“New Girl”: The sauce

Spiders really suck, but New Girl‘s “Spiderhunt” doesn’t; in fact, I wish we’d seen the tradition established sooner in the series and more often. True American has earned legendary New Girl status, in that it has shown up once a year since the beginning and, when it does, is celebrated like a holiday. It’s a corky tradition the guys invented a long time ago, but it’s often used to push major plot lines forward. The Spiderhunt operates in the same way, in this episode.

When Schmidt sees a spider, in this case crawling on his pants, he’s freaks out. Jess swats it away and Nick reacts like this has happened before — hence, why I wish we’d seen it earlier. Here’s kind of how it goes: a Jar Man is paired with a Smusher with the intention of finding, killing and mounting the spider’s head on top of the roof to make sure all the other spiders know (Schmidt: “You make sure that it’s done!”) The search-and-destroy game is perfectly wacky.

Jess finally gets the attention of Cece, who has barricaded herself in her apartment apparently dealing with her secret love for Schmidt in silence. When she gets Cece to come over, she uses the spiderhunt to her advantage by getting one-on-ones with Winston and Cece as she tries to crack one of them to find out who Cece likes. It’s only a little ironic that Schmidt’s the first person she sees after Winston admits Cece has a crush, only Jess can’t put the puzzle together.

Winston actually convinces her that Cece’s crushing on Nick, which adds an entirely different spin to the funny episode. Jess’ mind is kind of in a thousand different places when she finds out. At once she’s a little upset because of the obvious relationship history, then she thinks Nick called Cece ugly so she gets defensive and tries to promote her instead. Finally, she locks them in a room and urges them to act on their feelings. Jess is hilariously all over the place.

But when she finally hears the truth, she surprises by acting discreetly and promising Cece that her secret is safe. But how long can that last? Now that she knows, the question the rest of the season will be when she lets the cat out of the bag. Schmidt seems happy with the councilwoman, but she sure is intimidating.

My favorite thing: I feel like the 10-foot tall Ralph Macchio is a nod to “The World’s Most Giant Doctor” created in Scrubs. I also really liked the way Jess identifies Winston as a “slow puzzler” and calls him “Officer Cat Fancy.”

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