"Parking Spot" was a New Girl episode about fighting, but the actual fight over a parking spot was the least of it.
Nick and Jess fought about the ways The Kiss changed their relationship; Schmidt fought with both of them about the ways The Kiss changed the dynamics of the Loft; and Winston fought an unjust system that refuses to sell a man a condom, just because he has no money and also is wearing sweatpants that say "Yum!" across the butt.
And who came out the winner in all of this? Well, we did, because "The Parking Spot" was delightful.
Not just because it was hilarious - though I am not going to be able to get the text of the "No-Nail Oath" and some other choice New Girl quotes out of my head for a long, long time - but because it examined, with sensitivity and depth, the confused, tentative steps Jess and Nick are taking towards trying to understand what happened during "The Cooler."
I'll out myself as someone who was annoyed by New Girl when it premiered. Who's that girl? It's a weirdly one-dimensional character! For that reason and others, New Girl Season 1 was an even mix of hits and misses for me.
But in New Girl Season 2, Jess has come into her own. She's no longer just some gorgeous goofball who loves Curly Sue; she's a gorgeous goofball who loves Curly Sue and mourns the end of her parents' marriage, and has a complicated relationship with her lifelong best friend, and knows what men like (that's why she's wearing wool tights, guys). She's a relatable human being.
This development has not just raised the comedy stakes (though I do think this season has been consistently hysterical because of it) but opened the door for some emotional realness about life, dating, and romantic confusion, all of which came into full bloom tonight.
For two people who run around spying on plumbers and ruining Indian wedding conventions like it ain't no thing, Nick and Jess are surprisingly cautious while exploring their own attraction. And it's not just because it's hard to find decent real estate in L.A. (although I'm sure that that factors in, too).
Nick and Jess are both royal messes, who have steered clear of each other out of fear of what kind of mess they could create together. In "Parking Spot," we (and they) got a taste of what that mess could be: and it's full of "invisible shirts," hard candy, peed pants and forced Schmidt-kisses.
Was that mess enough to keep them from the becoming the hot-mess power-couple that seems to be their destiny? Only time shall tell, but I am eager to find out.
Are Jess and Nick going to be able to go back to their old dynamic? Should they even try? And, really, why did Schmidt tell them about the spot?