Image credit: Patrick McElhenney/Fox
NEW GUY That's pronounced "Ginz-linger," if you please
It wouldn't be an easy row to hoe, starting with the fact that Jess literally snapped a meat thermometer in half trying to spear it into her still frozen turkey. Then, with only three hours to cook, she and Schmidt couldn't fit the massive bird in the oven. She whined, "I can't get it in!" Schmidt couldn't resist: "We've all been there, am I right?" Schmidt set about beating the fowl with a tennis racket, which was absurd... and awesome! When that failed, Jess wrapped her arms around the Butterball and curled up in a fetal position: "Maybe if I take off all my clothes, the heat from my body will warm it up?" Jess, this is cooking, not that ridiculous tent scene from Twilight: Eclipse. Alas, Jess wasn't a hot-blooded werewolf, and the gang didn't have a million hours to spare. CeCe arrived amidst this desperation and, despite the guys' urging, didn't get naked and lie on top of the turkey with Jess. So they skipped to Plan Z and threw the bird into the clothes dryer. As you do.
Paul arrived before Jess had changed into her party dress, but she made up for any adorability deficit by wearing the Ms. Day's JAM-boree T-shirt she fought to keep some weeks back and also by breaking into a Michigan J. Frog-style ode to Thanksgiving. While the others stared blankly or cringed at her, Paul jumped right in, tacking on his own crooning verse. Mission: Accomplished. We have found the Male Jess, the Matthau to her Lady Lemmon. Color Nick horrified.
While the turkey "cooked," Jess took Nick aside and gave him explicit orders not to do "that thing" that he does. What thing, you ask? Turtle face. (Much credit to Jake Johnson for bringing the physicality to this bit.) Elsewhere, Paul knocked back pumpkin ales and got to know the roommates. Anticipating the possibility that Paul might become a regular presence at the apartment, Winston led the charge, urging his bros, "We don't know him. We need to figure out if he's the right guy for us." He invited Paul to play a game of word association. By which I mean, Paul sputtered, "Kazoo!" before the game even began, then punctuated his final answer by pulling out a -- you guessed it! -- kazoo.
Over in the kitchen, CeCe inadvertently triggered Schmidt's OCD by sticking her dirty hands all up in his food. He literally recoiled when she tried to feed him a walnut she had touched, threw an entire bowl away because it had been "compromised," and began washing his hands furiously as he muttered, "Beautiful savage..." Ironically, his squirming proved an aphrodisiac for CeCe, and she began to flirt with him by shoving mashed potatoes on his nose and sticking her fingers in his pudding (neither of which is a euphemism). All he could muster between gagging convulsions was, "So gross!" Of course the only time CeCe actively pursued Schmidt would be the one time he was too in his own head to notice.
NEXT: Smoke gets in your eyes