Much like Winston's actual birthday, the "Winston's Birthday" episode was dominated by the aftermath of Jess and Nick sleeping together more so than any sort of birthday party. And while I quibble that Schmidt is too good of a friend not to have birthday alerts set up, and a pancake breakfast scheduled months in advance, I still enjoyed this episode. And it was educational as I learned exactly why you should not fall asleep immediately after getting a Henna tattoo done. If Cece can't rock the bearded lady look, there's no hope for the rest of us.
Breakfast of Champions
We were anxiously waiting to see what happened post-hookup with Nick and Jess, and he gamely tried to be all romantic and make her breakfast. But what's great about this show is that they didn't let that happen... not even during his breakfast do-over. Instead, breakfast got poached by Winston who wistfully thought it might have been for him, and then any relationship-status talk got waylaid by the arrival of Jess's dad (Rob Reiner), who just had to come to town for Cece's wedding.
Teach the Children Well
In the midst of last minute planning for Cece's wedding, her father and "roomfriend" hanging out and her post-coital uncertainty, Jess also got a call from Chloe at CTU, who wanted Jess to come help Jack Bauer out of a jam. Or maybe that was just in my fanfic and Mary Lynn Rasjkub (a teacher pal of Jess's) called and offered her a gig working with actual small children at a school run by Curtis Armstrong. Though I don't think that my weird idea is any stranger than the actual plotline of Chloe from 24 banging Booger from Revenge of the Nerds. Jess, of course, had to deal with all of the weirdness, goats, inappropriate proposals from pre-teen boys and inappropriate overshares on her first day. But still, Booger seems to dig it since Chloe way-hyped her skills.
Winston's Actual Birthday
As I complain about frequently, Winston is rarely given enough to do, but damn if Lamorne Morris doesn't work the hell out of what he gets with facial expressions and perfect subtle timing. He's frequently in the background doing things, or muttering while people are talking and I don't even necessarily catch it all on the first viewing. This episode was no exception as the imaginary Yolanda Winston got more hype in this episode than regular old Winston did. But seeing him eat cake, wear his soft red leather jacket in the hopes that it was his dream surprise party and his unabashed enthusiasm for golden telescopes was all just really well timed.
I am in love with Elizabeth. It's not every girl that would punch a guy in the penis for you if they dared make fun of you. She's delightful, and I love that she's not easy on Schmidt. She'll go on a date with someone else when he screws up and ignores her in public. She makes him work for it, and like with Cece, Schmidt does better when he's being challenged in a relationship. I hope Elizabeth sticks around, and not just because I can't wait to see the rest of their collection of novelty T-shirts.
Wedding Bell Blues
This show is trying really hard to get me to like Shivrang, who initially just seemed like a speed bump in Cece's way to getting back with Schmidt. And he may still very well be that, but he's also kind of sweet to Cece and seems to adore her even with henna smeared all over her face. I don't imagine the wedding will go off without a hitch, but I almost hope these two make it down the aisle.
Don't Date a Meathead
Jess's dad Bob and Nick together having a conversation about Nick's troubles with Yolanda Winston was definitely the highlight of the episode. It was a nice play to have Nick be around someone so clearly intimidating, forcing him to waffle and try not to mention the fact that he totally slept with the big guy's daughter just the night before. It was easy (his touching comment about Nick not being like his dad) and uncomfortable all at the same time, and naturally, seeing Rob Reiner be the dad who loses it when he thinks that Nick isn't good enough for his precious daughter really brought me full circle to watching All in the Family (yeah, I loved me some Nick at Nite back in the day). Seeing him explode and then stubbornly manually blow up an air mattress in order to keep Nick and Jess separated seemed like a total Archie Bunker move.
Will the tension between Nick and Bob come to blows at the actual wedding? Will I survive next week's guest appearance by Taylor Swift without punching my television in the face? Can't wait to find out on next week's finale.
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