Not so long ago, in circumstances far, far too embarrassing to brag about, New Girl‘s Jess, Nick, Schmidt and Winston lost their virginity. (So did Cece, but as you’ll see, she’s a special case.) And when a random text from Jess’ first lover gets the gang to ‘fess up about their first times doing the no-pants dance, we get a very funny episode full of gawky flashbacks and cringeworthy accounts – as well as a closing sequence sure to launch 1,000 GIFs. Let’s review who what went down in “Virgins.”
JESS’ TALE: IF AT FIRST, YOU DON’T SUCCEED | Is it any surprise that the story of Jess’ deflowering turns into an epic poem full of failed attempts and a strummy guitar guy? The aforementioned missive from Teddy — the man who “took my flower,” she tells her pals – sparks a yarn that starts in a hotel room on Prom Night, 2000. There’s freak dancing, there’s Lisa Loeb’s “Stay” and there’s Jess’ homemade dress, a fake flower-bedecked, tulle affair that looks a Home Depot garden department and an A.C. Moore craft shop dislodged themselves from the strip mall one night, got a little crazy on some wine coolers and spawned a flowy monster.
When Jess’ date can’t extract her from her gown (because her mom sewed her into it), she urges him to “Just be a man and rip it off!,” which tosses a pail of cold water on the glowing embers of his adolescent libido. In the hotel hallway, she sadly sits on the floor (oh God, the dress even has a bunting) but perks up when a sexy dude with a guitar stops by and plays her a little “Stay.” (In the early 2000s, it was hard to go wrong with the Reality Bites soundtrack, am I right?) Guitar guy eventually wanders away, thanks to her date cutting his hand on some makeshift scissors. Jess’ attempts to bump uglies don’t come to fruition until she’s 22 and living in Los Angeles, when she and Cece happen to see guitar guy at the bar. (Side note: Jess’ snap judgment of her future roommies, who are also there, is awesome. So is Schmidt’s attempt to talk to Cece.)
Thanks to the lack of privacy in their respective living situations, Jess and guitar guy wind up getting it on in a plastic castle on a public playground later that night. He asks her to be patient with his performance, because he’s on antidepressants; two hours later, she reminisces, “it was like a windsock on a windless day.” They wind up half naked and stuck half in, half out of the castle’s tot-sized door; when it becomes clear that the man sleeping on the bench nearby is actually dead, the entire area turns into a crime scene inundated with law enforcement officials. Oh, and guitar guy realizes he’s gay while Jess is on top of him.
All is not lost, though, because a young firefighter frees them from the playset and then carries Jess to his truck. If you haven’t guessed by now, that firefighter is Teddy, who took Jess to Pleasuretown later that day and who, back in the present, wants to meet her for a drink later that night.
WINSTON’S TALE: CALL IN THE PROS | Winston’s “beautiful” story takes place in his teen years, when Nick’s Pop-Pop took the two boys on a trip to New York. (Yay! Dennis Farina!) One night at the hotel, Walt Miller buys Nick and Winston the company of two ladies of the evening — though Winston thinks his new friend “Mysteria” is a businesswoman. Though Nick is thoroughly freaked out by the idea of sleeping with Mysteria’s cohort Octopussy, the voluptuous call girl does become his first… drinking partner. While Winston basks in the afterglow, Nick ashamedly admits to his dad that he couldn’t go through with it. “You think too much about everything,” Walt consoles his son. “I just wanna make sure you don’t miss out on the things in life that happen when you’re not thinking… because, believe you me, those are the best things in life.” Aw, Pop-Pop! He also makes Nick swear not to tell Winston about Mysteria’s true calling until after he’s dead, and with good reason – when Nick spills the hooker beans in the present, his longtime buddy is crushed.
CECE’S TALE: IT’S A GAS, GAS, GAS | On the same prom night that Jess weeps in the hallway, Cece laments her own unbesmirched status down at the hotel bar. (Wearing, might I add, a one-sleeved dress with cutouts and an asymmetrical ‘do.) Mick Jagger happens to be sitting on a nearby stool: Short story short, he’s her first – the knowledge of which nearly causes Schmidt to implode as he screams “Game changer!” and (incorrectly) “Beatlemania!”
SCHMIDT’S TALE: A LITTLE DAB’LL DO YA | In the present, Schmidt’s preparing for a date with his college girlfriend Elizabeth. “I haven’t had sex with her since I was fat and accessing my penis was like getting the remote control out of the couch,” he informs his friends. Nice. And then we get to see their first “merging,” as he calls it in the flashback when he asks Nick for advice. You’re all acquainted with College Nick (granola hair, granola wardrobe, granola ‘stache) and Big Guy Schmidt (carrying the “freshman 50 and sophomore 50 and junior 100” on his frame), but watching Schmidt ask his roomie for advice – not knowing that said roomie has already ingested psychedelic mushrooms – would be pretty funny even without the sight gags that are their costumes/prosthetics. Later, Schmidt and Elizabeth get down to business on the upper bunk without realizing that Nick, on a bad trip, is still sprawled on the bottom one. The neophytes use way too much lube, causing Schmidt to fly off the bed and land on top of Nick on the ground. A lot of physical comedy ensues, my favorite part of which is when Nick uses his head to support Schmidt’s cushy tush as it ascends the bunk-bed ladder.
NICK’S TALE: THAT WAS THEN… | In present day, the group disperses to head out for the evening, so only Jess hears Nick’s simple memory. “Allison Daniels, on a towel in the woods. I cried. She kept her bra on. It was nice.” Just then, Teddy texts again, and Jess asks Nick what he’s thinking; when he doesn’t answer, she leaves and gets in the elevator. But the soundtrack starts pumping Ellie Goulding’s “Anything Could Happen” and Nick’s arm stops the elevator doors from closing, so you know something huge is about to take place.
NICK’S TALE: … THIS IS NOW | “What are you doing?” Jess asks as Nick scoops her up in his arms, invoking memories of her first time (and, inadvertently, the Girls season finale – but I found this far more affecting/effective). “Let’s not think about it,” he says, eyes intent on her face. And so a montage of Schmidt and Elizabeth contemplating a sex toy, Cece and Shivrang deciding to put off consummation two more days and Winston and Daisy engaging in pre-flight nookie is capped by a sweaty-faced Nick and Jess in bed realizing they just had sex. Their faces go through a whole lot of emotions in a very short time; though I fear they’ll land on fear/regret and stay there, they both wind up laughing (phew) and saying, “Oh boy.”
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Whose adventure did you enjoy the most? What did you think of the final few moments? Sound off in the comments!Follow @kimroots