Last night on New Girl (Season 2, Episode 23, “Virgins”), history was made, and I think all of us shouted a simultaneous “FINALLY!” at the end of the episode. Because Nick and Jess finally did it. They progressed past awkward boob-touching and moved right into the sex. And I think the show did a good job building up to that climax (I’m sorry) by including the other characters in the storyline. Because I want Nick and Jess to be together as much as the next viewer, but their constant on-and-off thing can get kind of annoying when it takes up the entire episode and distracts from Schmidt’s lovable douchiness or Winston’s meager storylines. (Seriously, give this guy better plots.)
The episode begins with a text message from the man who took Jess’s flower. And yes, Nick, she means the flower from her “secret garden.” What ensues is a classic sitcom episode format in which the gang (a classic sitcom term) sits around competing over whose virginity loss was most embarrassing. Cece loses that competition immediately and likely makes Ke$ha very very jealous by revealing she hooked up with Mick Jagger.
I’m always a fan of the show’s flashbacks, particularly those involving college Nick and Schmidt, who are the most entertaining TV losers since Ross and Chandler in the Friends flashbacks. The Schmidt fat jokes were a little over-the-top for my taste in this episode, especially when he falls out of the bunk bed, but Nick’s mushroom hallucinations were endlessly entertaining. Jake Johnson is really great at pretending to freak out over his magnetic arm being stuck to a magnetic wall. It’s a gift.
Of course Jess’s first time story takes the longest to tell, because who’s that girl? It’s Jess. It involves a flashback to prom night in which Zooey Deschanel pulls off being a teenager so convincingly I think shows like Glee should just hire her to guest star all the time. And of course Jess’s virginity tale would involve a little kids’ playhouse. The dead guy on the bench was less quirky and more yuck, but it can’t all be sunshine and rainbows. I was personally just as speechless as Nick to find out that Jess had actually lost her flower to a heroic fireman, and not the emo guy playing guitar.
My personal favorite flashback was the one in which Winston loses his virginity to a prostitute named Mysteria who years later he still doesn’t realize was a hooker. The Winston storyline was funny and all, but as usual it was overshadowed by Nick. That pin-straight, center-parted hair was magical, as were the braces and the high-pitched voice. I’m starting to think there should just be spin-off about young Nick.
And of course it turns out Nick has only fond memories of his charmingly embarrassing first time story, which he reveals to Jess in a quietly serious moment which pretty much sets the rest of the episode in motion. I mean, it wasn’t exactly surprising that Nick then chased Jess into the elevator to stop her from hooking up with her hero fireman and get her to hook up with him instead. The Officer and a Gentleman-style carrying her in his arms thing was a little cheesy, but this show is so goofy most of the time that it can get away with it. And the cheese was undercut by Jess’s “Ruh roh” to close the episode.
I’m sure things still won’t be all figured out next week, because, in true sitcom fashion, there has to be something keeping this couple from really happening. And it’s only the second season, so I doubt Nick and Jess will be a proud couple next week. They definitely won’t be Facebook official, unless there’s a choice for “Roomfriends with benefits.” But it’s always satisfying when TV couples finally act on their feelings for each other without fighting it. And those two fought it a lot.