‘New Girl’ Season 2 premiere recap, review: A sad Jess doesn’t work well

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‘New Girl’ Season 2 premiere recap, review: A sad Jess doesn’t work well
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NEW GIRL: Jess (Zooey Deschanel, R) and Sam (guest star David Walton, L) talk about where they stand …

"New Girl" Season 2 premiered with two half-hour episodes: "Re-Launch" and "Katie." The first episode was amusing enough, leaving the viewer wanting more. The second episode, however, was a bit overkill but provided a more appealing version of Jess (Zooey Deschanel).

Jess alone with no job is a downer

Jess lost her job as a teacher, sending her into a depression. One of the most endearing qualities of the series is Jess's upbeat, wacky personality. Without that, the show seems a bit lost and disjointed. The most entertaining scenes with sad Jess involved Nick (Jake Johnson), where she asked him to be mean to her on purpose. He does his best impression of a crotchety old man, bringing a smile back to Jess's face.

The re-branding of Schmidt

Most of the "Re-Launch" episode centers around a penis-cast removal party for Schmidt (Max Greenfield). Cece (Hannah Simone) comes to the party with her new boyfriend, and Schmidt can't figure out what she could possibly see in such a "commoner." Schmidt and Cece have a discussion, leaving hope for the idea that they could get back together down the road.

Jess gets her mojo back

The episode "Katie" focused mostly on Jess. She was more enjoyable to watch in this episode, having dipped low enough to consider sleeping with Sam (David Walton), a man she just met. In fact, Sam believes he's meeting someone named Katie, whom he first encountered on a dating site.

Just before meeting him, however, Jess hits it off with another guy named Andy. Jess decides to juggle the two men, despite protests from Nick and Schmidt. She gets Andy's number from Nick and sends him a few texts. A guy named Bearclaw (Josh Gad), who she had also met in passing at the bar, shows up at her door. Nick gave her the wrong number! Jess feigns illness after some awkward groping.

This leads to the most side-splitting moment of the night, when Jess meets up with Sam in the men's bathroom of the bar for a hot and heavy half-naked makeout session in one of the stalls. Andy and Bearclaw walk in, discussing with whom Jess seemed to hit it off. Jess inadvertently lets out a shocked sound, and Bearclaw immediately assumes it's a damsel in distress and kicks in the stall door.

They exchange a series of "Jess?" and "Katie?" exclamations until Nick walks in on the messy situation. He's immediately confused, saying, "Jess?" Realizing his mistake, he says, "Katie?" Bearclaw basically loses his mind in confusion. Despite the fact that Andy and Bearclaw now hate Jess, Sam decides that he wants to have fun with her because he lied, too. Nice!

Old Man Nick

The main subplot of "Katie" has to do with an old geezer, who resembles an older version of Nick. He begins telling Nick about the future, saying that he is an older version of Nick. He even sports the same sweatshirt. Of course, Nick begins to believe him.

At the end, Old Man Nick tells Nick it's time to go. He proves he's just your average crazy man wearing a tinfoil hat, going back in time with beep-boop-beep sounds in a cardboard time machine in the alley behind the bar.

Even after that, Nick seems to believe the old man may have been on to something because he had pegged a few details. Sometimes the subplots on "New Girl" can be throwaways, but this one was definitely a keeper. Here's hoping Old Man Nick returns someday with more tidbits of wisdom.

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