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'New Girl' Review: Episode 'Keaton'

Alyssa Landau Alyssa Landau
October 23rd, 2013 8:55am EDT

New Girl

Would you catfish somebody for the greater good? Say you’re the mother of a very depressed boy who has just watched his father walk out of his life and can’t stop eating his feelings. Or you’re watching your college roommate fall into a funk. Would you feel justified in writing reassuring letters and signing them “Michael Keaton?”

The concept of this Halloween episode of New Girl is actually pretty depressing. Schmidt has spent his life in various states of depression and the only thing that has ever really comforted him has been a lie. For the majority of his life, he has gotten letters and emails supposedly from Michael Keaton that lifted him from his dark places. As an adult, he probably should have realized that he wasn’t talking about bullies, school work, and public erections with the star of Batman. Unfortunately, Schmidt is all about living in denial, as this season has proven.

He begins the episode in another one of those depressed moments. Nothing matters except for eating giant hunks of cheddar cheese. (“I guess I’ll always be the fat boy who eats fat boy cheese.”) So, his roommates discuss whether to bring Keaton out of the batcave and back into Schmidt’s life.

Although Mrs. Schmidt started the tradition, Nick picked it up in college. They never did explain how Nick found out about the fake Keaton. I like to think he called Mrs. Schmidt to tell her about Schmidt’s depression and she asked him to take up the mantle. (But there goes the canon that Nick can’t keep a secret.) Even though it’s definitely a duplicitous action, it has sweet intentions. (Nev and Max would probably be very understanding about his motives.)

Nick doesn’t want to pick Keaton back up because he knows the reverence Schmidt feels for him and that sort of power is dangerous. Imagine you could get Schmidt to do whatever you want by sending an email. No good could come from that influence.

Jess decides to take up the Keaton identity so she can have a Schmidt-free Halloween party (and who wouldn’t want a Schmidt-free party?) Her scheme devolves into wacky shenanigans, as her plans often do, where she needs to pretend to be Keaton and…oh what does it matter? It’s silly. But it leads to a pretty great resolution.

Nick confesses and Schmidt decides to take a small step towards growing up. He chooses to move out of the loft. He’s a grown man with a great job and tons of disposable income. So he packs his socks and his douchebag jar to…head right down the hall. He’s moving into the empty loft across the hall. Hopefully the means the move will be permanent. The show can only be able 30 year olds living together for so long before it gets pathetic.

Other Musings:

  • The empty loft where Beverly died in the Thanksgiving episode in season one takes center stage in this episode. Winston, Nick, and Jess hide out in there to discuss Schmidt. It was pretty clever to introduce it early in the episode for a completely different purpose and then turn it into Schmidt’s new home.
  • Nick believes the empty loft is haunted. Winston plays up Nick’s fear or really believes it too. The look on Winston’s face when he felt a cold breeze run through him was comedy gold.
  • Schmidt is depressed. You can tell by the way he eats mayo straight from the squeeze bottle. He also takes a bite out of a pumpkin after smashing its face in.
  • Nick tells the story of Schmidt and Keaton: “Mrs. Schmidt wrote that little fat loser a letter of support from the star of his favorite movie. Batman. But not the confusing new one. The good one.” Nick’s noir voice is amazing. His next novel needs to be a detective story.
  •  “Was Winston’s version shorter?”-Jess
  • CeCe is drinking a lot after the breakup. Her “messed up” hair is just perfect hair a little frizzed.
  • Winston: “Jessica Damn Day”
  • Winston is a genius. He explains why it’s better to be Robin than Batman. “He doesn’t have all the responsibilities of Batman, but he gets part of the glory… Kids look up to him. And the community.”
  • Jess dresses as Joey Ramona Quimby. I thought in the last Halloween episode we agreed that pun costumes are the worst.
  • Winston dressed up like white guy, Letterman. So of course he got the most screen time this episode out of the season. That must be commentary. Right?
  • The running joke about Winston not seeing The Truman Show was not great.
  • KeatonPotatoes@aol.com
  • Jess and CeCe’s conversation about the BatmanMobile VS Batmobile was great.
  • Twist: they actually saw Keaton at a deli and he winked at them…weirdest day of Nick’s life.
Photo Credits: Fox Broadcasting Company


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