Not only did The Purple One play relationship counselor to Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Nick (Jake Johnson), but he schooled Jess in ping pong and debuted a new song, “Don’t You Wanna Fall in Love Tonight?”
So how did New Girl end up with the guest star of a lifetime? “He’s a big fan of the show and he’s really interested in the Nick/Jess relationship and he wanted to be a part of that story,” Johnson told MTV News ahead of the episode’s airing.
It all started when Jess and Cece almost got run over by a car and ended up getting invited to a party at Prince’s house. The girls geeked out, doing a “We’re Going To Prince’s House” dance that is undoubtedly already GIF-ed and floating around the blogosphere.
As the girls bundled into a limo to head to the party, Nick accidentally blurted out, “I love you.” It was the first time he had said those three little words to Jess and it only took a split-second for him to realize that he had screwed up, big time. As a look of abject terror settled on his and Jess’s face, she delivered an epically awful response: Finger guns.
— Lanford Beard (@lanfordbeard) February 3, 2014
The limo took off as Jess realized her error. Cece does the right thing and hands her a giant bottle of champagne to drown her sorrows in. The boys head to a bar, where they decided that the only way to resolve the issue (and help Nick salvage his dignity) is to do as Schmidt suggested: crash the party and “fix” the situation by taking the poorly timed “I love you” back.
The boys manage to sneak into the party easily enough, save for Schmidt, who is forced to climb a tree and literally crash the party head first from a branch. Meanwhile, Jess is inside practicing saying “I love you” in the hopes that she will be able to say it to Nick without any awkward hand gestures getting in the way. Her monologue caught the attention of L.A. Dodgers’ pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who introduced himself to her, but Jess brushed him off because he’s not the real guest star. That’s when Nick showed up. But when Jess tried to utter the three little words, she had a panic attack and passed out cold.
Nick took her outside to revive her, which is when Prince showed up. He graciously gives Nick and Jess a moment to freak out, which they do, resulting in Nick passing out in the presence of the Purple One.
When Nick recovered, Prince – who looked a little bit like a funky Bob Dylan – sat between Nick and Jess to play marriage counselor. After Jess showed off her finger guns, Prince suggests Nick leave them alone, then coyly asks Jess, “Do you like pancakes?” which was straight out of Charlie Murphy’s “True Hollywood Stories.”
As Prince and Jess nibbled some delicious breakfast treats, Prince counseled Jess about how to move forward in her relationship, telling her, “Anything beautiful is worth getting hurt for. You know who said that? Me.” Then Prince’s “When You Were Mine” played (Cindy Lauper’s version was a cover) over a montage of Prince playing Yoda to Jess in order to get her over her fears, so she can tell Nick that she loves him. Prince’s version of therapy included dressing her in purple velvet, an epic game of ping pong, locking her in his closet, introducing her to his pet Monarch butterfly and whispering Princely secrets into her ear. Then he sent her out into the world to claim her man.
Jess finds Nick in a sea of models and loudly declares her love for him. Then Prince took over the stage with the words, “Anyone want to fall in love tonight?” He invited Jess on stage to join him in singing his new song “Don’t You Wanna Fall in Love Tonight?”
The show ended with the gang reeling over what just happened. “Did we really just dance with Prince?” and speculating that, “I think Prince is magic.” Which, of course, he is.