'New Girl' recap: Daddy issues, henna mistakes and Schmidt's crazy dance in 'Winston's Birthday'

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"Winston's Birthday" is not a "New Girl" episode about Winston ( Lamorne Morris). Not surprisingly, this most-neglected of roommates remains neglected, even though it is indeed his special day. But that's what happens when everything else happens all at once.

What exactly was more important that Winston having a birthday?


Jess and Nick and Bob

"Winston's Birthday" picks up only a few hours after the last episode left off. Jess ( Zooey Deschanel) and Nick ( Jake Johnson) are still in bed and still pretty darn happy about their sex. Nick even gets up to make Jess breakfast! She doesn't have to eat the soft pretzel that shared the bed with them!

Unfortunately for the new lovers, Jess' dad, Bob ( Rob Reiner), picks this morning to show up unexpectedly for Cece's wedding. Jess manages to hide her recent indiscretion, but a sudden job opportunity leaves Nick alone with Bob for a day.

Of course, Nick blabs about having bedded Jess to her dad. Bob doesn't take it too well. But his reason is a little surprising -- Bob thinks Nick is too much like he once was. And Bob himself wouldn't be good enough for Jess.


Jess goes back to work

A sudden job offer takes Jess into what appears to be a middle-school classroom. The kids are nuts. The principal talks really, really slowly and tells pointless stories about goats. Jess would rather be anywhere else.

At least she finally gets the kids' attention by standing on the desk and lamenting about her Nick problems. The children are moved by her plight, and one offers Miss Day a cigarette. This could be an awfully fun job to watch if Jess gets it.


Cece's wedding

We have reached the day before Cece ( Hannah Simone) and Shivrang ( Satya Bhabha) are due to be wed. And Cece is stressed. She does manage to get her henna tattoo done, but a nap right afterward leads to disaster. Basically, you shouldn't rest your cheek on a recently applied henna tattoo.

You also shouldn't try to wipe that tattoo off the cheek with a towel.

Shivrang is okay with Cece's Mike Tyson/five-o-clock shadow look though. Maybe this wedding will actually work out? That would be fine -- Shivrang is turning out to be a sweet and pleasant fellow.


Schmidt and Elizabeth do the awkward dance of love

Schmidt ( Max Greenfield) and his former college flame Elizabeth ( Merritt Wever) have rekindled their romance with a night of passionate and loud (sorry, Elizabeth's neighbor!) sex. But never forget this is Schmidt, a man who has dedicated his recent years to shallow sex with the hottest girls he can find.

That doesn't work out so well when Elizabeth visits wearing her favorite, ratty college t-shirt. An encounter with one of Schmidt's many hot, female co-workers insults and drives away Elizabeth. Is this the end?

Nope. Thanks to an old sweatshirt, a grand gesture and some truly incredible dancing at a restaurant, Schmidt and Elizabeth keep the love train rolling for another week.


Oh, and Winston's birthday

It's pretty easy to forget that it's Winston's birthday, despite the episode title. After all, everybody on the show forgets it.

This could be sad, but Winston is just oblivious enough to make it funny instead. He can ignore being sent on wedding errands (just like in "Sixteen Candles"!!!), eating a breakfast intended for Jess and stumbling upon a couple of romantic rooftop interludes. Happy Birthday Wilson Winston!


The Nick and Jess of it all

All the shippers out there are undoubtedly interested primarily in where Jess and Nick get to in their relationship.

I'm happy to say that they're in a pretty good place at the end of the episode.

Jess does acknowledge the messiness of dating someone as unfocused and non-ambitious as Nick. But she also notes that the mess is where she will find the fun. Even if the two roommates didn't get to much romancing on the rooftop, they both finally seem ready to take the leap into couple-dom.

But will next week's Season 2 finale change all that? We will have to see ...


Funny stuff said by funny people

  • "It's pitch, it's yaw. It's perfectly sculpted pubic topiary." -- Schmidt, on his own body
  • "If they make fun of you, I'll punch them in the penis." -- Elizabeth
  • "I didn't gay my way out of Vietnam just to get killed by some punk!" -- Bob
  • "Shesheer, you son of a b**ch. You son of a b**ch. It is not your day!" -- Jess to Cece's uncle
  • "She's not quirky. She's got no bangs. She's tall and fat. Small eyes. Small beady eyes. Her name is ... Yolanda Winston." -- Nick to Bob
  • "You want to see spooky? Say spooky again? I'll spook the a*s-fat out of your lips." -- Elizabeth
  • "Without validation, the parking rates are absurd." -- Schmidt, failing to win back the girl
  • "What if you weren't referring to children but to baby goats?" -- Principal Foster
  • "Where my cake at?" -- Winston
  • "I don't know how you get a podcast, but you should look into that." -- Nick to Bob
  • "I'm getting married tomorrow, and I look like Mike Tyson!" -- Cece
  • "Burqas isn't you guys, is it?" -- Jess to Cece, after the henna mess
  • "I have a full beard!" -- Cece
  • "I want all fathers to like me! What's that about?" -- Nick
  • "I got my own d**n cake. And you can't have none!" -- Winston
  • "I've had a bad day! Sit down! All of you! What is with everyone today? Everything started so good! My roommate ... It was good. I'm not going to lie, it was good. But I'm not going to date my dad. Look, life's messy, it kicks you in the a*s. That's right, I said a*s." -- Jess to the kids
  • "She also told me to watch out for the girl who looks like Mandy Patinkin." -- Shivrang to Cece
  • "Hey Geppetto, make with the oom-pa-pa!" -- Schmidt
  • "We were just going to match up constellations with the mole patterns on my back." -- Schmidt
  • "You guys remembered?!" -- Winston (they didn't)

Photo/Video credit: FOX