Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 3, Episode 5 of Fox's "New Girl," titled "The Box."
Eight thousand dollars is a lot of money. $8,00 would be a lot to suddenly inherit without any prior notice, for me, for you, for anybody. For Nick Miller, however, it's as preposterous as winning the lottery. So when a "Sons of Anarchy"-esque man shows up at the loft and hands Nick $8,000 in a brown paper bag, courtesy of his late father's estate, one can't help but wonder: Now what?
Of course, Nick starts out by doing what most of us would -- he goes to the mall with Jess and Winston to spend it all. Granted, buying shoes that aren't even his size and getting his headshot professionally taken may seem excessive, but it's Nick Miller we're talking about. It's really unclear where he even gets the money to pay for his wide array of flannel shirts.
Jess, being the Jess that she is, tries to talk some sense into him. What about opening a bank account, she naively asks? But banks are just paper bags with fancier walls, Nick retorts, and soon we discover the box. As in, Nick's literal box of things he doesn't want to deal with, such as bills and jury duty summons. In Nick's world, putting unwanted letters and grownup junk in a box is the equivalent of covering one's eyes as a child: If you can't see them, they can't see you, right?
Jess, who's being a pretty bad friend to her "best friend" Cece -- who just got cheated on by one of her roommates, mind you -- sneaks behind Nick's back and starts paying his bills. She's also a pretty bad friend to Winston, whom Nick owes $1,900, but let's not be petty.
But of course, as with all good deeds, Jess' eventually goes punished. Nick soon discovers his goody bag is all drained of dough and, though he blames Winston first, ends up quite furious with Jess. It's not even the issue of the money so much as how she tries to change him all the time. And that she went through his private stuff. "Are we ever going to get to the point where you stop working on me?" he asks her. "This is me, take it or leave it. I'm not changing for anyone," he adds, before she writes him a check for the entire sum she spent of his inheritance. (From what, may I ask? Her substitute teacher salary?!)
But you see, it's becoming increasingly clear that Nick and Jess are in it for the long haul. Lord knows Schmidt did his very best to try and break them up last episode, clearly unsuccessfully. And for a moment there, it seemed like this hefty sum might do the trick. But no, apparently "change for nobody" Nick is willing to change, big time, for Jess.
"I realized something: I'll do anything for you, Jess," he tells her when she shows up at the bank where he went to open a bank account, possibly his first ever. In return, Jess is willing to debase herself and go on a "you're a puppeteer!" rant at the poor bank teller. If that doesn't scream I LOVE YOU in Nick Miller world, what does, right?
Oh, and sidenote: Schmidt really has to get over this Cece-Elizabeth thing. His arc, once pivotal to the show's plot, has become too monotonous. Yes, the Rabbi bit is amusing and his quest for approval and need for validation provides some insight into the very egotistical psyche that is Schmidt, but enough is enough. Can we introduce a new element next week?
"New Girl" airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.