Episode 8: Parents
Episode 9: Eggs
By: Carlos Uribe
New Girl is a show about Jess and her three best friends (Winston, Nick, and Schmidt)
It's a bit surprising that this episode isn't titled The Parent Trap considering how important that movie was to the episode. It is so influential to the main plot that it becomes a meta-running gag throughout the episode. The Parent Trap is a movie that's about uniting two parents so that separated twin girls can have one whole family. Jess was so inspired by the movie that she tried to set up her own Parent Trap scenarios when she was a kid. When her parents got divorced, she did her best to come up with scenarios to try and get her mom and dad to fall in love with each other again. She has now grown up. She's gone to college, is living with three roommates away from home, and has matured into an adult. It would make sense that she's given up on trying to make relationships work like in the movie. She hasn't. Jess is a stubborn character who still wants her parents to get back together because she's afraid that if they can't be together then she will die alone. It's this fear that drives her throughout the episodes. Parents is a funny and great episode where she tries to get her parents to get together one last time.
Jess has the perfect excuse to try and run a parent trap. It's Thanksgiving and her parents are coming to see her. There is supposedly going to be two Thanksgiving dinners because her mom and dad don't want to spend the holiday together. There might or might not have been a mistake and the dad gets the time wrong. He shows up just as Jess' mom arrives. They convince him to stay for their Thanksgiving holiday and this sets the stage. Jess tries to deny her urges to actively work to bring them together until she realizes that there's an opening. She recruits Cece and Nick to help her with the parent trap only to have her father realize what she's doing. It seems like the trap has failed when it actually hasn't. The mother and father start to make out in the bathroom and they get caught by Jess and her friends. The parents try to deny that they're going to get back together and they manage to sell it to Jess. The episode ends with them having their hands all over each other in the elevator. It might be nothing but this implies that they're now going to reignite their romantic relationship. Parents is a good plot even if it did simplify Jess' character a bit too much. At the same time, it makes perfect sense that she would want her parents to be with each other. The entire episode worked simply because Jess' mom and dad not only have opposing personalities but they were casted perfectly.
It's a pity that the sub-plot of Parents wasn't as great. Don't get me wrong: it was funny. It's just that some of the jokes did fall flat and it slightly overstayed it's welcome. It had a great idea: bring in Schmidt's cousin and have them compete to try and determine who is manlier. The person who wins gets to be the one True Schmidt. It's a competition that works because it's been established that the reason Schmidt tries so hard at everything is because he overcompensates due to his insecurity. Having him compete to try and prove his manliness is an extension of that. Rob Riggle is a delight as the other Schmidt. He was a lot of fun. It's just that while the premise of the sub-plot worked, it simply felt like it took too much to get through it's plot points as some jokes lasted too long. If it had been condensed just a tiny bit then it could have been a lot better.
Parents isn't the best episode of the season but it's still a pretty good one.
It's safe to assume that most people want to have kids. I'm one of the few who don't want any at all but I'd imagine I'm in the vast minority. The people who are in college with me probably don't want kids this instant but sometime in the far future. It's something that's supposed to happen when you have your life in order. That's when you have a healthy career, a good spouse, and a comfortable living situation. Eggs is an episode that takes that desire and brings it to the forefront of our characters. When Jess learns that at the age of thirty that a girl loses 90% of her eggs, she starts to freak out that she won't be able to have children. Jess is definably a character who wants to be a mother. She didn't teach because she wanted money but because she loves children. It makes perfect sense she would want some of her own. She currently doesn't have a job, a boyfriend, and she lives with three guys in an apartment. She still needs time to put her life in a position where she can be a good mother. That biology might make that impossible scares her. Cece isn't too worried because she's in no rush to have children. This changes when it's Jess who has enough eggs but Cece has to have a baby now if she wants to have one. Jess is happy that she has time but she's still worried that she won't be able to put her life together. Cece is worried now because her biological clock means she doesn't have time to wait and her current boyfriend wants kids down the line. Even if he did want to have kids in the present, she's still conflicted on whether she would go through with it.
It's pretty easy to think that if any character did offer to be the father of her child it's going to be Schmidt. He spends the entire episode in panic mode because his current sexual partner isn't finding him to be satisfying. His boss might have a sexual contract with him but she's not pleased with it. At first, Schmidt thinks he's going something wrong until it's confirmed to him that he's actually amazing in bed. When they fail to reach a satisfactory conclusion for his boss, the two realize that it's not going to work out for a couple reasons. The boss thought she could just force pleasure on herself by taking control but she really needs someone who she has feelings for. Schmidt has fallen in love with Cece and that's stopping him from being able to effectively please other women. Eggs might have forced the possibility of having kids now on Cece's mind but it's also an episode that makes Schmidt confront his feelings for Cece. The show is slowly but surely working it's way to bringing them back together. Not just so that they're together but so that they are emotionally ready to have a healthy and lasting relationship.
The other plot of the evening is with Nick. He tries to force himself to start writing his zombie novel but he's having difficulty writing a single word down. He decides that the reason is because he hasn't had enough real-life adventures like Ernest Hemingway. His idea of an adventure ends up going to the zoo and getting drunk. This is less of an adventure but more of a way for him to procrastinate. This “adventure” is messing up with Winston's sleep schedule since he works at night. Winston not only needs to sleep in the day but he's not getting any because of Nick's inability to write. Winston's sleep deprivation is what finally gets him to confront Nick on what the real problem is: Nick is afraid of finishing things because he's afraid of having to put in the work. Nick realizes that Winston is right and he does write his zombie novel. It ends up being terrible but that's not what's important. What is? It's that he finished it. Eggs is an episode with some pretty big movements for the characters: Cece realizes that if she ever wants to be a mother, she better start now while Schmidt realizes he loves her. Nick starts to get the courage to put in some actual effort.
Eggs is a pretty great episode filled with many laughs.