Schmidt, the break-out star of the show, is as fantastic as ever. With every passing episode, he just gets funnier and funnier. Everything about him is hilarious, be it his pronunciation of certain words (butt-ons, sack of tayt-ers) or his street-douche attitude when confronted. A side-gag about his reliance on a sex aids for his performance, including an archaic-looking device called The Archduke, only adds to the hilarity. His story takes him back in college, when he weighed hundred of pounds more, and was with Elizabeth.
Elizabeth is an underrated performer, who I’ve always found to be a natural screen presence and a great straight man to Schmidt’s buffoonery. His basic response to every situation is over-reaction – hence his reliance on The Archduke, hence the industrial sized tub of lubricant that he brings to the bedroom. His questions to Nick beforehand (“Should I put a little bit everywhere, or a lot in one very small place?”) add to the charming naivety that the character of Schmidt has maintained over the years, underneath the posing. This earlier Schmidt is his id, and as such is more much impulsive. The contrivance of Nick tripping on mushrooms to get him stuck in the room when Schmidt and Elizabeth are together felt like the one weak link in the episode, but the epic pay-off that resulted from that was well worth it.
To revisit Nick and Jess’ relationshop – this episode may have been filler, but it also introduced a potentially show-ruining event: Nick and Jess have sex at the end. Their relationship has been a slow burner, taking baby steps up to now when Nick, inspired by the fireman in Teddy’s story, carpes that diem and sweeps Jess up in his arms. Is this a good move? The lingering, slightly awkward silence as the credits roll would suggest that the show will face this in an original and satisfying way. I hope so, anyway. Overall, a great episode of New Girl.