New Girl "Cabin" Review: Green Fairy, White Guilt
When Nick described his relationship with Angie as “anarchy” rather than “dating,” he managed to put his finger right on the word that I needed to describe them. It wasn’t that I didn’t like Angie as much as that I didn’t feel completely honest in saying that I did like her. And sure, maybe I was counting on the fact that of course they’d break up eventually because... well, because they would.
So anarchy, eh? Anyone who has spent some time in a cabin chugging absinthe like Gatorade knows that anarchy can be a helluva good time, but it’s unsustainable in the long run. Eventually, someone is going to yak in the fireplace. Eventually, you just want colors and the sounds to match again and birds to stop flying out of their frames to peck your face off, Hitchcock style. Nick and Angie and Jess and Sam’s double date at Dr. Sam’s boss’s cabin became a microcosm of Nick and Angie’s relationship: chaotic, fun, and exciting with just enough unease running beneath it all to taint everything with reality.
"Fantasy" and "nightmare" collided when Angie found the guns and totally felt Jess up while helping her formulate a backstory for the beer can that loved her so she could justify shooting it. Jess, in turn, missed the can completely and accidentally shot a transformer outside the cabin, dooming the group to candlelit absinthe-fueled mayhem. I guess no one thought to call the power company and explain the my bad? Well, at least they left a Post-It on the fuse box upon departure. How considerate!
Regardless, that's when the absinthe came out. Copious amounts of social lubricant in the dark? What could possibly go wrong?
It depends on how you look at it.
After an intense game of one-woman charades, Jess opted to leave her offering at the porcelain altar early, and in her budding sobriety, admitted to Nick that she rather liked Angie. This was, of course, before they both walked in on Nick’s ladyfriend drunkenly trying to kiss drunk Dr. Sam, who was drunkenly trying to turn her down. Nick realized that sobriety sucks and proceeded to chug the green stuff. Oh Nick, darling, you know that they typically cut absinthe with sugar and water, right? I mean, there are fancy spoons and everything. FANCY SPOONS!
Thus began the portion of the evening where the awkward booze-soaked truth-telling came out. All in all, relatively painless. Jess and Dr. Sam ended up passing out on good terms and it appeared that Nick and Angie had managed to add some sort of structure to their anarchic whatever-relationship when Nick admitted that he’d rather be in an exclusive coupling than an open one. It was a big moment for them, but big moments aren’t always pleasant moments and in the morning, Nick woke up to find that Angie had bailed, leaving only a note on the bed because passive-aggressiveness is awesome.
So it’s back to my general lack of feelings regarding Nick and Angie. I felt bad for Nick for being hurt when he woke up next to the letter, but given their opposing natures, there’s also the sense of relief that they quit now rather than let things escalate to a far worse break-up. Angie managed to pull Nick out of his cautious, grumpy shell on many occasions and and certainly, that’s a good thing. Nick rarely does anything outside of his comfort zone without provocation. No matter how many times Nick is convinced to ride a motorcycle, have sex in public, or engage in an open relationship, there will always be a level of discomfort on his part. Certainly, part of being with Nick requires an understanding that, given what we know about Angie’s characterization, it wouldn’t really be fair to expect her to completely give up who she is in order to make Nick happy. Still, we’ve seen Nick make concessions for Angie—I can’t think of many (if any?) that she’s made for him.
Back at the loft, Schmidt latched on to the idea of letting his friends “be themselves” and threw it into overdrive when a case of what Winston later diagnosed as "white guilt" led him on a mission to make Winston “let his black light shine.” Jake Johnson and Hannah Simone’s faces were absolutely priceless during the entire “White Nick, Brown Cece” sales pitch.
This could have been a cringeworthy storyline if not for the brilliant decision to let Winston in on Schmidt’s intentions. Once Winston realized what Schmidt was up to, he turned the plan on its head in the name of punking the hell out of the loft’s resident douchebag. However, Schmidt is not a creature so easily controlled and Winston was quickly proven wrong when he assumed that asking Schmidt to go buy him some crack would put a stop to Schmidt's plan. Did you learn nothing at Thanksgiving, Winston? The man has never met a line he won’t cross.
Much to Winston’s horror, it was off to the projects to buy some crack—and not the crack that'd been laying around all day neither, Schmidt wanted the fresh crack. Kudos to New Girl for making fun of the stereotype that going to the “bad” part of town means an instant carjacking. Also: Winston story! A good Winston story! A good Winston story where he came out on top! After giving that nice man his accidentally pilfered wallet back, Winston came clean about his pranking of Schmidt who still... didn’t get it. His insistence that they eat ribs for dinner rather than the Indian food Winston sincerely wanted, purely because Winston is black and should always want to eat soul food “because that’s what black people eat” is just as bad as those “Welcome to America—now speak ENGLISH” bumper stickers, even though Schmidt’s intentions were born out of a genuine desire to make his friend feel comfortable in his skin, rather than, you know, out of xenophobic douchebaggery. The thing is, Schmidt never bothered to ask Winston if he was comfortable or happy, he just assumed... and you know what they say about what happens when you assume. (It’s a really cheesy and patronizing quip that unfortunately makes a valid point.)
Winston’s blackness means something different to Schmidt than it does to Winston himself. For Winston, “Being black means whatever I want it to mean,” and ultimately, it’s Winston’s definition that matters—not Schmidt’s, or “Brown Cece’s,” or even that guy they accidentally almost robbed. Winston is a black man who likes Indian food. He’s also a black man who likes soul food. But he doesn’t like soul food because he’s black.
An identity is made up of so many pieces that it’s impossible to know who a person is based on their skin color, or the cut of their suit, or their profession. In a single episode, we saw Cece go from a career-oriented model to one who'd begun to seriously consider starting a family, but if you bumped into her on the street, you might never know that. Likewise, the opposing stances that Angie and Nick took concerning open vs. exclusive relationships changed just as quickly.
What do you think? Is this the last we see of Angie?
– One-liner of the night: “I’m gonna poop weird tonight!” —Nick. It’s funny cuz it’s true.
– Nick and Angie’s break-up: awesome or awful?
- Comments (22)