New Girl Episode 14: “Pepperwood”
Written by: Nick Adams
Directed by: Lynn Shelton
Original Airdate: 22 January 2013
All of the roommate’s quirks are on full display in this week’s very fun episode of New Girl.
Jess arrives home in classic fashion – singing and dancing, about a breakthrough with one of her writing students. Cue money into the Annoyance Bowl, Jess now has her very own Douchebag Jar, which is somehow nowhere near as funny as when Schmidt has to put money into his.
Nick was less than thrilled with unusual content of student Edgar’s (brilliantly named character, bravo New Girl) story. With themes of stabbing his prey to death, stalking and gimp suits, Nick was worried and jealous that Edgar’s story receives more praise and attention than his own masterpiece Z is for Zombie. Stating he sees through his “amateur hour” font, Nick vows to investigate.
This is a hilarious episode about the catastrophic hilarity of assumption where Nick and Jess, our favourite ‘they should be a couple’ get more one-on-one screen time. “Pepperwood” is the second episode in a row that highlights Nick’s protectiveness concerning Jess, notably often calling her Jessica in this episode.
With most of the episodes providing hilarity at Nick’s expense, Jake Johnson once again delivers another brilliant performance. Nick comes to Jess’ class wearing aviators and a baseball cap, quite possibly the weakest attempt at a disguise but we wouldn’t have Nick any other way than his lazy, silly, bitter, angry self. It is fun and amusing to watch the lovable Nick Miller walk into the room and announcing his undercover identity: “Julius Pepperwood, ex-cop, ex-Marine”. With his thick Chicago accent and making statements like, “Thin crust pizza? No thank you! I’m from Chicago”, this is silly, but well written comedy at it’s finest.
There is an excellent scene that the two share, Nick steals Edgar’s notebook and Jess tries to steal it back through a keep-away dance. This is probably the closest the pair has been in terms of body contact and Nick is almost laughing at one point. Johnson is a brilliant physical actor, who often provides comedy through excellent facial expressions and delivery. Genuinely fearing for her safety, his tone is different this week and it should be noted when they are together on screen, they are more close than usual.
However, this week’s B-story was lacking hilarity as events from the very beginning of the episode lead to Schmidt determined to find out what his ‘pogo’ is – the thing about you that your friends talk about when you aren’t around. In this episode all of the housemates’ pogos are revealed to each other. By the end of this episode, Nick uses his pogo to take better care of him self and Jess holds back on a comment, as she doesn’t want to be a know-it-all. With Nick earlier stating that the loft dynamic is ruined, it feels like a weird decision for the characters to be aware of their characteristics. Once again, New Girl feels like it is verging on the edge of ignoring classic sitcom rules, when it obeys other rules so perfectly.
Here’s to hoping the pogos don’t ruin the dynamics of a brilliant show and that Pepperwood will make another appearance soon.