New Girl – Bully
In this week’s episode of NewGirl, “Bully”, CeCe has to come to terms with her relationship with Schmidt, Jess has to relive her bullied past and Nick reads too much into a gift from Julia.
CeCe and Schmidt are still hooking up as we see at the opening of “Bully”. CeCe calls the way she feels about their trysts the perfect combination of complete satisfaction and complete self-loathing. Their relationship is still being kept a secret as we see when Schmidt attempts to sneak CeCe out before any of his roommates see her. When they come close to seeing who it is that Schmidt is sleeping with, everyone tries to figure out who is important enough for Schmidt to sleep with more than once but hideous enough to hide from them.
We finally get to see Jess in the classroom this episode. She has a kid in the class with an unfortunate issue between the other students. They use him to play coin slot and though he is making a killing in pennies, he would rather not be subjected to the embarrassment it causes him. Jess decides to take him under her wing and help him with the other kids by writing a song about him and having him perform it with her in front of the class. Of course, we know it is going to backfire before the first notes are even sung and sure enough, it does in the form of an online video which portrays Jess with a bird body and her own head, while she bird poops on everything in the video.
Julia sends Nick a cactus which he becomes obsessed with as a symbol that she is going to break up with him because she knows he can’t take care of a regular plant. This is further perpetuated by Nick dropping the plant and breaking both the plant and pot. He calls Julia while she is abroad and repeatedly leaves frantic messages pontificating on what the cactus means.
CeCe and Schmidt continue hooking up throughout the episode, at one point Schmidt suggesting the a little “Schmidt and Spin”, ick. Despite all signs pointing to the contrary, CeCe tries to show Schmidt that she really doesn’t care about him. She takes Schmidt with her to a party and then makes him stay in the car while she goes inside . CeCe says she’ll crack a window for him, making him essentially, as Schmidt puts it, her “sex dog”. He agrees to stay in the car if CeCe will concede to be seen in public with him elsewhere.
Jess makes a phone call asking how to get something removed from the internet, bless her. She really reminds more and more of someone in my life, which may be the reason I can’t fully dislike Jess and may also be the reason I keep tuning in. It’s like I’m getting special insight into what makes that special woman that I know tick. Jess finds out which of her students posted the video. The child in question’s name is Brianna, played by Joey King of Ramona and Beezus and Crazy, Stupid, Love fame. Jess confronts Brianna only to have her accusations turned on her and she finds that she is being picked on by the young girl. Immediately after the confrontation, Jess breaks Brianna’s science fair project, a robotic arm. She enlists Winston to help her fix it.
Nick and Julia are reunited and another one bites the dust. Julia explains that initially she didn’t think she meant anything by the cactus, but after listening to Nick’s seven messages, each more confused than the last, she realized maybe she did mean something by it. What we have here is a self-fulfilling prophecy kids. Julia and Nick are no more.
So…you think you’ve seen the down, depressed Nick? His cynical exterior seems to be not too far off from how he would be if he were upset about something, right? Wrong, so wrong. Nick’s sad face is actually a smile. It’s quite creepy, but it’s still a smile. He is a positive thinking individual who is downright lovey to those around him. When he and Winston come to the science fair, Jess just wants sad Nick away from her, but Winston is waiting for him to crack and doesn’t want to be alone with Nick when that happens. At the science fair, when Brianna’s robot arm fails in a hail of sparks and she quickly blames Nathaniel, remember him? He’s the kid we thought the episode was going to center around, but who has been of no use to the story again until now. Jess, of course, stands up for Nathaniel and admits that she broke the project but with no additional conflict between Brianna and Nathaniel, no build up. She confronts Brianna’s moms and tells them that Brianna is essentially a bad kid. Nick finally loses it in the middle of the confrontation with Brianna and her moms and becomes the weepy, drastically depressed guy that we have been expecting to see all along. This is strangely settling after the uber creepy happy Nick.
Jess’ principal pretends she will punish Jess in front of Brianna’s parents, but is actually happy that Jess has joined the ranks of kid-hater like all the other teachers. When Jess returns to class, she forces Brianna the Bully to sing a song (entitled Let Me Lift You Up With My Robot Arm) with her and encourages the kids to record it on their phones. She comments on the posted videos flatteringly to herself, saying things such as…”that teacher is muy caliente”. Jess feels vindicated and is a little overly proud of herself for standing up for herself against a child.
CeCe does let Schmidt take her out for breakfast. Schmidt tells her how he really feels about her, that she isn’t just a pretty face to him and that he is proud to be seen with her. She, in turn, allows him to announce to the restaurant that he is having sex with her, which I guess we are supposed to find sweet since it’s Schmidt, and they almost pull it off until he does a parkour move off the wall and then in even douchier fashion, push-ups.
In the end, Jess gives Nick a real plant, which he says he will kill. Jess tells him she knows he will but that’s okay because that is who he is. I feel like this is meant to tell us the episode’s lesson was accept yourself the way your are. This might have come across better if Nathaniel’s issue with the other kids had been resolved, or even not resolved but it would be okay because he was being himself. Instead we lose track of Nathaniel pretty quickly and get bogged down in Jess’ insecurities against a child, immaturity abounds. The video at the beginning was funny, the degrading of Schimdt was almost funny but just turned out to be kind of sad and the end of Nick and Julia’s relationship was pitifully one-sided and short. I felt robbed of more drama with all parties invovled, a break-up, a hook-up and a school fight should consist of better stuff.