New Girl recap: Suckling on the Teat of Consumerism

Nick's search for a mobile phone sparks his inner Marxist... for about five seconds
Ep. 17 | Aired Mar 20, 2012

FANCY(MAN), DON'T LET ME DOWN Jess wanted to stand up to richie-rich Russell but, really, you just can't fight that much handsome.

Ray Mickshaw/Fox

Interestingly, this week's episode dealt more with growing up than Nick's brush with mortality. Would you agree Newbies? Generally, the roommates have never had to deal with proper adults without some sort of buffer (Jess's principal's disdain, Schmidt's bosses sexual shortcomings, Remy's... well... Remy-ness). Tonight, they met a certified real-person with responsibility, a job, and the money to prove it. All that's pretty terrifying for a raggedy bunch of Millennials.

Speaking of #millennialproblems,Nick needed a new phone. Only, his abysmal credit score (250!) made him what the folks at the bank would call "undesirable." The phone store employees were too busy congregating and laughing at Nick ("Did you just wake up from a coma?!") to search for the box of Africa-bound charity phones Jess presumed existed, so our plucky heroine tried to bright-side the situation: "This can be your thing! You can be the guy without a phone.... You can go all Ghost Protocol on everyone." Nick snarked, "I always wanted to be a mole person." He did embrace a little Ethan Hunt aesthetic briefly action by rocking a hoodie, though, and also consoled himself by sending snail mail "texts" to friends and getting all Marxist and Damn-the-Man!-y up in here. Nick chose not to have a phone, you see. He totally wasn't rejected for having the credit score of a gambling addict ex-con!

Meanwhile, Jess had a run-in with Russell Schiller, her student's parent. Perhaps she didn't make a good impression by wearing a bowler cap, offering up a pathetic interpretation of a British accent, and yammering about taking condoms off cucumbers. Or perhaps Russell's confidence, richesse, devilish good looks, and (per Schmidt) "voice of a matinee idol"  were simply intimidating. In other words, hello Dermot Mulroney! Long story short, these two did not hit it off when Russell wanted to pull his daughter out of Jess's artistic power hour (or "Dream Sess," as she called it) in favor of private tutoring. To be fair, the girl was doing weird 3-D art installations with doll heads, which is less the stuff of dreams than that of nightmares. Jess was angry, but her principal said disagreeing with Russell was not an option because he might pull his megabucks from the school's funding. She ordered Jess to apologize to Russell, saying, "From now on, your classroom is full-on North Korea: 'Math! Math! Math!'"

Of course Jess decided on exactly the opposite course of action. Granted, there was a lot of goading from Nick, who was suddenly a radical Leftist after his phone store humiliation. For the record, Schmidt encouraged Jess to keep groveling and blow off steam on the weekends by... wearing lots of Fila? Yeah, I didn't get it, but it was totes Schmidt. He also urged her to claim she was on her period -- a negotiation tactic he had employed successfully in the past -- mainly because it stunned the other party into confusion and so convinced him that he was willing to humiliate himself that they counterintuitively respected him (or so he convinced himself). Winston's suggestion to apologize was obviously pushed aside, which led us back to Nick's ridiculous proposal to march into Russell's office and call him that most damning of insults: Mr. Fancyman.

On the way over, Jess's car broke down. Way to show the man his material good and wealth can't control you! At any rate, she was close enough to Russell's office that he spotted her, called a tow truck, and loaned her his car to drive home. Yes, you heard that right. Loaned her his car. That's what rich people do, apparently. He also invited her to a barbecue at his mansion. She had no choice but to hate him... and slowly fall in love with him. Schmidt and Nick, with whom Jess was on speaker phone during this entire exchange (she had called them for a pre-confrontation pep talk), had their own responses: Nick screamed "We are the 99 percent!" and Schmidt wondered, "Is [he] a superhero? What kind of car is it? Is it an SL? Does it have a push ignition? Please tell me it's not a hybrid!"

NEXT: Party crashers in the house tonight


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