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New Girl 3.18 “Sister III” Review: Roommates or Living Together?

5 Mar

The Abby Day trilogy has come to a close and she caused the kind of chaos that both Jess and Cece predicted. It wasn’t quite a cyclone of disaster, nor did Jess really ‘fix’ her and in the end she acted as a way to get Schmidt to move back into the loft, as well as ruffling some feathers and bringing characters back together.

NG_318-29_0007At the end of the first “Sister” episode Abby declared that she didn’t want to go home because she didn’t want to be a woman in her thirties living with her mother, she felt like a failure and a baby. By the end of “Sister III” Abby has made the decision after a discussion with Jess to do just this and earn some money for independent living. You see, the Day sisters are very different (ok yes everyone saw that) and while Jess likes her space, Abby is afraid of being alone and has bounced from guy to guy. She’s also pretty sure she’s never paid rent. So while Jess thinks this is exotic and fun, Abby is clearly tired of this lifestyle even if from the outside it looks like she is having a blast.

As with the conversation about their mom in “Sister” this is an Abby/Jess high point as Linda Cardellini and Zooey Deschanel have really great chemistry; the most disappointing thing about this arc is how few of these moments there have been. There’s a familiarity here so when Abby brings up the jazz ensemble story, it feels like a thing that actually happened and it’s believable that Jess would still be annoyed all these years later – “What’s that mean? “Too enthusiastic?”” There’s also the discussion about Nick’s “hippie cult leader feet” which mirrors the little blue denim backpack discussion from “Sister” and yes Nick you really, really need to wash them.

Jess has always been the sensible one (she is both the grown up and the baby) and she could fit all her lovers (I can’t read that word without thinking of the Carrie Bradshaw pronunciation) in one SUV, yes someone would have to sit on someone else’s lap but they would fit. Jess is also the kind of person who rings up inquiring about adult movies and ends up crying to an Ethel Kennedy documentary. This is all about sibling comparisons and I think no matter how comfortable you are in your own skin, this kind of comparisons will always occur and there’s always the feeling they are better and have less flaws than us. Jess sees Abby as being free and leading this exciting life. With her new relationship with Schmidt, Jess thinks Abby is challenging her to a ‘who is a better couple’ contest (which she isn’t) and this leads to all the dramaz. Jess feels like a failure as the whole sharing a room with Nick thing leads to her spending a night in a hotel and really as with any sibling rivalry (manufactured or real) there are no real winners or losers.

The Jess/Nick moving in together on the surface seems rather silly as they’ve lived together for over two years now, however there is a distinction between roommates and sharing a room like this. Their romantic journey has been bumpy and taken many baby steps; going from roommates to something more is a minefield of “what next?” Each step has been laced with uncertainty from the initial kiss, to the decision to go for it, followed by the boyfriend/girlfriend definitions to the most recent “I love you” declaration and so it’s not surprising this is also fraught with things left unsaid. Pretty much every time there is a status update at least one of them freaks out. Where Nick is a terrible liar (ditto Winston), Jess is excellent and comes prepared – yes she smokes in Sacramento.  As with a crime procedural ending an episode with finding out who the killer is, any Nick and Jess relationship quandary installments end with a smooch and them revealing how they actually feel.

There’s a twist to this in “Sister III” as Schmidt interrupts revealing he is moving back in and is taking Jess’ room, giving them no option but to embrace their new living situation. Apartment 4D is about to get very crowded and there is no real resolution to this Nick and Jess problem other than they’ve got to try it. As they point out, Jess’ room is bigger (and has a much better closet); they really dropped the ball on which room to live in. Also please Nick, ditch the Victorian match girl long shirt and this joke had me laughing so hard because it would appear that Liz Meriwether has incepted my friend’s life once again. Nick, the Henley can stay. Oh and there is definitely a difference between getting changed and getting naked in front of someone, though by this point in their relationship Nick should be fine with the former as well as the latter.

So Schmidt’s back and the Abby story ended up being a bit of a plot contrivance to shift the pieces back into place. Of course this relationship always had a short shelf life and it is a way to reinforce the good Schmidt, as opposed to whatever the hell they were doing with him earlier this season. The conversation with Cece after the whole spying/car getting stolen thing is further emphasizing this about Schmidt. Cece has known Abby for a long time so she is naturally suspicious of her motives and despite what transpired between Cece and Schmidt, she clearly still cares about him. I’m just not ready for round three of this romantic merry-go-round so I hope they hold off from going down this path for now.

The Cece/Coach relationship is firmly friends, so much so that Coach is putting on an act as if he is one of her girlfriends and as Cece points out she never asked him to do this. This is more about how Coach is with women, as before Jess and Cece he doesn’t appear to have had any meaningful non-romantic relationships with the opposite sex so he puts on this kind of performance because he doesn’t know how to act. Coach is growing as a character and he’s developing relationships with the entire core cast and this is definitely a good thing; sorry Schmidt I really like Cece/Coach friends dynamic.

Off on his own this week (again) is Winston as he trains for the LAPD fitness exam and it produces the episodes funniest moments (as well as the return of Ferguson) as he shows off his crab and fears the rings thanks to Nick pantsing him when they were kids. This leads to Winston going off on a kid, making this even funnier as Winston digs himself a giant hole. Another scene at the beach with the group must have been cut as half the promo photos for this episode show this happening (and Nick pantsing him all over again).

Next week we will be returning to the regular set up and now there are five people living in the loft (don’t tell the landlord), this should definitely lead to shenanigans. While the Abby storylines didn’t always land and these three episodes have felt overstuffed at times, this last part is definitely the most successful and seeing Linda Cardellini in a comedic role again has been a delight.

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One Response to “New Girl 3.18 “Sister III” Review: Roommates or Living Together?”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. New Girl 3.20 “Mars Landing” Review: “Nothing You’re Saying Makes Any Sense” | TV Ate My Wardrobe - March 26, 2014

    […] as they resolve it by the episode end. The only time this didn’t happen is recently when Schmidt moved back in and scuppered the room situation. This point is revisited when Nick walks Jess to her room, only […]

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