Original Air Date: Apr 30, 2013
Kelly – TwoCents Reviewer
Friends, IT HAPPENED—and, like Nick and Jess in the closing moments of this episode, I really just need someone to stare at with my mouth open. I need someone to laugh with me at our own happiness. Will you be that someone?
The fun begins with a text from Teddy, who took the first flower from Jess’s secret garden. He launches the gang into a competition for Most Embarrassing Virginity Story, because that’s how they make peace with where they’re at in life. This is a show about people who struggle daily with what it means to embrace their messiness while also somehow maturing past it. No other show is better suited for awkward flashbacks, because the whole point of every flashback is to show that growing up doesn’t mean forgetting who we are.
CeCe’s flashback is, hands down, the least awkward. It might also be the funniest, in both concept and brevity. She lost her virginity to Mick Jagger. No matter how much you love this, you still don’t love it as much as Schmidt, who is so delighted that he shoves a fistful of popcorn in his mouth. Elizabeth has changed him! Speaking of our college lovebirds, she was indeed his first.
With a stoned Nick on the bottom bunk, Schmidt and Elizabeth tried to get it on overhead. Unfortunately, big Schmidt was too generous with his lubricant, which sent him tumbling from the bed and onto his roommate. To the strains of “I’ll Make Love to You,” Nick tried to push his hefty, slippery roomie up the ladder toward sex. This show is a physical comedy goldmine.
Winston and Nick, meanwhile, were set up with prostitutes by Nick’s dad (I will not speak ill of dead fictional characters, I will not speak ill of dead fictional characters). Winston, ignorant of their profession, made ten glorious seconds of love to Mysteria. Cut to present-day Winston, totally disillusioned, wondering if Mysteria was even her real name. Nick knew better even then, and he couldn’t go through with it.
Jess’s story began at prom, with the only other member of the Gender Equality Club. He went overboard asking for permission, so she retreated to the hallway to sing with a random attractive stranger. Why do these things never happen to me? She ran into him again when she moved to LA, but after a night stuck in a putt-putt castle together, Jess had no desire to sleep with him. She did, however, sleep with the fireman who rescued her. That would be Teddy.
Upon learning that Teddy’s a hot fireman, Nick’s jealousy turns into something more like self-doubt. He finally tells Jess about his first time, with a girl on a blanket in the woods. He cried. It was nice. He stands there basically daring her to go meet Teddy, and when she asks if she should go, it’s clear she’d rather stay with him. She leaves, but Nick heeds his father’s advice from long ago: he doesn’t think. He just follows his instincts, pulling Jess from the elevator and carrying her like a man to his bed. We rejoin them later, under the covers, too breathlessly happy to speak: the perfect summary of the audience’s emotions.
Everyone’s life has taken a turn since the flashback. CeCe’s found restraint as she awaits her wedding night with Shivrang. Schmidt’s lost weight but learned that love doesn’t require expensive toys. Nick has learned how to think a little less, and Jess has found a man to whisk her away in one smooth, passionate gesture. They’re all doing better now than they did in high school (except CeCe), but they’re also still those awkward kids, looking for love wherever they can find it, quoting Scooby Doo in their pillow talk.
I say they’re doing pretty well. How about you?