Sunday, March 16, 2014

New Girl 3.18: "Sister III"

“We have so much left to learn about each other. Stuff you can only learn if you’re crammed together in a small space and you can’t get out.”

“Sister III” was the final in the trilogy of “New Girl” episodes dealing with Jess’ crazy sister, Abby. Abby is living across the hall in Schmidt’s apartment now, and they’re one of those disgustingly affectionate couples. They never seem to want to spend a second apart. Seeing this makes Jess and Nick reevaluate their own relationship, as they struggle to mimic Schmidt and Abby’s standard of togetherness. As is typical in most comedies these days, there are also two secondary plots that are only loosely connected to the main plot. Winston’s trying to train for the police academy, and Cece has gone crazy spying on Abby, because she’s convinced that Abby is up to no good. I think the latter is connected to the main plot more than the former.

The episode opens with brunch at Schmidt and Abby’s place. Like I said, they’re being disgustingly affectionate, and Jess is very unsuccessfully trying to mimic this with Nick. Poor Nick just wants to eat his French toast in peace! At the brunch, we also see an example of Abby’s newest hobby – jewelry making. This is a perfectly normal hobby (I make earrings, myself), but Abby being Abby, her jewelry is anything but normal. It’s made of random stuff (like office supplies), and sometimes it can be dangerous. A tin can pendant gives Schmidt a nasty gash, for instance. Anyway, after brunch, Jess and Nick talk about how Schmidt and Abby can’t seem to get enough of each other. Jess thinks that it’s high time she and Nick “move in” together (meaning have all their stuff in one bedroom). Nick is dubious, but since he thinks it will make Jess happy, he goes with it.

Meanwhile, Winston is anticipating that if he passes the LAPD academy entrance exam, he will be in for a difficult physical exam. This mostly provides an opportunity for Lamorne Morris to do a bunch of funny exercise related gags throughout the episode. We see him climbing up a wall (under Coach’s supervision) at one point. The funniest is when Jess sneaks into her former room to catch a break from Nick. Winston has turned Jess’ old room into an exercise room. As he tells Jess about his remodeling, he keeps on exercising, finishing up with a rather hilarious crab walk.

Cece is really not at all happy about Schmidt and Abby living together. Part of it is concern about Abby being less than above board (since she’s Jess’ best friend, Cece has known Abby for many years), and part of it is probably Cece wanting Schmidt back. That second part would be unfortunate, considering what Schmidt did to her early in the season. She and Coach have taken being “friends” to a rather ridiculous level. Coach, whenever he’s around Cece, seems to channel the stereotypical sassy black woman. Cece convinces Coach to help her break into Schmidt and Abby’s apartment to snoop around and find evidence of Abby’s nefariousness. They find nothing, naturally, and Schmidt’s not thrilled when he discovers the snooping. Eventually, Cece, Coach, and Schmidt end up in a car following Abby to a bad neighborhood. It turns out that she’s just there to buy more random junk for her jewelry.

Abby tells Jess that she and Schmidt booked a hotel room that they aren’t planning to use (they can’t get out of the apartment without wanting to have sex), and this gives Jess an idea. She’s been going nuts living in a tiny, tiny room with Nick, and Nick doesn’t like it any better than she does. Jess think’s Nick’s “long shirt” for sleeping is ridiculous and his feet are gross. Nick is freaked out changing in front of Jess and also doesn’t like her reading light. Jess has gotten so desperate for peace and quiet that she has taken to reading in the elevator. Anyway, Jess decides to use the hotel room as a more luxurious way to take a break from Nick. She tells the guys that she’s taking her class on a trip to Sacramento, and she hightails it to the hotel. At the hotel, Jess is ecstatic at the peace and quiet. She dons a fuzzy robe, orders room service, and runs around the room singing songs from “Meet Me in St. Louis.” She also asks for suggestions for a tasteful adult film, preferably depicting the Byzantine era (the hotel staff can’t meet that particular request).

Winston’s one hang-up workout-wise is the rings. When he and Nick were kids in Chicago, Nick pansted Winston while Winston was on the rings in gym class. Winston has been terrified of the rings ever since. He goes to the beach to continue his workout, and he has a total freak-out when a mean looking little kid starts eyeing him while he’s on the rings. He goes into a nearby hotel to complain about the kid to hotel management, and what do you know, it’s the hotel where Jess is. Winston sees Jess come out of a massage. Jess swears Winston to secrecy, but predictably, that doesn’t last long. Winston tells Nick almost immediately, and Nick’s actually kind of happy about it, because he thinks this is going to be one of the first arguments he’s ever been in where he is in the right (he can’t stand sharing the room, either, but at least he hasn’t lied about anything).

When Jess gets home, Nick confronts her about having been at the hotel. Thankfully, Jess has a conversation with Abby that makes her rethink the need to be in close proximity to a significant other early in a relationship. Abby just gloms on to one guy after another, and she kind of envies Jess’ ability to be happy alone. Jess tells Nick that needing their space once in a while doesn’t mean they “suck” at their relationship. It just means that they aren’t at the place where they should be living together yet. She has no doubt that they’ll get to that place, though. Jess decides to move back to her room, and her relationship with Nick is stronger than ever. There’s just one small hiccup. Schmidt announces that he’s moving back into the loft. Abby decided to go live with her mom for a little while, and Schmidt has blown all his savings on a storefront for Abby’s now defunct jewelry business. He needs to sublet his place, and he’s still on the lease at the loft, so he doesn’t see why this would be a problem since Jess and Nick are living together now and all.

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