The majority of ‘Bachelorette Party’ – like many late first season episodes – is focused on Schmidt and CeCe, as each tries to reconcile a truth in their current relationship (or lack thereof). As usual, the Schmidt material works a lot better, but in ‘Bachelorette Party’, there isn’t a lot around it to boost it up, despite finding one of the best characters beats of the season.
Obviously, an episode focused on CeCe’s relationship is going to be hard to pull off – as an audience, we don’t really care about her relationship much, for a number of reasons. First off, it’s an arranged marriage, a very weird bit of culture thrown into a story line that was never begging for it – did CeCe’s religion or family come into play ever before? – but more importantly, we haven’t spent any time with them actually dating, save for a scene where Winston busts in looking for a condom earlier this season. So CeCe having second thoughts about her impending wedding (which is convienantly in three weeks, just in time for the finale!) isn’t that interesting to us; in fact, I’d be willing to bet that most of us are fairly sure she’s not going to go through with it, for the sake of maintaining some non- Jess/Nick related romantic tension.
The weirdest part is how CeCe basically ignores the fact she’s completely changing who she is to marry a stranger – something the show could really dig into to help make CeCe a more interesting character, something they started doing in season one, but have backed away from rapidly this year. CeCe wants to settle down so badly (supposedly because her small child-bearing window?) and is seemingly marrying a guy she has no feelings towards, putting it off until after the wedding for some dumb ass reason. Jess points this out, but it becomes quickly glazed over when a stripper shows up, and then CeCe’s fiance (whose name I’m not even going to try and spell this week) gives the cliched speech about giving love a chance.
Overall, CeCe’s presence in ‘Bachelorette Party’ just highlights her reduced presence in this second season: although she’s made a lot of life choices and decisions, we haven’t really spent any time with her as she decides these steps for her life. Smartly, the show tries to hide this flaw behind Schmidt’s material, using his desperation to find a plus one for her wedding to reveal some very deep things about who Schmidt is, and how he became this way.
Meeting Elizabeth was a bit jarring, especially having only found out about her a few scenes earlier. Schmidt’s first serious relationship was with Elizabeth, which ended when his physical transformation went to his head, and he started becoming the selfish, lovable but self-serving Schmidt we’ve grown to know over two seasons. It’s a bold move to bring a girlfriend out of nowhere like that, and not just use her as a gimmick for a few jokes. ‘Bachelorette Party’ manages to pull it off, though, connecting the bridge between the jolly Schmidt of the show’s many flashbacks to the Schmidt we see today in a very profound way.
(Plus in one scene, Elizabeth presents herself as a much more interesting character than CeCe ever really was, with or without Schmidt).
The rest of ‘Bachelorette Party’ is amusing, but largely forgettable: the broad “Winston overreacts” humor from Thursday night’s ‘First Date’ made another return, and with Nick/Jess on hold this week, Nick’s just walking around in his dad’s velour suit, doing weird things and pulling the ‘Dead Dad Card’ for instant forgiveness. Unfortunately, it takes twenty minutes to get to the last two scenes, which are infinitely more compelling than what precedes it.
– Schmidt eating a slice of pizza is one of the funniest moments of the season.
– things Jess thinks would give a good perspective of dick size in a picture: a nickel, a big toe, or a golf pencil.
– Schmidt is on his way to Booty Burn Boot Camp when he gets his wedding invitation.
– I usually love Sadie’s appearances, but she just seemed kind of tossed into the bachelorette party, a pregnant, horny lesbian just to have one around.
– To create a distraction, Winston lights a garbage can on fire – not realizing he wasn’t supposed to provide the distraction.