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New Girl 3.17 “Sister II” Review: The Dangers of Sky Knife

26 Feb

It’s the second installment in the shenanigans of Abby Day on New Girl and as with “Sister” there’s too much going on and this impacts the overall payoff of the episode. Abby has been staying at the loft for a week and she has already outstayed her welcome, well in the eyes of Jess as the guys are still in the honeymoon phase of Sky Knife.

NewGirl-Ep317_Sister2-Sc16_0133crpThose knives are going to fall down at some point and Jess has had a lifetime of Abby causing chaos like this; it has lost the edgy sparkle for her. One week is more than enough time for her so she sets about getting Abby an apartment and tasks Nick with distracting Abby. Asking Nick to lie is a recipe for disaster as Jess should very well be aware of, but maybe the desire to get Abby out of the apartment has temporarily made her forget how terrible Nick is with secrets.

The whole “look how different they are” has been well covered and it’s not surprising that Jess wants Abby out this quickly; Jess has for all intense purposes has become the lame one in the loft. She’s the one who gets pranked and Jess doesn’t know where the knife drop zone is. Abby has become the fun, interesting one and while Jess has never really striven for this ‘cool girl’ role, it’s got to grate that Abby has become just that. I’m disappointed that we went straight to Abby pissing Jess off as the bonding scene with them in the last episode was such a highlight; there is warmth and familiarity as they discuss their mom which is mostly missing from “Sister II.” The declaration of wanting to fix Abby at dinner echoes this slightly, but exasperation is not as fun and it’s all about what a disaster Abby is.

Everything is kind of all over the place as we have Jess off apartment hunting with Cece – I would like to hear more of Cece’s alternate timeline – Winston avoiding his test results with Coach and the whole Nick/Abby/Schmidt no nonsense nonsense. As already mentioned Nick being given the task of distracting Abby was always going to end in disaster and so he ends up calling Schmidt as Schmidt’s hurt locker is crazy women like Abby. Or as it transpires he likes hooking up with women like Abby and now he’s living with her. Not the no nonsense result he predicted, but he seems perfectly happy getting tied up like a hog roast, getting the special at dinner and wanting to role play as Jess and Nick. I’m sure his feelings will be very different when we see him next. If nothing else the various horrified faces that Jake Johnson pulls throughout this episode did make up for all the lackluster elements.

The big takeaway is family has a way of disrupting everything and Abby is the chaos this loft doesn’t really need as they’re all capable of setting off a whirlwind of nuttiness. Take Jess and Nick, they’re both weirdos and it’s part of why they work so well together. Winston has shown off a whole spectrum of crazy this season and Schmidt is well, Schmidt. Coach is yet to reveal anything too strange as of yet, but there is still a lot of time and as Cece doesn’t live in the loft she acts as a sanity check most of the time. Abby is maybe a bit too much then and while I’m so happy to see Linda Cardellini flexing her comedy chops, I just wish this they weren’t hammering home this notion of how WILD she is. Like, I get it, she’s the impulsive Day sister, but really she’s sad and broken. Knowing that there’s only a finite amount of time that she will be around doesn’t help matters and I don’t quite get what they are trying to say with her overall.

Nick’s “You’re a garbage person and you should live in a dumpster with rotten snails” is hilarious in how far over the line he goes and really you can’t rag on someone else’s family even if it is your girlfriend’s sister. Nick talking about his own family reminds me that we probably won’t be seeing Margo Martindale anytime soon (thanks to being a Miller on another show); I would however like to meet his Uncle who was christened Shifty. This closing scene with Jess and Nick is pretty adorable and unlike True American, Sky Knife is a terrible idea for a game. The knife falling down at dinner and Jess’ terrible attempt are reason enough for this it not to catch on.

Elsewhere, Winston is having his own Abby related meltdown as she managed to make him freak out about his LAPD entrance test results just before he was about to check them online. This leads to one aspect of this episode that really works for me and that is Winston turning to Coach to distract him and then, well coach him. Winston doesn’t care that he’s ruining Coach’s dating chances and everything Lamorne Morris does in these scenes is why he is quickly becoming this seasons MVP. The story took a surprising turn in that Winston failed the test and I half-expected Coach to pull the “ahhhh you passed really” and it never came. Winston it turns out is a choker and he messed up his entrance exam and while it wasn’t due to not filling in the back – the test was on a computer – he has nothing to fear now as he has hit rock bottom. Well the only thing to fear is Abby and her theoretical scenarios that end with Winston dead in a ditch, in panties with a (male) prostitute.

It’s not that this episode is terrible, it’s just there is too much going on and my expectations are maybe too high as a result of the Linda Cardellini factor. It does feel more cohesive than some of the early season 3 episodes and yet it is still missing the spark that some of the other 2014 episodes have possessed (see “Birthday” and “Prince“).

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