'New Girl' Season 2, Episode 1: 'Re-launch' Recap
Huzzah! “New Girl” has returned!
But we’re off to a bad start this season. Jess wakes up late for a meeting with her vice principal, Tanya, and tragically interrupts Nick’s gloriously bad singing in the shower when she rushes in to brush her teeth.
She gets put further behind when Schmidt coaxes her into scratching his “undercarriage,” since Winston refuses, which makes for a great moment, especially since Schmidt seems to be wearing some kind of trash bag short-shorts.
“I thought we talked about not wearing your shower diaper in the kitchen.”
Jess finally makes it to her meeting with Tanya, and gets the sad, sad news (livened a little by a sombrero) that some non-tenured teachers are being laid off. This includes Jess, but her consolation prize is to pick whatever she wants from the lost and found box. That really alleviates the sting.
Schmidt finally gets to remove his penis cast, which he proudly presents to his friends by dropping it on the table, which prompts a “We have done nothing but love you, Schmidt!” from Nick.
But Schmidt is no longer broken penis guy! He decides to have a “rebranding” party.
“Nick, your brand is Gypsy alcoholic handyman,” but Schmidt needs to start his brand afresh. Thus, the themed rebranding event party! Schmidt volunteers Nick’s bar as the venue, and coaxes him into making the drinks.
As they argue, Jess comes home, stunned by her news. She informs the boys that she has been laid off, and walks stiffly to her room with her big box of goodies and the small silver hat from the lost and found. Dutifully, her friends follow her, putting their sympathy faces in place, but Jess demands that the stay normal.
“Schmidt, stop looking at me like I’m a fat kid riding a bike.”
But, with time, Jess seems to warm to the idea of unemployment. She loves not wearing a bra every day, and freeing that bosom from “boob jail!” But Nick is still clearly waiting for her breakdown. Jess teases him about being an old man.
“I’m Nick. I hate sunshine. When did gum get so fancy?”
Meanwhile Schmidt is doing his darnedest to pull together this party but it’s not going as planned.
“Can you believe the zoo wouldn’t let me borrow their white tiger?”
Jess gets a brainwave and insists that Schmidt hire her to help entertain at the party—she can make balloon animals, after all. “As long as it’s a worm… or a snake.”
So, despite Nick’s unflattering comment that Jess doesn’t have that “specific hotness” of a shot girl, Schmidt agrees to take her on.
At the danger-themed party, Jess comes up in a cigarette girl outfit, complete with the tiny hat, and in a breathy Marilyn Monroe voice decides that tonight she is Ivy, and studying to be an actress.
The other shot girl, Casey, played by Parker Posey, doesn’t have to pretend to fit the shot girl profile perfectly, wearing a tight outfit, calling everyone “stupid jerks,” and passing herself off as a mature 26 while she dumps out liquor into waiting mouths.
Cece arrives at the party, surprising Schmidt. Especially surprising is her new boyfriend, Robby, who Schmidt thinks is “shaped like the Liberty Bell” and a “commoner.” Remember, he broke up with (White Fanged) Cece so she could be among her “kind”—those beautiful people.
Nick is just impressed by how Schmidt managed to lower Cece’s bar.
As Winston gets silly on girly drinks, Schmidt tries talking to Robby but finds him bland and unimpressive, though Robby thoughtfully tells him, “Congratulations on your penis, man.”
With Casey dancing on the bar and drawing all eyes as an epic shot girl, Jess isn’t doing so hot. When she drops a bottle, Nick comes over, and at her suggestion, gets mean to her. Prompted, she joins Casey on the bar and performs a tap dance, making the audience cheer.
Then, reality hits her. Jess slowly gets down from the bar and runs outside before she starts to cry.
Schmidt utilizes this moment to employ his Cece-attention-getting stunt: swinging balls of fire on chains while shirtless. Only he doesn’t know how to stop, and one of the balls gets released. Robby ducks, narrowly avoiding a freak accident style death.
Cece is not impressed, oddly enough. Schmidt, guilty, confronts her and asks her what Robby’s “brand” is, but she says he’s just a good guy.
Outside, Jess is finally allowing herself a good cry over getting laid off. She misses being a teacher. Nick comes to comfort her, and in a really tender moment she asks him to verbally abuse her again, and they laugh and tease each other with Nick’s old man voice, cheered.
And back in the dwindling party, Winston dances on.