Episode 18: TinFinity
By: Carlos Uribe
New Girl is a show about Jess and her three best friends (Winston, Nick, and Schmidt)
TinFinity is an episode that basically concentrates on the Nick and Schmidt relationship. The two have been best friends ever since they became college roommates. The two were able to bond easily because they saw themselves as equal when it came to getting women. They celebrate their tenth year anniversary of living together in this episode. It's the year of tin so they decide to host a party where the precious metal dominates. The chemical element on the periodical table happens to be “SN” which Jess takes over so it stands for “Schmidt and Nick”. This anniversary party is meant to celebrate the friendship the two have had over the last years. It should come as no surprise when this party turns out to be a vehicle of conflict between the two. Schmidt takes the party as seriously as he takes his image-which is to say completely. He leaves Nick responsible for only two things: the balloons and the bathrooms. He doesn't really care about the former which is why he gave it to Nick. Nick does end up getting a hot air balloon but he forgot to get the propane necessary to get it to the air. It's really the latter party responsibility that causes problems. Nick buys a porta-potty but it's a disgusting one that nobody wants to use. The only person who is even willing to try it, Jess, quickly freaks out as soon as she opens the door. Nick might think it was a smart idea to buy the porta-potty that the company was going to throw away but it was garbage for a reason. The problem is that Schmidt didn't actually think that Nick would get the toilet as he basically orders luxury bathrooms. The message is that Schmidt didn't think that Nick was going to get the bathroom. This doubt in his friend's ability to fulfill his responsibilities drives a small wedge between them.
The conflict is more than just over whether or not Schmidt believed that Nick would fulfill his party responsibilities. The two used to be equals. They saw themselves as to be the same and that's why they became friends. It wasn't until Schmidt got a juicer and lost all his weight that he changed. He didn't just become more attractive but he put his life together. He's the only roommate that really has a disposable income. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if Schmidt could afford to live on his own but chooses to live with Nick and Winston because he likes it. He likes being their roommate because they have a lot of good times together. Schmidt has become relatively responsible even as he became more of a snob. This all basically means that they used to be equals but they're no longer. Nick feels like Schmidt thinks that he's better than him. That's where the core of the conflict really lies and it's genius. Just think about it: these two best friends got close because they got so alike but the two have gone in different directions. Nick is a character who is afraid of taking responsibility because he doesn't like not knowing what's going to happen. He's afraid he won't be good enough so he'll fail. As a consequence, he has built up an inferiority complex that influences his actions. He is a character who doesn't think much of himself. This whole season has been about getting him to grow up by pushing him towards accepting responsibility and improving himself. It's a slow process so Nick's inferiority issues remain. It makes sense that he would think that Schmidt would look down on him. It's coming from the core that makes his character: the feeling he's not good enough. Schmidt's desire that the party be perfect comes from his character's desire of how he wants people to see him: successful. He might or might not mean to look down on Nick but it makes sense because Schmidt is now a character who values success to the extreme. The two remain friends by the end of the episode because they genuinely like each other. Their issues aren't completely resolved but they're not going to let them come permanently between them.
There is more going in TinFinity than Nick and Schmidt's relationship. Jess can't stop thinking about Nick's mouth kissing hers so she decides she has to kiss someone else to move on. She doesn't really find any suitable guys at the bar until Winstom comes in with fictional football player Jax McTavish. Jax is not only athletic but attractive. Jess has found her man but Winston isn't happy with this because he doesn't want her coming in between him and this player. Winston loses despite his attempts to sabotage Jess but she ends up running away from Jax. Why? Jax feels too much and he makes it known. When he announces his intention of marrying Jess to the public before having even kissed her, Jess realizes she can't be with him. She doesn't want someone who is able to articulate what their going through all the time. The episode ends with the four hanging out and having a good time until Nick offers to share his alcoholic beverage with Jess. The issue that comes up? Nick brings up that it was just in his mouth. Since his mouth has dominated Jess' thoughts due to the kiss, it forces her to leave the balloon to find her own beverage. Overall, it remains a funny way to keep showing how the kiss is messing up with the loft dynamic without it getting annoying. The final plot development this episode is Shivrang (spelling?) proposing to Cece at the party. This serves to upset Schmidt and it shows that the writers are serious about pursuing this arranged marriage.
TinFinity is an awesome episode of New Girl. It's hilarious from beginning to end. That's not why I love this episode but it's because it has a lot of heart. The core of the episode is the Nick and Schmidt relationship and it was handled well. At the same time, Nick and Jess' relationship remained present throughout the episode while Schmidt and Cece's game slightly to the foregound. The episode was well-written and really gives credence to the idea that New Girl is one of the best comedies currently on the air.