I think we can all admit that Paul is the best guy Jess has dated all season, maybe not in terms of relationship quality, but definitely when it comes to witty banter and physical comedy. His crying face is genius, and it only pales in comparison to his Jimmy Stewart impression from his earlier guest spot.
But the Paul in "Backslide" isn’t the guy we knew back in the day before the midseason break of New Girl. He’s a new man. Or at least he has a new lady.
This lady is the Asian Jessica Day; she has long dark hair, hipster glasses and wears dresses. The idea of her turns Schmidt on, but that’s kind of off message. What is on message? That Jess is a backslider, but all the backsliding in this week’s episode is a trigger for some forward movement.
Paul’s one night stand with Jess helps him realize that his current girlfriend, Jenn, really is the love of his life. They’re soul mates, which is proven by the fact that she’s just as awkward a crier as he is. Their children will be terrifying when upset.
Jess’ awkward assist in Paul’s proposal didn’t really work for me, but I liked that she was the catalyst for that moment. I hope Paul’s wedding band is just a bunch of his students playing recorders. Learning the recorder is a staple of the American public education, after all.
What Jess takes away from her awkward backsliding mistake with Paul is that love is simple (despite several centuries of domestic experience suggesting differently). What she had with Russell wasn’t it, and what Nick has with Caroline is also not it. Unfortunately, Jess realizes this a little too late, and Nick has already signed on the dotted line for an apartment with Caroline.
Whenever there’s a Jess/Nick moment, I think about you guys because I know you’re all rooting so hard for them to get together! It really feels like they’re going to. Caroline is probably just a speed bump on the way to a Jess and Nick hook up. But I’m happy Caroline is slowing things down. If Nick and Jess are going to be together they really have to earn it because they have a history already, an already existing relationship as good friends.
Unlike CeCe and Schmidt, who were always flirting, Jess and Nick have built a true friendship, and in order for their romance to not feel false or contrived, they (and the writers) have to work to make that transition.
Not that Schmidt and CeCe haven’t worked at their relationship. Currently, they’re both trying their hardest to keep Schmidt as un-aroused as possible. A trip to see CeCe’s grandmother in a nursing home seems to do the trick considering how Schmidt feels about old people (check out the New Girl quotes page for his thoughts on the matter). I love that CeCe is easing into her feelings about Schmidt, and taking him to meet her grandmother is a nice way of showing him much she cares.
Surprise of the week: Winston gets the backup-backup plot! But it’s still a pretty funny one. I hope the earring sticks around for the season finale.
- Nick’s video to himself was appropriately revolting. The hair, the beard, the jar of tears!
- Also, do we need to talk about Schmidt’s hair in the aforementioned video? I think we might.
- I love that Jess’ go-to to cover up for Paul’s crying was explaining the Electoral College. Yeah, sometimes it makes me want to cry, too.