While last week's episode took a wrong turn in Chicago, and my Tuesday night was totally thrown off with a rerun, "First Date" more than made up for all of that. It was a charming episode full of romance, bromance, awkwardness, sexual tension and lots of homeless people. Most importantly it marked the return of two of my favorite characters, Russell and Tran. What I'd pay to see a scene with them together, the quiet togetherness of Russell and the unspoken wisdom of Tran, it would be like watching a beautiful silent film. Anyway, here's what worked... and the one thing that sorta didn't but I'm willing to let slide.
The Homeless People
I know that the apartment isn't in the nicest neighborhood, but it does make for plenty of opportunities for us to really get to know the "hobos" in the area. This week marked the return of Outside Dave, there was also a guy snoozing on a park bench behind Tran (and its possible that he could also be homeless given the amount of time he spends in the park) and the wondrous boobilicious guy who serenaded Winston and his date with the dulcet tones of George Michael and Aerosmith. He's exactly why I refuse to eat in outdoor cafes. Outside Dave though, he's the real winner here. Coming up with new uses for a 4-in-1 hair trimmer and negotiating hard for his date disrupting services. And I never would have expected his go-to move would be to shave Schmidt's leg (against the grain, no less) because he was worried about proper summer grooming.
Tran's the Man
While Nick has a great friendship with Winston and Schmidt, there's just something about Tran that allows him to really open up and share his feelings about wanting to grow up and have a lawn to mow. Perhaps it's the soft pretzels. And he communicates so much with his eyes to Nick, even inappropriate things: "Of course you would you dirty dog."
The Shared Ex-Boyfriend
When Russell walks into the room, Nick calls him "The only man we both loved." It's true, and while Jess seems to be quite disinterested in Russell and his new girlfriend, Nick is still in awe of the rich guy with his multiple pens and his valet parking. They both still see him as a father figure (too bad that Outside Dave didn't actually end up singing to Nick and Jess while Russell was there) and want his approval of their relationship desperately and spiral out of control when he hints that they are not on the same page.
Crossing the Street
The crosswalk thing was my least favorite gag as it went on just too long for my personal tastes. Especially since I kept thinking that Nick wasn't even in the middle of the street, so he should more be fined for attempted jaywalking instead.
How to Ask a Woman on a Date
"Jessica. You are a beautiful woman and my life has not been the same since I met ya and it would mean the world to me if you would go on a date with me."
How Nick Miller Asks a Woman on a Date
"Jess... ica. Dirty J. Dr. Day... my toilet sister. If so, food." Complete with two thumbs up.
Winston Jumping to Wild Conclusions
Liking the call back to Winston not getting how to do a prank when he came up with the crazy scheme to catch a bear and give it hepatitis C and then let it lose in the restaurant. But also liked his quick thoughts on events that were unfolding. On realizing that Nick wasn't really going on a date with Yolanda Winston: "Nick is a male escort." And on ways to keep Nick and Jess from dating: "We're gonna track Jess down and kill her with his knife."
Cece Making Everything Sexier
Cece only had like one second of screen time the whole night, but she had a great line: "I would describe that as the pledge of allegiance... which can be sexual." Maybe when she does it.
Priorities in Check
When Schmidt is being attacked by Outside Dave in their bathroom, Winston runs to get a sandwich before breaking down the door to help him. Genius.
Clothes Make the Man
We didn't think Nick really needed a makeover, as I love his schlubby self any way he wants to dress, but he did look fine after his Schmidt/Winston transformation. "That is how you wrap a sonofabitch in wool!"
Nick's: The soft upper part of a breast, Jess's helplessness when it comes to using the internet and opening jars.
Jess's: The way that Nick gargles his beer. Can't say that I'm with her on that one.
It seemed a bit odd that after Schmidt and Winston have spent so much time together lately alone (the whole jellyfish incident and the funeral stuff), that they'd think they wouldn't work without Nick as a buffer. But they figured out they are meant to be friends, after Winston saved Schmidt from the horrors of hair removal. They even had a moment. Almost. "It's hard to have a moment with you when there's a homeless dude dropping a deuce in our urinal."
Have you ever seen a sexier scene over a giant jar of salsa? If so, please tell me where to see such a thing, because Jess biting her lip and trying to hide that she needed help so she wouldn't accidentally turn Nick on was the sexiest moment of the episode. Hell, that was sexier than last night's Scandal. Their date/not-date/date was perfectly timed with sexual tension and lots of awkwardness. Glad that the writers decided to drag this out, but not just leave it as a big elephant in the room. They are talking about their feelings... sorta, and touching each other's boobs (well, him touching hers moreso than the other way around). I for one hope that their relationship takes its time to unfold, and am happy with their middle school dance rules for now: "Three feet on the floor and no body hugs."
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