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New Girl - Lillypads & Where the Road Goes - Review

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Episode: 7.03 "Lillypads"
Directed by: Trent O'Donnell
Written by: J. J. Philbin
Air date: April 24, 2018

I continue to absolutely love the dynamics in the Schmidt-Cece family. This time, the episode focuses on the search for Ruth's pre-school. Schmidt and Cece want their daughter to attend the more prestigious pre-school Lillypads but they soon realize they need some help to prepare Ruth for the interview and they ask Jess for support. Jess and Schmidt completely disagree on the approach and teaching methods, as well as the choice of the pre-school, so they both offer different advices to the little girl. Between Jess' “hippie-dippie mishegas" and Schmidt's DRILL acronym, they learn Ruth how to draw a perfect circle but also question the names of the colors.

Schmidt: "If she gets into Lilypads, she gets into Willows. If she gets into Willows, she gets into Harvard. If she gets into Harvard, it’s a bullet train to the Oval Office. Don’t you want Ruth to be president?"

As fun as watching the scenes with their teaching is, it's Ruth who steals the show. She listens to both Schmidt and Jess, while also showing just what a wonderful character she is on her own. She's influenced by all the people around her but is already proving to be her own person. She's confident, full of imagination, intense, but happy and apparently she loves watching local news bloopers. As a result of the chaos during the day, she first charms her potential teacher but then starts a revolution among the potential students. This child riot is both too much and exactly fitting for the show. Also, it's genuinely funny and provides us with some wonderful reactions from Schmidt, Cece and Jess.

Meanwhile, Nick must write a twenty-page draft of his new book but continues to procrastinate in the bar instead. He even pays a random person online to show up and punch him in the face if he doesn't meet his deadline. But instead of focusing his efforts on the writing, he decides to help out Winston, who after being promoted to detective, has to testify in a court case and is spiraling hard. We get to see a glimpse of Winston's testimony and it's clear that his panic is only getting worse when he can't seem to introduce himself as anyone other than Detective Bottoms.

Nick: "Check it out, twenty pages! And they’re all good! Some of them are good! Five pages are good! I really like the title!"

As always, the guys don't tackle their issues directly, but instead they look for past experiences and their shared history to solve the current problem. Nick insists that it's related to the fact that Winston lied many years ago when Nick arrived unannounced at his dorm to find his friend sitting, pants off in front of his computer. The truth is, Nick's own dilemna can be traced back to that night, when he chose to drive across the country to visit his friend even though he should have been studying for his midterms. In the end, the two realize they both don't feel like they can follow through on their work commitments. Nick procrastinates when something is important to him because he doesn't believe he's good enough to do it. Winston doesn't see himself as the grown-up detective, father-to-be and a husband, who's ready for all of these challenges. Through the insane stories and old arguments, these friends find a way to help each other and learn something about themselves in the process.

Overall, I'd love to see more focus on Schmidt, Cece and Ruth, as they continue to deliver the funniest scenes this season. It's also good that all the characters are finally growing up in a lot of aspects, yet still remain themselves where it matters.

Episode: 7.04 "Where the Road Goes"
Directed by: Michael Schultz
Written by: Noah Garfinkel
Air date: May 1, 2018

It's been a year since the death of Winston's cat, Furguson and though he and his friends prepare an entire memorial for his beloved friend, Winston is handling this loss surprisingly well. The entire gang is expecting him to finally have "the cry" or lose his mind if he doesn't let his emotions out soon. Despite many opportunities, Winston continues to focus on the good things and laughs at the fond memories he spent together with Furguson. It isn't until Aly comforts her husband, when he keeps hearing meowing where there should not be any, that he finally cries for his lost friend. Knowing how close these two have been and how many hilarious moments on the show Winston and his cat were responsible for, this story was actually more touching than the regular comedy material for me. Especially with the meeting of a new, tiny friend, Nafta, at the very end.

Cece: "And even though Furguson walked on short legs, he stood taller than any man I have ever known!"

Of course Winston's perspective isn't the only one we follow in this episode. The memorial actually gives the show an opportunity to bring back some of the familiar faces, including Coach, Sam and Robby. Sam and Bobby show up only for a brief scene, complete with Sam's cat t-shirt and Robby's almost performance. Coach, on the other hand, finds himself in a conflict with Nick. Apparently, years ago, when Nick actually earned a lot of money for his writing he borrowed his friend $71000 to start a new business. The restaurant opened by Coach quickly failed and the money couldn't be returned. That is only the surface of the issue between these two as it turns out, because while he could use the investment back, what Nick really missed was his friend, who barely stayed in contact in the last three years. The two eventually make up, with a little help from Jess. I have to admit, I would probably prefer Coach's return not to involve any fights, but the ending was nicely done.

While Jess is struggling with the Nick and Coach dilemna, she's also in charge of all the preparations done for Furguson's memorial. Though it might seem like a thing she would do, Jess eventually admits she feels guilty because she believes (incorrectly) that she's responsible for the cat's death. The scene where she and Nick are supposed to say a poem about Furguson and he completely freezes, until he accidentally lets everyone know that his girlfriend killed the cat, was the funniest part for me.

Schmidt: "Your new husband would still be finding my bobby pins in couch cushions."

Finally, there's Schmidt and Cece. It wouldn't be Schmidt if he didn't find something to obsess over and this time it's the question about how long Cece would wait after his death to find a replacement for her husband. Of course she quickly dismisses him and offers very random answers but in the end, the debate once again turns into a sweet moment between the two. Cece admits she can't even imagine her life without Schmidt, to which he replies all he would want for her is to be happy, even with someone else if he's gone. Those two continue to be wonderful together. Still very happy to know they made it.

Overall, this one was more of a heartfelt rather than simply hilarious episode. Although, I did appreciate all the craziness of the memorial ("Cat World" was brilliant). Maybe not all plots felt necessary, but it still worked well together and it was good to learn what happened to Furguson and see some familiar faces show up again. If it didn't before, it certainly feels like a goodbye now.

What did you think about "Lillypads" & "Where the Road Goes"? Any favorite scenes, quotes or jokes? Feel free to let us know in the comments. As always, thanks for reading!

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