New Girl recap: Like a Common Ranch Hand

Winston's quest for Nick to pay his debts ends in a slap fight; Jess's quest for Schmidt to relax ends in a drum circle and third-degree burns
Ep. 16 | Aired Mar 13, 2012

WE ALL SCREAM, ESPECIALLY SCHMIDT Even a sunny afternoon and a carefree ice cream cone triggered Schmidt's compulsions during Jess's beach trip shock therapy session

Patrick McElhenney/Fox

The distant rumbling finally became a reality last night, Newbies! Fat Schmidt returned -- and in the most unexpected way. That inexplicable shot of Winston in cornrows and Nick looking like an extra from Singles' central casting? Totally unexplained! (Turns out those two have simply been out of step with the times for a while now.) What we did get was a deep dive into Schmidt's tortured battle with obsessive-compulsive disorder, further confirmation that the guys are incurably petty and lazy, and yet another instance of Jess's best intentions blowing up in her face. All wrapped up in a Baja jacket!

It all started with CeCe dropping Schmidt off in a shady parking lot to avoid anyone seeing them together. He was understandably miffed, particularly because he was wearing his "slippiest" loafers (making it harder to run) and because the bum nearby was clearly "new homeless." In essence, CeCe was "ripping the side block out of [his] mental Jenga." This lack of control in his personal life torqued up Schmidt's OCD. He reacted by lashing out at Jess, who had brought home a hutch she found on the street. Schmidt's ultimatum: Jess could either return the hutch to the freegan pile from which it came, or he would reinstate his ban on high waisted shorts. Jess: "You would not dare! That was the worst four weeks of my life!"

Jess immediately griped to Nick and Winston, who tried to reason with her that it was worth putting up with Schmidt's foibles because he cooked and cleaned for them. From literally the first day Schmidt arrived at the loft, they had made their peace with his "odd bird" status and established a commensurate you-do-everything-we-do-nothing pecking order. Cue Fat Schmidt flashback involving a game of pick-up lettuce-head baseball and Schmidt throwing up in his mouth a little -- then neon green alien vomit on the floor.

Cut back to the present, when Jess resolved to cure Schmidt of his disorder through shock therapy. Clearly she has never seen an episode of Hoarders because that tactic does not work. She littered the apartment with an afghan she found underneath the dumpster outside an animal shelter, a lamp she found underneath that, a discarded dress form, a derelict typewriter, and of course the offending hutch. Worst of all, she had crammed her run-of-the-mill vanilla extract next to his Tahitian vanilla. Bake-rilege! Jess also put into the hutch Schmidt's oven mitts and fancy-pants coffee grinder (that's after using it to make homemade crayons). Schmidt on his coffee gadget: "It doesn't smash up the beans like some pedestrian blade grinder. It actually grinds them for a deeper, richer, more satisfying flavor profile." Not anymore!

NEXT: A house without Schmidt was no home, no home at all

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