|By Genevieve (Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons|
Also, the guns! Really weird timing for an episode to feature people wrongly handling guns. Did you see what Jess did wrong? Did you? Yes, she pointed it away from the target area, at PEOPLE. You never do that, even if you're sure it's unloaded and even if you aren't going to pull the trigger. There could be a bullet in the chamber. You never know. Please don't play with guns unless someone qualified has taught you to shoot them. Okay? Okay. We know we suck; we just care about you guys.
Onto the actual content of the midseason premiere! Just when Angie got on our good side, she had to leave?!! We thought most of what she did was funny and honest, and she didn't grate on our nerves. We liked her reaction to Nick requiring a helmet. She needs to come back, say, next season for a brief encounter with Nick and Jess. Kudos to Sam for rejecting Angie and not going for the "I was wasted" excuse that fools no one. We're glad Jess and Sam didn't get into any heavy issues or anything. Let them be happy for a while.
Now, the other storyline. Oh man, that was inspired. "White Nick, brown Cece. I'd like to have a frank conversation about race. Do you think we're allowing Winston to be his blackest self?" Having all of this come from Schmidt kept the B-plot fresh, funny, and innoffensive. Because Schmidt is such an idiot, nothing he says can be offensive, because by having Schmidt say stupid things, the show is condemning stereotypes while at the same time making fun of them.
We love that it wasn't heavy-handedly preachy either, but it made good points. The points were that Schmidt is a dork who will commit to anything if put in the right situation (crack), and that being black means whatever individual black people want it to mean. Yup. People actually have to be taught that by TV. We applaud the show for taking a risk with this plot and handling it so smoothly that it seemed easy and not like a risk at all.
Episode grade: B