New Girl, Season 2, Episode 23: “Virgins”
Written by Elizabeth Meriwether
Directed by Alec Berg
Airs on Tuesdays at 9pm on FOX
The last part of season 2 is very much driven by Nick, focusing on his and Jess’ growing relationship. Considering the build up and progress we have seen in the last few episodes, “Virgins” is a weak come back from the two-week break. Like many other New Girl fans, I was disappointed not to see some more Nick and Jess progression almost straight away.
It’s not all bad though; the episode has a hilarious opening that showcases how close these characters are. Cece seems to be back at the loft now that Schmidt has reconnected with a former lover and nobody seems bothered by this. While Jess helps Cece with her underarms, Schmidt and Winston are in the same room and the four of them have a conversation, showing how comfortable they all are with each other. Discussing who Jess is going to meet later, it’s an interesting opening that sets the mood and tone for the rest of the episode. Of course the highlight is Nick, who suddenly appears from the toilet and admitting sometimes he hangs out in there to listen to them talk.
The entire episode is focused on the gang reminiscing about losing their virginity. Having the characters compare stories to see who wins for having the worst experience provides the audience with the return of New Girl’s always-excellent flashbacks. Jess’ virginity story is the main focus and takes up the majority of the episode; the others pitch in with theirs, which become the episode’s B stories. Most of the virginity stories are a fair portrayal of what it is like to lose your virginity and feature humorous moments. Of course Cece’s isn’t embarrassing, funny or believable. It’s a funny idea that Cece would happen to lose her virginity to someone famous but Mick Jagger? Probably a choice that’s a little over the top. Schmidt’s reaction is hilarious though, acting more jealous and childish than Nick when Jess talks about her story.
Whilst Schmidt’s flashbacks usually provide the most hilarity, it is younger Winston and Nick who steal the show this week. Schmidt’s flashback perfectly depicts how much harder it is mentally for a guy to lose his virginity and how there are often fears about doing things wrong. Whilst questions about lubrication are perfectly normal, the outcome for Schmidt and his lucky lady are, again, a little over the top. It starts off as awkward and hilarious as Schmidt asks Nick for advice but ends with what feels like bad slapstick comedy.
As I’ve mentioned before, season two has been the season of Nick Miller. In his and Winston’s virginity story, the audience gets to see quite possibly the best Nick flashback the show has ever produced. We see a dorky Nick Miller complete with braces and a slightly creepy Winston rocking a bad afro in a hotel room watching Titanic. Once again we are exposed to Nick’s sleazy father and gain more insight as he enters the room with two women who are obviously prostitutes. The scene shows Winston trying to work his magic with one of them and Nick on the sofa awkwardly trying to avoid any contact with the other. Between all the stories, it cuts back to present day in the loft and the cuts in this scene are by far the most entertaining. To this day, Winston is still completely oblivious to the fact those women were prostitutes. Every time it cuts back we see the rest of the characters laughing and trying to explain to him how painfully obvious it was. The flashback ends with a somewhat heartwarming moment shared between Nick and his usually horrible father and Winston on the sofa questioning his whole existence.
By this point, we return to the rest of Jess’ story and the characters’ reactions. It turns out her story wasn’t the worst because she lost her virginity to a hunky fireman. Throughout the episode hilarity is provided by flashbacks but given where this is placed in terms of the season, it does feel like an episode nobody asked for. We didn’t really need to see how the characters lost their virginity; it’s funny but feels like a waste of an episode considering how close we are to the finale. This changes when the moment we have been waiting for all season finally happens! It’s somewhat predictable but it’s executed fantastically. Nick picks up Jess like a fireman would in a film, but before we get to see it finally happen the New Girl team squeezes in a final bit of tension and anticipation by cutting to the rest of the gang and what they’re doing. Finally the episode ends with Nick and Jess in bed together post sex, short of breath and satisfied. When it actually sinks in what has finally happened the pair looks at each other, pull a similar slightly awkward expression and laugh, adorable.
Other thoughts / observations:
– How are Nick and Jess going to act now they have finally slept together? Are they actually going to try it as a couple?
– It is a very clever decision to have the episode end with everyone but Cece, (probably the most sexual character) having sex
– Other nice touches to this episode include the flashback of Cece and Jess at Nick’s bar and Schmidt attempting to talk to Cece as well as Titanic coming on when Daisy turns the television on
– I really admire how well New Girl portrays losing virginity. Most of the experiences are awkward, quick, and hilarious
– When Jess is in the kid’s castle trying to have sex I couldn’t help but think of Marge and Homer and their spot at the golf course in The Simpsons
– Winston seems to be getting stupider