never been a homewrecker, and that getting under Sam's skin made him feel good. It's not making Jess feel any better, nor does the part where he says it's a "huge, huge, devastating loss" for her. He promises never to kiss her again, and she tells him her relationship with Sam might have been a little bit broken to begin with. He had her fist-pump him every morning.
They share a terribly awkward good night hug that, for a minute there, I thought might turn into an awfully forced kiss (thanks, guys!).
Oh, and Schmidt and Cece are back on, but you already guessed that.
Winston: "You look like the fortune teller in 'Big.'"
Schmidt: "Neither of you are coming. I've been studying up for a full week, and I actually speak conversational Hindi, if that conversation includes 'Hello. Hello. Samosa? Yes, please, Samosa. More towels? Do you know where the white person's toilet is?' After that it gets very confusing."
Schmidt: "My friend there? He's a makhil. That means lawyer."
Nick: "I dropped out of kahil school."
Schmidt: "I'm a squirrel. You're my nut. Winter's coming. I'm gonna store you in my cheek, girl."
Jess: "You are like a dog, and my mouth was like a bowl full of dog milk."
Nick: "You have to take a little responsibility, turning around in that soft, pink robe, not expecting to get kissed. I am a man, Jessica. Pink robes are my catnip."
Schmidt: "I will Calcutta, bitch. I will Cal-cut-a bitch."
Schmidt: "When I came here today, I thought India was a pretty cool country. You guys are obviously smart -- look at the roof of the bus, it's not just a roof -- it's more seating."
"New Girl" airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST on FOX.
Follow Liat Kornowski on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@LiatKornowski