“New Girl”: The long game

At first, Jess divulged to her dates that she lived with three guys that were more like big brothers than whatever her date was imagining. But when she and Nick moved in on each other at the end of season two, everything changed because she needed to come to grips with the fact that she lives with her ex-boyfriend after it fell apart.

It’s the same situation that brought her to the roommate interview in the first place. She needed to get out from under Spencer’s roof, but mostly she needed help doing it. Also, the living arrangement produced friction between Jess and Caroline, since, you know, Caroline thought Jess was Nick’s ex but it was all a front to make her jealous and win her back. And it worked, a couple times.

Jess and Nick were serious, which makes it difficult for Ms. Day to tell her new date before bringing him home in this week’s “Goldmine.” Their honesty quite impressive, although Jess hasn’t met a guy she likes enough to ruin the relationship and Nick only tells his dates the morning after he brings them home.

More often than not, Jess sinks into nervous tendencies when faced with telling the truth about something, especially something she’s embarrassed or ashamed of. She resorts to lying, which we learned last week Nick isn’t very good at going along with. But there’s a line drawn in the sand this week: lying and make-believe are two different beasts for Nick. He can make-believe that he’s gay, which is the way Jess decides to trick her date into coming home.

It was gay or dead — and Jess didn’t like Nick’s ghost impression.

“Goldmine” is an episode with two story lines. Nick and Jess’ imaginary world, then Winston’s “long game” and Coach’s disagreement with its principles. Alexandra Daddario and Kiran Deol return as the sexy neighbors across the hall (remember, Winston helped them move in). Winston’s still doing a lot of work for them around the apartment, which Coach doesn’t like, but the idea is about being there for them all the time and even sorting their mail.

This week, Schmidt kind of hovers in and out of the two stories, depressed about Cece’s decision to seek a breast reduction. In fact, his reaction and subsequent lecture on the five stages of grief is the best thing we get in “Goldmine,” I’d say. (Stage one is denial, “This is not happening, this is not happening, this is not happening, you’re not getting a boob reduction, this is not happening,” stage two was anger, “Your breast belong to all of us! Who are you to decide!?!”) Add to that the soundtrack of Schmidt’s goodbye to Cece’s boobs, later in the episode.

As it turns out, Nick hilariously plays a bad gay guy, and Jess’ first likable date in three months walks out the door. Nick, on the other hand, is doing just fine. He brought a girl home the night he was playing gay just because he wanted to know what was underneath all of those layers of clothing. And she’s showering at the loft, a sign that they basically have to get married.

MY FAVORITE THING: According to Nick, the tavern folk he brings home every night are called “Uh-ohs” and the sleepy gay guys he’s fake attracted to are called “Drowsers.”

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