Though this Halloween episode mainly focused on the mental instability of Schmidt, I feel like there were some pretty memorable Nick moments. Gah I love the crotchety, cleverness of Nick Miller.
Schmidt has reached an all time low as he struggles to deal with the Cece/Elizabeth break up. He’s eating deli meat, yelling at the TV and avoiding work. At one point, we even see him consoling himself with a block of mild cheddar cheese. (To be honest, I do this as well for all sorts of emotions: happiness, devastation, anger. Shredded cheese has the same effect.) Jess is extremely concerned about Schmidt, the negative vibe he might bring to her party and the wide berth Cece gives her when Schmidt is around. Jess calls an emergency meeting in the eerily empty loft apartment across the hall (where Mrs. Beverly’s husband died on the toilet). Nick’s face when he thinks Winston’s been possessed by a ghost had me in stitches. Jess does her best to convince Schmidt to NOT come to her party, but with a childish stubborness, he refuses.
The only cure is a last resort- for Schmidt to get a letter from an old friend, THE Michael Keaton.
Winston launches into the story of the Keaton Correspondences, but Nick volunteers to take over the storytelling… narrating with the EXACT same words. Hilarious. Apparently, seven year old baby Schmidt didn’t handle his parents’ divorce very well and his mother (using an ancient typewriter which was apparently the primary mode of communication in 1988?!?!?) writes a letter from Schmidt’s hero, Keaton. This opens a Pandora’s box that Nick has to continue well into college just to maintain Schmidt’s sanity and self-confidence. (Anyone notice Nick looking at porn in the college flashback… on dial-up? How frustrating for the male population circa 1997). So in summation- Nick has been catfishing his best friend for years!!! (I can not stand that guy Niev by the way).
To achieve her own selfish goals, Jess takes over the catfishing, convincing Schmidt not to come to the party. She has an errand tote by the way. I always get those canvas bags and never use them. I need to remember to use my canvas bags more often and be like Jessica Damn Day. “What have you done?!?” Jessica has botched the whole thing and Nick has to step in and save the day. He dons the Batman headgear and calls upon the powers of the great grizzly bear… an acting technique Nick completely made up.
In a terrible series of unfortunate events, Schmidt overhears the tell-tale ding of a received message while communicating with his best pal, Keaton. He witnesses the 3 amigos crafting emails and texts. There’s evil revenge in his eyes.
I love clever costumes by the way: plays on words, pop culture allusions, and the like. Schmidt is a Public Serpent (so punny) and Jess is Joey Ramon-a Quimby (takes me back to my childhood and my obsession with Beverly Cleary penned novels).
To further keep up the Keaton ruse, Jess resorts to stealing a young trick or treater’s Batman costume. She is sooooo drunk. It reminds me of why I stay sober while everyone around me gets silly drunk. It’s hilarious!! Schmidt is so obtuse when he confronts Nick and Jess. He still doesn’t get it. “How dare you hack into the private email account of one of our nation’s finest actors?”
There’s an awkward interaction when Cece finally faces Schmidt. And when the tinkley musical overture leads us viewers to believe a heartfelt moment is on the horizon, Nick tries to encourage Schmidt, telling him “You don’t need Keaton. You’ve got me.” Immediate grimace because that was so uncharacteristically awkward.
As he takes his collection of belongings and bids adieu in front of the elevators, my heart skips a beat. Is this really happening? Is Schmidt breaking the sacred, magical friendship that exists in that fantastic apartment. How could he be so selfish?!! Never fear… he’s just moving across the hall- to the haunted apartment.
Next episode: COACH IS COMING BACK!!!