New Girl "Tinfinity" Review: Tinfinity and Beyond

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New Girl S02E18: “Tinfinity”

Bromance was in the air at Nick and Schmidt’s ten-years-of-cohabitation celebration. Also probably poo. Nick begged Schmidt to give him some sort of responsibility during the event-planning portion of the partay (even though he didn't mean it), and Schmidt reluctantly handed over balloon and bathroom duties. Nick forgot about balloons entirely not only got the wrong kind of balloons, he went one step beyond merely renting a fleet of port-a-johns for their totally-not-a-gay-wedding: He bought his own, and oh my glob, guys, I could smell it through the TV. I could smell it through the TV and I wept when Jess took one for the team—and Nick’s self-esteem—and decided to take a tinkle in that little box of terror. I hope she bathed in a fountain full of Germ-X after that.

It was a sweet gesture, though, and it betrayed Jess’s continued feelings for Nick despite her desperate attempts to convince another man’s lips to kiss away the memory of Nick’s lips on her lips. That entire loose-lipped conversation with Cece was awkward and amazing, made even more so by Nick walking in with a frosting-stache. New Girl has turned kooky sexual tension and ongoing morning-after weirdness between those two into an art. Jess’s reluctance to enter a real romantic relationship with Nick is totally understandable and relatable—there are lots of men out there who are awesome friends and great boyfriends, but in the long run, depending on pesky things like their life goals and future plans, may not be an obvious choice for long-term life partner. It’s the same distinction that ultimately drove Cece away from Schmidt and into Shevrang’s arms, culminating with a marriage proposal in the middle of Nick and Schmidt’s big night.

In the name of giving credit where credit is due, I’d like to applaud New Girl for once again turning an “other man” into an admittedly appealing alternative, just as it did when Sam was stuck between Jess and Nick. While Shevrang clearly approached his potential marriage to Cece as the sort of business transaction the term “arranged marriage” implies and appeared poised to be an emotionally cold (but stable) breadwinner in whatever family he and Cece might create, once he realized that his lackluster proposal (if we even want to call it that) disappointed Cece, he aimed to make it up to her. It would have been so easy to turn Shevrang into an obvious bad fit for Cece, and while their union doesn't seem perfect and Cece’s “yes” seemed a little apprehensive, given her change in priorities this season and her utter refusal to give Schmidt another try, Shevrang could end up being “good enough.” While that certainly adds a pinch of bittersweetness to their impending nuptials, all I mean is that I’m not actively rooting for them to break up. This isn’t a matter of Schmidt GOOD and Shevrang BAD. They’re different, and it’s ultimately going to come down to Cece being honest with herself and the men in her life to determine which one emerges victorious.

Jess found herself in a similar, though slightly less “official,” situation with Jax, the professional football player Winston befriended during an interview. Handsome, successful, willing-to-talk-about-his-feelings Jax represented the anti-Nick, and Jess jumped on the opportunity to prove how SO-NOT-INTO Nick she was. Unfortunately, her shallow attraction was reciprocated with overwhelming sincerity by Jax, who took to the stage after Shevrang to announce that he'd found his third wife. I’m definitely feeling a little bit of schadenfreude toward Jess, though. And I mean, Winston totally warned her. 

With Winston off nursing some touch-football-gone-wrong injuries and the ladies’ dates stealing the Tinfinity soiree’s Nick-and-Schmidt fuelled thunder, the two guests of honor were forced to examine the significance of their ten years together—particularly Schimdt, who's outwardly changed the most since their college days. Hurt by Schmidt’s acquisition of backup potties and the implication that he'd expected Nick to screw up. “Tinfinity” contrasted the current woes in their relationship with flashbacks to fat-suit Schmidt and porn-stache Nick in college, bonding over their mutual mediocrity... or maybe just below mediocrity. Nick insisted that Schmidt started treating him “like an idiot” after he bought a juicer and got skinny and from what we saw, that’s absolutely true. Of course, Schmidt treats EVERYONE like an idiot, but given that the entire point of the Tinfinity party was to celebrate Nick and Schmidt’s epic friendship, it’s understandable that Nick would take issue with Schmidt’s douchebaggery on that particular occasion.

Because Nick has known Schmidt longer than the other loftmates, he alone has the insight to the “real” Schmidt beneath all the bullshit and bluster. The arrival of the juicer and Schmidt’s successful weight loss was a great example of someone taking control of their life and improving it. Schmidt subsequently applied his control-freak tendencies to every facet of his life and in some ways, it’s worked out well—he definitely appears to have the most successful career of his roommates so far. Schmidt places so much faith in his ability to plan things into perfection that the concept of failure, even a minor failure like icky port-a-johns as opposed to fancy executive port-a-johns, is devastating. Shevrang’s successful proposal to Cece at Schmidt’s own party went beyond that.

Nick questioned why Schmidt continued to live with his perpetual screw-up college roommate ten years later if he was so much freaking better than everyone and it was Nick’s reaction to Shevrang’s proposal that answered his own question. He knew how Schmidt would take the apparent final loss in the war for Cece’s affections and despite his own issues with Schmidt, he dropped them in order to support his friend. They walked away from their party and once they were away from everyone and Schmidt felt like he could drop his douchebag act, his confidence fell away and we were left with the same insecure Schmidt from the college flashbacks who, just like his old roommate, can’t get the woman of his dreams to take him seriously as a partner.


What did you think of “Tinfinity?”



NOTES

– One-liner of the night: Nick’s justification for buying the port-a-potty that even the port-a-potty salesman said was garbage, “That’s what the nursing home said about my mattress!”

– I loved how Schmidt said he was proud of Nick for fulfilling his party duty, even if he did a rather poor job at it.

– Do you think Jax is going to stick around? Is anyone else worried that he's going to get REALLY annoying REALLY soon?

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