Episode 17: Parking Spot
By: Carlos Uribe
New Girl is a show about Jess and her three best friends (Winston, Nick, and Schmidt)
Table 34 was an episode that was the immediate aftermath of the kiss between Nick and Jess. The two talked about the kiss but they decided that it didn't change anything. They're still friends. Nick is convinced that the dynamic between the loft hasn't been changed because of the conversation. Parking Spot picks up some time after that conversation. It's still a bit awkward between them but they try their best to get through it by denying it's there. The episode basically begins with how they're pretending that the kiss hasn't changed the status quo because of the revelation at the end. The circumstances of the episode basically betray that illusion that they've set up. This forces them to realize that the kiss changes things. They're going to need to talk about this so that they can continue to live in peace. They also have to deal with Schmidt's complete overreaction to the whole issue. Table 34 might have settled that the characters weren't going to hide the kiss but that they would remember it. This is an episode that starts to explore just what this kiss does to the loft dynamics. It doesn't settle the issue but at least the characters can no longer be in denial about it. Parking Spot is a hilarious episode of New Girl that explores the consequences of the kiss while presenting a full-on parking spot war. Oh, and Winston tries to get a win.
I think I'm going to begin with Winston before I get into the good stuff. He was stuck at the end of the last episode with a pointless story that didn't really go anywhere. It was silly and light but inconsequential. That's not the case this week. He still remains in the background of the episode but he's given two goals that the viewers can understand. The first is that he wants the parking spot. The second is that he wants to have sex with Brenda Song's character badly. Their schedules don't compliment each other very well which limits the time they have to sleep with each other. Winston gets called away from the parking spot war when she reveals she's free. He rushes to sleep with her but forgets a condom after getting lost. He's forced to go out to the store to buy one only he puts on the wrong pair of pants. He has no money. He freaks out a bit as he's desperate to get a condom. The store is no help so he goes to Cece's place only to interrupt a date she's on. When this fails, he searches his roommates' room for condoms and finds one in Jess' box. He rushes back to Daisy's neighborhood but he can't find her place. Defeated, he goes back to his apartment and gets the parking spot out of pity. His win is cut short when the spot turns out to be too small for his car. It's funny and it gives Winston something to strive for. This was different from last week where he basically reacted to a situation before resolving it at the very end. It was also nice to see Brenda Song reappear but it was disappointing it was for only one scene.
Winston might have won the parking spot war but it was really fought between three people. Jess, Nick, and Schmidt all want the spot. They're able to get Nick to back down at first by staring at him. He's made the decider of who gets the parking spot. Jess decides to use her feminine wiles right after claiming that the kiss didn't change anything. It's a conscious move that betrays what she has been saying. Nick decides to vote for her because he wants to be a gentleman but this turns out to be a mistake. It's not long before Schmidt figures out that something fishy is going on and he discovers about the kiss. His reaction is not good. He can't believe that Nick would violate their no-bang clause that the two (with Coach) signed when Jess moved in. Nick's reply is to give his vote to Schmidt so that there is no scandal in his decision-making. He doesn't want people to think that the reason he gave it to Jess is because they kissed. Once again, the kiss is messing up the loft dynamics as it changes how the character decisions are being perceived. When Jess complains, Nick can't take it so he takes back his votes. He rushes to the parking spot and it's obvious. The first person to park in the spot gets to claim it. Only none of them get their car in there as they keep blocking each other. The new game begins whoever stays in the spot the longest gets to stay. Putting them in such a small and enclosed location only allows the conflict to really build up. That is until Nick makes the comment that the kiss didn't mean anything. This upsets Jess and she storms off. Nick has no choice but to follow her to try and salvage their friendship.
The climax of the episode is so crazy and so perfect. Nick chases after Jess but Schmidt quickly intrudes. There's a lot of drama as Jess finds out about the no-bang clause but Schmidt insists that he gets to kiss Jess. He thinks that's the only way to save the loft dynamic but it turns out to be a huge mistake. The two don't enjoy the kiss. This only leads to Jess and Nick's sexual tension pulling them together before Winston barges in and separates them. It's a pretty good climax that proved to entertaining because of how crazy it had gotten. In the end, Winston gets the parking spot but the loft dynamic has changed. Nick and Jess realize this now. The question is how this is going to be impacting the future episodes.
Cooler was the episode with the kiss. Table 34 was about the characters deciding how to react to this news. Parking Spot is bringing to their attention that the status quo has been changed even if they pretend it hasn't. Parking Spot is a hilarious episode as the two plots were on fire. It was so funny that I kept laughing for a couple minutes after it had ended. The Big Bang Theory recently did an episode involving a parking spot war that was almost as funny as this episode-New Girl beat it because it was slightly more character-centric. Whatever the case, New Girl delivered one of it's best episodes so far and definably at the top of the season.