In the first part of the “Fancyman” series of episodes, we saw Nick and Jess taking the high road to become decidedly more adult in their futures. Jess decided to go out with the successful and older Russell, played by Dermot Mulroney, while Nick wanted to venture into the world of leather chairs, fancy sweaters and a deeper understanding of hunting. With the second part, we see the polar opposites of the two, while watching as Cece, Schmidt and Winston become a bit wiser in their approaches.
Jess has been going out with Russell, yet she fears she is coming off as too young, since the most she’s gotten at the end of her dates is a pat on the back. Meanwhile, Nick is exploring his younger side, as his old law school buddy Dirk, played by Martin Starr, shows that being a teacher means that the undergraduate girls look up to you. Schmidt decides he wants to get the upper hand in his hidden relationship with Cece by withholding sex…until she says she’ll have sex with him in his Fantasy Location No. 3, his car he has named the “Manbulance”. This would be great for Schmidt, except Winston has borrowed his car, with him and Cece in it. Winston tries to drive to Mexico to see his girlfriend after realizing that the wrong wording makes it seem like he wants space from her.
“Fancyman (Pt. II)” is an interesting follow-up to the first part, as it doesn’t really continue any storylines started in the first one, with the exception of Jess’ relationship with Russell. But it does share some connecting ideals that make them good companion episodes. They both deal with maturing to differing degrees. Nick sees what his future could have been had he stayed in law school, and it’s even more immature than his situation is now. Schmidt and Cece are forced to not sneak around when Winston discovers them in the back of the car at the Mexico border. Even Jess realizes that she doesn’t have to act older than she is to impress Russell since he likes her for who she is. New Girl has always had fun dealing with the late twenties/early thirties confusion of being forced into adulthood while still being in the mindframe of the college days, and it does it quite well here as well.
It also never hurts when New Girl is able to balance all five characters, even giving Cece and Winston something to do. “Fancyman (Pt. II)” does this surprisingly well, while also having to balance the two additional guest characters. But New Girl handles it well with the impromptu party thrown by Dirk and the unintentional carpool to Mexico.
That being said, New Girl needs to party more often, if for no other reason than to give Nick some more choice lines. When talking about the young college students he is making drinks for he states, “They don’t know what Saved By the Bell is and they’ve never felt pain!” While Schmidt dominated the first half of the season as the show’s stand-out character, Nick has really come into his own, becoming funnier than the one-liner spewing Schmidt by being a further-developed character AND giving hilarious lines that are relevant to the story. Plus drunk Nick’s quick flopping from overjoyed to lost and scared is a joy to watch every time it happens.
“Fancyman (Pt. II)” was personally quite a relief for me. Seeing the two- part nature of the episode and seeing that Dermot Mulroney was a guest star, it made me automatically think that he would be a potential love interest for Jess in the first episode, then realize his mistake in the second. But rather, “Fancyman” is a continuation of ideas and growth for these characters. As the first season is soon coming to a close, we are seeing a lot of change for these characters who started off as one-note jokes. Jess was the quirky one, Schmidt the douche, Nick the slacker, Winston the lost one. But New Girl is allowing these characters to grow, albeit in small and simple ways, but this change is fully fleshing out New Girl into much more than what it started out as.