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New Girl - Episode 3.01 "All In" - Review

New Girl is back everybody!!! If not for my broken leg, I would have been doing a conga line all day to celebrate. Instead, I had to settle for doing it in my head.

As expected, the finale picked up right where we left off, with Nick and Jess driving off from CeCe’s wedding that wasn’t. I loved the cold open. Nick and Jess staring at the door to the loft in a mixture of confusion and fear was right on the money. Yes, these two crazy kids have made things official, but they definitely have a lot left to figure out. And I can understand the fear of not being able to figure it all out with Schmidt and Winston as roommates. I’d probably want to run away too.

Which brings me to the next thing I loved about the episode: the roommate dynamic is still there and as wonderful as always. Schmidt’s obsessive calling and texting (I laughed so hard when Jess got the text asking where Nick was because that happens to me ALL the time), Schmidt trying to make Winston his best friend, the bickering amongst themselves and debating what was happening to Nick in jail, Winston and Schmidt’s disgust at watching Nick and Jess, it was all what I expect to see from this group. I liked that we brought back the importance of the Nick/Schmidt friendship. So much of season 2, especially the latter half, was focused on the Nick/Jess journey, that we didn’t see as much of the two best friends and we saw more Schmidt/Winston hijinks as a result (which I’m not mad about – those two being in cahoots leads to hilarity). Even though he tried to bounce things off Winston, Schmidt realized that his dilemma is something that he truly needs his best friend for.

I am not in the least bit surprised that we haven’t had a resolution to the CeCe/Schmidt/Elizabeth triangle yet. After all, this is Schmidt that we’re talking about and that boy is terrible at making decisions. I can understand loving them both and being torn on what to do, but this is just going to blow up in his face. Honesty is ALWAYS the better policy, Schmidt, even if it hurts a little more in the immediate aftermath. I’m curious to see how long they play out him making his decision, even though I think we all know what it ultimately is. CeCe and Schmidt have seemed to be the other end game couple for the show (as long as Nurse Jackie is on the air, anyway), but I have really enjoyed seeing Schmidt and Elizabeth together as well. She has brought out a lot more of the qualities that made Fat Schmidt so awesome. My big concern is that Schmidt and CeCe become that couple that breaks up and gets back together several times. It’s not that I think it would be out of character for these two, but I just really dislike when shows do that. But given how swimmingly the writers have handled Nick and Jess up to this point, I am putting my faith in them.

There are not words for how much I love Winston. He just further proved that he needs to exist in real life and be my best friend. Puzzles!! I’m a puzzle junkie myself, although I’m infinitely better at it than Winston (only 750 pieces???). Plus I can put them together without the dirty talk or the singing (although the singing could be fun). To amp up the comedy gold that is Lamorne Morris, of course they make Winston color blind. Only Winston. In all seriousness though, what color DOES Winston think he is? That is a question I strangely want the answer to. I really hope that they give Winston some more meat this season, since he is still the least fleshed out of the characters. Until then, I am completely okay with crazy Winston and his sweatshirts-as-pants strategy to life.

But on to the heart of the episode: Nick and Jess. As I mentioned above, these two are officially dating. I was a little surprised that we didn’t see them struggle with defining the current status of their relationship a bit more, but the resultant dilemma of “What happens now?” more than made up for that. Of course, the first thing Nick wants to do is let go of all his responsibilities and escape somewhere (which I can understand to a degree when first starting a relationship), but I would have expected Jess to be on the let’s go home train sooner than she was. Nick’s last-ditch effort spoke volumes about the worries he still has about how successful their relationship can be once all the pressures of the regular world are factored back in, but it also speaks volumes about how much he DOES want it to work out. I don’t see the relationship being smooth sailing (and it shouldn’t be), but as long as the writers don’t have Jess and Nick go through the broken-up/together cycles that so many television couples are forced to endure, I’m still excited to see where things land.

This wasn’t a perfect episode. There was something just a touch off about the episode (I’m leaning towards the Mexico setting), but it set up a lot of the early storylines for the season successfully. I think once we have the normal loft setting back, things will go right back to normal.

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