Jess swallowed her feelings for Ryan, the first teacher she hired as an assistant principal, In light of acceptable professional standards. She’s not wrong, in this week’s “Teachers,” when she admits that shacking up with her first hire would reflect poorly on her as a decision-maker. And she goes to great lengths to avoid that “Red Coat bastard” to speak to him as little as possible.
But it’s hard to ignore someone you’ve been shoved into close quarters with — refer back to season two’s “Cooler” episode of New Girl.
Even though they were different circumstances — Jess trying to help swing Brooklyn Decker into bed with Nick — the same prevailing theory was challenged: throw people in a room together and watch the truth wiggle its way out. New Girl did a fantastic job of testing it in two ways this week. It sent Jess, Coach and Ryan on a retreat to a teachers’ conference, and subsequently planned a guy’s night at the loft with Nick, Schmidt and Winston.
In “Cooler,” Jess and Nick falter in a game they’ve rigged and end up in Jess’ closet together where they’re supposed to enact the Seven Minutes in Heaven scenario. Repulse leads to reason, leads to honesty, leads to heat inside that large walk-in closet, and after everyone has gone to sleep the two roommates unload for a steamy kiss in the hallway. You remember it well.
Ryan is the first guy, since Nick, Jess had feelings for. At the conference, her plan is to use Coach as a buffer between she and her mega crush, but when Coach gets drunker than we’ve seen him since season three’s aptly named “Coach” (his return), Ms. Day’s plan goes awry and the three co-workers end up in Jess’ (hotel) room. Coach is passed out, while Jess and Ryan are taking plastic bottle shots to round out the night. Jess, still reeling from seeing Ryan saves Coach’s water-logged life, admits she has a big crush on him, and then pulls back.
Back at the loft, the guys are in the middle of a true boys’ night. In “Teachers,” Liz Meriwether captures a true representation of what actually happens when guys get together. They end up having to scrap their grand, masculine plans in favor of other things. Nick takes the lead when Schmidt admits he doesn’t know how to do laundry, and then again when Winston says he never learned how to read a ruler. Let the fun begin, right?
But the real fun starts just as they’re about ready to finally start a bar crawl. Nick rambles about his shortcomings, one including never learning how to love. From this, inside their rag-tag fort, we get a perfect summation of who’s who. Schmidt’s the smart one, Winston’s the silly one, Coach is the sports one and Nick is the cute one. Of course he is! Besides Jess, every one of Nick’s girlfriends have put him in this category, whether that means Caroline, Angie, or Julia.
The truth came out this week and I guess it’s about time. Although we’re only seeing Ryan for a second time, “Teachers” does a rather good job of explaining how intense Jess has been swallowing her feelings.
It’s actually somewhat surprising when she and Ryan finally kiss in the parking lot, but I’ve got to give Zooey Deschanel some credit — this one was steamy, too, like the infamous Nick kiss. Hopefully, I can stand this relationship.
MY FAVORITE THING: The truest truth ever about laundry and permanent press. Nick: “It’s not a real button. Nobody uses it.”