Sunday, May 24, 2015

New Girl 4.22: "Clean Break"

“Now I am going to my room, and I am considering throwing out my sunglasses.”

“Clean Break” was another great season finale for “New Girl.” It doesn’t matter how many missteps the creative team makes during the season (and there were definitely some this season…I’m looking at you, Fawn), they always seem to pull it together for a solid season finale. Coach left the loft for good (we think), which wasn’t a huge surprise, given that the news Daymon Wayans, Jr. was leaving the show has been out there for a long time. The real shock was where the end of the episode found Schmidt and Cece. I wonder if that development will stick, and I hope it does, just because I don’t want to see those particular characters moping around anymore. Surprisingly (sort of), the episode did not end with Nick and Jess back together, although they do seem to be going down that road. That’s another situation where if they get back together, I want it to be for good this time. We will be five seasons in at that point – it’s time.

In this episode, Coach is preparing for the big move to New York City. Growing up as a military brat, Coach has a way of coping with frequent moves that he calls the “clean break” system. He takes one duffel bag of essentials with him to the new location, and he gets rid of everything else. It is quickly apparent that this doesn’t just include material possessions. Coach emotionally copes with moving by making a clean break with the people he knew in his old town. He doesn’t want to take things with him that have sentimental value, such as a crepe pan he and Winston bought from an infomercial late one night. Jess, however, wanted to make more of a production of Coach’s going away. She tried to do this whole goodbye production set to Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York,” but the other guys (except for Winston, who actually tries) kind of ruin it. Speaking of Winston, Lamorne Morris, as always, is on fire in this episode.

Inspired by Coach, Schmidt and Nick decide to try and do a clean break, too, and cull their possessions. Schmidt breaks out his “Cece Box,” which contains a bunch of stuff that reminds him of Cece. Schmidt, understandably, has trouble with the idea of getting rid of his memories of Cece, and Winston and Jess fret over whether to tell him that Cece is still in love with him. Cece is off climbing Mount Shasta, so Winston and Jess try to leave her a voicemail to let her know that Schmidt and Fawn broke up. Winston’s voicemail is especially epic (it’s full-on Winnie the Bish). Jess still doesn’t want to tell Schmidt what is going on, though, because she doesn’t want to meddle. She has learned her lesson recently that meddling in her friends’ love life doesn’t end well.

When going through Nick’s stuff (including an ant farm filled with candy wrappers…yeah), the gang uncovers Nick and Jess’ “sex mug.” When they were together, they would leave the mug out on a table to signal they wanted to have sex. Winston, always the good cop, says he saw the mug out on the table just last week. Nick says he left it out, but nothing happened. In private, Jess admits to Nick that she was the one who left the mug out. The whole conversation is super awkward, so Jess escapes to go knit a scarf for Coach. Later, she explains to Nick exactly why she left the mug out. It had been a long day, she was drinking pink wine, Nick had just been (sort of) working out, and she was seriously turned on. Jess then asks Nick if she ever does anything that makes Nick want to leave the mug out. Nick says “no,” and Jess is understandably very upset by this. Even if she’s not really wanting to be in a relationship with Nick right now, everyone wants to feel desirable.

Elsewhere in the loft, Winston and Coach fight over that crepe pan I mentioned earlier. Coach really doesn’t want to take anything extraneous, including memories, with him. Winston basically calls Coach on the fact that this whole “clean break” thing means that the roomies must not have actually meant anything to Coach. Eventually, Coach decides to pack a suitcase instead of a duffel bag, and Winston is very happy when he hears the crepe pan rattling around in the suitcase. Coach then starts randomly tossing other stuff (like a blanket) that reminds him of the other roomies into the suitcase. When he gets to the point of deciding to take the remote control, both Coach and Winston start crying. They reminisce over how Winston always accidentally hit the “info” button, but Winston swears it wasn’t an accident and that he “actually want[s] to know more about the cast and crew.”

Schmidt decides to put the entire Cece Box in a donation bin, but as soon as he does so, he regrets it. He tries to break into the donation bin to retrieve the Cece Box, but it is locked tight, and it looks like he can’t get it back. As he is in a rather compromising position, an employee of the charity running the donation bin, Wally, arrives on the scene to collect the donations. Wally is played by Jack McBrayer of “30 Rock” fame. Schmidt asks Wally for the Cece Box back, and when Wally refuses, the situation escalates into a full-on physical fight between Schmidt and Wally. Eventually, Schmidt prevails.

Back at the loft, Nick finally opens up to Jess and tells her that there are plenty of times he has wanted to put out the mug, especially when she gets out of the shower in a little towel. They are actually having a good conversation when Schmidt interrupts to tell them he got the box back. Jess still doesn’t want to directly meddle, so she uses the loophole of directly telling Nick with Schmidt also in the room that Cece is still in love with Schmidt. Schmidt is ecstatic, and he runs off. Schmidt opens the door to the loft, and Cece is there. She says she got all the voicemails and got back down the mountain as fast as she could. Schmidt reminds Cece of the time he gave her a five dollar bill and joked that he was going to marry her one day. He then produces that same bill (which was in the Cece Box) and proposes. Cece, of course, says “yes.” While I kind of question if Cece should go back to someone who has treated her pretty badly, I’m mostly just happy that she won’t be moping around over Schmidt anymore. You get yours, Cece!

In a tearful scene set to “Rivers and Roads” by The Head and the Heart, Coach and May leave Los Angeles for their new life in New York. Back inside the loft, Nick and Jess decide to throw out the sex mug. Later that evening, though, they each see that it is no longer in the trash can. Presumably each thinks the other rescued the mug from the trash, and therefore their relationship isn’t entirely over. It is actually Winston who took the mug, though. He thought it would make a good water receptacle for Furguson. I have hope, however, that since Nick and Jess both seemed happy at the idea that the mug was rescued, they will eventually get over their issues (and Nick will grow up), and they will get back together. It’s nice to end the season with a little hope.

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