New Girl 3.09 “Longest Night Ever” Review: “I’m Fine”

20 Nov

Thanks to the recent return of Coach on New Girl it means that the regular cast can all be paired off into three different storylines and while I don’t think “Longest Night Ever” is one of the better offerings this season it shows the kind of scope that is possible. It’s a bit of a bizarro episode with Jess trying to contain Schmidt, Coach attempting to be cool around Cece and a hunt for Ferguson that takes Nick and Winston on a slightly odd journey.

NG_Ep309-Sc29_0195New Girl started with Jess being the ‘quirky’ (ugh that word) one and the guys were originally presented as relatively normal. This has evolved and really they’re all a bunch of weirdos. Jake Johnson has mentioned on several occasions that in the early drafts Nick was intended to be the smartest in the room and while he’s no dummy, they definitely moved away from this notion. In “Longest Night Ever” Nick is the character who is meant to hold everything together, but this comes more from his close and long standing relationships with both Schmidt and Winston. Nick has had enough moments with Schmidt to know that when he says he’s fine he’s anything but and we get a flashback to college with Schmidt attempting to strangle himself. We also get a shot of a Fight Club poster on Nick’s dorm room wall and once again the set dressers nail the details of a college room at this time.

To Jess it sounds crazy that Nick would consider a dog cage for a moment like this, whereas Schmidt mentions it like it’s the most normal thing in the world. We already know how solid Nick and Schmidt are even with their recent issues so it’s refreshing to use this as Schmidt and Jess bonding time. It’s understandable why Jess isn’t the most sympathetic to Schmidt’s plight and why she so desperately wants him to move on, after all it was her best friend who was hurt by Schmidt’s actions and he did try to sabotage her relationship. Schmidt declares that he loves Cece, but it’s too late and he has to let her go. This is an occasion where it would have been advisable for Jess to stick to Nick’s containment plan and Schmidt ends up getting hit by a car twice (which he asked for) and he sees Cece and Coach getting hot and heavy outside their building.

Schmidt’s been problematic this season, though he’s been a lot better since moving out and while I don’t see the Cece/Coach relationship turning into anything significant it will certainly have an impact on the group dynamic. Season 3 has been playing around with the roles of the characters and at times this has made the show feel disjointed. Last year everything clicked into place and the same can’t be said for this season; this episode has pacing issues and while I’m glad to see them try a variety of different things something doesn’t feel quite right. It’s funny that Nick and Jess mention watching Homeland as this is another show that is having a difficult third season (the New Girl and Homeland writing rooms are next to each other), though I would say this is a very different beast. This reference comes as Nick and Jess are discussing date night and for anyone who is concerned that the focus has been too heavy on this coupling recently (something I don’t agree with) then this is the episode for you as Nick leaves to help find Ferguson the cat.

The return of Ferguson after some relatively non-crazy Winston episodes is a little jarring and this plot would have worked a few weeks ago after he set up the cat date. Considering Ferguson hasn’t been mentioned in the last few episodes, Winston’s attachment to his cat (including taking showers together) feels like it comes out of nowhere. It does lead to some awkwardly funny moments and gives Jake Johnson the opportunity to pull some of his best horrified/bemused expressions, but this is probably the one part of the episode that didn’t work for me. Nick gets to pull a variety of these faces this week and if this was The Office he’d be deadpanning to the camera while in Bertie’s apartment or when Schmidt and Coach get stuck in their endless high fiving.

Coach is still being developed as a character and by now we know that there is a whole lot of bravado to cover up his lack of confidence. This is another story that has some pacing problems, but it makes up for it with the reveal that he has been texting his mom. Thanks to the Schmidt two timing story, Cece has been pretty isolated this season and while I’m not sure how much a romance with Coach is going to help things in the long run if it means more screen time for Hannah Simone then I’m on board.

It’s not the strongest episode of the season, but it feels like an important one in terms of acknowledging that Schmidt really isn’t fine and bringing Coach further into the fold. It’s also given me another coat to covet, last week featured this lovely J. Crew pea coat and now Jess is rocking a red toggle Juicy Couture jacket that is giving me all the outerwear envy. If you hadn’t noticed TV Ate My Wardrobe is currently in the midst of a coat obsession.

4 Responses to “New Girl 3.09 “Longest Night Ever” Review: “I’m Fine””

  1. misterk3 November 20, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    great post! 🙂 This is my blog, here’s a review of 3×09 of New girl, take a look 🙂


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    […] The reveal of Winston using the spare bedroom for a night with Bertie (who we first met in “Longest Night Ever“) is brilliant and I’d be more than happy if we got to see more of her. Winston is […]

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