In the cold open of “Fancyman (Pt. 1)”, Nick discovered that he couldn’t get a cell phone because his credit score was too low – 250. Is that bad? I know literally nothing about credit scores. You could tell me that 5 was an ideal score and I’d believe you. But according to Winston, weighing more than your credit score is a joke.
Nick was all ready to embrace the phone-less (unreachable), minimalist (broke-ass) lifestyle of the 99% until he met Russell, a new love interest for Jess played by Dermot Mulroney. Russell is 42, rich, a major door at the school where Jess works, and he disagreed with the creative license Jess was allowing his 12 year-old daughter during class time. I have to say, I don’t know that I’d be pleased if my kid was drawing creepy pictures of dolls either.
After he informed Jess that her “Dream-cess” was a waste of time and his daughter would be studying with a tutor instead, the school principal demanded that Jess apologize – major donor, remember? Instead Nick convinced her to give the guy a piece of her mind – but on her way to do that, her car broke down. And there was Russell, being all nice by calling a tow truck and giving Jess his car and inviting her to a cookout.
Jess and Nick arrived at the party ready to Occupy it, but Nick was immediately seduced by Russell’s manly, fancy office. It smelled of “leather and Teddy Roosevelt and wistfulness”! Watching Nick play grownup and be so in love with the study was just hilarious. I didn’t feel like it came out of nowhere, because we know Nick isn’t just a bartender. He went to law school for a while, so buried inside of him is a guy who likes leather-bound books and rich mahogany.
Meanwhile, Jess was in complete denial that Russell was into her, and proceeded to make a fool of herself at the party by drenching herself with his fancy Japanese toilet and later falling in a koi pond a la Michael Scott.
I liked how Russell was so accepting of Nick’s crazy behavior just because he likes Jess, and also because he seems like a pretty nice dude. He gave Nick a cell phone and a sweater (that Nick was already wearing) and talked about what a mess he was at Nick’s age And eventually, Jess agreed to go out with him. Nick encouraged her to, because even though she finds him intimidating it could be good for her to date someone who has his life together. After all, the infamous ex Spencer didn’t even own sheets. He slept on a pile of washcloths.
The episode really centered around Nick and Jess interacting with Russell, but there was a funny subplot too. After getting shown up by Schmidt at trivia in front of his girl, Winston tried to memorize a bunch of facts. One fact I’d forgotten? That Winston is a nanny. Remember when that happened? Anyway, it led to a really sweet moment between Shelby and Winston, which was punctuated with hilarious lines from Schmidt.
What did you guys think of the episode? Are you hoping that Jess’s relationship with an older, richer man will inspire Nick to grow up just a little?
Funny quotes & moments:
- Jess’s list of alternatives to sexual intercourse included “Write a convict” and “Watch Friday Night Lights.”
- Jess: “So he pulls his donation? You know what? I’ll raise the money myself. I’ll get a ragtag group of kids together – a lost soul, an orphan, a Jewish kid with a keyboard, a little slut who can dance, and one fatso! And I’ll choreograph some dances and make a show!”‘
Principal: “You did that already, Jess. It’s called the spring musical, and it literally brought in $60.”
- “You were denied a cell phone because you have the credit score of a homeless ghost.” – Winston
- Nick: “March into his office and say, ‘Hey Mr. Fancyman, you can’t tell me what to do! Your money doesn’t own me!’ And then throw away your phone!”
Jess: “Yeah! I’m gonna throw my phone into the fiery chasm where he keeps his poor people!”
Nick: “Actually, scratch that. My mom’s got your number in case of emergency.”
- “Okay, I’m going to start with a quote against Social Darwinism, then a discussion of the Gilded Age, the robber barons, the Great Society — how we ended up with a huge wealth disparity in this country — and then I end with a bluegrass version of Public Enemy’s ‘Fight the Power’.” – Jess
- “For starters, look at this [house]. I’m betting at one point there was a moat.” – Nick
- “He smells like strong coffee and going to see a man about a horse.” – Nick
- “This is how evil geniuses are born.” – Jess
- [To a wooden duck] “I want to kill you… because I respect you. [To Jess] I think I understand hunting!” – Nick
- Oh, and literally everything else Nick said while in the office. The end tag! Amazing.
- The way Nick gently folded the sweater, as per Russell’s instructions, before jumping in the koi pond to save Jess.
- Schmidt douchebag-jarring himself.